Wheel Alignment

Formula Vee Wheel AlignmentHi, this time I’ll cover a basic Formula Vee wheel alignment. This will use the string method which is the only practical method you can use at a race track.

Firstly you need to get something that you can tie string to that has a height roughly at the axle height of the car. Two bars with pins the same distance apart set up on car stands will do. The idea here is to set two parallel strings either side of the car and have the car set up with its centerline parallel to the strings. When you measure from the string to the car you won’t have the same measurement front to rear, but side to side will be – the measurement from the front axle to the string may be 100mm but the rear may be 90mm.

Providing that the string in front of and behind the car is the same distance apart, and both sides at the front axle are the same and both sides at the rear axle are the same, then the car should be parallel inside the „box”. Depending on the type of rear suspension you have, you?ll need fairly flat ground, but not spirit level flat. For a twin coil over or rear torsion car, you will, but that’s not going to be covered here. Once you’ve got your car straight inside its “box”, you?ll need to set the steering wheel straight ahead and come up with a method to hold it there.

It must be noted that if you are going to adjust camber/caster, you have to do this first. Any time you change camber/ caster (the eccentric not under the top ball joint will do both) on a ball joint front end, toe will change. Measure out from the string to the front of the tyre, and then from the rear of the front tyre to the string. If those measurements are 95 mm at the front and 100 mm at the rear on the left hand side, for example, then that side has 5 mm toe out.

Repeat the same for the remaining three corners and adjust according to the settings required. Noted again that I will measure off the tyre, NOT the rim. The rim?s straightness will depend on how many curbs it has hit, and some of the rims I see look like the car has been dropped off a building (sorry guys!). Small deviations in the rim will affect your alignment. However, the tyre will tend to even itself out better than the rim. This is just a basic reference as to the method of checking toe in/toe out. What you set things to will depend on the manufacturers settings.

Grab the spanners and have a go.