Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth it?

Springs and shocks. What keeps your car tight around corners?
pr0craztinazn
I <3 E30's
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:01 am
AntiSpam: No
Location: MD
Contact:

Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth it?

Postby pr0craztinazn » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:24 am

http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=285552 - $270 shipped. Looks like it would be quite precise & accurate. My alignment/tire guy is joining the military, so I'm debating this as it would pay for itself after three-four uses. Thoughts?
User avatar
87e30
I <3 E30's
Posts: 2014
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:25 pm
AntiSpam: No
Location: New Jersey

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby 87e30 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:13 am

I'm Hunter alignment certified, and have only heard from some old school mechanics using the string method "back in the day", before computer alignment machines. After learning all of the procedures and measurements on a real alignment machine I couldn't imagine that using a string could be accurate at all, especially if your wheel width/offset is different between the front and rear. I've never done it though, so if I'm wrong please correct me. If it were me, based on my current knowledge, I would definitely not even consider the purchase. Maybe someone else who has done alignments both ways can chime in. Maybe also ask your alignment guy and let us know what he says.
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325is (newest project)
Arktisblau 5-speed 86 325e (current DD)
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325e (parts car/LS1 swap?)
Gazellenbeige automatic 85 318i (70,000 miles)
Alpine white 5-speed 87 325is (my first e30, possibly for sale)
99 Suburban
pr0craztinazn
I <3 E30's
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:01 am
AntiSpam: No
Location: MD
Contact:

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby pr0craztinazn » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:12 am

He uses the string method on slammed cars that can't easily get on/off the Hunter rack where he works. His notes were that error is generally introduced with improper technique with the string method, and it can give a pretty on target result if you know what you are doing. I used to do the string method with jack stands when I was in college, so when I'd take my AE86 to him, he rarely had to change anything.

He also notes most shops don't calibrate their alignment racks at Hunter's specified intervals, and thus the settings drift.
User avatar
87e30
I <3 E30's
Posts: 2014
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:25 pm
AntiSpam: No
Location: New Jersey

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby 87e30 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:28 pm

pr0craztinazn wrote:He also notes most shops don't calibrate their alignment racks at Hunter's specified intervals, and thus the settings drift.


^^^ This is true. We don't even have 20 alignments on ours since last calibration though, ours was done pretty recently along with software and vehicle database upgrade. Still have the OLD sensors though which require a full turn of each wheel while in the air. With the newer reflector sensors it should be easy enough with even the lowest slammed car. We don't do those here though for a few reasons. Most of the people around here that have vehicles that low don't even know what an alignment is anyway lol.

Well good luck with it if/when you do get it.
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325is (newest project)
Arktisblau 5-speed 86 325e (current DD)
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325e (parts car/LS1 swap?)
Gazellenbeige automatic 85 318i (70,000 miles)
Alpine white 5-speed 87 325is (my first e30, possibly for sale)
99 Suburban
User avatar
Ryki
I <3 E30's
Posts: 1009
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:15 am
AntiSpam: No
Location: Germany

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby Ryki » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:29 pm

I do enjoy having nice alignment machines on base but it would be nice if I could do things on my own. I would at least do it more often that way. I just don't know anyone who does this or I would consider asking them to show me. It does remind me of squaring metal buildings though, it was actually one of the keys to building them right and easily.
pr0craztinazn
I <3 E30's
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:01 am
AntiSpam: No
Location: MD
Contact:

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby pr0craztinazn » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:18 pm

I ended up buying it & will do a review sometime in September, when I attempt to dial out the factory toe-in on the Prius & get it checked by my friend before he heads to basic.
User avatar
Ryki
I <3 E30's
Posts: 1009
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:15 am
AntiSpam: No
Location: Germany

Re: Camber/caster/toe gauge + string alignment kit... worth

Postby Ryki » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:59 pm

Sweet! Have fun with that!

Return to “Suspension”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest