Thursday 26 September 2013

Wheel Alignment

Following the ride height adjustment and bearing in mind the squeal on left corners I decided to check the steering alignment (Camber and Tracking, the Castor is fixed by the design of the kit). 

To do this I designed and built an alignment tool out of scrap timber, mating it with a spirit level for the camber and a laser pointer for the tracking. 

Here it is checking the camber. This gave results of -1.1° for the offside and +0.4° for the nearside. There are no laid down standards for kit cars but as a general rule they should be between 0° to -1.5° (A negative figure shows the top leaning into the car). So in an ideal world I ought to tweak the offside about a degree. Unfortunately it isn’t a simple adjustment, the suspension needs to be taken apart. Meanwhile it is OK for normal use, just might wear the tires a bit. 

And here it is checking the tracking. The wooden stand has 2 nails in it, one at each end, EXACTLY equal in distance from the wheel rim. So by putting the centre point of the laser on one nail and ensuring the laser light illuminates the other nail we know the beam is parallel to the wheel. The picture shows the laser beam illuminating on the back of the garage wall, and by moving the laser to the other end of the wood and facing the other way the beam illuminates on the garage door. Then swap over to the other wheel and repeat the exercise. Then measure the gap between the beams on the wall (XWall) and the door (XDoor) and knowing the length of the garage (LG) then you can work out the tracking using the formula:

 Tan-1 ( (XDoor – XWall) / LG) 

I was quite pleased to get a result of -0.826° (Toe-in). Again there are no official settings but most people advise a ‘touch’ of toe-in so that looks fine. I also did the rears and came up with -0.418°, again well within limits.

Status: Complete

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