Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Visualiner, Acraliner, Dynaliner - calibration (bar, stands, track toe fixture)

Been meaning to write some of this up for a long time now.  A few weeks ago a guy from Germany sent me an email asking for details on the calibration bar and process for the FMC, John Bean, and Hofmann Acraliner/Visualiner/Dynaliner series of alignment machines.   I have a Visualiner 7904 that I use on occasion in my home shop.  Direct crossover to the 9900, 7900, and 5900 lines - but much similarity to the later machines, too.

He wrote:

about two years ago you searched for a FMC Acraliner calibration kit.
I have the same problem :D I own a Hofmann Dynaliner which is the same
hardware but without the bar, the stands and the L. You wrote, that you
found all the parts. It would be very nice if you could measure the parts
that i can rebuild them.

Ok, here goes -

For the regular head calibration (camber, sai, cross toe) there's no critical dimensions to any of it.

At the end of the day, you need two stands that put the bar level above your turntables (or equiv).   The ability to spin the bar on the stand repeatably is needed, and if you can clamp the bar down it makes life a little better - but not required.

The factory stands have a second set of slots that you can use to put the bar at an angle and get a ~~4 degree change in either direction, useful for validating that a camber sensor is still working (I had one that would indicate 10 degress of change over that 4 degress)

For the bar, obviously you'll need pegs to fit your heads - pull the ID of the bushing and make a peg to fit. ;)

Width is not critical - I wish mine was wider, since my narrowest car is still 6-8 inches wider than the bar (so I have to slide my turntables in)
 - I'd say make it so the stands sit on your typical turntable placement and be happy.

The bar will ned some sort of groove to keep it located on the stands - you want it to not slide left/right on the stands, but instead sit in a repeatable location.

The bar will need 3 positions marked on it (and a pointer on the stand to indicate them) - these reflect the same 1/2/3 marks on the wheel brackets for runout.  mark 3 is at "top", with 1 and 2 being 45 degrees to each side of that.  (check your wheel brackets to confirm which direction - but it's not really critical.)

That's pretty much it - you end up with a bar parallel to your turntables that you put the heads on and calibrate to zero to match your floor or lift.  Since you do a runout check as part of the process, the bar doesn't need to be 100% straight - any runout gets factored out during the process.  Cross toe gets zeroed out there, too, since the heads are square to each other (+- runout).

Since I dont use mine daily, I always re-cal before every use.  And since I use the floor w/ home built stands, and not a lift (inside my 2 post, or outside of it for the trucks), my turntable positions aren't repeatable - so I set the car (these days I have the floor marked..) in place, mark it, drop the stands and turntables, then cal for that spot front and rear.

Now, the track toe calibration (front to rear lasers) is a lot more tricky and a lot more specific - the fixture is pretty small, so shipping to .de shouldn't be a major issue - I'd recommend buying one.   I can put you in touch with a guy in Canada who supplies my parts (and advice, Roy's a good guy!), he may have another track fixture.  If not, I have a few old leads I could pass on.

My guy in canada, who's really been the resource that's made it possible to keep this old guy going - feel free to tell him I sent you. :)

RAL Sales <ral_sales at shaw.ca>
Roy Looyenga
R.A.L Sales & Service
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

I'm happy to provide advice on calibrating and testing individual sensors, as well.

Pictures below!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New stuff: 2002-2006 Mini Cooper R50 and R53 thermostat and waterpump

It's been a while since I've had a chance to do much here - but the flow of old tools coming into my shop and being repaired for my use hasn't really stopped.  Maybe I can get a chance to do more soon.

In the meantime here's this not-really-tool-related blurb.

My MINI's water pump is leaking.  On these supercharged Ses it's a bit of an fun time to work on (and there's some required maintenance to do to the SC while you're in there!).   So, at 86k miles, figure it's thermostat time as well.

