4-Wheel Alignment Northside Brisbane

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 10:07
ThreadID: 142788 Views:4623 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Does anyone have first-hand experience of firms who are very competent at 4-wheel alignment on 4-wheel drive vehicles and who are at Brisbane Northside? I have paid good money for wheel alignments and found the vehicle drove worst than before so I am trying to mitigate against this.

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Reply By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 12:52

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 12:52
You could try On & Off Road Mechanical at Brendale. They are pretty busy so you might have to wait a while. I’ve been taking my vehicle there for some years now.
Prado SX and a little van

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AnswerID: 638471

Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 12:58

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 12:58
G'day Glenn.
A 4 wheel alignment is the alignment of 4 wheels, ie, one at each corner not necessarily the same as a normal alignment done on the front two wheels via it's suspension adjustments.
What vehicle do you have needing 4 wheels aligned?
In what way was the vehicle worse than before/ What does it do which you are concerned about.
If a rear solid axle vehicle then there is nothing to align apart from ensuring rubber bushings are proper and not stuffed.
That leaves the front. and it will have camber and caster adjustments plus toe in/out as specs require.

Not sure how handy you are, but I have a couple of small digital levels which show the angle they are placed at. It is quite easy to check Camber of each wheel face and compare each side reading, usually near vertical but sometimes set by manufacturers slightly negative , ie, inward at top or slightly out at the top.
Finding a machined flat area square to the steering axis of front suspension allows instant caster reading by placing the small digital gauge on the flat while steering straight ahead.
Toe in/out requires a laser level on face of tyre to point 1m ahead and behind wheel, mark the spots and do other side. Measure the across the front points and rear points at floor to find if it is toe in or out and any relative distance to specs.

A vehicle ALWAYS pulls to the side of LEAST positive caster, ie, the lean back of steering angle, governed by the line through the ball joints. They should be pretty even and within 0.2 of a degree.
Preference slightly less on RHS to fight road camber.

A solid front axle same applies but adjustments are more difficult because of camber and caster are not ok then physical shims or other adjustments are required.
Most mechanics do not understand much about wheel alignment. Often at aligning places the gorilla doing the alignment isn't even a mechanic.
While physical effort is required it isn't hard to achieve and most times a fancy multi thousand $ machine is not an advantage.
AnswerID: 638472

Reply By: Chris J16 - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 14:03

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 14:03
I share your pain, I’ve never had a satisfactory wheel alignment done over 40 years of owning vehicles, most come back with the steering wheel not straight and as you have discovered pull worse to one side or the other then before. Most when questioned did you road test it, no why? Well let’s go for a drive then oh I see what you mean. I avoid alignments like the plague unless it’s unavoidable. I have owned several vehicles were I have never needed to do one. Others may disagree but I think this is one item that is over serviced. At one time we had a national franchise tyre shop here doing wheel alignments on customer cars who were getting new tyres fitted without prior consultation
AnswerID: 638474

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 15:18

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 15:18
Chris J16
I totally agree. Unless the tyres being replaced OR the tracking is not correct, then NO wheel alignment is required. Glenn does need his adjusted though for tracking reasons.
I have a mate who owns a Honda car 20 years + and it has never had an alignment. He has had to fight the tyre fitters to stop doing an alignment with new tyres though. The word "fight" is not used lightly here, many harsh words exchanged to stop them.
I purchased some Goodyear tyres a while ago, "never again", and the shop owner got really nasty because I said NO to an alignment. $70 of EASY CREAM lost is the way he saw it, Then he said about toe in if raising it a bit, and argued the point, because mine has steering rack in front of axles any raising made it toe OUT dramatically but he simply didn't now what dynamic effects raising would create. Such people mostly do wheel alignments BUT there are some who understand suspension and steering, a small %age though.

After a modern wheel alignment you get a sheet with all sorts of angles measured. Ask almost all aligner people and they cannot explain what each measurement means. I tried once, just for fun.
FollowupID: 916932

Reply By: Sacred Cow - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 17:32

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 17:32
You have put the wind up me. I can't remember the last time I have had a wheel alignment done on a vehicle I have owned. In the past I have always put off getting it done because of bad experiences. But now I think I need one. My 6 year old 200 series is driving very poorly. It is hard to keep it in a straight line without constant steering corrections. It is fine on a curve though. What I have noticed recently is that it is particularly affected by crosswinds and vehicles passing it, travelling in the same direction.

In addition the tyres are not wearing evenly and they have been rotated regularly. (I have measured them accurately using a venier.)

