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Old 12-10-2020, 07:11 PM   #1
TJMack
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Default Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

I was trying to figure out an easy way to check the toe-in on a friend’s model A to see if we could stop the “Death Wobble”. So I watched a couple YouTube videos and came up with an idea to make an inexpensive and simple to use toe-in gauge.

I’ve attached a few pictures so it should be pretty self explanatory. The gauge is put between the tires at the front of the car at the height determined by the chains, then a mark is put on the inner, sliding, PVC pipe in line with an index mark on the movable coupling. The car is then rolled FORWARD (as pointed out below) until the chains show the gauge is again at the same height from the ground,

Another mark is put on the sliding PVC pipe using the same index mark on the movable coupling. The distance between the marks is the toe-in, or toe-out.

You have to think about what you’re doing to make an adjustment. It get's confusing. Looking at the gauge when it is at the rear, and you are under the car, the second line you make has to be to the RIGHT of the first mark for it to be toe-in. If it is to the left, you have toe-out. Toe-in relaxes the gauge as the tires go the rear making the gauge longer, thus the mark will be to the right, and toe-out compresses the spring making the gauge shorter and the mark to the left..

The information you need to make one is as follows:
  • inner PVC pipe -- ” diameter 45” long (need end cap too)
  • outer PVC pipe -- 1” diameter 36” long (need end cap too)
  • cut a window in the outer pipe with a Dremel tool (location not critical)
  • cut a section out of a 1” PVC coupling so it will slide over the 1” pipe
    • scribe a mark on the coupling for a reference point
  • chain length -- 10”
    • to fit over ” diameter bolts through end caps. Allow to swing freely
    • Grind end of ” bolts to a point to hold to tire
  • spring from Ace hardware #SP-9713
  • put hole plug (Hillman # 139479 from Lowes) in end of ’ PVC
    • to support spring


    All for less than $20

    By the way; we found that the toe-in on the car was over ’. After we adjusted it the “Death Wobble” is gone …… for now at least.
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Last edited by TJMack; 12-11-2020 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJMack View Post
I was trying to figure out an easy way to check the toe-in on a friend’s model A to see if we could stop the “Death Wobble”. So I watched a couple YouTube videos and came up with an idea to make an inexpensive and simple to use toe-in gauge.

I’ve attached a few pictures so it should be pretty self explanatory. The gauge is put between the tires at the front of the car at the height determined by the chains, then a mark is put on the inner, sliding, PVC pipe in line with an index mark on the movable coupling. The car is then rolled backward until the chains show the gauge is again at the same height from the ground,
I always thought you rolled the car forward (direction of travel) when checking.
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Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 12-10-2020 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJMack View Post
I was trying to figure out an easy way to check the toe-in on a friend’s model A to see if we could stop the “Death Wobble”. So I watched a couple YouTube videos and came up with an idea to make an inexpensive and simple to use toe-in gauge.

I’ve attached a few pictures so it should be pretty self explanatory. The gauge is put between the tires at the front of the car at the height determined by the chains, then a mark is put on the inner, sliding, PVC pipe in line with an index mark on the movable coupling.The car is then rolled backwarduntil the chains show the gauge is again at the same height from the ground,

Not to mention it would be kind of hard to roll the car backwards starting with the gauge at the front?
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Or something like this.

https://www.lowrangeoffroad.com/diy-...-patterns.html


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Old 12-11-2020, 05:32 AM   #5
Bruce of MN
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

You could make something like that out of plywood and make sure the arms were long enough to match the radius of the spot where toe-in is measured.


