Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I don't know if I'm just surrounded by "bad" alignment guys, but I've been told by the local dealer and a couple of other locals that they can't align my '95 RMW because of the rear fender skirts.

It's not any sort of special set up: original springs and ride height, SS rims and the typical 255 tires. What gives?!? Surely aligning these wagons is not a lost art?

The dealer was particularly strange, they claimed because the SS wheels are "so much" smaller than the original buick setups, the machine can't handle it. I swear the outer diameter of the SS rims and tire isn't 'that' much different.

Do I just need to find competence somewhere around here or is there something bigger going on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
man, that sucks, i have ss stockers on my roadie wagon and i took it down to the local mienake and the guy had owned an SS and knew what specs to use off the top of his head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,469 Posts
It appears you have stumbled on some real dumb people. Any half-wit should be able to align these cars. Do these guys have one brain cell flailing around? Keep trying, you will find someone who has the common sense to aligned it.

The most it should need is just a tweek anyway, unless you are having major driving, tire issues, or just rebuilt the suspension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,360 Posts
I had trouble with two chains around me. The first (TIRES PLUS in Camp Hill, PA) said they aligned it, let me scrub two tires out and then when I went back in to have the steering wheel straightened they admitted they had NEVER done it. That told me the way their machine hooks into my wheels (Impala 17") is above the bottom of the skirt on the rear. Making it impossible for them to align the rear. Gave me my money back and I made them buy me two tires.

The second (JACK WILLIAMS TIRES in Camp Hill, PA) struggled with it and ended up giving up. Their machine would go on, but the "skilled" staff only knows how to push buttons and has NO idea what he is doing!!!!! They tried to convince me my rear axle housing was bent!!!! ALL THIS BECAUSE THEY WERE CLUELESS!!!!! Needless to say I got my money back.

Finally I went to Skip. Skip owns and runs Dan's Frame Shop in Mechanicsburg, PA. He does not own and alignment machine. He does it the old fashioned way!!! Tape measure and the manual tools and does a GREAT JOB........ I have since had my Vue, my son's Monte Carlo, my Daughters Subaru and soon my Impala SS done by Skip. $40-45 depending on his mood. $25 for a re-alignment on a car he has done. You need to find he Skip in your town!! Try a frame shop!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the Ruston, LA Chevy dealer couldn't handle it (that would be Courtesy Chevrolet for anybody keeping score), and gave me the line about the tire size. A Goodyear back near my folks' place couldn't deal with it. The local Goodyear 'thought' they might be able to handle it but weren't sure.

After some hunting I found what seems to be a winner in Monroe, LA -- Brown's Radiator and Alignment. Their policy is that if it can be driven, they can align it. Real wrenches, measuring tape, and years of experience. It's sad that even things like a simple alignment seem to be getting more and more automated with less and less skill required, so when something slightly older and more unusual shows up, everybody draws a blank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Align

So they are saying that a pre 94 caprice cannot be done either. Does not make sence at all. Specialy a dealer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So they are saying that a pre 94 caprice cannot be done either. Does not make sence at all. Specialy a dealer
Yeah, I guess that is what they're saying. Probably a good dealership to avoid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,013 Posts
skirts mean they're lazy. local shop did my RMS no issue. You need to take it to a place that does more than toe"N"go.

There's really no way to do a 4 wheel alignment on our cars anyways, so usually the front too suffice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Don't believe the hype. I had a shop tell me the same thing, took it elsewhere and the skirts weren't an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
I have stocks on my RMW and had to take it to a small shop to get it done. I took it to town fair tire where they brag about their "computerized alignment system". I went twice and both times the car came back to me worse than the previous time, and they couldn't find anything wrong. I took it to a small tire shop near my work and they got it right the first time. Never had anyone tell me that it could not be aligned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,360 Posts
I have stocks on my RMW and had to take it to a small shop to get it done. I took it to town fair tire where they brag about their "computerized alignment system". I went twice and both times the car came back to me worse than the previous time, and they couldn't find anything wrong. I took it to a small tire shop near my work and they got it right the first time. Never had anyone tell me that it could not be aligned.
With stock wheels it is not an issue. 17" and large wheels tend to recess into the wheel house when sitting level. The tool they clamp on the rear wheels becomes an issue on the rear quarters/skirts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
With stock wheels it is not an issue. 17" and large wheels tend to recess into the wheel house when sitting level. The tool they clamp on the rear wheels becomes an issue on the rear quarters/skirts.
I have OEM aluminum rims and Airlifts (rear not sagging; probably a little higher than stock). Two shops could not do it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,891 Posts
What in the world is wrong with these shops? Why not just do a 2-wheel alignment and be done with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,469 Posts
What in the world is wrong with these shops? Why not just do a 2-wheel alignment and be done with it?
Heaven forbid they would do just a 2 wheel alignment, They think everything has 4 wheel independent suspension. The only adjustment that can be made to a stock B-body rear suspension requires a BFH or a torch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
I think it's a matter of [a lack of] training combined with overly computerized equipment designed to dummy down the process so that almost any wrench jockey can do it. In other words, If the machine can't do it for them, then they can't do it.

Getting a fix on the location of the rear wheels in a two wheel alignment establishes the effective center line of the car [can't remember the exact term]. This allows you to get the steering wheel straight [and possibly more accurate measurements of camber and caster, but realistically not a big effect].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,360 Posts
I think it's a matter of [a lack of] training combined with overly computerized equipment designed to dummy down the process so that almost any wrench jockey can do it. In other words, If the machine can't do it for them, then they can't do it.

Well said................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,186 Posts
In order to become ASE qualified, every mechanic must learn suspension and alignment theory. Unfortunately, when they get into the field, all the equipment is computerized, does all the work, and the theory the learned to become qualified gets lost in the dusty recesses of their tiny minds. I've heard of plenty of shops that wont do an alignment on anything with aftermarket springs or wheels. Another issue is that a lot of shops will train some goober that isn't ASE qualified to run that rack. He/she can push buttons but they have zero theory knowledge and are worthless. What you need is a real mechanic. Someone that knows what they're doing. Chain stores aren't likely to be the solution here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,327 Posts
I put 15" wheels back on when I need an alignment (use to get it done in a pit). Most shops around here sell a 4 year deal for less than two alignments so I put up with just swapping 15's back on. It took me over a year to get my Caddy done and I was out of town when I found a pit. My buddy got an alignment machine about a year ago and he did my dually and I will be using him from now on. It as been a PITA for the last 8+ years ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
huh

you just turn the head mount sideways
sheesh
And of course, if you have the newer rack, you mount the head so you can still roll it back to compensate and then back for your cater sweep
run far away from those places that claim they can't do it, because that is not all they can't do.
I'd be nervous letting those guys or girls near my car.cwm3
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top