Nice Wheels, Shame About the Clearance

Nice Wheels, Shame About the Clearance

How to go about aligning lowered or performance vehicles 

Google “lowered car wheel alignment” and you’ll find plenty of people asking where they can get this “simple” job done. It’s been quite a problem in the past, with much of the older equipment unable to cope because of poor wheel clearance or line-of-sight data transmission masked by spoilers. With the modded market booming, it was a problem for many drivers - not to mention the potential road safety implications. 

Modern vehicle alignment systems can overcome the technical difficulties, with Absolute Alignment’s Bluetooth Pro and Bluetooth 3D leading the way at the many Absolute Alignment Approved centres around the country. Thanks to constant innovation, the performance and modified car market has a new option. 

So just how do you go about aligning a performance car? Absolute Alignment solves the problem by using Bluetooth communication between the alignment heads and the base unit, neatly avoiding the problems encountered by “laser” aligners. Here’s how simple it is to align a car using the popular Bluetooth Pro wheel aligner, the staple of many garages. 

 The problem – nice wheels, no clearance 

Low clearance on VW Golf wheels

The solution starts with the wheel clamps, the bits that hang the measuring heads off your wheels. A specialist performance centre will have a clamp that does not clamp over the top of the tyre (insufficient clearance). Metal-to-metal clamping will be avoided, as we’ve seen many workshops damaging expensive aluminium wheels. Absolute Alignment’s Pro Clamps avoid all the pitfalls, and are standard issue with the Bluetooth Pro. 

Fitting the Absolute Alignment Pro Clamps

The traditional problem for garages now is that their measuring heads can’t see past the front valance. Handily the Bluetooth Pro handles this and you simply rotate them to look under it. Our software is clever enough to take the re-positioning of the heads into account, so you proceed in the usual manner.

Tilt the Absolute Alignment measuring heads


Screen shot of the Spoiler Programme in action

Thanks to modern technology, what was previously a difficult operation often involving the removal of body panels is now as quick and easy as with any everyday hatchback. The system has been used and approved by many major race teams including Power Maxed Racing and Team Dynamics, who use it to set up the suspension of the works Vauxhall Astra and Honda Civic racers in the BTCC. 

If you regularly operate with lowered, performance and specialist cars then an upgrade to the Bluetooth 3D may be a suitable option. Unlike many other manufacturers, the Absolute Alignment system does not rely on a tower placed at the front of the car, instead using sensors attached to the side of the ramp. These cleverly look underneath the car so the technician can quickly check and adjust the alignment without needing the special Spoiler Programme.

Absolute Alignment Bluetooth 3D

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