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Alignments = worth it

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by anthill, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. anthill

    anthill Member

    After putting up with a highway-speed shimmy and un-centered steering wheel for three months, I finally took the Domingo in to have an alignment done.

    Wow, what a difference :eek:. Totally worth the money. The van doesn't grab and pull on ruts and bumps anymore, turns much more confidently, and finally I can floor it and test the speedometer (result: At top speed most hwy.401 traffic would still pass me).

    The shop guy warned me most shimmies are from imbalanced wheels, so they checked the nearly brand-new set, and found them way off and the right-rear even out-of-round!

    So much for the full-price set of tires I bought in Toronto... :mad: Word to the wise, stay away from OK Tire on Dundas. They can't torque a bolt, and apparently they can't balance a wheel either.

    Finally, had a meetup with franck2cv this weekend and took some test laps at the Montreal F1 circuit. :cool:
     

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  2. fupabox

    fupabox Active Member

    love the pics of the domingo up against the ram...cool photos...
     
  3. anthill

    anthill Member

    Thanks man, franck2cv took the shot.

    Reason #1 to have a well-handling van: avoid hitting full size trucks!
     
  4. Coast Steve

    Coast Steve Member

    I'm thinking of having my truck done too, just need to find the specs for it.

    I'll bet that was fun!, the van sure looks out of place on a track though.
     
  5. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Active Member Staff Member

    I want mine done to. dont have shimmy or shakes but with the new tires my steering wheel is off center.
     
  6. sbc

    sbc New Member

    Tires

    Anthill Your tire man was giving you good info thats for sure, having spent over 20 years in Toyota dealerships, it was common for customers to ask for front end alignment when all they needed was a wheel balance. After my tire man retired I paid for tire balance at 3 different places before I found one that got it right! I think the problem is that a lot of them don't calibrate the machine, on a full size car that might not ever be noticed, but a small vechicle with oversized tires it sure will!
    The front ends arn't bad about getting out of alignment on Jap vehicles, like caster and camber, mostly its just toe-in, You can get a pretty good idea if yours is off by sighting down the inside of one front tire and lining it up with the inside of the rear tire, when you sight down the other front one you should see about 1/2 inch of the rear tire. sbc
     
  7. anthill

    anthill Member

    Truth, sbc. At some point I need to stop by at the shop and pick up a copy of the alignment inspection report, just for my curiosity. Besides straightening the front wheels, I was hoping that the alignment would improve the handling a bit, and it has.

    However it hasn't changed one of the strangest parts of driving the Domingo: When you get on the brakes and try turning at the same time (such as on a country road, braking before turning onto a driveway), the steering stiffens up and the wheel really resists turning.

    I suppose that's a safety feature, making it less likely you'll oversteer through unweighting the rear, but it's a bit startling on its own and I've almost put the van in the ditch once because of it!

    Maybe what's happening is the front suspension toes-in the wheels when compressed? Or possibly the van just has a lot of caster. Does this happen to anyone else's truck?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010

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