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  • Front End Alignment Information

    This article was supplied by Mike V and was copied from the Model A dykes manual

    image.png
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    I will be adding much more info here which includes using a computerized alignment system

    Thanks to BNCHIEF for your help on getting this going!
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks to you for bringing this into sunshine if ya know what I mean.

      Comment


      • Mitch
        Mitch commented
        Editing a comment

    • #4
      Something I have to dissagree with on the alignment procedure is measuring against the sidewall of the tire. All tires and or wheels are NOT perfect. Therefore a center line must be scribed in about the center of each tire and used for the comparison front to back. Scribing the line needs to be done by rotating the tire by hand while holding a pointed object against the tire.

      Mitch didn't I see a picture showing the alignment bar in another post?

      Comment


      • #5
        Your point sounds valid dennis but if the tire and or wheel are not true would the centerline be that accurate? Computer alignment on the other hand will check the tracking and the alignment of all four tires. Now I am no expert and probably talking out my backside just my thoughts. Gee i like good discussions like this.

        Comment


        • Dennis
          Dennis commented
          Editing a comment
          Center line will be accurate as long as the point or scriber isn't moved while turning the tire.

      • #6
        If one has a flat garage floor, we've had good luck with a simple wood gauge made with 2 vertical small 1x1 posts mounted to a solid base across the width of car.. The posts extend from floor to as close to center line of tires and center line of spindle /hub as possible.. Put masking tape on tires cl and mark with felt pen at tire rear. Mark gauge posts at same time to align with tires marks at tape on tires. Then push car back and see where tape marks are after moving gauge to check front. Adjust tie rod to get the 1/16" dim. as in the MikeV article. The vendors now sell gauges which we didn't have in the "old days" and couldn't find alignment shops friendly to old cars..
        One trick also is to get front wheels in dead straight -on position. We use straight 2x's from front to rear wheels similar to tracks shown in Ford assembly line photos. Not sure this is as accurate as modern alignment tools but haven't seen tire scuffing after many years.

        Comment


        • Terry, NJ
          Terry, NJ commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm indebted to MikeK and Mitch for posting that! However, as a practical matter, I still don't know whether or not the wheels should be on the ground or up in the air. The are arguments to be made for both or either positions. When the wheels are on the ground, the weight of the vehicle holds them in place and you might "Overadjust"to accommodate this lack of movement, while up in the air, one may seem to be under adjusting because of the motion being free-er. So....What to do?
          Terry

        • Mitch
          Mitch commented
          Editing a comment
          Terry
          “Toe in” is always measured with the wheels on the ground. No matter how you adjust it, you’ll need to double check the toe after.

        • BillLee/Chandler, TX
          BillLee/Chandler, TX commented
          Editing a comment
          A simple procedure: I have Firestone tires which have a straight groove in the center of the tread. Using a plumb bob, I drop a plumb from that groove to the floor and put a mark there. Repeat at the rear of the tire and again front and back on the other tire. A tape measure to measure the marks on the floor is all that's needed.

          Now a question: the specifications for toe alignment are stated (above as an example). Are these dimensions at the outer edge of the tire? Or at the outer edge of the rims? Or somewhere else?

        • Mitch
          Mitch commented
          Editing a comment
          Bill it does not matter, as long as your measuring from the same spots you'll get your toe reading

      • #7
        It's called a rolling compensation
        Once the 4 heads are placed on the wheels the vehicle gets rolled about 6" onto the turn plates. This allows the machine to compensate for wheel runout.

        You do not have permission to view this gallery.
        This gallery has 3 photos.
        3 ~ Tudor's
        Henry Ford said
        "It's all nuts and bolts"


        Mitch's Auto Service ctr

        Comment


        • #8
          2-Tooth Steering Gear Specifications


          Turning Radius 17' (34' diameter)

          Steering Gear Ratio 1930-31, 13:1

          Steering Wheel Diameter 1930-31, 17"

          Pitman Arm Length 6-7/8" hole center to ball center

          Ball End Angle to Shaft 14°
          Sector Shaft Bearing Clearance .001"-.002







          7-Tooth Steering Gear Specifications


          Turning Radius 17' (34' diameter)

          Steering Gear Ratio 1928-29, 11-1/4:1

          Steering Wheel Diameter 1928-29, 17-1/2"

          Pitman Arm Length 6-7/8" hole center to ball center

          Ball End Angle to Shaft 14°

          Sector Shaft Bearing Clearance .001"-.002"
          3 ~ Tudor's
          Henry Ford said
          "It's all nuts and bolts"


          Mitch's Auto Service ctr

          Comment


          • #9
            Modern alignment machine 101


            This is a tutorial on how we do alignments using a Hunter alignment system. The same process can be applied to the Model A. Of course there is no bar code to scan, so I have a preset manually entered program for doing them.



