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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A lot of track junkies do their own alignment because lets face it, we always change our settings and paying 80 to 100 bucks to an alignment shop 6 to 8 times a year pretty much pay for the tools to do it yourself.

I would get some slip plates for toe adjustment/reading

and as for camber you can pretty much find a camber gauge anywhere for a decent price.

I know the caster on our car can't be adjusted so I don't have to worry about that.

Adjusting the camber and toe for the front is easy, it's just a matter of getting your steering wheel centered.

I'm kind of stuck on the rear. If I measured the toe and it's at dead 0 I am still uncertain if it's correct because if the wheel is like this for both side / / then it would read the same right? So you would think you got the toe dialed in.

My question is; how can you tell if it's parallel? For example if I wanted 0 toe it should be | | or a little toe out \ / and vice versa for toe in. I don't trust the eyeball method to know if I got it right. Is there a measuring technique to check for this?

I would be doing everything on a leveled surface of course

Thanks for your help!
 

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A lot of track junkies do their own alignment because lets face it, we always change our settings and paying 80 to 100 bucks to an alignment shop 6 to 8 times a year pretty much pay for the tools to do it yourself.
They change the alignment at the track to test different settings...which is why they do the alignment at the track. They change the alignment more than 6-8 times a year. I bet if they are tuning alignment, they'd change it up to that many times a day.

I know the caster on our car can't be adjusted so I don't have to worry about that.
Caster can't be adjusted but it can be measured. Measure the camber at wheel lock to wheel lock and take note of the change in camber.

I'm kind of stuck on the rear. If I measured the toe and it's at dead 0 I am still uncertain if it's correct because if the wheel is like this for both side / / then it would read the same right? So you would think you got the toe dialed in.

My question is; how can you tell if it's parallel? For example if I wanted 0 toe it should be | | or a little toe out \ / and vice versa for toe in. I don't trust the eyeball method to know if I got it right. Is there a measuring technique to check for this?
You need to measure the thrust angle. Some people run a line along the center of the car and measure toe on each side based on that center line. Otherwise you are right, since there is no steering movement it can be / / or \ \ and toe will be ZERO but it won't be right.

You can do the above, or what racers do is run a string along the side of your car like what I used to do on the RSX before it was staggered--string the side of your car, make it parallel to the car (I measured from center of the wheel to string front and rear to make it parallel)--this is what they do sometimes depending on the chassis.

Or they sting the whole car, making a "box" around the car to make sure it's parallel w/ the car. When you do this, you can measure toe (front and rear of wheel to string) on each wheel--AND you'd be able to measure toe up front this way as well.

That's why only alignment shops give you toe numbers in degrees or whatever crap they give you. And then ask a racer their toe settings, and they give it to you in inches....i.e. 1/32" out, etc.

Now with all that info, you decide if you need those slip plates or whatever. IMO the only way those will help you is letting the wheel rotate freely as you make toe adjustments. Most racers rather get 2 sheets of metal and apply some grease in between and it will do the same thing, but for only a few bucks.
 

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I love my rally car
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They change the alignment at the track to test different settings...which is why they do the alignment at the track. They change the alignment more than 6-8 times a year. I bet if they are tuning alignment, they'd change it up to that many times a day.


Caster can't be adjusted but it can be measured. Measure the camber at wheel lock to wheel lock and take note of the change in camber.


You need to measure the thrust angle. Some people run a line along the center of the car and measure toe on each side based on that center line. Otherwise you are right, since there is no steering movement it can be / / or \ \ and toe will be ZERO but it won't be right.

You can do the above, or what racers do is run a string along the side of your car like what I used to do on the RSX before it was staggered--string the side of your car, make it parallel to the car (I measured from center of the wheel to string front and rear to make it parallel)--this is what they do sometimes depending on the chassis.

Or they sting the whole car, making a "box" around the car to make sure it's parallel w/ the car. When you do this, you can measure toe (front and rear of wheel to string) on each wheel--AND you'd be able to measure toe up front this way as well.

That's why only alignment shops give you toe numbers in degrees or whatever crap they give you. And then ask a racer their toe settings, and they give it to you in inches....i.e. 1/32" out, etc.

Now with all that info, you decide if you need those slip plates or whatever. IMO the only way those will help you is letting the wheel rotate freely as you make toe adjustments. Most racers rather get 2 sheets of metal and apply some grease in between and it will do the same thing, but for only a few bucks.
noted, thanks for the advice.
 

