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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I just took my car in for an alignement because I got new tires and it was pulling a little to the right. Now my car is pulling to the right harder and the steering wheel is way off center. I asked them to align to the specs available on here. Printout says alignment performed by visualizer.

Before:
(front)
Caster: Left 3.2 Right 3.0
Camber: Left -0.9 Right -1.0
Toe: Left -0.40" Right 0.20"
(rear)
Camber: Left -0.6 Right 0.1
Toe: Left 0.15" Right -0.30"

After
(front)
Caster: Left 4.0 Right 4.2
Camber: Left -0.2 Right 0.4 (no more shims left, couldnt go any more negative)
Toe: Left 0.00" Right 0.00"
(rear)
Camber: Left -0.7 Right 0.2
Toe: Left 0.15" Right -0.30"
 

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First, do you have any idea what the shim stacks were BEFORE the new alignment settings were installed?

Do you mean that the shop had no more shims, or that no more could be installed in that position due to the bolt length?

Also, is there any question about the condition of the upper control arm bushings?

It would be helpful to know what the shim stack at each control arm front & rear positions may be now, simply for comparison of each "corner".

The question I'm forming from the little bit of information provided is whether the frame is square--do the left & right control arm mounts on the frame meet "specs", or is there damage or another problem with the frame?

Has the car ever been in an accident that could have resulted in frame damage?

There are aftermarket offset control arm shafts that are designed to compensate for frame damage, which may be the easiest, quickest way to make it possible to get to alignment settings that will be better than what you can get now.

It also appears that alignment shop "talent" is a diminishing resource, no matter the sophistication of the equipment. This easily explains the steering wheel being off--the pull is something to be re-evaluated by a competent shop/tech.

It would be worth getting your money back and going elsewhere if the shop has a customer satisfaction policy that is genuinely meant to satisfy customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
on the right hand side, it has no shim in the front and 1/8" shim nn the rear
on the left hand side, it has 1/4"+1/8" shim in the front and 1/4" shim in the rear

I am not sure what the shim stacks looked like before. I rebuilt the entire front end last summer (about 15k miles). When I got the car at about 100k miles (now 163K miles), I had the alignment done and it tracked very straight. I have never been in an accident and dont think it was prior to my ownership.

Thanks.
 

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Off Hand-- Adding shims should make negaive camber--

On the right side have them add an equal amount of shims to the front and rear spots- maybe add a bit more to the rear to get more of a caster split --

Then toe in --

That align is fubar -- How long did it take them??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It took them like 1 hour and 40 minutes to do this alignment but most of that time was spent waiting for the engine to cool off a bit. I had it done at a Goodyear chain near my parents house in Los Angeles because they had a coupon for $15 off. Will my tires be okay if I just drive back to San Diego (120 miles) and have it done there? Anyone know a good alignment shop in San Diego?
 

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Go back and get your money back if you are not happy-- or tell them to add shims on the right side and re adjust toe -
 

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It took them like 1 hour and 40 minutes to do this alignment but most of that time was spent waiting for the engine to cool off a bit. I had it done at a Goodyear chain near my parents house in Los Angeles because they had a coupon for $15 off. Will my tires be okay if I just drive back to San Diego (120 miles) and have it done there? Anyone know a good alignment shop in San Diego?
shoulda brought that coupon over to me at pep boys, we price match lol
 

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It took them like 1 hour and 40 minutes to do this alignment but most of that time was spent waiting for the engine to cool off a bit. I had it done at a Goodyear chain near my parents house in Los Angeles because they had a coupon for $15 off. Will my tires be okay if I just drive back to San Diego (120 miles) and have it done there? Anyone know a good alignment shop in San Diego?
Several places in San Diego can handle the job--just stay away from chain tire stores--coupon or not. You get what you pay for!!!

There are a number of San Diego forum members who can offer good shop resources there....stay tuned, I'm sure some of them will respond.

Hard to say what amount of damage may be done in a trip of that distance--but it doesn't sound like it will be harmless.

Considering your location, contact Tom Lee at Lee Manufacturing (power sterring guru) and ask him for a local shop reference in the N. Hollywood/Burbank/SF Valley area. 818-768-0371 (tell him I sent you)
 

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a decent tech wouldn't have let your car go out the door like that. the cross camber in the front is huge (1.3 degrees), that'll give you a huge pull to the right.

like other have said try and find a good front end shop.
 

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i must agree

Several places in San Diego can handle the job--just stay away from chain tire stores--coupon or not. You get what you pay for!!!

There are a number of San Diego forum members who can offer good shop resources there....stay tuned, I'm sure some of them will respond.

Hard to say what amount of damage may be done in a trip of that distance--but it doesn't sound like it will be harmless.

