Alignment how to? - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

 16Likes
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 11th, 19, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Rame
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abbeville Louisiana
Posts: 886
Garage
Alignment how to?

I'm all about using local services but my local shop sucks....bad. Next closest place is over 40 miles away. Can someone give me a tutorial on alignment and the tools i would need? I know this sounds silly but I would rather buy the tools and do it myself. Any info would be appreciated.

.
sampoerna415 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 12:16 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Tom
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Firestone, CO
Posts: 1,379
Re: Alignment how to?

The tools aren't super expensive (relative) but knowing how to use them effectively can be the problem. I'm a former chassis tech and had a ton of experience with laser equipment so I had a better starting point than most. I bought a Tenhulzen setup for around $500 a few years ago and it's about paid for itself since. It's plenty accurate when used correctly.

Local shops that suck are exactly why I bought my own stuff, also. As far as where to start- it's caster, camber, toe, in that order. I can help guide you through it but I don't really have a tutorial handy. I have a diverse stable of junk and each one adjust differently but the order is always the same.
David Bates and sampoerna415 like this.

70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 12:18 AM
Senior Tech Team
Eric
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Poteau, Ok
Posts: 4,334
Re: Alignment how to?

First off you need an alignment gauge setup.
Longacre Alignment Tools
sampoerna415 likes this.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
oldcutlass is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 9:50 AM
Senior Tech Team
Jeff
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Greensboring, NC
Posts: 1,177
Re: Alignment how to?

I've been looking hard at Quickturn Alignment system for my cars.

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Quick...ms,375872.html
sampoerna415 likes this.

*Jeff*

Project Salty - 1964 4 door Malibu, beaten, neglected, red headed foster child
LQ4 / T56 Swap
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Hotwire is online now  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 9:54 AM
Senior Tech Team
Jeff
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Posts: 2,227
Re: Alignment how to?

You will need a level spot for all four wheels. Then four 12 x 12 pieces of sheet metal, make two sandwiches with grease in the middle. Place these in front of the front tires and push the car onto them just using the parking brake to stop the car. These will let the suspension relax and you will get a better reading..

I use a small angle finder to check camber and caster... https://www.regulustlk.com/products/...le-finder-tool

Then I have a piece of Kindorf with two 6" long 1/4" screws ground to a sharp point. These come out right were the center of the front tire is.
First I place this behind the front the tires and set the points exactly in the center of both tires, then move it to the front and take a reading. This will show if I'm toed out or in..

They sell some real nice set up today. I would also look into one of them. The Fast Trax seems to be popular..
bry66 and sampoerna415 like this.
hydro462 is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 3:35 PM
Tech Team
Bryan
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 748
Re: Alignment how to?

I make a couple of grease sandwiches out of scrap sheet metal just like Jeff described in post #5 above, and set my caster and camber using a FasTrax gauge I bought from Summit Racing (side note...for the price, you only have to do two of your own alignments and this thing has paid for itself, here's the link: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sps-91000/overview/).

I'm sure there's a better way to set the toe. But I just tie a long piece of string to a couple jack stands and get it perfectly parallel to car relative to the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel. Then, using the string as a reference, use a tape measure to get 1/16" or 1/8" toe in or whatever you're shooting for.
hydro462 and sampoerna415 like this.

'66 SS Clone
Fast Burn 385hp Crate 350 (for now)
Muncie M20 & 3.42 Posi
UMI Stage 2 Suspension all around
bry66 is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 4:29 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Tom
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Firestone, CO
Posts: 1,379
Re: Alignment how to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bry66 View Post
I'm sure there's a better way to set the toe. But I just tie a long piece of string to a couple jack stands and get it perfectly parallel to car relative to the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel. Then, using the string as a reference, use a tape measure to get 1/16" or 1/8" toe in or whatever you're shooting for.
Not trying to dump on you and you're on the right track but the proper way to do what you're trying to do is to have two devices that are exactly the same length, one at each end of the vehicle and perpendicular to the vehicle. You then run your string parallel to the vehicle and center the perpendicular devices relative to the frame (preferred) or center of the wheel at that end of the vehicle.

The reason for this is because the front and rear track widths are almost always different. If you're running a string parallel to the centers of the wheels on just one side the string will not be parallel to the center of the vehicle due to the different track widths and thusly your toe won't be accurate.

You could easily use 4 jack stands with equal length electrical conduit pipe at each end with the string between them. The important part is that you're square with the center of the vehicle and not the axles/wheels, unless you know for fact that your axle is square and your track width is identical front to rear.

Am I making any sense?
bry66 and sampoerna415 like this.

70 Camino...Roller

69 Malibu Stock 307, Reverse Manual TH350, 4,500 Stall Edge Converter, 4.56 Spool 35 Spline 12 Bolt

76 C20 VortecPro 496 628HP 655 lb/ft TH400 Edge Converter, 4.10 14 bolt
Tommy the Cat is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 7:41 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Rame
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abbeville Louisiana
Posts: 886
Garage
Re: Alignment how to?

thanks for the reply's everyone, figured it couldn't be that complicated, time to buy more tools.

