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Old 02-24-2004, 10:34 AM
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Car crabbing ?

Hey,

Just got back from the alignment shop.

Some bad news I guess.

I had them check the alignment of all four wheels after completing the two-wheel alignment and to my dismay they found that the rear end of my car is out of alignment.

The right rear is -.9 degrees toward the rear of the of the car and the left rear is out a like amount. So the rearend is

/---/ like that relative to the car. My car is a unibody car.

I did recently replace the rear leaf springs. I thought I had everything lined up.

Question is:

Does 1 degree of tilt need major frame straightening or is it possible that it could be straightened by just loosening all the rear suspension attachment points up and aligning it before re-tightening everything?

Thanks in advance,

Roy

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Old 02-24-2004, 10:53 AM
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You could probably make up >1 degree of difference by loosening the leaf spring U-bolts (or J-bolts, or T-bolts depending on spring perches) and moving the spring perches ever so slightly, then re-tighten.

By the way, is the 0.9 degrees relative to the frame or relative to the front wheels?

How does the car drive? Dose it track crooked?
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:02 AM
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Hey,

I'm not sure about your first question. The measurement I gave was figured on a 4 wheel alignment machine with sensors on all four wheels. So, I'll assume that the measurement is relative to the front wheels.

I also added bolt-in subframe connectors and new body mount bushings on the sfront subframe since the last alignment so its possible that everything just needs to be loosened, aligned, then re-tightened.

As far as how the car drives: It tracks straight on smooth pavement. But rutted two lane roads tend to make the car wander quite a bit. I figured that was just a design shoprtcoming in the first gen Camaro front suspension more than anything else, as everything on my car is stock except for 1 1/8" swaybar up front.


Everything under the car suspension wise has been replaced within the last 15k miles. -- ie nothing is worn out.

I've driven behind the car and never noticed any crabbing (visibly at least)..

If the unibody were slightly tweaked, could it be straightened reliably?

Thanks,

Roy
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:36 AM
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What the alignment shop performed is referred to as a Thrust Angle Alignment whereby the rear wheels are verified as being perpendicular to the centerline on the car (this can also identify bent axle housings). The front wheels are then squared off this value (rear wheels) before being aligned. Once they saw that the rear wheels were out of line, they should have backed it off the machine and advised you the actual alignment was just a waste of time (only charged hook-up time).

At this point, you might want to contact a quality frame/body shop that has a infra-red or SHARK alignment system to find exactly where the bend is. It may be as simple as have putting the rear aginst the spring pads incorrectly (which can be verified quickly with a tram or tape coming off a center point on the front of the car measure to the spring pads).

If the car does need to be pulled, I imaging the connectors will have to be broken lose and reattached after squaring.

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