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Garage leveling


Balroks

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So what have ya'll found works for this. Trying to do alignments, being told to use big level with sockets, then 12x12 floor tiles which sounds great, but which floor tiles. Depot has ceramic and vinyl but those aren't cheap and break easily or bend and crack easily so i'm not sure they'll take the weight or not deform. Didn't look like they had linoleum ones. So that, and has anyone done any more perm versions on the cheap?

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I have used newspaper in a pinch. The ink on the paper allows it to slide easily when the weight of the car is let down on it. I use about half a news paper per wheel and had good results.

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I use 2 pieces of thin metal about 12'' square and squirt some grease between them works great.And it doesn't take a lot of grease by the way!

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phat ralph

I use Lowes linolem floor tiles with the smooth surface facing each other. Then sprinkle sugar in between the two smooth surfaces. Car will turn without effort for setting caster. Car feels like it is on ball bearings for camber and toe adjustments as well.

 

Whether using scales or not make sure you are level, front to back and sided to side. I also pull a diagonal strings across both corners and make sure they just barely touch in the center. You can use the linoleum tiles to raise or lower a corner of the car to get everything level.

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While you can use the ideas posted by others for simplifying the alignment process, this post specifically addresses the garage leveling. As you asked, and phat ralph, emphasized, make sure the car is level whether corner weighting or aligning.

 

We have used a set of homemade ramps made by the person who works with me to prep and corner weight the car. They have been redesigned and are being remade, so no pictures are available at the moment, but I can post when they are done. They are being made of light weight wood, so handling will not be a problem.

 

You need to determine where the car will be parked during the corner weighting or alignment process and mark the locations of the tires. This is where the leveling needs to be done, and the locations on the floor where the scales will sit or alignment will be done. For consistency, they must always be in the same position and you maintain the level surface you are creating.

 

Determining what “level” is was done with a laser level with the horizontal laser line set at the top of the front scale which sits directly on the garage floor at the highest end. The difference between the top of the rear scale sitting on the floor at the lower end of the floor and the horizontal laser line is the height of the pad you need under the rear scale.

 

With the garage floor sloping down toward the driveway, the front scales will sit on the higher end. In our case, a shim of 1/8” thick 12” x 12” Luan will be required under one front scale due to the unlevel floor between the two front scales. Also in our case, the rear scales also have a difference of 1/16” due to the unlevel floor between the two rear scales.

 

The set of ramps consist of (1) a sloped entrance ramp, (2) a pad under the scale, (3) a level roll off pad of 18”, (4) a sloped ramp between the rear roll off pad and the front scale, and (5) a level roll off of 18” for the front with a stop to prevent dropping off of the front roll off pad. The ramp between the rear roll off pad and the front scale is sloped from the height of the rear roll off to the height of the front scale. This and the pad under the rear scale create a level surface to compensate for the garage floor slope. Spacing between the pieces will be close to facilitate rolling the car, but not interfere with the operation of the scale.

 

You can now roll the car up on the level surface and corner weight or align in your garage.

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I have always used a water level to do this.

 

All you need is some small diameter plastic tubing, two rulers, a bucket of water, 1/8" shims made of pressed wall board from Home Depot, a six-pack, and electrical tape. It does require two people to do it but I can shim/level a floor in about 5 min. It takes longer to drink the first beer.

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Easy way to level a garage floor is with a digital level and a long piece of square tubing. Get a digital level from Harbor Freight and a 6' (your car width) length of AL square tubing from home depot. Take both to a nearby alignment shop and use their rack to confirm the zero of the digital level. Then take them home to check the level of your floor. I rest the square tubing on a pair of sockets.

 

To make the floor level I just use pieces of whatever is laying around. I have one corner 10mm low so I just slip a piece of wood under the tire.

 

With a little cleverness the digital level can also be your camber gauge. Cut a piece of that square tubing the same dia. as your wheels. Put it on the face of the wheel and hold the digital level against it.

 

If your digital level also has a laser on it, with a bit more cleverness you can use it to adjust toe. Slap a piece of tape on the front and rear wheels as a target for the laserbeam. From a front wheel shoot a beam back past the rear wheel. To check rear toe shoot a beam past the front hub. The length of the beam greatly multiplies the toe measurement so you can set toe very accurately.

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awdracer
Any pictures of how to use a water level to do this? First I've heard of one of these.

 

 

Brian, I don't have any pictures but the concept is simple. Measure your wheelbase and draw X's on the floor where you want to have level spots. Fill 1/2" clear plastic hose with water and then tape the rulers to the ends. Leave the ends of the hose a few inches above the ruler so you don't spill it when moving. Adjust the water volume so that the meniscus is in about the middle of both rulers. The water will self-level. Start at the high point in your garage and shim up the other three areas until the water reaches the same height on both rulers. It's incredibly accurate and it levels the exact spots where you level align your car. If you look at my garage floor, there is a small "X" at the LF wheel. At the RF, I have a small "X" and a +1 for an eighth of an inch shim.... etc. that way, I just drop down the correct number of shims and go to work and I don't have to remember what I did. If you measure toe with plates, then be sure to cut big enough shims so that you can roll the car back and forth. After you make toe adjustments on your tie-rods, you need to roll the car back and forth a little to make sure that the tire isn't binding. Slight tire binding can affect your toe measurement. Also, set your air pressure to hot race pressure (if using toe plates).

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awdracer

If your digital level also has a laser on it, with a bit more cleverness you can use it to adjust toe. Slap a piece of tape on the front and rear wheels as a target for the laserbeam. From a front wheel shoot a beam back past the rear wheel. To check rear toe shoot a beam past the front hub. The length of the beam greatly multiplies the toe measurement so you can set toe very accurately.

 

Ranger, thats great stuff. I use this technique as well for rear thrust angle. I put one toe plate on the rear wheel and another on the corresponding front wheel. I bought the level with a mechanical pump and suction cup and attach it to the toe plate. When I shoot back to front I actually have to measure from the front toe plate to the laser because I run so much toe out in the rear (up to 1/8"). I only use the laser for thrust. I stick to the toe plates for tow measurements.

 

It's good to know that your rear wheels are pointing in the right direction. That seems important

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