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Thread: Cant do alignment on lowered cars?

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  1. #1
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    Default Cant do alignment on lowered cars?

    So I went in today to try to align my lowered e28 and was rejected by the first place cause they couldnt get it onto their ramps and the second place said that its basically impossible to do alignment on cause there's no room to adjust camber cause wheel is sitting basically flush with the fenders. So can you not align cars once you basically slam them or whats up, has anyone had this problem? Or am I supposed to fit the stock wheels on it and do the alignment and then fit the custom ones after?

  2. #2
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    if anything, just zero the toe. if you cant get any more positive camber from where it is at the moment, then you need the negative camber anyway to clear the fenders

  3. #3
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    meaning I cant do anything about it? and cant do anything to save tire wear? It also seems like the car pulls alittle to the right and my steering wheel is off just a tad

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    Misaligned toe can do that and is a large cause of uneven tire wear

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    Thanks. I'll try going to the shop again and just tell them to do the toe. Would you recommend doing it with the custom wheels on or just throw on some normal stock bottlecaps wheels? Or will the measurments be inaccurate and off with the different wheels? Reason Im asking is cause the second place said my car was too low anyways and I think if I have my stock wheels on the car might just sit alittle higher to clear their ramps ha

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    I'd put stock wheels on anyways since the heads they attach to perform the alignment are held on by clamping the lip of the wheel.

    And anyways, the only setting you can adjust on your e28 is front toe, the rear isn't adjustable. If the shop says they can't align it, it's just because they don't want to. Find a shop that has an in-ground rack that isn't a bunch of bitches.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    If the shop says they can't align it, it's just because they don't want to. Find a shop that has an in-ground rack that isn't a bunch of bitches.
    Bingo. Only place around my area with an in-ground rack, that I'm aware of, is NTB.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    If the shop says they can't align it, it's just because they don't want to.
    yep. just shop around and find someone who's comfortable with lowered cars.


    while we're on the subject, i recently had an alignment and the guy was reluctant to set my toe to zero (though he's done it on my other car before). he seemed to think a small amount of toe would extend tire wear. we ended up with -2* camber -.25 toe in front and -3* camber -.15 toe in rear. anyone think that i should go back for zero toe?
    025garage


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRev View Post
    If you put back on the standard wheels the geometry will be different to your custom set up so get them to do it with your daily wheels on
    The geometry of the suspension has nothing to do with what wheels are mounted to it. The only thing that will change is track width, which doesn't matter in an alignment.
    Quote Originally Posted by motocaddy View Post
    while we're on the subject, i recently had an alignment and the guy was reluctant to set my toe to zero (though he's done it on my other car before). he seemed to think a small amount of toe would extend tire wear. we ended up with -2* camber -.25 toe in front and -3* camber -.15 toe in rear. anyone think that i should go back for zero toe?
    Slight amounts of toe are usually there to compensate for soft factory bushings. Once the car starts moving, the wheels pull towards the back of the car slightly and can make the wheels toe-out if your toe is set to zero while static. Slight amounts of toe-in also help with high speed tracking and handling.

    A bit of toe-in isn't going to kill your tires as much as people say it will either. Before I made the rear adjustable in my e30 it had .75 degrees of toe-in and 4.25 degrees of camber and I could still get 10k out of a set of performance tires.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    The geometry of the suspension has nothing to do with what wheels are mounted to it. The only thing that will change is track width, which doesn't matter in an alignment.

    Slight amounts of toe are usually there to compensate for soft factory bushings. Once the car starts moving, the wheels pull towards the back of the car slightly and can make the wheels toe-out if your toe is set to zero while static. Slight amounts of toe-in also help with high speed tracking and handling.

    A bit of toe-in isn't going to kill your tires as much as people say it will either. Before I made the rear adjustable in my e30 it had .75 degrees of toe-in and 4.25 degrees of camber and I could still get 10k out of a set of performance tires.
    byron is 100% right.

    i have some toe in out back because the rear wheels toe out under load.

    power and bushings play a big part in how much toe in you should set. When my car still had the tiny M44 and original bushings i was alot closer to 0 than i am now with 350whp. im still on stock bushings so when everything gets stiffened up i will need less toe in

  11. #11
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    learn to do your own
    this is for a VW rabbit but the Idea will transfer over to most cars.
    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?4746427

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty_Fresh View Post
    learn to do your own
    this is for a VW rabbit but the Idea will transfer over to most cars.
    http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?4746427
    I second this. I learned how to do the string alignment and set my toe to zero. I've saved my tires a ton of wear and my wallet some green.

    2001 Focus Sedan from an ex-ricer. See my build thread
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  13. #13
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    If you put back on the standard wheels the geometry will be different to your custom set up so get them to do it with your daily wheels on

    Toe is a big killer to tires, possibly more than camber wear....at least in non-slammed cars

    Make sure to go somewhere with clip on gauges with full 4WA computerised equipment and a low loading ramp
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  14. #14
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    awesome, Byron and JC! exactly what I wanted to know. also since i'm planning on going big power and lots of poly in the future, this info is especially helpful!
    025garage


  15. #15
    G535 is offline tiefundbreit.com StanceWorks Addicted
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    Damn, that Link is great!

    Does anybody know if toe changes when adjusting coils? I had an alignment done by a shop that aligns a lot of racecars for Nürburgring after i put the coils in. I assume that alignment job was done more than proper. Of course i lowered the car more after a few weeks...

    rheinsquad | tiefundbreit.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by G535 View Post
    Damn, that Link is great!

    Does anybody know if toe changes when adjusting coils? I had an alignment done by a shop that aligns a lot of racecars for Nürburgring after i put the coils in. I assume that alignment job was done more than proper. Of course i lowered the car more after a few weeks...
    Yep, that changes. Probably not by much, but when the struts become shorter, the distance/angle of the tierods to the struts changes, and so does the toe.

  17. #17
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    go somewhere where they have a drive on rack
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  18. #18
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    wheel/tire size will change the suspension geometry but if only going for toe then it wont make any difference

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by manjambles View Post
    wheel/tire size will change the suspension geometry but if only going for toe then it wont make any difference

  20. #20
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    ride height will adjust toe on any car. not as drastic but you got to remember. when you lower a car the tie rod is moving on a angle. so technically its shortening the tie rods. mostly why a car will feel ever so sketchy, your get a little tad bit of wheel shimmy, or pull to one side more after drastically lowering it.

    ill recheck m alignments after adjusting the coils but with my driveway not being completely level I'm sure my toe is not perfect. but i have yet to notice extreme uneven or quick tire ware.
    Last edited by Minty_Fresh; 05-21-2012 at 11:07 AM.
    doing it for the internet and the scene kids.

  21. #21
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    all this is very true. ride height will effect your alignment angles. and that is why the first thing you do in an alignment is check the tire pressure and adjust to where it needs to be- because that will affect ride height and thus affect all the alignment angles.

    OP you can get weld in camber and toe kits for the rear sub-frame. all you do is pre- adjust them for the maximum amount of correction, since they can only adjust for 1.25-degrees- positive or negative. although toe should not be very far off( that one you may need to find a shop that has a proper setup that allows for adjustment at the ride height that you want.

    with older cars that have only toe adjustments in the front they usually do a Toe and go. and with this weld on kit, they can do the front and back toe adjustment.
    Last edited by CHIF8008; 07-05-2012 at 03:18 AM.
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