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Ghetto alignment experience

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Old 09-03-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Question Ghetto alignment experience

I had possibly the most ghetto experience getting my truck aligned. To be fair I had never seen an alignment done up close so maybe this is how it is done.

After I got my lift installed, I took my truck to Vodie's Alignment in Garden Grove, Ca to get the alignment done. These are the same people that sell EZ Lift kits (website). I thought that since they sell lift kits for our trucks, they should be able to get the alignment spot on.

Once I got there and let the machanic drive the truck around the block. He came back into the parking lot, and I wanted to explain to him how to adjust the caster on my Light Racing Upper Control Arms. As I showed him, he stopped me and told me that he does not need to adjust the caster. I thought whatever, he must know what he is doing.

To check the camber he used a leveling device, with an actual bubble for the reading. To check the toe, he drove the truck over something that had teeth that the tires would push down, and a meter gave some measurement. I should have taken a picture of the meter. It looked like a large pressure gauge (with a needle reading) that indicated tire wear. Who knows how often it has been calibrated.

He made some adjustments while doing all of this. After he finished he drove the truck around the block again, and said that it was all ready to go. Needless to say, I left there in shock at what I had just witnessed.

After I got home, I realized they did not give me any alignment readings. So I called the owner, and asked him what they had done. He said they do a "manual" alignment. He explained to me it was better than a computer alignment, since it adjusts for the crown on the roads. He said that if there were any problems, then I should come back to them.

I don't know what to do. Is this normal? Is manual alignment really better than a computer alignment?

The truck appears to drive fine, but I was not able to drive it on the freeway, and the roads around here are pretty bad. I will also be installing new tires next week and I don't what to experience uneven wear.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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You dont need special computers and readouts to have a good alignment
If they stated "bring it back if you have problems" then it sounds legit to me
Any extra noise coming from tires or anything? watch for abnormal tire wear
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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yea, take it back once your tires are all worn out...
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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How's the ride after alignment? Does it drive straight on the highway? Do the tires look straight on level ground? I believe I read somewhere that manual alignments are beter than computer one.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattleegee View Post
You dont need special computers and readouts to have a good alignment
If they stated "bring it back if you have problems" then it sounds legit to me
Any extra noise coming from tires or anything? watch for abnormal tire wear
No extra noise. As I said, it appears to be aligned, but the roads in my area aren't the best, meaning leveled and straight.

They told me to come back once I get my new tires installed so that they can re-check the alignment.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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got me here,i have never heard of anything like that.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #7
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I get my alignment done at B&D Alignment in Bellflower, not the nicest place around. They do the same thing, use older tools without the laser readings that modern alignment machines have so you don't get a "computer print out", you just really have to go by feel. I take my vehicle in if it drifts on the road or feels squirrely and leave with a great driving vehicle. If it drives perfect after the alignment that's my "confirmation" that it's adjusted correctly.

If your truck drives straight I wouldn't worry at all.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senor taco View Post
How's the ride after alignment? Does it drive straight on the highway? Do the tires look straight on level ground? I believe I read somewhere that manual alignments are beter than computer one.
The drive is okay. I will have a better idea once I get a chance to drive it on the freeway.

I haven't checked if the tires look straight on level ground. I will try to take a picture later.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dysfunctnlretard View Post
I get my alignment done at B&D Alignment in Bellflower, not the nicest place around. They do the same thing, use older tools without the laser readings that modern alignment machines have so you don't get a "computer print out", you just really have to go by feel. I take my vehicle in if it drifts on the road or feels squirrely and leave with a great driving vehicle. If it drives perfect after the alignment that's my "confirmation" that it's adjusted correctly.

If your truck drives straight I wouldn't worry at all.
Thanks Manny.

I will take it out again and see how it feels to me.

I looked up B&D Alignmentin in Google maps, and it looks similar to the place I took my truck to.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=vodie%...=12,12,,0,6.05
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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That's how mine was done after the lift. Old school shop, Bee Line, owned and operated by an older Asian couple. They use old school tools and methods and they know their stuff... I bet it's every bit as good as or better than a computer job. Truck drives dead straight and the Toyos show no signs of wear after 12k miles.
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