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Old 08-21-2019, 11:00 PM   #1
Drives: 2019 1ss 1le, Satin Steel
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 265
DIY front track alignment, max OEM camber

intro: I'm just a casual DIY'er, and ran into frustration finding someone to get a track alightment of the front end. This post tracks how i aligned the front of my ss 1le with toe plates and a digital level.

1. tools:
24mm socket: To loosen the strut to knuckle nuts
breaker bar: To loosen the strut to knuckle nuts
hammer: knock the strut to knuckle bolt loose
22mm socket: Remove wheels
15mm open wrench: rotate the inner tie rod for toe
cresent wrench: loosen jam nut on the inner tie rod. Better to loosen with a open wrench but don't know size
toe plates: Tenhulzen Auto 2200 plates. These had tips which directly contacted the wheel.

1. measuring toe:
Toe plates rest flat against the outside of the wheel to allow one to measure a track difference before and after the wheel. This difference is the total toe in or out. For the toe plates used, 1/32" was 0.08 degrees. These toe plates also had tips which made direct contact with the wheel. These tips avoided tire variations do to pressure, but the 1le wheels had indentations at the five spokes which had to be avoided to make a good measurement. Sometimes, i had to roll the car to avoid these indentations, or elevate the plates with bricks. With two repeated measurements after driving the car, i recorded a toe in of 3/32" (0.24 degrees).

2. measuring camber:
The toe plates were used for the camber measurements. The plates were turned on their side so the tips where touching the wheels vertically. With a digital level initialized to the floor around the wheel in question. I measured a front right camber of -1.3 degrees and a front left camber of -1.4 degrees.

3. Achieving max negative camber.
The car was put on jack stand wheels removed. A breaker bar loosened the strut to knuckle nuts with the 24mm socket. They were really on there, and it took some effort! Next, the bolts were knocked out enough to see the splines. This also a bit of effort, but eventually beating on them with a hammer got them loose. Be careful if a bolt goes flying out, to put it back in immediatly before the holes get a chance to misalign, giving you even more work! With the splines exposed, the knuckle will then push inwward with little force. I didn't try to measure how much camber i wanted, i simply pushed inward as far as i could while tightening back the bolts.

4. camber and toe measurements after camber adjustment
I put the wheels on, lowered the car, torqued the lug nuts, and drove around the block. Back in the garage i measured the camber the same way as before, and it was Front right -2.65,and front left -2.55 degrees. These measurements are consistent with the max camber other forum members have reported. Next i measure the toe. This time, i was toed out 5/32" (0.38 degrees).

5. Adjusting toe.
I had a hard time accessing the jam nut on the tie rod with a large cresent wrench. I wish i had a right sized open ended wrench (24mm), because i had to drive the front wheels up on concrete pavers to get better access. With the car on pavers, i setup the toe plates and measured toe again. This time i measured a toe'd out 4/32" (0.30 degrees). The jam nut was loosened counter clockwise as viewed toward the attached wheel. It came loose fairly easily. Spots were painted on the tie rods to give a sense of how far they were rotated. To bring the front of the wheels closer to get rid of the toe out, the inner tie rods were tighted clockwise an equal amount on each side. 90 degrees was enough to get a toe out of 1/32". The next after driving 50mi, another toe measurement showed ~0/32" total toe.
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Last edited by Hops; 11-11-2019 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:44 PM   #2
Drives: 2019 1ss 1le, Satin Steel
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 265
so i have an update on this. The last couple weeks, i noticed the car wasn't tramlining anymore as it did initially from the slightly negative toe i set in the above DIY. I measured the toe this evening to find it was almost 3/32" toe'd in. I then found the jam nut on the left toe rod was very loose! I thought i had tightened enough. Well maybe i didn't think i had to make it very tight since it was easy to loosen, and thought the jam nut shouldn't be crazy tight as it's just there to prevent the toe rod from moving.

Anyway, i kind of wonder if the issues some are having with needing frequent alignments are simply because the jam nut is getting loose? It's very easy to check, you don't even need to elevate the car at all.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:08 PM   #3

Vtor_ZL1's Avatar
Drives: 18 ZLE
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Left Side of the Moon
Posts: 1,121
I've done that before, love the dixie angle gauge, beats the old school turn knob and count hash marks tool i used for loong time along w few lengths of pipe and string for parallel lines for measuring toe and "toe plates" made from floor tiles w grease in between or wax paper.
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