Wheel Alignment

Submitted: Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 22:03
ThreadID: 33511 Views:2587 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Hi all, I know this is probably going to seem like a stupid question but here goes, fixed the brake problem all ok, but have noticed the vehicle (hilux solid front end) seems to wonder alot (has been prior to brake problem) I seem to be correcting all the time whilst driving, was put on to a mob called pro axle who specialize in 4wd & truck alignment. Now the question is they told me about some form of wedge or something to that effect possibly 2 per side and maybe a cast and camber kit (he informed more than likely not as the lift is only 2 inch) but for the left hand side only.I told him vehicle doesnt pull either way and the tyres arnt srubbing or feathering on the edges. Just wondering has anybody heard of all this and if so how will it solve the problem. Gentle man said this will solve the problem, I have had all hubs, bearings,springs, steering box adjusted etc done, so all like new.He said places like bob jane and the sort cannot alighn a 4wd properly. Any information in regards to this would be appreciated so I have some idea of what he's talking about and if anybody has had this done and has it rectified the same problem. Regards Steve M
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Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 22:47

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 22:47
Stephen, go with the experts from Pro Axle, they helped me out a few years ago with a problem on the front end of a MK shorty. My two cents worth. John
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AnswerID: 170559

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 00:37

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 00:37
Pro Axle did a fine job for me too.

They used to service all the fire brigade 4wd's in Sydney too.

I would be happy to follow the advice of Pro Axle what you desc ribe sounds similar to what they put in the GQ and it worked fine.

FollowupID: 425996

Follow Up By: Shawn - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 12:28

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 12:28
Did a good job on my wagon as well, happy as 'Larry'
FollowupID: 426050

Reply By: Bilbo - Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 22:54

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 22:54
I agree with getting a 4WD specialist to do it. Whatever you do don't let a Toyota dealer do it. They'll just set it up to Toyota specs and the problem will still be there when you've paid for it. The same applies to the regular wheel alignment places.

I had passenger tyre, outer edge scrubbing probs on my GXL 'Cruiser and after many attempts by Toyota to fix it, it was finally solved by a 4WD expert in Fremantle. The final settings on camber, toe-in etc were nowhere near the Toyota Factory specs - but it worked.

AnswerID: 170564

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 07:03

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 07:03
What mob was that? Have tried a number of suspension places in Perth and haven't found a good one yet for 4x4's. Might be worth a visit for my next alignment.
FollowupID: 425998

Follow Up By: Bilbo - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:15

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:15

It was done at Barry Curnow's at Unit 3/13, Malland St, Myaree, Perth, Phone 93307641.

There's an old guy that did mine, he really knows his business. It was perfect when it came out.

The message below from "OldPlodder" sez it all. That's exactly what the problem is on 4WDs.

FollowupID: 426020

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:32

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:32
Thanks for that Bilbo, sounds exactly like what I'm after and what's more, it's only 5 minutes walk from my place. Perfect.

Finding someone who actually understands the physics involved, as distinct from a 'supply and fit' outfit, is the key.
FollowupID: 426021

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 19:55

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 19:55
Bilbo, just back from Barry Curnow's as suggested and couldn't be happier. Vast improvement.

Thanks for the tip.
FollowupID: 429042

Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 00:39

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 00:39
We did the same as Bilbo when the Paj was feathering the outside edged of the front tyres. Took it to a specialist and they set it up and gave us the settings. The current tyres are almost at replacement depth and have worn evenly since new.

AnswerID: 170578

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 08:18

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 08:18
What my steering alignment specialist told me is that most cars are set up for left hand drive for the right side of the road, and the camber to the right. Car manufacturers set up the front end for this. Oz of course has left sloping camber, and we have twice as much as any one else. So if everything was set 'straight', the car would wander down the camber, and you would be off the road within 50 metres.
So front ends are set up as a compromise to try and get cars to steer straight on a cambered road. Usually by having a slightly shorter bottom member on the left in a ford.
Most alignment people like Bob Jane alter the camber and castor settings to get the car to steer straight, like fixing the symptoms, and not the illness.
But most people don't want to spend the money to fix the illness, as long as the car 'steers ok'.
Tweak the left side so it is set up properly and the car steers a lot better.

Have had it done, and I only need half as many wheel alignments as I used to.
AnswerID: 170590

Reply By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:22

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 09:22
Thanks all, I was going to get it done anyway was just wondering what all the teck talk meant. Thanks for the replys and have booked in to get done next week.Will let you know the outcome. Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 170598

Reply By: Anthony - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 10:54

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 10:54
Hi Stephen,

I had a ’92 hilux (solid font axel) which did not track to well when it was about 200,000 kms old.

