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MG MGA - Wheel alignment - toe-in with wires

Easy with steel wheels - anyone got an easy way to align front wires ?
Roger Walker

Which method do you use with steel wheels?

I use the 'string' method for all wheels, steel or wire.
Dave O'Neill 2

Here's a link to Barney's site and an easy wheel alignment method:

http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/steering/sr106.htm
Nick Kopernik

I also use the string method. Here's a YouTube video that explains it.

https://youtu.be/pVForVF4gGA

Jim
JL Cheatham

Nick, Dave - thanks. I should have guessed Barney has set it all down. String it is.

Dave, I guess the modern garage kit will fit on steel wheels as it does on our Bs.
Roger Walker

Jim - appreciated too
Roger
Roger Walker

I've never seen the need for a different method between steel or wire wheels.
Steve Simmons

I used to have some alignment gauges which cleared the WW spinners. From memory, I think they were GKN.

I found them to be a bit of a faff to use, and likely to damage the paint on the wheels.


Dave O'Neill 2

I use a jig which measures the distance inside the sides of the tires. Have to move it from fore and aft of the spindles.
Art Pearse

I cheat if I can't get to a proper aligner by putting the car on the trailer and measuring off the trailer side rails
- and yes the trailer is straight
William Revit

My late Father-in-Law made up this tracking bar in the 30s for his Morgan Trikes (the 2 front wheels!). Still got it.

Steve


Steve Gyles

By utilizing a little geometry you can get a very accurate measurement.

I run the string about 10 feet ahead of the car. Measuring the distance between the string at just ahead of the tire, and again at 8 times the wheel's diameter, I can measure an inch to get 1/8".
MAndrus

Fascinating - VMT everyone
R
Roger Walker

Steve, that's a deluxe model!
Art Pearse

Art

F-in-L was a brilliant engineer. Quite apart from making things like the tracking device he started up and ran a compressed paper company. He made twine from compressed paper which was used throughout the motor industry in the 30s to make upholstery piping and door piping as a fixing for hammering door panels into. Come the Second World War he converted his machinery to make compressed paper pellets that were used to replace valuable metal as a packing in bullet cartridges. Every .303 round fired by British forces throughout the war had one of his pellets. That included the machine guns in Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters, etc.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Going back to my tracking jig in the photo, I have found it fiddly to operate as the 2 contact arms are too pointed to make a steady contact on the MGA rim. May be the Morgan rims were broader at the contact point. I must get my welder on to it and add a couple of small plates. They only need to be the size of a small washer.

Steve
Steve Gyles

I've just looked at the Youtube video that Jim posted. There are some inaccuracies in it, plus not all the required information is given about setting up the string.

When I get a minute, I will write up a guide with some diagrams, to explain it clearly.
Dave O'Neill 2

Steve This is a picture of my Churchill tracking gauge it works on the same principal as yours but mine goes against the tyre not the wheel rim, I think perhaps yours may do as well, I was quite surprised how good this is, I set my track with it, and I then took it to work and checked it on our 12,000 snap on one, and the readings were well within spec.


Andy Tilney

Nice Andy. Mine rests on the tires as well, but made of wood with threaded bolts as registers
Art Pearse

I am struggling to understand the engineering logic of using flexible and potentially uneven material as a measuring datum - the tyres. Can someone explain to me why the tyres instead of the rims are ok to use.

Steve
Steve Gyles

As with all steering geometry checks, the very first thing you do is a pre alignment check, which is to check, suspension joints for play, wheel bearings, trim heights, tyres for lumps,etc, wheels for run out, tyre pressures, check vehicle loading data,(empty or full of fuel,loaded or unloaded for passengers} only when you have done all this can you start your wheel alignment check, as you are measuring the difference between the width of the tyres at the front of the vehicle and then the width of the tyres at the rear of the tyre (at the same point on the tyre) when you have rotated it 180 degrees in a forward direction, it does not matter,
Andy Tilney

Ok Andy. I had not considered that final statement about rotating the wheels 180 degrees. fair point. Would that be necessary if it was done on the metal rim instead?

Steve
Steve Gyles

Yes it is best to rotate 180 degrees that way any wheel run out will not affect the reading,
Andy Tilney

Old steel wheels (including wires) are rarely straight, so definitely rotate and measure again. Then split the difference in measurement, or rotate in thirds and split between the two closest. Also note that tires are sometimes a bit wobbly even if the wheels are straight. That's the biggest issue with the method using the side of the wheels or tires.
Steve Simmons

Bottom line is, it's the tyres that contact the road, not the rims so i dont see a problem measuring to the sidewalls
Art Pearse

The problem is when you measure on one end of a wobble and not the other. It will throw off your reading. If the tire has a 1/4" wobble to the outside, then your reading of alignment at the center line is 1/4" off.
Steve Simmons

Pre alignment check,
Andy Tilney

This thread was discussed between 11/02/2019 and 17/02/2019

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