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Daveo's Post-Lift Alignment Troubles

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Daveo, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Oct 31, 2017 at 7:42 PM
    #1
    Daveo

    Daveo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I hate to post yet another alignment thread, but I'm at my wits end and sick of throwing money at alignments...

    Truck tracked perfectly before I took it apart for lift install. The truck pulls right on flat or right crown roads (can't let go of the wheel without getting pulled into the ditch). Truck will track close to straight on a left crown road (left lane on 2 lane highway).

    I installed the lift first just on the front and drove for a couple of days, and then also installed the rear lift shortly after. I swear that the truck tracked fine with just the front lifted and then began to pull after the rear lift was installed.

    Lift components:
    • Camburg 1.25" uniball UCA
    • Fox 2.5" extended travel remote resi front shocks, set to 2" thread showing (23" hub to fender)
    • Front stabilizer bar removed
    • OME Dakar leaf springs EL095R (+ spring installed on driver's side, 0 spring on passengers side)
    • Fox 2.5" remote resi rear shocks
    • Wheeler's U Bolt Flip
    • Wheeler's Super Bump kit, front and rear
    Shortly after the lift, between alignments #2 and #3, I switched from OEM wheels w/265/75R16 Duratracs with about 50K on them to 255/80R17 Cooper ST/MAXX on Walker Evans Legend Street Lock wheels. This tire change did not seem to have an effect on the issue I'm having. I have tried swapping the new wheels/tires left to right, first front, then rear, and have also noted no improvement in the issue I'm having.

    The truck has been aligned 4 times by 3 different shops. Alignments 1 and 2 came from a frame/alignment specialty shop. Alignment 3 was the Toyota dealer where I bought the truck. Alignment 4 was a 4 Wheel Parts store in my area. They all told me that where they left the alignments off were "good by the numbers" for their usual work. You'll see in the sheets below that the numbers vary, but I'll say that none of them have really felt any different to me. The only consistent thing I think I am seeing between alignments is a small amount of thrust angle from the rear of the vehicle.

    Between alignments 3 and 4, I tried loosening U bolts to tug and correct what I thought I was seeing for thrust angle on the rear axle, by as much as I could with the slop between the axle housing and the leaf spring pins. No or minimal change to tracking noted. I also tried loosening all U bolt to chassis/shackle bolts and driving the truck to make sure nothing was bound up. No change in tracking noted.

    Between a couple of the alignments, I had asymmetric ride heights left to right by as much as 1". No change to tracking noted. Vehicle is now symmetric left to right.

    Ideas?
    • Differences in leaf spring marking left to right?
    • CV binding w/3" lift?
    • Brake drag after lift?
    • Other suspension/alignment ideas?
    • Other non-suspension ideas?
    1stAlignment (Large).jpg 2ndAlignment (Large).jpg 3rdAlignment (Large).jpg 4thAlignment (Large).jpg
     
  2. Nov 2, 2017 at 7:06 PM
    #2
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Really dumb question here... but have you checked the wheel offsets to make sure they are the same? Could it be that one wheel has a mismatched offset and its creating a moment arm?

    Might not show up on a static alignment rack but as soon as you throw some friction at it in the form of rolling resistance, if the offsets were... well... off, it could cause more resistance on one side vs the other.

    Far fetched but grasping at straws here.
     
  3. Nov 2, 2017 at 7:08 PM
    #3
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Also, get a infrared / laser temp gauge. Go for a drive, then check the rotors. If one is piping hot, you have you answer - dragging brake. Also check the drums in the rear.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2017 at 8:06 PM
    #4
    Daveo

    Daveo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Good idea on the IR gun brake temp reading. I have access to one that I can borrow to see if I can learn anything there.

    As far as the wheel offset question, I have not specifically measured offsets, but I have changed tires left to right, and I have also run a string line around the tires to see if I had a track width difference or if the axle was set one way or the other from the front of the vehicle. I did not see either. I suspect a bad wheel offset would have shown up in either of those tests (swapping wheels left to right should have changed direction of pull; and string line did not indicate one corner was out).

    Please keep the ideas coming! I am okay with grasping at straws as long as they are new straws for me to grasp at on the topic!
     
  5. