How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?

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Old 29 Nov 2006, 01:09 pm   #1 (permalink)
geronimo
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Default How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?



I installed a whole new steering rack with new outer tie rods on
my 88 Camry 3SFE. Works fine. However, I was hoping that I could get
by without throwing the alignment off by setting the number of exposed
threads on the tie rods the same. This didn't work at all. With
Steering wheel/rack and left wheel centered, the RH wheel was pointing
outward about 20 deg. or so! I just put a metal rule across the wheel
with tire removed, and saw where both wheels were aligned with the
inner lower lip of the wheel- well to get a rough idea. So using this
method I added a lot of exposed threads so that the space between the
tip of metal rule and the inner lower wheel- well lip was the same on
both sides of car. This was not close enough, as when I drove it, it
ws pulling to the right quite a bit. ( Before the rack replacement the
car tracked straight as an arrow) It seems that this would indicate
that the RH wheel is still pointing towards a right turn. So I added
another turn/thread to move the front of the RH wheel left a bit
more....but it still pulls to the right, can't really tell any
improvement.
I know I really need to have it aligned professionally, but there
isn't money right now. So I am hoping there is some make-do procedure
I can improvise to get it close enough that I won't wear out the tire
in 500 miles. Ideas?
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Old 29 Nov 2006, 06:58 pm   #2 (permalink)
mack
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Default Re: How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?


"geronimo" <Jamesw@grandecom.net> wrote in message
news:emlrm29g8tkdcnapodf0aod2qvm1o4483a@4ax.com...
>
>


> I know I really need to have it aligned professionally, but there
> isn't money right now.


There's a reason that professional alignment shops purchase equipment that
enables them to align wheels properly. There's no real way to do it in the
garage by yourself, AFAIK.


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Old 29 Nov 2006, 09:14 pm   #3 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?


"geronimo" <Jamesw@grandecom.net> wrote in message
news:emlrm29g8tkdcnapodf0aod2qvm1o4483a@4ax.com...
>
>
> I installed a whole new steering rack with new outer tie rods on
> my 88 Camry 3SFE. Works fine. However, I was hoping that I could get
> by without throwing the alignment off by setting the number of exposed
> threads on the tie rods the same. This didn't work at all. With
> Steering wheel/rack and left wheel centered, the RH wheel was pointing
> outward about 20 deg. or so! I just put a metal rule across the wheel
> with tire removed, and saw where both wheels were aligned with the
> inner lower lip of the wheel- well to get a rough idea. So using this
> method I added a lot of exposed threads so that the space between the
> tip of metal rule and the inner lower wheel- well lip was the same on
> both sides of car. This was not close enough, as when I drove it, it
> ws pulling to the right quite a bit. ( Before the rack replacement the
> car tracked straight as an arrow) It seems that this would indicate
> that the RH wheel is still pointing towards a right turn. So I added
> another turn/thread to move the front of the RH wheel left a bit
> more....but it still pulls to the right, can't really tell any
> improvement.
> I know I really need to have it aligned professionally, but there
> isn't money right now. So I am hoping there is some make-do procedure
> I can improvise to get it close enough that I won't wear out the tire
> in 500 miles. Ideas?


There is a rough and ready way:

If you got the steering wheel shaft located on the rack/pinion correctly,
the wheel will not need removing. Some splines have a blank strip which
makes it impossible to locate the steering shaft out of correct position.

Wind both outer (usually) tierods so the front wheels move equally *inwards*
towrds the vehicle centreline. Do this is small amounts, say one turn of the
tierod each side. Then take it for a slow drive. Once the roads wheels are
toeing IN, the front of the vehicle will rise slightly-do this at crawling
speed on a road which is not busy-once you note the front has started to
rise, you then wind off the toe-in, 1/3 or so of a turn at a time until the
front of the car no longer rises,..then go 1/4 of a turn more. This means
the wheels are pretty close to parallel. and the car should track
reasonabley straight. If it does BUT the steering wheel is off centre- work
out which way you need to shift each wheel's tierod *the same amount but in
opposite directions* so they remain parallel but will then make the steering
wheel move towards its normal straight-ahead position.

