DIY 4 Wheel Alignment - V - Pukka Kit

DIY 4 Wheel Alignment - V - Pukka Kit



Original Poster:

13,223 posts

221 months

Friday 30th July 2004
quotequote all
A local friend owns a local garage (& a Cossie Rally car too) recently purchased a full on pukka 4 wheel laser alignment kit all 2K worth , with camber caster, toe etc etc. Having read the instructions I can see why he was a bit flummoxed. Not the simplest thing to get your head round.

Now I have had my own DIY system that consists of a 4.99 laser alignment tool (I've checked it's straight), a piece of wood with some marks on & some assitance from a CAD system to put the correct aligment marks on said piece of wood. Only thing I could'nt measure accurately was camber so I used the both look the same rule of thumb. Not great but it seemed to work rather well & the cars handling (an MX5) has been commented on as quite remarkable. I've used it on various cars of mine with much success.

So I offered to get to grips with the pukka kit, knowing already what I had to do, just needed to the manual on how to go about doing it.

Once you've got yer head round the concept it is rather easy or I found it to be at least. First thing I did was to measure exactly what my "DIY" measurents were.

The car is set up for drifting so somewhat different to normal settings:

Rear End-Minimal rear camber 2.0 deg ish guessed, -1.0 deg toe.
Front End-Maximum Camber 3 deg guessed, 1.5 deg toe out

What I actually had was
Rear Camber 1.5 & 1.6 deg, toe -2deg (-1deg both sides)
Front Camber 2.7 & 2.7 deg, toe +3 deg (1+2deg)
Not bad for a 4.99 home made kit , it was also dead straight down the centre line too!, so I was slightly chuffed at it's accuracy. It also drives straight as a die too. So not a bad start.

Then I'm onto setting the cambers right, whilst maintaining the correct/same toe & front-rear alignment, fairly easy to do accurately.

The end result is I have my desired settings with the same & chosen cambers, desired toe etc. Re-checked with my DIY kit & it's spot on for accuracy much to my surprise, only I'd need to be more accurate with the camber. ( 90 buys a digital angle meter used for building work)

A brief drive has shown it to be near perfect in the handling stakes, though I'm tempted to add a bit more toe at the front & see what happens.

So a very interesting evening, I really think I have learnt something useful & know that little bit more as to exactly what is going on in the wheel & tyre dept when I'm looking out the side windows.


28,975 posts

253 months

Saturday 31st July 2004
quotequote all
I quite like the DIY route, with care you can get just as accurate as the 2 grand kit, it just takes longer. My camber gauge cost five quid and has a resolution of 0.05 degrees, amazing what you can do with a plumb line and a couple of steel rules!


331 posts

208 months

Thursday 5th August 2004
quotequote all
F1 teams still use fishing wire and steel rules!! laser's are only as good as the last time they were set up and the kit they were set with, when do you think the last time your local garage calibrated there laser's!!!!!


3,427 posts

206 months

Saturday 14th August 2004
quotequote all
Very interested in your DIY kit,congrats & well done.Any chance of a 'How to?' for us amatuer thumb bashers?


219 posts

251 months

Wednesday 25th August 2004
quotequote all

I would also be grateful if you could give us some pointers on making the diy tools and how best to use them.