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Steering Alignment (with Correct Data in Post 1)

I'm starting a new thread because it's almost impossible to follow the 'Sticky' above on "Tyre Wear Issues" There's now 905 posts in the sticky with about 3 contributions on the data you need. David C tries very hard to contribute but the whole thread is dragged down by tyre selection comments.

Anyway, I found the setting should now be Minus 2' +/- 5' per wheel (double for total Toe Out) or as David C keeps saying "set it to Zero" (the old settings for a TI were 7' +/- 4' per wheel)

Below is the print out from my alignment setting today. But there is a story.

I told them that there were new settings and handed them my information. They said not to worry as they had received the latest software and proceded to unwrap the package and load it on the computer. When I examined it with them the available models were very old. No mention of TI Spec. No mention of the TBi engine. Nothing for the new 2.0 litre diesel. So, unsurprisingly, the settings were still the old.

So they set up a manual intervention as a cross between mine and the auto settings for the rest.

So I now have absolute zero on the front and +13' per side on the rear. You will see that the 'before' readings showed a massive -23' on the nearside front.

Slightly worrying is the off-side camber readings. The spec sheet showed the TI should have Minus 61' +/- 18' on the front and Minus 63' +/- 18' on the rear. Mine finished up with Minus 101' front and 121' rear. The nearsides are just about the tolerance. So I'll have to do some more investigation. I'm not sure if the front is even adjustable.

Any views?
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File Type: jpg Alignment2.jpg (60.6 KB, 2134 views)

Last edited by paul.o; 11-09-13 at 20:44.
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Chris - well done - the original issue of the affect of geometry on wear had been swamped by indivdual opinions on the merits of different tyres.

Following on from David C's comments, for my 159 Lusso SW 2.4, as soon as I got home after collecting it, I reset the front to 0.00' and based on my own experience set the rear to 0.20' in and increased the rear camber to 0.45' negative. The first set of tyres lasted 25,000 (and would have done more except for an irrepairable puncture) and had a perfect wear pattern, despite running lower than recommended tyre pressures. The only general comment that I can make is the perhaps the 225/50x17 have a slightly more rounded profile, which helps balance out the wear pattern as compared with 18" or 19".
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I have a 159 2.4 Q4. The back tyres are wearing perfectly evenly, but the two fronts are scrubbing off the inner edge. The previous owner had the car set to the settings listed below, or at least they were set to these settings 2 years ago, but I understand that they were set to the settings below because the car was being "aggressive" on tyres.

I can't say that I particularly understand what "thrust line" is, but do these settings look original or not, and in what way do they differ to the new "recommended settings?"


NSF
Camber 1* 20 neg
Caster 4* 20 pos

OSF
Camber 1* 40 neg
Caster 3* 20 pos

Front axle "Total toe 0.5mm neg"

NSR
Camber1* 30 neg
Thrust line 4.5

OSR
Camber 1* 30 neg
Thrust line 5.2

Rear axle "Total toe" 3mm pos

Sorry to be a bit of a retard.

I did try and set it out in a more user friendly format, but I lost the nearside settings.

Last edited by AlfaReggie52; 09-02-11 at 05:11.
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The thrust line is basically a measurement of the 'stagger' of the rear wheels. Or another way, whether one wheel is further forward than the other.

The important thing from your data is the front toe out which is the OLD setting. 0.5mm is about 8 minutes of toe out (it varies by the size of the wheel because 0.5 mm on the edge of a 16 inch rim is quite different to a 19 inch rim)

The correct reading should be -2 min +/- 5 min (in Degrees). The equivalent (in measurement of the rim at the front edge and rear edge ) for a 17 inch rim, is about -0.5mm +/- 1.2mm. [Edited from -0.3mm +/- 0.7mm to correct conversion from decimal degrees]

Better to go to a place that measures in degrees. And if you want a better way of expressing it to them just tell them to "set it to Zero"

Your rear readings look good.

Last edited by Old Engineer; 09-02-11 at 18:40. Reason: Formula used Decimal Degrees rather than Degrees and Minutes
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Chris Nason wrote;The correct reading should be -2 min +/- 5 min (in Degrees). The equivalent (in measurement of the rim at the front edge and rear edge ) for a 17 inch rim, is about -0.3mm +/- 0.7mm.


Would this measurement be different for a 19" rim as mine are?

So bascally I just have to go to somewhere that can do acurate tracking and ask for "zero toe" on the front wheels?
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Slight correction - thrust angle is when the average toe angle of the rear wheels is not straight ahead.

I always work in degrees andm inutes as it aovids compensating for rim diameter.

I do my own alignment, but seem to recall that there is a website for independent specialists - Google suspension alignment or similar. For those in the midlands, Centre of Gravity has a good reputation, and a bit further south there is Power Station at Tewkesbury.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaReggie52 View Post
Chris Nason wrote;The correct reading should be -2 min +/- 5 min (in Degrees). The equivalent (in measurement of the rim at the front edge and rear edge ) for a 17 inch rim, is about -0.3mm +/- 0.7mm.


Would this measurement be different for a 19" rim as mine are?

So bascally I just have to go to somewhere that can do acurate tracking and ask for "zero toe" on the front wheels?
I'll send you the 19 inch figure later but as above it's really Zero. Use degrees and you get an accurate setting because it's measured over a greater distance so small errors are easier to see. Here's a good link on explanations

DIY alignment - Ludicrous-Speed
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Myself, GTleigh and quite a lot of my AROC buddies have had our cars set up by Peter Cambridge, the ex-Prodrive chassis guru behind the Brera S project as well as lots of their racing products.

Not only do the cars steer better, tyre wear is great too.

GTleigh's Brera on ContiSportContact2's has done over 20k since set up (Brera 3.2 Q4 Qtronic) and this includes the Oulton event & the Centenary 20 passes drive through Europe.

Each set up is bespoke as factory tolerances can be bizarre and uses the latest Hunter camera & laser set up.

117 well spent IMHO

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Hi Squadrone Rosso
I am thinking about a trip to the Guru but I'll need to book a day out.

For the moment I have the wheels pointing in the right direction but I am concerned about my Camber. Both Off-Side wheels are well out and I know only the rear is adjustable.

I'm thinking that the front sub frame is located with bolts that will sit in holes that have some clearance (for assembling the bolts). It may be possible to slacken off the bolts and then pre-stress the sub frame to the nearside before retightening.

This should take some of the negative camber away from the offside and increase it on the nearside.

I need some more time looking at the fixings
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Is this also an issue on 16 inch wheels?

Thanks in advance.

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The settings for different Rim Sizes. My posting above was wrong (now edited) because I was working with 'decimal degrees' rather than 'Degrees & Minutes' (60 minutes to a degree).

So 2 Mins +/- 5 Mins is 0.033 Decimal Degrees +/- 0.083 Decimal Degrees or these measurements at the edge of the rim...

19 Inch 0.56mm +/- 1.4mm
18 Inch 0.53mm +/- 1.3mm
17 Inch 0.50mm +/- 1.2mm
16 Inch 0.47mm +/- 1.1mm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaReggie52 View Post
I have a 159 2.4 Q4. The back tyres are wearing perfectly evenly, but the two fronts are scrubbing off the inner edge. The previous owner had the car set to the settings listed below, or at least they were set to these settings 2 years ago, but I understand that they were set to the settings below because the car was being "aggressive" on tyres.

Front axle "Total toe 0.5mm neg"
Having now corrected my error your settings don't look as bad. Probably they were trying to reduce the Toe-Out to the new figure. I would still go for zero and you have to take into account that a pot hole or 2 in the last 2 years may have pushed your settings out.
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Chirs, I did notice that the camber settings were biased to one side of the car - I do hope that the floor was level. I once had my hill climb car set up by a 'recognised' expert, and when parked in the paddock it was obvious that the rear cambers were wrong - and after some less than gentle probing, that was the reason. I borrowed a friends garage, which has a perfectly level floor, and was able to reset it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George K View Post
Chirs, I did notice that the camber settings were biased to one side of the car - I do hope that the floor was level. I once had my hill climb car set up by a 'recognised' expert, and when parked in the paddock it was obvious that the rear cambers were wrong - and after some less than gentle probing, that was the reason. I borrowed a friends garage, which has a perfectly level floor, and was able to reset it.
It was on a car hoist (which I hope was put in level and has both sides square). They did put the car on gently and then push it backwards and forwards to settle the tyres.

Anybody got views on fixing the front camber?
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Chris Nason wrote;"Having now corrected my error your settings don't look as bad. Probably they were trying to reduce the Toe-Out to the new figure. I would still go for zero and you have to take into account that a pot hole or 2 in the last 2 years may have pushed your settings out. "

The wear on mine is quite severe on a small band on the iner edge, but as you say, it may have been knocked out of alignment.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Hey people, I have a 2008 model Alfa 159 150bhp. It's on 17 inch wheels. I had to change tyres recently. The outer and middle were fine the inside of both were worn away to nothing. Can anybody tell me the correct settings for this. Thanking you in advance guys. Gonna be a pain changing tyres every 12000 kilometres!!!!
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Originally Posted by tomd1131 View Post
Hey people, I have a 2008 model Alfa 159 150bhp. It's on 17 inch wheels. I had to change tyres recently. The outer and middle were fine the inside of both were worn away to nothing. Can anybody tell me the correct settings for this. Thanking you in advance guys. Gonna be a pain changing tyres every 12000 kilometres!!!!
As above in my post. Set to -2 Mins +/- 5 Mins. Setting by degrees means you don't have to worry about the size of your rims.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Nason View Post
As above in my post. Set to -2 Mins +/- 5 Mins. Setting by degrees means you don't have to worry about the size of your rims.
To be honest, I don't understand what the following means: -2 Mins +/- 5 Mins, and what I am supposed to say to alignment guy.

