[xj] is the midladen positioning tool for rear alignment necessary?

Do I need to make this thingy before Igo get her aligned?
What about the ‘‘both tanks full’’ business? I’ve only got one
tank that can hold gas. The other is rusted all to hell and
back and leaks profusely, thereby holds no gas. And I never
drive with more than two people in the car anyway, as my
rear seat is replaced with a subwoofer. Hey, it’s a great
excuse not to have to taxi everybody in the world.

So I searched the archives and couldn’t find the plans on
how to make it. I did however find the substitute for the
rack centralization tool.

somebody said…
I would not worry about the ‘‘special tools’’ for the frt end
alignment unless
you always drive with 4 grown men in the car & 2 full tanks
of fuel. That is
what the mid-laden tools are used to simulate. The rack
centralization tool
isn’t necessary either. It is also hard to acquire from the
dealers. Remove
the 8mm head bolt that the tool fits into & turn the pinion
until the hole
in the piston can be seen. Voila! The rack is now
centralized! You have to
do this with the tool anyway. All it does is prevent the
rack from moving.

Is this correct? I will be taking it to NTB soon, as they
seem to be the better shop to do it, as it’s a specialty
job. And some of you fellowes have given them good praise.

So in short, do I need the tool for the front? Do I have to
fill the tanks up (since I ordered fuel cell this would be
silly anyway) and is the rack centralization info I found
correct? Also, how do I make the tool for the back, or do I
even need it? I’ve always got ~100lbs of load
(subwoofer+box) in the rear seat and that’s it, plus misc.
junk in trunk. Thanks!

Chris

Ps don’t know where I’d be without you guys.–
SOLENT BLUE IS PEOPLE! SOLENT BLUE IS PEOPLE!
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I’ve never used the mid-laden tools and have never had any alignment
problems. My cars steer and handle well, track straight as an arrow, and
there is no tire wear problem.

That being said…

It has been rightfully pointed out to me that, never having had the
alignment done with the tools, I might not know what the difference feels
like. Good point.

Doug Dwyer
Longview Washington USA
1995 XJR
1988 XJS V12 CoupeFrom: “Chris Diamond” flak_monkey@comcast.net

Do I need to make this thingy before Igo get her aligned?
What about the ‘‘both tanks full’’ business? I’ve only got one
tank that can hold gas.

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In reply to a message from Doug Dwyer sent Thu 29 Jun 2006:

that IS a rather good point.–
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In reply to a message from Chris Diamond sent Thu 29 Jun 2006:

Click on the ‘‘My Photos’’ link on this post for a picture.
Go to Kirby Palm’s Book (you can Google it) and he provides the
dimensions for the rear tools.
As far as the front tools - the picture and dimensions are in the
ROM.–
The original message included these comments:

So I searched the archives and couldn’t find the plans on
how to make it. I did however find the substitute for the
rack centralization tool.


Ted Macklin/'85 XJ6SIII
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In reply to a message from TMack sent Thu 29 Jun 2006:

Got my car aligned at NTB, nothing but settings adjusted,
drives (well while running) fine. Even with a shot steering
rack, which is on the 1023 item list of repairs :)–
'85 XJ6 VDP ‘Black Beauty’ 157K miles and Rebuilding :slight_smile:
Lansdale, PA, United States
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The setting tools are calibration devices for the alignment settings,
Chris - to ensure precision…the need for this precision is a matter
of some conjecture…:slight_smile:

However well designed the suspension some suspension angles do vary with
load, or indeed with spring sag - or whatever, including lean in turns,
brake dips and bumps. The angles spec’ed for setting is based on a
specific suspension height and when that is correct the angles set
during alignment will be within tolerances for all loads and
situations…

If set outside the prescribed ride height this may not be the case. And
it seems somewhat silly to take the car to allignment, set by incredibly
precise measuring devices but the ride height unknown…:slight_smile:

In short; the specified angles are for a specific ride height - to set
the supension to these angles based on the number of people you carry
defeats their purpose…

It would be nice if the angles were given for a specified ride height as
measured for other purposes - then we could use sandbags to acquire it.
As we do for missing fuel in the rear for other checks. It’s immaterial
if there is petrol in the tanks or an equal amount of weight in the
boot, whether it be junk or subwoofers…:slight_smile:

Chris Diamond wrote:>Do I need to make this thingy before Igo get her aligned?

