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View Full Version : Damn Alignmment Guy!!



Nitro_Alltrac
08-06-2014, 11:56 PM
After changing out the suspension last year I had a 4 wheel alignment done at the Toyota dealer near the house there in San Antonio. Everything seemed fine after it was done. I put several hundred miles on the car down there before we came back. Several months ago I was look at the front tires and they were pretty much bald. I didn't thing too much about it as they had quite a few miles on them. This was one of the reasons I didn't bring the All Trac to the Dragon.

In April or May I put new tires on the front. Everything seemed good. I've put probably 800 to a 1000 miles on the tires. Looking at them tonight, the inside edges on both tires are worn to the point that there really aren't any tread blocks and upon closer inspection the right tire is almost into the belts!

I told the service writer when I took the car in to the deal that it had camber bolts installed so please be sure to check and adjust the camber. Evidently this didn't happen. I don't know how much camber is currently dialed in but I'm thinking the kit I put in would go up to close to 3 degrees.

So, it's looking like I'm buying two more tires and getting another alignment. Wonderful.:ar:

Murgatroy
08-07-2014, 01:33 AM
My personal favorite was the time the kid came and told me that he couldn't do Chaos' alignment until I replaced my inner and out tie rod ends.

The same parts I had replaced that same afternoon necessitating the alignment...

METDeath
08-07-2014, 01:59 AM
Yeah... I may almost... cave... and take my car to caveman's shop for an alignment after the new wheel/tire combo this spring.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-07-2014, 11:17 AM
My personal favorite was the time the kid came and told me that he couldn't do Chaos' alignment until I replaced my inner and out tie rod ends.

The same parts I had replaced that same afternoon necessitating the alignment...

I love that bullshit. My sister gave my son her Cavalier when she got her Matrix. I took in to get it inspected at a shop I had used before. The guy comes back and says "Yeah, you're going to need brakes all the way around". I said, that's really odd considering that the brakes were replaced all the way around less than 200 miles ago (she had them done at a Goodwrench service center right before she gave it to him). Talk about a lot of aaaaaaaaaaah.

Car_Barn_Bandit
08-07-2014, 03:20 PM
After my driver-side suspension arm ate a manhole cover, and all the mechanics promised me that I'd never be able to straighten it out, the Goodyear shop aligned it near perfect. My wear is excellent, I don't have any pull, and it came with a long warranty that I could use at any Goodyear shop.

I'll be using them again in the future.

celica9303
08-07-2014, 05:40 PM
It's all about the up-sale in a tire shop....

donteatbugs
08-11-2014, 02:00 PM
Heavy inner wear could also be from too much toe in. I like to run my sporty cars with 0 toe and -2 camber in the front. Not really and adverse effects when rotating tires regularly.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-11-2014, 04:49 PM
The wear pattern on these tires looks more like the camber is screwed up. The outside edge looks brand new with just the little rubber tits gone, the inside edge worn almost to the belts. I looked in my logbook yesterday, not quite 1800 miles.

I've got new tires coming that are supposed to be here today. I'm getting those mounted and the car aligned. I'm making a point of telling them to check the camber.

KoreanJoey
08-13-2014, 09:44 AM
Make sure you get a printout. My assumption is toe as well. However, if the toe reads 0 on the machine but still wears the tires you might look at bushings. If the bushing are worn and flex a lot you'll get alignment changes based on acceleration, braking and just following the pattern of the road. There have been a number of times when I went to do an alignment on a customer vehicle and found I could change the toe by more than a degree just by pushing the wheels apart. Totally worn control arm bushings were to blame.

Joey

Nitro_Alltrac
08-13-2014, 11:16 AM
Thanks Joey. It's going in tomorrow to get the new tires mounted and the alignment done. I've used this shop before and these guys do a good job. They also give you a printout so I'm curious to see what things look like.

T-spoon
08-13-2014, 03:55 PM
Make sure you get a printout. My assumption is toe as well. However, if the toe reads 0 on the machine but still wears the tires you might look at bushings. If the bushing are worn and flex a lot you'll get alignment changes based on acceleration, braking and just following the pattern of the road. There have been a number of times when I went to do an alignment on a customer vehicle and found I could change the toe by more than a degree just by pushing the wheels apart. Totally worn control arm bushings were to blame.

Joey

Yep, one of those cars was mine! No bizarre wear patterns but it sure did like to move around :hehe:

Nitro_Alltrac
08-15-2014, 02:11 AM
Got the new tires put on and the alignment done today. The guy got the wheel straight which is much more than I can say for the last guy that "aligned" it. It's supposed to be set at 1.25 degrees negative camber but they didn't leave the print out like I asked. I'm going to check it tomorrow and see. So far so good.

donteatbugs
08-15-2014, 01:00 PM
I would have tried to get more negative. My alltrac turned into a whole new beast with -2 and 0 toe. It makes for a very responsive steering , even with a heavy front like the alltrac. I was also running a 9.2 kg/mm spring in the front.

