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How Much do 5100s Affect Alignment?

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Old 09-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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How Much do 5100s Affect Alignment?

If I install 5100s in my driveway at 1.75", how bad is the alignment usually affected? I know it will need it, but could I drive it for a few days or is it totally screwed up after the install?

Also, I've read here that the AutoZone spring compressors are junk, but there is an Advance Auto Parts near me that basically lends theirs for free, you pay a refundable deposit on it. Anyone have experience with the Advance Auto Parts spring compressor? My only other option is to let the shop install and align it for around $250
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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I purchased a sping compressor at harbor freight it was about $12. Its junk but it got the job done. I had to use an impact wrench which normally is not a good idea. I lifted my billy's to 2.5 my alignment is ok but I'm installing UCA's this weekend. Installing billys isnt hard but its not for a beginner without help.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Depending on how much lift you add, your alignment will be fine for a couple days but if you get it off the lift and something really doesn't feel right, you might have to change your plans. When I lifted mine, I drove it about 20 miles to the shop for an alignment. You could definitely tell it wasn't aligned properly but it wasn't unsafe or anything.

As far as spring compressors, the autozone and advanced ones are a little scary but they do work... 250 for a front shock replacement and alignment is a rip off. That's about $100 more than it ought to be in my opinion. Swapping the front shocks isn't really all the difficult. If you have a shop near by, would they disassemble the old coilover and put the coils on the 5100's for you at a reasonable rate?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stacoma View Post
I purchased a sping compressor at harbor freight it was about $12. Its junk but it got the job done. I had to use an impact wrench which normally is not a good idea. I lifted my billy's to 2.5 my alignment is ok but I'm installing UCA's this weekend. Installing billys isnt hard but its not for a beginner without help.
Thanks. No, I'm not a beginner, I actually specialized in suspension and alignment for 10 years before moving to the computer field. I never did coilovers in all that time though, only struts, and the struts usually have the adjustment cams right on the strut bolts, so they were always messed up alignment-wise, of course.

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Depending on how much lift you add, your alignment will be fine for a couple days but if you get it off the lift and something really doesn't feel right, you might have to change your plans. When I lifted mine, I drove it about 20 miles to the shop for an alignment. You could definitely tell it wasn't aligned properly but it wasn't unsafe or anything.

As far as spring compressors, the autozone and advanced ones are a little scary but they do work... 250 for a front shock replacement and alignment is a rip off. That's about $100 more than it ought to be in my opinion. Swapping the front shocks isn't really all the difficult. If you have a shop near by, would they disassemble the old coilover and put the coils on the 5100's for you at a reasonable rate?
Yeah, I've called around to the local parts stores and it seems no one will do the spring swap for me. I feel a bit weird calling a real garage for this because they would probably say to just let them do the whole thing.

And I agree, $250 is way high. I was thinking $200 tops, alignment included, so I'll probably just give it a go myself. The only things that concern me are the quality of the compressor and whether it will be drivable until I can get the alignment. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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I lifted mine 2.5 inches and drove around for 2 weeks til I got an alignment. The truck handled diffrently but still felt safe.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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The positive camber will be way high till you get an alignment done. Could start to wear down the outside edges of the front tires.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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Did mine by myself (at 1.75"), but had a local grease monkey shop swap the springs for me. Charged me $34 for 1/2 hour of shop time, but I gave him $50 for letting me walk in and have them done right then and there. Nearest town where I could get an alignment is 40 miles away and I had no problem driving there at highway speed the next day. Definitely doable for one person, but it sure would have been nice to have an extra set of hands a couple times.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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I did 1.75 and drove 20 miles to get an alignment, it wasn't terrible. There still is obvious positive camber though after alignment.

The write up someone did about dropping the LCA works beautifully, with an air gun I did the passenger side by myself in literally 12 minutes. Plus no springs under tension to fly out at you, or any extra expenses.

On a side note, Id rather juggle hand grenades than rely on a spring compressor from harbor freight. Dropping the lower is way safer imo.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyh View Post
The write up someone did about dropping the LCA works beautifully, with an air gun I did the passenger side by myself in literally 12 minutes. Plus no springs under tension to fly out at you, or any extra expenses.

On a side note, Id rather juggle hand grenades than rely on a spring compressor from harbor freight. Dropping the lower is way safer imo.
I borrowed the spring compressors from Advance, but they look pretty flimsy. I think I may give this method a go, if I can borrow a floor jack from my stepdaughter's boyfriend. Or I may just go buy one, I've been wanting one anyway.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroCooper View Post
I borrowed the spring compressors from Advance, but they look pretty flimsy. I think I may give this method a go, if I can borrow a floor jack from my stepdaughter's boyfriend. Or I may just go buy one, I've been wanting one anyway.
There you go, the money saved doing it yourself pays for a jack that will get a ton of use. Justified purchase
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