.
sampoerna415 is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 8:44 PM
Tech Team
Bryan
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 748
Re: Alignment how to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy the Cat View Post
Not trying to dump on you and you're on the right track but the proper way to do what you're trying to do is to have two devices that are exactly the same length, one at each end of the vehicle and perpendicular to the vehicle. You then run your string parallel to the vehicle and center the perpendicular devices relative to the frame (preferred) or center of the wheel at that end of the vehicle.

The reason for this is because the front and rear track widths are almost always different. If you're running a string parallel to the centers of the wheels on just one side the string will not be parallel to the center of the vehicle due to the different track widths and thusly your toe won't be accurate.

You could easily use 4 jack stands with equal length electrical conduit pipe at each end with the string between them. The important part is that you're square with the center of the vehicle and not the axles/wheels, unless you know for fact that your axle is square and your track width is identical front to rear.

Am I making any sense?
Makes perfect sense, I like the conduit idea. Wish I would have thought of that and Iíll probably do it this way next time.
sampoerna415 likes this.

'66 SS Clone
Fast Burn 385hp Crate 350 (for now)
Muncie M20 & 3.42 Posi
UMI Stage 2 Suspension all around
bry66 is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 9:21 PM
Senior Tech Team
jeff
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: yukon ok.
Posts: 4,903
Re: Alignment how to?

I have used white spray paint and a tape measure for many years and eyeballs.
Some cars may sit too low for the tape measure.
set toe by measuring front and rear of the front tires.
Set camber by spraying a white line across the tire tread and roll down the road in a straight line.

You must have the car pointing straight and NO turning. roll 50-100 yards or so and see where the paint wore off the tread. Adjust camber until it wears even.
That has been my poor boy way for decades.
You can play with more or less caster and see how you like the way it drives.
SSJohn and sampoerna415 like this.
jeff swisher is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 12th, 19, 10:48 PM
Tech Team
Dave
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: OH IO
Posts: 607
Re: Alignment how to?

I use a Longacre caster camber gauge with magnetic mount. You must use a wheel that allows access to the center of the rotor, not a SS wheel. Directions that come with the gauge are easy to follow. Use something long to line up the gauge with the body of the car when doing caster readings. I use a 4 foot level but any straight edge will do.
jeff swisher and sampoerna415 like this.
25C 70 is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 13th, 19, 5:24 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Steve
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Near Reading PA
Posts: 3,900
Garage
Re: Alignment how to?

I used a Longacre caster camber gauge, a bar type toe gauge I got from Crutchfield back in the 80's, a set of jack stands and a ruler and some string. I haven't verified my alignment with a shop, but it seems to be spot on by the feel of it. I posted about it a few months ago. The only problem I ran into when doing it was the rabid fox that wandered into my shop while I was doing it.
https://www.chevelles.com/forums/16-...-69-today.html

Another tip is to put some kind of thick plastic sheet under the tires so turning them is easy. I cut a couple pieces from some plastic sheets that are used to cover wire metro racks.
sampoerna415 likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ZZ69chevelle is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 13th, 19, 9:01 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Rame
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Abbeville Louisiana
Posts: 886
Garage
Re: Alignment how to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff swisher View Post
I have used white spray paint and a tape measure for many years and eyeballs.
Some cars may sit too low for the tape measure.
set toe by measuring front and rear of the front tires.
Set camber by spraying a white line across the tire tread and roll down the road in a straight line.

You must have the car pointing straight and NO turning. roll 50-100 yards or so and see where the paint wore off the tread. Adjust camber until it wears even.
That has been my poor boy way for decades.
You can play with more or less caster and see how you like the way it drives.
I put freezer tape on the treads of the tire anytime I mess with the suspension to see if it need to be realigned does the same as the paint so I'm right there with you on poor boy methods just never tried any adjustment myself, thanks for the tip.

.
sampoerna415 is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 13th, 19, 9:45 AM
Super Mod
Rich
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Waverly, NE USA
Posts: 15,627
Garage
Re: Alignment how to?

I have a FasTrax and it works very well. You have to have a relatively level spot to do the alignment and then FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. It is very important that you do things methodically and completely and in the right order.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sps-91025

NCOA member #220
ACES member #1670
Team Chevelle #998

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Rich Cummings
Rich-L79 is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Unread Nov 15th, 19, 6:32 PM
Tech Team
Geoff
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Jax, Fl
Posts: 625
Garage
Re: Alignment how to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy the Cat View Post
The tools aren't super expensive (relative) but knowing how to use them effectively can be the problem. I'm a former chassis tech and had a ton of experience with laser equipment so I had a better starting point than most. I bought a Tenhulzen setup for around $500 a few years ago and it's about paid for itself since. It's plenty accurate when used correctly.

Local shops that suck are exactly why I bought my own stuff, also. As far as where to start- it's caster, camber, toe, in that order. I can help guide you through it but I don't really have a tutorial handy. I have a diverse stable of junk and each one adjust differently but the order is always the same.

Yup....X2
Geoff1200 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in













Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome