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Old 03-28-2018, 02:58 AM   #1
wingski
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Default easy front-end alignment

I recently talked to Bill Williamson in Fresno, California, and he told me how to align my front tires. It’s probably the simplest way to do something that seems to have so many people confused that I’ve ever heard. Just string and a bungie cord to hold the string tight is all that is needed. Position that string so it is six inches above the ground as it goes around all four wheels. If that string is touching the front sidewalls of the of the front wheels but not the rear sidewalls of the front wheels, you have toe-out, and the distance between the leading inside edges of the front tires is greater than the inside rear edges. You don’t want that. If that string is tighter against the rear sidewalls of the front wheels than it is against the front sidewalls, you have toe-in which is what you want, but not much. Since you only want 1/16 inch toe-in between the front center of those front tires, take out the cotter pins on those castellated nuts and loosen the nuts that hold the tie-rod in place. Clamp vice-grips on the tie-rod so the handle is pointed toward the rear of the car. Lift up on the vice-grips if you want more toe-in. Pull down on the vice-grips if you want less toe-in. Adjust that tie-rod so all the tire’s sidewalls are equally touching front and rear. Clamp and lift up on those vice-grips, release them, and clamp them again and lift up. Remove the vice-grips, tighten the tie-rod ends, replace the cottor pins, remove the string and bungie cord, and take your aligned car for a drive.

After driving one hundred miles, check for scuffing on the outside or inside of the front tires tread. If you have inside scuffing, too much toe-in. If you have outside scuffing, too much toe-out. Adjust accordingly.

Thanks again, Bill,

Mike
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Last edited by wingski; 03-28-2018 at 11:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

There are other ways to do that, and in my opinion more accurate methods.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Interesting......pretty simple
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I like it.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I did mine so that they would be perfect. I checked the rim run out, Set up my alignment equipment, got my measuring stuff out and with a few words on the side got my wife to help me. By the end of the day my alignment is perfect. Your way is MUCH better.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Front end alignment is one of the areas that I pay a professional to do the work right the first time. Most really enjoy having the opportunity to have your Model A in their shop.

With today’s roads and the amount of mileage most of us put on these cars. A good alignment will last as long as most of us own our car. String, come on. Spend $100.00.

It’s a hobby, but these cars aren’t toys. Front end, brakes, springs, shocks, need to be correct. There are other people out there on the road with you.

Last edited by WHN; 03-28-2018 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHN View Post
Front end alignment is one of the areas that I pay a professional to do the work right the first time. Most really enjoy having the opportunity to have your Model A in their shop.

With todayís roads and the amount of mileage most of us put on these cars. A good alignment will last as long as most of us own our car. String, come on. Spend $100.00.

Itís a hobby, but these cars arenít toys. Front end, brakes, springs, shocks, need to be correct. There are other people out there on the road with you.
Some of the dealers around me have a free check but if it needs it $50 front end alignment. Although with 1/8" rim runout acceptable when your trying for 1/16" difference its gonna be tricky.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Interesting idea though isn't 6" too low? Wouldn't it be better some other dim. closer to the spindle arm centers,with the car on level ground ?
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

In a perfect world, maybe... With a certain amount of wheel runout on 88 year old wheels, as soon as you spin a wheel your alignment will change. Best advice is to check your tire wear whenever you check your tire pressure.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke36 View Post
Interesting idea though isn't 6" too low? Wouldn't it be better some other dim. closer to the spindle arm centers,with the car on level ground ?
6" is correct, see Marco's article. http://www.abarnyard.com/workshop/align.htm

Bob
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

If your string stretches there goes the 1/16" spec!
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

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Originally Posted by Anteek29 View Post
If your string stretches there goes the 1/16" spec!
I think that is why the bungie cord is used...to keep constant tension on the string.
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I like it. Thanks Mike and Brother Bill.......Ed Williamson
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I give this tutorial 2 thumbs up. Thanks Mike and Bill
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

This is a good method IF you have the same tire sizes all around, AND you have no front wheel run-out. Actually, you can just use your eyeballs and site across the front tires outer edge to the rear tires edge, and you want the line of site to be about 1/4 of an inch outside the rear tire. Again, with the same limitations as above. If you are paying $100 for just toe in check/adjustment you are getting ripped royally since it is such a trivial adjustment. However, A good alignment shop can also verify that your axle is not bent, camber/caster is correct, your king pins are tight, etc. Now, with all that, $100 is reasonable.

Jmho
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I like it too.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:52 PM   #17
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Thanks for this technique. Alot of variables in alignment I'm home.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:20 PM   #18
wingski
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

Thanks guys, for all the positive responses. I just finished the alignment and pulled the steering wheel so it is perfectly lined up. I am a very happy model A owner that prefers to do things for himself. I have enough self-confidence and enough years of experience to do something that others should never attempt.

For those of you who take your car somewhere else to do the work, Iíll say this. A model A is a way to learn how much fun it is to work with your hands. If you are afraid to make mistakes, then how do you learn?

Oh boy, another bogus type post. Isnít this exciting?

Fearless Mike
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:54 PM   #19
Magicbox51
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

I guess we can add one more topic to the list of hot topics.

Easy front end alignment
What kind of oil
What kind of gas
Whether or not to use antifreeze
Float-a-Motors
6volt versus 12-volt
Alternator versus generator
Paper versus plastic

and so on.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:23 PM   #20
Dino's A
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Default Re: easy front-end alignment

How do you get the wheels perfectly steered straight to even begin doing this test with accuracy? Or does it matter that you are pointing the car dead on straight?
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