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Old 01-25-2019, 02:46 PM   #1
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Is DIY a proper alignment a taboo..?

Hi, I wanted to share the experience of performing an alignment the first time by myself and also at the same time would like to know your comments.

Three weeks ago I installed a set of KW-V3's coilovers on my new (to me) 981CS, after most of the day with my son's help, I told him that this would definitely be my very last suspension as I was all bruised and exhausted (in reality, too old..), but next day after seeing the car new 'lower stance' told my kid "it makes you forget the pain and makes you feel that it was worth it every single hour"

However, last week I finally decided to learn to use the Smart Strings and Smart Camber kit that's been sitting on my garage for two years (...!) with the intention of getting the alignment close enough, so I could drive my car to get it corner balanced and also a professional alignment.

After setting the height to the maximum height on the coilovers (about 1.5" is the 'minimum' that you can lower the car with the KW's) I managed to get the rear axle to a -2.2 negative camber (minimum negative camber after lowering the car) and left the front axle at -1.5 camber, with "0" toe front and rear.

Today is the first time I drove the car after 'my alignment' and was very cautious driving the car as didn't want to wreck it.. but to my surprise the car was rock solid, very stable and getting close to my office I decided to push it around a couple of 90 degree turns that have enough run-off for a spin (in case something went wrong..) but again the car felt amazing and very stable 

The question is: Am I risking wrecking the car? or it's simply a reaction for something you never done before and ended not being any Black Magic after all? I am still going to take it to Steve Alarcon for the corner balance and professional alignment, But.. with the intention of performing my own alignments afterwards from now on.

Should I be ok, or just taking unnecessary risks?

.


Last edited by Gilles; 01-25-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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The only thing I would adjust is your rear toe. I had a race alignment done by the Porsche dealership to my CSS and they set the toe to +.2 on the rear. Your other measurements look good.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:43 PM   #3
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I'm running -3 front with zero toe and rear -2.2 with 1.5mm toe in per side in rear, measured over a 15" span. This was the alignment I did after installing my PSS9, and i was the same, swore i would never do another suspension. I used my hub stands and my smart strings, but this time i used the end rods on some jack stands instead of attaching the smart strings to the car.

The car really feels good, levelling the base for the car is really important and i think that is why my first attempt was not as "good"

I've had this setup at VIR, Sebring, The FIRM, and Roebling, and it rocked. I'm going to be doing my alignments from now on. I might even buy one of those arms that holds the steering wheel in the center, that was a hassle

Sounds like you nailed it

Ps yes i would add a little toe in, in the back, before your next track day.
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Old 01-26-2019, 04:54 AM   #4
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I string align, works fine
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
The car really feels good, levelling the base for the car is really important and i think that is why my first attempt was not as "good"
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Thank you guys for your comments!

Steve, would you please elaborate more about what you meant with 'leveling the base for the car'..? Thanks again

.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
Thank you guys for your comments!

Steve, would you please elaborate more about what you meant with 'leveling the base for the car'..? Thanks again

.
My garage isn't level, and while i had some plywood squares, vinyl tiles, and 4 thin steel squares for the wheels on my husbands, i didn't do a good job of making them all the same and i think it messed my camber up by a little.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:36 PM   #7
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you can absolutely DIY your own alignment; i've done them myself for years (camber and toe at least).
depending on your technique you can get very close if not spot on to factory alignment, or set your own as desired. My only gripe is the precision is not quite as good as an alignment rack but for most daily driving it's adequate.

you won't wreck your car unless something is loose or you have some alignment way off
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
I'm running -3 front with zero toe and rear -2.2 with 1.5mm toe in per side in rear, measured over a 15" span.

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Steve,

After lowering the subframe to install a front GT3 bar, and decided to do another alignment, again, using with your measurements as I liked the way the car felt.

However, after re-reading your post, t you used 1.5mm toe-in on the rear wheels 'measured over a 15" span'

The question is: What would be my true toe if I measured 1.5mm of toe-in at 20" ..? (my car has 20" wheels)

The curiosity killed the cat ..ha
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:09 PM   #9
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1.5mm over 20 (508mm) yields an angle of 0.169 degrees on that wheel.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:07 AM   #10
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Sorry, perhaps my question was not properly stated.. (English is my second language)

Ok, if I set the toe-in at 1.5mm with a 20" wheels, would the toe setting change when I swap the wheels to a 19" size..?

Last edited by Gilles; 11-19-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
Sorry, perhaps my question was not properly stated.. (English is my second language)

Ok, if I set the toe-in at 1.5mm with a 20" wheels, would the toe setting change when I swap the wheels to a 19" size..?
Depends on the wheel offset & tire size.

Give Steve a big kiss for me! Such a sweet guy.

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