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Old 01-08-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
Mr_Wobble
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Default DIY wheel alignment on a BJ Bug.

Does anybody have a clever way of checking the tracking (toe in) of a Bug? 1970 1300 Balljoint front end.
I've just put a new front axle beam into my Bug. Had two new lower ball joints put in, and new track rods and track rod ends. Every bit will affect the wheel alignment.
I measured the old track rods, and assembled the new rods as closely as possible, so the wheels are straight. However, there is supposed to be a slight amount of toe in. On some cars it's possible to reach the back and front of the wheels, and measure the difference, and tweak the track rods until you get the right amount of toe in. But this looks tricky on a Bug, as there's too much in the way of getting a measuring stick/s through the gap below the petrol tank.
So, does anybody have a clever way of doing it accurately at home?
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:29 PM   #2
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if you get the steering wheel straight, then look at your front wheels. by eye align the front of the tyre on the front wheel with the back of the tyre on the front wheel and then align these two with the front of the rear tyre so all three are in line this will give you a basic staight ahead toe, do the same with the other side. if you can not see the rear tyre with the front and rear of the front tyre aligned it's toeing in too far , if you can see lots of the rear tyre tread its toeing out too far.adjust the track rods to alter this but keep the steering wheel straight.

hope that make sense
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Yes, that makes sense (after reading it a dozen times). I'll print that off and take it out to the car later to see how it is.
Should be good enough then until I get it properly checked. Cheers.

Does anybody else have any thoughts, or other ideas on how to do the tracking (toe in) at home?
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:51 PM   #4
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Don't forget to have the camber angles checked/adjusted before doing the tracking when you take it in somewhere.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:08 PM   #5
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ive sen DIY jobs done with long planks of wood strapped to the front wheels, down the length of the car. wound the tie rods in or out to get the planks dead straight. Might be of some use to you that idea..
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby5153
Don't forget to have the camber angles checked/adjusted before doing the tracking when you take it in somewhere.
Cheers. Didn't know that needed doing first. Will make a point of getting that adjusted too.
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satelliteone
ive sen DIY jobs done with long planks of wood strapped to the front wheels, down the length of the car. wound the tie rods in or out to get the planks dead straight. Might be of some use to you that idea..
Now that rings bells. Seen something like that before too, but can't remember much about it.
Thinking about it, that's not too disimilar to the tools used with rods and mirrors that I've seen used before. Just more compact, and more accurate.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:05 AM   #8
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Here's how I have done it:

Jack up front wheels.
Spin each wheel and hold a chalk to the tread to create a
thin line around the tread circumference.

Lower car down.
Slowly push car forward on some flat surface, keeping the car
going in a straight line.
Gently apply hand brake but don't let car roll backward.

Now the tricky part.
Use some measuring stick to measure the distance between the
lines. Do this fore and aft. Subtract fore reading from aft
to give toe-in value.

The chalk line eliminates errors from tyre wobble.

You can get a rough approximation of the camber by placing a small carpenters level on the face of the wheel. Do this on a
road surface known to be level.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:30 AM   #9
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Cheers Jim. I presume you use the chalk on the very edge of the tread. So, I presume the idea is that the chalk leaves two lines, or one fat one, and it's the measurement between the lines left, and width of the lines.
I followed what you were saying until the "tricky part" When you said fore and aft. It's there that I get confused.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
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Red is the chalk line. The line should be as thin as possible.
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