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Old 09-20-2019, 07:09 PM   #1
walkerlakeprinter
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Question How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

I want to mount my steering wheel in the X position with my "suicide knob" at 2 o'clock. What is a good way to determine when the front wheels are in the straight ahead position? I have a 1929 Coupe with the splined shaft.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:14 PM   #2
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

When you go for a drive make note of the steering wheel position

If you can't drive it take someone long and straight and lay it against the side of the tires, get so both fronts are equal

Stand back and take a sight look down across the tires, make equal

The front wheels should be a little closer at the front ( toe in )
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

Thanks! I can't drive the car yet, so I will find something long and straigt and go from there.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:35 PM   #4
Russ/40
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

Basically, you cant. The toe in spec is too tight for any crude method. Get it to an alignment shop.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:15 AM   #5
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

The nearest alignment shop is more than 70 miles away. I will have to use a crude method until the car is safe to drive. The longest trip my car had was 13 miles to town and back, ten years ago. One step at a time. Always something to fix or adjust. At 71 I am learning more each day, and I love it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #6
duke36
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

One method is to take a straight 2 x4 or metal tube, etc. and place next to tires front to back. Visually check both sides similar to the assembly line conveyor tracks.. Then place the wheel temporarily on the spline end, and rotate lock to lock, count the turns of the wheel with tape on it, then turn back the opposite direction approx. 1/2 the turns. That should closely center the steering shaft ( and wheel) with minimal freeplay and equal lash at the extremes of the steering gear. Also, do you have a woodruff key on the threaded ends? The center position should be close to the tires aligned. This is with a stock pitman arm.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:15 PM   #7
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

The front of the wheels must towed in 1/16 closer than the back of the front wheels . With the wheels adjusted closer at the front keeps the wheels going in a straight line . If the front end isn't towed in correctly it will wander and if towed out the least fraction it can cause shimmy or death wobble . Setting the toe in can be a pain . I prefer having the toe in set at a front end alignment shop .
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:17 AM   #8
Patrick L.
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

Which is your concern, the wheels/tires pointing in the straight ahead position for steering wheel alignment, or, toe-in setting ?

It sounds to me like you just want the steering wheel straight ahead for now.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:54 PM   #9
Tinbasher
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

Here's a trick to check the placement of the front and rear wheels to each other in a straight line. Get about 12' of elastic thread and attach a fish hook or safety pin opened up on each end. Then at centre wheel height hook the thread to the inside or the tire and bring it around to the outside, then down the side of the car to the rear tire at the centre and hook the elastic on the inside of the tire. If the front and rear wheels are in alignment the thread will touch the front and rear of each tire. With no gaps. This will also tell you that there's "Zero" toe. Hope this is clear enough. JP
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:14 AM   #10
Wick
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

Unhook the steering arm from the box. Rotate steering wheel right and left (lock to lock) count the turns
Of the wheel. If the # is 4 total then 2 turns from lock is the center. This is called clocking the wheel.
Install wheel where you want it. Now line up/adjust front wheels to the steering arm.
Wick
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
supergnat
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Default Re: How to measure front wheels to straight ahead

I was given this tool suggestion and it seems to work pretty well at least to get you in the ball park so you could go to an alignment shop. I use two Harbor Freight tape measures as part of the tool kit. This was in one of the national club magazines but I don't know which one.
Good luck,
Supergnat
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File Type: pdf Front end alignment tool.pdf (619.7 KB, 21 views)
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