Chevy Impala SS Forum banner
21 - 34 of 34 Posts

· Registered
592 Posts
The small tires accentuate the "flaw" he posted about.

It is relevant to the subject.

Three people pointed out that they looked too small,
and he got his panties in a twist.

I stand my my statement that he was acting like a pussy.

As far as the original reason for the post, well...

I don't see a problem with how the wheels are centered.

I think if he got the right size tires, it wouldn't look so bad.

Also, if his car were lowered a bit, it would look a lot better.


What the heck do I know anyway....

It's not like I've been spending my free time
for the better part of six years building a RM
or anything... ;)

Again, just my .02 ;)

· Registered
592 Posts
I know right!!! hahah wtf! lolz I didn't know the answer to the question he asked. If I did then I would have been glad to share it. You act like we all chimed in on a completely unrelated subject like your paint. You tire size has to do with how your wheel looks sitting in the wheel well. Just wanted to help you out and make sure you were aware your obscenely huge wheel gap looks like sh*t in case you had your self fooled thinking it looked funny cause its off center by an inch! Would be like someone asking asking if their tint looks bad cause it has a few bubbles in it when the whole f*cking front of the car is smashed in and driver door is a different color! You're worrying about the wrong thing man... :D


How did the OP miss that???

· Premium Member
3,784 Posts
What about our misplaced front wheel? The pic of my RMS below shows the front wheel is slightly too far rearward relative to the fender - both sides exhibit this: (pic deleted)

Is this a design issue like the Impala rear wheel problem, or is this a factor of spring sag (I'm on the original springs) and/or caster angle (I don't have my current caster specifications in front of me, but would any amount of caster adjustment be able move the wheel forward relative to the fender by 3/4" or so)?

I've noticed some Fleetwood pics on the site show this "flaw" as well. I don't notice it on the Impala/Caprice.

So....Are your RMS front wheels centered?
Not wanting to get in on the "issues" that follow your original post, I can say that my Impala does appear to have the "optical delusion" of one of the front wheels not sitting "centered" in the wheel opening (with the steering wheel "straight"). The car is stock height--actually it may be slightly higher, with uncut 750# springs, and stock size tires (255/50-17) on 9" rims.

It's possible that I'm never looking at the car (my SS) with the wheels perfectly straight, either--it doesn't take much wheel movement to center-up the wheel in the opening, but that may not be the correct position to keep the car going straight down the road.

The 235/55-17 tire is the same OD as the 255/50, so I would conclude that the front ride height for the tire size needs to be adjusted to close up some of the gap....I would also be inclined to think that the 235/55 is actually too small (visually) for the RMS, with it's more square-ish wheel opening shape, since the most common OE tires were taller. It's a perfectly adequate tire in all other respects, but it just looks "lost" with stock RMS ride height settings.

As far as spring sag, if the car has dropped any over it's life, this would actually improve the appearance--in other words, if you checked the OE specs and found that the car is lower than stock height, and raised it back up, these tires are going to look even smaller.

I suggest that you think about lowering the front of the car, if you're staying with the wheel/tire combination you have now. The picture you show appears to indicate that the fender alignment is good, nothing unusual that is apparent.

Try putting some weight on the front of the car to force the front down, and see how it looks--use something of known weight, like bags of concrete mix, sand, exercise weights--either put them on the hood (with protection) or UNDER the hood--maybe on a piece of plywood laid across the top of the intake manifold--make sure the car is on a FLAT surface, tires inflated to desired setting, take careful measurements BEFORE you start and with each change, bounce the car with each weight change, etc--to see if you can come to a front wheel opening-to-tire position that you find acceptable.

You should check your lower control arm bump stop position before you start and at the point where you're happy with the ride height, to see how much wheel travel is left before the stop contacts the frame OR if you need to cut the stop down IF you do end up lowering the car. If there IS contact on the lower arm stop(s), remove them while doing this to make sure they aren't affecting your test.

Have you had someone else drive the car while you look at it from another car driving alongside? If not, try it and let us know what you see & think.

Any idea if the frame is square? Have you taken any diagonal cross-measurements? Have you measured and compared wheelbase side-to-side? A visit to a competent frame shop may be in order to do this accurately.

I don't consider the front wheel position to be a flaw--there is some degree of adjustment of frame to body possible--it may be a matter of shifting things around a bit to tweak things in a little better.

The rear axle position is the only thing ever addressed by GM via a TSB, and to my knowledge, was only for 93-96 Chevy sedans--should not be an issue for RMS, unless you find a significant difference in wheelbase side-to-side, and everything else checks out OK.

Adjusting caster to roll the wheel forward might take the car out of range for optimum alignment, but there's alot of tolerance built into the specs. You don't want to do this just for appearance sake, and you wouldn't want to have the left and right caster to be too far out from each other either.

If the car was ever wrecked (any many were) and put back on the road, you may find that the frame has a kink somewhere that is contributing to the visual issue, or it may be something as "simple" as the (lower) control arm(s) on one or both side(s) being slightly tweaked, or the control arm frame mount being bent....take a good look under the car, you may be surprised at what you find!

