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DRACO A5OG's Avatar
 
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Thumbs up Draco's Ghetto Front End Alignment

So I chose to replace my front control arms with the pre-installed bushings Dansk due to the T-bars rubbing against the walls of the old control arm tubes and worse both height adjustment caps were gouging out a huge groove in the cross member, yes even with the solid Delrin bushings. I will save this for another appropriate Topic. As I built a fix for it.

Needless to say, I lost my mind and more importantly my alignment, Joy Joy Joy. I successfully put her back to previous ride height and camber. All GOOD.

I took this opportunity to ZERO out everything TOE related and also CENTER out my Steering Wheel while I am there.

Goal #s:

Total Toe In = 1/16 or 1/32 each side.

Tools Needed:

Tape Measure ( increments of 32nds )
Duct Tape
Wheel Chock ( Solid Rubber for stability, my 2 cents )
12MM Box Wrench
22MM Box Wrench and/or Adjustable Crescent
Flash Light
Patience :-)



Work Area: Level as you can find.

I am working on the faith my tires were made by a Quality Company and Hopefully Consistent in it's manufacturing. Continentals with Vertical Rain Grooves, if "V" pattern this may not work for you. 32 PSI or desired.

Tool Prep: Tape the Tape Measure on the Chock with numbers facing down on to the ramp side of the Chock, diagonally about 3-4" from bottom ( idea is to keep the tape from hitting the bottom of the chassis ), taping it down will give you a more consistent repeatable reading/s.

Step 1:

Obtain Current Readings by placing the Tape Measure Hook into the groove before the tire's outer edge, it will be loose so position the hook to sit up against the inner edge of the groove. Grab the tape measure and pull it out to the the same inner edge of the opposite tire, about the same height as the chock's taped tape measure position. It's okay margin of deflection is minimal here. Use the Flash light and write down your readings.



Mine was at 58", 3/4 + 1/32 (Front Side)

Carefully, grab the chock with the tape measure and go to the other side, place under the back side of the tire. ( Here, you could use another tape measure but I did not, in case the tapes were off due to tape manufacturing differences )

Rear Side was at 59", 1/8 + 1/16

Yes, severe TOE IN

(This was after trying to Center my Steering Wheel, 7MM out from jam nut to end of threads on each Tie Rod Ends, re-positioned the Steering Wheel. Rotation on each side was equal 3 turns and she tracked straight even with the crazy Toe In) Sorry Side Tracked, we will come back to this.

Step 2:

Adjustments & Jam Nuts ( Lock )



JAM NUTS
Driver Side: To loosen the Jam Nut, you must take the 22MM wrench and go DOWN or if you were under the car facing the tie rod, you would go Lefty Loosy.

Passenger Side: Go UP or if you were under the car Lefty Loosy.

I was doing this on my garage floor with car on the ground. Note PO or Wrench may have over tightened it so be prepared, You could choose to pre-loosen them while car is jacked up. Tie Rod ends have two divets that measure 22MM to hold the tie rod in place as you loosen the 22MM Jam Nut. This will insure you do not damage the tie rod or it's rubber boot.

ADJUSTMENTS
Two Choices, just go for it and find your desired numbers or do a little math.

I tried the math but forgot I failed math at University. JKD. But really, please forgive me if my math is wrong.

The adjustment shaft uses a 12MM wrench. One Full turn equals 1/16" movement in/out, Going Left would cause a TOE IN situation, Right TOE OUT.

In my case, I was 13/32 Total Toe In, nice.

13/32 - 11/32 = 1/16

11/32 is what I need to add in to reduce the TOE IN

11/32 divide by 2 = 5.5/32 so 2.25 turns IN on both sides

2.25 turns to the RIGHT if under the car facing each Tie Rod. In my case: D-side UP and P-Side Down. Snugged up the Jam Nuts, but not too tight, yet.

Step 3:
Re-measure and the Test Drive.

I bounced on the bumper just in case to take out any pre-load.

Final Measurements: Total Toe In 1/16 or 1/32 each side

Tape Measure readings:
59" - 1/32 Front Side
59" + 1/32 Back Side

Test Drove her on a safe traffic free road in the center of the road to avoid the crown at 25-30 MPH. She tracked Straight and snapped back to Center when I abruptly turned the wheel to each side. Tightened the jam nuts but not crazy tight.

Success :-)

Steering Wheel Centering:

Back to Steering Wheel Centering, a little trickier, the steering rack that sits on the cross member has about a 1-1.5MM play side to side when mounting bolt are loosened, Yes Loverly. I discovered this when I installed my bump steer spacer kit.

I got my Tie Rod equally pre-positioned to 7MM each or 4 teeth per side, exposed, I removed the steering wheel and re-positioned it center, 3 turns each side landing at the same location respectively. But when I test drove her she was a little cocked to the right. Bingo SLOP at play here. .25 turn out on P-side and .25 in on D-side. Voila Tracked Straight and Steering Centered.

Your results may vary but this is my version of a ghetto alignment, found it less cumbersome nerve racking then the String Method, did not have to have wifey hold the darn steering wheel in place, unfortunately she couldn't, RFLOL.

I wish I could do this on the rears but that will have to be the string method.

Well enjoy Fellas, Caveat, If you are not sure about this method, Please take her to a Pro-Alignment Shop.

Jim
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:01 PM
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Nice write up. I used this method successfully for years. I have since moved on to strings....

In reality a tape measure can get you close enough.

What about corner balance? Tripod?
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:23 PM
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Oh thank you Master Gordon,

String Method can be hit and miss, especially on my rickety jig set up. I need to build a better jig

Corner Balance, I have scales I can borrow. I will need to re-check to insure I am not totally off. after repairs.

Control Arm Fix Preview
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'85 Carrera Targa
Factory Marble Grey/Black * Turbo Tail * 930 Steering Wheel* Sport Seats * 17" Fuchs (r) * 3.4 * 964 Cams * 915 * LSD * Factory SS * Turbo Tie Rods * Bilsteins * Euro Pre-Muff * SW Chip on 4K DME * NGK * Sienes GSK * Targa Body Brace
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:47 PM
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I built myself a "dumb strings" jig for string alignment but I'm back using jack stands and long poles - the traditional string method - which is more reliable and in fact less time consuming.

For toes, if I'm lazy and not doing strings, I just press solid square or a board on tires/ wheels and i mark the concrete floor with pencil, front and back side of the tires/wheels and I just measure the length left to right for front and rear of the tires to see the difference. I'm looking for zero toe so if there is a discrepancy, i just adjust to zero difference. In essence this is very similar to longacre alignment plates idea.

With these above methods, my alignment was dead accurate attested using lazer alignment machine at the shop which god knows when it got calibrated last time.

hope this makes sense...
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:35 PM
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I just have Tyson do mine...
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:36 PM
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I did the same thing and it seems to have worked fine. You can use large ziplock bags with a few squirts of soapy water in them as low rent turnplates.
Old 07-12-2018, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggert View Post
I did the same thing and it seems to have worked fine. You can use large ziplock bags with a few squirts of soapy water in them as low rent turnplates.
Wow, great out of the box thinking :-)
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'85 Carrera Targa
Factory Marble Grey/Black * Turbo Tail * 930 Steering Wheel* Sport Seats * 17" Fuchs (r) * 3.4 * 964 Cams * 915 * LSD * Factory SS * Turbo Tie Rods * Bilsteins * Euro Pre-Muff * SW Chip on 4K DME * NGK * Sienes GSK * Targa Body Brace
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:10 AM
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