front end alignment results

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Thread: front end alignment results

  1. #1
    Supercharged Member WhiteLiteNin's Avatar
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    Default front end alignment results

    today i took my 06 dc 2wd in to the toyota dealership for an alignment. the service mangager approached me about 1/2 hour later and showed me the alignment numbers that i drove in with and that they were within toyotas specs as follows:

    LEFT FRONT:
    camber 0.1
    caster 3.4
    toe -0.02

    RIGHT FRONT:
    camber -0.2
    caster 2.8
    toe 0.01

    TOTAL TOE:
    -0.01


    LEFT REAR:
    camber -0.2
    toe 0.14

    RIGHT REAR:
    camber -0.1
    toe 0.11

    he then said to realign to dj's specs would be $159.00 (regular alignment price was $79.00) blah blah blah. i said no thanks.

    now here's the kicker... before i took the truck in for the alignment i performed the following proceures:

    1) installed new poly bushings in steering rack
    2) installed new icon coilovers
    3) installed new hellwig front sway bar

    the service manager said they had replaced steering rack bushings before many times with no need for alignment. he mentioned another part of the front steering system on the earlier model gen 1"s (that part alludes me now) that toyota replaced under recall with no need for realignment most of the time-even though it was specified for alignment after this procedure had been done. he went on to say that they just don't have to do many realignments on gen 1 tundra's and that it has been his experience that they just stay aligned pretty dog gone good.

    this has been an interesting day filled with new knowledge.

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  3. #2
    Supporter Remmy700P's Avatar
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLiteNin View Post
    today i took my 06 dc 2wd in to the toyota dealership for an alignment. the service mangager approached me about 1/2 hour later and showed me the alignment numbers that i drove in with and that they were within toyotas specs as follows:

    LEFT FRONT:
    camber 0.1
    caster 3.4
    toe -0.02

    RIGHT FRONT:
    camber -0.2
    caster 2.8
    toe 0.01

    TOTAL TOE:
    -0.01


    LEFT REAR:
    camber -0.2
    toe 0.14

    RIGHT REAR:
    camber -0.1
    toe 0.11

    he then said to realign to dj's specs would be $159.00 (regular alignment price was $79.00) blah blah blah. i said no thanks.

    now here's the kicker... before i took the truck in for the alignment i performed the following proceures:

    1) installed new poly bushings in steering rack
    2) installed new icon coilovers
    3) installed new hellwig front sway bar

    the service manager said they had replaced steering rack bushings before many times with no need for alignment. he mentioned another part of the front steering system on the earlier model gen 1"s (that part alludes me now) that toyota replaced under recall with no need for realignment most of the time-even though it was specified for alignment after this procedure had been done. he went on to say that they just don't have to do many realignments on gen 1 tundra's and that it has been his experience that they just stay aligned pretty dog gone good.

    this has been an interesting day filled with new knowledge.
    Even though it seems like you did a lot of front end work, if you kept the icons at the same lift as the previous components, the suspension geometry would be essentially the same, and an alignment might not be indicated simply based on measurement. The bushings replacement nor the sway bar (which is a swap) should affect the alignment either.

    Hopefully DJ will chime in on this, but the only thing that would bother me is the 0.6 degrees variance in caster. I wouldn't be comfortable with that amount of difference.

    And any service writer that makes sweeping generalizations like that about alignments is an idiot.
    Last edited by Remmy700P; 03-25-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    The difference in caster is actually what you want to see. About half a degree is perfect. The truck will pull to the side with more positive caster. In your case, the left front is .6 more positive than the right front. This compensates for the road crown and makes the truck drive straight. If you have even caster side to side, it will pull right towards the ditch, because of the slope in the road surface for water drainage. Caster has no effect on tire wear either way though, so no need to worry as long as your truck drives straight.

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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    I'll say, I had my ball joint's replaced at around 45,000 miles or so, and before that, after that, and even now at 100,000 miles, my alignment is still spot-on PERFECT!

    No pulling, wheel is straight and tires have been wearing as even as Steven.

    I'll agree with the dealer in that the alignment on our trucks stays pretty darned good. 7 years and 100,000 miles and not a single issue. Impressive for sure.

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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Remmy700P View Post
    Even though it seems like you did a lot of front end work, if you kept the icons at the same lift as the previous components, the suspension geometry would be essentially the same, and an alignment might not be indicated simply based on measurement. The bushings replacement nor the sway bar (which is a swap) should affect the alignment either.

    Hopefully DJ will chime in on this, but the only thing that would bother me is the 0.6 degrees variance in caster. I wouldn't be comfortable with that amount of difference.

    And any service writer that makes sweeping generalizations like that about alignments is an idiot.
    makes sense on the bushings and the sway bar swap not really having an effect on the alignment. and as far as the ride height with the icons go, some days when i measure ride height, i get 3/4" LOWER than factory ride height and other days i get 1" LOWER than factory ride height.

    have to disagree with you on that guy being an idiot. while i didn't care for the guidelines in which he had to work within, he was a very humble man. i left there feeling like he was shootin' straight arrows. he didn't charge me to inform me that it was aligned within toyota specs either.

