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Technical TECH WEEK - Toe In Tool

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blowby, May 6, 2021.

  1. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,396

    from Nicasio Ca

    Inspired by last week's thread on setting Toe-In, and a need to do so on my newly resurrected '56 Vette, I cobbled up these guys. All three of my old heaps are low and full fendered, making the usual back and forth crawl on the floor routine to read the tread line with a toe-in stick rather tiresome.

    I made these out of old bed frame but anything would work, the only critical setup is adjusting the rim pegs parallel to the measurement bar. I made the top bracket extra long for use on my 4x4. If your rims are far inboard of the fender you'll need to space it out, or cut/turn the plate over. Pretty self explanatory. Also when putting them on, put a level across the bottom to get them even. And check that your rims run true if you suspect otherwise.

    Also turn/slide plates, even a trip to the alignment shop may be necessary to get it to a gnats ass, but this should get you close.


  2. Nice! I like they read off the wheel lip, way more accurate then the tread of the tire.

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  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,784


    I like it. Tech week has been great.
    loudbang, blowby and flatford39 like this.
  4. @blowby, make sure you message @Paul so this gets included in the tech week sticky!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    loudbang, blowby and Paul like this.

  5. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,905


    First, find a perfectly lever spot the make your measurements.

    Second, get a digital angle finder, the one that's a little box..

    I like to measure toe off the front wheels rim were the balance weights go, to the same spot on the rear wheel. Make sure the wheel base is the same front to rear, if not, add or subtract from the measurement.
    Next get both wheels perfectly straight measuring against the rear wheels.

    Spray down the tie rod sleeves so they move without all kinds of unwanted movement. I prefer the modern tie rod sleeves with the lock nuts. I remove the tie rod measure the ball joint center to center. Take it all apart, wire wheels the tie rods threads and clean them up with your tap and die set. Put it all together well greased and set it to the same measurement that it was when you took it off. Do the exact same thing to the other side except set that tie rod the exact same size as the first one. You might get lucky but in any cost you will be centered.

    Now look for the center mark on the steering box, set the box to this mark before doing anything. Lock the steering box up so it cant move at all.. I use Vise Grips. Now see were the steering wheel is, it should be straight on the mark, if not move things around until you get it there. Now you have the steering box centered. You want this because you want the box to be on the center of the built in crown in the box. They put this in there to help stop bump steer. Its very important you get this centered.

    Now get two straight edges long enough to measure front and rear tires. Put a screw in each end and grind the end down to a point. Now measure the front wheel in relation to the rear wheel. Make sure you measure the wheel base front to rear. Hopefully they will be the same if not put the difference into the measurement.

    Now measure the front wheel against the rear wheel. If the end of the straight edge is away from the rear wheel you are toed in, If its closer your toed out. If your steering linkage is behind the front wheels (rear steer) the toe in or out setting will be opposite..

    Once you get it nice and straight you will be so happy! After a few times you'll get the hang of this. This is the way Herb Adams adjusts his alignment. He said he can get his alignment as perfect as a Hunter Hawk Eye.. I still don't know if I believe this lol..

    Setting toe should be last, after caster and camber..

    I like the following specs for the roads in my area.
    -Positive caster drivers side +5.5, passenger side+ 6.

    -Negative camber .25 or 1/4 inch both sides..

    -Toe in 1/32 1/32 off the center line of the car..

    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  6. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,704


    I like it! Simple yet trick and easy to build......what's not to like! Nice job!
    loudbang and blowby like this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,829


    That is cute but still you are not accounting for wheel runout and have no way to check it.
    It's way simpler to scribe a line on the center of each tread, measure from line to line and get a very accurate measurement. That does take care of any runout.
  8. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,396

    from Nicasio Ca

    Actually it's very simple to check, roll the car forward and measure again. If you have a wobbly wheel might want to look into that.

    As I stated, this tool works for me due to low fenders making reading a tire line difficult and inaccurate on the ground. Also as mentioned, if you want pinpoint accuracy find a shop with an alignment rack (which, btw, also use wheel mounted sensors), if you're sure what you want for settings. On my short wheelbase, much modified, no book spec Bantam I have been experimenting in increments, making changes to feel the effect on the road. This tool makes that effortless.

    Lastly, and also as stated, my inspiration came from similar 'cute' ones posted on another recent thread. Laser guided even if money is no object. I cannot claim to have come up with the idea.

    Screenshot 2021-05-08 11.36.48 PM.png Screenshot 2021-05-08 11.53.41 PM.png
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
    swade41, Boneyard51 and 57 Fargo like this.
  9. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,881


    That’s what we use on the race car.


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