            Here are a couple pics of the machine



            alignment3.jpg


            alignment4.jpg


            These heads go on all 4 wheels. They have special stickers on them which tells the machine actual wheel position. The infra red cameras on the overhead adjustable boom transmit the data to the computer.

            alignment1.jpgalignment2.jpg


            Once the heads are mounted securely on all 4 wheels we do a forward rolling compensation. As you see the tire is approx 6 inches before the turntables. The idea is to roll the car by hand to the center of the table. This tells the machine wheel runout, toe in, etc. Shown here are the pics just before the rolling comp and the ready screen.


            alignment5.jpgalignment6.jpgalignment7.jpg


            Next we scan the bar code which inputs all the pertinent information into the computer. Year, make, Model, alignment specs.

            alignment8.jpgalignment9.jpg


            Next we install a lock bar on the brake pedal and chock the wheels

            alignment10.jpgalignment11.jpg

            Then we remove the lock pins on the turntables and do a caster sweep. The machine shows you which way to turn the wheel and how much..


            alignment12.jpgalignment13.jpg


            Once the caster sweep is complete the machine shows you the actual readings. On this particular car the camber is within the allowable spec. The center black notch on the bar graphs are the perfect setting for this car. This machine is so sensitive that the difference to center the reading is mi-newt. The caster on the l/f wheel is 4.2 positive just a hair out of spec. that is why it's red. The camber and caster on this car is non adjustable. To make adjustments optional kits would need to be installed. As you see the toe in is way wacked out. the front wheels are toed out by looking at the two bottom bar graphs. So now we are going to set the toe in to specs. First you center the steering wheel and lock that setting into the machine using a wireless remote. Then the machine prompts us to first adjust the r/s tie rod and then the left. When adjusting each tie rod the goal is to get it centered on the bar graph.


            alignment15.jpgalignment16.jpgalignment17.jpgalignment18.jpgalignment19.jpg


            Now we start the car and check that when the steering wheel is centered, and that we're at the middle of the bar graph....

            This is a quick tutorial on how to use this system. There are more advanced things here such as jacking up the wheel and making caster / camber adjustments while watching the actual readings. The machine also tells us what tools are needed to make all the adjustments.

            Sure beats a shower curtain

            Attached Files
            3 ~ Tudor's
            Henry Ford said
            "It's all nuts and bolts"


            Mitch's Auto Service ctr

            Comment


            • #10
              And this is the only way to align your car especially if you just forked out big bucks for radial tires, do your best alignment with your old tried and true method and then put it on a machine, you will be surprised.

              Comment


              • #11
                Studio_20180511_204709.png
                http://jmodela.coffeecup.com

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                • #12
                  Thanks Jim that is a wealth of information.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Toe in adjustment option!

                    I put a piece of masking tape on the front of each tire, then use a ball point pen to draw an X on each piece of tape. Measure the distance between the X's, then roll the car forward until the X's can be measured on the backside, just below the frame. Since you are now measuring the same spot of the tire and wheel, any bend in the wheel or tire will not affect the measurement. Since this measurement is a bit further from the center of the wheel compared to Ford's measurement, I add a little to the toe in. Ford called for 1/16", and I shoot for 3/32". My car handles and steers great this way.

                    Since setting my toe in I have since bought a Snap On toe in bar to measure toe in, just as Ford measured it.

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                    • #14
                      Toe in adjustment option!

                      Nothing sophisticated about how I check toe-in. I jack up each tire and scribe a line. I roll the car back and forward and then set the long tool so the pointers match the lines scribed. I take it around to the back side of the tires and compare scribe to the pointers. I then make an adjustment to the tie rod and you don't have to turn it much. I take my adjustable tool out and roll the car back and forth. I reset the pointers on the front again and compare to the rear. After repeating the steps until I get the desired toe-in, check all of the fasteners on the tie rod, go fo a test drive and coast back in straight. Recheck comparing front to rear of tires to be sure I have desired toe-in and done. You must roll the car back and forth each time you adjust the tie rod or you get an inaccurate reading. Most all of the materials I used are from leftover metal from other projects of the past. I think I posted this a long time ago but I couldn't find it.

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                      • #15
                        Toe in adjustment option!

