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Motorsport Wheel Alignment: 3. Check Base Alignment

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3. Check Base Alignment

03.54

00:00 - In the third step of our process, we're going to be checking our existing alignment settings.
00:04 Now this isn't a step that's strictly necessary for a car like ours where we've just fitted all new suspension components, rather it's more designed around a car that's already up and running where we want to know what our existing alignment settings are, so we can decide on any changes necessary.
00:21 The reason that it's not strictly a step that we'd undertake with a car where we've just installed all new suspension components, is because, understandably we can expect our alignment to be miles out and when we're going through and adjusting the aspects of our alignment, the camber and toe do tend to affect each other so the alignment becomes an iterative process.
00:42 On this basis, normally with this car we would just skip to the next step of our process, decide on our alignment settings and then make those necessary changes.
00:50 However, for the sake of completeness, we're going to go through the process now.
00:55 On this basis, we actually need to start by taking a step backwards and we're going to remove our strings temporarily so that we can check our caster on the front end of the car.
01:06 Now in order to do this, we're going to start by fitting our car up on our turn plates and zeroing our turn plates with the steering wheel pointed straight ahead.
01:15 Once we've done this, we're going to fit our Intercomp adapter to our wheel and this will provide a nice mounting point for our magnetic camber/caster gauge.
01:25 We can then fit the magnetic camber/caster gauge onto the Intercomp adapter.
01:29 The process of checking and adjusting our caster is covered in our practical skills section.
01:35 We need to start by turning the wheel outwards, in this case with the right front corner, we need to start by turning the steering wheel to the right by 20 degrees.
01:43 Once we've turned the steering wheel to the right by 20 degrees, we can level our camber/caster gauge and we want to zero our caster gauge bubble.
01:53 Once we've done this, we'll turn the steering wheel back to the left through 40 degrees total, or in other words 20 degrees to the left of straight ahead and now we can level our gauge again and finally read the caster.
02:06 In this case with no adjustments we're already at our target of seven degrees of caster so there's no need to go further here.
02:14 Of course we'd also need to check the left hand side of the car as well as the right hand, making sure that our caster is the same on both sides.
02:21 If it turns out that we do need to make a caster change, this can easily be affected by adjusting the caster arm, the SPL Parts front lower control arm.
02:30 If you do need to make caster adjustments, it is important that you do this at the start of your adjustment process because the caster will then affect your toe and camber.
02:40 With our caster checked, we can now refit our strings, making sure that they're still square to the car and we can move on and check our camber.
02:48 In this case, on the front right hand corner, we're measuring 3.2 degrees of negative camber and on the right rear, we're measuring 1.9 degrees.
02:57 On the left rear, we're measuring two degrees and on the front left we're measuring 3.8 degrees. So in this case we're already pretty close to our target camber front and rear but of course we've got a little bit of work to do.
03:09 The next step is to go around and measure between the front and rear edges of each rim out to our string alignment equipment.
03:16 Now remembering here that we want to make sure that we're minimising parallax error and we're also making sure that our ruler is parallel to the ground.
03:25 In this case, our first round of measurements show that we've got four millimetres of toe out on our front right corner, we've got six millimetres of toe out on the right rear and left rear for a total of 12 millimetres toe out on the rear axle.
03:38 And on the front left we've got zero toe so clearly we've got a little bit of work ahead of us there.