Tire discounters can’t align my Dart.

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. doogievlg

    doogievlg Well-Known Member

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    I can keep my cool. I am going to ask for a refund (maybe even partial). If I don’t get that then I’ll be making sure to leave an honest review of my experience and I’ll make sure folks I know won’t be going there then I’ll be on my way.
     
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    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      Lesson for today.

      "Tire discounters" are not "alignment specialists".
       
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      • 67Dart273

        67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        My lesson is, unless you are pretty crippled up learn to do it yourself. Unless there is some "really weird" problem such as something bent / broken that you haven't found, it is just not that hard

        WHAT YOU NEED

        1...A level place aka slab. I don't have, so I jack up my car trailer level after the car is loaded, and use it for a "rack"

        2...An accurate way to measure tilt (degrees) reference to level. There are many ways to do that esp. with all the digi levels available, OR buy a caster/ camber gauge BUT YOU DON'T need one, just something to measure tilt

        3...Something for "turn" plates and to allow the suspension to "settle". Many things (do a search, front end alignment turning plates) and there are ALL KINDS of solutions, including greased scrap sheet metal

        4...You need something for toe. "Crackedback" says he just puts a pair of short 2x4's against the tires jacked up on soda cans and then measures between, front and back. I actually got myself a toe gauge (that I had to modify)

        Listen, I'm 73. It would be MUCH harder for me now, than a few years ago, BUT I COULD. It would take all afternoon.

        Other than that ?? an old school garage or even semi retired. Search around your area, even body men often are good alignment guys because some of them worked with frame racks and chassis straightening, etc

        One of the best alignments I ever got "back then" was a body shop--I knew the owner and "first officer"
         
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        • 67Dart273

          67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          A copy of an old post

          Hell you can align the whole thing yourself if you have a level driveway.........I don't........I jack my car trailer level and use THAT

          WHAT YOU NEED......

          a level spot and something to turn the tires, "turning plates" Google it. People use metal sheet, salt, grease, tile, all sorts of stuff

          Caster/ camber......Caster is "figured" with some easy math from camber figures, so you need something to measure "wheel tilt."

          In today's digital / laser/ world there are lots of devices right from "Home Depot" that will work for that

          Toe. Easy way is if you have two people. I believe in scribing the tires, you need a solid scribe you can hold on the ground, and with the tire jacked up under the A arm, scribe a 'true' line somewhere on the tire tread. Then measure between the scribes

          READ THE SHOP MANUAL. You can download them free from MyMopar

          DON'T USE the shop manual specs if you have radial tires. Use the "scoch chart"

          289d4j7-jpg.jpg

          DO A SEARCH on this board. LOTS of posts about alignment. LOTS

          DIY Alignment?

          Need help with front end -Alignment

          Front End Alignment

          need alignment help!

          My beat-up old Ammco caster / camber gauge. THE CASTER IS NOTHING BUT A CIRCULAR SLIDE RULE and is easy to do without. Otherwise, all the gauge does is to measure in or out wheel tilt from plumb

          _mg_6330-jpg-jpg.jpg

          You can use something like this instead

          30248-04-500-jpg.jpg

          My toe gauge for "one man" use. You can MAKE one easily. All it does is make a two man tape measure into a one man deal. You can see.........the car is on the trailer

          _mg_6332-jpg-jpg.jpg
           
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          • clementine

            clementine Flight risk FABO Gold Member

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            I definitely feel the way you do, but my angry run ins with people Im not happy with, have less than desirable outcomes more often than me giving the other side an opportunity to do right. But Im with ya, I have been peeved recently, its hard not to be sometimes.

            Im diggin the DIY that 67Dart273 has goin on!
             
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            • doogievlg

              doogievlg Well-Known Member

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              Trust me, I prefer to do things myself but I’m getting married in a week and bought my first home a few weeks ago. My life has been jammed pack with things more important than my Dart so I figured I would get it worked on while I do other task.
               
