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      08-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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Another wheel alignment questions

I have just had a 4 wheel Hunter Hawkeye Alignment done at a place in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The suspension and ride seems to be better but the car now has a slight tendency to drift towards the near side or left side. Before anyone says it's due to the camber on the road, I have to say the car was going in a straight line prior to the alignment. So the car seems to be worse than before i had it done I decided to have them aligned as there is inner tyre wear in all 4 wheels with maximum thread on outer edges.
Here is a print out of the before and after. Current readings seem to suggest the toes and cambers are in tolerance but the car just doesn't feel right.
Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you


Last edited by bounty78; 08-12-2011 at 03:49 AM.
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      08-11-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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He tried really hard(soaking the bolt with WD40 and heating up the bolts) to loosen or tighten some bolts in the front driver side camber but he couldn't get it to turn..remember reading something here that says that the front camber can't be adjusted
The car is booked in again for him to have a second look this weekend.
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      08-11-2011, 11:32 PM   #3
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On a seperate note your report has too much detail, ie Reg no including the vin number. I would delete this information as it can be usefull for a clone! lol
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      08-12-2011, 03:18 AM   #4
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The original settings at the rear, suggest the car would have been pushing to the right. The new settings are neutral.

Does the car actually pull or just drift? What's it like on an adverse camber (right hand side of the road), will it drift to the right?

Here is a thought, are all your wheels running true? Not got a slight buckle any where, which has given a false set up.

If you are having it checked again, ensure the wheels are true before they mount the kit and get a readout of the setup before they try anything else, see if it's the same as the last printout.

HighlandPete

Last edited by HighlandPete; 08-12-2011 at 03:25 AM.
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      08-12-2011, 03:37 AM   #5
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Thanks HighlandPete. The car drifts to the left occasionally since the alignment. Never did notice it drifting to the right prior to the alignment. I have the 225M wheels but i have checked..don't really have the buckled/cracked wheels issue
The only thing i have noticed is the wear on the front left near side wheel (6mm inner tyre thread)is marginally more than the the right(5mm thread). Could this have caused the drifting to the left. He did mention swapping the tyres round might cure the problem. These are all partially worn tyres with lots of thread left so it's difficult to compare them with fresh new ones.
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      08-12-2011, 03:50 AM   #6
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Thanks uzi9mm..thread ammended!
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      08-12-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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The numbers look very good tbh, and seems like they paid a good deal of attention to arrive at them.

A question surrounds your tyres.
Are they all the same brand and type exactly and are the pressures and rotation directions correct?
This is the first thing a good geo shop should check, and like Pete says, runout on the rims would be next.
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      08-12-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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I'd certainly be looking at the tyres, if they are showing different tread depths, a side to side swap may be worth a try before changing any geo. If they are directional, they will need to be remounted on the rims, if a quick (and careful) test shows they 'zero' the tendency to drift.

BTW, do you know the history of the car, could it have been set up to get rid of a drift/pull issue in the past?

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      08-12-2011, 11:26 AM   #9
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Hi m1bjr..the tyres are standard runflat Bridgestone RE050A all round. I haven't checked the tyre pressure as the car has only been serviced by Sytner few days ago..so would assume all is well. They were new 5000miles ago according to the BMW Specialist used car dealer i bought it from in Derby.
Hi Pete..Sytner Nottingham gave me a printout of the tyre thread depth last week when it was in for a service...and all the tyres(the two rears and driver front off side) have inner wear of 5mm depth with a max outer edge. The one on front near-side(passenger front)has 6mm left. So the tyres seem to be wearing in the inner half on all 4wheels quite evenly. I don't think my car had been tracked before as it's an ex company lease car with high motorway miles. It only has 2litre 4 cylinder petrol engine..doubt the previous owner would have taken it out on a track for drifting

Just a quick update...went round to the garage again and they swapped the two front wheels round..made no difference whatsover after driving up and down the same flat road. So they put it back on the ramp and realigned them. This is the new printout from today:



I am really pleased with the repeat alignment..so far so good..the car seems to be back to normal again..fingers crossed! The cars ride is so much better now than the harsh ride i had before this. Put these down to the M-Sport suspension and runflat tyres.
They put some simulated weights-spirit tanks and bean bags in the driver and passenger seats and the boot prior to adjustment this time to see if it made a difference. Can't really fault them, nice blokes..friendly and helpful. Didn't even charge me for the repeat alignment despite spending a long time on the car to get it right. And i got myself a bargain as well..45+VAT. A fraction of what BMW charges for the KDS alignment.

If anyone from around the area is interested, just give Mike or Dave a shout at the garage.

And thank you for everyone's input..helpful forum
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      08-12-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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So what happened to the figures from the first alignment? Something is/was wrong with how the equipment is setup/working.

How could the rear cambers be so far out, from the first correction? I assume they didn't measure the ride height and/or weight the car first time?

