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Alignment Question

23351 Views 23 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Triple-X08
Ok, not being a mechanic I don't know this answer so bear with me. My question is do all cars need a "4 wheel alignment"? The dealer across the street says they do. I asked why? I replaced the struts in my car (with the help of a friend) and as far as I can tell, there's 3 bolts on top, the big mother at the bottom, and a couple little ones holding the brake lines & the stabilizer bar. There's no room for movement left, right, sideways, up or down...they bolt in one way, and one way only. He tells me there are "shims" and "YOU won't see them" (in a negatively conotated sort of way - like I'm a complete idiot, and maybe I am - he could really take a course on how to deal with people). "The wheels have to come off" etc.
So, they (these shims) would't have fallen out when we did the struts? I mean the wheels had to come off for that too. The only reason I was asking him was because I wanted to know what a 2 wheel alignment cost since it would appear to this 'idiot' that my car doesn't need all 4 done. The back only follow along one way and I didn't see any way at all you could adjust them for camber or whatever. Nor did my friend and he is fairly mechanically inclined.

Just wondering...

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Yeah usually the rear axle especially on FWD cars with a beam axle type rear suspension don't have any kind of alignment possibility. Of course you could fit shims if it is out of whack but that shouldn't be necessary.

Some do have an adjustment, like on the back of a GM W-body there are tie-rods in the back... I want to just get an extra steering rack and install it so I could have a 4 wheel steering Wbody...

worst vehicle i have ever had, was a truck that was dropped from one of our lifts by my group leader, 2500 HD diesel, dropped from about 4-5 feet in the air, landed crooked.
and of course it sat like that, so the body shop had to straighten the frame, when it got back, it pulled like a mother. it would make a lane change on its own. alot of trucks pull, but this one was really a pain to get back to normal, i had to adjust everything on it.

ride height camber caster, toe, the whole deal. wasnt horrible but it just sucked doing it because it absolutely needed to be perfect. and nothing is ever the same as it was before it was wrecked.
That must have been pretty painful... it falls down, you watch it bounce, bounce, bounce, stop. Oh **** it is sitting at an angle :eek:

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