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How to do an alignment with a string system?

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  • How to do an alignment with a string system?

    Does anyone have one of those string systems used for aligning a car? I'm curious. I went in halfsies on one (pre crash) and I thought you could put the car in the air, set up your toe and camber, set it on the ground and you're good to go.

    Then I was told you have to measure toe with the car on the ground, lift it to make adjustments, put it back on the ground, compress the suspension a few times, roll it back and forth, then remeasure.

    Also, on the front of a Miata, do you set the camber with the control arm eccentrics, then fine-tune toe with the tie rods?

    What is the order of operations?
    www.TrackHQ.com

  • #2
    to me strings are a great thing if you are the guy selling them. if you are the guy using them you can introduce error with them. The minimal tools I use are scales, ruller, L rule, laser level, slip plates, tape measure , angle iron, 1/8"x12"x12" floor tile

    My method is:
    1- shim floor flate. if you don't have a flat floor don't bother
    2- scale car
    3- set thrust and rear toe
    4- set rear camber
    5- set front camber
    6- set front toe
    7- set caster
    8- verify settings because some setting changes will alter other settings

    There are other methods

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    • #3
      Here's my process:

      Go see Darrin at West End Alignment in Gardena.
      The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

      2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
      1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
      2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
      2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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      • #4
        I frequent the RR/AX forum on Honda-Tech, they have a lot of very technical threads (Despite the forum overall being...sad). Here's a good alignment thread with pictures:
        String Alignment - Honda-Tech

        Another, referenced in the first:
        String Alignment - Honda-Tech

        And another DIY method:
        DIY R Alignment: The Quick Method - Honda-Tech

        The actual process of which to do first (camber, caster, then toe...etc) is really up to you.
        4.6lbs / whp -- 4lbs / bhp

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        • #5
          I did something similar to you Brett and I split the cost of scales, stings and also hub stands. The hub stands eliminate the need to jack the car up for each adjustment.
          I've only done one alignment since the purchase and it was a very steep learning curve and I could probably do it in half the time now but I also spent a lot of time messing with ride height and corner weights. On the miata, it's pretty easy to move both eccentrics the same amount if you have 2 wrenches to try to change only the camber.
          I used emilio's video as a reference to get me started. Alignment 949 Racing Supermiata - YouTube
          -Anthony
          1991 Miata - Trogdor SuperMiata
          2011 Ram 2500 - all the torque

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          • #6
            typically adjust camber first because that will affect your toe settings. i've never tried to move both eccentrics at the same time as mentioned above tho.

            i've been meaning to try setting up strings with 4 jack stands but haven't tried it yet. i just set total toe measuring from wheel to wheel instead of measuring invidiual toe.

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            • #7
              I've always been taught.
              Level floor. Appox Weight of the driver in the seat.
              Suspension loaded & settled.

              1.set back (front)
              2. Thust line (rear)
              3. Camber
              4. Toe
              5. Camber
              6. Caster
              7. toe

              Just a little different from billybob's
              That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

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              • #8
                OP: You are referring to Smart Strings type system, where the string are located by apparatus attached to the vehicle? So when you jack up and move the car around, the strings don't change relative to the car?

                https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pr...asp?RecID=3004
                Last edited by hotrodmex; 07-27-2012, 04:59 PM.

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                • #9
                  We have the Iron Canyon setup that hangs from the car.
                  www.TrackHQ.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ucfbrett View Post
                    We have the Iron Canyon setup that hangs from the car.
                    The string is the square that all measurements are taken.

                    So it's as if the car is sitting in a box. So you can square up the car.
                    Hope that helps a little.

                    You should have asked this morning. I could have shown you how it works.
                    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WWW.949RACING.COM
                      SuperMiata

                      Aside from their cost I never understood why people race them.
                      But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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                      • #12
                        String alignment on a Lotus: DIY Toe Measurement

                        Now I use alignment plates similar to Emilio, but instead of strings I use lasers:

                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by emilio700 View Post
                          Very informative. Those hubstands make alignment much easier.
                          Elise
                          MR2 Spyder
                          Mazda RX7 FD
                          Porsche 911E

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by apk919 View Post

                            Now I use alignment plates similar to Emilio, but instead of strings I use lasers
                            What brand, model laser? Comments?
                            WWW.949RACING.COM
                            SuperMiata

                            Aside from their cost I never understood why people race them.
                            But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by emilio700 View Post
                              What brand, model laser? Comments?
                              It's a rig I've made myself. I use a couple of Bosch torpedo laser levels mounted on the brackets that are normally used to measure toe. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details, it allows me to make a simple measurement from the laser "line" to the alignment plates, put the measurement into a spreadsheet, and get the effective toe (and thrust angle, for the rear). Since I'm measuring the toe angle using the wheelbase of the car as one side of the triangle, the geometry "exaggerates" the toe measurement by a factor of 5, i.e. every 1mm of distance measured at the plate is equivalent to 0.2mm of toe at the wheel. I can also adjust the toe with the laser in place, and watch the beam "walk" to the desired location as I adjust the suspension and retighten the jam nuts.

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