The 200 series has a solid rear axle, of course, but I am not sure if it can be rotated slightly so that the perpendicular to it is perfectly aligned with the direction of travel. I doubt that the suspension bushes are badly worn as it has done less than 80k and, although it has been on dirt roads, it has not been off-road per se. Admittedly it has been on the Bruce Hwy often and that rough road (at least in significant sections) must not be good for the suspension.
AnswerID: 638476

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 19:53

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 19:53
Before ever considering a wheel alignment, best to check the steering rack for Slack which will cause floaty driving. If any steering ball joint is loose or worn, shouldn't be, but needs checking for integrity. Then if all good in suspension I would be looking at the shock absorbers. Of they are not able to control the suspension action you will be all over the road, so to speak. Just because the shocks don't leak and look perfect does NOT mean they control as they should. That affects road holding and directional control. Yes , you measured the tyre wear, but is it even across the tread? Tyre pressure will have some bearing on it all too. If all that is ok, then IF there is tyre scrubbing and tread is peaked on edges , ie, inside or outside of ribs, then an alignment may be required. When cornering any Slack and wrongness is often held under pressure and the system seems relatively normal, bit isn't.
FollowupID: 916940

Follow Up By: bellony - Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 22:03

Tuesday, Nov 02, 2021 at 22:03
Sounds like it might have a slight amount of toe-out instead of toe-in. Most people pretending to be wheel aligners should be able to check and correct that easily, or you could try adjusting each track rod a 1/4 or 1/2 turn each as a test.
FollowupID: 916945

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021 at 08:37

Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021 at 08:37
Track rods on a front suspension run from the front body work/frame close to centre and to the lower swing arm. Perhaps your mean steering rods which are adjustable for toe in alignment.
FollowupID: 916946

Follow Up By: bellony - Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 14:46

Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 14:46
Nope, pretty happy with "track rod" as followers of British English will understand. For those that follow American English I should of called it a "tie rod". My Toyota workshop manual uses "tie rod".
Anyway I am pretty sure everyone knows which part changes the toe.

Maybe your confused with a panhard rod or watts linkage.

Over and Out
FollowupID: 916959

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021 at 11:22

Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021 at 11:22
Not sure what symptoms you are experiencing and I should have mentioned this before as it may be applicable. A friend has a 105 1HDFTE cruiser, done 200k and I have travelled in the rear of it. Just about makes you sick with the constant,and I mean constant side shifting of the rear as the shocks don't control the movement much at all. I detected this after 500 metres of travel at the beginning of an outing. This effect is worse with coil spring rears and stuffed shocks that with leaf suspension. I mentioned it to him, but seeing he takes it to a VERY reputable 4WD centre in my town and they have never said anything, he won't believe me as to the shocks are SHOT. Could be this is your problem, and if it is, no amount of front wheel alignment is EVER going to fix it.
AnswerID: 638485

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 13:46

Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 13:46
Due to suspension lift, I got new upper control arms fitted by Superior Engineering 1/116 Lipscombe Rd Deception Bay and or course they did a wheel alignment. I could not believe how great the steering was after this and the 200 hugged to road without wandering around. Someone there certainly knows how to align a 200 series
AnswerID: 638498

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 16:05

Thursday, Nov 04, 2021 at 16:05
Alan H
That is interesting if dramatic difference happened. The upper arms only mechanically rectified the ability to make camber correct, which it should be anyway, and IF yours was tail up, bum high attitude as many are, I have often wondered what the caster setting REALLY is. If Glenn's vehicle is high in the rear, then his caster may have insufficient for basic stability. If yours sits flatter, more level, that will restore caster to a suitable degree and that WILL make a huge difference. Usually if a vehicle is raised 25mm in the rear with regard to the front, then that reduces the vital caster, and reduces the self tracking, self centreing ability which should be inherent in the vehicle. If the shocks are not controlling, when you back off or brake, the front dips and the rear pops up and the caster instantly changes from sort of stable to dancing and it is felt by the driver. The Heavily braking front wheels suddenly don't have a forced trailing behind the steering axis and the wheels totally rely on the driver holding the path. If emergency situations then the ABS and Stability control will not know what to cater for because it is ever changing and then be working overtime. Not good when towing I would think.
FollowupID: 916961

Reply By: swampy - Friday, Nov 19, 2021 at 14:54

Friday, Nov 19, 2021 at 14:54
Many places that do W/align DO NOT give B4 and after measurement print outs .
Many places wheel align specs are close enough is good enough . wtf

try varying caster setups ,start by go increasing measurements by .5 degree at a time
Always run 1/2 deg less positive on the Rhs , adds to stability as it takes into account road camber /crest . High caster gives stability .
Front Toe in will be for rear wheel drive type vehicles ,start at one end of the spec and move to middle and then to the other end of spec . Car will drive differently and may show more wear at one setting than another .
high caster typically causes high camber gain also.

Camber go thru various settings of spec . Typically more neg camber on the left compared to Rhs. The difference will be about 1/8 deg or in wheel align speak bout 7minutes .
AnswerID: 638655

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