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-   -   alignment not possible? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/alignment-not-possible-40917.html)

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 11:41 AM

alignment not possible?
 
so i have a RC 3.25" lift and 33's. I had the 33's put on by a local family shop, everything was great, drove straight, was perfect. I go out and smash my tie rod....I buy a new one (RR Heavy Duty) i install it, and adjusted my toe to "good enough" drove it to "Tire Kingdom", the only place open in my area at 3pm on saturday and they did an alignment for me.

So they take it off the rack and park it in the yard, didn't even test drive it... I get in it to leave (im in a hurry) and just knew it would be a shitty job done.

Yes the wheel was cocked to the right and it would drift to the right. So i know how to adjust my steering wheel, to center it, but for $90 bucks!!! i shouldn't have too, plus it still drifted (favored) the right. so i stewed on it over sunday and brought it back today with an ear full to them. Pretty much told them, i used to do alignments at a local shop i worked at (true) and that i know the process, yada yada yada. I told them to re align it, snug everything thing down and then print out the alignment sheet. So i dropped it off, and they called me 40 minutes later.

well we adjusted your steering wheel as close as we could get it, you have a lot of play in your steering box, and the reason why your jeep pulls "fights the road" is you have a lot of play in your steering box and you need adjustable control arms.

This i understand with camber and caster but, the point is the jeep's wheel was off almost a qtr turn from center and the jeep would travel right. Not left or right fighting the wear of the road. The jeep travelled right.

So im hoping that when i go pick it up they didnt' just drive it, center my wheel, and say its as best as we are going to get it. VS. putting it back on the alignment rack, centering the wheel re adjust the toe and then drive the damn thing again.

Thats what you get for dealing with Tire Kingdom. Bunch of winners there, but i didn't expect much, just needed to have the alignment done and was crossing my fingers, now i have to play truck truck.

if i get the jeep back and realize that all they did was center the wheel and not make an effort to adjust my toes etc... should i give them crap and ask for my money back. I know it can be adjusted so there is no pull, it was done before.

catITguy 12-07-2009 12:16 PM

I have had similar disappointing experiences with local repair shops. That is why I have started doing all my own maintenance that I realistically can. Two different shops both suggested that I replace my steering stabilizer to cure my death wobble. It worked....until I wore out the stabilizer and it was right back. Finally with my own troubleshooting ability (read: common sense) and some help from the friendly members on this forum, tracked down the issue to my track bar having worn out bushings. Replaced it and everything has been good for a few months now.

I actually did my own alignment in my garage after installing the new track bar. It was an exercise in patience but it worked and saved me money. Look around online there are numerous articles on how to do it yourself, if you have the patience.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 12:23 PM

Yeah, i know how to do it with an alignment rack using the heads, and also in my garage, but i paid $800 for new tires and would like it to be done on the rack so i dont get premature ware. It sucks because they dont realize or even think that we know more than them and do all of our own work and we just need them to perform simple tasks to ensure our parts will not wear etc...

Dont give me your "book learned" bull$hit and just do what im asking you to do, rook!

jpdocdave 12-07-2009 12:26 PM

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.

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

terrible2 12-07-2009 12:26 PM

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)

adkjoe 12-07-2009 12:30 PM

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.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 12:34 PM

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 :D

idk, if they just adjust me steering wheel and not my toe again....i think i should bitch and get my money back.

terrible2 12-07-2009 12:37 PM

if you did it with credit card you can always call up the CC and get it back

jpdocdave 12-07-2009 12:38 PM

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?

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 12:42 PM

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...

adkjoe 12-07-2009 12:47 PM

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.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 12:47 PM

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.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 12:50 PM

^^ 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.

Bignuke 12-07-2009 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpdocdave (Post 500594)
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.

adkjoe 12-07-2009 01:13 PM

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.

adkjoe 12-07-2009 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bignuke (Post 500624)
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.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 01:23 PM

^ ditto, plus you might not want to learn from the "head dogs" around those places, maybe if your looking to learn shade tree.

Bignuke 12-07-2009 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adkjoe (Post 500626)
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.

adkjoe 12-07-2009 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bignuke (Post 500633)
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.

Bignuke 12-07-2009 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adkjoe (Post 500638)
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

adkjoe 12-07-2009 02:01 PM

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.

Bignuke 12-07-2009 02:06 PM

lmao so true

kg4kpg 12-07-2009 02:22 PM

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.

jpdocdave 12-07-2009 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bignuke (Post 500624)
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.

mrcarcrazy 12-07-2009 02:57 PM

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.

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 03:15 PM

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.

terrible2 12-07-2009 03:25 PM

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 = \

mudslinger150 12-07-2009 03:29 PM

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.

terrible2 12-07-2009 03:34 PM

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.

mrcarcrazy 12-07-2009 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrible2 (Post 500724)
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.


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