What about the ‘‘both tanks full’’ business? I’ve only got one
tank that can hold gas. The other is rusted all to hell and
back and leaks profusely, thereby holds no gas. And I never
drive with more than two people in the car anyway, as my
rear seat is replaced with a subwoofer. Hey, it’s a great
excuse not to have to taxi everybody in the world.

So I searched the archives and couldn’t find the plans on
how to make it. I did however find the substitute for the
rack centralization tool.

somebody said…
I would not worry about the ‘‘special tools’’ for the frt end
alignment unless
you always drive with 4 grown men in the car & 2 full tanks
of fuel. That is
what the mid-laden tools are used to simulate. The rack
centralization tool
isn’t necessary either. It is also hard to acquire from the
dealers. Remove
the 8mm head bolt that the tool fits into & turn the pinion
until the hole
in the piston can be seen. Voila! The rack is now
centralized! You have to
do this with the tool anyway. All it does is prevent the
rack from moving.

Is this correct? I will be taking it to NTB soon, as they
seem to be the better shop to do it, as it’s a specialty
job. And some of you fellowes have given them good praise.

So in short, do I need the tool for the front? Do I have to
fill the tanks up (since I ordered fuel cell this would be
silly anyway) and is the rack centralization info I found
correct? Also, how do I make the tool for the back, or do I
even need it? I’ve always got ~100lbs of load
(subwoofer+box) in the rear seat and that’s it, plus misc.
junk in trunk. Thanks!

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The setting tools are calibration devices for the alignment settings,
Chris - to ensure precision…the need for this precision is a matter of
some conjecture…:slight_smile:

Indeed. And one must remember that the alignment specs do not call for
specific fixed settings but rather a range of acceptable settings. Thus,
getting satisfactory results is easy. Optimal results, on the other hand,
are a different story …as one may not know if they’ve reached optimal
unless they tried both methods.

I will say, though, that without the tools it is quite possible to have a
Jaguar that tracks as straight as an arrow, steers crisply, has proper wheel
return, and doesn’t wear out the tires.

However well designed the suspension some suspension angles do vary with
load, or indeed with spring sag - or whatever, including lean in turns,
brake dips and bumps. The angles spec’ed for setting is based on a
specific suspension height and when that is correct the angles set during
alignment will be within tolerances for all loads and situations…

That’s pretty much sums it up. I just have to wonder why Jaguar made it so
difficult. Surely they could have come up with specs that accomplish the
same thing but to be used with the car at normal unladen ride height, sans
the mid-laden tools.

What one of us ought to do is have the alignment adjusted using the proper
tools, then remove the tools and re-measure the settings. This new
measurement, in theory, could then be used by others to gain the same result
with use of the tools. In other words, X-Y-Z camber, caster, and toe-in
with the tools yields A-B-C camber, caster, and toe-in without the
tools, so just skip the tools and use the A-B-C settings.

Cheers
Doug DwyerFrom: “Frank Andersen” franksue@xtra.co.nz

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Similiar to what Doug said… Is there some way
determine what effect a certain shim with have on the
rear wheel alignment? For instance I take the car
over and the alignment shop says the rear of the car
is some X amount out of whack. Is there a shim amount
that changes the alignment by X amount? The shims,
IIRC, are very very thin. What I should have done is
measured the thickness of the old rotor vs. the new
rotors and added or subtracted based on that… too
late now!

