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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah, I know it sounds pretty basic, but even if you think you "eyeballed" things close enough, it probably isn't.

Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, I installed new BMR toe rods on the rear of my G8 GT. Before taking anything apart, I marked the offset washer and frame at the inner bolt, so I could reassemble it back the way it was. Well, that wasn't even close. After getting everything back together, I drove the car around the neighborhood to settle the suspension, then pulled it back in the garage. Just walking around the car, the rear wheels looked OK, but they did seem to be toed in just a little.

Curious, I set up a jig to measure the toe using 2 steel rulers against the outside sidewalls, quart paint cans to hold them up at the same height, and 2 measuring tapes running under the car from the outside edge of each ruler, one in front of the tread, one in back.

It was over 1/2" off. :embarrassed:

I double checked to see if the measuring tapes were hitting anything under the car, even swapped them front to back - still the same measurement. So, I crawled back underneath and loosened the nut on the inner bolts, then turned them just a few degrees so that the paint marks I had made (before starting) on the offset washer and frame no longer quite lined up, and measured the toe again. 1/8", much better - at least good enough to drive it a few miles to the alignment shop.

Specs from the alignment shop:

(* is out of range)

Before: Rear camber left -1.1 Rear camber right -.05
Rear toe left 0.28* Rear toe right 0.13
Cross camber -.06
Total toe .41
Thrust angle 0.08


After alignment: Rear camber left -1.0 Rear camber right -.05
Rear toe left 0.19 Rear toe right 0.20
Cross camber -.05
Total toe 0.39
Thrust angle -0.01

So, I was able to get pretty close just using some measuring tapes to check the toe, but still not within specs - at least it wasn't over 1/2".
 

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I hate the fact that the shop you brought it to didn't bother to fix the camber before moving to the toe adjustments.. They might both be in the acceptable range but half a degree offset is a little much for me.
Probably would have found that fixing the camber would have fixed the toe.
 

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Yeah, they should have been able to get the rear dialed in better IMO. Just because it's acceptable doesn't mean it's optimal. My car is pretty well balanced side to side with the stock adjusting bolts, I think they could have done better.
 

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Your home alignment was almost exactly the same as the shops. Toe and camber are co-dependent in the back. I do it myself cause shops don't give a ****. Camber is affected by unlevel surfaces, so you need to know if compensation is required for your spot.

Once you get a system and understand how it works, I would take my alignment over non performance shops any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alignment update

A few weeks after installing the toe rods, I upgraded the struts with FE3 parts, in anticipation of replacing the original, worn out (65K miles!) Bridgestones with Michilein Pilot Super Sports.

After replacing the 4 struts, but before getting the tires, I took the car and had a 4 wheel alignment done. As soon as left the alignment shop, I noticed the steering wheel was not centered and the car pulled to the right slightly. Not having time to deal with it right then, I went ahead and got the tires installed and drive the car to work and back for a week or two. Even with the brand new tires, steering wheel still not centered and car still pulled to the right a little.

Finally had time to take the car back to the alignment shop, sat there for 4 hours while they checked and rechecked and adjusted and test drove and put it back up on the rack and adjusted some more. After the 3rd test drive, they pretty much said they had done everything they could, alignment could be set in spec, but car still pulls to the right and steering wheel still not centered. They cross-rotated tires, tweaked every setting, but couldn't quite get rid of the problem.

No clunks, rattles, or anything else, it drives OK - but what is causing
the constant pull to the right? I think I need to try another alignment shop.
 

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What are the numbers?

Steering wheel not centered is all front toe adjustments. I insist that a shop allow me to sit in the car and hold the wheel when they set toe. Then I am sure the wheel is straight.

Pulling is usually an offset from one side to the other in either camber or caster, it can be affected by how sever a crown is placed in your local roads. Where are you located?

Just because it is in specs doesn't mean there isn't enough offset to induce a pull. You need to be a bit more precise to get it the way it should feel.
 

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I did all the rear end bushings from bmr and superpro, trailing arms and tunnel brace. My alignment was so far out it was actually causing traction control to turn off. I took it to my buddy at firestone total car care since they have a lifetime alignment warranty no matter what I do the the suspension. He basically told me he had never seen a car that far out of alignment. The front was the worst and I hadn't touched it. But I did have the dealer change the struts, mounts, and bearings. So It shows you even the dealer will screw it up so not a good chance a diy xan get it right. Either way find a shop that will do a lifetime warranty so you can keep upgrading and realigning free of charge

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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We definitely recommend having the alignment checked anytime you change the ride height or mess with the mounting points which are key to the alignment. Another important thing is to make sure you are working with a good, quality alignment shop because your alignment is only going to be as good as the guy doing it. I can't tell you how many guys we have call us here that just had their car aligned by one shop but take it to another shop to have the alignment checked because of handling issues just to find out they received a marginal alignment at best. Finding a good shop is very important.
 

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A few weeks after installing the toe rods, I upgraded the struts with FE3 parts, in anticipation of replacing the original, worn out (65K miles!) Bridgestones with Michilein Pilot Super Sports.

After replacing the 4 struts, but before getting the tires, I took the car and had a 4 wheel alignment done. As soon as left the alignment shop, I noticed the steering wheel was not centered and the car pulled to the right slightly. Not having time to deal with it right then, I went ahead and got the tires installed and drive the car to work and back for a week or two. Even with the brand new tires, steering wheel still not centered and car still pulled to the right a little.

Finally had time to take the car back to the alignment shop, sat there for 4 hours while they checked and rechecked and adjusted and test drove and put it back up on the rack and adjusted some more. After the 3rd test drive, they pretty much said they had done everything they could, alignment could be set in spec, but car still pulls to the right and steering wheel still not centered. They cross-rotated tires, tweaked every setting, but couldn't quite get rid of the problem.

No clunks, rattles, or anything else, it drives OK - but what is causing
the constant pull to the right? I think I need to try another alignment shop.
I just did fe3 suspension with ebiach springs and my car pulls to the right as well. I've had it aligned 3 times now and the dealership say's they can not get the caster to align properly.
 
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