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since mine is staggered and have no centercaps, i might just buy two long pipes, front and rear, same length, then string both left and right sides of the car, making a box.. i know the distance from the front wheel center to the string will be diff from the rear wheel to the string, but as long as theyre equal left and right, it should be squared box right? all i want to do is adjust my camber and toe since i have a digital camber gauge :)

i agree with the metal plates + grease... my garage has a smooth floor, so im just thinking of putting McDondalds trays under my tires.. should work just fine.
 

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I love my rally car
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
this is the advice i got on socalevo. i think imma use this method.

Now.. you're going to love my setup!! O0

I happen to have a buddy with a digital camber gauge... So thats easy.

I use two 12" square commercial floor tiles with grease between for slip plates. This works surprisingly well. I can easily push the car around. ~$10

I put the car up on concrete blocks ~5" for room to adjust stuff. ~$10

I built and attached alignment bars after establishing the exact centerline of the car. ~$4

String $2

And a digital caliper for measuring to the 0.0005 of an inch. (christmas present)

The biggest challenge for the front toe is locking the steering wheel. I haven't built a jig for that just yet.





 

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yeah thats what im talkin about with the pipe front and rear, with strings left and right... i cant do just left or just right side string cuz my track width is different front to rear.. how are you going to do it differently?
 

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I was intending on doing my own alignment as well. My subframe and coilovers really screwed things up and I gave in and got a precise alignment at a tuner shop (really happy with the results!)
I'm afraid to do my own toe, I just don't think it'll be precise enough.. maybe when I get more hardcore I'll go buy tools but for now.. seat time.
 

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hmmm after looking at these pics... im thinking about when you lower the car onto the tiles, wouldnt the wheel be at a diff angle than it normally is? cuz i know that usually happens when you lower the car from a jack, then you usually have to roll the car back and forth just to straighten out the angle of the wheel relative to the floor.
 

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hmmm after looking at these pics... im thinking about when you lower the car onto the tiles, wouldnt the wheel be at a diff angle than it normally is? cuz i know that usually happens when you lower the car from a jack, then you usually have to roll the car back and forth just to straighten out the angle of the wheel relative to the floor.
Yep, your suppose to push/rock the car around before measuring and re-measuring. I think the car needs to actually be driven. Thats what they did when aligning my car, took it out and pushed it then re-measured.
 

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i dont think i need to put the RSX on blocks like that picture, since the tie rod end is above he tire... the rears are even easier to access. i just dont trust any alignment shops around here anymore... ive had 4 alignments done all by diff. shops and none of them could get my steering wheel straight at all.. ive come out of the shops and onto the freeway and the car was still pulling even though the print out said 0.
 

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yeah ive known about the "box" for a while, just tryna figure out if theres a better way...

btw, how hard is it to reach the front tie rod end, when the car is sitting at ride height?
 

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yeah ive known about the "box" for a while, just tryna figure out if theres a better way...

btw, how hard is it to reach the front tie rod end, when the car is sitting at ride height?
These are all tricks that have existed, it's out there if you look for it. DOHCtor didn't really need my help was my point.

As for reaching the front tie rod end, w/o the airbox you can reach both from the engine bay. Unless you have the car lifted (not on jack stands) and can crawl under, but my arms are not long enough.
 

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damn im runnin stock airbox. i wonder if theres an easier way to reach that tierod end.. the service manual recomends torquing the tie rod end, but im sure alignment shops dont do that. i'd be having a hard time getting a torque wrench in there...
 

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damn im runnin stock airbox. i wonder if theres an easier way to reach that tierod end.. the service manual recomends torquing the tie rod end, but im sure alignment shops dont do that. i'd be having a hard time getting a torque wrench in there...
It says to torque it 40ft/lbs IIRC. But how do you torque it if you can't fit a socket on it? I just use a big adjust. wrench ( for the lock nut ) and a 19mm wrench for the tie rod end and tighten it. When I've gone to an alignment shop in the past, they didn't torque it. There's not much force, forcing the lock nut to break free anyway.
How low is your car? I'm dropped about .75 inches, 40/17 tires and I can easily reach in with a wrench and adjust toe.
If you can reach around the wheel well that'll work for you. I'm on 40-17" tires too...but I have 245/40 and I have a small gap between tire to fender (to show how much space I have. Having a wide 245 doesn't help in being able to reach it either. When I was using 205/55-16" stockies, it was no problem doing that. You can even turn the wheel all the way, and re-settle the suspension after re-tightening/adjusting toe before re-measuring toe.
 

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the right way to tighten it is using a crowfoot attachment on torque wrench.. maybe a REALLY REALLY small torque wrench haha... but im on stock ride height, with a 245/40/17 tire.. i can see the tie rod from the wheelwell though.. i'll see what i can do. but yeah def. use the crow foot, if you can.
 
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