It is very, I mean VERY, did I emphasize VERY? difficult to align a 4 wheel
independent/ rear wheel drive outside a shop with the right tools. It's not like years ago
when you did the front, and the solid axle rear just pushed. The rear end of these cars
steer both the front and rear (figuratively, I know someone will bring up something about
HICAS er whatever) from their own angles and thrust.
You can't adjust this car at home, unless it's just to get it to the shop.
If you have modified the front, and have not played with the rear, turn the tie rods the same amount in or out, until the front tires turn a little or none in. It's better to have them none, instead of allot in, but not at all pointing out.
If you modified the rear, the camber should be noticeable when viewed from behind. Sears does not sell a Craftsman Camber Alignment tool as far as I know, so the adjustment bolt underneath is all you have.
The toe in is the same as the front, except you do it using the bolt under the rear.
Your tires will wear very quickly if you do your own home alignment. If you have wide tires, they will wear even quicker. And of course, if you lower the car by changing the springs, the tires will wear even more quickly. This will off set all the savings you would get by doing your own alignment, plus give you poor handling and steering.
The best thing for you if you have wide tires and lower spring height, is to cut the toe in to about 0.3 to 0.6 mm, with a total toe angle less than 6'. You can't do anything about the camber up front. In the rear I recommend that you go with somewhere less than -0* 75' camber and 0.5 to 1.0 mm of toe-in with under 10 degrees if total toe. The rear toe (total toe too) should be a bit more than the front. The rear camber should be a more also. If you want the car looser (sharper?) make the rear toe and camber a bit less than the front, decrease the front tyre pressure by 2 psi, and increase the rear by 2psi. Change the front to smaller width non-directional tyres too. This though will make the rear easier to kick out, or do a 4 wheel drift (which is always more difficult to do in a rear IRS set-up)
If you have a friend who can help get you "in" with someone who does alignments, a six pack always helps in getting the alignment closer to what you need. Doing it slowly, and shaking the car down and rechecking the alignment always helps too.
This should produce less scrub on the tires, and you tires will last a bit longer.
I have also made some front toe-in alignments myself. So cars like VW Golf and solid axles Cherokee have only this adjustment. No reason to pay for a complete alignment if its not adjustable.
I use no special tools. Only a measuring tape to check if the difference in distance
between the front and the rear of the tire. Taking measurement on the tread is not very
accurate. It's better to jack the car and draw a sharp line on the rotating tire.
This way you can measure the toe-in even if your wheels are bend. I doubt that shop check
that. When you lowered the car after jacking it, move front and back a few feet to remove
side load on the tire.
Since the 240 have low ground clearance, it's difficult to take measurement at the middle of the tire from side to side. A simple device to use to take measurement is a wood stick with two cardboard at the end (See figure 1).
Figure 1: Toe-in measurement device:
| | | |
With this device you can put mark on the cardboard to report the front length to the rear.
Adjusting rear wheel toe-in is slightly more difficult because wheel don't just have to be parallel relative to each other but also parallel to the car.
Cheap tools that adjust camber need the car to be on a level surface. They check the wheel deviation from vertical. Finding a level place is the big problem.
> De : RogoMan <[email protected]>
> A : Shawn Schembri <[email protected]>; [email protected]
> Objet : Re: Alignment
> Date : 4 février, 1998 06:05
> I've been doing toe-in alignments for years using a simple toe-in gauge; one that you can buy from JC Whitney. It's just as accurate as going to a fancy shop.
> > From: Shawn Schembri <[email protected]>
> > To: [email protected]
> > Subject: Alignment
> > Date: Monday, February 02, 1998 8:40 AM
> > Is there anyone who does an alignment themselves...?
> > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> > * Shawn Schembri *
> > * Email - [email protected] or [email protected] *
> > * 240sx CCA *
> > * http://www.240sx.org *
> > * ICQ #4779006 *
> > * Aol Instant Messenger Address: sshawn09 *
> > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I wonder if anyone has noticed this proble with their 89-94 240's. The left front strut
seems to be a little shorter than the right one. So far i've noticed it in my 91,
and a friend's 89 240. If you lower your car on stock struts, alignment may be a
problem. I was told I would need an alignment kit by a shop, because they couldn't
get it to adjust enough. I now have a set of tokico shocks all around, and now there is
absolutely no problem with the alignment.
I had my 4 wheel alignment done at Miami Chassis(obviously in the city of Miami). My car is lowered and my buddies '89 240 is slammed. Miami Chassis had to do some metal bending to get the rear camber corrected....but thats what they do there anyway. They're a auto collision shop with all the right tools for the job. BIGGGG DIFFERENCE!
David Alexander Hazim '89 240 167k
Hot Rod Magazine's Do it yourself Alignment - Page 1
Hot Rod Magazine's Do it yourself Alignment - Page 2
Hot Rod Magazine's Do it yourself Alignment - Page 3
Hot Rod Magazine's Do it yourself Alignment - Page 4