Steering, Suspension, & Brakes

tips, technology, tools and techniques related to non-driveline mechanical components

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tomsbad6
Tom Ahlstrom
Michigan
(129 posts)

Registered:
12/16/2012 03:16PM

Main British Car:
Triumph TR-6 347 Ford

Perfect alignment free
Posted by: tomsbad6
Date: March 23, 2013 01:08PM

Hello it's me again that crazy Swedish hillbilly from Michigan what I'm about to show you now is really redneck I got the idea a couple years back visiting Ted Lathrop he used lasers in framework layout I thought it was a great idea within two hours after coming home I made these simple laser tools for aligning my TR six I have probably adjusted the alignment on my car with all the tweaking and tuning over 12 years at least 400 times there is no book specs for what my car likes so if you want something done right you have to do it yourself there is no rocket science to alignment if you have a few simple tools Castor and camber are done with a $40 level that is digital and gives you degrees everything else is done with a laser my two favorite ones I used BB gun laser sights because their adjustable it makes them easy to calibrate when setting the rear toe on a British car there are no two alike. The front toe however a good place to start is toe it in one 1/6 of an inch per 24 inches set up a board projecting off the back wheels find the centerline and start from there here are a few photos I hope this saves somebody a few bucks and I guarantee you will get better results doing yourself then taking it to somebody who knows nothing about race cars and even less about British cars check out these photos see what you think PS just waiting for 50 and some sun and I can test drive
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2013 04:36PM by tomsbad6.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2740 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Perfect alignment free
Posted by: rficalora
Date: March 24, 2013 02:14AM

Looks interesting. How did you find the center line?


tomsbad6
Tom Ahlstrom
Michigan
(129 posts)

Registered:
12/16/2012 03:16PM

Main British Car:
Triumph TR-6 347 Ford

Re: Perfect alignment free
Posted by: tomsbad6
Date: March 24, 2013 07:49AM

Hey Rob I'll be home this afternoon I'll try to draw some more diagrams of where to start to find centerline I believe your car is independent rear suspension so it's much like mine to align solid axle cars are a little different story they can be easier or they can be harder the IRS cars are certainly more forgiving I will try to post diagrams this afternoon


tomsbad6
Tom Ahlstrom
Michigan
(129 posts)

Registered:
12/16/2012 03:16PM

Main British Car:
Triumph TR-6 347 Ford

Re: Perfect alignment free
Posted by: tomsbad6
Date: March 24, 2013 10:42AM

Hello more on redneck tools I guess the first place to start is how to calibrate a pair of lasers I have a few photos that explain it pretty well in the pictures you can't see the red dot very well but you'll get the idea first use straight edge at least 6 feet long the longer to better set a tape measure right in front of the laser and see where it points go down your straight edge at least 6 feet and check it again I found the easiest way to fine tune adjusted is to simply wrap tape around the ends of the bar that it is mounted to define centerline you need to lasers that run the same height if one is 2 inches off straight edge the other should be 2 inches off straight edge just add and subtract tape be sure that it's wrapped tight so it can't move up and down here are photos
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tomsbad6
Tom Ahlstrom
Michigan
(129 posts)

Registered:
12/16/2012 03:16PM

Main British Car:
Triumph TR-6 347 Ford

Re: Perfect alignment free
Posted by: tomsbad6
Date: March 24, 2013 12:12PM

Him and Okay I have a couple more pictures of how to use the lasers the first thing you had to do was find dimension a which is found just in front of the rear tires on good cement you can use a square to make a mark on the ground or a simple plumb bob to make a mark on the ground keep in mind this diagram is figuring zero toe. At zero dimension b should be the same as a cut dimension a in half you will find the center of the car keep in mind you can measure off the lasers going all the way down the side of the car also keep in mind when you move shims in an IRS car it changes dimension a as zero toe a and B will be the same number dimension C will be half that number C will give you center.

In a solid axle car if it has leaf springs and the wheels don't seem to point straight down the car you'll probably have to slide the axle forward and back slightly on the leaf springs leaf spring cars unless they were built by her re-tart are usually pretty close

Three and four link cars are very simple to adjust you just adjust the link bar length to get the rear end to point straight

Back to your car there are other extremely variable dimensions are both front wheels the same distance from the frame for example if both front wheels are one quarter of an inch left when you align the front you may want to move your center dimension one quarter and left if you point both front wheels right at center the steering wheel may not center exactly it's a matter of personal preference which way you compensate for things like that I drive very fast my preference is to keep everything pointed at center I would remove the steering wheel and put it back on centered. Quite honestly you will be amazed at how much you will learn about your car when you start playing with a laser when you figure out how simple it is to check all these things you'll probably never trust an alignment guy again for 45 bucks they don't have the time to check all the things on an antique British car conversion or even a stock TR six for that matter most alignment shops do nothing more than set the toe and let it go maybe try to sell you some parts along the way. I do not know what kind of bushings you have in the rear of your car but under hard acceleration most urethane bushings in the rear end of a car will really let it toe in which means sitting still it probably needs to be towed out no one in the whole world can tell you how much toe you need you have the only car in the world like yours weight horsepower Tire all variables only you can take a nice summer day a little adjustment a little testing a little adjustment little testing and find that sweet spot that makes your car hook to the ground and go straight most important of all when you find that spot get out the lasers see where the car is set and write it down
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