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....!