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Discussion Starter #1
Took my car in for Camber Kit Install / Alignment.
-I provided the SPC Camber Kit
-I provided (2) new tires that needed to be installed/rotated.

Basically the cost for the Alignment+Installation of the 2 new tires+Installation of the SPC Camber Kit that I also provided: $300. The car was ready within 2 hours of drop-off. He said the "alignment is fine now". I requested a copy of the alignment print-out which I attached below. If anyone knows how to read it, does everything look fine? Thanks.

 

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Looks like it is not okay:

Left Front:
.Caster should be closer to 3.8
.Camber should be closer to 0.0
.Toe is good

Right Front:
.Caster good
.Camber is close (but could be closer to 0.0)
.Toe is out of tolerance should be close to -0.04

Left Rear:
Toe is out of tolerance should be close to 0.08

Right Rear:
Toe is out of tolerance should be close to 0.08
 

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Left rear toe is way out. The spec is 0.00-0.16 degrees. The right rear toe is out as well. The car should drive like a crab. I think it could be closer all the way around. Now it is possible that there are some worn parts contributing to the wide specs. I wonder why a tech would let a car go with those numbers.

I would definately want the left toe fixed ASAP.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
See I don't even know what to tell the guy anymore. I could take it to another shop, and just never take it back to him again I suppose.
 

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Here is an option for you. How about take it to a friendly shop and have the front end inspected. Get the car up in the air and squeeze some tie rod ends and pry on some ball joints. I would replace anything that is not tight and right. Having a sloppy front end will end up with less than desirable alignment work. I would then find an independent shop to align it.

Once properly aligned the Legend will drive like it's on rails.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Question about the rear, as far as I'm aware there is no aftermarket Rear Camber Kit for legends, the shop used Shims in the rear, as was also recommended on the board.


Anyone else on the board that is dropped (I'm dropped on Koni/Eibach lowest perch), have this problem with the rear?
 
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I caster really supposed to be 3.8? Mines 6.8 Whats a good camber/toe setting for a lowered legend? Right now mines set at 0 all around, doesn't feel right.
 

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I am not sure what the alignment people do to compensate for lowered cars with mod. wheels. That's the downside of changing suspension geometry. You are now a testpilot.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, the car is on 17" Wheels- the IS300 wheels. (Stock was 15", LS was 16").

Also noticed more noticable "Vibrations" felt from the car 65mph+ that were not present before. Slightly pulls to the right after 2-3seconds of driving straight.
 

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I caster really supposed to be 3.8? Mines 6.8 Whats a good camber/toe setting for a lowered legend? Right now mines set at 0 all around, doesn't feel right.
Stock setting according to my 94' Coupe' manual is 3 degrees 45 minutes +/- 1 degree. So 6.8 is way out by a bunch. (technical term) Basically you are 2 degrees and ~45 minutes out of maximum positive spec. The steering should feel funny from the lift of the suspension during turning.

Yes, the car is on 17" Wheels- the IS300 wheels. (Stock was 15", LS was 16").

Also noticed more noticable "Vibrations" felt from the car 65mph+ that were not present before. Slightly pulls to the right after 2-3seconds of driving straight.
The vibrations could be a balance issue or a slightly bent rim. I have a balance machine. You would not believe how far out some wheel balances are that just came out of the shop. When you have them balanced ask them to use the "fine" setting and get them within 2 grams. Stand next to the guy when he balances the wheels and look at the lateral runout of the wheel. If it's bent you will see it. Here's another thing to consider. If one of the wheel/tire combo's takes 30 grams or more to balance something is out of control. I remove the tire and check the balance of just the rim. If it's okay them reinstall the tire 180 degrees from it's original position. See how much weight it requires now. Don't be afraid to ask for a different tire if they are new skins.

I would bet that it does pull right! It is coming from the left rear and right front. The left rear toe is kicking the ass end out to the left. With some negative toe on the right rear the car would try to pass itself.

The wheel changes you made are equal all the way around the car. You have a huge difference in the rear camber. Something could be bent. The manual states to look for damaged suspension components.

You might want to read through this article. I posted the link somewhere once before. FIXING WHEEL ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS

A fair understanding of the contents of this article will arm you with the information you need to communicate with your front end guru about your situation.

Please understand that I am not being personally critical of people that use the "get-it-in-the-green" method of alignment. It is their method that is not acceptable. The market has driven the shops to use this method due to the extensive amount of time it would take to adequately train someone to really understand the suspension. The shops have to be price competative with the Les Schwab's and Costco's of the world.

Most people are not as sensitive as you and I are about the way our cars drive.

A well-aligned car is a pleasure to drive. Be persistent in getting the numbers correct. You may find some bent pieces that need to be replaced.

Oh gawd I've written too much again.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Dave how about you open a shop down near Los Angeles, so I can take my car to you? lol. Actually does anyone have a recommendation on a place near L.A that does a nice professional job at wheel alignment?

I noticed you mentioned tires there, I must say... The old tires i was using were Yokohoma AVS ES100. Unfortunately they discontinued these tires, and replaced them with the S line of tires. Very similar in thread design, but nonetheless a different tire. Therefore in the front I have (2) new Yokohoma tires,...same size and width etc compared to the rear ones (but different line). Could that add at all to the problems I'm experiencing?
 

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I don't think the different tread/tire on the front vs. back is having an effect on your ride situation. All of the usual disclaimers apply, like broken belt, cupping, etc. As long as you have them matched on each end of the car I would not worry.

I would think you could find a good independent shop in your area. One thing you might want to try is check with the local Ferrari club as to who does their front end work. Generally those guys are picky about their rides. You could also try the Rolls-Royce guys. Now there is a car that eats front ends like mad.

If I were in your area I would gladly help you out with your car.

Another thought on the vibration you feel is the diameter of the wheel. A 17" wheel has a 1.0" greater moment arm that the weight is acting upon over the stock wheel. A weight placed at the greater moment arm will have a greater effect upon balance. Sometimes they don't even put a weight on the outside of the wheel for cosmetic reasons. Now you can look good while you are being shaken apart.

Take your alignment sheet with you when you interview new techs. Hand the sheet to them and listen to what they say. If they give you psycho-babble then move on. It took me a long time to find "my guy" for alignment work.

Stick with it and let me know how it goes.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Update (9:30AM)
Took the car back and explained the situation. Told him it's pulling to the right and wobbling at high speeds. He said the alignment was fine when he put it on the machine but he would check it out again anyways. He took my car for a spin and said it's pulling very very slightly to the right, but he'd look at it. He then proceeded to put the Wheel/Tires on the balance machine. He says, "I forgot to tell you, two of your rims are bad". On the balance machine I could see how both rims currently in the front wobble even after balancing....according to him I didn't notice this before because the rims used to be in the back, and are now in the front. His recommendation was to either get some new rims, or get 2 new tires and rotate these to the back again...and the ones in the back to the front and the wobble should go away.

The car is in the shop still as I type this, getting the alignment work re-inspected.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I think that's the last time I take my car to that shop. The steering wheel itself is now slightly angled left, and the car is still pulling to the right. The guy pretty much tells me, it's because the car is dropped. Even though I had a bad camber in the front before (tires were getting eaten). The car used to drive fine/straight/smooth before. Now I'm in need of a new shop, if anyone recommends a GOOD SHOP for alignment in the L.A Area. Please let me know, the bonus would be if they're familiar with aftermarket suspensions/camber kits.
 

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Good talking with you this morning. I have done a little research on various forums. The BMW people really like Darrin Nishimura at West End Alignment, 18008 S Vermont Ave, Gardena CA 90248.

Let me know what you find.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll probably end up going with West End, next available appointment day is mid-next week. I'll have to endure the alignment for now since it's my only car.
 

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I am eager to hear what West End has to say about the car. They certainly have a big following. It sounds like you are lucky to get in so soon. I am still scratching my head about buying new tires and moving the bent rims to the back to make the problem "go away." What logic is there behind moving a bent rim from one end of the car to the other. Instead of feeling the vibration in the steering wheel now you feel it in your butt.

I think you are on the way to resolving the problem. Make sure you bring the sheet along with the alignment numbers to West End. Hey wait! I wonder if the shop set their alignment piece on the bent wheel? If so the bent wheel would not be parallel to the hub. Make sure to ask the tech at West End about that.

Please report back with the results.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm going to call Westend again tomorrow to set the appointment. That way I can communicate to my boss which day I'll require off of work. To be safe, I did order 2 more new tires to replace the older ones (From TireRack). I figured might as well do it right the first time...

I'll keep you posted.
 
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