Hipster Lawrence
08-17-2014, 02:35 AM
Reasonable amounts of camber doesn't wear tires. Unless it is less than -3 You won't see wear like you describe.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-17-2014, 01:34 PM
I don't know how much camber I was running. That was my first guess as I had put the camber bolts in redid the suspension. Something was definitely off.

I'm going to watch things extremely close now. I've used this shop a lot over the past 10 years or so and they done a good job. They didn't say anything about any of the suspension wear items being shot but did note a couple of other nonsuspenion items that I already knew about so I'm pretty sure they checked everything before they did the alignment. So far it looks like they did a pretty good job. They go the steering wheel perfectly straight which was an issue with the last alignment. (It seemed like it was straight initially but once I started driving it was off just enough to be noticeable.)

Jesse, just for my own knowledge, how much camber would you have to have to cause extreme tire wear? 3 degrees or more? Just wondering.

donteatbugs
08-18-2014, 07:14 PM
Ive noticed abnoral wear at -3 degrees. The tires still lasted 15k miles before the inside was smooth. I backed off to -2.5 and a very true 0 toe and the wear seems even more acceptable so I left it there.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-18-2014, 11:02 PM
I wish I had gotten the damn print out so I could see where it was before they aligned it.

KoreanJoey
08-19-2014, 06:37 AM
They should have it on file. I'd call them and check.

Nitro_Alltrac
08-19-2014, 02:31 PM
Thanks Joey. I'll stop by there in the next day or so and see if I can get it.

donteatbugs
08-19-2014, 02:44 PM
The shop I use saves everything on file since hard drives are huge nowadays and the alignment machine has its own desktop computer.

Car_Barn_Bandit
02-24-2015, 12:11 AM
My personal favorite was the time the kid came and told me that he couldn't do Chaos' alignment until I replaced my inner and out tie rod ends.

The same parts I had replaced that same afternoon necessitating the alignment...

Reviving this one for relevance.

I replaced my RH axle this weekend. My toe was off nearly 2 on the RH front tire, as expected. I went to the shop to get the 2 wheel alignment, and the fun began.

The service monkey called me in to tell me that my tie rods were what was causing the alignment issue. Sure, there was a BRAND NEW CV AXLE as the ONLY shiny thing under the front end, but let's try and claim it's the tie rod ends. He said that they we too rusted to be loosened, yet so loose that they moved on the ball knuckle of the hub. I pointed to the new axle, and asked him to adjust the RH tire to compensate for the new axle. He went and got a manager, who came over to give me the spiel about getting new tie rod ends, to replace my working tie rod ends. As he started explaining how inexpensive the service was, he recognized me as the guy who paid him under the table to press the bearing on the new axle he was standing under.

He laughed, said the alignment couldn't be warranted and told his accomplice in Spanish to just straighten the tire. Shockingly enough, he turned a wrench and loosened the supposedly frozen tie rod bolt. I then got a speech about having negative camber. I got a printout, thanked him for the laser alignment, and left.

-1.2 on both tires, straightened up with a new axle. She's drives like a demon again.

As long as you ride the technicians, they will drive straight.

tuner4life
02-24-2015, 02:30 PM
Yeah, I have completely given up on alignment techs in my area. I have found the best option is to make a friend with a small shop owner who lets me do the alignment myself using his equipment after hours.

That being said, I have the camber set to -2 deg with 0 toe on my wife's ridiculously heavy Volvo C70 and it turns in like a much lighter car now. Night and day difference. It has been set like this for 2 summers worth of driving and the tires look almost new. They won't wear abnormally if the chassis parts are in good shape and the alignment is done right.

Galcobar
02-24-2015, 03:03 PM
Useful info -- I just picked up an IS300 with significant inner edge wear on the front tires (rear tires are basically brand new). An alignment was completed on Jan. 15 and I have the receipt, but I'll need to replace those front tires soon and will do an alignment at the same time.

I figured that the toe is out, since the car tramlines to a ridiculous extent -- though that may be a matter of perception heightened by coming from a narrow, tall tire to a wide, short tire.

Car_Barn_Bandit
02-24-2015, 06:27 PM
The fallacy begins when they claim that the mechanism that controls toe, is responsible for camber. My springs changed the geometry and induced negative camber. To solve this, you'd need to adjust the ball joints, or the strut bolts.

david in germany
02-28-2015, 03:34 PM
I guess my cars have all been the exception, I have swapped suspensions on numerous cars Celica included and only had the alignment checked once ever. I have always had even tread wear and the one time I was concerned after swapping springs and dampers the shop measured and all was still dead on reccomended specs. The only car I ever had issues with was bone stock, and ate front tires with stock measurements, a 97 Lancia.


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