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Alignment specs for best tire wear

5695 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Scott Knight
I totally rebuilt the front end on my '91 Caprice wagon and it drives like a new car, but the knuckleheads that did the front end alignment did a crappy job that I didn't catch at first.

They left the right front at 1 degree of positive camber, which is right on the edge of out of spec and its causing excess wear on the outside edge of the tire.

I'm going to have it re-aligned but I want to get it right this time.

Does anyone know what the best alignment specs are for best tire wear, its a totally stock car with stock size tires, so I'm after best tire wear, not performance.


Paul T.
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For good tire wear and nice driving I like;
Camber -0.5 degree +/- 0.25
Caster (as much as they can get) 4.5
Toe 0.06 or 0.12 total (1/16 inch toe in or 1/8in total)

If you have lots of road crown in your area a normal amount of cross caster can help. A good alignment guy will know how much is required for your area.

hope this helps
Thanks for the help Jon. I think my biggest problem is finding a good alignment guy, nobody seems to give a crap about their work around here, but I guess their bosses are pushing them to finish every job in 10 minutes, what the hell can you do.

Paul T.
I had my car set up to these specs, Drives nice and no abnormal tire wear noticed.
I think my biggest problem is finding a good alignment guy
Isn't it that way with anything any more? Sorry, I don't have any tips for procuring good service. I 'solved' the dilemma by doing my own alignments. To wit, I am more motivated than most, since I like to experiment and need multiple setups. For me to buy the equipment cost less than 1 year's worth of bad alignments. Your mileage may vary :D

The most elaborate piece of equipment you need is going to be the camber/caster guage and some kind of fixture to mount it on your wheel. This is what I splurged on:

The rest of the equipment pretty much consists of a dozen of those solid cinder blocks, 4 pieces of vinyl tile, some string and a couple of jackstands. Here is my car on my 'alignment rack':

I don't do it exactly like this guy, but his writeup is the best I have ever seen (hint: print it to a PDF for safe keeping because I am surprised it's still a working link):
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