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Discussion Starter #1
Did a search, but every thread seems to either mention alignment specs or experiences w/ some shop doing it. I'd like to hear from guys who do it themselves - tools used, tricks...anything.

I've been looking at this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Fastrax-Camber-Caster-Front-End-Wheel-Alignment-Gauge_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZalgoQ3dSIQ26ituQ3dUCIQ252BUAQ252BFICSQ26otnQ3d12Q26poQ3dLVIQ26psQ3d54QQ_trksidZp3907Q2em263QQcategoryZ63703QQitemZ360192425179

...but was wondering if there is another alternative I have yet to discover, or anything else I might want/need to consider.

Thanks
Clayton
 

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i just winged it this spring. ive driven a ton on the street/highway. and ive autocrossed it.
no un even tire wear or anything.
the reason i did it, was i go an alignment, on my new (to me)rack and ps pump i got for free. they ended up dieing, so i got all new stuff and instead of paying for a 2nd alignment i did it by eye.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks MFE...that's EXACTLY what I was looking for.

Sorry for not being able to find it myself...think my search parameters might've been too vague.
 

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That's the SPC tool. I have one and it's nice if you need to check multiple cars with diff rim sizes (I have 16, 17, and 18's). Otherwise, it only offers reference "zeroing" of the bubble level meter (no big deal, one could just do the math with a hardware store bubble level).

It is convenient, just set the wheel size, 'zero' the bubble and go.

Problem is, you still need a level surface for the car, the bubble is inferior since they're in 1/2 deg increments (need 1/8!), and you still need to position it on the same points on each rim. No different from the procedure in MFE's link. From that it doesn't justify the $135+ costs.

What I've done since it get the cheapest Sears digital level ($30) and tape it to the bubble level arm, lock the arm, zero the digi level and go, now I get <1/8" precision :) . Either case, get a digital level... DIY alignment, 12K on the tires and no issues...
 

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I spent hours and hours with my digital Longacre caster-camber gauge, a pair of turn plates I bought from Harbor Freight, and my Longacre toe plates + measuring tapes. The toe is no problem... to get you to the alignment shop, the toe is easy and takes 10 mins.

The camber is relatively simple. Even if your garage floor isn't 100% even, you can zero the gauge out on the back wheels each time and it's not too bad.

My trouble was with the caster. A cheap set of turn plates just didn't do it for me. I have read many threads over on c-c.com about guys DIY'ing their own turn plates, but that didn't work out for me.

While I was installing different parts, changing racks, fiddling with bumpsteer, etc etc the DIY alignment tools were helpful, and perfectly adequate. Once the car was put together, I dropped it off at my local chassis shop and let them have their way with it. $300 and one day later and the car was digitally aligned, corner weighted, and bumpsteered all with a printout. The difference was night and day. I can't say enough about having the car corner weighted and bumpsteered by a professional chassis shop. I thought I could bypass the alignment shop, but once I found one I trust, I wish I had gone there in the first place.... If you plan on taking the car apart a million times, then maybe it's worth it. But the Longacre digital camber gauge was ~$200, the toe plates $50, and the turn plates $175 ... Adds up quick!
 

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I've been working on the alignment on my roadster factory five). Here's a great article that seemed to help me with some inexpensive DIY tools:

The forum won't let me paste links, but go to:

corner dash carvers dot com...go to the forums and do a show thread for 13211. Sorry...which I could just post the link.
 
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