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Old 03-09-2007, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Aligning cross-caster?

I just got my car back from the shop. They do mainly tires and alignment. New parts, labor, alignment all total: $1300.

Now, according to the shop, in my car it'* impoosible to adjust the cross-caster, which is currently +0.6, and should be -0.5. It'* almost a full degree off, and the car is still pulling to the right. He said, basically, it can't be done.

I find this really hard to believe. Can anyone tell me how it'* actually done so I can take the car back, tell them how to do it, and have it done for free since I've already paid for an alignment?

Or, if it actually impossible to do, what the hell? Is there an alternate way of at least making the car drive straight? The only other options I can think of will throw off the camber.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:43 PM   #2
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Reading up here will give you descriptions and specifications.

Wheel Alignment
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
Reading up here will give you descriptions and specifications.

Wheel Alignment
Am I missing something here? That looks extremely easy to do. Is there a reason why he would have said that it was impossible to do? This place usually does excellent work, this boggling me.

Now, he did say "cross-caster" not just caster. What'* the difference?
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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This explains it better than I could...about half way down the page. Why he would say that it can't be done, I don't know. It seems as if it should be easy to do following specs.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...e.jsp?techid=4
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
This explains it better than I could...about half way down the page. Why he would say that it can't be done, I don't know. It seems as if it should be easy to do following specs.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...e.jsp?techid=4
Alright, thanks. Tomorrow, I'll call him back and get more detail as to why it was "impossible" to adjust the caster.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:11 PM   #6
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Caster is usually adjusted on the top of the struts under the hood vs camber that is adjusted on the bottom of the strut with a cam shaped bolt. Not sure if there is any adjustments for caster on a Bonnie, he may be correct. I'll look at mine tomorrow and see what I can find.

I know for Mustangs they make a caster adjustment kit that will allow you to adjust it beyond the factory settings. Example, when you lower the car with different springs. Before that you had to slot out the holes in the strut tower to accomplish this. Personally I don't think caster being out of spec that amount would cause it to pull to one side, that'* usually camber or toe related.

Is it possible you could have a brake sticking or something unrelated causing it to pull?
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidturbo
Caster is usually adjusted on the top of the struts under the hood vs camber that is adjusted on the bottom of the strut with a cam shaped bolt. Not sure if there is any adjustments for caster on a Bonnie, he may be correct. I'll look at mine tomorrow and see what I can find.

I know for Mustangs they make a caster adjustment kit that will allow you to adjust it beyond the factory settings. Example, when you lower the car with different springs. Before that you had to slot out the holes in the strut tower to accomplish this. Personally I don't think caster being out of spec that amount would cause it to pull to one side, that'* usually camber or toe related.

Is it possible you could have a brake sticking or something unrelated causing it to pull?
Yeah, 3 bolts at the top of the strut tower, lossen, and move the center 1mm for every 0.1 degree of caster, tighten bolts to 35 ft. lb. torque. Seems fairly simple. The only thing I can think of is that he must have run into something that wasn't allowing that adjustment. Like I said, I'll just call him tomorrow for more clarification.

Thanks, though!
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:21 PM   #8
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the bolt holes may need to be slotted or re-drilled, but they should be able to do it
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:27 PM   #9
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Duh, It just dawned on me why. Thanks, Archon. According to the guide you posted, after loosening the bolts and lifting the body of the car to separate it from the strut tower, you have to a) pop out 2 guide pins, b) hand file the excess metal in order to make slotted holes, c) paint the exposed metal using rust preventative paint or primer, then d) lower the body back onto the strut tower and move it using the slotted holes you just created.

Sheesh, that'* insane. What alignment place is going to do all that???

I'll still call him and see what he'* willing to do for me. I can't do that myself, as I'm still disabled at the moment, and flat broke.

Why can't all this happen while I'm in good health?? Hehe.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:05 AM   #10
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That sounds a lot harder than it is. The priming and painting would be the most time consuming. It would seem that if you need that large of an adjustment that perhaps there are still issues with the suspension, perhaps maybe a bent strut?

Kidturbo is also right in that generally, an alignment problem won't cause the car to pull to one side like that. Tires, tire pressure, etc., could be more likely suspects. Have they inspected things carefully for further damage?
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