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Old 11-30-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
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DIY Alignment

Has anyone out there aligned their own car? I'm refreshing my entire suspension system and would like to be extra picky on the alignment and not take whatever is offered after I pay for it. I've never been satisfied with "it falls within range" I want to be able to set it spot on.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:42 PM   #2
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caster is not adjustable, so you are looking at camber and toe front and rear. there are some good tools on ebay for not much $ that should do the trick for you; i’ve got:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toe-Plates-Most-Accurate-DIY-Wheel-Alignment-Tool-Gauge/281932528463?hash=item41a47cfb4f:g:LO0AAOSwrmdTqJO 6

and

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Camber-Caster-Wheel-Alignment-Tool-Digital-Gauge-Accurate-to-Within-0-1-Degrees/281369072191?hash=item4182e7523f:g:PlcAAOSwnDZUIgA J

haven’t used them yet, however.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:14 PM   #3
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If you take it to a good place they will be accurate and dial in what you want. I have never settled for just in the range and green on the screen.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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Find out who sets up P-cars for racing. Talk to them about your expected use. They will know the effects of settings, not just try and get it in the box.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:33 PM   #5
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It's basic geometry and measurements. My experience was not the accuracy that you are looking for, but I think it's doable if you buy the tools. One of my cars was visibly off. I used this guide, Pelican Technical Article: Home Alignment, my factory service manual, and some carpentry tools. I managed to get it set close enough that I don't feel a need to take it to a shop until I track it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:12 AM   #6
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If you do decide to take it somewhere, there are two guys in the state I can recommend. John Gladwill at Porsche of Plano. Most of the race guys in Texas and Oklahoma take their car to him. He is the man! He normally won't work on street cars but with the season basically over, he should have some time over the next two months. The second guy is over here in Austin. Collin of SoulSpeed. He's good and also does lots of race cars or high end exotics. Sorry but I don't know anyone in the Houston area. Everyone I know over there takes their car up to John. Call me first If you do decide to take it to John. Otherwise you might get another tech
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:53 AM   #7
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If you want to do it yourself and get it dead nuts, get yourself some smart strings and a good digital camber tool. Takes some time to set up and perfect the teqnique, but once you do it's very straight forward.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Does anyone have the factory alignment specs? I've searched but have not found reference to the actual specs.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:23 PM   #9
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I don't see how you can set it "spot on" without having accurate equipment. That said you will have the same limitations as the indy when making alignment changes.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:34 PM   #10
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I don't see how you can set it "spot on" without having accurate equipment. That said you will have the same limitations as the indy when making alignment changes.
Interesting point. How many alignments have you performed, and how would you define accurate? And back to the question you responded to, can you provide the spec alignment values?
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:56 PM   #11
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Interesting point. How many alignments have you performed, and how would you define accurate? And back to the question you responded to, can you provide the spec alignment values?
The question is whether or not you can align accurately and within these tolerances. I don't care to spend my time on alignments for the aforementioned reason and because it is inexpensive unless you like to do that kind of work, do it often and can tool up. Here is one source. I'm sure a search will reveal other numbers you could compare with these:
https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/buyingtiresforaboxster
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:49 PM   #12
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The specs are broad and you could be way off side to side and still be within those specs.

For stock street suspension, a good alignment for sporty handling and daily driving and even tire wear might be:

Front: -.5 camber per side, toe .08 degree toe in per side, .16 degree total
Rear: -1.5 camber per side, toe .08 toe in per side, .16 total

Toe in provides stability but that small amount doesn't appreciably affect inner tire wear.

For more sporty handling, go -1.0 in front (or max you can get, and 0 toe)

Tell them to get both sides the same, that plus not too much toe will have the greatest benefit to your tire wear.

Stock suspension your range in front is around 0 to -1 camber and around -1.3/1.4 to -1.9 in the back., maybe less to keep the rear toe in line.

What are your driving and tire wear goals?
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
The specs are broad and you could be way off side to side and still be within those specs.

For stock street suspension, a good alignment for sporty handling and daily driving and even tire wear might be:

Front: -.5 camber per side, toe .08 degree toe in per side, .16 degree total
Rear: -1.5 camber per side, toe .08 toe in per side, .16 total

Toe in provides stability but that small amount doesn't appreciably affect inner tire wear.

For more sporty handling, go -1.0 in front (or max you can get, and 0 toe)

Tell them to get both sides the same, that plus not too much toe will have the greatest benefit to your tire wear.

Stock suspension your range in front is around 0 to -1 camber and around -1.3/1.4 to -1.9 in the back., maybe less to keep the rear toe in line.

What are your driving and tire wear goals?
Thanks for the information on the alignment specification. City driving, longer tire life so it will be minimum Camber and toe.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:34 PM   #14
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My evil plan is coming together.

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Old 12-12-2017, 05:38 PM   #15
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My evil plan is coming together.

Awesome, I don't have a good local place to go to anymore, 1 guy quit, and the other place I go too left a rear tie rod loose last time and mangled the nuts by using pliers instead of the proper sized wrench, and did it wrong last time and didn't follow my instructions and had to redo the backs, and then my steering wheel wasn't straight. I would really like to get equipped to do my own...
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:21 PM   #16
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Metal from Home Depot.

Jig is accurate to 0.38 mm across the rim touch points. I'll dial it in closer tomorrow.


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Old 12-12-2017, 08:08 PM   #17
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James, that is pretty cool setup. Please post a pic of the finished product. I would love to make that for my garage.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:32 AM   #18
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A drill press, hack saw, Dremel tool, and various files were used to work the metal. The bars were checked against each other for straightness and the straightest faces were used as the datum for the pins. It's hard to see, but the ends of the bars are plasti-dipped. Here are the parts for the alignment jig:



Here the jig getting dialed in. The distance between the flat surface of the countertop and the bottom of the jig is the critical measurement. Here it's dialed in to 0.0010.



0.0040 as the worst delta between standoff posts allowed, really just because that's close and it is difficult to get closer than 4 thousandths. Not bad for working on the kitchen counter.

Here are the finished jigs ready for installation onto the car. The box stuck on the side of the jig is a digital level, it may not be trustworthy though, seems like it goes in 0.15 degree increments.



I also bought 2 new tape measures with the tick marks labeled down to the 8ths to make reading the measurements easy.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:29 PM   #19
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Here is the car with the jigs installed:



Right side camber is between 0.15 and 0.2 degrees (turns out the electronic gauge measures in 0.05 degree increments)

Left side camber is between 0.20 and 0.25.

Toe is 1/8 of an inch over the entire 4 foot length of the tubing. That is measuring behind and in front of the tires.

The front tires have 20K on them and are wearing very evenly.

Next I tear it all apart, but before I do, any suggestions from someone who has been down this road before?
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:54 PM   #20
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I to have been doing my own setup as I find that you need to adjust it all the time for track duty.
I have actually modified my kart equipment to fit the Boxster's wheel centers. But some kind of skid plates are necessary to get accurate alignment. I made a pair out of four plywood peices with couple of plastic sheets between them to make a slippery platform for the car to stand on while I make adjustments. It turned out to be so slippery, that I could not get the wheel nuts off (well, I have studs), while the car stands on those home made skid platforms.

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