When we last checked in our Camry progress the coilovers were done and installed, but that was about it. Since then I’ve swapped out the front lower ball joints, the inner and outer tie rods, and some bushings. So basically if you’re keeping track, no part of the previous alignment was intact or worth using at this point.
I could have set up some strings and jack stands, or guessed at things to get the car close enough to take it to an alignment shop, but I didn’t really have a shop in mind since my last place closed down. The solution I went with instead was a bit pricey in the short term, but actually a really cheap option in the long run.
After a bit of research online I found out about Paco Motorsports who makes these great alignment hub stands. These will allow you to set Caster, Camber, Toe and Thrust all at home with out needing to deal with a shop. Don’t get me wrong if you have a good shop that you work with, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you have a lot of custom parts under your car and want things aligned to your own specifications, trying to find a new shop that’s willing to put up with you can be a bit tricky sometimes though.
So far I’ve only used these on the Camry to get things roughed in. I set camber to 2 degrees front and back and zeroed out toe and called it ready to drive to drive. I didn’t want to spend too much time perfecting things just yet. We have Radwood and Wekfest both coming up, and all of the shock and spring rates under the car are really just my best guess right now. They’re slightly educated guesses, but still guesses. And that’s really the beauty of owning a set of these stands. Now I can play around, and not have to pay for several alignments. I can leave the transmission pan only a couple inches off the ground for some shows and then re-adjust the car a few weeks later if a road trip is in order. I can swap out a set of springs and only have to pay for the springs, not the springs plus the cost and time of another alignment. These hub stands are starting to sound pretty cheap huh? Well that’s how I sold myself on buying them anyway.