Wheel alignment

All things round and their alignment to your direction of travel

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neil3965
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Wheel alignment

Post by neil3965 »

Evenin all.

Need to get the wheel alignment on the camper checked. Is it best to go to a specialist garage, or will any old place do?
Cheers, Neil

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Plasticman
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Plasticman »

Really need 4 wheel alignment doing, £30-60.. try body shops as they have the relevant gear and work is thin for most of them at the moment
mike

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kevtherev
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by kevtherev »

Hi Q do 4 wheel alignment
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Red Westie
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Red Westie »

As an ex 4 wheel alignment tech myself I'm not sure of the benefits when the vehicle hasn't been involved in an accident. Why measure the rears on a 2WD when they can't be adjusted.
I wish you luck in finding an honest specialist who has the skill, owns the correct tools and is prepared not only to adjust the track but go the whole hog to check and adjust the camber and caster....most just wont bother either through ignorance or greed.

Martin
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Plasticman »

Agreed to a point, hardly call it specialist though many many shops have it, its run of the mill in a lot of circumstances,from load onto ramp set up and do the required work rarely exceeds an hour, has the vehicle ever been checked, many factors effect the wheel plan geometry and by having it done this way you will have a print out of the settings and know that it will be as correct as can be,
The diference it can make to a poorly set up vehicle is suprising, care is taken with timing etc so why not this, cost is not silly either
mike

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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by boatbuilder »

I agree that some garages are too lazy to do the proper job.
I paid €50 for four wheel alignment of my Peugeot 306....the fella said it would take 20 minutes.... and I sat in the waiting room peeking out the little window now and then to see what was happening. He wandered around chatting to people for about 10 minutes, then lit up a cigarette and stared at the car....five minutes later he put the alignment thingeys on the rims. Then he went under the car and adjusted the length of the track rod ends. But I did get a printout showing how the settings were within the "recommended" limits..
Last edited by boatbuilder on 08 Oct 2010, 17:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Red Westie
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Red Westie »

Please understand that a high proportion of vehicles nowadays only have the ONE geometry adjustment (TRACKING).... the others: Camber/Caster/step back etc are generally not adjustable and if they are found to be out of tollerance the normal conclusions are either: a component is damaged or bent and or a chassis mounting point has moved (after an accident) and the vehicle needs to be put on a rig and pulled.
Therefore, during 4 wheel alignment most operators will check everything (by virtue of the fact that if fitted correctly to the wheels the equipment will give a print out for all the 'stored' geometry sttings) but in most instances only the tracking is adjusted.
God forbid that they get something in like a Mercedes 190 which has multilink suspension and EVERYTHING runs on eccentric cams and is adjustable.
A T3 2WD is one of those beasts that has the potential to adjust many of the settings to the front geometry, certainly Camber/Caster & toe...trouble is some of the adjusting nuts/bolts won't have been moved in years and can be a nighmare to adjust (castor particularly) and unless you are familiar with our vehicles most operators are unaware of top wishbone Camber adjustment.

I guess what I am saying is: find a garage who are familiar with T3's, make them aware of the three common front geometry adjustments (camber/castor and toe) and be sure all three are checked and adjusted if needed.
And to finish....suspension and steering must be checked first for condition and serviceability BEFORE you even contemplate spending money on setup. (top wishbone rubbers in particular are prone to collapse)

Martin
On wings like angels whispers sweet
my heart it feels a broken beat
Touched soul and hurt lay wounded deep
Brown eyes are lost afar now sleep xxHayleyxx

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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Plasticman »

Yep, would concur with that We set up a lot of comp cars and so its second nature . folk spend a lot of time and more than often money on their vans. so it would be prudent once your suspension is in good order to then have it set up/measured etc , and in the process know that it is running true (or not) once this is ascertained it is a reference point from which any future work can be measured against, takes guesswork out of problems such as why is my tyre wearing a,b,c, etc or my van pulls to one side, and so on.
we use an inductive heater for freeing stuck stuff, much kinder than the gas axe!! and as said need firms that have an understanding which is why I suggested finding willing bodyshops as they are usually a bit more clued up than the ave' greasemonkey
mike

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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Simon Baxter »

Red Westie wrote: Why measure the rears on a 2WD when they can't be adjusted.

Yes they can.
I start at the back and set the rear tracking before moving onto the front.
Camber is also adjustable at the rear, just usually siezed, and more often then not out of spec too.

Ideally you need to set the rear tracking to obtain a true centre line to set the front tracking to, if your doing the job right that is.
'86 VW T3 syncro panel
'89 VW T3 Westy Atlantic
'90 VW T3 BW Double Cab
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Plasticman »

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mike

ianboydsnr
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by ianboydsnr »

metalmick8y wrote:Yep, would concur with that We set up a lot of comp cars and so its second nature . folk spend a lot of time and more than often money on their vans. so it would be prudent once your suspension is in good order to then have it set up/measured etc , and in the process know that it is running true (or not) once this is ascertained it is a reference point from which any future work can be measured against, takes guesswork out of problems such as why is my tyre wearing a,b,c, etc or my van pulls to one side, and so on.
we use an inductive heater for freeing stuck stuff, much kinder than the gas axe!! and as said need firms that have an understanding which is why I suggested finding willing bodyshops as they are usually a bit more clued up than the ave' greasemonkey
mike


those induction heaters look cool, difficult to find though, these from the states look handy

http://www.theinductor.com/index.php

Red Westie
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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Red Westie »

Simon Baxter wrote:
Red Westie wrote: Why measure the rears on a 2WD when they can't be adjusted.

Yes they can.
I start at the back and set the rear tracking before moving onto the front.
Camber is also adjustable at the rear, just usually siezed, and more often then not out of spec too.

Ideally you need to set the rear tracking to obtain a true centre line to set the front tracking to, if your doing the job right that is.

Simon....in the interest of getting it right next time....where abouts are the adjustments on the rear? It's something I was not aware of and stand corrected.
You are working on these every day and although I have main dealer experience and factory courses under my belt (Milton Keynes back in those days) it was a long time ago... when god was a kid

I had 6 years at a Mercedes dealership and ran the 4 wheel alignment bay there. Mercs were particularly complicated and you would start by checking and adjusting ride heights...you could spend a good hour swapping spring rubbers and springs (all colour coded) before even contemplating the geometry.

Martin
On wings like angels whispers sweet
my heart it feels a broken beat
Touched soul and hurt lay wounded deep
Brown eyes are lost afar now sleep xxHayleyxx

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Re: Wheel alignment

Post by Simon Baxter »

On the bolts, outers do camber, inners do tracking.
Elongated slots.
Outer bolt is always siezed.
Inner isn't.
'86 VW T3 syncro panel
'89 VW T3 Westy Atlantic
'90 VW T3 BW Double Cab
SJ Baxter LTD/Brickwerks

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