Alignment Reference & Leverage Tool - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-04-2006, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Alignment Reference & Leverage Tool

I don't know if any of you are in my situation but I have to drive my car to events and tow a tire and tool trailer. I change tires and alignment settings at the event then change them back for the drive home. Since I usually have a 1 to 3 hour drive on the highway I don't like to leave the track alignment on the car for the drive home. I recently put new bearings in my self made CC plates so the alignment part won't be as simple as it was with the factory camber plates. With those I just pulled them all the way out for the street and slid them all the way in for auto-x.

I also recently purchased a 24" Craftsman Smart Tool level off Ebay to do alignments with. I was hoping to just rob the module out of it but the battery holder was attached to the end cap and the rear of the module was partially open when it was removed from the frame with no room to put the battery there so I just cut it down and milled the ends square to make it more compact.

Anyways I got the idea to drill and thread a piece of bar stock to screw onto the top of my struts. My Tokico Illuminas have about an inch of thread exposed above the nuts. I drilled the end of the 12" long bar and tapped it to 16mm x 2.0 for the Illumina threads and squared the end in a lathe so it would tighten down on top of the strut nut evenly. I can then use it to leverage the strut top into different positions and I also plan to take angle references off the front and side of it so when I prepare for the drive home I can return it pretty close to where I had it aligned. I'll probably recheck the alignment at the wheels after I get home to my level garage.

I park the car on some aluminum elevation pads I made. The plan is to take angle measurements off the front and outside of the bar and write it down before moving the alignment for each side. That way when I park the car back on the pads I can return the struts to the same angles even if they aren't real world alignment specs. I'll be able to tell if this idea works out after I get home and recheck the alignment. I can also set the car to race specs in the garage and take angle readings off the bar to reference at the track if I can find a level spot to park which I usually can. If nothing else the bar will be handy for moving the strut around with the plates loosened.





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post #2 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 08:18 AM
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Looks interesting. Do you have any way to confirm that the rod is parallel to your strut shaft, i.e. that your tapped hole isn't angled?

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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I drilled and tapped it on a Monarch EE Lathe. I also squared the end on the lathe and when it's tightened against the nut it contacts all the way around.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 01:58 PM
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How accurate is that reading going to be? I would think it would be more accurate to read from the wheel surface as you would be limited to reading one plane. I would think if you move that tool around that rod a little, the reading would change as the plane you are reading would change. Plus the strut shaft is probably at a different angle from the wheel. This would be fine for reference alignment, but I would still say that it would be better to build a wheel mount for that tool.

If you want, I can dig out my SmartCamber gauge and take some pics for a wheel mount idea. As for the back being open, you could use the frame of the tool to seal that opening off and mount the battery pack someplace on the frame.

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 02:51 PM
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I use the Longacre Caster/Camber gage with the magnetic base. At $130 I think it's a bargain... Super easy to use!

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalo...id=129&catid=5
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to make a wheel mount for the gauge. The last adjustments I made with it was before I cut it down so I took the readings off the tire but I will normally use a 18" piece of pipe on the inner edges of the rim to lay it against. I'm mainly looking at this bar as being a handy tool to pull the struts in position with and doing the reference alignment is just to get it close till I get home without having to bend over for one more thing. Hey, when 540 years old you are, look as good you will not. LOL

I'm hoping to take this car off the road and put it on a trailer in the next year or so. Getting tired of doing alll the extra work at events in the name of fun.

This module is the same unit that comes in the Smart Camber alignment tool. In the short time I've had it I'm sold on the accuracy. If I wasn't such a cheap azz DIYer I'd spring for the ready made Smart Camber tool.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-05-2006, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Han Solo
I'm hoping to take this car off the road and put it on a trailer in the next year or so. Getting tired of doing alll the extra work at events in the name of fun.
Been towing the last two years. My knees and back are very appreciative as the race tires stay on the car full time now (I was always too lazy to change the camber and toe). I do recommend welding some tow hooks under your car as trying to thread tiedown straps over the swaybar, under the brake lines and around the rear axle is a real PITA. And, if you can't reach in through your wheels to hook the latches, you are really screwed.

Nice tool, BTW. I need to get a gauge myself, although the protractor and carpenter's level have gotten me quite close.

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