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I align it by feel... (archive)

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Posted by mikeS on June 29, 2001 at 11:06:28:

In Reply to: Has anyone done their own wheel alignment? (long) posted by a54atii on June 28, 2001 at 14:36:24:

Well, not entirely. I use a tape measure to get the toe in close to zero, just slightly inward at the toe. Then I find a safe, quiet place-- like a large parking lot--for testing. Try to find a toe-in setting that produces the least squeal and best feel; make sure that the steering wheel is aligned, and that the wheel returns to center when the car is moving.


(This harkens back to the days when I first started working on my '69 2002 because a local shop did some crappy work and pissed me off...)

I'm interested in learning to do my own wheel alignment (an my '73 tii). There are a few reasons for this (only #2 & #3 are really important):
1) I don't want to give money to a local shop that pissed me off, but I'll get over that so this reason really isn't very important,
2) I will be doing some autocrossing/track events and want to have flexibility in how the car is aligned - to 'easily' switch between street and autox/track settings. I figure that doing it myself will be easier and cost less in the long run.
3) I want more control over the tuning and upgrade process of my car. I'm getting the car back to stock/new condition (currently in process of replacing front suspension pieces) and I want to track how the changes I make affect the handling. Some upgrades may happen later, but I want to have a firm grasp of where I'm starting.
4) Last but not least, when I get an idea that I want to do something I can be pretty stubborn about seeing it through.

In my search I found a couple of web sites with some info...

Does anybody here have experience in doing this yourself? I'm looking for a method that requires relatively little $$ investment ($50-250 would be best, more would be possible if its worthwhile). Are there any good books that cover this? Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.


'73 tii (yes, it needs an alignment)
+ 2 other cars that will need alignments someday

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