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Need your opinion. Getting alignment in the AM!

 
Old 07-08-2010, 12:05 AM
  #16  
92silver964
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Originally Posted by ttAmerica RoadsterAWD View Post
Hi Joey. Thanks for your thoughts. Its not that the car has over steer, the car does not track straight on flat surface. It pulls to the left and I have to wrestle the steering wheel to the right to go straight.....

Anybody?
I'll offer another possibility, based on the fact that your shop returned your car to you with an obvious problem. Since they either didn't road test it or they didn't feel like responsibly resolving it anyway, I would begin to doubt their ability to even properly align your car. Since alignment (only watched, never did myself) is an iterative/progressive process with much interaction, maybe the "specs" they provided you were not rechecked after all adjustments were done? Perhaps they were just the values recorded at individual steps. How else could the supposedly balanced "specs" result in such one-sided behavior of your car? I'm definitely no expert, but I would ask them to recheck all of the settings in the car's current state, with you watching. Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:18 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by 92silver964 View Post
I'll offer another possibility, based on the fact that your shop returned your car to you with an obvious problem. Since they either didn't road test it or they didn't feel like responsibly resolving it anyway, I would begin to doubt their ability to even properly align your car. Since alignment (only watched, never did myself) is an iterative/progressive process with much interaction, maybe the "specs" they provided you were not rechecked after all adjustments were done? Perhaps they were just the values recorded at individual steps. How else could the supposedly balanced "specs" result in such one-sided behavior of your car? I'm definitely no expert, but I would ask them to recheck all of the settings in the car's current state, with you watching. Good luck.
agree...had the same issue with my last car coming out of a pro shop with issues.
no reason not to suggest they f'cked up, and that would be my starting point
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:05 AM
  #18  
ttAmerica RoadsterAWD
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Thanks guys. I spoke with the manager and refused to pay until the car behaves like its properly aligned regardless of what the numbers show. I told the manager "the proof is in the pudding". I said if he can get another set of 18 inch wheels and swap them in the front and show me its well aligned and tracks well, then I would accept that perhaps my tires are misbehaving. However, I would be quite surprised seeing as it tracked well with same tires before the evo upright install. Front tires have about 75% life still and don't show uneven wear (like the rears did, they are brand new now).

Is it possible the front tires have been broken-in to my previous toe-in (+24 both sides), and now that they have toe-in at .07 (much less toe), that they are behaving as such? Could it possibly be the tires reacting to the new setting? I would think round is round and tire behavior should work as they are aligned....right?? Anyway, for those of you who track your cars and change alignment parameters, I would love to hear your experiences when changing toe-in on the track.

thanks

Last edited by ttAmerica RoadsterAWD; 07-08-2010 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:38 AM
  #19  
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If the car is pulling that hard you can usually "eyeball" it to see if there is a large toe misalignment. As a quick check take a long straight edge (like a 6 ft 2x4 - a straight one) placed along the middle of the front rim and see how it lines up against the body and how also how it lines up in relation to the rear tire (or if you're checking the rear tire how it lines up with the front tire...). Then check the other side of the car - it can give you an idea if one wheel is way out. Front toe problems usually don't cause pulling as the steering will just recenter itself and the car will drive straight (but the steering wheel may be crooked and your car may look like a crab going down the road). Rear toe misalignment on the other hand can cause all sorts of problems...
Other things that can cause pulling - difference in camber and/or caster from one side to the other (known as cross camber and cross caster).
Don't forget about other alignment measurements such as "steering axis inclination", "included angle", and "scrub radius" that can also affect steering.

If you suspect tire problems just swap tires from one side to the other and it should then pull to the other side.

I had this happen about 15 years ago when I got my Alfa aligned at a "professional" shop and one rear wheel was so far out you could see it just by looking down the side of the car. The shop manager's response was "ya, it does look out, let's check it again".
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:27 AM
  #20  
Bill Verburg
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Originally Posted by ttAmerica RoadsterAWD View Post
...
Is it possible the front tires have been broken-in to my previous toe-in (+24 both sides), and now that they have toe-in at .07 (much less toe), that they are behaving as such? Could it possibly be the tires reacting to the new setting? I would think round is round and tire behavior should work as they are aligned....right?? Anyway, for those of you who track your cars and change alignment parameters, I would love to hear your experiences when changing toe-in on the track.

thanks
Anything is possible but that is not likely, even cars w/ zero front toe(mine) don't pull strongly one way or the other.

