wheel alignment/tracking

RDS

Daily Driver
rx1900 thanks for sending the info through. I have not seen, but have certainly searched for a UK specific Workshop manual without success.

I can only hope that the specs are within the computer but who knows.....Ok just called the shop which I had intended to use. They say they have the specs but no camber bolts and not any special tools if needed: i do not think there are any service tools for this job though.

Fitting them is extra, of course (10 mins each bolt allowance price), and the whole procedure will take 2-3 hours with a test drive. Decently, they have said to swing by this weekend for an initial no obligation look after which I can source the bolts if necessary - I will do a search to see if there are any posts on the fitting of said bolts.

Looks like there is a choice of Powerflex, Superpro and Stance+Venom makes. I've only heard of Powerflex though.
 
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NEG

True Classic
Ah Kent, yes that would be a trek. Eurosport stock the bolts, they are not difficult to fit. 2-3 hours is a joke surely for a full alignment BB took an hour but then they know what they are doing…
 

rx1900

1981 X1/9
I have not seen, but have certainly searched for a UK specific Workshop manual without success.

I would hope one of the UK members here has one - and could respond. Or perhaps you could post on the UK owners club forum and ask. Or hope the alignment place has the proper specs. Or I suppose you could ask nicely to a UK based X1/9 parts vendor - they would likely have a shop manual in their stash.....

.Ok just called the shop which I had intended to use. They say they have the specs but no camber bolts and not any special tools if needed: i do not think there are any service tools for this job though.

No worries there. For sure NO special tools needed. Just regular sockets and - what is it you call them - spanners....To them it is the same as any other car.....

Fitting them is extra, of course (10 mins each bolt allowance price), and the whole procedure will take 2-3 hours with a test drive. Decently, they have said to swing by this weekend for an initial no obligation look after which I can source the bolts if necessary - I will do a search to see if there are any posts on the fitting of said bolts.

Looks like there is a choice of Powerflex, Superpro and Stance+Venom makes. I've only heard of Powerflex though.

To be clear.....they will be easily able to adjust the toe and caster. And they are the most important adjustments you will notice on the road. Like the car tracking straight and true.

Without some camber bolts at their disposal...they will only be able to check the camber....but NOT be able to adjust it if needed or desired. You will only find that out when halfway through the job...and will be forced to accept it "as is" . Might be just fine as is..and not overly crucial....but if you want a proper nice alignment....you may well need some. Up to you really

Perhaps...if the shop you choose do not have any in stock....you could perhaps buy some to take along if needed. Or perhaps find a local auto parts shop that has some in stock that you buy and return if you dont end up using them. Just ask them for some 10mm camber bolts - they will know.......

Decently, they have said to swing by this weekend for an initial no obligation look after which I can source the bolts if necessary -

I would take them up on that offer if you can. If...your X has recently started pulling to one side....I suspect something is amiss. Cars dont go suddenly out of alignment on their own. Hopefully they can take a good look-see at your ball joints, steering rack, tie rod ends, and bushings to check for any play in bits that might well need to be changed before doing an alignment. Ask them to pay particular attention to the front radius rod bushings - if you have not changed them in the last 10 years they are likely knackered.....
 
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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
That's right in an ideal world Jeff but the calls today were very disappointing which maybe makes me think I have to cast my net further. Two shops were adamant on the telephone that only the fronts needed doing. One did say that he'd put the car on the ramp and have a look first before charging.......except that the feedback reviews indicated otherwise! Another said that the rear adjusters would likely be rusted solid with no chance of adjustment so no point trying. I don't want to show or even tell them how its done of course - it is their job after all, but I need to be able to point to correct practice when I feel that the wool is being pulled over my eyes.
I think I see what you mean, I might have misunderstood before.
I agree it is best to have a good understanding of the terminology, techniques, etc, before talking to the shop. That helps to communicate to them what you want, and to understand what they are saying - not to mention being able to detect any BS. Maybe look online for some basic tutorials.
 

RDS

Daily Driver
Ah Kent, yes that would be a trek. Eurosport stock the bolts, they are not difficult to fit. 2-3 hours is a joke surely for a full alignment BB took an hour but then they know what they are doing…
Had a great chat with BB today; getting over there may be a schlepp. 2-3 hours is a faff too though.

Just looking at the camber bolts, the threaded section is thinner than the stock bolts and so is the cam section. Therefore we are relying on the clamping force to retain the setting and the axis: I wonder if the likelihood of bolt failure through shearing is greater using the camber bolts?
 

RDS

Daily Driver
I would hope one of the UK members here has one - and could respond. Or perhaps you could post on the UK owners club forum and ask. Or hope the alignment place has the proper specs. Or I suppose you could ask nicely to a UK based X1/9 parts vendor - they would likely have a shop manual in their stash.....



No worries there. For sure NO special tools needed. Just regular sockets and - what is it you call them - spanners....To them it is the same as any other car.....



To be clear.....they will be easily able to adjust the toe and caster. And they are the most important adjustments you will notice on the road. Like the car tracking straight and true.

Without some camber bolts at their disposal...they will only be able to check the camber....but NOT be able to adjust it if needed or desired. You will only find that out when halfway through the job...and will be forced to accept it "as is" . Might be just fine as is..and not overly crucial....but if you want a proper nice alignment....you may well need some. Up to you really

Perhaps...if the shop you choose do not have any in stock....you could perhaps buy some to take along if needed. Or perhaps find a local auto parts shop that has some in stock that you buy and return if you dont end up using them. Just ask them for some 10mm camber bolts - they will know.......



