On Sat, 12 Dec 2009, Eric Murray wrote:
> So, what's the best tools for measuring toe? "toe plates"?
Being cheap, I built my own with 12' of aluminum angle from
McMaster-Carr. Cost about $15-20 for a set of four.
> Any good sites that explain the process? Can you get results at home
> that are accurate enough for daily driving? The range in the factory
> spec is suprisingly large.
> I have also been thinking of using a digital angle gauge like...
> and a hunk of tubing with a couple bolts in the appropriate
> places to make a camber gauge, rather than spending $270 on
> the fancy version of the same thing-...
I autocrossed a bunch of different cars for 12 years, and still do a
little racing here and there. Early-on I found that most alignment shops
were only concerned with 'does it go straight', and even the relatively
specialist shop recommended by racing friends wasn't much better ( had to
go back twice to get him to do it right ).
I gave up, and did my own. It's really not hard at all, if you have a
level place to work. Toe plates, as mentioned, plus a bubble camber gauge
( about $40, probably from Racer Wholesale or similar, I don't remember ),
some spin plates ( two pieces of metal with grease smeared between ) and
you can do a better job than your local shop probably will. It's not the
tools that make the difference, it's how bad you want it done right. The
first couple times I did my own, I subsequently took it to Just Tires for
their free alignment-check service ( no longer available ) and their
Hunter rack confirmed my accuracy ( or we were both wrong, but that's the
point, right? )
If you are really cheap, you can skip the bubble level and just do math
to calculate camber. A digital level is serious overkill unless you're
just into cool toys.
If you haven't got a level place to work, though, I imagine you'd be
chasing your own tail so much that it wouldn't be worthwhile.
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