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Ok,

I have a 1990 Miata, a few weeks ago my tie rod snapped out of my steering rack. I had to put a new rod in and all and messed my alignment on the front up bad.

I was trying to align the car pretty good, but I just cant. The right tie rod is screwed in as far as it goes, and still is off, what can I do?? :?: The camber on the front wheels is also off. The rear they are sticking out, front in (I forget which is + and - ).

Any tips on do it yourself alignment. I have all the time to spend on it. I want to get it pretty nice. It is a track/autocross/drift/daily, etc car. Biggest concern now is the toe of the front wheels. It pulls to the right, like I said one screw on tie rod is all the way other is not, want to try and even it out! It is a mess! Thanks!!!!

Simon
 

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Whelp, I'm sure you've heard this already...but a professional alignment is definitely the way to go.

I work as a technician full time and do numerous alignments a day, and I just can't see how a DIY alignment at home without the right machinery can beat one used with the latest Hunter or Jim Bean (or equivalent) equipment.

I can try to give you a few tips though -

Toe in can be explained as toe where the edge of the tire towards the front of the car is pointing inward, towards the engine.

Toe out is exactly the opposite.

When adjusting toe, make sure the steering wheel is held in place at the center position as tight as possible. Any change in the steering wheel is going to change your toe measurements. Try to rig up something that is static - a human holding the wheel will not be stiff enough.


Even the SLIGHTEST turn on the outer tie rod can make a huge difference. This is mainly the reason why I suggest having it done at a shop, but if you don't have a screen to look at giving you real-time measurements, stop and check to see how much toe in or out you have given the wheel after each adjustment.

After tightening the nut on the outer tie rod, your adjustment will probably change. Check and make sure it's where you intend it to be with watever method you're using to measure toe.

As far as camber and caster goes - try setting the camber so that the eccentric cam points in equivalent directions. To explain a little further, if the left camber bolt (use the lines at the bolt head as reference) points at 9 o'clock, try setting the right bolt at 3 o'clock.

Caster can cause a pull if the left and right sides are unequal. Most aggressive alignments strive for maximum negative caster adjustment (forward when looking at the side of the vehicle). Try measuring from a set point on the fender to the center of the hub on both sides to ensure that they're equal.

That's all I can really think of right now - I'm sure there's more but I've never tried to do an alignment by DIY methods, so if you have any questions I can try to answer whatever I didn't cover.

If it helps, I know that if you came into the shop I work at as a customer and had custom specs, I wouldn't have a problem setting your alignment as long as you understood it would take a little longer.
 
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