-John__________________________________________________
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In reply to a message from John Elwood sent Fri 30 Jun 2006:

John

According to the ROM 1 x 20 thou shim alters the camber by 1/4
degree.–
The original message included these comments:

is some X amount out of whack. Is there a shim amount
that changes the alignment by X amount? The shims,


al mclean '93 XJS 4.0 - '79 SII XJ6 mod - '84 4.2 Daimler
Telford, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from John Elwood sent Fri 30 Jun 2006:

John

According to the ROM 1 x 20 thou shim alters camber by 1/4 degree.–
The original message included these comments:

is some X amount out of whack. Is there a shim amount
that changes the alignment by X amount? The shims,


al mclean '93 XJS 4.0 - '79 SII XJ6 mod - '84 4.2 Daimler
Telford, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from almcl sent Fri 30 Jun 2006:

Blah, picking at fly sh*t again :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, I know many of us here are
engineers/scientists/mechanics etc and in the technical
field, I myself am an engineer, tolerances are a bit
ridiculous in some applications. Jags are big heavy beasts,
and affected by so many factors while driving down the road
that tiny tiny tolerances make little difference.

Get the suspension in good shape, keep shocks etc in good
order, and get a good alignment done with properly balanced
tires and all will be well.–
'85 XJ6 VDP ‘Black Beauty’ 157K miles and Rebuilding :slight_smile:
Lansdale, PA, United States
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1985vdp wrote:

In reply to a message from almcl sent Fri 30 Jun 2006:

Blah, picking at fly sh*t again :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, I know many of us here are
engineers/scientists/mechanics etc and in the technical
field, I myself am an engineer, tolerances are a bit
ridiculous in some applications. Jags are big heavy beasts,
and affected by so many factors while driving down the road
that tiny tiny tolerances make little difference.

Get the suspension in good shape, keep shocks etc in good
order, and get a good alignment done with properly balanced
tires and all will be well.

“All will be well” is quire likely, Dave - but “get a good alignment” is
more uncertain…:slight_smile:

Reminds me of Murphy’s comment on precision engineering: " Don’t force
it - get a bigger hammer"…:slight_smile:

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)===================================================
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In reply to a message from Frank Andersen sent Sat 1 Jul 2006:

Ok, ‘get an alignment at a well reputed shop’ is that better :slight_smile:

NTB in my area has a good reputation, so I was speaking well
about them. No aff… etc… but used them off an on for all
of my alignment/tire needs for about 10+ years. Good
prices, products etc, and I like the fact that they let you
watch what they are doing. I asked the techs a few
questions over the years, and they all had intelligent
answers, some questions I knew the answers to but was just
checking up on them.–
'85 XJ6 VDP ‘Black Beauty’ 157K miles and Rebuilding :slight_smile:
Lansdale, PA, United States
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Not always a good idea, Dave :slight_smile:

Some people…in any profession…get a bit nervous when they are being
watched and it can influence the quality of the work. I myself grow eight
additional thumbs when my work is being examined over my shoulder.

Of course, there’s a difference between watching from a distance and being
directly under foot…

Cheers
Doug Dwyer
Longview Washington USA
1995 XJR
1988 XJS V12 CoupeFrom: “1985vdp” davewilliamson2@verizon.net

and I like the fact that they let you
watch what they are doing.

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In reply to a message from Doug Dwyer sent Fri 30 Jun 2006:

‘‘What one of us ought to do is have the alignment adjusted using
the proper tools, then remove the tools and re-measure the
settings…’’

There is an easier way.

Last (and first) time I had a Jag in for a full geometry check and
alignment, I was armed with differing ride height advice from the
manual, the dealer, and ‘no reply’ from Jag World Monthly (to whom
I addressed the query when the previous two sources disagreed).

In the event I simply heaved up and down on the suspension whilst
the lasers were in place
and showing their beam on the degree
boards fixed to the wheels at the opposite end of the car. The car
was about 4-5 feet up, on a full ramp. I’m heavy enough and got a
good enough grip on the bumpers to ‘bounce’ the suspensions through
arcs that were probably something like 15-20% from full compression
through to 15-20% from full extension. Certainly the car must have
moved through the ‘mid laden’ setting during the exercise.

