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Truck wanders on freeway after lift and alignment

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Truck wanders on freeway after lift and alignment

Hi all,
Just installed my OME lift and new wheels/tires and am dealing with pretty vague steering, most noticeably at freeway speeds. The front end wants to wander quite a bit and I have to make numerous steering corrections to keep it in the lane or going through a corner.

About two weeks ago, I had Les Schwab do an alignment and asked for 0 Toe, 0 Camber and 2.5+ Caster. The printout below is what I got back. Shouldn't I be able to get those specs with Camburg uniball UCAs? Is the wandering due to poor alignment or is it just the bigger (and wider) tires grabbing the imperfections in the road a bit more?

Background on the truck:
OME lift (881s + 10mm lift enhancers in the front, OME Dakar leafs in the rear)
Camburg UCAs
New Moog LBJ
Steering column tack weld mod
285/75r16 Goodyear Duratracs
16x8 Konig Countersteer wheels

Alignment specs


In case you can't read it, the post-alignment specs are:

LEFT RIGHT
Camber 0.6 0.1
Caster 1.6 1.9
Toe 0.03 -0.01
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Looks like a crappy job. Toe shouldn't be in the negative at all. Camber should be even and around .4*. I'd make them do it again.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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I always try to talk to the tech and not the counter guys. Tell him what you're after and he can tell you what he runs into etc... etc...

Helps to have a good guy though.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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thanks, guys! would an alignment to those specs be the cause of the wandering? there's supposedly a really good alignment shop about 20 minutes north of me and i'm contemplating taking it there.

the tech at les schwab seemed to think there was no more adjustment and that was the best he could do, but from what i've read, with the new UCAs, it shouldn't be a problem to get it to the 0 Toe, 0 Camber, 2.5+ Caster specs, correct?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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Regardless of alignment, From my past experiences larger/wider tires have a tendency to fallow the road more than the stock tires. Ive noticed this pretty much anytime Ive gone larger/wider tires regardless of how good the alignment is. if its a really good smooth road surface it'll track straight and true. But if the road is crowned, bumpy, off camber, or however you want to describe it, the larger wider tires have always wanted to wander/fallow the road...but that's just from my past experiences, take it for what its worth its my .02
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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thanks, boosted! yeah, i expected the new wheels/tires to change the handling somewhat, but i'm getting a lot of wandering... and it's making me wonder if the alignment is to blame for the majority of it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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Also seems to get worse the wider you go, At least thats what I got on my last truck. Went from a 35x12.50 to a 37x12.50 seemd about the same, than went to a 37x13.50 got a little worse, than went to a 39x14.50 and it really liked to wander following the road contour...
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpick View Post
thanks, boosted! yeah, i expected the new wheels/tires to change the handling somewhat, but i'm getting a lot of wandering... and it's making me wonder if the alignment is to blame for the majority of it.
Im from eastern Washington, If everett is the same as where I was there were a lot of 2 lane country roads, that always seemed to be on diffrent camber, tilt & angles. My trucks up there were always wandering...
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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yeah the roads here aren't exactly perfect either...

another thing: i have noticed that the whole front of the truck squirms left/right when under moderate-to-hard braking.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpick View Post
yeah the roads here aren't exactly perfect either...

another thing: i have noticed that the whole front of the truck squirms left/right when under moderate-to-hard braking.
First things first, check your air pressure & lug nut tq! But ya with wider/larger tires they'll pull under breaking if the road surface isn't consistent. It amplifies the tires tendency to fallow the road. Again I'm only going off my past experience. Hope it helps & good luck! Stiffer sway bars may help a little, I just removed mine for off road purposes. But that's my .02
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #11
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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His tires arent large enough to affect the steering to that degree. And looking at the alignment numbers, it looks as if his alignment was half assed.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted TRD View Post
Also seems to get worse the wider you go, At least thats what I got on my last truck. Went from a 35x12.50 to a 37x12.50 seemd about the same, than went to a 37x13.50 got a little worse, than went to a 39x14.50 and it really liked to wander following the road contour...
39 x 14.50?
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
His tires arent large enough to affect the steering to that degree. And looking at the alignment numbers, it looks as if his alignment was half assed.
Could be a half ass alignment, but I'm running a 275 on my Tacoma & noticed it wandering/following the road more than with stock tires. I'm not saying it's 100% the tires. But in my opinion the wider tires will make a difference. Shabby alignment may be amplifying it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted TRD View Post
Could be a half ass alignment, but I'm running a 275 on my Tacoma & noticed it wandering/following the road more than with stock tires. I'm not saying it's 100% the tires. But in my opinion the wider tires will make a difference. Shabby alignment may be amplifying it.
275/?/?
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjmay View Post
39 x 14.50?
yup! Well technically 38.50x14.5x17 they were equal to a 39...
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:27 PM   #16
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted TRD View Post
Could be a half ass alignment, but I'm running a 275 on my Tacoma & noticed it wandering/following the road more than with stock tires. I'm not saying it's 100% the tires. But in my opinion the wider tires will make a difference. Shabby alignment may be amplifying it.
it IS the alignment. Get the Camber close to .4* on each side, get the Toe to .05* both sides, and get the Caster over 2.4* and it will drive nice and straight. I have 285 width tires (wider than a 285/75 at the tread actually), caster is at 2.8*, and the truck drives nice and straight with no wandering. And the roads in my area are enought to jerk an un alignhed vehicle into another lane.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
275/?/?
Correction, 285/75/16. Sorry about that...
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
it IS the alignment. Get the Camber close to .4* on each side, get the Toe to .05* both sides, and get the Caster over 2.4* and it will drive nice and straight. I have 285 width tires (wider than a 285/75 at the tread actually), caster is at 2.8*, and the truck drives nice and straight with no wandering. And the roads in my area are enought to jerk an un alignhed vehicle into another lane.
Good to know, thanks. I'll have to pull my alignment sheet & see what mine is at. Prob a bit off now after wheeling last weekend lol
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #19
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted TRD View Post
Good to know, thanks. I'll have to pull my alignment sheet & see what mine is at. Prob a bit off now after wheeling last weekend lol
Post up the numbers when you get it aligned. Get that caster up over 2.4*, and you shouldnt have any wandering.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosted TRD View Post
yup! Well technically 38.50x14.5x17 they were equal to a 39...
Holy shit. Do you have any pictures? Haha
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