                        Accurate Wood Toe-In Measuring Tool:
                        Wrote this years ago for making an accurate Wood Model A Toe-In Tool for precise toe-in measurements within thousandths of an inch.

                        (After noticing tire wear, Ford's later changed and later recommended smaller toe-in measurements of only a mere 1/16" toe-in, (0.0625"), with plus or minus 1/32", (0.03125"), which is actually measured in small thousandths of an inch. With this inexpensive tool one does not have to worry about inaccurate measurements with sagging metal tapes, and/or loose play at the metal hooking devices at ends of metal tapes, and/or measuring devices installed at slight angles and not perpendicular to both wheels.)

                        1. Horizontal Spacer Bar: Lay a nominal 1 x 4 or nominal 2 x 4 wood Horizontal Spacer Bar flat on garage floor, (i.e., with 3-1/2" surface in contact with the garage floor), and cut same to a length measured from the out-side to out-side measurement of one's Model A front tires.

                        2. Pair Vertical 6" High Studs: Cut two (2), 1 x 4's or two (2), 2 x 4's with both lengths such that when placed vertically on top of the aforementioned flat Horizontal Space Bar, the tops of both vertical studs measure six (6) inches above the garage floor per Ford's measured toe-in height recommendations. (**)

                        3.. Assembly: Working from the bottom side of the Horizontal Spacer Bar, securely fasten the Horizontal Spacer Bar to the bottoms of the two (2) vertical studs with nails or screws such that when the two (2) vertically positioned 3-1/2" wide stud surfaces are approximately centered on both tires, and in contact with the front widths of both tires, the tops of both studs are 6" above the garage floor.

                        4. Two (2) Inch Wide Removable Masking Tape: Place one piece of approximately four (4) inch long masking tape on the tops of both vertical studs, and place one (1) piece of approximately four (4) inch long tape on the front tire widths of both front tires, with the approximate center of each piece of tire tape centered six (6) inches above the garage floor, and centered on the front widths of both front tires.

                        5. Marking Tire Tape with Sharp Pencil: At 6" above the garage floor, place pencil in near horizontal position above the tops of both vertical studs and draw a 6" high horizontal line across the tape adhered to each tire, followed by drawing a short vertical line at the approximate center of both front tires, where each final mark on each tire will resemble an inverted tee with the horizontal bottom line drawn at 6" above the garage floor.

                        6. Marking Top of Stud Tape with Sharp Pencil: On the tops of both stud masking tapes, draw a perpendicular line, (marked front to rear), to line up with both front tire vertical lines.

                        7. Adjusting and/or Verifying Toe-In Measurement: After all very sharp pencil marks are provided on masking tape at front of Model A, roll Model A forward, place toe-in tool at rear of front tires to where the desired vertical line distances, (toe-in distance), can be measured and compared at rear at the same Ford recommended 6" above the garage floor.

                        8. Final Adjustment: If toe-in adjustment is required, (in or out), erase pencil markings on tops of tape on only on tops of studs, and adjust tie rod accordingly, and re-verify toe-in at rear of tires.

                        (**) Cutting tops of both vertical studs at a slight angle, (almost perpendicular to the tire circumference), helps to more accurately mark and read pencil marks provided on tape adhered to both tops of studs and tape provided on both tires.

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                        • #16
                          From Ford service school:


                          filedata/fetch?id=105498&d=1554127774&type=thumbfiledata/fetch?id=105492&d=1554082781&type=thumbfiledata/fetch?id=105493&d=1554127773&type=thumbfiledata/fetch?id=105494&d=1554127773&type=thumbfiledata/fetch?id=105495&d=1554127773&type=thumb
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                          This gallery has 5 photos.
                          http://jmodela.coffeecup.com

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                          • #17
                            Toe in Adjustment option!

                            I made this fixture to set mine and I use the straight pin method instead of the line around the tire. My setup is pretty much the same as Dennis.


                            ADDITIONAL INFO
                            https://www.vintagefordforum.com/for...611#post106611



                            DSC06541.JPGDSC06538.JPGDSC06544.JPG
                            Attached Files

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                            • #18
                              A nice thread on Caster Measurements

                              Original Thread



                              Les Andrews book and other literature describes methods for checking the caster angle, but not where along the axle length. Should the angle be measured closer to the wheels, near the spring perches ?

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                            • #19
                              Duby toe in gauge info
                              3 ~ Tudor's
                              Henry Ford said
                              "It's all nuts and bolts"


                              Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                              Comment

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