How to Use the Triple Laser String II with three laser plane
The principals of use for Triple Laser String II (Triple) are very much the same as a traditional three string setup, but as you will learn, the triple is by far, very fast, more accurate, easy to use, and can be used for a tremendous amount of uses beyond suspension alignment and chassis diagnostics.. After calibrating the triple, the customer must determine where the vehicle centerline is. The following procedure will aid you in this necessary preliminary step in using the triple. This may seem lengthy but please remember that this will only need to be preformed once and if done correctly will last the entire life of the vehicle.
As in a string setup, a center string is aligned to some reference points in the chassis. For the most part, most vehicles do not have such reference marks so they need to be created. Not having reference marks, the typical procedure would be to center the string between the suspension pivot points on the front and rear.
If we take a vehicle that has four wheels, double arm, independent suspension I think this might be the best way to get an understanding. Since the alignments are relative to our wheels then the lower control "A" arms will be reference points. More specifically, the inner mounts on the chassis where the "A" arms connect. Many people also refer to them as "Hard Points". Assuming we have a straight chassis, the center point between the two front lower "A" arms would be our first reference point in the front of the vehicle that represents the vehicle centerline. The same is true for the rear, which gives us the second point that represents the vehicle centerline. Using the string method we would align a string between these two points, thus creating a centerline from which two outer strings along side the vehicle will be set to.
In the case of the Triple Laser, most of all this work is already done, but the first part of finding the center point between the chassis hard points still must be created. For this laser application we still measure and find the front and rear center points except the laser can help you do this. By aiming the laser under the vehicle, the laser beam will scribe the under carriage of the vehicle. This may aid you, if you have hard points that you can not just simple stretch a tape measure between.
Once you have established the centerline points you would then mark the chassis. Permanently!
If the chassis is of such a design where a mark cannot be made between the hard points then this is where the laser can help you. Simply create a temporary reference mark front and rear. i.e. plumb line, straight edge or carpenters square. Using plumb lines made of poly fishing line will glow when the laser beam hits it. To aid in accurately aligning the laser beam, place a piece of paper behind the string, without touching the string and you can see the edges of the laser beam and the center blocked out by the fishing string. I personally like using a configuration of three strips of retro reflective tape 1/4 wide target. Two strips would be placed so the laser beam line fits between the two strips and the third strip placed directly above the two strips but on the centerline between the two strips. This arrangement works very well when access to the targets is limited and a excellent method for long range accurate targeting . With this complete, align the center laser of the triple to you front and rear reference.
With this complete you will have the laser aligned to the chassis centerline and the laser beam scribing many points along the chassis from which you can make permanent marks. In working with the Porsche GT team their excellent idea of drilling a hole that can receive short threaded rod makes a perfect solution for reference marks that both provide a permanent mark and also act as a removable target from which the laser can be aligned to. Having made your reference marks or ideally, targets, you simply align your center laser to the targets. Since the two out lasers are calibrated to the center laser and attached to the same bar, you now have a three line 3D parallelogram from which you can now perform all wheel alignments and chassis interrogation or diagnostics. If even higher accuracy is required, many of our customers include our Laser Toe Angle gauge to do fine toe settings to four thousands of an inch. Toe angle readings can be preformed in less than two minutes with this gauge.
As a last note, use common sense and you will find dozens of uses for your Triple Laser String II.
Good luck and have fun
Gee, I wonder what I can do if I stand the laser on end and have three horizontal laser beams... hummmm.
Gee, although I have to recalibrate I can adjust these heads to a camber angle... hummmm.
And chassis construction reference line, body panel placement on new chassis... hummmm.