Sunday, 1 November 2015

Straight ahead - wheel alignment sorted

Last time I had just been to Kwik Fit to get some new tyres on, and now it was time to get them aligned.

As I mentioned last time, I chose Kwik Fit because I had serious wear issues on the tyres and saw that they had invested in the Hunter Laser alignment tech, and I thought this would be the most accurate way of getting the car set up.

Once up on the ramp, four sets of sensors are attached to the car, one on each wheel which would be monitored by a laser at the front of the car providing readings to the operator. In this case the operator happened to be an ex-Mini owner who used to work at Mini Sport (for his sins). We had a nice chat and looked at what the machine was saying.

As expected the alignment was shocking, with serious toe-in on the rears. However, according the machine a special tool is required to adjust the rear set-up, but without one to hand, we resorted to a big breaker bar! After calling over a colleague to add some weight to help make the adjustment the rear alignment was corrected.

Up front and there needed to be some adjustment too, but as I've found with my time with classic Minis, things get rusty and after years of being covered in crud, they seize up. So out came the oxy acetylene torch. Some 20 minutes later and the heat had loosened up the arm enough for adjustment - the problem was getting a wrench on it while it was still hot - wait too long and it would cool and be unmovable again!

Anyway, after a lots of messing about with the blowtorch and rusty parts the operator got all the wheels lined up and within the tolerances. Great... a car that drives straight - that's a good start, let's see how I get on.

Thanks to Kwik Fit.

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