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    Supercharged Member WhiteLiteNin's Avatar
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackIX View Post
    The difference in caster is actually what you want to see. About half a degree is perfect. The truck will pull to the side with more positive caster. In your case, the left front is .6 more positive than the right front. This compensates for the road crown and makes the truck drive straight. If you have even caster side to side, it will pull right towards the ditch, because of the slope in the road surface for water drainage. Caster has no effect on tire wear either way though, so no need to worry as long as your truck drives straight.

    this is what the tech that checked the results on the alignment said as well. he was very adamant about it too.

    maybe dj will chime in here if he gets a chance.

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    Supercharged Member WhiteLiteNin's Avatar
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundra04struck View Post
    I'll say, I had my ball joint's replaced at around 45,000 miles or so, and before that, after that, and even now at 100,000 miles, my alignment is still spot-on PERFECT!

    No pulling, wheel is straight and tires have been wearing as even as Steven.

    I'll agree with the dealer in that the alignment on our trucks stays pretty darned good. 7 years and 100,000 miles and not a single issue. Impressive for sure.
    this is good to know and i agree that it is impressive. i can see mine doing as good as yours has done. and along these same lines, i still have a 92 chevy silverado extended cab with 274K miles. i bought the truck with 26K miles and it has never had an alignment. i have never had any trouble with any kind of abnormal tire wear so i never felt the need to have it realigned. new shocks and new michelins about every 60K miles. and kept track of tire pressures too. we have great roads here in tn which is a plus i'd think.

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    Supporter Remmy700P's Avatar
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundra04struck View Post
    I'll agree with the dealer in that the alignment on our trucks stays pretty darned good. 7 years and 100,000 miles and not a single issue. Impressive for sure.
    I'm gonna disagree. The reason is that we all know the Gen-1 Tundra suspension is under-engineered. It just isn't designed for the weight. They essentially dropped a 1/2 ton motor, tranny and truck body on a Tacoma suspension and driveline. If you are driving all highway miles, you're fine. When you start banging the truck around and doing miles on a washboard/rutted road and articulating the stock suspension components, you will slowly eat away at your alignment settings.

    As always, my $0.02.
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  10. #9
    DJ
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackIX View Post
    The difference in caster is actually what you want to see. About half a degree is perfect. The truck will pull to the side with more positive caster.

    [...]
    No, the truck will pull to the side with less positive caster.

    Positive caster on the right wheel tends to steer the right wheel to the left. Positive caster on the left wheel tends to steer the left wheel to the right. More positive caster means more such steering force. The wheel with the more positive caster thus has more steering force and so tends to override the wheel with the less positive caster. So, if the right wheel has more positive caster than the left wheel, then the truck will tend to pull to the left.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackIX View Post
    In your case, the left front is .6 more positive than the right front. This compensates for the road crown and makes the truck drive straight. If you have even caster side to side, it will pull right towards the ditch, because of the slope in the road surface for water drainage.
    My experience has been, with my '00 Tundra and '01 Sequoia, that compensation for road crown and slope is not necessary with either. On mine, caster has always been the same left-and-right, and except when the original BFG tires began failing, neither has demonstrated a pull to the side under any conditiions.

    Compensating for road crown by differential caster used to be the norm. When caster is not high enough, the vehicle will tend to wander with changes in the road surface. But when caster is high enough to provide good steering stability, such wander doesn't happen, and so having sufficient caster removes not only the need for, but the effect of, differential caster.

    This is one of several reasons why my recommendations for the first generation Tundra has been to set caster right at the upper end of the range allowed by Toyota's alignment specification for a particular vehicle. Such an alignment provides the greatest steering stability possible while not giving either Toyota or the alignment shop any grounds for complaints.

  11. #10
    DJ
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Remmy700P View Post
    I'm gonna disagree. The reason is that we all know the Gen-1 Tundra suspension is under-engineered. It just isn't designed for the weight. They essentially dropped a 1/2 ton motor, tranny and truck body on a Tacoma suspension and driveline. If you are driving all highway miles, you're fine. When you start banging the truck around and doing miles on a washboard/rutted road and articulating the stock suspension components, you will slowly eat away at your alignment settings.

    As always, my $0.02.
    I'm gonna disagree, too, but my disagreement is with your statement.

    I purchased my '00 Tundra just before retiring and moving to the mountains of northern New Mexico. I literally lived offroad for 3 1/2 years, in an area where a state highway (HWY 120) is nine miles of one-lane dirt track that Uganda would be proud of.

    A few months ago, I was driven off a two-lane country road by a semi that wandered into my lane. The holes I drove over were brutal. I had the alignment checked, using a Hunter 811 aligner with DSP600 sensors, and found camber and caster of both wheels to be spot-on. Total toe was slightly off, due to the potholes, so I had it set correctly. This was the first time the alignment had needed adjustment since I left Hunter in 2001. During that time, it had been checked, but there was no need to adjust it, and I am (for obvious reasons) very particular about alignment. The Tundra is that good.