Reminds me of an experience with a VW Passat. I had a good set of figures from an alignment carried out by VW under the Area Technical Manager's supervision, on their approved Beissbarth rig. Similar sort of result, the figures stacked up, was signed off, but the car was wrong. Only after another tweaking did the car go straight.

Shows once again a good set of figures on a print out, means very little if the settings don't in reality match up.

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      08-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
So what happened to the figures from the first alignment? Something is/was wrong with how the equipment is setup/working.

How could the rear cambers be so far out, from the first correction? I assume they didn't measure the ride height and/or weight the car first time?

Reminds me of an experience with a VW Passat. I had a good set of figures from an alignment carried out by VW under the Area Technical Manager's supervision, on their approved Beissbarth rig. Similar sort of result, the figures stacked up, was signed off, but the car was wrong. Only after another tweaking did the car go straight.

Shows once again a good set of figures on a print out, means very little if the settings don't in reality match up.

HighlandPete
What you have said is bang on The first attempt was done without the weights in the passenger and driver seats. I am afraid all these figures still means nothing to me. All i understand is when it's in green, that is good..when it's red, it's off and needs tweaking Sorry not a technical person.
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      08-12-2011, 04:14 PM   #12
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That's interesting - the weights make that much difference? I could understand it in a lightweight track car, but in a ton and a half of family saloon?
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      08-12-2011, 04:20 PM   #13
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It's not a saloon..it's a coupe I haven't got a clue mate about these things, the main thing is it made a huge difference
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      08-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
That's interesting - the weights make that much difference? I could understand it in a lightweight track car, but in a ton and a half of family saloon?
It did in my S2000.

Size and weight of the start chassis are not relevant.
But is dependent upon the design, spring rates, how much dynamic camber gain there is, and the designed bumpsteer curves etc etc.

What is VERY ODD here with this garage is the front nearside camber.
Which is not adjustable in isolation on a 3'er.

First visit it went in, and came out, with roughly half a degree of camber.
When it went back the pre-cal figures show zero camber, which is implausible at best.

I wouldn't be so quick to reccommend this garage...
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      08-13-2011, 04:39 PM   #15
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Hi m1bjr..can you please explain that to me in non technical terms..are you saying my new readings still doesn't look right?
When the car went back in, they swap the two front wheels round and bcos it's up on the ramp, the alignment changes..would that explains the zero camber in the pre-cal in the second printout?..don't really understand these things i'm afraid.

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      08-14-2011, 01:03 AM   #16
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What should have happened, is that the 'after' readings from your first alignment should have been IDENTICAL to the 'before' readings from your second one - because that's how they left it. I would suggest they're either doing - or have done - something not right.

If it feels better now, that's good, but maybe try somewhere else next time?
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      08-14-2011, 03:19 AM   #17
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Thanks Parapaul..i did ask him the same question..shouldn't the before in the second printout be the same as the after in the first one and that was the explaination i was given. The two front wheel was swapped round and the car being lifted up on the ramp changes the camber

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      08-14-2011, 03:38 AM   #18
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Not sure if anyone has touched on this bit the tyres would have been worn or bedded into the old setting and will need a few hundred miles to scrub into the new settings. The contact surface might be sitting dfferently.
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      08-14-2011, 08:01 AM   #19
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Thanks chesney..but the steering was drifting to the left quite a wee bit after the first alignment and the tyre wear in my two front tyres differ by 1mm..doubt that the difference in 1mm would be significant enough to cause the drift to the left. Hopefully once the tyres had been bedded in with the new alignment setting, it will sort itself out. Took the car out again, seems a lot better IMO.
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      08-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounty78 View Post
...the explaination i was given. The two front wheel was swapped round and the car being lifted up on the ramp changes the camber
If they'd lifted it on a jack so the wheels were hanging free, then yep, that would be completely correct. All they've done though, is lift the whole car, still supported by its wheels, 5 feet in the air.

What he's implying is that your geometry would read different again at the top of a multistorey carpark or from the bottom of a hill to the top...
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      08-14-2011, 12:40 PM   #21
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Yes, which is of course nonsense.

You must always bounce, or hang off the car to settle it after any work like that.
You dont start to align the car with one strut not settled.
And swapping wheels should NOT make much difference unless one has some serious runout.

You are in Notts - the ONLY guy anywhere near you I would trust is Chris Franklin at Centre Gravity Ltd.

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      08-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #22
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Thanks Paul and Steve..yes.that makes a lot of sense now..now i know what u lot are going on about
Well you live and learn What else could explain the difference in the after readings on the first printout and the before reading on the second printout? Do you think i have a loose bolts somewhere when they are doing the cambers and toes? Did see him tightening things up after he has achieved the desired figures each time. The droplinks ARB, wishbone or banana bars seems to be fine not bent.
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