Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 12th 2010, 3:40am

I have had my front end aligned and they gave me a paper with some specs from the alignment machine. I don't understand what the tech said, but he said I needed to have a part removed and ground into an ellipse for adjustment. The cost would be $70 for each side a total of $140

Can some look at the read-out and explain, in lay terms, what I need for the front end to be OK.

Thanks for your time and expertize with this, Keith
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby Phantom » September 12th 2010, 4:11am

I am not an expert on this , but they are caster, camber and toe measurements . It is how the wheel sits , like when the bottom is pulled inward or pushed outward, or the top is inward or outward and when tie rods are either adjusted to far out or in , if you look at wheel when it is turned in a turning direction the wheel will not be straight up , it has a lean to it . Try google for caster , camber and toe adjustment for better answer and pics.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 12th 2010, 4:21am

Thanks for the tip Phantom, I will do a Google and see what it says.

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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby unrreal » September 12th 2010, 5:31am

ok keith what the mechanic was trying to tell you is that on the upper control arms of our vans there are shims placed in the hole where the camber bolt sits from the factory to prevent the vehicle from losing alignment, in order to get a proper alignment done they must knock them out to adjust the camber, check the topics under suspension look for "control arm knockouts" we have already covered that there. and $70.00 bucks a side is a normal charge for this. i had to get this done after i lifted my van to get properly aligned. hope that helps bud :D here i found the topic for you viewtopic.php?f=46&t=5200&p=38560&hilit=knockouts#p38560
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 4x4 VanMan » September 12th 2010, 5:41am

Looks like your pulling to the right like mad. Tech was talking about upper control arm cam adjuster where they mount to the frame. there is a special tool to remove the knock out hole or you can use a die grinder. As bad as your specs are you should be looking at possible bent contol arm. If your vehicle is not pulling at all I would suspect technician error or someone dropped the alignment head and its reading wrong.

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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby jeff's93astro » September 12th 2010, 6:33am

Unless they changed the front end from 93 to 94 you shouldn't have to take out anything because my 93 only has shims and i would think the 94 still gen 1 it should be the same?
HPIM2114.JPG

I removed them so i could get the alignment a little better. So i can take it to an alignment shop and i believe one or two more shims outh of each side should make it almost right. As bad as mine was And I can get it aligned back yours shouldn't be bad. Unless your tires looks like this after little more than 200miles
HPIM2115.JPG

I dont know if its any help but that what i found out fixing mine
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby Looney Lenny » September 12th 2010, 7:20am

The "Actual" reading in green is what your readings should be at. The red readings are showing where you are at right now + how far out from the green readings you are right now. This tells the tech where to look at and what to look for. It does indeed look like a control arm issue. Bent control arm, bad/worn bushings in the contol arm. Looks like he nailed it! He may need to grind out the flanges on the bushings to press them out & press new ones in. Not a bad price for doing it either considering the labor involved in doing so. You will save a little $ doing it this way but consider this. He will be putting new bushings in an old/worn control arm. Which is to say the new bushings will help BUT IF the control arm is slightly bent as well as worn bushings, he may get the vehicle "Within Tolereces" (The Green Readings) where you should be. But you have new bushings in a slightly bent/worn control arm.

The other option is. While you have it that far torn down (Control arms removed). You will only spend slightly more $ on new control arms & new bushings over paying to rebuild the old ones as you won't be paying labor costs involved in "Grinding" the old bushings out. The benefit with spending slightly more $ here is. YOU have the piece of mind knowing you have a perfectly straight control arm with brand new bushings in it with plenty of room to compensate & adjust for wear in the future as the control arm for CERTAIN is not bent. The long & short is you will spend slightly less paying for labor to repair worn vs./ Paying slightly more for Reaplacing with new components & knowing for certain what you have vs./wondering if it's as close as they could get it.

Follow you budget & go with what is best for your needs. I hope this opinion helps. BTW I saw New controll arms on J.C. Whiney's web site dirt cheap just today.

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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby astroturf » September 12th 2010, 1:02pm

Keith,
I will simply say...
What does your Factory Service Manual say?
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 12th 2010, 5:50pm

Thanks for all the great advice. I went to Rock Auto, the only thing they have is for RWD, mine being AWD didn't help. Went to JCWhitney and saw the same, thanks Lenny, took a pic from the site. I then looked at the FSM,thanks Jim, and became even more confused. The FSM does show the AWD does have the cam adjustment and the RWD has the shims. So '93 and '94 RWD is the same, thanks Jeff. but the FSM shows a completely different diagram than the part for sale. Below is a photo of the '94 FSM for an AWD and a pic of the control arm for sale.

