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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
You replace your inner or outer tie rod end, or perhaps some other part that can affect the wheel alignment, so then when you take your CRV (or other car) on a test drive, you realise that something is really wrong, the car does not want to go straight, and jerks the steering wheel around... You phone the auto shop, who tell you that you need an alignment, but you do not have the time, or perhaps they do not have an opening, but you need to go somewhere...
Well I have good news for you, you can do a quickie alignment YOURSELF!

The only tools you need for a CRV is two wrenches, fishing line, and some rope or something to hold the steering wheel!

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Steering wheel Mini SUV

First you use the rope and tie the steering wheel in a straight position, you can use other things, but I used a rope, this is very important though. (if you have a patient helper you can have them hold the wheel straight too =D)

Land vehicle Tire Alloy wheel Vehicle Car


You then tie a string to the back tyre, making sure that the string is only resting on the rubber of the tire, then running the string to the front tyre, making sure that the string is not resting on anything else, but only on the tire, you go to the front and pull tight, slowly moving the string to the tire. You then can see which direction the alignment is out, if there is a gap on the front of the tyre you will have to adjust the front of the tire out, if the gap is on the back of the tyre you will have to go the other way. ( The next photo will explain a bit more about that)


Auto part Pipe Fuel line


Then you go underneath the front and loosen the nut indicated by the red arrow. Then to adjust the alignment you turn the shaft of the inner tie rod end (indicated by the white arrow) if the gap on the string was on the front of the tyre then you will turn the shaft counter clockwise, and vice-versa for a gap on the back side of the tyre. After you adjust it then be sure to tighten that nut up real tight so that it does not go out of alignment, and then you do the same thing on the other side.

Ta-Da! you have just finished a quickie African style alignment!

(Note this will not fix either caster or camber problems, but only the "Toe in" or "Toe out" as indicated by the below diagram:)
Automotive design Line art



(Diagram from http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=4<
all other photos are my own)
 

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This is SupercaliAfricalisticexpialidocious! There, we beat the longest word by one.

Thank you. I was hoping you came up with something more exotic though. Like, standing four rhinos each facing one tire. And have them charge the car at the same time. That might fix everything, the toe, caster, camber, judder, shudder etc (because you will be getting a new car, get it?) ;). Hmmm. then you need four rhinos and train them to charge the car, not the owner.

But, this is acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is SupercaliAfricalisticexpialidocious! There, we beat the longest word by one.

Thank you. I was hoping you came up with something more exotic though. Like, standing four rhinos each facing one tire. And have them charge the car at the same time. That might fix everything, the toe, caster, camber, judder, shudder etc (because you will be getting a new car, get it?) ;). Hmmm. then you need four rhinos and train them to charge the car, not the owner.

But, this is acceptable.
Well there are not may Rhinos left... Most of them are poached off =/
And I am not so sure I would want to have them that close to the car... The closest this car has been to them is about 50 meters from only one...
 

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If only the track was equal front and rear... You just opened the cask of Hornets with the string theory... However, if you take into account the difference in track, you can use a straight-edge and make an equal offset to each front wheel. Read the geometry for every vehicle and act sensibly. I have got it right this way without the need for expensive mirrors and bills, but please. Please, take into account the difference in track. Throw the bit of string away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If only the track was equal front and rear... You just opened the cask of Hornets with the string theory... However, if you take into account the difference in track, you can use a straight-edge and make an equal offset to each front wheel. Read the geometry for every vehicle and act sensibly. I have got it right this way without the need for expensive mirrors and bills, but please. Please, take into account the difference in track. Throw the bit of string away!
This is only to show how you can do a temporary front wheel alignment, only to fix toe problems. I would not recommend depending on it, it just makes it where you can drive it.
We will leave ours as is until we can go and get new suspension bushings...
 

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Interesting and innovative ! As the saying goes necessity is the mother of all inventions ! You probably run it over rough terrain quite a lot and would need alignment more often than folks driving on paved roads.
 

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Let me share my temporary alignment procedure. It involves 4 empty soda or beer cans (the not empty beer cans are in the fridge for consumption after the repair) , 1"x2" piece of wood around 3 feet long ( if you have a couple of long levels or straight edge, even better) and a tape measure.

Set 2 cans beside each wheel in the front and place the straight edge on top of the cans so it touches the tires a little above bulge caused by vehicle weight.

Now measure the distance of the front of the straight edge from between the driver side and the passenger side and compare the distance measuring
from the back of the straight edge and adjust accordingly.

But before I remove the tie rod, I measure first the individual length and adjust the new ones accordingly so that alignment would be somewhat close enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Let me share my temporary alignment procedure. It involves 4 empty soda or beer cans (the not empty beer cans are in the fridge for consumption after the repair) , 1"x2" piece of wood around 3 feet long ( if you have a couple of long levels or straight edge, even better) and a tape measure.

Set 2 cans beside each wheel in the front and place the straight edge on top of the cans so it touches the tires a little above bulge caused by vehicle weight.

Now measure the distance of the front of the straight edge from between the driver side and the passenger side and compare the distance measuring
from the back of the straight edge and adjust accordingly.

But before I remove the tie rod, I measure first the individual length and adjust the new ones accordingly so that alignment would be somewhat close enough.
That is also a very good idea! I may try some day!

Interesting and innovative ! As the saying goes necessity is the mother of all inventions ! You probably run it over rough terrain quite a lot and would need alignment more often than folks driving on paved roads.
Yes, that is true! Rough terrain is normal roads here, and so we do an alignment whenever we replace suspension parts (Every couple months or so)
 
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