Ski Alignment

Tune ups, maintenance, and general help on your sleds

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DrMartiniX
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Ski Alignment

#1 Post by DrMartiniX » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:37 am

When I replaced my old metal skis with newer plastic ones, one of my spindles had the ski bushing rusted into it. I removed the spindle and had the bushing pressed out at the machine shop I had marked the splines on both spindles where they were attached to the tie rods but the project got delayed so long and too many cleaning supplies erased my marks. I have been trying to get the skis lined back up but measuring from the bolts on the carbides seems pot luck at best. Anyone have a bullet proof way to align skis? Right now I have got them pretty close but there is still a little negative camber making the skis want to "jump" slightly on hard pack. I appreciate any info anyone can think of.

Zach


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john
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Re: Ski Alignment

#2 Post by john » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:46 am

This is from Dix, a guy on a sled site in Maine.

Its what he calls Ski Alignment... Without A Chiropractor Visit
I think one of the more repeated PMs I get over on DooTalk is on looking for an "easy" way to check/set ski alignment... well, I finally took some pics of the process.

I used to do it the way everyone else does too... run a tape measure under the skis... and then crawl on your belly and/or stand on your head trying to read it... well... I'm just too d*mn old for that crap anymore... my neck hurts thinking about it.

Some lay 2x4s along the sides of the track up between the skis... you still have to measure from under the ski... or on top of it (which can be iffy)... and how many 2x4s are actually straight? (eyeball down the length of one sometime).

There IS an easier way... and a sure-fire way to boot... & I'm sure I'm not the 1st person to come up with this, but.... think NASCAR... think SURFACE PLATE!!!!

OK... so maybe a 6-figure chassis plate isn't in the budget... but could you spend 6 bucks on one?

The perfect alignment tool is a cheap piece of 1/2 sheathing/plywood right from your local LOWE'S/HD/lumberyard.... it's the perfect size for the job... & has two perfectly parallel sides... it's... well... perfect.

Lay it out on your shop/garage floor... using a simple tape measure center your track on it at the rear... I just measure from the edge of the track to the edge of the plywood and move the rear end until the measurement is the same on both sides. (Make sure track alignment is good 1st).
1.JPG
Center your bars and then do the same for the skis as you did with the track measuring at the center of the ski carbide, directly below the spindle bolt... don't worry if the skis aren't oriented right... that's what we're going to fix... we just need to be sure that the sled is square on the plywood for now... so you measure AT THE SPINDLE BOLT. (don't forget to have a VERY LIGHT bungee between the ski loops to take any "slop" out of the steering linkages)
2.JPG
Now go back and recheck the rear... then recheck the front again... the old measure twice cut once thing at work... once you can measure both ends and not have to move the sled and/or recenter the bars you're good to start adjusting.

For us DOO drivers we're going to be shooting for either 1/8" total toe-out for a REV or ZX w/Precision skis... or ZERO-toe for Pilots... the pics happen to be of the Kid's ZX & Precisions, so I'm going for 1/8" out.

First I measure at the rear of the carbide to the edge of the plywood...
3.JPG
Then at the front of the carbide...
4.JPG
Now, I want 1/8" TOTAL toe-out... so that means 1/16" toe-out for each ski ( 1/16 + 1/16 = 1/8 )... so I'll adjust the tie-rod until the measurement at the front of the carbide is 1/16" less than at the rear of the carbide... recheck your bars for center after any adjustment.

Once you have one side... jump over and do the other... recheck the 1st side... when you can measure both sides & have them both be right without moving anything... lock it down & you're done.

Best part about this method is that it's pretty idiot-proof (it needs to be so I can do it ) so long as you make sure you check the bars for being straight after any adjustment... how many times have you used that "other" method... got it all done... and then found your bars to be slightly "off" when your sled is going straight... can't happen doing it this way.

That's all there is to it... quick, easy, and the best part is no standing on your head, fancy gymnastics, or playing Twister with your sled (the sled will always win) to get it done... your chiropractor will hate it.



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DrMartiniX
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Re: Ski Alignment

#3 Post by DrMartiniX » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:55 am

Thanks a million John! I'll be on my way to home depot shortly. I guess being a perfectionist is kind of a flaw when you do all your own work because it take so dog gone long!

Zach


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I'LL KEEP MY GUNS, MONEY AND FREEDOM... YOU KEEP THE CHANGE

usafracer
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Re: Ski Alignment

#4 Post by usafracer » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:30 pm

Here is how I do it. I get a piece of round stock that is the same size as the bolt hole in the spindle. Then I run it through from one side to the other and adjust until it will slide through both sides with out catching. That way you know the ski's are pointed straight ahead.



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DrMartiniX
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Re: Ski Alignment

#5 Post by DrMartiniX » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:34 pm

Thanks,
I guess I'll try both since I didn't get around to setting them up today. I really appreciate the help guys!

Zach


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Alaskan Polar Bear
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Re: Ski Alignment

#6 Post by Alaskan Polar Bear » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:58 pm

the round bar trick is the way to go, with a few tricks added .. once the ski;s are aligned I like to tip them in just a hair @2 degrees at the top this gives it a camaro like steering not a cadilac plus the skis need to be toed out @1/4 inch to 3/4 inch to keep the darting down,.. make handling much nicer for the ladies and kids, if you do this your not fighting the sled to stay on the trail ...
hope this helps
tony


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john
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Re: Ski Alignment

#7 Post by john » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:45 am

Yeah, well I provide pictures :tounge:



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