Ten-Cent Chassis Alignment

story and photos by John Hagerman

Again, we walked back to our archives for this week’s featured article. This one comes from way back in the February issue of 1989. We were still known as Auto-X magazine then.

Ten-Cent Alignment Ten-Cent Alignment

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yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/26/15 3:10 p.m.

Do you guys realize how canoe like this looks from the outside before coming in here?

outasite
outasite New Reader
1/26/15 3:23 p.m.

I used this to align a nephews quarter midget. He won his next race.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
1/26/15 3:31 p.m.

So thats how it works...

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Dork
1/26/15 3:42 p.m.

Am I missing something? How are you guys able to read these articles? They are all grainy and impossible to read for me.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk SuperDork
1/26/15 4:25 p.m.

It's easy to read. I just went down to the rec room and got out my hard copy of the February,1989 issue.

tr8todd
tr8todd HalfDork
1/26/15 5:10 p.m.

I used to use strings until I figured out two 10 foot lengths of angle iron are easier to use. Not only do they not move when you measure from them to the rims, but the magnetic camber gauge sticks to them.

turboswede
turboswede MegaDork
1/26/15 5:58 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr:

Click the link that says, "Read the rest of the story" and then click on the pictures, right click to "View Picture" so you can see it full size.

f6sk
f6sk Reader
1/26/15 7:17 p.m.

They may have to up the GRM document scanner budget.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
1/26/15 8:39 p.m.

Of course, the price has since risen to 20 cents.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse Reader
1/26/15 11:15 p.m.

What kinda flipping car is that in the article?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/26/15 11:31 p.m.

You don't recognize a Lotus Europa!

Very distinctive (and tiny) car, if you have seen one before of course.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk SuperDork
1/27/15 10:28 a.m.

So, if we have readers who don't recognize some vehicles from 30 years ago, and more, is there a "need" for the magazine to do a few articles on some of the better cars from the past? Or would that be the role filled by Classic Motorsports?

Wally
Wally MegaDork
1/27/15 11:35 a.m.

I always thought they were tiny ElCaminos but the beds are awfully shallow.

Rupert
Rupert HalfDork
1/27/15 2:33 p.m.
Wally wrote: I always thought they were tiny ElCaminos but the beds are awfully shallow.

And the cab is pretty small too. But boy are they fun!!

rcutclif
rcutclif HalfDork
1/27/15 2:46 p.m.
tr8todd wrote: I used to use strings until I figured out two 10 foot lengths of angle iron are easier to use. Not only do they not move when you measure from them to the rims, but the magnetic camber gauge sticks to them.

very smart. I'm going to steel that idea (couldn't resist).

But realistically, does everyone use the car centerline method like described here or do you all just shortcut and make the measurement from the center of the hub to the string the same on both side on each axle?

I guess if taking the shortcut you miss thrust angle issues, but it seems a lot faster to me.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
1/27/15 8:49 p.m.

The stock car was easy. With the straight frame rail I would make sure the string was parallel to the rail, adjust the rear end to be even with the rails then align the front wheels to where we wanted them.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
1/28/15 1:02 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Am I missing something? How are you guys able to read these articles? They are all grainy and impossible to read for me.

Sorry, didn't mean to make anything impossible to read. I always just hit command+ and it will zoom in and not be grainy. Next time I'll be sure to include that in the introduction. Sorry again.

Other than re-typing the complete articles, that's the only way to get it online (we don't have digital copies from back then). And I thought some readers would enjoy some of the older content. If everyone hates it, I can just start putting up more recent items.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Dork
1/28/15 1:16 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote:
wvumtnbkr wrote: Am I missing something? How are you guys able to read these articles? They are all grainy and impossible to read for me.

Sorry, didn't mean to make anything impossible to read. I always just hit command+ and it will zoom in and not be grainy. Next time I'll be sure to include that in the introduction. Sorry again.

Other than re-typing the complete articles, that's the only way to get it online (we don't have digital copies from back then). And I thought some readers would enjoy some of the older content. If everyone hates it, I can just start putting up more recent items.

Sorry if my tone came out in a negative way. I am SUPER excited to read these articles. I just didn't know how on my computer.

