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1999 Camry - pulls to left


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#21 daxr

 
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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:38 PM

Rear wheel drive Chryslers were the worst. I started in 1987, so there were still plenty of them around. Camber and caster set on cams on the upper control arm that were really hard to get to and typically rusted solid in place.

 

I worked in a big shop with three full-time alignment racks going, and any time a Chrysler product came throug the guys would try to find something wrong with it - a worn bushing or ride height or anything that'd get them out of having to align it.



#22 Saltmine

 
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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:13 PM

We had one "old timer" at one of the shops I worked. He would take the car out for a test drive. If it pulled one way or another, he would ram it into a curb, until it stopped pulling, then flag the ticket, and get the next job.
Sam Will
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Mohave County Public Works
Kingman, Arizona
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#23 VW Techguy

 
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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:03 PM

I get all our alignments because I'm the only one in the shop that doesn't do a toe and go. A guy that brags about working on VW for 10 years didn't know the rear camber is adjustable on a CC until he saw me doing one. Same adjustments since the 2006 Passat came out.

#24 daxr

 
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Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:39 PM

I get most of the alignments at our shop. The dealerships here generally didn't have alignment machines until the last few years, so most of the techs don't have enough proficiency to make any money at it on factory time. Being on the used car side without any factory certifications also means I get 1.5 hours for an alignment, usually, which is a pretty good deal. Plenty of things don't pay enough, but that part helps to balance things out.



#25 VW Techguy

 
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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:12 PM

I get 1 hr because our manager doesn't want to charge more then a tire shop. I did a warranty Passat rack. The alignment with caster adjustment pays 1.7hrs. Would have been 2 even if the rear was off.

#26 fullsizeblazin

 
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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

How could anybody not know the cars adjustments? You right click on the screen and go to "illustrate adjustments". Some Hunter machines even have videos! Alignments aren't hard and it's baffling how many people can't do them right... Unless it was under warranty, I've never been paid more than 1.0 for an alignment. Toe-n-go all the way! (The coupons even said "toe only").

#27 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

When the dealers still use the Light-Align machines, or the strings attached to the alignment heads from the 1970's-1990's.

 

Those did good alignments, but you had to have someone who knew how to use them..............

 

Someone has to pay for the owner's yacht.


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#28 Saltmine

 
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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

You guys are lucky. At least the alignment machines you use today have some electronic accuracy to them. Back in the "olden days" we had "Bender gauges" and toe-bars. You aligned each side of the car on a tire turntable (by hand) and hoped you got it close. The "Bender gauge" read both caster & camber, and it was imperative that you knew the difference, and how one adjustment affected the other. Then, if you were satisfied with the adjustments, you set the toe with the "stick". Some machines used a string hung between the front wheels, and once in a while we were reduced to using a piece of chalk and a tape measure. But, on a positive note, we didn't have "4 wheel alignments" or freebees. Fortunately, most of the front-ends we did on the alignment rack were worn out, and that usually meant an upsell, or the customer had to be satisfied with what he got. Ah, the "good ol days."
Sam Will
Senior Tech, Vehicle Maintenance
Mohave County Public Works
Kingman, Arizona
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40 years of training....wasted.

#29 VW Techguy

 
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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:45 PM

I learn with the old bubble gauge on the hub and toe bar with the painted line on the tire and a scribe line to measure off of.

#30 Bob K

 
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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:52 AM

The guy that I go to now has the old hunter drive on pit, bubble gauge, toe bar system. And without a doubt he is the best frontend man around. He has been doing it for over 50 years on the same rack. And the rack still looks brand new. If a spec of dirt gets on it he stops and cleans it up. He keeps cardboard on the floor so if any thing falls off it don't get on the floor.  The work he does has to comes out perfect. Sometimes he will road test 5 or 6 times afterwards just to make sure he is satisfied with the quality. If not back on the rack. He is the one that re-aligns all the jobs that the tire shops and dealer  didn't get right. We have a big Goodyear dealers in our area. And the owners of it bring their personal vehicles to him. So I guess that is telling you something about their alignments.



#31 daxr

 
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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:28 PM

The road testing is what really makes the difference, and what most production-oriented or flat-rate shops miss. Once for a couple of weeks my machine was down, and I had to go back to bubble-gauges and chalk-mark toe sets. I had to drive a lot more, but I was always able to get a result I was satisfied with. Having done it for many years a person develops a better sense of what a good result is. Using a modern machine makes the process go faster, but the road testing is always the critical part that most mechanics have little time or interest in.

 

The best alignment is one where the vehicle feels confident on the road, where you don't notice the steering at all - that's always the goal, rather than just "in spec".

 

The guy I learned from (25 years ago) was the same - his rack was always spotless, wiped down every night, and he'd bring a car back in over and over until he was satisfied. Most of the other guys would just set-to-spec and park it.




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