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To be honest, I don't understand what the following means: -2 Mins +/- 5 Mins, and what I am supposed to say to alignment guy.

Cona
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The setting is the angle of the front wheels and is headed by a minus sign to indicate Toe-Out rather than Toe-In.

The 'Mins' Indicates Minutes and is the sub-division of a degree. There are 60 Minutes in each degree. So "-2 Mins" is 2 60ths of a degree Toe-Out.

Then the final part is the tolerance "+/-" indicates Plus or Minus. And this measurement is 5 60ths of a degree

Therefore the wheels can be set at anything between Minus 7 Minutes to Plus 3 Minutes.

When you go to the alignment guy he is likely to tell you what's on his machine which will be the old setting of Minus 8 Minutes (or 7 for the TI). Your best bet is to tell him to "set it to Zero".

By the way, these settings are per wheel. The total Toe-Out is double the above. But most machines work on each wheel (and give you the additional information of what the total Toe-Out is, as in my image above)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Nason View Post
Cona
The setting is the angle of the front wheels and is headed by a minus sign to indicate Toe-Out rather than Toe-In.

The 'Mins' Indicates Minutes and is the sub-division of a degree. There are 60 Minutes in each degree. So "-2 Mins" is 2 60ths of a degree Toe-Out.

Then the final part is the tolerance "+/-" indicates Plus or Minus. And this measurement is 5 60ths of a degree

Therefore the wheels can be set at anything between Minus 7 Minutes to Plus 3 Minutes.

When you go to the alignment guy he is likely to tell you what's on his machine which will be the old setting of Minus 8 Minutes (or 7 for the TI). Your best bet is to tell him to "set it to Zero".

By the way, these settings are per wheel. The total Toe-Out is double the above. But most machines work on each wheel (and give you the additional information of what the total Toe-Out is, as in my image above)
Dear Chris,


Thanks a lot, I get it now.

As I am driving 16 inch wheels, I won't complicate things and will follow your advice and set it to zero.


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At risk of sounding really stupid should the caster angle be looked at at the same time? Surely the caster angle has an effect on the wear as well?

I've spoken to a company today who does laser alignment They suggested that I get all four wheels aligned even though the back tyres are wearing OK. They said that they need to do the back wheels as they are a reference point for the front wheels...........and then went on to say that they were prepared to track just the front wheels if I want.

Any advice?

Thanks for the detailed explanation above. I was in the same position as Cona.
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Four wheel Alignment is best. If your back wheels are not pointing in the same direction you will find that the front alignment will be compromised.

Having said that the rears are much more likely to retain their settings when hitting potholes. So for me it's still good to set the fronts to the new settings.

If you look at mine (in the image above) you'll see I had Plus 18Mins on the Left and Plus 8Mins on the right. The total Toe-In of 26Mins was perfect; it just needed to be better proportioned to 13Mins each side.

Having done that they could set the steering wheel to a perfect angle and then see which way each front wheel was pointing. Mine was Minus 23Mins on the left and Plus 4Mins on the right.

If I had just sorted out the front I would have found that the steering wheel would have needed a slight rotation clockwise to keep the car straight on the road from the crabbing rear.

As far as caster and camber are concerned I don't think the front end is adjustable (but I await superior knowledge here)
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I'm in a similar position, going in for 4 new Conti's on Thursday, inner 2cm on both fronts is almost down to the reinforcement, rears have worn OK. Do I just ask for the fronts to be set to zero toe-in?
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I'm in a similar position, going in for 4 new Conti's on Thursday, inner 2cm on both fronts is almost down to the reinforcement, rears have worn OK. Do I just ask for the fronts to be set to zero toe-in?
Absolutely. Just ask for "Zero"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squadrone Rosso View Post
Myself, GTleigh and quite a lot of my AROC buddies have had our cars set up by Peter Cambridge, the ex-Prodrive chassis guru behind the Brera S project as well as lots of their racing products.

Not only do the cars steer better, tyre wear is great too.

GTleigh's Brera on ContiSportContact2's has done over 20k since set up (Brera 3.2 Q4 Qtronic) and this includes the Oulton event & the Centenary 20 passes drive through Europe.

Each set up is bespoke as factory tolerances can be bizarre and uses the latest Hunter camera & laser set up.
Juts booked a session with Peter next week. I finally cracked after Simon's regular gushing and the fact that I'm close to Warwick on business next week...

It's double the price of getting it done locally but even with all the info here I remain too confused to feel happy going in and telling someone at an alignment centre what to do and I really like the idea of getting it done by someone who has worked so closely with these cars.
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