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  #1  
Old 07-27-2007
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Aligning my Truck, myself

I need some pointers here. I have never done an alignment in any shop I usually always pay to have it done but lately I cannot get out of work at a decent time to make an appointment.

After thinking about this for a while I think this is how I would adjust for the condition.

Truck drifts to the Left adjust the right TRE in or left TRE out.
Truck drifts to the right adjust the left TRE in or right TRE out.

Does this seem logical? I just need to bounce the idea with someone else. I might have them backwards idk.

right now the steering wheel is centered but i have to pull it to the right to make the truck go straight. not a lot but some.

if it drifted to the right I would not be complaining but it drifts to the left which i do not like.
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Old 07-27-2007
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lol, i dont like driving anything that drifts when i dont want it to...

I cant remember, i wrote it down one day because i do alignments all the time... basically we just hook the heads up and it tells you which one is bad... I think normally when it pulls to the left the right TRE needs adjusted...

I believe the "redneck" way of aligning a truck is to..

Put the front tires on a creeper or wheels of some sort so they move when adjusting the toe..
Measure the back side of the tires from sidewall edge to side wall edge...
Then measure the front of the sidewalls from side to side... and adjust

I dont think that you can leave your big wheels and tires on though if you take it to a shop... The heads will stick out too far and the beam will be blocked by the lift...

In other words, i would take it somewhere... Or just adjust and hope its better and not worse..
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Old 07-27-2007
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If you have to pull the steering wheel to the right you have to turn the L tie rod in (push the wheel in more) and the R tie rod out (push wheel out more). Do them an even number of times. This will make your wheels straight with your steering wheel.

More than likely, drifting to the left is that your left tie rod is OUT too much, try my first option first, that usually fixes that problem, then try the second thing.

I was taught by a mechanic, so...it should be right on the money, what I'm telling you...I could be wrong though.
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Old 07-27-2007
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I am going to give it a shot tonight. thanks guys. I figure if i keep track what i change i can always change it back.

Rocky, the shop that did my alignment when I finished up the SAS had no issues with width or large tire size. They did an awesome job, Its just Ive screwed it up since then. lol
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Old 07-27-2007
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Well, I'd say to let them do it again. I've done some ghetto alignments with just adjusting the toe by feel and it always bites me in the *** with tire wear issues.
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Old 07-27-2007
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Make the time to take it for an alignment. What about Saturday????

Tires are just too expensive to redneck engineer an alignment. Plus, a good front end mechanic will INSPECT it prior and advise you if you have worn parts (which it sounds like you may). Plus that "method" does not address camber or caster, just toe-in.

Besides, step 2 for a pull is rotate fronts to rear. Step 1 is check air pressure.

Zach, I can't believe you are considering this.
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Old 07-27-2007
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I thought Firestone offerd a life time alignment of $90?
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Old 07-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl43P
Make the time to take it for an alignment. What about Saturday????

Tires are just too expensive to redneck engineer an alignment. Plus, a good front end mechanic will INSPECT it prior and advise you if you have worn parts (which it sounds like you may). Plus that "method" does not address camber or caster, just toe-in.

Besides, step 2 for a pull is rotate fronts to rear. Step 1 is check air pressure.

Zach, I can't believe you are considering this.
I'm almost pos. all his front end components are brand new, I could be wrong.

He slipped into a hole or ditch that threw his alignment off, that was the last I knew.

How do you go about camber/caster on a D30? I honestly don't know.
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Old 07-27-2007
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You can adjust caster by adjusting my 4link. I think you can get some type of special ball joint spacers for camber or cut the inner Cs off and adjust and reweld.

Yes all bushing and balljoints are new and tight. no wear there.

Wheel bearings/hubs are fine as well.

Earl I understand what you are saying but unfortunatly my tires are trash already. The back two I really screwed up with my IFS, they are not even worn flat at all.

So I bought 2 more tires and moved those to the bac as my back tires were not in good shape.

Well now the fronts are starting to cup because I neglected to rotate them, its my own fault, and I am not blaming anyone. I cannot put the back tires on the front because of how the rears are worn, everything just does not jive in the front with them rear tires. I almost flipped it yesterday so I put the tires back where they were.