Edit: I mean the tool in post #4

Last edited by Bruce of MN; 12-11-2020 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 12-11-2020, 06:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

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Nice work! I'm always glad to see individuals come up with these kinds of helpful self-created things. It is especially pleasing to see it does not require a software app and a computer screen.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:35 AM   #7
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Thats pretty much the same as the 100 yr old spring loaded gauge I have.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

A very neat idea and tool you created. A couple of questions.
First to get the correct measurement for toe in, doesn't the gauge need to be at the center of the wheel at the height of the king pin for each measurement front and back?
Second, would you need to make more than one measurement check? As you adjust the tie rod you are changing the measured dimension at the front as well as the back of the wheels.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

That's interesting, I have the manufactured gauge and you put it on the front and move the car forward. It has a gauge that you read when it's rolled forward. I took a shower curtain rod that's already spring loaded put the chains on it and stuck it in the front, marked with a pencil when the two rods come together and then rolled it back and marked it again and then looked at the measurement and it gives you the reading. The gauge we bought for the club tool closet was around $120.00 although I've seen them for less. Great job making the one you did.
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Old 12-11-2020, 08:01 AM   #10
Chuck Kuntz
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

You can save money with the way I do it. Two common pins and a tape measure. Place pins in tire tread and measure back then roll forward and measure again. Does take the help of your wife or a friend. Total cost zero.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

TJ, great post. Thanks. Neat tool.



The tow in needs to be measured at the same height front and back, thus the chains. It does not have to be at the same height of the hub but should be high enough to get a good reading.



If you adjust the camber, not easy on a Model A, or any other steering geometry, remember to check the tow in last as the other setting will change the tow in.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

This is the one I made, have posted it before. I use the pin method and have good results!
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:25 AM   #13
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

I think you did a great job. Thanks for sharing! An old alignment man told me to roll the car back and forth at least two car lengths after each adjustment and check again. Makes sense with these old less than perfect tolerance cars.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:53 AM   #14
TJMack
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Talking Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Yblockhead, you are correct. I misspoke. The car does need to roll forward after you install the gauge. My old mind reverses things occasionally. As I said, you have to think about what you are doing.


I hope someone gets some benefit out of it.
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Old 12-11-2020, 01:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

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Yblockhead, you are correct. I misspoke. The car does need to roll forward after you install the gauge. My old mind reverses things occasionally. As I said, you have to think about what you are doing.


I hope someone gets some benefit out of it.
Haha, not a problem. Sometimes it is hard for us "Old Dudes" to know which end is up when we are laying under the car.

I like to see people make their own tools.
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Old 12-12-2020, 02:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

The measurement is between 1/16"-1/32" difference from back to front. I always think about a bent rim which will throw the measurement off. So, here is how I do it:

Drill a whole in a block of wood to tightly fit and hold a sharpie pen
Jack up one front wheel at a time just off of the floor
Place the sharpie in the block on the floor and the point of the sharpie to a flat spot close to the center of the tire
Turn the tire one revolution slowly with the sharpie against the tire creating a centerline
Take your measurements from the centerlines

This method will compensate for any runout from your rims

I have used this method several times with great success
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:18 AM   #17
larry harding
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

maybe i like things simple and crude, but here is what i did. a piece of 3/4 pvc with a cap on each end. tap one of the caps 1/4 20 and put in a screw 1 in. or more. put this in the front of the wheels and adjust the screw until it just touches. move the the back and the distance between the screw and the wheel is the toe in.
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

The runout is an important thing to consider. It is also important to have the height where the measurements are taken the same front and back. The camber will effect the measurement if the height is not the same. As far as the runout is concerned, if the measurement is taken at the same point on the tire front and back the runout is taken out of the equation. That is what is nice about TJ's tool. The location does not change moving from front to back and the chains assure that the height remains constant. Using his tool or a similar one, make the measurements on a flat surface like a garage.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:39 AM   #19
TJMack
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Talking Re: Simple to make and use Toe-In gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick M View Post
. I always think about a bent rim which will throw the measurement off.

You make an excellent point that got me thinking, and so is this one:




Quote:
Originally Posted by nkaminar View Post
As far as the runout is concerned, if the measurement is taken at the same point on the tire front and back the runout is taken out of the equation.

I said it was easy to make and use, not understand. :-)


Thanks for the input, Guys. I appreciate it all.
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