Once you get the swing of it, its not hard to do. Remember the tirerods may
have reverse threads to each other,..check for that first.

Jason



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Old 30 Nov 2006, 05:38 am   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?


"Jason James" <home@work.1.0> wrote in message
news:456e4c87$0$19192$c30e37c6@ken-reader.news.telstra.net...
>
> "geronimo" <Jamesw@grandecom.net> wrote in message
> news:emlrm29g8tkdcnapodf0aod2qvm1o4483a@4ax.com...
> >
> >
> > I installed a whole new steering rack with new outer tie rods on
> > my 88 Camry 3SFE. Works fine. However, I was hoping that I could get
> > by without throwing the alignment off by setting the number of exposed
> > threads on the tie rods the same. This didn't work at all. With
> > Steering wheel/rack and left wheel centered, the RH wheel was pointing
> > outward about 20 deg. or so! I just put a metal rule across the wheel
> > with tire removed, and saw where both wheels were aligned with the
> > inner lower lip of the wheel- well to get a rough idea. So using this
> > method I added a lot of exposed threads so that the space between the
> > tip of metal rule and the inner lower wheel- well lip was the same on
> > both sides of car. This was not close enough, as when I drove it, it
> > ws pulling to the right quite a bit. ( Before the rack replacement the
> > car tracked straight as an arrow) It seems that this would indicate
> > that the RH wheel is still pointing towards a right turn. So I added
> > another turn/thread to move the front of the RH wheel left a bit
> > more....but it still pulls to the right, can't really tell any
> > improvement.
> > I know I really need to have it aligned professionally, but there
> > isn't money right now. So I am hoping there is some make-do procedure
> > I can improvise to get it close enough that I won't wear out the tire
> > in 500 miles. Ideas?

>
> There is a rough and ready way:
>
> If you got the steering wheel shaft located on the rack/pinion correctly,
> the wheel will not need removing. Some splines have a blank strip which
> makes it impossible to locate the steering shaft out of correct position.
>
> Wind both outer (usually) tierods so the front wheels move equally

*inwards*
> towrds the vehicle centreline. Do this is small amounts, say one turn of

the
> tierod each side. Then take it for a slow drive. Once the roads wheels are
> toeing IN, the front of the vehicle will rise slightly-do this at crawling
> speed on a road which is not busy-once you note the front has started to
> rise, you then wind off the toe-in, 1/3 or so of a turn at a time until

the
> front of the car no longer rises,..then go 1/4 of a turn more. This means
> the wheels are pretty close to parallel. and the car should track
> reasonabley straight. If it does BUT the steering wheel is off centre-

work
> out which way you need to shift each wheel's tierod *the same amount but

in
> opposite directions* so they remain parallel but will then make the

steering
> wheel move towards its normal straight-ahead position.
>
> Once you get the swing of it, its not hard to do. Remember the tirerods

may
> have reverse threads to each other,..check for that first.


One thing I forgot to add- when you are testing for the slight rise in the
front of the vehicle, you do it on a quiet piece of road, as it takes up to
15 or more yards/metres for the effect to occur, plus you can cancel the
effect by reversing the car, then moving forward again to cause it again.
The theory here, is that a car with both front wheels toed in, the wheels
actually cause the steering and suspension to "pull" or exert an "unloading"
effect on the front wheels. This can be hard to visualise, but it does
happen. Once this effect has been reached, you wind off a little toe-in at a
time till the front stops doing it, then a little more (1/4 turn) to ensure
the toe has gone to parallel (no toe).
There are other ways of setting your own caster and camber but these are
preset or unadjustable in many strut front-ends.

Jason


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Old 03 Dec 2006, 03:09 am   #5 (permalink)
sqdancerLynn
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Default Re: How to adjust Camry wheel alignment?

Make a wide chalk mark all the way around the center of the tire tread.
Make a fixture to hold a nail? against the tire & rotate the tire leaving
a very thin line on the tread Measure the distance in front & in the
rear get them close to same measurement & it will enable you to drive to
an alignment shop

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