Aligning the Toe In By Measurement at Rear Adjust

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RC20
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Aligning the Toe In By Measurement at Rear Adjust

Post by RC20 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:32 pm

This seems to be a Universal question and procedure so I thought the Watering Hole was the place for it. I know its been addressed before as well but I think I have a different question.

I have watched the video on it and its not a question of the idea, its how to go about it and preferably without a major tool investment or build. Clearly to get more neural the toe in needs to be moved in for a right pulling machine.

So, they did the alignment when assembled or returned it to those marks and mine pulls to the right. Not as bad as some but having been on a left slope road where it was neutral I would prefer that for the far more often right slope.

Is there any reason that you simply cannot measure the front dimensions and move it in 1/8 ? (just as a starting thought not a hard figure) - that is about as much as I think you can see and have some change.

Clearly its not that far off or like its an all new setup. Bump it in another 1/8 if that does not get you what you want or out a 1/16th if too much.
Last edited by RC20 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

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RC20
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:44 pm

The Video shows adjusting the toe at the rear, as you are rotating around the ball, any reasons the front can't be used to created more toe in?

It would seem that the rear would set the overall width and the front do the toe in though It obviously works the other way and the width is not that critical.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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rougaroo
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by rougaroo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:22 pm

Your thinking is admirable, but remember that these critters have been around in their same general configuration since the 1930's. It's really best to just follow the directions, improvise tools when needed, and don't over-think it. Toe-in and camber don't take a "major tool investment" when any long straight object will suffice. The attached manual even references using string in a pinch.

http://www.lap.ttu.ee/xj600/ural/HowToRide.pdf

The riding tips in there are also great for sidecar newbies, especially about weight distribution, braking, and cornering.

Sergei doesn't use a tool to align bikes at Ural HQ. He just rides them and then adjusts them as he feels they need it. But then he has more experience than all of us put together.

Trust the process. Lots of time to diddle with it after you've put some km's on it.

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RC20
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:40 pm

Thank you, its good food for thought and I will ponder it. And none of this is taken lightly or shooting from the hip.

Looking at it after asking my questions I can see the fixed nature of the front and the rear adjustment is the variable. I understand there is more than one adjustment back there with the rake of the fitting (separate from the lean adjustments) . I have been looking at it for 3,000 miles now and it seems its been made out to be more than it is (for a fine tune)

I come from 30 some years of a mechanic, tech and engineering (no letters, call it a designated one based on a deep dive into the fundamentals of the equipment I worked on and an acknowledgement in 4-6 fields I knew what I was talking about)

While it was not common, I did find more than one setup that the basic setting was ballpark only and you had to then adjust to what worked vs what the book said.

I don't think you could get it close without the basic tools and setup, but once it has been set, then it seems clear that you can measure and use the old makes (both) to adjust to feel. I suspect that is what Sergai does though he could do the rest of the level and lean standing on his head as well (I have seen the Videos of him working and clearly a master of it all) - so don't get me wrong, I don't begin to put myself in his league let alone the other Ural mechanics (official or not, I have known some really good cycle mechanics that had no mechanical background at all)

Just like the timing mark, I don't need a timing mark, I know how to get TDC on a piston and which side is going into the compression stroke. I don't need to hang me head over on the far side and try to find a timing mark (is that dumb or what, how about putting the window on the Kick starter side?)

I once spent a night working out a timing cycle on a diesel that the shop owner had messed with (and bent the push rod on it , ala a single stroke)

As a mechanic he beat me all to hell. But I focused on what a diesel BTDC was, what the two options were and ran the math on the cam going at half engine speed and went in the next morning and told him, put it HERE. Why do you say that. Because we clearly have two options, and the math says this is the right one and the one you tried was wrong because you bent the value rod.

Yep, spot on (he had tapped the push rod straight much to my amazement and it worked fine - that is what I did not know, I figured a new one).

So on this, my assessment for now, loose the initial setting and you have a problem but measure it, log it, mark it and adjust it and worst you do is return it to what it was.

I set a whole lot of Boiler linkage rods that way. We would occasionally had the mix checked for other reasons and they always were spot on.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by jaybird » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:48 pm

I don’t know what video you watched as you didn’t provide any link. I can almost guarantee it’s an older video, as prior to 2007 the front lower sidecar mount was non adjustable and all the adjustments were made at the rear lower mount for toe in, and Lean was accomplished, as with yours, by adjusting the turnbuckles.
Good advice from rougaroo, but no reason why you can’t make the adjustments a little at a time as you described, Mark the starting position, and if you don’t like the outcome, you can easily return it to the starting point.
The “book” setting is a good starting point and may work perfectly for you, but if it doesn’t then you need to tinker with it from there.
As long as you don’t get it so far out that the poor handling causes you to crash in some way, you won’t hurt your machine by making an adjustment and then test driving it.

Happy trails,
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by Desantnik-VDV » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:41 pm

:lurker:
Don't forget to mark your struts as well, because if you change your toe-in you will need to shorten or make longer your upper frame connection points.

Or just keep adjusting it, 'till you find a favorable adjustment for you and leave it there.

There is no "one size fits all". Operator weight difference is a big issue if you take someone with 150lb weight and then give it to drive another person who weights 380lb.

The guy who bought my 1999 BC back in 2004, his weight was 380lb, and that poor 650 Ural looked very much crooked with 0lb weight in the tub.
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by rougaroo » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:21 am

You just hit on one of my alignment pet peeves.

The first thing you need to do on alignment is level the bike-to-sidecar strut. See the IMZ video with Sergei - first thing he does. How does a dealer do it? Same way as Sergei.

