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BryanPendleton

Shopping for Turn Plates

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Looking for some recommendations for turn plates for the DIYer in a home garage setting?  I currently have nice camber gauge and SmartStrings to set camber and toe reliably, but need some turn plates to set caster.  I prefer to keep the price in the $200 range give or take. 

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Vinyl floor tiles on trash bags

 

 

2x vinyl tiles and petroleum jelly in between.

 

I also measure the floor for levelness and have used sticky vinyl tiles to make the locations at all 4 wheels perfectly level. Each wheel has its own block made of vinyl tiles sticked together to raise each corner to level. My camber measurement is a solid .4 degrees off if the car isn't level in my garage.... and to the eye, its visibly flat. 

 

Skip to ~ 5 min 

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Vinyl tiles with a sprinkling of sand between them is another option.

 

I also measure the floor for levelness and have used sticky vinyl tiles to make the locations at all 4 wheels perfectly level. Each wheel has its own block made of vinyl tiles sticked together to raise each corner to level. My camber measurement is a solid .4 degrees off if the car isn't level in my garage.... and to the eye, its visibly flat. 

If you aren't already, make sure the pads themselves are level in x and y directions, if I remember correctly I think the dude in the video is only levelling his pads relative to each other using a single point in the middle. I use shims or wedge more tiles half/diagonally as necessary while monitoring level gauges in X and Y then re-check overall levelness with lasers against the other pads. Its a finnicky process but was amazed how unlevel everything could be in a garage that has a supposedly flat floor.

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Vinyl tiles with a sprinkling of sand between them is another option.

 

If you aren't already, make sure the pads themselves are level in x and y directions, if I remember correctly I think the dude in the video is only levelling his pads relative to each other using a single point in the middle. I use shims or wedge more tiles half/diagonally as necessary while monitoring level gauges in X and Y then re-check overall levelness with lasers against the other pads. Its a finnicky process but was amazed how unlevel everything could be in a garage that has a supposedly flat floor.

Exactly! And then rechecking everything after you have it all set up to verify. It's easy to get confused with all the different measurements and adjustments happening.

 

The good news is that you put in the work once, make your solid blocks with vinyl tiles for each corner, mark your squares on the garage floor for repeatability, and all your future alignments are simplified and extremely accurate.

 

Just one note, I noticed that using sand between the tiles there was still a little bit of friction. Not a big deal for measuring caster, but difficult for toe changes. With small toe adjustments on the arm, nothing would show up on the strings. Using petroleum jelly seemed to alleviate this issue. Motor oil works too but it doesn't last in between alignments. It tends to Gunk up and you're back to the same issue as before. Probably not a big deal if you're aligning a Miata, but my car is heavy as hell.... 1050 lbs over each front wheel.

 

 

Also, I know it doesn't really matter anymore, but the paved garages at Texas World speedway have a pretty flat floor. I was really impressed, flat enough to make some reliable changes on the fly if need be. More level than my own garage.

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The good news is that you put in the work once, make your solid blocks with vinyl tiles for each corner, mark your squares on the garage floor for repeatability, and all your future alignments are simplified and extremely accurate.

Unfortunately this advantage doesn't always apply if you live in a concrete coated swampland like Houston. Due to ground settlement/shifting gotta re-check pad levelness every year or so, especially if a heavy vehicle is stored there.

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Unfortunately this advantage doesn't always apply if you live in a concrete coated swampland like Houston. Due to ground settlement/shifting gotta re-check pad levelness every year or so, especially if a heavy vehicle is stored there.

Never even thought about that. I'll have to measure level in the garage this weekend to see if anything's changed over the past 4 years.

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Never even thought about that. I'll have to measure level in the garage this weekend to see if anything's changed over the past 4 years.

You don't live on a glorified cow patty so you may be ok. Never hurts to re-check periodically though...

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Never even thought about that. I'll have to measure level in the garage this weekend to see if anything's changed over the past 4 years.

 

 

You don't live on a glorified cow patty so you may be ok. Never hurts to re-check periodically though...

 

 

You two reminded me of this scene from R&M..."I also dabble in precision, and if you think you can even approach it with your sad, naked, caveman eyeball and a bubble of fucking air, you're the reason this species is a failure.."

 

https://youtu.be/w-wbWGwZ7_k?t=20

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You two reminded me of this scene from R&M..."I also dabble in precision, and if you think you can even approach it with your sad, naked, caveman eyeball and a bubble of fucking air, you're the reason this species is a failure.."

 

https://youtu.be/w-wbWGwZ7_k?t=20

Thanks for ruining my thread bro. . .

Of to go binge watch R&M now. 

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