DIY Alignment: The Basic Version

After using tape to secure the string, we got some fantastic string guides to make the task even easier. We used solid aluminum rod for our ‘width of the car’ pieces; hollow tubular aluminum for the supports.
Mounting the string setup took a bit of time – but take that time as it makes everything else easy. Jeremy is meticulous; me, not quite so much. The lower rod should be at axle height on both front and rear. The string should be parallel to the axle ends and to each other. Crucial settings for measuring toe.

With the weigh scales and the camber/caster gauge mentioned, that takes us to the final expense that we had, which was the Ansix Auto DIY string alignment kit. The Ansix Auto DIY string alignment kit was a prototype that we had the opportunity to purchase and test out. It is now in production and available for the consumer. This was the third item that involved some cost. It comes with high quality 3D printed components and the end user has to purchase the rods/tubing separately to make it work. It is more complex than the jack stands that Nikita used in his DIY article. I’m not going to say it’s better or worse, it’s simply a different approach. Easier from my perspective. If you bump either setup, you’re going to have to reset/check it to ensure that you haven’t  changed everything. This Ansix Auto setup hooks over the front rad support and the rear trunk/hatch. It’s incredibly adaptable so should fit virtually any vehicle. While my shop rags aren’t very photogenic, they were placed between the frame and the car to protect the car’s finish and, when the project is complete, you can use them to clean up. Once the Ansix Auto kit is setup on the car, then you need to measure the height of the centre axle point and then transfer that data to your four corner points. I was asked how you can ensure that it is square. That’s a great question if you’re building a house and undoubtedly if you’re building a car, but with an alignment on a 20 plus year old track car I don’t see that it matters if it’s a perfect rectangle or if it’s a trapezoid. If the car is a trapezoid, I’m not sure how you’re going to correct it? Our focus was to ensure that lines were parallel thus being able to set toe accurately. As we learn more and if we find that this is a larger issue than we’ve first guessed, by cross measuring (carpenters measure diagonally corner to corner and equal distance is 90 degree corners) we can ensure that we have a square setup.

Threaded connection are solid and secure on this Ansix Auto product; meaning that you don’t have to worry about someone lightly bumping your setup. The adjustability provides a lot of flexibility. At the front we were able to mount it on the rad support on both the Nissan and the Honda.
We found that using masking tape to mark our place was beneficial. We did this at every connection. The Ansix Auto kit can likely fit any car.
The first alignments that we did were done with string that was held in place with masking tape. It wasn’t always easy to keep it held in the proper place. Talking with Greg at Ansix Auto about this issue brought us a perfect solution.


  1. Great write-up. As always Mr. Ewald, your articles are informative and entertaining. I do have a question regarding the digital camber/caster tool: Is there a way to zero the measurement? You can zero a scale with nothing on it (or zero it with an empty container on it). How do you ensure that the -3.25 degrees of negative camber as measured by the tool is actually -3.25 degrees?

    1. Banfstc, thank you. I appreciate your kind words.
      Great question about the Longacre unit. It is supposed to hold it’s zero, even when shut off. According to AES, running my car on the Mustang dyno was like running one of his drift client cars – it didn’t want to run nicely for him. So I’m pretty sure the -ve camber is there. More details about the Longacre calibration can be found here:

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I read Erik’s article when it first came out and dreamed about something like that, but unfortunately, his set up is out of my price range. This on the other hand is right up my alley. Thanks

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