Secondly I really do not want to pay 75 bucks to align an axle when the D44 will be in in less than a year and that is all i need these 35s to last. But I really should get it aligned professionally again.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Of War
I thought Firestone offerd a life time alignment of $90?

firestone would look at my setup and tell me to go else where.

I found a custom home town shop, they knew what everything was and what i came from before i even told them.

Yota steering box
Jeep D30

They understand my setup and have been doing alignments for years. I just need to take it back to them I guess.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2007
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Yeah, I dont know man.....you could try it and make the truck a little more safe to drive until you can have the shop do it but thats one thing I would just let them do.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2007
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Its safe to drive just annoying. Once my Boss gets back from vacation i'll jsut take a half day and get it done.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2007
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i dont know how much this will help but...
when my dad and i set up the alignment on my brothers quad we use a piece of string to check the toe. we have it half way up the tire and check it with the rear tire, repeat on both sides till both are straight
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Old 07-27-2007
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home alignments are simple with the proper tools. this thread is for mustangs, but has very good, basic info on the process. the tools are basic, and can be adapted to use on your truck. there are also many tools you can buy to perform the same functions if you think multiple home alignments are in your future(like me).

now, your concern. if your steering wheel is centered, but the truck drifts, i doubt adjusting toe will do anything to help you out. it will more likley cause the tires to "fight" each other, and cause worse tire wear in the end.
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Old 07-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumby
home alignments are simple with the proper tools. this thread is for mustangs, but has very good, basic info on the process. the tools are basic, and can be adapted to use on your truck. there are also many tools you can buy to perform the same functions if you think multiple home alignments are in your future(like me).

now, your concern. if your steering wheel is centered, but the truck drifts, i doubt adjusting toe will do anything to help you out. it will more likley cause the tires to "fight" each other, and cause worse tire wear in the end.

thanks Gumby, I'm reading that thread now. But I am just going to have it done within the next week or so.
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2007
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to bad you didn't live closer to me.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2007
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i live right in between everyone! lol i wish i was either further south or north!
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Old 07-27-2007
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i have unlimited access to a alignment rack !
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2007
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If Im not mistaken tire cupping is usually caused more by worn/loose front end parts, shocks, and or tire balance problems.
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Old 07-27-2007
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that might be what causes it, not sure. but i know i have no loose parts.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2007
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I know a guy that can align any old school type vehicle with a tape measure and string. I have no idea how he does it though. Hope it works out for ya!

~HJ
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2007
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Z, are both front tires cupping? Does the steering feel like it over reacts? Just out of curiosity how were your wheels balanced? Is there any side to side shaking in the steering wheel while going down the road or on the hwy or do you feel any wheel hop? On the pulling you might check the brakes. If you have a caliper dragging on one side or different air pressure in one tire that might cause a pull. If you take it in make sure they are using all four heads and check the thrust angle.
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2007
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You could always do the redneck method of running a string flat against the back tires and up to front tires for the toe in & out and use a big carpenters square off the floor to get close with the camber/caster. This will get you realitvely close, but nowhere near where you will need to be in terms of being exact.
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev
Z, are both front tires cupping? Does the steering feel like it over reacts? Just out of curiosity how were your wheels balanced? Is there any side to side shaking in the steering wheel while going down the road or on the hwy or do you feel any wheel hop? On the pulling you might check the brakes. If you have a caliper dragging on one side or different air pressure in one tire that might cause a pull. If you take it in make sure they are using all four heads and check the thrust angle.

i would say both tires. yes it over reacts. i just swapped the tires from one side to the other, now i have this mess.

I knew i needed to rotate them but after my trip to canada i noticed they were cupping bad.

air pressure is fine. checked them when i rotated.
brakes are fine as well

tires are balanced really well.

I did find out that the rear axle was off. fixed that today but it still drives like crap. Monday I will be calling for an appointment.
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  #25  
Old 07-29-2007
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If the rear axle was off that may have been causing some the problems. Hopefully the alignment will take care of rest. See if they will give you a printout of the readings. Would be interesting to see the numbers before and after.
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