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Discussion Starter #1
So I maxed out the camber plate play on my front suspension and figured I should make sure my I adjust my alignment (or take it to a shop), but I wanted to try myself first. But I've never done this before. I'm curious if others think my system should get a good alignment.

1. Struck a centerline down the car on the underside, which was easy to do because the underside panel appears to have a clear centerline
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2. Clamped a two foot level onto my disc brake
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3. Measured from the centerline perpendicular to the level.
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Can anyone with any experience comment on why or why not I should be close here? I read most people align to the middle of the back tire, but it seems that could have similar accuracy issues. I did not know my starting alignment so I don't have a baseline to go off of.
 

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There were a couple of good articles in Panorama magazines starting in the October 2019 issue (page 100) that walk through a DIY alignment process. The author uses a parallelogram made of string or fishing line around the car (suspended by 2 X 4s or similar). I think the primary difference is that in the "Panorama" version, the car is sitting on the suspension vs. your method where the car is "in the air". I imagine that could make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I though that might be the case, I was going to double check it after lowering. Just a heck of a lot easier to get to the tie rod ends with the tires off ! Thanks ya’ll
 

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Hmm, or using a jack to compress the front spring to ride height...
No, really no. It needs to be full on the ground, level, with a full tank of gas, and ideally driver's weight in the front seat. And yeah, you gotta reach under the car to adjust the rods, which can be a real pain on a low car and is why most folks take it to a shop. I've done toe many a time on my older cars but the Cayman goes to a pro.

If you're trying to set toe you'd ideally want a set of toe plates, like below. You can use a couple of vinyl floor tiles with some grease between them as a swivel plate under each wheel, and ideally you want something to lock the steering wheel as well.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, really no. It needs to be full on the ground, level, with a full tank of gas, and ideally driver's weight in the front seat. And yeah, you gotta reach under the car to adjust the rods, which can be a real pain on a low car and is why most folks take it to a shop. I've done toe many a time on my older cars but the Cayman goes to a pro.

If you're trying to set toe you'd ideally want a set of toe plates, like below. You can use a couple of vinyl floor tiles with some grease between them as a swivel plate under each wheel, and ideally you want something to lock the steering wheel as well.

Appreciate the assertiveness of your response Gubi! I won’t waste any more time and take it to a shop.
 

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Well I just hope assertive didn't cross the line into dickish ?

Home alignment is definitely not one of my favorite jobs to do. I only do it because I've got a couple of cars that use a steering box instead of a rack, and none of the shops around here know how to properly set toe on those anymore. Anyone can align a rack & pinion and if I have the option I just take it to the shop and save myself a lot of annoyance.
 

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Car has to be sitting on it's tires or hub stands period.

Toe plates work fine in the front, however they don't tell you side to side toe, just net toe. In the front that's fine because the steering will auto center. In the rear it won't. You need to string it to know how much toe each side has.

DIY alignments work great if done properly.

We have a triple beam laser, custom wheel stands and hub stands. This is our v1.0 setup:
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This let's us access the the suspension bits during the alignment and corner balance at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Naw it’s all good. I’m aware as an engineer, sometimes we just try to “figure it out” without having experience so that’s why I asked here. I somewhat figured toe varied with height, and certainly aware camber does. I had read up on other home alignment posts but thought I could improve on it. And I was definitely going to recheck once it was back in the ground.

Now, This won’t stop me from taking down my measurements, because if after once I get it aligned at a real shop, I can put it on my lift and use the shop alignment as a control for what numbers I should be looking for when it’s off the ground next time ;-)

Well I just hope assertive didn't cross the line into dickish ?

Home alignment is definitely not one of my favorite jobs to do. I only do it because I've got a couple of cars that use a steering box instead of a rack, and none of the shops around here know how to properly set toe on those anymore. Anyone can align a rack & pinion and if I have the option I just take it to the shop and save myself a lot of annoyance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Saw your location and got excited thinking you were in Portland! If you were any closer I’d be giving you a ring.

Car has to be sitting on it's tires or hub stands period.

Toe plates work fine in the front, however they don't tell you side to side toe, just net toe. In the front that's fine because the steering will auto center. In the rear it won't. You need to string it to know how much toe each side has.

DIY alignments work great if done properly.

We have a triple beam laser, custom wheel stands and hub stands. This is our v1.0 setup:
View attachment 267562

View attachment 267563


This let's us access the the suspension bits during the alignment and corner balance at the same time.
 

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Man, wish I had a rig like Joshua: I probably wouldn't mind the job so much :LOL:

My other cars are live rear axle, so zero toe in the rear. This lets me use the rear tire and some High Tech String™ as a zero reference, but that no workie on the Cayman. Just another reason I leave the Cayman to the pros!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
While we’re all chattin’ - for AX or DE days, any recommendations for F and R toe on the R or cayman in general?
 

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Many race shops do alignment via the sting method even though they could and do have the machines to do it.
I think it's because when they're at the track they have to do it this way.
When Deman Motorsports did my corner balance and alignment on my rack car (06 CSR) at their shop in Blauvelt NY their did it this way.
I've seen kits sold to do this whole thing but I don't remember who or where.
 

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A sonewhat related question - my shop gave me a really good daily driver alignment that I quite like. But for autox, I'd like more front toe out for better turn in. What is to prevent me from adding 'n' turns of toe-out into the tie rod before the autox and then backing 'n' turns back out afterwards? It could even be done on one side only even though it meant the wheel was off-center for the autox. Just thinking out loud.
 

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How about a hybrid method - sit it on the ground and use toe plates but measure not from one plate to the other but each plate to that centerline. That way you get L & R not just total.If there would be a way to afix a piece of metal on the centerline you could easily measure w/ your tape w/o getting under the car.
 

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Man, wish I had a rig like Joshua: I probably wouldn't mind the job so much :LOL:

My other cars are live rear axle, so zero toe in the rear. This lets me use the rear tire and some High Tech String™ as a zero reference, but that no workie on the Cayman. Just another reason I leave the Cayman to the pros!
We do a lot of alignments so it makes sense..

You're assuming your rear axle is perpendicular to your direction of travel.. :)

A sonewhat related question - my shop gave me a really good daily driver alignment that I quite like. But for autox, I'd like more front toe out for better turn in. What is to prevent me from adding 'n' turns of toe-out into the tie rod before the autox and then backing 'n' turns back out afterwards? It could even be done on one side only even though it meant the wheel was off-center for the autox. Just thinking out loud.
Nothing, we do this all the time at the track. Just make symmetrical changes to keep the wheel straight.
 
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