Wheel Alignment

Submitted: Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 15:55
ThreadID: 13537 Views:1996 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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I have a Nissan GU 3.0L Series 3 and when polishing it over the weekend I noticed that the front wheels are wearing unevenly at the front on the left side for the passengers and right side for the drivers side. I'm guessing a wheel alignment will solve the problem.

I have been told that you can not get a 4WD properly aligned at a normal tyre place. Seems a bit strange to me but I know stuff all about the skills and equpment required. I have very limited access to tyre places up here and so I know that I'm not getting ripped off can anyone tell me whether they should be able to do the job or not?

If not a normal place, where?

I have a Bob Jane a Kmart and a Goodyear place to choose from.

Help appreciated.

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Reply By: Member - Andrew (Bris) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 16:44

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 16:44
I use a Bob Janes store in Browns Plains (Brisbane) to do my GU. Tried a few different places and they seem the only ones to get it right.
AnswerID: 62085

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:07

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:07
not sure if they can do it properly due to the wifes 100 series needing a wheel alignment every quarter, and only since new tyres went on

Originals never had an alignment!

This scenario has happend twice
FollowupID: 323439

Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 16:46

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 16:46
Hi Dave , Where are you at. You will need a caster kit for the left hand side & I dought either of those will know what to do. You will need a truck or 4wd specialist to fix it. Pro Axle at Narrelan NSW did mine , cost $320.
AnswerID: 62087

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 19:38

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 19:38

Can you tell me a bit more about the caster kit...

What problems did you have in the 1st place to warrant getting the kit.??

And, is it one of those things that needs regular adjustment once fitted??

FollowupID: 323471

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie- Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:08

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:08
I guess I maybe just a lucky bugga.......but even with a fair/reasonable amount of lift I have, I have not anything to the castor or camber angles and my tyres wear pretty well.
I've thought about getting caster bushes (2 or 3 degrees off-set) or even those caster plates; but can't justify spending jink on fixing something that ain't broke.
Seeya on the weegend......
FollowupID: 323478

Follow Up By: Meady - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:17

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:17

I got a 50mm lift on the GU and no caster adjustment. My tyres are fine too, but I do notice it's not as stable dtraight ahead and understeers more. I'm thinking of a 2/3 Deg. Caster adj. to fix this alone.

FollowupID: 323481

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie- Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:17

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:17
I'll try to answer your question.......
On the front of the front axle of your patrol, you'll notice there are 2 circular-shaped lugs. One is just to the left of the diff pumpkin (looking from the front) and the other is in the same position on the passenger's side. These 2 lugs, plus the corresponding 2 behind the axle, are what locate the axle tube in place in respect to the chassis.

If you check out the heavy steel struts that these 4 lugs belong to, you'll see that they go back and bolt to the chassis about underneath the front footwells on either side.

Now inside these 4 lugs there are bushes, the hole of each is in the centre.

When you do any suspension raises, the angle of the front axle tube changes in relation to the rest of the vehicle. this can affect the angle of the front drive shaft and could put pressure on the uni-joint/s.

To fix this, you can purchase caster bushes with the hole offset from centre. When these are fitted, the effect is to twist the axle back into the correct position so the angles of the drive shaft are correct.

Once fitted correctly, these bushes do not need any maintainence more than they would in any case. They should last for a few hundred thousand klicks i would expect.

Just my understanding of it......others may have differing views.


FollowupID: 323482

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie- Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:19

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 20:19
I must admit, my steering does wander a bit too.....always thought it was the nut behind the wheel, but maybe a correction kit would keep me on the straight and narrow?

FollowupID: 323484

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:16

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:16
I fitted the offset bushes to the front of the Cruiser and it did make a big difference to the steering and feedback through the steering wheel. What you said about the bushes is correct and rolling the diff back will help the tail shaft, uni's and springs. If you have a look at the springs they will have a slight curve in them.This is because the spring seats are not parallel to each other when the suspension is raised. Rolling the diff back will help with the spring seats being parallel again.

I have been very lucky that the Cruiser has not needed a wheel alignment, just the off set castor bushes.

FollowupID: 323498

Follow Up By: Moneypit - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:20

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:20

To half of WA. Unlikley to get to Narellan.

