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2000-2005 Discuss your 2000-2005 Bonneville SE, SLE, and SSEi Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-10-2007, 12:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
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?
Yes, they inspected quite closely. It'* not that it pulls to the right more than it actually steers to the right. Going straight, the steering wheel is turned to the left slightly. And he said that the caster is off by almost a full degree.

I feel like a penned up bull. I can't go out there and look at it and fix it myself like I used to. I'll just have to take it back, make sure he knows how to fix the caster, reiterate with him that nothing else was wrong under the front end (aside from the intermediate shaft), and go from there.
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:11 AM   #12
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This is a good article on alignments.

http://www.mopar.com/street/tech1001.htm

Some of the important parts of it for your situation are:

Quote:
In many cases on late model cars, caster is non-adjustable.
That is part of the design of the vehicle'* suspension system. While yours is adjustable by making slots in the the strut tower, the question seems to be what made it that far off to make this necessary? Thats why it sounds as if there may be some undiscovered damage, like the strut, strut mount, or the strut tower itself.

Now that I understand what is happening better, this explanation indicates that your problem could very well be caused by a caster alignment problem.

Quote:
Caster is the forward (negative) or rearward (positive) tilt of the steering knuckle as viewed from the side of the vehicle. It is measured in degrees of an angle relative to a true vertical line. Caster is not a tire wearing angle; however, a difference in caster between the front wheels can cause the vehicle to lead to the side with the least positive caster.
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:17 AM   #13
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Modifying the strut tower is unnecessary in my first thoughts. There'* something else going on that prevents it from being spot on. Either that, or your front-end man doesn't know what he'* doing.

I've had my right front strut completely out, put back in, and it drives straight as an arrow with no alignment needed.

Lets rewind, why did you take it to get aligned in the first place?
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:10 PM   #14
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Alright, I called them back today. There is nothing that is bent, just couldn't adjust the caster. I told him about the dealer tech article about the necessity of slotting the strut tower bolt holes, and he'll do that for me for free to get the caster where it should be.

I'll have to wait until Wednesday, though. Thanks for the article, Archon. Glad to see that GM sent the article to correct that. Wonder why they failed to slot the holes from the factory? Hmm.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:23 PM   #15
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WAIT!

Those high speed rotary files in the wrong hands can be ugly. Let'* take a step back before we make such a permanent alteration.

With all the Bonnevilles @ LeSabres on the road, why is it just yours that need the strut tower holes elongated?

I'm just trying to save you some grief.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACDRIVE
WAIT!

Those high speed rotary files in the wrong hands can be ugly. Let'* take a step back before we make such a permanent alteration.

With all the Bonnevilles @ LeSabres on the road, why is it just yours that need the strut tower holes elongated?

I'm just trying to save you some grief.
Apparently he'* experienced this plenty with all cars that are not slotted like they should be, primarily ours. When you get new tires, you're going to need an alignment. There'* no way to keep the alignment the same all the time, with every set of tires, with every set of rotors, and hubs and spindles (which is all I just had replaced).

Why GM thought it was a good idea to make the caster non-adjustable is beyond me.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:08 PM   #17
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^ ^ ^ ^
Yeah, but why does yours need to be modified when all the other Bonnevilles out there are original? The only reason I can think of is if you're installing some tires and wheels that are not stock size.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACDRIVE
^ ^ ^ ^
Yeah, but why does yours need to be modified when are the other Bonnevilles out there are original? The only reason I can think of is if you're installing some tires and wheels that are not stock size.
wheel/tire size will have no affect on caster, camber only.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:00 AM   #19
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Well, I'm definitely going to have them reinspect everyhing for anything that might be bent. And I'll look myself. It'* reasonable to think that if the caster can't be adjusted, how is out of adjustment?

But, on the same plane, there are way too many variables in the various parts from the strut tower to the wheel that can affect caster. I just had 90% of all the parts replaced with new on the left front side, which didn't include anything in the strut tower, but did include a new steering knuckle and spindle. That can have enough difference in the new part versus the old part to necessitate a change in the caster, which can't be changed except to slot the upper strut tower holes.

But, as I said, before I have them slot those holes, I'll check myself, then have them recheck everything to make sure nothing is bent.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:09 PM   #20
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Alright, I spoke with them again today. Basically, everything under the car has already been replaced. Anything replaceable is not bent.

In their inspection, they found nothing bent, but that'* not the say that some mount somewhere or even the subframe is not bent. I'm going with a strong possibility of the subframe, which won't hurt anything.

That being said, MACDRIVE, you gotta remember that slotting those holes is factory spec. It wasn't done at the factory and should have. They are supposed to be slotted according to GM, and I'm of the strong opinion that the caster has to be adjustable. And it'* not in our cars, but should be according to the tech bulletin.

That being said, I'm going to have them slot the holes. Obviously, it'* the easy way to fix this. I'm not going through the expense of fixing the subframe, or a mount, which is completely unnecessary imho.

In the future, if I ever get another bonnie, the frist thing I'm having done is slotting those holes, since, again, they're supposed to be slotted according to GM.
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