From the “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” department comes the Quick Trick Alignment wheel alignment tool.
Created by Alignment Simple Solutions, The Quick Trick Alignment wheel alignment tool allows you to check wheel caster, camber, and toe measurements at the track or right in your own garage. You no longer need to send your car or truck to an alignment shop after installing new wheels or suspension components. This saves you time and money and also gives you the ability to fine-tune your vehicle’s handling at the racetrack.
The Quick Trick alignment tool is not only valuable for do-it-yourselfers, it’s gaining popularity among professional service technicians. It’s even earned the attention of defense contractors for the U.S. military! Recently, Alignment Simple Solutions unveiled a modified version of the Quick Trick tool, which will use the same design and technology to re-align wheels on fighter jets.
“We never considered the need for a toe-in measurement on airplane tires, but they need the additional resistance when landing to help the jet stop, and the force pulls the tires back out,” Alignment Simple Solutions officials said in a statement. “Our system can allow them to re-adjust after each landing, when needed, and will save them over $150,000 a year for this one squadron.”
You can put the Quick Trick alignment tool to work for your squadron of cars, too. We’ll show you how it works via the video below, but first we need to review caster, camber, and toe-in and why these factors are important.
Caster/Camber & Toe-In: What it All Means
Before we take a closer look at the Quick Trick package, let’s do a basic review of what it measures.
Camber: Camber describes the inward or outward angle of the tires when viewed directly from the front or back of the vehicle. Measured in degrees, negative camber occurs when the top of the tire tilts inward toward the center of the vehicle and positive camber is when the top leans away from the center of the vehicle.
Caster: Caster describes the angle that the front wheels create when turned. It’s expressed in degrees and is measured by comparing a line running through the steering system’s upper and lower pivot points (typically the upper and lower ball joints of an A-arm or wishbone suspension design, or the lower ball joint and the strut tower mount of a McPherson strut design) to a line drawn perpendicular to the ground. Caster is said to be positive if the line slopes toward the rear of the vehicle at the top, and negative if the line slopes toward the front.
Toe-in/Toe-out: Measured in fractions of an inch, toe describes the front wheels inclination to be pointed slightly toward each other or slightly away. Toe-in occurs when the front of the tires point in toward each other; toe-out occurs when the front of the wheels point away from the car. Street cars with front-wheel-drive typically are set with toe-out because the wheels tend to pull toward each other under acceleration.
Caster, camber, and toe-in/toe-out all affect a vehicle’s handling. For example, camber has a great influence on a tire’s contact patch, especially under hard cornering. Caster angle settings, on the other hand, set the balance between steering effort, high speed stability, and front end cornering effectiveness. Toe plays a role in both handling and tire wear, and all three factors affect understeer or oversteer. Caster, camber, and toe should be based on your driving habits and overall aggressiveness. Overall alignment, based on these factors, should be checked to maintain an optimum balance of handling and tread wear. In addition, caster and camber can be altered when lowering your vehicle. The Quick Trick Alignment wheel alignment tool makes measuring your wheel alignment easy in your home garage.
Quick Trick: How it Works
The Quick Trick alignment tool kit includes everything you need to make caster/camber/toe measurements—an adjustable bar that attaches to any wheel, a digital gauge caster/camber gauge, and an additional horizontal bar with tape measures to figure out toe (see photo below). In addition, Alignment Simple Solutions offers an app for your smartphone or tablet, so you can find the manufacturer’s recommended settings for just about any vehicle. So how do all these work together? Watch the video below for a demonstration:
Quick Trick offers three versions of its alignment tool. Click on each package below to see the specific contents of each kit.