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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-07-2009 06:33 PM
rrich How much the tires wear is a direct function of how badly the tires are aligned.

""""""specialized race shops"""""" - That comment is uncalled for.

I had 3 of those "performance" shops - we charged more than discount places and most other shops because we made sure we did it right - the first time! Yes, our prices were much higher than anyone else in the area - if someone didn't want to pay more to do it right then they were welcome to go somewhere else.
We were selective about what kind of work we did (mostly performance tuning but we also did wheel and suspension work) and the vehicles we worked on - like no foreign cars.
Yes, we also screened customers too. Cheapskates and attitude problems were turned away.

You'd think that would hurt business - but it didn't. We were booked solid - usually for at least 2 weeks ahead. That shows there's a real demand for quality work using quality parts. We didn't need to advertise at all.

One of the hardest things a shop faces is getting good help . I think I hired 15-20 "experienced mechanics" on a trial basis to find just one that was worth having - and even then they had to be trained or retrained. Once I found a good one I paid them much better than they could ever get anywhere else. I ended up with an excellent crew.

Yes, it's expensive owning and operating a shop - keeping equipment updated is only one of the expenses.

The saying "you get what you pay for" is true!
12-07-2009 05:27 PM
jpdocdave wow, most people won't come out and admit that. you can hear some weird things online, but i agree w/ mrcarcrazy, there's a lot of factors. i had a guy in last week w/ a truck that kept wearing tires out after 20k, and he couldn't understand why since he's on his third 20k set from discount shops that were supposedly doing alignments. well we put on new tires and aligned it properly, the knock out plugs were still in the slots of the control arms. meaning no one ever adjusted camber or caster, and it was way out.

so this guy spent over 600 bux every 20k for 60k. so thats almost 2,000 bux in tires and labor and if he keeps his alignment in spec these tires will last at least 60k costing him 600 instead of 2 grand.
12-07-2009 04:53 PM
terrible2 mmm, guess I really should look at more than one source before I spout my mouth off. Yea the only source I had was some mechanic website that to me seemed to say it would only add a few thousand miles to your tires but never went into all the other impacts it could have on your vehicle.

Id edit out my post if I could, but I cant.
12-07-2009 03:57 PM
mrcarcrazy
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible2 View Post
you know if you do the math, having your alignment off wont ruin your tires. it was something like driving an extra 2,000 miles extra on your tires every 5 years ( i think thats what the numbers were on a website I read). So 30 miles back home wont do anything in the big picture. Yea itll save your tires if you do align every once in a while but if you pay $90 each time, say even once every year, to me, im better off not doing it and buying new tires every 5 years since I will have paid $450 which is enough to buy a new set.

But what im going to attempt to do is align it myself, but since its a rainy day I cant = \
That Bold statement is Incorrect.

Toe angle has the most impact on tire wear. ALtering ride height has most significant impact on Toe angle. The further it is off the faster it destroys tires. I've seen tires that had less than 5k miles on them that were on the steel belts on the inside edge, while the outside edge looked brand new....(moron lowered vehicle, caused lots of toe out, and destroyed tires.)

Jeeps aren't affected as badly as some other vehicles due to the solid axle suspension setup. BUT making sure the toe is correct (or very close) will have a significant impact on tire wear.

Alignments aren't done JUST for tire wear either. The alignment affects the entire driving characteristics of the vehicle. Also regular alignments will inform you of parts in the front end that are wearing out (tie rods, ball joints, etc.) that you (based on your statement of I just slap tires on it and drive it) would not know about until it came apart and you rolled your jeep down the highway.

if you pay more than 40 bucks for someone to set your toe you've been screwed. (its something that can be done at home.)
I personally prefer the computerized machine way as I can look at the entire picture then, and it makes me feel warm inside, but its not necessary...

I'll end this with one message.

Set your toe.
12-07-2009 03:34 PM
terrible2 Well i meant $450 + a little. But you can usually get a good set off CL for $400 even Mickeys or TSL Swampers. Just have to keep a look out.
12-07-2009 03:29 PM
mudslinger150 i wish $450 bought me a new set of tires...

its worth it to keep them in check for me, but i only did it because i installed a new tie rod, because i smashed the other one.
12-07-2009 03:25 PM
terrible2 you know if you do the math, having your alignment off wont ruin your tires. it was something like driving an extra 2,000 miles extra on your tires every 5 years ( i think thats what the numbers were on a website I read). So 30 miles back home wont do anything in the big picture. Yea itll save your tires if you do align every once in a while but if you pay $90 each time, say even once every year, to me, im better off not doing it and buying new tires every 5 years since I will have paid $450 which is enough to buy a new set.

