....I'm really brain dead today...this is my >fourth< attempt to post my
answer to Eric's question to the list. I'm afraid the difficulty is a
result of a serious EBKAC (error between keyboard and chair), but here's
Funny that you bring this up as I've been playing with front end
alignment quite a bit over this last summer. My short answer to your
question is that I believe you can get very good toe-in adjustment
results at home with a lot of patience and a tape measure.
On my BMW 735il, I replaced lower control arms, center tie rod, outer
tie rods, idler arm and the thrust arms and aligned it when I was done.
The specs call for 18 minutes of a degree of toe-in (+/- 5 minutes), so
I measured the distance between the front and rear of the tire (22
inches where I decided to take my measurement) and multiplied that
distance by TAN(0.3)....resulting in .115 of toe-in. Including the +/-
results in an acceptable range of .083 through .147.....and an 1/8" is
right in the ballpark. It was pretty easy to measure from a consistent
point on the tire tread to get this reading. The car tracks correctly
and I'm not seeing any evidence of unusual toe-in tire wear.....
On my Jeep TJ, I replaced coil springs which then required a change of
caster (in order to correct pinion angle) as well as a toe-in correction
due to the different angles the drag link and tie rod are now operating.
I used a protractor to measure the pinion angle (adjustable control arms
make this setting easy to adjust) and a consistent spot on the tire
tread to measure toe-in. I'm happy with my results.
Remember...the greater distance you can use to take your measurements,
the more room for error you have.....for instance if I clamped a few
straight edges to the rotors of the car and was able to take my
measurements 48" apart, my "in spec results" would be anywhere between
.182 and .321....or 3/16 - 5/16 -- well within the capability of
accurately measuring with a tape measure.
I haven't played with camber adjustments because tire wear on the car
indicates to me that it's all good and it's on the Jeep it's not
Maple Ridge, BC
Eric Murray wrote:
> I've been doing mods to my cars instead of my motorcycles lately.
> I think the toe is off. But I'd like to measure it myself and perhaps
> play with setting it to something other than the factory specs, like a
> closer to dead even.
> 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.
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