Alignment issues with wheel not center, need help / advice

Discussion in 'Suspension, Brakes & Chassis' started by SDAMike, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. SDAMike

    SDAMike Well-Known Member

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    After lowering and installing multiple other suspension parts my car, I have been dealing with multiple issues getting a good alignment. I put on Koni adjustables, cjpp springs, bmr sway bars, and steeda front camber plates.

    I have been trying to get to BMR's street alignment specs.

    My usual go to place was firestone thoughout the years. At first firestone said yes bring it, I did, they said the first tech couldnt align it right (and they left me with some crazy specs) and told me to bring it back for the lead tech. We make a appointment. I come back a few days later, there is a different manager now. He talked to the tech there, (they didnt even put my car back up on the lift) but then he says "sorry we cant align your car" and he refunded my money.

    I call around all these other alignment shops in the area, and no one wants to touch the car because its lowered about a inch.

    So I go to a different firestone, they say yes of course we can align your car, the guy is super cool and says the mods are not a problem. But, they got new alignment hubs, and they clamp over the whole tire, there isnt enough room to clear the front fender, so they cant do it.

    He recommends another local shop that deals with sports cars and lowered cars. I go there, they can align it and clock the bushings! We make a appt and they align it, and do the bushings. The specs are pretty off, but close in areas, but the steering wheel is off center and there isnt enough rear toe. But they are closing. So we bring it back another day, they get the rear toe and camber dialed in, but the steering wheel is still off center. So we go right back, he tries to get the steering wheel better. He puts it at zero front toe and says he cant get it any better than that. The steering wheel is still off to the left. not a ton, but enough to be quite noticeable.

    I cant imagine the steering wheel being off center is normal, right? It kind of really bothers me. But Im not sure what else to do or say to this shop. They really tried for quite some time to get it right. Is there something else I can do or say to them? Any recommendations or specs I can change? This whole suspension change has been kind of a pain, never thought it would be such a dilemma.

    I didnt get a spec sheet after he re adjusted the front toe, but the last place I had seen it left off at was :
    -1.6 front camber -1.5
    7.7 caster 7.7
    -0.01 toe 0.02

    thrust angle 0.0

    -1.3 rear camber -1.5
    0.11 toe 0.11

    Keep in mind, apparently, my front toe is now at 0.00

    I'm just not sure what else to do here.
    Would appreciate any input, thanks!
     
  2. Bluemustang

    Bluemustang Well-Known Member

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    This may sound like a weird question. First, did the tech lock in the steering wheel prior to aligning? Also, is your rear subframe square? I had a situation where I had the same issue you are describing. Alignment specs were good, tech says steering wheel is straight yet it is not. I added the subframe alignment dowels and re-aligned and that fixed it. Wheel was straight and car drove straight down the road. My issue may not apply to your situation but thought I would share anyway.
     
  3. OP
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    SDAMike

    SDAMike Well-Known Member

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    I'm honestly not sure about locking the steering wheel.

    Also honestly not sure about the subframe, I did forget to mention I also did the BMR CB005 lock out kit when I did all of the other parts, not sure if that would change the possibility of that happening?
     
  4. Bluemustang

    Bluemustang Well-Known Member

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    It's possible. Usually the CB005 does a pretty good job of centering it though. I would check that they locked the steering wheel in place and centered prior to alignment and then recheck afterward.

    Is it pulling or does the car drive straight?
     
  5. kent0464

    kent0464 Well-Known Member

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    1. There is NO reason for the steering wheel not to be centered after an alignment other than the dumb ass tech not doing his job.
    2. Any competent alignment shop should be able to align ANY car, lowered, or not, modded or not!
    I work on cars for a living I know how easy it is. I do my own alignments for the drag strip, but for the street I have always taken my mustangs, old and new to the local Ford dealer to have them aligned, never had an issue and all of mine have highly modified suspensions.
     
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    SDAMike

    SDAMike Well-Known Member

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    It drives pretty straight if I let go of the wheel, but if I center the wheel it drives the car to the right.
     
  7. OP
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    SDAMike

    SDAMike Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya, any advice for what to tell them? Before I left that day, He said if he messes with it more he may just make it worse. I paid them the first appt. but I feel like this should just be part of a alignment and it should be right. Its never been a problem before on any other car I have modded and Id hate to have to go pay some other shop to do it.
     
  8. kent0464

    kent0464 Well-Known Member

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    #8 kent0464, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019

    Take it back to them, talk to the manager. Tell him flat out to fix it or return your money. Centering the steering wheel is a simple process and done by taking turns from one tie rod and adding the exact number of turns to the other tie rod, done correctly it does not alter your alignment.
    There is another way to straighten the wheel if they are out of turns on the tie rods (doubtful) again pretty simple, take the bolt out of the steering shaft (usually under the dash or under the car before the steering box) straighten the wheel, tighten the bolt. The only problem with this solution is the car may throw a code for steering angle, but is easily reset/relearned with a scanner.
    BTW as I mentioned in my other post, I have my cars aligned for the street by Ford dealers, my 17 GT is on coil overs and lowered 2.5” in the front and 2” in the rear, has never been an issue getting an alignment.
     
  9. Dr. Norts

    Dr. Norts Well-Known Member

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    The fail with alignment techs these days is strong.

    Maybe they should go back to just mounting and balancing tires or possibly they were terrible at that and got promoted to alignment tech.

    Promotions aren't always because your qualified. Sometimes it's just to get the retard out of your hair or the person is so dangerous they get a "promotion" to a desk job.
     
  10. OP
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    SDAMike

    SDAMike Well-Known Member

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    I called the shop and asked if they could take another shot at it and they are having me go to their other location with one of their top techs tomorrow. They were extremely understanding that I didnt want the wheel crooked on a new car, so thats cool. Hope this is it as this has been one long process especially since I live about a hour away from anywhere.
     
  11. kent0464

    kent0464 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! They should be able to get you straightened out, evidently they know their own techs are just not up to the task.
     
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