Repeat on the other tire and then lower the vehicle. Pontiac’s LeMans/Tempest/GTO, Chevrolet’s Chevelle/Malibu/Super Sport, Buick’s Skylark/Gran Sport (GS), and Oldsmobile’s Cutlass/442 are still surprisingly plentiful. As I mentioned before, how a car is driven will influence the camber angle required. Front Wheel Alignment, With a Tape Measure.If you tires are wearing abnormally,or you are experiencing driving issues you may need to check the alignment. In all honesty, if you follow these directions and get your toe measurement to within a few degrees, camber to within a degree of spec, and tighten everything properly, you shouldn’t have to worry about ruining your tires or new suspension components while driving to the local alignment shop. Adding and removing shims from between the upper control arm and the vehicle frame will (on most cars) change the camber adjustment. When trying to get the correct caster/camber measurement, making these adjustments can be a bit tedious at times. Some parts stores might rent you a camber-measuring device that uses a magnet to secure it to the front hub. Caster is the angle of the steering pivot. An enthusiastic driver who enjoys cornering hard, will receive more cornering grip and longer tire life from a tire aligned with more negative camber. $7.49. Keep the string centered in the tread. The keyword is both front tires. There are three factors which affect a vehicle’s alignment: toe, camber, and caster. We'll send you the most interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and videos every week. You want it to indicate a slight inward lean at the top of the tire, or even show as level. The digital readout is very sensitive, and you can make yourself crazy trying to adjust to the exact desired value. If you don’t have one of these, a bungee cord or rope can be used to secure the steering wheel. If a gearbox steering is used, loosen both nuts on both adjuster sleeves (right and left). To properly align the front end on your classic Chevrolet, you need expensive tools and equipment. That’s a valid assumption, as DIY car alignment is considered an oxymoron. A small amount of negative caster reduces the effort required to turn the steering wheel. To adjust camber on most cars, you will add or remove shims which are located between the upper control arms and frame, or adjust an eccentric bolt. Left: Wrap the tire with a piece of string. We’ve now reproduced the factory OEM front end alignment shim. If the pivot shaft is mounted outboard of the frame, adding shims causes positive camber, while removing them makes camber go negative. Center: Watching someone install shims. Bounce the front and turn the wheels to settle the suspension, then lower the tires onto the turn plates. Taking a few minutes to check your alignment from time-to-time will make your tires last longer and your vehicle handle better. Front-end alignment is important, but it also carries with it a new set of terms. . As you rotate the adjuster, keep an eye on how many threads are exposed. Measures approximately 1 3/16Ó on bottom, 1 1/4Ó on top, . Measure or count the amount of exposed threads and make note. Adjusting a vehicle’s toe-angle can also alter its handling characteristics. You can also measure sidewall to sidewall if that would be easier. These are OEM NOS looking; not like what front end . Most older Chevrolet cars have double A-arm front suspensions that use shims to adjust caster and camber. These are OEM NOS looking; not like what front end . If the shims are of different thicknesses, both caster and camber will be affected. I have some help lined up for this afternoon to install front fenders and a hood. In the six years the Cruze has been on the road, it has proven to be a reliable vehicle for the most part, but it has had some suspension issues. Push front bumper down 1.5" (38 mm) and let settle. This is a steering wheel lock. Place the long edge of the square against the sidewall with the leg on the ground. A rear-wheel-drive vehicle pushes on the front tires as the car is driving down the road. The front end and steering linkage should be checked for wear before performing an alignment. Before adjusting the toe angle, we need to know if an adjustment is actually required. Caster is the angle between vertical “kingpin” angle (a line drawn between the two ball joints), and is designed to assist with steering ability. Measures approximately 1 3/16Ó on bottom, 1 1/4Ó on top, . A sawtooth pattern on only one tire is typically a suspension problem. Mike has been wrenching on cars since the early 1970s when he worked at his dad's auto repair shop. Measure from center of front axle to lower edge of rocker panel (dimension "A") to locate dimension "J" measuring point. Two ways to notice your car has camber-alignment issues are: the vehicle pulls to one side (low tire pressure can also cause this) and uneven treadwear across the tread. The two-wheel alignment kit from Summit Racing comes with everything you need, is easy to use, and will have you driving straight in no time. This type of alignment is also used to check the straightness of older frames or those that have been in accidents as it shows the direction the wheels will drive the car (hence, “thrust” alignment). The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns. Select year & model and see specs within seconds. Tread wear patterns become irreversible after about 500 miles.