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Triumph Repair/Steering alignment Triumph TRA IRS

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Question
Howard, I noted your earlier answer giving the factory manual suspension and steering data for this model. The wheel alignment is given as parallel to one sixteenth inch toe in for both front and rear. I do not know where the 1/16" is measured, can you tell me how this figure translates to a degree figure as measured by e.g. the Hunter laser alignment equipment?

many thanks,

Tim Hunt

Answer
Hi Tim,

I was a line mechanic in dealerships from 1960 to the early 70's and in several of the dealerships the mechanics did the alignments. We set everything by the factory specs and they always quote Castor and Camber in degrees and toe-in in inches. I never used Hunter equipment and I never seen toe-in quoted in degrees.

The standard method to set toe-in is to jack the car up and hand spin the wheel while holding a scribe or pencil up against the center of the tire so as to scribe a line in the center of the tire. (the tread can not be used as it is not true enough)

If you have turn tables set the car down on the turn tables and turn the steering wheel right and left and set it straight ahead. (if you don't have a pair of turn tables you can use a couple of plastic garbage bags that you spray the inside with silicone spray or some other spray lube.) Be sure to turn the steering wheel right and left a few times to seat the suspension.

Then set your toe-in gauge to line to line at the front or rear of the tires. If you don't have a toe-in gauge, you can use a long stick or anything long enough and that you can accurately mark on. When you use a stick or such you will need to rest it on two blocks to keep it parallel with the floor. When you set it at the front of the tire on the scribe line the front measurement should be 1/16 in shorter then the measurement of the "line to line" of the rear measurement.

If the specs quote "0" to "1/16 in" I would opt for 1/16 in toe-in because I have tried "0" or straight toe-in and due to the small free play in the steering and suspension on most cars it makes the car wander all over the road. So I like a little toe-in on any car except front wheel drive cars which require "toe-out".

Howard  

Triumph Repair

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Howard M. Fitzcharles III

Expertise

Triumph TR-4 up & Spitfire, and Engine theory

Experience

Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Organizations
Associate member SAE EAA member

Publications
Import Car magazine

Education/Credentials
ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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