    My truck spends a large percentage of its life on paved roads, but it is a hunting truck; it spends a lot of its life where there are no roads at all. It holds its alignment settings better than any other model of truck I have ever seen, and in my former profession, I saw them all.

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    DJ
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLiteNin View Post
    today i took my 06 dc 2wd in to the toyota dealership for an alignment. the service mangager approached me about 1/2 hour later and showed me the alignment numbers that i drove in with and that they were within toyotas specs as follows:

    LEFT FRONT:
    camber 0.1
    caster 3.4
    toe -0.02

    RIGHT FRONT:
    camber -0.2
    caster 2.8
    toe 0.01

    TOTAL TOE:
    -0.01

    [...]
    If this were my truck, I would change the alignment.

    At the very least, negative total toe on a first generation Tundra is dead wrong. Total toe being wrong is a severe cause of rapid tire wear. To save the cost of an alignment that is less than one-fourth the cost of a set of tires is backwards thinking. The alignment should last much longer than the tires and it costs much less than the tires.

    As always with the first generation Tundra, I would set camber and total toe dead on Toyota's recommended settings for your vehicle, and I would set caster right at the upper end of the range that Toyota's settings for your vehicle allow.

    The proof is in the pudding, as it were. My '00 Tundra has Michelin LTX M/S tires with 52,xxx miles on them. At the present wear rate (which I measured when I rotated them last week), they will wear to the wear indicators at about 121,000 miles. Tastes great, less filling.

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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    A few months ago, I was driven off a two-lane country road by a semi that wandered into my lane. The holes I drove over were brutal. I had the alignment checked, using a Hunter 811 aligner with DSP600 sensors, and found camber and caster of both wheels to be spot-on. Total toe was slightly off, due to the potholes, so I had it set correctly. This was the first time the alignment had needed adjustment since I left Hunter in 2001. During that time, it had been checked, but there was no need to adjust it, and I am (for obvious reasons) very particular about alignment. The Tundra is that good.

    My truck spends a large percentage of its life on paved roads, but it is a hunting truck; it spends a lot of its life where there are no roads at all. It holds its alignment settings better than any other model of truck I have ever seen, and in my former profession, I saw them all.
    As always DJ, you cut right to the heart of the matter and show us where our analysis -- or conclusions -- gets off track!

    What I should have said is that, when our alignment does get out of spec, usually our first notice is either excessive tire wear and/or variations in steering, i.e. 'pulling'. This is (usually) toe being out of alignment, and, in my experience, seems to the most common 'out-of-alignment' spec on our trucks. I have felt that the adjustment components were just not robust enough for the weight of our vehicles, especially when we start moving the suspension away from stock, i.e. lifting and putting the suspension through its paces.

    However, I do defer to your experience so I'll rethink my conclusions!

    My $0.02.
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    I tried getting my alignment done correctly at a dealership with District Rep from Toyota involved due to my steering rack taking a dump which was only part of my issue! The other part was the Alignment Tech not knowing what he was doing and all he had done during the previous 2 alignments was what DJ called setting the toe and letting me go which did nothing more than prematurely wear out a set of tires during the 28K miles i had on the truck. Since then i had a set of Michelin LTXAT2's installed and they all road force balanced ok when installed except for 1 of them which i had replaced. Well shortly after i had them all pass the road force balance i had them checked again at the rotation cycle which was 7500 miles and all 4 are now not within tolerance of the Hunter road Force balancer and was told they never will be able to road force balance them? I am confused as to why they all of a sudden now are all 4 bad tires? All it's causing is vibration but it's getting really old watching my passengers seat vibrate like i was on a NM washboard which is basically any street in NM! I mean it looks like the seat is being hit with 60 MPH winds and it's becoming an issue. take your truck to an Independent Alignment shop that has Hunter Equipment and use DJ's specs but use Toyota's numbers! The 2006 numbers are a tad different than the earlier trucks but keep the numbers close to each other and near the top of their spec'd ranges! i think that is why my tires have developed a vibration because alignment has not been adjusted properly yet? I had them use earlier model specs to align my truck which i think could have ruined a set of tires?
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundra04struck View Post
    I'll say, I had my ball joint's replaced at around 45,000 miles or so....
    I just checked and I can't find any joints in my balls at all. Not a single one. Is that a good thing?
    >>big$$

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    DJ
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    Default Re: front end alignment results

    Quote Originally Posted by Remmy700P View Post
    [...]

    I have felt that the adjustment components were just not robust enough for the weight of our vehicles, especially when we start moving the suspension away from stock, i.e. lifting and putting the suspension through its paces.

    [...]
    Possibly they aren't. It depends on the modifications done.

    Sometimes, what appears to be small modifications can make large changes in the stresses experienced by the suspension components and joints. Usually, what appears to be large modifications can make extreme changes in those stresses. When you change the suspension, particularly by lifting it, you are, in effect, substituting your judgment for that of the engineers who designed the vehicle.

    So, don't be surprised if the response isn't what you wanted or expected, and don't be surprised if it doesn't wear well. And, I suggest against drawing conclusions about stock vehicles based on the performance of modified vehicles.

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