Thanks anyway

FollowupID: 323535

Reply By: Moneypit - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:19

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:19
Thanks to all the contributors. Still all rocket science to me and I ain't a rocket scientist. Been a long weekend over here so I might just drop in tomorrow and speak to the locals.

AnswerID: 62177

Follow Up By: Gordon - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:53

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:53
Hi Moneypit,

I am a bit late catching up on your thread and would have let it pass except that several well intentioned fellas have given you a bum steer.

Incorrect caster will not cause the tyre wear you have experienced. What will cause it is excessive toe-in and this can be rectified by any wheel alignment specialist at moderate cost. There is an unlikely possibility that your axle housing is bent causing excessive camber, however this would more likely result in wear on the inside of the tyres.

So don't allow yourself to be tricked into spending dollars you don't need to - just go and have the toe in adjusted.

FollowupID: 323721

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 21:20

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 21:20
I took my Nissan 720 ute to three tyre outlets over some time to have wheel alignments and it still wore tyres.
When I bought new tyres a mechanic friend suggested I go to a specialist 4wd place where he had worked.
I did so and the people there would not do the job until I had repaired the front steering links and adjusted the wheelbearings.
After I finished all that i took it back and they got the alignment as close as they could, saying that to do any better I'd have to have the chassis adjusted as it had probably sagged a little through old age.
The tyres now wear evenly and slowly.
Point of this story is that tyre outlets may not be able to get it right especially if there is a fault. They will just try to put it back to specs.
A specialist costs more but the problem gets sorted.
I'd only take our 4wd to that same specialist.
AnswerID: 62353

Reply By: Moneypit - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 22:14

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 22:14
Took the Nissan into the local Bob Jane/Goodyear outlet today. Bloke in there [Wade] seemed interested in my problem and asked about my rotation pattern and the like. Had a look at the car and then I left it with him for a couple of hours. Another bloke [one who had done the car] had obviously been told the game story to the time as he knew what I had told the boss when I dropped it off.

Gave me a readout that suggested very little adjustment. Did say that the signs to him indicated an under inflation which may have some basis as I ran the tyres at 34PSI in the beginning and have now gone up to 38 all round.

For you techo's it ended up reading like this: -

Toe in/out -2................-2

Camber 0................-.2

Caster +6...............+6



To be perfectly honest I don't know what it all means. The bloke has asjed me to bring it in for him to have a look in 3,000K's and he reckons he'll be able to tell if hes fixed it.

Cost $55 [and don't forget that includes the standard NW markup I expect]

We'll have to wait and see.

One thing he did say that I had never thought about though is that the problems have become more prevalent in the industry since the advent of the high numbers of roundabouts. Always clockwise and we always put enormous pressures on the left front.

Sorry............I couldn't get the table to look pretty. I tried

Dave B
AnswerID: 62525

Reply By: Mrs Diamond - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:13

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:13
wheel alignments made simple.
if both tyres are wearing on the inside to much toe out.
if both tyres are wearing on the out side to much toe in.
if centre of tyres worn more than outside to much air.
if outside of tyres worn more than centre not enough air.
if one tyre wearing inside and other wearing outside problems.
i rarely ever aligned a car to manufacturers specs i look at how the tyres wore then fixed acordingly.
AnswerID: 62668

Follow Up By: Moneypit - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:58

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:58
Mrs D

I'm looking at the car from the front. The drivers side is to my left, the passenger to my right.

What do you call the outside. I call it the right hand edge of the passengers wheel and the left had edge of the drivers as I look at it.

Those are the edges that I am wearing. It is more noticeable on the passengers side tyre.

To much toe in I think. Is that the problem that they would have reduced with the measurements above??

FollowupID: 323987

Follow Up By: Mrs Diamond - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 20:28

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 20:28
the outside i mean is the part of the tyre facing away from the car and the inside edge is the side of the tyre inside the guard.
from what i can understand both of your tyres are wearing the outside edges(both tyres facing out the edge furthest away from the car.
if thats the case its to much toe in all they did today going from the specs they showed you is give you more toe in that is not going to help.
but if both of your front tyres are scrubbing the inside edge the alignment today shouold help.hope i havnt confused you more.
eg your sitting in your car looking foward the right hand side of the drivers tyre and the left hand side of the pasenger tyre is the outside edge
FollowupID: 323998

Reply By: Moneypit - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 20:42

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 20:42
Thanks for that

AnswerID: 62688

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