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Discussion Starter #21
Doing Your Own Front End Alignments

Any of you "do-it-yourselfers" want to learn how? Its ungodly easy to do and you'll learn something at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Okay okay, here's how you check the caster and camber angles of your front end with the wheels off:

1. Buy a 12" bubble angle protractor (aka 12" combination square) from Harbor Freight for $8.

2. Using a piece of 1/8" X 1" X 21" steel bend two 90 degree angles 10-1/2" apart then drill two 1/4" holes 5" from the back side.

3. Set your hub onto blocks of wood at the same height the hubs normally are when the wheels are on and hang your tool on the upper and lower ball joint grease zerks.

4. Hold the bubble angle protractor against the back side of the tool to get a direct caster angle reading.

5. To measure the camber angle hold the bubble angle protractor against the machined surface of the rotor.

Tadaaaa..............
 

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yeah , that looks safe :smilielol5: ......that'll get you close but not accurate. I could eyeball it and get that close
 

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Discussion Starter #24
The purpose of this thread was to tell our other forum members they can easily align their own front ends using a single inexpensive tool.
 

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add neg camber , add shims front and rear ( the same size shim )
pos camber delete shims , delete shims front and rear ( the same size shim )
wanna do pos camber and pos caster ? add front shim only
Wanna do neg cam and neg caster? delete front shim
wanna do neg cam and pos caster? add rear shim only
want pos camber and neg caster? delete rear shim
want camber to stay the same but neg caster? take from rear and add to front ( the same size shim )
want camber to stay the same but pos caster ? Take from front and add to rear ( the same size shim )


but....the very first thing you do is worn parts check
second you do is air pressures
third , ride heights
fourth , measure caster and camber and adjust
fifth , set toe

if you need to learn how to measure these 3 things , google it
there are numerous DIY write ups and I don't feel like typing it all out
You need a caster camber gauge or digital level and some sort of slip plates
2 pieces of 1/8" thick sheet metal with grease ( for each front wheel) in between works good ( some use VCT but it's brittle)
you will also need toe plates or a toe bar , either works fine or string ( the best for cars with IRS )

On the dirt cars I could eyeball it to within a 1/8 degree
I used to eye ball customers cars before I threw them on the rack just to see how close I could guess the settings. After a few years I got very good at it
Great info! ... but a dum newbie question: when you say, for instance, "Take from front and add to rear ( the same size shim )" ... do you mean the shim/s from the front bolt of the front wheel's control arm and add it to the rear bolt of that same control arm? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Great info! ... but a dum newbie question: when you say, for instance, "Take from front and add to rear ( the same size shim )" ... do you mean the shim/s from the front bolt of the front wheel's control arm and add it to the rear bolt of that same control arm? Thanks

See my newest thread "Doing Your Own Front End Alignment At Home For About $20" that I posted 15 days ago. The thread in which I now use an inexpensive digital angle finder to determine the caster and camber angles and the simple home made tool I made.
 

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See my newest thread "Doing Your Own Front End Alignment At Home For About $20" that I posted 15 days ago. The thread in which I now use an inexpensive digital angle finder to determine the caster and camber angles and the simple home made tool I made.
Your previous write up was excellent, but this new one is even better, perhaps an excellent +++ !! What a great idea to align without the wheels on and of course, if that tool you made has the 2 angles 100% 90 degrees, the measurements have to be exact. In addition, this is the 1st time someone mentions how to take into account the floor slope. I always wondered how nobody mentions this. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Your previous write up was excellent, but this new one is even better, perhaps an excellent +++ !! What a great idea to align without the wheels on and of course, if that tool you made has the 2 angles 100% 90 degrees, the measurements have to be exact. In addition, this is the 1st time someone mentions how to take into account the floor slope. I always wondered how nobody mentions this. Thanks again!
I check my caster and camber angles every time I replace my tires because the upper control arm bushings will collapse over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Good tip, thanks!
My front tires are shot and during their lifespan their camber angle has changed from zero to about 1-1/2 degrees positive. Before I make any adjustments I'm going to re-measure the amount of camber then see how thick the shim(s) need to be to achieve zero camber. I have always wanted to know how much of a camber angle change a 1/16" shim will correct so once I find out I'll let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Exactly what I would like to know. Thanks for all the help!
When my wheels are on I measure the camber angle by placing a 1/8" X 3" X 15-1/2" piece of steel against the face of the wheel then place my digital angle finder against the steel. I'm going to weld a little "shelf" on the middle of the steel so my angle finder will self adhere; leaving my left hand free (I'm right handed).
 

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When my wheels are on I measure the camber angle by placing a 1/8" X 3" X 15-1/2" piece of steel against the face of the wheel then place my digital angle finder against the steel. I'm going to weld a little "shelf" on the middle of the steel so my angle finder will self adhere; leaving my left hand free (I'm right handed).
You might also be able to attach a small auto-adhesive magnet (check Home Depot) to the side of the gauge and then that "vertical" magnetized side of the gauge to the steel...
 

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Discussion Starter #34
You might also be able to attach a small auto-adhesive magnet (check Home Depot) to the side of the gauge and then that "vertical" magnetized side of the gauge to the steel...
The body of the magnet is aluminum but if was steel it would be a good idea. I have a MIG welder and plenty of 1/8" X 1" material so when I feel up to it I'll add the little shelf AND I'll post a picture of it. I'm extremely crippled at the moment because the arteries in my abdomen and legs are plugged with plaque and I'll have the corrective surgery maybe this week.
 

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The body of the magnet is aluminum but if was steel it would be a good idea. I have a MIG welder and plenty of 1/8" X 1" material so when I feel up to it I'll add the little shelf AND I'll post a picture of it. I'm extremely crippled at the moment because the arteries in my abdomen and legs are plugged with plaque and I'll have the corrective surgery maybe this week.
Good luck with the surgery!
 
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