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I have a 2008 Suzuki WagonR and did a long drive some days back. During driving I found my car was wobbling a little bit, and on checking I found that my right front tyre was wearing out little bit. So, I decided to go for a wheel alignment.

At the garage, to my horror what I found was that the my right front side tyre completely wore out and it looks like a tube. I had to buy a new tyre along with the alignment.

Can you manually align your wheels and suspension? I know some garage guy uses a thread instead of computerized wheel alignment.

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3 Answers 3

You can get "in the ballpark" counting threads (if that's what you are referring to), but the computerized way is vastly more efficient.

It can be done more precisely with levels, protractors, measuring tape, string, etc. If you buy a couple specialty tools (like a caster/camber gauge) it gets a little easier. HotRod.com has a decent article.

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In brief:

  1. Setup jack stands and string to form a perfect rectangle parallel with the car
  2. Measure wheel caster/camber/toe from that string.
  3. Adjust as necessary, and recheck.
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+1 for the strings method - BTW, you forgot to add "repeat steps 1-3 about 100 zillion times" ;-) –  Bob Cross Apr 25 '13 at 22:36
    
What are the actual bits that are adjusted in step 3? What controls or affects each of caster, camber, and toe? –  Josh Caswell Apr 28 '13 at 8:10
    
Most cars have only limited adjustability, which is why aftermarket "coilovers" and camber plates are popular. Typically the toe or tracking is adjustable on the front via the steering tie-rods. Camber can sometimes be adjusted via the shock towers or suspension arms. Caster is, as far as I know, always fixed without aftermarket parts. –  Nick Apr 29 '13 at 17:35
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You can do a wheel alignment the old school way, string and rulers, etc. But your situation needs to also include the inspecting bushings and any moving part connected to each wheel. The wear on your tire leads me to thinking it is a suspension or steering issue. Make sure you check your suspension and steering for loose components both with the suspension loaded and jacked up off the ground, unloaded. An alignment is only as good as all the parts that are connected.

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Here's a good article on how to do it:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/wheel-alignment-guide-zmaz88sozgoe.aspx

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