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Old 03-23-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Alignment results: the good and the bad

Took my 04 in for a bunch of stuff earlier today. Did both front LCAs, and both rear upper links. Did tie rod ends awhile ago, and as my siggy says, it has been fitted with all FE5 components. But, hasn't been aligned in awhile.
So, I go in, hoping the FE5 doesn't mess with the front specs too much, cuz I really didn't want to have to use camber bolts if I didn't need to.
Everything checked out great on the front end. Nearly every setting was dead center on factory specs when done. (And actually ball parking my rod ends turned out pretty close). So this was good news.

Now for the bad.
Jeff, my alignment guy, asked me if the car had ever been in an accident. You can imagine my gut reaction to that. It hit a deer, right front, before I got it, and damage was only cosmetic. So I look at the spec sheet, and the right rear has about 1.7 degrees of negative camber. Not good. Not in spec, and according to Jeff, not fixable. Left side isn't a ton better, but its in spec at .7 degrees negative. Toe is well within limits for both sides.

Anyone know if there is a way to tweak the right rear back into spec a little more? This is the first I've had a 4 wheel alignment done since I got it, so I have no idea how long its been like that.
And has anyone tried different settings for better handling, than going by stock limits?

It certainly feels better. Turn in is sharp, and there is no slop in the suspension at all. I couldn't push it due to our wonderful snow storm, but it feels like it turns in easier, and everything is so much more precise. (Not bad for a once floaty Buick, huh?)
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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my 93 is the same, with 1.6 degrees of neg on that same tire. the rear camber is adjustable, you need to find a knowledgeable alignment tech to look at it. camber is adjusted with the strut bolts, they are cam shaped and loosening the bolts/nuts and turning them adjusts the camber. I stole this off another forum,

posted by myfirstbonnie : The camber is adjusted with simply loosening the bolts attaching the strut to the wheel hub assembly. The bolts are a cam shape and as they turn they rotate the assembly and then retightened to hold the position. This, however needs to be done on the rack so the acurate measurements can be made. They obviously only did a 2 wheel alignment. Maybe they don't have the equipment for this. I took my 89 and had it aligned 3 months ago and it cost $75. The other important thing about the 4 wheel alignment is to keep the rear of the car pointed in the same direction as the front.

I say to either go back and talk to them or go to a different shop.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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But in the 2000+ cars, they didn't use rear struts? Im not sure how the setup was before that. But on the 2000+ cars, you have a lower control arm that comes back from the subframe, you have the upper control arms (sort of like a big tie rod end) coming from the mid section to the knuckle, then the springs sit on the LCA, as well as the air shocks. The only upper point that any of this connects is where the air shocks meet the upper mounts. When I replaced mine, there were no adjustments to be made on the top side of things.
And the shocks aren't mounted to the knuckle, they are mounted to the LCA. Changing their angle from bottom to top wouldn't affect the angle of the wheel.

Wish I knew what caused this. And max spec for the car is .7, so a 1.7 negative is way out there.

I wonder if the LCA in the rear is bent, and that is doing it? Those were not replaced. Haven't seen any place to get a new one, other than dealer only?
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:52 AM   #4
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my 96 has rear struts
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