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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2004, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Alignment question/problem

Just got an alignment today and I am having a pulling to the right since. I need to keep the steering wheel at 11:00 or more to keep the car on the road straight. If I let go of the wheel at 11:00, the car more or less stays straight, but if I center the wheel the car will go off the road in a few hundred feet. I just put new lowering springs in (1" drop) as well as new front upper control arms. The car tracked straight for the most part after the suspension work, but I knew the rear toe was off because the tire was scrubbing. Once the alignment is finished, is it normal procedure to center the steering wheel? I just get the feeling that if the wheel was turned to the right 5 degrees, everything would be fine.




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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2004, 10:44 PM
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mine does the same thing, 11 o'clock to keep going straight, had it aligned at pep boys, the wheel position never changed, it would just track straighter, might be the lower control arm bushing, that would be my guess, had the same problem on my cutlass, after i changed it, the wheel would be staight up, try looking at that first, i am surprised that the guy doing the alignment didn't check those for you, the guy that did my bird told me i would need some front end work sooner or later, and pointed out some problems, hth.......later'z........

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 10:09 AM
 
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They should have centered the wheel for the alignment. 'Not a very professional place. You can do it yourself by adjusting the toe equal and opposite directions yourself.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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Hi Embalmer

Ya they should have centered the steering wheel. But they probably thought they did.

Looking at the print out from your alignment there are a couple of concerns that may relate to a pull to the right.

The setback on the front and rear axles are both positive this points both axles to the right.

Whenever a four wheeled vehicle is put into motion, the front wheels will automatically track parallel to the front wheels. On your car there is +.5” of setback on the rear axle. That means that the front axle will track to the right to. And that’s over and above the +.3 setback on the front axle.

The rear toe is still in spec but is creating, along with the setback, the positive thrust angle that points the rear axle to the right. The thrust angle is low but seems to have been compensated for some how.


To go along with this, the camber on the front -0.9 deg on the left and -0.5 deg on the right also encourage a pull to the right. This is on top of the road crown that slopes to the right as well.

Also it seems odd that there are no readings provided for the caster angles on the front. Without the caster angles it is impossible to know what the potential effect is in relation to the other settings.

Looks like this wheel alignment got individual adjustments within spec but not at the optimum settings and not in comparison to the other angles.

Might be that, with the lowering springs, every thing is at the limits of adjustment potential.

Then again- maybe just centering the steering wheel will do what you need.

It is true that you can center your steering wheel yourself. Make sure you mark the original position of the adjusting collars before any movement is made. Turn them both the same direction. That will shorten one and lengthen the other. Try a ¼ turn – test drive and go from there.



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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"You can do it yourself by adjusting the toe equal and opposite directions yourself."
how!? mines been doing the same crap and i want to straighten it up
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Got the car back today. They had it on the rack two seperate times making adjustments. It turns out without a good caster reading, the other specs were not true. Once the caster is set, then the camber and toe, the car actually will track straight! I hate it when I have to tell other people how to do their job correctly.

The car is perfectly straight now. Turn in is sharp, and, somehow, I lost my 60 mph steering wheel shimmy!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by XR7kid
"You can do it yourself by adjusting the toe equal and opposite directions yourself."
how!? mines been doing the same crap and i want to straighten it up
You just need to loosen the locking nuts that keep the adjusters from moving on the tie rod ends, then rotate one adjuster out the same number of turns you rotate the other in, then tighten the locking nuts back down.
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