But what im going to attempt to do is align it myself, but since its a rainy day I cant = \
12-07-2009 03:15 PM
mudslinger150 yeah i picked the jeep up an hr ago, and the alignment is much better, they did get it back on the rack, centered the wheel and adjusted the toe again, i got a print out. It drives straight and the wheel is within my parameters of "straight". They were very apologetic, and i was happy to see the "tech" getting out of my jeep when i got there and he was taking off his seat cover, steering wheel cover, and floor mat. Between them showing some kind of respect to the interior of my jeep and wanting to correct the problem no questions asked and were very sorry, i just got my keys, said thank you and took off.

im happy...

but i learned my lesson, if you read my first post you read that i knew there was a good chance i would run into a problem, but at the time it was my only choice. Next time ill F'up my tires and drive 30 minutes north.
12-07-2009 02:57 PM
mrcarcrazy I completely agree with jpdocdave. Apprentice kiddos' are completely different than drunk kiddo's at your local jackass in the box franchised "mechanic" shop.

I actually learned a lot of what I know when I was a Teenager(apprentice). But I spent 50-60 hrs a week at the shop. and I was a little "off". didn't have same work ethic as most teens. (I actually had a work ethic). It was the best job I've ever had. I learned something new everyday, and felt like I'd accomplished a lot after every day. however, I'm much too frail to wrench for a living, and I found that I couldn't go home and enjoy wrenching when I did it all day everyday. Now I love getting under my Lotus and tinkering away all through the night. Its a fantastic way to rid myself of stress.

I only let my ex boss touch my vehicles. well him and myself...

You know the opposite/yet equally as irritating of those jackass in the box places are the "specialized race shops" those guys piss me off. they think 250.00 to align a car (4 wheel alignment) is fair. I actually got into an online argument with an owner because he felt his prices were fair, and I told some other guys that there is no way in hell its worth that much money. (since I've done it, and well its damn easy on a Lotus Elise/Exige). The issue with those shops is they think that the newest alignment machine out is a "necessity" when in reality it does the same job as the 20 year old one, it just requires a less trained person to use it. Then they use their $200,000 overhead as an excuse for their outlandish pricing. Sad part is people are dumb/ignorant enough to pay it.

RANT off.
12-07-2009 02:39 PM
jpdocdave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignuke View Post
Most teenagers do know what they are doing on cars... We have to start somewhere bud.
i had to learn just like anyone in the business, and learning involves many mistakes. there is a difference from a reputable establishment employing an inexpereinced person as an apprentice in a suporvised environment, than the hokey discount shops that employ inexpereinced kids just to do the work cheap. at my shop technicians are paid $24/book hr and up, you better believe you're getting a good job, we don't tolerate unsatisfactory work. its just too bad there's not many shops like that anymore.
12-07-2009 02:22 PM
kg4kpg I've always done my own toe-in and never had a problem, super easy job. I am having a little trouble centering the wheel with the is new custom set-up I have but it's not too had. Love it but miss having just the adjustment collar to turn instead of taking one end off to do it. I can't really afford the good shops and Tire Kindoms is definately a joke.
12-07-2009 02:06 PM
Bignuke lmao so true
12-07-2009 02:01 PM
adkjoe haha yea I hear ya. I'm not a teenager but I'm only 25, but I went to college to learn what I do. You would think if your a wanna be gangster you would want pant's that fit so when your commiting crimes you could run away instead of looking like someone surprised you while you were taking a shit and you had to waddle away with your pant's around your ankles.
12-07-2009 01:46 PM
Bignuke
Quote:
Originally Posted by adkjoe View Post
Nice and good luck, I see what your saying there are plenty of young people who are more than competent but like Mitch say's the teenagers learning from "head dogs" at a place like tire kingdom isn't good. They pick up kids that hang around the liquor store with crooked hats to do there bidding for minimum wage. I wouldn't mind someone learning and working on my jeep under the supervision of someone I trust.
I agree 100% I'm not one of those kids that wear the flat bill hats and baggy a$$ pants. I mean if I was cop, I would get them easy on foot because their pants would just fall down and they would trip.. It's bogus, they just don't understand lol
12-07-2009 01:36 PM
adkjoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignuke View Post
I understand that totally. I don't work on other's cars. I was just making a point where some teens know what they are doing and some don't... I guess in his case, some don't. I'm going to school now for an Associates degree in Automotive Technology so I should be up there soon.
Nice and good luck, I see what your saying there are plenty of young people who are more than competent but like Mitch say's the teenagers learning from "head dogs" at a place like tire kingdom isn't good. They pick up kids that hang around the liquor store with crooked hats to do there bidding for minimum wage. I wouldn't mind someone learning and working on my jeep under the supervision of someone I trust.
12-07-2009 01:26 PM
Bignuke
Quote:
Originally Posted by adkjoe View Post
Yea you have to learn somewhere but I don't want you leaning on my 12,000 jeep, sorry man. You need to learn at school or on your own car, if I wanted to pay someone to learn on my vehicle I would do it myself.
I understand that totally. I don't work on other's cars. I was just making a point where some teens know what they are doing and some don't... I guess in his case, some don't. I'm going to school now for an Associates degree in Automotive Technology so I should be up there soon.
12-07-2009 01:23 PM
mudslinger150 ^ ditto, plus you might not want to learn from the "head dogs" around those places, maybe if your looking to learn shade tree.
12-07-2009 01:14 PM
adkjoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignuke View Post
Most teenagers do know what they are doing on cars... We have to start somewhere bud.
Yea you have to learn somewhere but I don't want you leaning on my 12,000 jeep, sorry man. You need to learn at school or on your own car, if I wanted to pay someone to learn on my vehicle I would do it myself.
12-07-2009 01:13 PM
adkjoe I would try and get some money back, you got nothing to lose. you payed them to do something they didn't do you should atleast get a discount, if you don't o well lesson learned, go to the 4x4 center next time.
12-07-2009 01:13 PM
Bignuke
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdocdave View Post
your first mistake is taking it to a hokey tire shop that employs teenagers to do the work.
Most teenagers do know what they are doing on cars... We have to start somewhere bud.
12-07-2009 12:50 PM
mudslinger150 ^^ yeah i learned my lesson for sure. so even if i pick it up and its good, should i ask for some money back, for having to come back in, the wheel was obviously not adjusted. Or just pick it up and learn to listen to the little guy on my shoulders with the wings.
12-07-2009 12:47 PM
mudslinger150 I just called again to verify that the jeep went back on the rack and didnt' just crank my buckle to get the steering wheel aligned, they said it was put back on the rack and that they have a printout for me.

