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Does anybody here do their own alignments?


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Well if you want budget friendly: I won't say I am a pro by any means, but a camber gauge can be a relatively simple tool.  I just used a level (basically a known straight edge that also has a parallel face) with some nuts zip tied to it so that it can touch the wheel instead of the tire (anything that is the same height will work) and a digital angle finder (these are cheap and handy on amazon <$30 with many uses).  Works good enough for me.    For caster just put some grease in a trash bag and put it below the front wheels (You could also use two metal plates with grease between them) and use a protractor to mark the rotation you are looking for on the floor.


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I do my own and helped helped several others here out with theirs.  I have turn plates and caster camber gauges which are not totally necessary but really speed the job up.  

I will advise against buying the QuikTrik alignment tool set if that was a consideration as it just sucks.  What Dan posted above will get the job done, anything more than that just helps do it quicker.  Before I had turn plates I would put masking tape on the steering wheel next to the column and the column itself and I'd mark both with wheels straight ahead and wheels 15 degrees turn right and 15 degrees turned left.  This helps with repeatability when making Caster readings and changes.

I use contraptions that I bungee cord against the wheels that allow me to use the caster camber gauge and tape measures on them without removing them from the wheel.  I'll try to find pictures of them in action and post them.     

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Thank you everyone. Just as Dan suggested I'm using a piece of angle iron as my straight edge and an angle finder to stop my camber. I was able to make my own string box with the help of a friend. I'll be using some laminate flooring tiles as my 'turn plates'. I'm hoping to get the car aligned this weekend. It'll be my first timing aligning the car.


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  • 1 month later...

I use the Longacre toe plates and their caster/camber gauge for alignments.   I also use a laser level like Dan posted to set the thrust angle of the rear wheel toe alignments.    I previously used the laser level for camber measurements and the Longacre caster/camber gauge really isn't that much better.

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