Laser Wheel Alignment Systems

Laser Wheel Alignment Systems are an innovative approach to wheel alignment – a setup parameter that undoubtedly ranks at the top of the list if we are headed towards that competitive edge we are talking about. Why? Because even things like moment center location and setup balance cannot compensate for wheel alignment. The alignment package has an enormous amount of influence on the way a race car performs.

One of the most common questions we at DRP get asked about laser wheel alignment is which is best – wheel mounted or chassis mounted lasers? Answering this query correctly could be hard: a more precise question about wheel mounted and chassis mounted laser wheel alignment would be which choice is better for accuracy. Then, we would have to say that the chassis mounted laser is the right answer. As to why it is so, please find below…

Laser Wheel Alignment – The Wheel Mounted Laser

The wheel mounted laser is to a large extent prone to mounting inaccuracies. Even if the hub or spindle adapter is perfect, it’s still quite easy to have a burr on the hub or spindle face. Here is an example: a simple piece of silicone 0.010” thick left on the rear hub face will throw the laser off by 0 .332” by the time it reaches the leading edge of the front tire. Furthermore, when we mount the laser to the wheel, that wheel now becomes the “master” reference point. To use this method accurately, you will have to first verify axle tube straightness, before checking rear end placement or wheel alignment. This rule goes for all wheel mounted laser wheel alignment systems as well as the Real Square RSX systems. On the other hand, it is true with wheel mounted lasers that the further you project the laser, the more accuracy you will gain. Still, in case that your mounting surface and adapters are not perfect, you will experience more inaccuracy again.

Laser Wheel Alignment – The Chassis Mounted Laser

With a chassis mounted laser and wheel fixtures, the fixture can be off, but the laser will not be. Going back to our previous example, if the wheel fixture is mounted with the same 0.010” piece of silicone under it, that wheel will be off 0.078”. Indeed, this is still a lot, but much less than 0.332”. Another point worth remembering is that only that one wheel will be off, because with the chassis mounted laser, the chassis is the master.

To further elaborate on this laser wheel alignment option, it is good knowing that when we mount the laser to the chassis, we’re able to measure axle tube straightness, as well as rear end placement and rear to front tire alignment simultaneously. This will save you lots of time.

Mounting the lasers to the chassis also enables the user to make suspension adjustments and read the changes instantly. For example, if you decide to adjust a trailing arm or a panhard bar, you can watch the rear end location change as you turn the tubes. Your adjustment moves the chassis, which has the lasers attached to it. Once you square the lasers to the chassis, you can make any adjustment to the suspension and the lasers stay square.

Finally, keep in mind that the Real Square Laser Wheel Alignment System has chassis mounted lasers that are adjustable. Having adjustable lasers allows the user to tune the laser to the master reference points, while also eliminating the possibility of a laser being “out of calibration”.