            • Ricks70Duster340

              Ricks70Duster340 Child of the King, widower FABO Gold Member

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              Yeah, they "worked on it" alright.
               
            • autoxcuda

              autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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              So you have alignment tools when you do your alignments….

              I agree you can do them with very basic tools and math. But you’ll have to make or rig up something to get level gauge to rim/tire/hub. I used the sliding greased plates deal. Getting the angle accurate it a pain and took more time. Maybe I can as overboard with the accuracy. The more basic the tools, the longer and more drawn out the whole experience.

              Here’s some caster/camber gauge, turn plates, toe gauge complete combo setups...

              $441 Speedway Front End Toe and Camber Alignment Kit with Turn Plates

              $319 QuickTrick Alignment 41412 Wheel Alignment Systems, 17-22 In Rims
               
            • A56

              A56 MoPar Affliction

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              IMO, you've waited 5 years, square away the issue with the culprits behind the fubar with the alignment first. After that's settled move forward of that. What they decide will guide you whether they reimburse you or ? Attempting to tackle too many fronts only leads to increased frustration.
               
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              • MoparLeo

                MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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                I would take it back and ask for an alignment check. Have the Manager or person in charge witness it and get a print out.
                Anyone who knows how to use the equipment can do that even if they don't know how to adjust anything.
                Skosh charts and such have nothing to do with an alignment pull. That would just be either extreme camber difference from side to side or more likely caster difference.
                The print out will tell the tale. If it is a chain store next step is corporate. You will get a refund.
                Always best to find a company that aligns cars regularly not just a sideline. Bear Frame an Wheel centers comes to mind. There are others.
                Find a place that aligns SUV's and trucks. They still require complete camber, caster, toe alignments unlike the cars that generally have strut suspensions and rarely get more than a toe adjustment.
                Remember that the people who did those alignments "back in the day" are now either dead or too old to work on cars, so don't expect to find an old timer to do it.
                 
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                • Ironracer

                  Ironracer Gearhead

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                  Absolutely. When you come outta the gate hostile, it don't usually end well. As the saying goes " cooler heads prevail "
                   
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                  • pishta

                    pishta I know I'm right....

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                    I bought new tires for my 57 Ford when I bought it (still had bias ply rotters on it) and they told me they could not get it in spec. Turns out the 4 LCA bushings were gone...metal on metal. Rebuilt the front end and Pep Boys got it going straight as an arrow. I've aligned a few cars after front end work with a tape and a level and a little math. None of them ended up with cupped tires or pulls.

                    " I will Yelp you so hard!"
                    giphy-1.gif
                     
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                    • MoparLeo

                      MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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                      Cupped tires would be because of worn out shocks/out of balance tires. Tape and a level will get you to 0" toe and 0 ° camber, but can't figure caster without a formula and experience. Stock rims are a plus.







                       
                      Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
                    • Dartswinger70

                      Dartswinger70 Catch a wave youll be sittin on top of the world

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                      I aligned my dart myself, and I remember using the specs from the Chilton manual and manually entering them into the Hunter computer. The fact is, even 20 years ago, finding someone who knew how to set these cars up was difficult. Whoever worked on it is probably paid flat rate, and, say the alignment is 1.5 hours, the feller working on it more than likely doesnt have a clue about the eccentric cam setups on the upper control arms, they may or may not have played around with them, and then jut set the toe and shipped it out the door. the problem I see these days is ,OP you paid them and if you are going to let them get away with turning out crap work, theyll continue taking peoples money. Back when I was a flat rate tech, i would have told the service advisor "call the customer and get more time, this alignment will take a couple of hours, its more than a $49.99 job...tehe thing is, if the tech isnt familiar with the car, they have to make an adjustment, do a caster sweep to check it, and possibly do it again, time consuming. BUT I digress, the point still is, these shops are there to take your money not do good work. Id push the issue at least try and get some money back, definitely give a bad review on their website etc.
                       