The cause was due to the connecter pin (don’t know it real name) on the steering arm, which is connected to the output side of the steering box. Think it’s called the Pitman arm. This connect pin, connects the steering arm, to short steering linkage rod (about 300mm long), which in turn connects to the wheels.

When I had this problem fixed, I was told that it is quite common for this pin, which is a press-fit in the arm that connects on the output side of the steering box, it is common for this pin to develop a small amount of side ways movement. This movement of the pin has the effect of the Hilux wandering to the left or right as you travel down the road, depending on the changes in road camber.

If this is your problem, you should be able to detect slight movement of this pin while you get someone else to move the steering wheel from side to side.

Cheers Anthony
AnswerID: 170608

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 20:40

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 20:40
Thanks Anthony, will definately check that out tomorrow, never thought of that part moving side ways I know the part you mean. Thanks very much, much appreciated. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 426185

Reply By: blown4by - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 11:53

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 11:53
Stephen. First of all one of the best lessons an old bloke taught me long ago is that there are no stupid questions just stupid mistakes:-) You don't say what size tyres you have fitted to the Hilux but in your photo they don't look standard and I assume from your comments that you have raised it a tad. Both factors will alter the factory settings and engineering design angles somewhat and therefore the steering performance. Sounds like you need some more positive caster angle. This is the angle that if you scribe a line through both upper and lower ball joints (or king pins in an older vehicle) looking from the side of the vehicle .i.e. at the wheel, that is needed is to "lay the angle and hence the wheel back a bit" We are only talking in the range of a few mm. This angle gives the vehicle directional stability and that what you are lacking at the moment. It's the same angle that if you watch a car front end say the bumper when you turn the wheels on full lock the front will rise slightly and it is this weight that makes the steering return to the straight ahead position after you have turned the corner and without even realising you are doing it you let the steering wheel slip through your hands as returns to the dead ahead position. I would assume at the moment if you turn a corner and let the steering wheel go it will most likely stay where you left and not self centre. What you have got and why your tyres are not wearing unevenly is your steering set up as close to "perfect" as you can get but you are having to correct it all the time to keep it straight and from wandering wherever it wants to go. Not safe at all and very undesirable especially on unsealed roads when you start hitting potholes and small rocks. Also I imagine would tire you out quickly as you should be able to just sit there making small corrections as the vehicle basically steers itself when going straight ahead. That’s what the likes of toe-in, camber, caster, etc are for i.e. To make the vehicle go straight ahead unless turning corners, prevent wander and generally make it more user friendly and drivable. Firstly though as the other state you must get under the vehicle while someone else "rocks" the steering and check ALL the steering connections inc drag link ends, tie-rod ends, etc as well as jack it up and make sure the wheel bearings are adjusted correctly and the is no movement in the ball joints, swivel hubs, etc because any free play in these areas WILL cause wander no matter how well the wheel alignment is set up and no matter how tight you hold the steering wheel from the point of the free play in the worn or maladjusted components to the wheels the steering is free to wander by that amount of free play. Any good wheel alignment specialist will check all that anyway prior to correcting or even checking any angles. As far a specialist goes I can't name any but look for one who specialises in 4WD's and employs an experienced preferably trade qualified operator as opposed to a high school drop out. Ask the proprietor these questions and if he is worth dealing with he will be happy to answer them otherwise he has something to hide and I would go somewhere else. Robson Brothers 4WD 93581441 would be worth a call to ask if they do it or if not who they recommend or TLC 4WD in Stockdale Rd O'Connor. Don't be frightened to ask them questions and to explain everything you don't understand and just remember it's your safety, your vehicle and your money and where you decide to spend it is one of the few choices we have left these days. Good luck.
AnswerID: 170617

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 20:50

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 20:50
Hi there blown4by, yes it has 2 inch lift and running 31/15 bfg all terrains,done about 35k on them so far, have checked all the wheel bearings for slack and ball joints etc, all the front end has been done eg, new springs,wheel bearings,complete hub kits (although 1 is leaking again on drivers side) about 3/4months ago, new brake pads (last week),new greasable shackle pins, rubbers etc. Have noticed it more since the springs were done and no it didnt get a wheel alighnment when this was done or since the tyres went on.As mentioned above I need to check out the other part off the side of the steering box tomorrow for any free play, maybe thats also a cause. Will let everyone know how I go after the wheel alignment.Thankyou very much for your knowledge and help much appreciated. Regards Steve M
FollowupID: 426189

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