I will say this....regardless of changing ride height as part of the corrective actions possible, if the car drives right, alignment specs are good, and tire wear is good, but you KNOW it has this visual issue, just realize that it's so small of an amount of movement, that no one will typically notice it unless YOU point it out. Driving down the road, you can't see it anyway....! :D

· Premium Member
3,784 Posts
Maintenance, Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins

Component Description:
Bulletin Number: 533403
Bulletin Date: May 1995

Vehicle: 1994 Chevrolet Caprice

Dealers SHOULD be able to come up with the TSB information, if you have one that's cooperative.

Most shops with ASE techs should have some sort of access to TSB and recall information, such as ALLDATA, which does allow them to get TSB's. It's not free to them, since it's copyrighted OEM information that they have to pay for to maintain access for their subscribers--ie. that's why you won't find TSB's on a free site, to my knowledge.

My recollection is that this TSB came about because some customers looked at the car and found the position of the rear wheel/tire in the body opening was not the SAME on both sides of the car. The TSB was a corrective measure to modify the frame mounting position on ONE side only to make both sides "appear" the same....this means that incorporating this TSB MAY be a matter of causing the wheelbase to be unequal from side-to-side, and the rear thrust angle to end up being out-of-specs--all for a visual perception issue.

The actual work accomplished was simply to elongate the rear (lower) control arm bolt hole on the side of the frame that was "offending" to allow the wheel/tire to be repositioned to equal the other side of the car. The reality is if this was done, the wheel/tire on the OTHER side of the vehicle moved the OPPOSITE direction, so the movement was necessarily VERY small.

The reason give for the problem was reported to be an error in the frame supplier's process for piercing the frame hole(s) for the rear LCA--it may have been stated as being on a specific side, but I don't have the actual bulletin handy for reference.

The TSB was NOT for relocating BOTH sides to center the wheel(s) in the openings, just to be clear.

Yes, SUPPOSEDLY the bulletin was ONLY applicable to 1994 model vehicles, but I'm sure there are plenty who will say that it was a "problem" on their car, 95 & 96 owners.

· Registered
74 Posts
Wow! I had not seen all this. I was out driving my car; happy and smiling.

· Registered
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Navy Lifer - now that's an informative post!

I would have thought with lowering and a positive caster angle of 3.5+ degrees, the wheel would actually move slightly more rearward into the fender well since the axis of the top of the spring in relation to perfectly verticle is tilted rearward? While lowering would help the tire better fill the square opening of the RMS fender, it would still be slightly off center. New springs would push the wheel forward slightly, but increase the gap all the way around (see Goldmaster's pictures). If that's incorrect, let me know.

I had an alignment done roughly one year ago, and aside from some toe issues and a worn idler arm (which I replaced) it was set up right. Since then, I see no odd tire wear, so I don't believe anything is worn or out of spec. I also know the car has never been involved in an accident. With the current setup, short of dialing in neutral or negative caster (not an option for any type of handling), it does appear to be a "live and let live" issue due to everything you pointed out.

Thanks again - I appreciate it.

· Premium Member
3,784 Posts
Random thoughts.....

Springs, or their condition, will not have any direct effect on the axis of inclination of the knuckle/spindle. Yes, ride height change probably DOES effect the position of the wheel within the wheel opening (fore & aft)--the control arms and knuckle move in a reasonably vertical path--that said, if you take the spring out and just move the corner through it's travel, you would probably see the spindle center move rearward as it travels upward due to the upper control arms' "tilt" to the rear--the shimming of the UCA determines caster, which remains static relative to the car body in a steady-state condition (ie. sitting still, going straight with no up/down suspension movements).

A lowered car would probably need to have caster re-set, which would (I think) result in rolling the knuckle back closer to vertical to compensate for the rearward movement of the upper ball joint as it travels upward (as a result of lowering).

Are the control arm bushings original in this car--how many miles?

I ask because I'm thinking that IF the lower control arm rear bushings were toast, the default condition would be for the arm to "swing" rearward, moving the lower ball joint rearward, and everything else that attaches to it. If you have not eliminated this possibility, it's another thing you have to do to.

Same thing is true of the rear bushings for the UCA's--in fact, in my experience even MORE likely to be a problem than lowers, so they ALL need to be checked.

Looking at the pictures of Stewart's car (18" wheels and larger OD tires) I don't see much of an issue in his situation--I don't know what work he's done, whether the front end has been rebuilt, etc.

It's hard to see the full extent of the problem with your car since the picture posted lacks enough contrast--the tire disappears in the black body opening, since the camera didn't use flash.

I still think you should check body-to-frame alignment and determine whether the whole body MAY be sitting on the car just slightly too far FORWARD--we're only talking about 1/8", give or take, to change the appearance. The front fender to door gap makes me think it's probably OK, but it would be instructive for you to find some other RMS--several if possible--to do some side-by-side comparisons, though the same car, the same age, may have the same problem(s) or worse, so it may not be so simple to do this.

· Registered
592 Posts
Damn, Stewart, I've never seen this side of you. Anyway, you are the King of Roadmasters and your opinion matters to those who know your work.
What can I say.

I have little tolerance for idiots as of late... ;)
21 - 34 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.