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Alignment and steering wheel

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by ejewels, May 21, 2020.

  1. May 21, 2020 at 10:36 AM
    #1
    ejewels

    ejewels [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    got an alignment done with my JBA UCAs. 4 degrees caster, .6 camber and .04 toe. After I drove off I noticed the steering wheel was pretty crooked going straight. Went back and they said they were near max with the toe. So I said it’s fine and to leave it. Made it sound like a PITA to do as if they would have to start over with the alignment. Lazy technician? I might call and say I want it fixed. Nice guys, just don’t get this whole alignment thing technically and how toe affects the steering wheel alignment.
     
  2. May 21, 2020 at 10:39 AM
    #2
    St.Germain

    St.Germain no golf

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    if i paid for it then they will do it right and stand behind their work or i'm finding a tech who will (and that is worth seeking out and keeping). the tech is being lazy AF.
     
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  3. May 21, 2020 at 10:39 AM
    #3
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would want a straight steering wheel. I drove around with a crooked one for a while and when I finally fixed it I was super giddy. Having a straight steering wheel is fantastic.
     
  4. May 21, 2020 at 10:48 AM
    #4
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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  5. May 21, 2020 at 10:55 AM
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    whatstcp

    whatstcp Professional incoherent spammer

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    What probably ended up happening is that they were only adjusting one side for toe which ended up maxing it out. Center your steering wheel and then look underneath your truck at the rack and pinion boots, my guess is that one side is going to be smooshed in and the other extended. They need to center the steering wheel and then make sure the rack and pinion/inner tie rods are centered. Then slap on the outers and adjust for toe from there. It's easy but tedious work and most of these shops just want to do a lazy quick "toe n' go"
     
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  6. May 21, 2020 at 11:04 AM
    #6
    ejewels

    ejewels [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sounds lazy to me. I had them set caster to 4 since I’m on 33s and rubbing the cab mount. That seemed like Chinese to them. I called them and going back. He said they will try to play with the toe as it was already close to “maxed out”

    mis it a bad thing if one side is smooshed? Or just a lazy thing?
     
  7. May 21, 2020 at 11:06 AM
    #7
    Pilsner

    Pilsner Well-Known Member

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    Edited my post because I can't read and am retarded. But sounds like a lazy tech. Your other numbers look do look good. Toe should just be adjusting tie rods and should be easy, but maybe take a few more minutes for the tech.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
    ejewels [OP] likes this.
  8. May 21, 2020 at 11:09 AM
    #8
    ZekeR7

    ZekeR7 Well-Known Member

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    That's cause you went to a regular tire shop. Go to a shop that specializes in offroad vehicles or at least a shop familiar with lifted trucks.
    When you go to a regular tire shop, they go off of the manufacturer database. It's literally a monkey wrench turner doing what he was trained/told to do without actually knowing the system inside/out. If you go to firestone and they give you their little handout/spec sheet, a 4 degree caster will be in the red saying it's bad lol. Took it once over there... never again.
     
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  9. May 21, 2020 at 11:10 AM
    #9
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    It just means they didn't adjust equally. So for 0 toe, you want both tires dead equal with each other between the front and back of the tire. As illustrated, you can see the front of the tires are closer together. To correct this, they need to lengthen the tie rods to push the front out/suck the back in.

    The correct way to do this is adjust each tie rod equally. The lazy way is just adjust one a whole bunch. This is what can lead to one being "maxed out" and a crooked wheel.

    upload_2020-5-21_14-9-11.jpg



    Now if it were like this, they would be shortening the tie rod. This would bring the front end closer/widen the back. Hopefully this helps you sorta conceptualize what's going on here.

    upload_2020-5-21_14-13-30.jpg
     
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  10. May 21, 2020 at 11:11 AM
    #10
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Large Member

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    Bad thing. You want the rack centered or you'll get unequal amount of steering angle left vs right. Step one of alignment in a shop is to lock the steering wheel at center (either with a tool or wrap seat belts around the rim). The tech didn't do that.

    When you dial in more caster on our trucks with the LCA cam bolts, the lower ball joint is pulled inward, inducing quite a bit of toe-out that needs to be straightened.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  11. May 21, 2020 at 11:21 AM
    #11
    anthony250f

    anthony250f Well-Known Member

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    I would not be happy with .6 camber
     
  12. May 21, 2020 at 11:22 AM
    #12
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    Why though, oem range is +1.2 to -0.2

    +0.6 is fine.
     
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  13. May 21, 2020 at 11:25 AM
    #13
    cosmicfires

    cosmicfires Well-Known Member

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    Lazy technician. To straighten the steering wheel adjust one tie rod end longer and one shorter. If you turn both the same number of threads in the opposite direction you won't change the toe in.
     
  14. May 21, 2020 at 12:20 PM
    #14
    anthony250f

    anthony250f Well-Known Member

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    I had a alignment recently and it had 0.5 camber and I just didn’t like the way it drove. Also looked funny. Got it down to just below zero and it’s perfect now. Just because oem says +1.2 I would never run that.
     
  15. May 21, 2020 at 12:27 PM
    #15
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Large Member

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    If you look at typical alignment rack equipment - a laser reflector at an arbitrary angle, attached to the knobby tire treads with plastic clamps, they'll be lucky to get +/- 1 deg precision with the camber reading.

    If the camber "looked funny", then the truck had more than +0.5 deg camber in reality. It would be tough to see +0.5 deg with the naked eye. Most precision machined parts for our trucks typically aren't specified with angular tolerances tighter than +/- 1 deg.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  16. May 21, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    #16
    ejewels

    ejewels [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I don’t have any off road specialists around me unfortunately. I’m going back tomorrow. What should I tell the guys to do in the nicest way possible without sounding like a know it all? Also, if one side is bad or maxed out and the other isn’t, wouldn’t the toe readings be off/bad? I had .04 toe on each side. And how will I know when it’s all equal? The steering wheel will be straight when driving straight? Sorry, don’t know much about the technicalities or controls of an alignment... just know what numbers to get and ask for.
     
  17. May 21, 2020 at 12:53 PM
    #17
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    You don’t need to be technical. Tell them you want 0” toe, 0° camber and 3+° caster and a straight steering wheel. It’s their job to be technical and know how to make that happen. It’s not that hard.
     
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  18. May 21, 2020 at 12:55 PM
    #18
    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    If you can see .5 camber you must have eagle eyes.
     
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  19. May 21, 2020 at 12:57 PM
    #19
    ejewels

    ejewels [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks. And btw, I fd up. It was .4 camber, .06 toe. 3.9 passenger, 4.0 driver caster.

    on another note, should I ask for less caster than 4? Wasn’t sure if that was too much but the guys that seem to have a similar lift and JBA UCAs on here go 3.5-4.
     
  20. May 21, 2020 at 1:03 PM
    #20
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    I just tell my guys anything above 3° and I’m happy.
     
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