Considering your location, contact Tom Lee at Lee Manufacturing (power sterring guru) and ask him for a local shop reference in the N. Hollywood/Burbank/SF Valley area. 818-768-0371 (tell him I sent you)

same thing happened to me,manager gave me a great deal on tires for my wifes truck figured give him a try to align my car FAILED,so i go back he started to tell me well its an old car you cant get it right the first time put the darn car back up and again FAILED took it somewhere else car drives like a dream lowered with sprints and no problems,i wanted to go back and start hell but my bad nature wouldnt allow me too.get your money back go elsewhere< moral of this mini story kdws are no longer good in the front of the car :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Edited original post: front right camber is actually -0.2

I went back this morning and they tried giving me a story about my car being modified and old and loose steering...said they would rather not deal with the car, so I just took my money back. I am back in San Diego now so I will go to a shop that specializes in alignments. Tires look okay still, gonna have this alignment checked out tomorrow as soon as I am free.

Also, if it matters my car is lowered about 1" (IIRC) lower than stock SS height and I am running 255-60-15 on 15x8 truck rally rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Also, why is my rear end alignment so whacky? Is there any way to zero out rear camber and the thrust angle?

Also I dont know if this is relevant to the alignment, but my car sits 1/2" lower (both front and rear) on the left than on the right; I am not sure why this is, but it was like this with before I rebuilt the suspension.
 

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Axle housing position could be "tweaked" to create the odd rear alignment numbers. Measure wheelbase on each side and compare.

The housing itself could actually be bent, too, if the car was ever "curbed" or used in a manner that most of us would not (normally) do....after all, it's a 9C1.

The TSB for axle position "fix" due to an incorrectly positioned (lower) control arm bracket/hole was "supposedly" not applicable to later production cars, but it's not clear if that was actually the case.

I think this is the reference in question: (can be found on All Data, I believe)
Service Bulletin Number: 533403
NHTSA Number: 44054
Model Years Affected: 1994
Date of Bulletin: 11/1995

Bulletin Summary: REAR WHEEL/TIRE POSITION IN WHEEL WELL OPENING.

As far as the car sitting low on one side--measured at body or from chassis measuring points to known flat surface?

What springs?

Condition of springs? Swap springs side to side to see if the low measurement follows. Easiest to do rears only and see what effect that has.

Condition of body mounts?

All spring cushions/isolators in place and in good condition?

Springs indexed correctly? (both front & rear)

Tire pressures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Front springs are Moog 5534 with one coil cut off and rear are Moog 6381; both are about 2 years old with no more than 25k miles. I swapped them from side to side when I first installed and same result; haven't tried swapping recently. Isolators are installed in front, and not installed on either side in rear. I am using the wheel well trim as my reference point to measure.

Will have the rear end checked out and will measure wheelbase now.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So it turns out that the alignment shop I originally took it to is utterly incompetent. Took it in today and now it tracks straight and handles better.

Before
Camber: LF 0, RF +1/2, LR -1/2, RR -1/2
Caster: LF +4, RF +4 1/2
Toe: Front 0, Rear in 1/16

After
Camber: LF 0, RF 0, LR -1/2, RR -1/2
Caster: LF+4, RF +4 3/4
Toe: Front in 1/8, Rear in 1/16

Now on to tracking down why the left side sits lower...
 

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Replaced all the susp. pieces and finally had an alignment done on my Fleetwood driver. The work was done at a well vetted shop definitely not a chain outfit.

Before
Cam LT .5 Neg, Rt 1 Neg
Cas Lt 6.5 Pos, Rt 6.25 Pos
Toe AFU (remember I replaced everything) ;)

After:
Cam LT .5 Neg, RT .5 Neg
Cas Lt 5.0 Pos, RT 5.5 Pos
Toe Both at 1/8 In

My preferred camber (.2 Pos) was limited by the frame on the right, and my preferred caster (3.5 Pos) was not possible and limited to hold the "best least" camber if I heard the guy correctly. And they told me about the offset bars. It seems frame sag is common on these rigs. Of course after an experiment once with cutting the oem front coils too short the resulting hard groundings likely did nothing to help retain frame spec.

And to Navy's point, CarFax showed the car had been involved in some r. front damage.
 

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.....
Now on to tracking down why the left side sits lower...
I posted a few times over the years that upon removing the oem rear sway bar on my SS when it was 5 years old that laying on the driveway one side sat over 1 1/2" off the ground with the left end and rest of the bar resting on the ground. I had the car since new and could not figure out what could have caused the bar to torsion so badly. Just a thought.

And another thing to consider is a problem in the rear can have definite affect on the front.

Finally, a pesky sag on my son's '88 Monte turned out to be a rad support bushing. And if that ain't enough I ran the Cady over a pc of 4X4 gd. rail and only noticed by pure accident as I was rebuilding everything that the lower A-arm had bent 1/4".
 
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