I would take them up on that offer if you can. If...your X has recently started pulling to one side....I suspect something is amiss. Cars dont go suddenly out of alignment on their own. Hopefully they can take a good look-see at your ball joints, steering rack, tie rod ends, and bushings to check for any play in bits that might well need to be changed before doing an alignment. Ask them to pay particular attention to the front radius rod bushings - if you have not changed them in the last 10 years they are likely knackered.....
Spanners yes!!

All very good points there thanks. Yes I am sourcing the bolts after the initial review this weekend. If any one has a copy of the UK Workshop manual please shout.
 

RDS

Daily Driver
I think I see what you mean, I might have misunderstood before.
I agree it is best to have a good understanding of the terminology, techniques, etc, before talking to the shop. That helps to communicate to them what you want, and to understand what they are saying - not to mention being able to detect any BS. Maybe look online for some basic tutorials.
Jeff I've now spent the afternoon on youtube for that very reason!
 

rx1900

1981 X1/9
Just looking at the camber bolts, the threaded section is thinner than the stock bolts and so is the cam section. Therefore we are relying on the clamping force to retain the setting and the axis: I wonder if the likelihood of bolt failure through shearing is greater using the camber bolts?

Good point !!! Yes..I initially was concerned about that too....

But no...i think the cam section of the bolts is 10mm round...just offset from the - yes- thinner ends of the bolt. So that full 10mm round section is still there inside the 10mm hole in the knuckle and takes the load fully. The bolt clamping just keeps the bolt from rotating. And they are typically 12.9 grade to offset any strength lost from being reduced diameter at the ends.

Some manufacturers like VW and Subaru use them from the factory. So likely "okay"...but agreed not ideal.

No great alternative....Some here will just slot the holes in the strut - but that then relies on the clamping force of the bolt to hold it in the desired position. That usually doesn't work after a few bumps. Better would be to then weld on washers to the strut in the new position to retain that setting. But that would have to be done during the alignment. And then you could never adjust it to a different setting.....

At the end of the day......camber bolts likely the easiest solution. But think I would only use one per strut .....

Still reckon you are going to find something else that you blokes call "knackered" or "dodgy"..... 😭
 

NEG

True Classic
You only need one per strut. The bottom bolt remains OEM. RDS don’t worry over them, Ive used them on my 1500 and 1300 without any issue as have loads of others.
 

RDS

Daily Driver
well rx1900 you do have a good command of the local slang: no need for subtitles on English tv programmes, for you!! Hoho.

I have seen cam plates advertised but they need more installation work. Cheers NEG also.

Plan is that I go for the review, see what damage/wear there already is and purchase the camber bolts in advance of return.
 

RDS

Daily Driver
If anyone is interested, I found this installation tutorial video online, using the Fiat 500 10mm camber bolt from a respected supplier

 

GregS

ProjectX
Good point !!! Yes..I initially was concerned about that too....

But no...i think the cam section of the bolts is 10mm round...just offset from the - yes- thinner ends of the bolt. So that full 10mm round section is still there inside the 10mm hole in the knuckle and takes the load fully. The bolt clamping just keeps the bolt from rotating. And they are typically 12.9 grade to offset any strength lost from being reduced diameter at the ends.

Some manufacturers like VW and Subaru use them from the factory. So likely "okay"...but agreed not ideal.

No great alternative....Some here will just slot the holes in the strut - but that then relies on the clamping force of the bolt to hold it in the desired position. That usually doesn't work after a few bumps. Better would be to then weld on washers to the strut in the new position to retain that setting. But that would have to be done during the alignment. And then you could never adjust it to a different setting.....

At the end of the day......camber bolts likely the easiest solution. But think I would only use one per strut .....

Still reckon you are going to find something else that you blokes call "knackered" or "dodgy"..... 😭
I think the camber bolts are only 8mm in shear at the point between the knuckle and the strut flanges. The torque figures for 10mm (M8 thread) camber bolts are also generally lower, around 31ftlb (42Nm), than the standard Fiat M10 bolts.
Interesting the factory alignment spec sheet is for an Unladen car, I wonder if that makes enough difference to account for the discrepency with the 1978 owners manual Laden figures I quoted earlier? I just looked up a 1988 owners manual on the Australian X1/9 site and it is virtually identical to the 78 version.
 

NEG

True Classic
@RDS Here’s the alignment sheet from my car back in July….the geometrical driving axis is that line the BB guys where talking about…

 
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rx1900

1981 X1/9
well rx1900 you do have a good command of the local slang: no need for subtitles on English tv programmes, for you!! Hoho.
One of my favorite tv shows is "The Great British Baking Show" - yes we get that over here - but I do wish they had subtitles on that. As I often have troubles understanding..... And my favorite car magazine is "Practical Classics". But after all these years I still dont get what "nearside" and "offside" or "farside" is...:rolleyes:
Interesting the factory alignment spec sheet is for an Unladen car, I wonder if that makes enough difference to account for the discrepency with the 1978 owners manual Laden figures I quoted earlier? I just looked up a 1988 owners manual on the Australian X1/9 site and it is virtually identical to the 78 version.
Yes...i noticed that "laden" and "unladen" difference. Rather odd. Wonder what the official UK specs are ??
 

RDS

Daily Driver
@RDS Here’s the alignment sheet from my car back in July….the geometrical driving axis is that line the BB guys where talking about…

Neg: so I can check the "Target data" in that sheet against the target data on the other shop's system? Should be the same.

GregS: your findings do worry me given the amount of deep potholes that we have to endure here; I wold have hope the shear strength would have been uprated to cope with the smaller diameter.

RX1900: nearside is the side of the car that is nearest the kerb. I remember thinking many years ago that Miami Vice needed subtitles for us to understand....before I realised that the mumbling to was to cover holes in the plot!
 

RDS

Daily Driver
cheers NEG, I will report back. I like the way the car drives now: it tucks in nicely but I am less impressed with the veering to the.... "nearside"
 
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