What am I missing?, signed confused.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby astroturf » September 12th 2010, 6:16pm

Keith, It looks like the part you have overlayed is for a 2wd van. How comfortable are you with this shop? The cam kit the shop speaks of may be enough to get you back into spec (green). In my opinion, I would be looking for worn or bent parts. Control arm bushings or a bent control arm. What has been replaced on this front end? What does your ride height measure? Lets answer those things before we go any further. As I think more on this, we need to find a level pad and measure ride height first.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby astroturf » September 12th 2010, 6:18pm

Keith, It looks like the part you have overlayed is for a 2wd van. How comfortable are you with this shop? The cam kit the shop speaks of may be enough to get you back into spec (green). In my opinion, I would be looking for worn or bent parts. Control arm bushings or a bent control arm. What has been replaced on this front end? What does your ride height measure? Lets answer those things before we go any further. As I think more on this, we need to find a level pad and measure ride height first.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby jeff's93astro » September 12th 2010, 7:58pm

94 Van Guy wrote:Thanks for all the great advice. I went to Rock Auto, the only thing they have is for RWD, mine being AWD didn't help. Went to JCWhitney and saw the same, thanks Lenny, took a pic from the site. I then looked at the FSM,thanks Jim, and became even more confused. The FSM does show the AWD does have the cam adjustment and the RWD has the shims. So '93 and '94 RWD is the same, thanks Jeff. but the FSM shows a completely different diagram than the part for sale. Below is a photo of the '94 FSM for an AWD and a pic of the control arm for sale.

What am I missing?, signed confused.


oops i just realized yours is AWD. Nevermind what i posted :doh:
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 12th 2010, 8:19pm

astroturf wrote:Keith, It looks like the part you have overlayed is for a 2wd van. How comfortable are you with this shop? The cam kit the shop speaks of may be enough to get you back into spec (green). In my opinion, I would be looking for worn or bent parts. Control arm bushings or a bent control arm. What has been replaced on this front end? What does your ride height measure? Lets answer those things before we go any further. As I think more on this, we need to find a level pad and measure ride height first.
Jim

Forgot to mention, After the alignment, the steering is better than ever. It doesn't pull at all. I did have the van raised 1 inch from where it was to clear the new rims, they stick out more than the stock rims did. I also removed some of the fiberglass fender flairs and some of the plastic from the factory. The tires no longer rub, except when going into a dip, hard, with the wheels turned most of the way to one side or the other. This shop was the same shop that caused me to order the tie rod that was not needed, depends on the tech, or maybe the drag link and idler arm were so bad he couldn't tell, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But from now on, I will only have the Tech that last worked on it to do any more work on the suspension or steering.

I can't say what has been replaced on the front end, except for the parts I, (John) replaced, right side idler arm and drag link.(both were pretty bad.)

Now to find a level spot and to measure. Just where would I measure. I know one point, the ground and to what? The van has glass fender flairs and running boards, one piece front to back. I will take a 2' level with and measure from the foot step on the front and from the ah...ah well when I get to the level spot I will find a spot to measure the rear of the van and report then. Lynn says we can do this and feed the ducks at the same time. Sundays ARE fun...

Thanks everyone for the help with all of my problems, Keith
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 12th 2010, 8:28pm

jeff's93astro wrote:oops i just realized yours is AWD. Nevermind what i posted :doh:

Jeff, you never know who will read this topic, I'm sure someone will read and gain needed information. Thanks for your reply, the Tech also said something about shims, which added to my confusion. From now on, the FSMs are being carried in the van. With the exception of a Dealership, not too many shops will have the benefit of them.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby astroturf » September 15th 2010, 7:40pm

Keith did you measure your ride height?

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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 15th 2010, 8:00pm

Not yet Jim, I will post as soon as I do.
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby astroturf » September 15th 2010, 8:02pm

94 Van Guy wrote:Not yet Jim, I will post as soon as I do.


Here is a link to mine that I measured today...

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3299&p=93643#p93643
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » September 15th 2010, 8:13pm

thanks Jim, I need to measure from a different place. My van has the fiber glass fender flares that get in the way.
Edit:Typo
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby loopie » September 16th 2010, 7:46am

WOW!!! In my mind...that specified range for camber is WAY too high of a margin.
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Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
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Re: Alignment specs, can someone tell me what this means?

Postby Gary » September 16th 2010, 9:56am

loopie wrote:WOW!!! In my mind...that specified range for camber is WAY too high of a margin.


AWD's are a lot different than RWD's by the nature of them being a drive system.
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