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Old 09-08-2020, 11:23 AM   #1
Bob Bidonde
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Default Toe-In Lesson Learned

My local Model "A" club recently had a wheel alignment clinic. Of the several Model "A's" participating, some were new restorations, some were "A's" with recently overhauled front ends and some were experienced cars built for touring. Every one of the cars that had its toe-in adjusted via the OEM way using string, sticks and or chains failed to have the correct toe-in when checked with a toe-in machine. One car recently adjusted with the OEM method had 8 degrees toe-in!
In the case of my Model "A," I adjusted the toe-in using a modern machine 2 years ago. Having driven it a few thousand miles since, the steering centers nicely and runs straight with hands-off the wheel. Tire wear is normal.

The bottom line for me is the OEM technique is for ball parking only. Have your car checked with a modern alignment machine.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:01 PM   #2
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

Interesting! I’ve done both ways, mostly oem. Never had bad wear!
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:29 PM   #3
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

What does 8* toe in equal??
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

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What does 8* toe in equal??
Paul in CT
Good question since most of us use inches when measuring toe-in.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

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Good question since most of us use inches when measuring toe-in.
Better question is how many degrees of toe-in, when measured on a modern machine, is equal to Ford's original spec of 1/16" +/-1/32"?

Then, if we take a Model A to a shop with modern machine, what do we set it to?

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Old 09-08-2020, 02:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

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What ever that shop thinks! Most haven't seen an model A? Some shops can't do moderns ( 2014 VW ) one guy that use to do my Ford trucks was great now retired, he stated bending a ford axle you need to bend it more as they will settle back.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

Yah' something is fishy with the measure of 8 degrees toe in??? If that angle is suppose to be a measure of the wheel angle relative to the vehicle centerline, 8 degrees would equate to 3.9 inches of toe-in. If the 8 deg is the measure from wheel to wheel then half that or 1.9 inches of toe -in, still ????

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Old 09-08-2020, 05:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

Depends where and how the toe is measured , 6" up from the floor, center line of the hub/spindle, etc. ? Can the tires out of round contribute to false readings ?
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

I adjusted my toe in with a home-made trammel to 1/16th inch. Then took it to a laser alignment place who do the clubs Model A's and my alignment was perfect. They also checked front to rear alignment, castor and camber etc.
I cannot see how toe in can be wrong if done carefuly by measurement, as long as the weight is on the wheels, the car is pushed forwards to bring the same measurement point on the wheels from front to the rear and the height at which the measurement is made is correct according to the Ford method.
My wife's Tudor was set by a laser machine after an accident repair. When I got it back I measured and found 1/8th toe in. I changed it to 1/16 using my trammel.
Both cars have radial tyres and steer nicely.
Can someone offer an explanation of how the two methods of measurement can differ if both are carried out correctly. The laser method obviously can measure smaller increments due to the magnification the beam gives, but 1/ 32nd accuracy is easily seen by eye on a trammel.
SAJ in NZ

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Old 09-08-2020, 05:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

On most of the prewar cars that I've had, I do the toe-in like this:

1.
Roll forward and park onto some reasonably level (planar) ground.

2.
Lay a section of straight pipe (like plumbing pipe of something similar) against the front wheels, a few inches off the ground (I usually set the pipe on jack stands). The pipe must extend a foot or two past the sides of each wheel. The pipe is now only touching the tire treads.

3.
Sometimes its helpful to bungee cord the pipe against the front tires.

4.
Use a carpenters square and lay it against the sides of the front wheels, and against the pipe. The carpenters square must be large enough to reach across the entire diameter of the tire.

5.
Adjust the toe-in until just a little bit of toe-in is achieved. How much? Just a little...you'll see below why the 'exact' amount of tow-in is not so critical.

6.
Now roll the car backwards and forwards by several feet. Many times the toe-in will change a little from where you first thought it was.

7.
Check and adjust the toe-in again until you're satisfied it's where you want it to be.

8.
Drive the car. Based on the handling, you decide it you want just a bit more toe-in. If so, no need to get the pipe out again...just adjust the toe-in a little bit, then drive it again and see how it does.

9.
Don't forget to check your tire wear over time. Avoid too much toe-in to help save your tire tread.

A COUPLE OF QUICK NOTES:

Tires are rarely even. You may think your car has an alignment issue, but your tires may be trying to fool you.

Model A rims can be notoriously uneven. Keep this mind so you dont go crazy.


.
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

I did mine with a tape measure, then put it on a 4-wheel laser machine......the old way was right on the money.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

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I did mine with a tape measure, then put it on a 4-wheel laser machine......the old way was right on the money.
OK, so when you put it on the laser machine, what numbers came out?

Worth knowing.

.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:45 AM   #13
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

Measuring 1/32" to 1/16" between front wheels and or tires makes no sense to me as both the wheels and tires usually have run-outs more than 1/16". The Model "A" that was 8 degrees out needed 4 turns of the tie rod to get back into spec.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Toe-In Lesson Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
Measuring 1/32" to 1/16" between front wheels and or tires makes no sense to me as both the wheels and tires usually have run-outs more than 1/16". The Model "A" that was 8 degrees out needed 4 turns of the tie rod to get back into spec.
What is the "spec" that you adjust the wheels to? Is it degrees? What is that number?

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