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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was preparing to swap out the stock track pack toe link brace with Sector111's RTD brace, and was trying to figure out how to get the toe as close to my current setup as possible, on the first try. Here's what I came up with:

After removing the diffuser, lifting the car onto jackstands, and removing the rear wheels, I took out my trusty <a href="http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00948292000P?sid=BVReview">Craftsman digital level with built-in laser</a>. It's also magnetic, so I just slapped it onto the side of the brake rotor, turned on the laser, used the bubble level to level it, and looked at where the laser spot landed. The spot landed on the drawer to a cabinet about 7ft away, so I used blue tape to locate the laser spot precisely. Then I loosened up the jam nuts and turned the toe link 1/6 turn (enough to alter the toe 1mm) to see how much the spot moved: about 5mm (equal to the ratio of 7ft to 17").

When I finished installing the RTD brace, I simply turned the link until the laser spot hit the arrow on the blue tape, then locked the jam nuts. If I wanted to adjust the toe, I'd just move the dot 1mm for every 0.2mm of desired change in toe.

Just to be sure, I did a string alignment measurement when I was done... worked perfectly!

EDIT: This should work just as well for the front wheels too (just lock the steering while you make the adjustment)... it takes all the trial and error out of toe adjustment. As long as you know your current settings and how much you'd like to change them, it should be a one-shot deal.

Pics:

1) Laser level magnetically attached to brake rotor
2) Laser spot and alignment arrow
3) Laser spot after turning toe link 1/6 turn
4) RTD brace installed
5) String alignment check
 

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very cool idea.

I have a Dunlop mirror-type toe gauge, but have to remember to read in as + = - on rear wheels.

But, why did you draw a picture of Marge Simpson on the chest??
 

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Damn Andy, I'm jealous of all your work...:up:

Signed up for Spring mtn?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Laser Assisted Front Toe Adjustment

So after adjusting the ride height of my car, I needed to readjust the front toe. So once again I used my laser level, with excellent results...

Here's a step by step... I'm going to use my right front as an example.

1) Measure front toe... and determine how much adjustment is necessary. I needed to increase the toe out of my right front by 1.0mm.
Note: usually you should adjust both front wheels an equal amount to get the proper front toe... but I assume you already knew that. :D
2) Jack up car, place jackstands under jacking points, remove wheel...
3) Make sure your steering is locked by removing the key from the ignition and turning the wheel until it locks into the center detent.
3) Attach the magnetic laser level to the brake rotor and use the bubble level to level it, turn on the laser.
4) Use blue tape (or equiv) on the stationary object that the laser spot hits. If it's not a stationary object, move it out of the way until the laser spot hits a stationary object. :p
5) The steering gear has some play even though it's locked. Grab the brake caliper and move it to the left and right extremes of the play, and mark both points on the blue tape with a pencil.
6) Measure the distance from the hub centerline to the blue tape. In my case it was 69".
7) The ratio of laser spot movement to toe adjustment is 69/16 (the ratio of the distance to the tape divided by the wheel diameter). If I want 1.0mm of toe out, I have to move the laser spot 1.0 * 69 / 16, or 4.3mm outboard.
8) Since I'm moving the toe outboard, I measured 4.3mm from the right steering lock mark. That will be my target.
9) Unlock the jam nut on the steering arm, and take the spring clamp off the rack boot.
10) Turn the track rod until the laser spot hits the target.
11) Relock the jam nut and replace the spring clamp on the rack boot.
12) Remount your wheel, torque properly (105nm/77ftlb), and take the car off the jackstands.

You're done!

Pics:

1) Laser level attached to right front brake rotor
2) Start marks and target mark... the two marks on the left are the two extremes of the front steering play while locked (key out of the ignition). The rightmost mark was my toe target while the steering was at the rightmost extreme of play...
 

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Did you measure the toe with the suspension loaded or unloaded?

Very nice alignment equipment.

ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did you measure the toe with the suspension loaded or unloaded?

Very nice alignment equipment.

ken
Thanks!

The suspension is loaded. I put ballast in the car and do a string alignment to determine what adjustments are necessary.
 

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Nice post with pix! - This one goes in the subscribed "wish box" for future
suspension upgrades...
 

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I'm confused.... How does "2) Jack up car, place jackstands under jacking points, remove wheel..." and "The suspension is loaded" coexist in the same plane? The photos here look like the suspension is dangling. Does loaded vs. unloaded change the toe a measurable amount?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm confused.... How does "2) Jack up car, place jackstands under jacking points, remove wheel..." and "The suspension is loaded" coexist in the same plane? The photos here look like the suspension is dangling. Does loaded vs. unloaded change the toe a measurable amount?
The first quote is referring to the process of adjusting the toe, the second to the process of measuring the toe... they are not done at the same time.

When adjusting the toe, the suspension is unloaded. When doing the string alignment, it is loaded and ballasted.

Yes, of course loading the suspension changes the toe... the procedure is to measure the toe loaded, then determine the relative amount it needs to be adjusted. Then when it's unloaded, you're not making an absolute toe measurement, just a relative one, which is unaffected by whether the suspension is loaded or not.
 

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Andy,
Your car has rubber brake hoses?? Mine came with SS.:shrug: What is your build #?
 

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apk I installed the sector rtv brace and this method worked perfectly! I was less than 1mm out of spec! Thank you so much for the write up. I also installed the urethane sway bar bushings. I found it asier to just cut the old ones off.Nice feel now. This should be a sticky in the uberpost. Tommy
 
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