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Old 03-09-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
Techno Duck
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Default Four wheel alignment, how long does it usually take?

Just curious, i made an appointment for a wheel alignment this tuesday morning at 10am, its imperitive i get outta there by 2pm the latest as ive got a math test at 3pm. Generally speaking, how long does a good four wheel alignment take at a specialty Porsche shop? Would 3-4 hours suffice? Most of the specialty shops i called in a 20 mile distance from me all told said i need to leave my car there, only two said it was alright if i waited.

I am swapping the front control arms after doing balljoints as well as changing the spindle's to ones from a 968 to fit larger brakes. The rear end defenetley needs an alignment done as i lowered the back using the trailing arm trick and have some pretty serious looking camber on the rear wheels now. I was quoted about $150 for the job a few weeks ago when i inquired about it. So i would guess maybe two hours? I hear the rear end is a real pain in the butt to align right...will they run into any problems doing the rear considering i have the back dropped as far as possible with the spring plate now?
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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depends on if they are going to jump right on it or let it sit until 2pm. Usually it would take an hour to do an alignment but unforseen problems and when they start is the main thing. I would tell them i need it by 2 and if they say "ok" then roll with it.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:10 PM   #3
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It took about 3 hours for mine.

That also included mounting four new tires.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:40 PM   #4
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I told them i was going to wait while it was being done, so i hope that kinda pushes them to start on it imediatley. Worse comes to worse i will just tell them to do the front as that is whats really going to be thrown out of whack, i can live with the excessive camber on the rear wheels for a little while longer if need be.
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Old 03-11-2006, 02:19 PM   #5
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Jon... looking for a quick alignment huh? Boy I hope you get a better deal than I did recently. The "4 wheel alignment" took exactly 20 minutes and $65. I had the tire shop do it while I was having some new tires mounted. The car is still pulling to the left so this morning I jacked it up to look at it myself. Thre right ball joint is completely gone - really really loose and one of the camber blocks was showing cracks in the rubber. I think the guy just tweaked the toe-in and didn't bother to even look it over. Oh well, live and learn - prolly going to need a control arm - so here I am on RL ...shopping for an 87 passenger control arm. Another Porsche day...Bruce
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Old 03-11-2006, 02:54 PM   #6
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Took them about an hour and 20 minutes to align the front at my local tire place, including the obligatory "test drive" they wanted to take.
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Old 03-11-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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Bruce, i will have the old control arms off my '87 944 off the car hopefully tomorrow. I could sell them to you for what i bought my spare set for. They should be rebuildable, i will let you know if your interested.
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #8
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Shoot I've been doing mine for 3 months now, everytime I fix something in the suspension I have to re-check the alignment. I have it about perfect now, until I drop the front suspension and cross member to replace the oil pan gasket. Luckily I'm getting pretty good at it or this would be pretty expensive.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:49 PM   #9
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2 hours is about right, including a test drive.
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:07 AM   #10
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Looks like its going to have to wait, the weather did not agree with me and the control arms didnt go on. Thanks for all the advice however!
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:22 PM   #11
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I had mine aligned today, it was just short of 2 hours.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:24 PM   #12
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i have been searching for the past week to find what the big deal is on alignments for our cars...

why do i keep hearing things from shops, such as: you need special tools to work on the rear, or we don't have the tools to work on the front, or we can't get the specs for that.

i got the specs from rennlist, the setup should be the same as an older volkswagen right? working on my dad's escort work car, seems to be the same setup. what is the big deal, and why did one shop tell me they would need the car for a full day?

when i replaced a bunch of parts in the front end, i eyeballed the alignment until i could get it done at a shop, but it has now been 5-6 years. no one will work on my car.

my car tracks straight, but i am chewing a little extra on the inside edge.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:31 PM   #13
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There is a "special tool" used to move the trailing arms relative to the link from the torsion bars, kind of an eccentric plug. My alignment guy uses a round punch inserted in the hole and some force to achieve the correct alignment. He's done both my cars, $100 each, and takes him about 2 - 3 hours tops (including a brief test drive). This is an independent shop that does fleet work.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
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Ah man, i love reading my old posts.. oh how little i knew.. .

The front is easy, just like any car out there. The rear is where its tricky because you need a special tool in the back to adjust the toe and as you adjust one, it adjusts another angle (camber, thrustangle..etc). Its one of those things like the balance shaft sprockets.. you dont need the pin wrench but your life is 100x easier with it. Most guys look at the back trailing arms and have no idea what they are looking at. Depending how out of whack it all is, the guy i have been going to (P-car tech, very familiar with 944 setup) usually takes about an hour and a half start to finish.

Ive done an alignment on my friends 944 using the strings, digital level specificaly meant for alignments, toe plates and all the other goodies. It took me the better part of a day to do it, mostly trial and error. Talk about a steep learning curve. Feeling a little cocky i did an alignment on my friends WRX also which took about 3hrs more than expected (thats with adding 2hrs for the 'whoops' moments!)... all of this was to learn how to do it on my own as i usually do an alignment twice a year due to the amount of times i replace parts and do work on the car... lets just say i am going to keep paying the $150-ish to have a shop do it.. .
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:39 PM   #15
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I was billed 3 hours for a full alignment and corner balance on a laser alignment machine. This by a shop I trust implicitly with the work done by a tech who I race against.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:39 PM
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