Both the MC and MCS are pretty well known for the t-stat housings cracking and leaking, or the t-stat gasket leaking.    The factory gasket is a weak area.    I read around a bit and found that there is reportedly an improved version of this thermostat available - but no one really details how to get it.

Way Motor Works sells one, and his price is on par with the factory part: http://www.waymotorworks.com/thermostat-and-gasket-r50-r53.html

Way just never tells you what the origin of his parts are - so if you're a brand whore or trying to price shop, or just want to be able to know what's going to arrive in your box, Way makes it a bit of a challenge.   Factory part number would be 11537596787.

I bought one.  So here it is in all it's glory:

To answer the origin question:  It's not a OEM bmw/mini part.  So I don't know if the factory replacement has the new gasket or not.   It IS a factory part for the Chrysler Tritec engine, though.  Chrysler stamp, followed by "1886AA".   I haven't been able to cross this to an actual part number.   The other stamping is 195 (it's a 195F thermostat).

For the waterpump, I ended up getting the Gates unit - #43534 (factory part 11517520123).  For the Cooper, the gates part would be 43535. 

The Gates is a new pump - the only pump available from the factory is a rebuild.   A lot of the aftermarket pumps don't include the drive assembly for either the MC or MCS - the pump unit itself is, I believe, identical.  The gearbox on the back is the difference.  The MC is driven by a pulley off the serpentine belt, but the MCS is driven by a PTO on the back of the supercharger (another known problem area...).

On the impeller, I failed to find a water pump with a metal impeller - the Gates uses a composite one, as does the factory pump.  (not the same as the old BMW and VW plastic impellers.  Time will tell how these work out...).   The pump does come with one gasket:

Anyway - figured I was asking all of these questions when I was shopping, ended up making a few gambles since I couldn't find the details I wanted...figured I'd share them.  Hope this helps someone else.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Ernst 6014m/6015m "space saver" wrench rails

(originally posted @ http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112441 )
Been working on trying to reorganize the tool boxes lately.  Picked up a
set of the so called "space saver" wrench rails from Ernst to try - the
6014m specifically (red - black is 6015m), with magnetic bases.

Ernst is very vague about dimensions.   Turns out the rails are two
different lengths - one long, one short.   There's some suggestion that
the long rail can be placed at various angles to allow for different  
lengths of wrench.   This is just not true - the short rail must be at 90
degrees, and the long rail must be at an angle I didn't measure - if you
change this relationship, the wrench slots no longer align, and your
wrenches are crooked....

The other major point - these rails are NOT designed to fit/work in the shallow (2") drawers, they are too tall, and the wrenches sit too high (even the small wrenches hit the drawer above.

I spent some time hacking on them and it basically works out that you'd have to cut -every single slot- deeper, and trim the top off the entire unit to safely fit it in a shallow drawer.

As for the magnets - dont waste your time.   They're not even powerful enough to hold the rails steady directly on the steel drawer bottoms - much less through a drawer liner.

Overall thoughts?  For my needs, a big waste of time and money.  Since they require a deep drawer, they're not a space saver for me.   I can't even use them in the overflow/spare drawers, since they're not flexible enough to hold more than 1-2 of the same size wrench.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WB230/WB240 Wheel Balancer User's Manual

Lets start with this gem. It's the user/owner's manual for the Snap-on WB240 and WB230 Hand Spin Computer Wheel Balancer.  Includes parts list and calibration instructions. 11 pages. Not sure when this series of balancers was sold.

I got this from a tool forum member when I was going to pick one of these up -- alas, the seller sold it to his buddy a mere 2 hours after he promised it to me (and 2 hours before I could get there to pick it up).

Direct link - WB230/240 PDF Download

Or via Scribd: WB230_WB240 Users Manual

New Tool Blog

On occasion I find myself researching or working on some old tool. Sometimes I just end up with the documentation for an old tool.

I'll start posting tips, tricks, and copies of obsolete documentation to share with the world and help you guys out, since so many of you have helped me.