09-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 automatic
Power steering aside, this weekend I bought some tools for measuring toe.
Bear in mind there are various approaches for measuring toe:
My first idea was to simply slide two lengths of smaller square tubing inside a larger central length ... and I really liked the solid feel of this sliding-bar approach ... but at roughly $18 to $22 for each 6-foot length of square tubing (steel vs aluminum), I just couldn't justify the cost over the vastly less expensive steel 1/2 inch EMT circular tubing which was a mere $2 for a 10-foot length at Lowes.
- Plumb bob & tape measure:
- Hang a plumb bob at the 3 o'clock & 9 o'clock location of the tire tread; mark the floor where the plumb bob hits; measure between marks; and trig out the angles based on the measured distances
- Here's a laser variant where you mark the floor and trig out the toe (1)
- Toe plate & tape measure:
- Strap flat plates to the outside of the wheels on an axle; measure between them with a tape
- Here's a much fancier take on the toe-plate concept (1)
- Sliding bar & tape measure:
- Adjust a pointer and lock into place; then measure the distance with a measuring tape.
- Here's a single square tube approach (where the fingers slide on the outside of the tube) (1)
- I opted for a similar approach, only with the cheaper circular tube (1)
- Personally, I like the dual square tube approach (where the outside ends slide into the central tube)
It would have cost about $40 if I used the sliding steel/aluminum rectangular tubes, which is too close in price to a professional toe gauge to be worth it.
A matching sliding EMT clamp for each end cost about 50¢, and I added two more of these clamps for the optional central mount.
A threaded rod for the feelers that touch the tire was less than $2, and wingnuts to replace the hex nuts on the two clamps cost a total of $1.
EDIT: Here's a pic of the parts ... (total cost is roughly about $7 not counting the extra nuts and wingnuts I bought):
Last edited by bluebee; 09-09-2012 at 11:58 PM.