JMO, but have them realign(has their machine been recently calibrated?) or go to someone else that knows what they are doing.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:19 AM
  #21  
joey bagadonuts
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For perspective, here are ALL of my alignment specs from a recent adjustment (all measurements are in degrees or fractions thereof, unless otherwise noted):

FRONT (l/r)
Camber: -3.54 / -3.46
Toe: +0.22 / +0.24
Total Toe: +0.45
Caster: +3.93 / +4.07
KPI: +20.82 / +21.50
Setback: +0.06
Included Angle: +17.28 / +18.04

REAR (l/r)
Camber: -3.34 / -3.33
Toe: +0.19 / +0.17
Total Toe: +0.36
Setback: -0.02
Geometrical driving axis: -0.01

CORNER WEIGHTS (lbs)
Front left: 611 Front right: 598
Rear left: 977 Rear right: 945
Front/Rear: 38.6% / 61.4%
Corner weights (sum of diagonal weights): 1,556 and 1,575
Corner weight difference: 19

Perhaps you could compare these specs with what your shop has provided to isolate potential issues.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:56 PM
  #22  
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Not that i think this has much or anything to do with the car pulling in one direction, but isn't 33lbs a little low or is that ok for 18s? I always thought that slightly higher pressure up front will help to dial out the understeer.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:56 PM
  #23  
ttAmerica RoadsterAWD
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Howdie. The pressure I'm using seems to work fine. The stock pressures, 36/44 feel like I'm riding on rock tires. Seems many are running at around 33/36.

Well, today I called the dealer and "David" said they had switched right wheel/tire and placed it on the left and vice-versa. Although the tires, being directional, were now on opposite sides, the car still pushed to the left! So, seems it probably is not the tires! He said they were going to go over to the Acura dealer and compare alignment specs and he should know what's up by 5pm.. Well, its now 5min til 8pm and no news. Guess they have not figured out.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:03 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by ttAmerica RoadsterAWD View Post
The stock pressures, 36/44 feel like I'm riding on rock tires. Seems many are running at around 33/36
FWIW, the tire pressure sticker on my car says 36/44 for 16s, 36/36 for 17s.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:29 PM
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Joey,
qu'est-ce que c'est "KPI"? Seems like a really big number so must be important.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:01 PM
  #26  
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King Pin Inclination aka Steering Axis Inclination (SAI). Explained here

Again, I'm just sharing with Jaime (ttRoad..) as a point of reference.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:43 PM
  #27  
ttAmerica RoadsterAWD
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Wow, guys! I'm such a bonehead!!!!!

It was an error in my setup! Joey et. al, with JIC/Cross struts, what has apparently happened is I inadvertently raised up the the passenger side by turning the perch that adds tension to the spring! I guess I had a, ahem, senior moment there. What I should have done is turn the barrel of the strut to elongate and shorten the strut without affecting the preload tension, and not the perch where the spring sits. What a Dork!

Well, there's 360 bucks down the tube. I bet i'll need another alignment! Argh!!

Thank you all for your input. Feel free to b-slap me, I need it !
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:47 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ttAmerica RoadsterAWD View Post
Wow, guys! I'm such a bonehead!!!!!

It was an error in my setup! Joey et. al, with JIC/Cross struts, what has apparently happened is I inadvertently raised up the the passenger side by turning the perch that adds tension to the spring! I guess I had a, ahem, senior moment there. What I should have done is turn the barrel of the strut to elongate and shorten the strut without affecting the preload tension, and not the perch where the spring sits. What a Dork!

Well, there's 360 bucks down the tube. I bet i'll need another alignment! Argh!!

Thank you all for your input. Feel free to b-slap me, I need it !
as shakespeare said..."all's well that ends well"......happy ending
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:37 AM
  #29  
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I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. Jeez, it's not like you're a Porsche mechanic.

I WOULD find fault with the shop that didn't catch the error, however. That's what they do for a living and if they didn't see the lack of droop when your car was on the lift, then I'd say they owe YOU another alignment. Any trained eye would've caught it and they had plenty of opportunity to remedy the issue.

I'd say they need to "make good" on this (well, it's at least worth a try).
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:46 PM
  #30  
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Funny you should mention their equipment. I had an alignment a while back and the car was handling weird. Sure enough, I popped it on a mates alignment machine and it was all over the shop. The guys who recently 'calibrated' the original machine had totally mucked it up!

Funny thing re tyre wear. I run quite a lot of camber as i do a fair few track days, I think it's around 2.5-3 deg all around and with just a little toe in, the tyre wear is not too bad. That said it tram lines (folows road grooves) quite severly but i just keep a loose grip and zig zag down the road! This is only an issue however in low speed city driving on heavily used roads that have scalloping due to heavy trucks etc. Over 80km/h, it tracks beautifully and it feels extremely well planted and responsive.
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