Wife ran over stuff in the road


#1

She has a 08 Yaris. She said it looked like lumbar (4x4 or 6x6 wood post). She bent both rims on the passenger side. Called around to salvage yards and they wanted more for used rims than what I purchased new ones for. This is after I walked around the local pull apart looking for the correct wheels and out of the several hundred (maybe thousand) cars, I could not find the 4 lug in 15" steel wheel that were not damaged. The salvage yard uses many of the steel rims to make jack stands that all the cars are resting on.

So new rims, new tires, and off to the alignment shop. I checked the front end and everything seemed to be tight. I just replaced the struts a few weeks back and it needed an alignment anyway. Hopefully the shop doesn’t say I need an entire new something. I plan to take a day off work because I have little faith that the shop will treat my wife fairly. While I am there, I will have my truck alignment checked. I replaced the entire front suspension on the truck several months ago. I don’t think anything is very far off because I used my homemade low tech alignment tools to align the front end after I replaced everything but the big heavy ply truck tires are very expensive to replace. This is more of a confirmation that my homemade tools and method is effective for my future truck alignments.


#2

Is there a question here?


#3

Get the Yaris up on a hoist and look more closely.
The rims are only the . . obvious . .damage. . . . . today.
Fuel tank, fuel lines, brake lines, trailing arms, and more need inspected before leaving her stranded someday.


#4

Sorry to hear your poor Yaris took a bit of a beating. It sounds like you’ve got the problem under control. It’s good to know driveway diy’er alignment is possible. Best of luck.


#5

I took the car in and several hundred $ later all is well.

@GeorgeSanJose While I was at the shop getting the yaris fixed, I had my truck alignment checked. Guy said it was spot on. How about that. Homemade alignment sticks and a couple of levels and the average person can DIY their alignment without the high tech high dollar laser machines they use today. They did it this way forever before the high tech equipment they have today. I think my cost to make my own kit was about $20.


#6

How does homebrew alignment work ? I can see how you could with strings or sticks and levels get the four wheels pointed straight ahead, parallel to each other, tracking front to rear, and each wheel plumb (vertical), then make the necessary adjustment for the correct toe in and camber. That could all be done with the front wheels pointed straight ahead. But doesn’t part of a professional alignment involve turning the front wheels too? Are you able to accomplish that function in your driveway, or is it the case that if you got the straight ahead correct, the rest usually is already correct?


#7

Yeah, part of a professional alignment is caster and camber… the “string” method only checks toe-in. And how accurate is that really since the caster angle isn’t 90 degrees from horizontal?

A professional alignment will also “balance” the left & right sides from the steering rack with the steering wheel position by centering the steering wheel and then measuring the straight-ahead angles of each wheel. The rack needs to be centered when the car is going straight in order for the geometry to work properly. As the tire moves up & down from its static loaded position, the steering knuckle moves up and down in an arc. If the joint in the steering link from the rack to the knuckle isn’t where it should be, the arc that it creates as it articulates won’t properly match the arc that the steering knuckle is following, creating unwanted induced steering inputs.

A professional alignment will typically also check “Steering Angle Inclination” (SAI) too, which is really only a measurement of the angle of incline of the axis around which the steering knuckle rotates. It isn’t individually adjustable, but it can reveal damage of there’s any.

I’m not an advocate of driveway alignments. But there’s no arguing with those that believe in them. It’s sort of a faith-based method. If the toe-in is good as well as a string can tell, and the wheel isn’t leaning over, it must be good. No disrespect meant to anybody.


#8

I set the camber in the driveway on my cars with a small wooden carpenter’s level. It has a couple of bolts inserted through a couple of drilled holes to mate up with each side of the wheel rim.
On the top I inserted a wood screw with a dangling piece of coat hanger about a foot long.

At the dangling end of the wire I have the level marked off a couple of degrees in each direction.
With the car on a level drive my little rigid plumb line so to speak works pretty well.

The toe is set with a 6 foot long piece of aluminum angle and a couple of bolts.

If I suspect there’s a camber issue (usually noticeable by pulling or steering reaction) off to the alignment rack it goes.