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                      • moparmarks

                        moparmarks zippindippintie FABO Gold Member

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                        "He tells me they can’t get it aligned but they are having someone else work on it the rest of the week."
                        This statement right here tells me that they are not capable to aligned your car. The rest of the week? Really? I'd try to get a refund but I would not let them touch my car again. Do it yourself or find someone that knows torsion bar front ends.
                         
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                        • doogievlg

                          doogievlg Well-Known Member

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                          Just called a shop this morning that is in the next town over. The place looks like a junkyard and it’s been open well over 30 years. It’s going to be a few weeks before they can look at it but that’s a good sign.
                           
                        • j par

                          j par Well-hung Member

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                          If you have new parts under that front suspension you should be able to wait the half hour 45 minutes for them to align it and call it good.. this is the first time in my life I've ever heard of someone taking days to get a car aligned. Usually and it's an appointment that lasts less than an hour unless they're rebuilding your hole front end what you said is already done...
                          I know it's hard for them to get the correct amount of caster for radial tires with our old suspension. But it definitely shouldn't be pulling to one side that's ridiculous and loose bolts that's unsafe...
                          I would have left the bolts on loose trailer it back there and made the manager test drive it and before he got in tell him that all the bolts are loose... And when he didn't get in to drive it because it's too unsafe then I would lose my cool.... Get a total refund...
                           
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                          • j par

                            j par Well-hung Member

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                            I would say I'm not reporting you to the better Business bureau I'm reporting you to the police this is negligence that can get somebody killed..
                             
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                            • autoxcuda

                              autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                              do you know anyone with an older car that has got it aligned there? You need past references.

                              Where do the other old car owners in your area get their cars aligned?
                               
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                              • doogievlg

                                doogievlg Well-Known Member

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                                Yes I do. It’s a well known shop. I’m sure members on this forum are familiar with it and will vouch for their work.
                                 
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                                • DionR

                                  DionR Well-Known Member

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                                  I did my own alignment 2 or 3 years ago. Turned the rear UCA eccentric all the way in and the front one all the way out. Then I adjusted the front one to get about 1/2 a degree of chamber using a straight 2x4 and an angle finder. Then I set up 2x4's with the long side up in front and back of both tires (keeps the tape at the same height) and used those to measure toe.

                                  How much caster did I get? No idea, but it's as much as I could. I'm running stock UCA's and offset bushings so more than it could be but still not as much as aftermarket UCA's.

                                  Admittedly, toe has been an issue. Probably because I'm using the tread to measure toe rather an boards or plates on the outside of the tire. I should probably rethink how I am doing that.

                                  Really didn't take me all that long. To the OP, I would carve out an hour and give it a shot. Then you could at least drive your car now while you wait for the appointment with the alignment shop.
                                   
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                                  • doogievlg

                                    doogievlg Well-Known Member

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                                    Unfortunately I don’t have an hour to give up. Getting married this weekend and I can’t spare an hour.
                                     
                                  • MoparLeo

                                    MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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                                    Marriage should last longer than 1 hour...
                                     
                                  • DionR

                                    DionR Well-Known Member

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                                    I remember you saying you were getting married soon and didn't have any spare time, just thought I also remembered you said you wanted to drive away in your car or something. Just an idea to get it on the road if that was the case.

                                    I understand time crunches, and I think getting married is a higher priority so no pressure.
                                     
                                  • doogievlg

                                    doogievlg Well-Known Member

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                                    It is what it is. Tonight I’m going back to Tire Discounters to talk this over with them. Then I head to my apartment to get another load of stuff over to the new house. Tomorrow I’m getting new glasses and more moving and laundry so I have cloths for the honeymoon. Wednesday I’ll be cutting the grass and moving some more. Thursday is the rehearsal. Friday evening I’ll be at the venue helping set up. Then honeymoon for two weeks and finally back to a normal life where I can hunt and work on my car.
                                     
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