The laser spots moved hardly at all whilst this was going on,
leading me to conclude that accurately setting the ride height for
aligment checking is probably not necessary, as the dealer said. Of
course I was unable to bounce front and rear suspensions
simultaneously, so the test is not conclusive, but my money is
on ‘fuggedaboudit’’ where precise ride height settings for
alignments are concerned.

Next time anyone has their wheels laser-checked they can do it
themselves the same way and see what happens.–
Peter Crespin 66 2+2 ‘E’
Buxton, United Kingdom
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1985vdp wrote:

In reply to a message from Frank Andersen sent Sat 1 Jul 2006:

Ok, ‘get an alignment at a well reputed shop’ is that better :slight_smile:

NTB in my area has a good reputation, so I was speaking well
about them. No aff… etc… but used them off an on for all
of my alignment/tire needs for about 10+ years. Good
prices, products etc, and I like the fact that they let you
watch what they are doing. I asked the techs a few
questions over the years, and they all had intelligent
answers, some questions I knew the answers to but was just
checking up on them.

That’s about as good as it ever gets, Dave…:slight_smile:

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)===================================================
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Doug Dwyer wrote:

Not always a good idea, Dave :slight_smile:

Some people…in any profession…get a bit nervous when they are
being watched and it can influence the quality of the work. I myself
grow eight additional thumbs when my work is being examined over my
shoulder.

Of course, there’s a difference between watching from a distance and
being directly under foot…

I seldom watch mechanics working on my cars, and never watch surgeons
working on my body, Doug - I’m to squamish…:slight_smile:

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)===================================================
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In reply to a message from Frank Andersen sent Tue 4 Jul 2006:

An additional datapoint…

Just had new tires installed, along with a new steering
rack. Brought the car to a local shop with a GSP9700
high-speed balancer, and a Hunter laser-equipped alignment
machine. I brought the car in with full tanks, but I’m
highly doubtful that they have the midladen positioning tool.

As a test, I took the car out on the local 5-lane interstate
one early morning and brought the car to 100mph. Absolutely
no pulling or shaking. The car was quite stable. So, YMMV,
but for me the specialized tool was not necessary.

When I let off the gas, though, the car dove slightly to the
left…think mebbe I have a bad damper…I’ll have to get to
that once I’m done with the heater control valve, sunroof
seal, and flow-testing the fuel injectors…–
Mike Saxon
Cranford, NJ, United States
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Mike, if it dives to left on gas off, then there may be some rear-end steering
going on that you might want to check. Others will know more, but I’d get
under and check all the bushings, links, hubs, etc.–
Alex
79xj6L SII (BRG + wires)
86xj6 SIII (Black)
61 Sprite MkII (Red)
Menlo Park, Calif.

Quantify wrote:

In reply to a message from Frank Andersen sent Tue 4 Jul 2006:

An additional datapoint…

Just had new tires installed, along with a new steering
rack. Brought the car to a local shop with a GSP9700
high-speed balancer, and a Hunter laser-equipped alignment
machine. I brought the car in with full tanks, but I’m
highly doubtful that they have the midladen positioning tool.

As a test, I took the car out on the local 5-lane interstate
one early morning and brought the car to 100mph. Absolutely
no pulling or shaking. The car was quite stable. So, YMMV,
but for me the specialized tool was not necessary.

When I let off the gas, though, the car dove slightly to the
left…think mebbe I have a bad damper…I’ll have to get to
that once I’m done with the heater control valve, sunroof
seal, and flow-testing the fuel injectors…

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think mebbe I have a bad damper…I’ll have

to get to
that once I’m done with the heater control valve,
sunroof
seal, and flow-testing the fuel injectors…

Mike Saxon
Cranford, NJ, United States

Cranford… Lovely town… don’t think I’ll be
shedding a sympathy tear over your latest expense :wink:

-John__________________________________________________
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