# anyone know how to align cars with the string method?

#### tuong

yo what up guys. i got an alignment yesterday because my ****en Toe was way off. my tires wore down badly. i just thought of making a new topic on this board. does anyone know how to do this method? i heard of it, but just like to know what its like. thanks

#### Curious Kid

I'd have to go book hunting in the basement to get the information on alignment by string method. One method that I've used on level ground to get a ballpark toe measurement on the front end is by... Raising each front wheel so that you can rotate it by hand. Take a crayon/chalk piece with a fine point and hold it steady against the tire as you rotate the wheel. You could also hold a square on the pavement close to a tread line that runs the circumference of the tire to see if it is unchanging in position as the tire rotates. If unchanging, than use it as a reference point. Having let the tires back down, get in the car and drive forward and back once or twice to get the suspension to settle and the vehicle driving in a straight line. Shut the car down and put on the ebrake. With a friend, have them hold one end of measuring tape centered against the line on one tire, while you take the measurement on yours, from both front and back - as if the tire is rolling towards and then away from you. Compare the measurements. If the front measurement is larger then the rear, you have "toe-out". If the rear measurement is larger than the front, you have "toe-in". In place of a friends helping hand, you can make a simple templet out of three pieces of plywood. I noted this from the same book I believe that discusses string alignment. You need a main board length that is as long as your overall wheel track minus 1/2 tread width. You then need to securely affix a pointer board that's say as tall as the tire's radius. On the other end of this long board you need to securely affix a flat piece that again is as tall as the tire's radius, but also as wide as the tire tread. Paint the ends of both the pointer and recorder board white so that markings show up clearly. Mark a line on the pointer board for which alignment will be set, and leave the recorder piece for marking the positions of the scribe or noted identifier on the tire, with pencil. Using this board, one can simply lean it up against the tire so it doesn't move, set the pointer end, and walk over to the other side and mark the recorder board face, making a notation of "F" or "R" to identify from where the measurement was taken. Repeat for both the front and rear of the tire. A quick glance will easily tell you the toe condition, and you can quickly measure the difference with a short ruler.

#### TooManyWheels

Rather than using something as wide as chalk, use an ice pick, or the edge of a screwdriver turned vertically. Rest this against some kind of base, like a brick or wood block, and have someone turn the tire into your scribe. If the scribes match at the end of the circle you have a valid line to go by, if not, try again. The problem, though, with any type of scribing, is that, as alluded earlier, the suspension is not in the fully loaded position, and driving any to get it in that position erases your scribe marks. It will get you very, very close however.

#### XS650

This used to be an outstanding write-up on stringing a car String your car It looks like a lot of the figures are missing now, maybe the text will be enough for you.

#### tuong

WOW, i was shooting in the dark and i actually got response, u guys ever get any bad experience. I know one guy that **** up so bad, he drove about 100 miles and his tires were totally ruin.? is it easy. is it easy to mess up?

#### mechtech

Remember that when you change one setting, the others will change. Changing camber will affect toe in. Check and recheck. You can do an accurate alignment with home tools, care, and ingenuity. A common hand held laser can be useful, too.

#### Steve S

For what is costs find a good alignment shop and use it , way less of a pain .

#### XS650

quote:
Originally posted by Steve S: For what is costs find a good alignment shop and use it , way less of a pain .
The difference is, if you actually understand what you are doing and check your work, when you are done you will know it's been done right. When you go to an alignment shop, all you know for sure is that your wallet is lighter. Have the last few days been warm enough for you Steve?

#### Gary Allan

The difference is, if you actually understand what you are doing and check your work, when you are done you will know it's been done right. You're right. Alignment mechanics don't always go through all the steps. They can look at the tires ..see that nothing is wrong and just correct as needed for whatever wear patttern they see. For many it's "set the toe ..and let it go". The main thing an alignment rack does is generate revenue outside the alignment itself. It's a shock/strut/ball joint/tire work producer.

#### mechtech

If you do go to an alignment shop, they can do a very good job, and put things where you want them. Make sure you get a before and after printout, though, with all the specs on it. I wouldn't do it without a post alignment computer printout.

#### outrun

Exactly, A good alignment tech will 1st road test after the tire install if applicable. The service writer before hand would have documented if there was toe out/in wear etc to give the tech something to look for. After the road test to find vibration, pulling etc the tech should shake down the front end/steering etc. This should weed out bad tie rods, struts, ball joints, CV Half Shafts, pitman/idler arms, camber bushings, etc. Any of these can turn your suspension and tires into toast. Most people do not even know what these components are let alone venture to repair them. So the key is to find a major but honest front end shop. Make sure they give you a before and after print out...the better shops will let you even watch the process. Hunter CAM machines are really sweet too

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