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c2 rower's Avatar
 
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For all you folks wanting to DIY Alignment

It can be done if you are resourceful and patient. I did mine last year using conduit, fishing line, a really good level, shim plates, straight bars and a home made camber gauge. I just found a nicely documented way that a guy with a Miata does it. Check it out.

http://www.quadesl.com/miata_alignment.html

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Old 02-11-2007, 05:56 AM
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Very nice.. I'm surprised others haven't chimed in yet.

I participated in a number of home - DIY alignment threads. Do a search. Also made a camber tool from a carpenter's level and threaded rods... and also used the tack-string method for toe. Other threads include a search on Ray Scruggs ( sp?)...original guru for alignments on 911's.


here's one of many to get us started ---> 4 Wheel Alignment


- Wil
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Last edited by Wil Ferch; 02-12-2007 at 05:40 AM..
Old 02-12-2007, 05:38 AM
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Instead of using a fishing line, I use a laser line. A vertical laser line.

The laser makes a vertical surface which can be used to change both camber and toe.
Just make sure the laser line is parallell to the car. I use two laser units and measure distance between the lines behind the car, and in front of the car on the wall.

To adjust the laser lines I now know that I have a difference in axel width of 10 mm on each side between front and rear axle. To measure this I use a steel scale and just count the millimeters from the center of the rim to the laser line.


Now it's time to start adjusting the car.
To check the toe-in you measure the rear of the rim to the laser line, and the front of the rim to the laser line.

And for the camber, you measure from the top of the rim to the laser line, and from the bottom of the rim to the laser line (sorry, I don't seem to have a picture of the scale at the bottom of the rim, but I think you get the picture)


Then I put in all the numbers in an excel sheeet to get total toe for front and rear axle, and camber in degrees (depending on rim size).

I'm sorry that the sheet is in swedish, but I hope you get the point here as well.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:59 AM
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Nice1 dennis, excellent pics and description - I'm looking to use vertical lasers too on my next DIY alignment mission.

I have tried the string method and although I was impressed at how accurate you could take measurements it was a right hassle to get the car back to the same place following adjustments and bouncing.

What im going to try is to use the same lasers as you but mount them to a bracket that goes into the jack-hole. This means once set I never have to re-set them nor line the car up with something. I'm pleased you have had good results using the vertical line laser for camber too - I was hoping that was the case.

Obviously I need to spend time making sure that my jack holes are in line and making the bracket to take out any irregularities but I think as long as I get my car on a level surface each time I measure I will be getting good repeatable results with the added bonus of being able to use the lasers to watch as I make adjustments even if the wheel is drooped down.

I'd love a copy of your spreadsheet dennis....do you mind sharing it?
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:32 AM
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Were do you get those type of lasers from?
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:15 AM
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Mine came free in a Black and Decker drill kit - part of a tape measure as it happens
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:21 AM
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arbita1: I bought them at a Home improvement/DIY store. $20 each.

jevvy: of course I don't mind sharing my spreedsheet, but I have to translate it to english first .
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:45 AM
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Is that all you have to do to square the car is measure from the center hubs out?
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cgarr
Is that all you have to do to square the car is measure from the center hubs out?
Now, after a few measurements, I know that my car is not injured, and I only set up the "rig" by checking the distance from the centre of the hubs to the laser line, yes.
This takes me about 5-10 minutes, since the sides don't have to have the exact same distance. You just have to be certain that the line is parallell. I know from my earlier measurements that I have an offset of 10 mm to the front rim from the rear rim, so I only add 10 mm to the number i get from the centre of the rear rim, when I read the scale in the centre of the front rim.
If I now want to double check I measure the distance between the laser units at the rear of the car, and compare that distance with the distance between the two laser lines I see on the wall in my garage.

But you have to be certain that the floor is level... Never forget...
Or you could check your car in one direction. Move the car 180 degrees and check it again.
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Last edited by Cyberdennis; 02-12-2007 at 11:27 AM..
Old 02-12-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cyberdennis
Now, after a few measurements, I know that my car is not injured, and I only set up the "rig" by checking the distance from the centre of the hubs to the laser line, yes.
This takes me about 5-10 minutes, since the sides don't have to have the exact same distance. You just have to be certain that the line is parallell. I know from my earlier measurements that I have an offset of 10 mm to the front rim from the rear rim, so I only add 10 mm to the number i get from the centre of the rear rim, when I read the scale in the centre of the front rim.
If I now want to double check I measure the distance between the laser units at the rear of the car, and compare that distance with the distance between the two laser lines I see on the wall in my garage.

But you have to be certain that the floor is level... Never forget...
Or you could check your car in one direction. Move the car 180 degrees and check it again.
I guess you could also find the center line of the car and either using a 3rd laser or just snapping a line on the floor mark that center line. Then measure your two outboard laser lines from that snap line to ensure they are parallel.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:13 AM
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the string/laser setup along each side of the car is good but hassle which is why I have been trying to think of alternatives.

If you didnt have to move the car during adjustment then lasers/strings along the side is perfect but in between adjustments I got tired of trying to get it setup again and even when careful I wasn't sure I was getting perfect repeated measurements.

Mounting the lasers/strings on the car has to be the best way to get round this and the jack hole is perfectly placed to help with this.

Dennis - im sure I will be able to muddle through your spreadsheet - numbers is numbers after all.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by arbita1
I guess you could also find the center line of the car and either using a 3rd laser or just snapping a line on the floor mark that center line. Then measure your two outboard laser lines from that snap line to ensure they are parallel.
I like going the easy way. With my setup I can easily take the equipment with me on a track day or to some friend.
Since I KNOW that my cars axles are properly aligned (measuring the centre of the front rims to the centre of the rear rims, cross measuring left front inner rim to right rear inner rim and the other way around) I only need to know that the laser line is parallell to my car if the distance from the laser line to the front rims centre are +10 mm to the distance from the laser line to the rear rims centre.
This is the easiest way for me to set up my equipment.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:25 AM
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right, I see now, thats the benefit of the laser in that you only have to adjust 1 end and get it the right distance from each hub center - with the axle stands and string method you need to tweak each end numerous times which adds to the pain of re-setting them.

Lasers rock!
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:31 AM
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I got it now, a bit slow i guess, but I was thinking at first it was a single line of lite but as you said its a "wall" of lite that you can take measurments from at any point you want, cool!
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jevvy
I'd love a copy of your spreadsheet dennis....do you mind sharing it?
I just have to install an ftp program first. Hopefully I'll have it ready for you tomorrow. (I need the ftp program for more than just this file, hehe)
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:27 PM
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Would a laser (or 2 actually) like this one work?

Laser Link

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:27 PM
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Hard to tell from the pics, only thing you need to make sure is the laser line is quite fine otherwise your measurements will have to be approximate buy guessing the center of a blurry line.

Cheap enough tho!
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:01 PM
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Tom: By looking at the way the laser works it will work just fine for this.

jevvy: My units are not that high quality either, but I think that a laser line, 2 mm width at 5 m distance, will be sufficient for my garage aligning .

This is what my units look like. The brand is "Toolmate":
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:52 PM
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Laser method sounds interesting.

I would be more comfortable with establishing a suspension centerline and then setting up the parallel lines from there. Any suggestions for establishing the centerline on a 911?
Old 02-13-2007, 07:15 AM
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with strings and jack stands....

Old 02-13-2007, 07:21 AM
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