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theksmith

Alignment Check Helper Tool from Iron Rock Offroad

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I posted a tip before on how to get a rough check on your front toe easily by yourself. Soon after that, @dzJeepChic sent me a link to these Iron Rock Offroad Wheel Alignment Tools that help you do the job quickly and more precisely.

 

They're basically just some angle-steel, but with special slots allowing them to bolt to several popular hub bolt patterns.

 

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These seem a little pricey for a single-purpose tool, but if you wheel hard then you really should double-check your toe once in a while. A minor hit to a factory tie-rod can easily bend it, altering your alignment enough to quickly cause wear issues on large off-road tires. These just make it easy to get a fairly precise measurement by yourself.

 

The notches at each end help grab the tip of a standard tape measure and give you a specific point to measure to at each end. 

 

A reminder of what distance differential is equivalent to what angle is etched into the bars. Do realize that chart is based on the specific length of these bars.

 

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You'll likely need to rotate any tool like this a bit in order to get the tape under your rig. Just remember that if they aren't perfectly horizontal then your camber is also influencing your measurement and adjust accordingly.

 

Overall I think they're a good investment if you work on your rig yourself and wheel hard or modify your suspension every so often. You could certainly make your own quite easily if you're handy.

 

The Iron Rock Offroad Wheel Alignment Tool works with the following bolt patterns: 5x4.5, 5x5, 5x5.5, 6x5.5, 8x6.5, 8x170mm, UTV/ATV: 4/156 and will run you about $70 plus shipping.

 

 

Extra FYI - I first tried this similar product from Low Range Offroad, but theirs arrived with inconsistent bowing and I couldn't seem to bend them back perfectly flat. Obviously a couple wavy noodles don't make for good measurement references. The Iron Rock ones also have a very slight bow, but it's consistent in both pieces and symmetrical between both ends (therefore it doesn't affect the measurement).

 

Edited by theksmith
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Kris,  It might be me but I can’t see your pictures on this thread. 

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Can't see the pictures either.

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48 minutes ago, dzJeepChic said:

Can't see the pictures either.

 

1 hour ago, jgaz said:

Kris,  It might be me but I can’t see your pictures on this thread. 

 

thanks guys, how about now?

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On 12/31/2019 at 8:41 AM, theksmith said:

 

 

thanks guys, how about now?

You got it

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Nice write up Kris.  
 

The tool looks good but I agree it seems a bit pricey unless you have several vehicles with multiple bolt patterns that you intend to use it on.

 
The only question I have is, do their instructions speak to idea that you should be marking at least the approximate tire diameter on the tool?

The way Iron Rocks Tool looks they are using a “one size fits all” notch.

 

 Ive never compared results with only one tape holding notch vs. holding the tape at the approximate tire diameter.
 We were always told to mark the tire diameter and that’s how I did it.
 

It would be interesting to hear from @ob1jeeper on the theory or practical  application of using a single notch vs a notch for tire diameter.

Sorta like a 31” tire vs a 35” or 37” tire.  

I know our Jeeps aren’t a formula 1 car and we don’t set ride height with a micrometer but inquiring  minds want to know.

 

If someone on here is unfamiliar with the Jeep toe set method they should check out this link.

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/how-to-align-your-jeep-wrangler-tj.85/

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, jgaz said:

The tool looks good but I agree it seems a bit pricey unless you have several vehicles with multiple bolt patterns that you intend to use it on.

 
The only question I have is, do their instructions speak to idea that you should be marking at least the approximate tire diameter on the tool?

The way Iron Rocks Tool looks they are using a “one size fits all” notch.

 

i have plans to go to a 8x6.5 bolt pattern eventually, which this also covers - so that was one of the factors in my willingness to pay for it... along with the fact that i'm sure i'll lend it to some other members occasionally.

 

there's actually no instructions included at all, which is another ding considering the cost.

 

 

however, the idea for this tool is based on setting the angle of toe - which is what most manufacture toe specs are given in. they have a chart on the side and figured out that 1/32" of separation over the exact distance between their measurement points is equal to 0.08* of toe, and 1/16" is 0.16* (standard slope over distance versus angle calculation).

 

i think the commonly heard advise of setting 1/16" to 1/8" of toe-in is a big generalization and definately based off the idea that most offroaders DIY-ing this are probably running 33" or larger tires. the larger the tire, the more distance separation based measurement you need to keep the same angle.

 

personally i run barely any toe-in to try and prevent tire wear issues. so over this tool's length, if i'm in the 0 to 1/32" range (which is hard to even discern), then i call it good. a little more toe can help with wandering problems, but in my experience, as long as your caster is decent and your steering components, suspension, and tires are in good shape you can usually get by without much toe.

 

 

Edited by theksmith

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