Now, in reality what happens? A rider that is 200+ lbs jumps on a leveled, aligned bike, and the sidecar is immediately higher across the pusher axle. Ride behind other Urals at a rally and look at how high the sidecars are relative to the bikes (those without passengers, naturally).

Ideally, the bike should be leveled with the normal rider *on* the bike, or at least with that much weight in the driver's seat and sidecar if you normally carry a passenger. This is what makes alignment an ideal activity for a rally, where someone else can help align your bike while you're on it.

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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by Mr Wazzock » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:24 pm

Just to add, this business about tracking a straight line only applies if the pavement is dead level (and smooth), then it should track straight, if the road leans left it will want to run off to the left, if the road leans right it will want to run off to the right, and that's normal behaviour. :D
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by Desantnik-VDV » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:23 pm

There are so many variables to deal with and there is NO perfect condition in any given time, so I don't fuss much with or about settings if there is not something obviously out of alignments. Give me a rig and I'll jump on it and away I'll go. I rather adjust myself if/when conditions require. :D
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:43 pm

Mr Wazzock wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Just to add, this business about tracking a straight line only applies if the pavement is dead level (and smooth), then it should track straight, if the road leans left it will want to run off to the left, if the road leans right it will want to run off to the right, and that's normal behaviour. :D
Now there is some of the feedback I need.

My observation is that when I am on the left side of a crown area, I have neutral steering.

When I am on the right side, I have a pull to the right.

I believe I should be able to get it neutral on the right crown knowing its going to go left on a left crown but as that is rare (passing and few road area) then it should be best where you spend all your time.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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RC20
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:51 pm

I don’t know what video you watched as you didn’t provide any link. I can almost guarantee it’s an older video, as prior to 2007 the front lower sidecar mount was non adjustable and all the adjustments were made at the rear lower mount for toe in, and Lean was accomplished, as with yours, by adjusting the turnbuckles.
I confused things, I sometimes write as a way to think out loud (no one around to talk to about this so the group can be my sounding board as this is)

The Viedo is the IMZ one, they loosen the struts and then adjust (rear). Then they adjust the struts (good point to log how many turns so you can get back)

On the other hand I have the angle gauge so I can see and confirm what is going on.

If I follow it, the lean is related to upright feel on a crown. Not sure it makes any difference to me, I do not feel leaned over on a left crown when passing.

Frankly I would think you would want a pull left on level so it is neutralish on right crown (and forgive me for those who have to run opposite side driving like those weird Brits who then inflicted that on the other on other parts of the world, main reason we gave them the heave ho. )
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by jeffsaline » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:19 pm

RC20 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:43 pm
Mr Wazzock wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:24 pm
Just to add, this business about tracking a straight line only applies if the pavement is dead level (and smooth), then it should track straight, if the road leans left it will want to run off to the left, if the road leans right it will want to run off to the right, and that's normal behaviour. :D
Now there is some of the feedback I need.

My observation is that when I am on the left side of a crown area, I have neutral steering.

When I am on the right side, I have a pull to the right.

I believe I should be able to get it neutral on the right crown knowing its going to go left on a left crown but as that is rare (passing and few road area) then it should be best where you spend all your time.
Maybe reduce toe in a tad, maybe 1/8-1/4" and see if that doesn't reduce the pulling on the right crown.

Best,

Jeff
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RC20
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:17 pm

Maybe reduce toe in a tad, maybe 1/8-1/4" and see if that doesn't reduce the pulling on the right crown.
That is the plan. Clearly its basically setup in the ball park, fine tune and see what happens. Adjust more if needed.

I don't know you can mark the struts or measure them but I can count turns and that is not as criteria for handling (feel yes) .

I can mark the rear as well as measure it.

The manual has recommended toe in values, but then goes on to say, more toe in if its pulling to the right, less if its pulling to the left.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

RC20
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Re: Aligning the Toe In

Post by RC20 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:24 pm

With an area ice free and a sunny 32 degree day (West sun right into the front of the house so nicer than temp indicates), I tackled the adjustment.

The strut bolts were gorilla tight, though the thread lock nuts were not and the fastener for the frame adjustment was also normal tension.

First shot I got 3/16 change, as that was between my target of 1/8 to 1/4 left it at that and went and ran errands.

Huge difference. Almost neutral now. Wish I had been in position to do it sooner. Needed the long pattern box wrench, those nuts wold never have come off with the Ural tool kit.

Not quite all the right pull is gone and the rest of the maneuvering is also vastly improved as not overcoming that on top of other aspects.

Will probably nudge it another 1/8.

Method works and it will be interesting to see how rear tire does as I suspect the constant crab was why it had such rapid wear.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

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Re: Aligning the Toe In By Measurement

Post by Snakeoil » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:21 pm

Don't forget tire wear. If the rig is properly aligned, tires should wear evenly. I measure tread depth on each side of the tread regularly.

I spent 8 hours aligning my rig the first time. Mine has the rigid front lower mount. One thing that is key is knowing that moving one adjustment will affect the others. I went back and forth a lot before I figured out how much to over-adjust so that other adjustments bring that adjustment in when they are made. My guess is s Sergei knows how the adjustments interact and makes no false moves.

Don't forget shock settings. Rule I was given is max preload while aligning. And make sure the floor is level before you start. I had to shim my hack wheel because my garage floor was not dead level in all directions.

Neutral handling is a relative term. On and off throttle will cause the rig to pull right and left. Not sure any rig will be neutral. Mine is pretty good, throttle reactions notwidthstanding. My goal was "neutral" while cruising with tub empty, meaning no accel nor decel. For my rig, that was 3/8" toe.

Crowned roads will always vary. I don't think I would want a rig that was neutral on a crowned road. It might pull you into opposing traffic in an emergency situation.
Regards,
Rob
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