So the command + thing. Huh. Lemme check that out.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr Dork
1/28/15 1:18 p.m.

Huh, learned something new today.

I tried using snip it tools and resizing it and everything else I could think of. Nothing was letting me see it.

Thanks for the tip!

Rupert
Rupert HalfDork
1/28/15 1:32 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: So, if we have readers who don't recognize some vehicles from 30 years ago, and more, is there a "need" for the magazine to do a few articles on some of the better cars from the past?

Yes, there is always that need, regardless of the name on the enthusiast publication.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
1/28/15 1:46 p.m.

Command + is the Mac zoom. If you're on a PC, hold down the control key and roll the scroll wheel forward.

strayturk
strayturk New Reader
1/28/15 2:21 p.m.

You can also right click and do "View Image". They will appear in their full-resolution glory.

jrubins
jrubins New Reader
1/28/15 3:19 p.m.
Wally wrote: The stock car was easy. With the straight frame rail I would make sure the string was parallel to the rail, adjust the rear end to be even with the rails then align the front wheels to where we wanted them.

Ed, you can also use software that has OCR (optical character recognition) to extract readable text. Adobe PDF (not reader) has this built in. There are other open-source or free software packages that do this. There are others as well:http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/5-ways-to-ocr-documents-on-your-mac--mac-49683

jrubins
jrubins New Reader
1/28/15 4:02 p.m.
jrubins wrote:
Wally wrote: The stock car was easy. With the straight frame rail I would make sure the string was parallel to the rail, adjust the rear end to be even with the rails then align the front wheels to where we wanted them.

Ed, you can also use software that has OCR (optical character recognition) to extract readable text. Adobe PDF (not reader) has this built in. There are other open-source or free software packages that do this. There are others as well:http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/5-ways-to-ocr-documents-on-your-mac--mac-49683

I made a google docs version for you.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dgQuK00NrOmylM9SxtPPYGkD0cbWffYwItfZvLES3x0/pub

Share and enjoy, JR

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
1/28/15 9:00 p.m.

In reply to jrubins:

Wow, I've never used that before. I'll have to try that on the next one. Thanks for the tip.

bluej
bluej SuperDork
1/29/15 8:22 a.m.

Please keep great past articles like this coming!

europadope
europadope None
1/29/15 6:35 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse : It's hard to flip a Europa. And that would be a Twin Cam or the bigger valved Twin Cam Special. My '73 is a TCS, but, sadly, it has the dual Zenith Stromberg carbs instead of the dual Weber DCOE sidedrafts.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
2/12/15 3:05 p.m.

We need an update using frickin' laser beams on our heads!

benbeames
benbeames New Reader
2/12/15 3:14 p.m.

Fun video with a Lotus Europa autoxing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWyJSF3g6_s

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Reader
2/13/15 8:13 a.m.

Well, I used the 10 cent method to align the Caprice a few days ago, and it worked great! It is actually better than it was from the alignment shop...crazy. Thanks for the post!

Osvolant
Osvolant None
2/16/15 3:29 p.m.

Thanks for the reprint- the kind of no-nonsense, low-buck stuff we need to see. Command + helped too!

Schump
Schump New Reader
4/16/15 12:51 a.m.

Perfect timing! Thanks for the reprint, my 2001 Maxima needs another alignment as the one I paid for was never up to snuff. I'm sure my 1992 TOYota extra cab V6 4WD does too. Just need to to drop the tank, give the 16 gallons of bad gas to the dump, find the leak in the high pressure fuel line, replace the fuel filter and battery and give it a huge bath. You know, no big whoop. [Cue the Cawfee Taaaawk music.]

Now I wasn't reading GRM till I saw the original $1500 Challenge issue on the newsstand at Virginia Tech's Volume Two bookstore back in the day.

Small world, I've known John Hagerman for 18 years as Summit Point is both our home tracks. Seen him there and around the mid atlantic doing SCCA events for a friend and professionally (Hot Shoe Racing, Racers Edge Motorsports, Leslie/Haughn Racing,) as well as working for him one long weekend at Slummit Pond. Bonus, we're both Hokies

See y'all in Carlisle in May.

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