So, we'll see what its like when i pick it up. Its hard to duplicate a printout if the jeep didn't go back on the rack.
12-07-2009 12:47 PM
adkjoe Mitch, go to the 4x4 center in south burlington they do good work and there good people. A little expensive but well worth it, they know what they are doing.
12-07-2009 12:42 PM
mudslinger150 yeah no kidding, but their toe was off, printout said it was in, but no doubt the adjusted it printed it out then snugged it all down (jaring it out of spec)

i mean it was bad...
12-07-2009 12:38 PM
jpdocdave i would've waited at the shop while they did it, and watched. you don't have to readjust the toe assuming it was right after their alignment. on a jeep the toe adjustment is seperate than the steering wheel center adjustment. how do you not test drive a vehcile after an alignment?
12-07-2009 12:37 PM
terrible2 if you did it with credit card you can always call up the CC and get it back
12-07-2009 12:34 PM
mudslinger150 hahaha, no i dont run a drop pitman arm. Everything is fine, and sound. I do need a front right axel u joint, but offcourse they never mentioned that, they dont know any better! I was expecting them to come back with that as an excuse, glad they didn't for their sake

idk, if they just adjust me steering wheel and not my toe again....i think i should bitch and get my money back.
12-07-2009 12:30 PM
adkjoe I was fortunate enough to get F%cked by tire kingdom twice. when I moved here I didn't know anyone so I was never warned. I ordered tires from there once for my Dakota and it took 2 months to get them in, they got them in a week later and never told me and sold them out on the floor. Bunch of %#^#*#*# if you ask me. I have never met anyone who has had a good experience at tire kingdom. Sorry Mitch.
12-07-2009 12:26 PM
terrible2 dude those places will screw you over. I had my alignment doen by 4wparts and I doubt he did an alignment on mine, not to mention he forgot to do my steering alignment something which they charged me $90 for and something I had to bring back because they forgot to.

For $90 you realize all youre paying them to do is adjust your toe in which requires a ruler and some sockets?

If you feel cheated let them know and get your money back, I know I sure did felt cheated.

Also if what they say is true about the play in steering wheel and needing adjustable control arms...then I should go buy a pair myself. But I doubt theyre right or else everyone would be telling everyone else to get adjustable control arms when they get 3.5" + lifts.

You dont run a drop pitman arm do you? I know I do and im going to replace it with a pitman arm which will fix my bumpsteer but also possibly the play in steering wheel.

And the guy 2 posts above is right, it is like hiring the school janitor to teach your kids (no offense to them as there are some smart ones like Matt Damon in goodwill hunting)
12-07-2009 12:26 PM
jpdocdave your first mistake is taking it to a hokey tire shop that employs teenagers to do the work. big waste of time, and sounds like you knew it was coming.

my advice is stop using discount hokey shops. i'm a mehcanic, and it never stops amazing me that people take their cars to places they know suck. jiffy lube, and these discount tire shops amaze me. why even trust them with the simplest things since you know they can't be trusted on anything else. take your vehicle to a reputable shop where a real mechanic is gonna work on your junk instead of jose jr. it only makes sense to trust your vehicle to a mechanic to change your oil that knows how to fix an engine.

its like asking the school janitor to be your kids teacher.

i'm in a bad mood today, and it is a peive of mine when people are working on cars that shouldn't be.
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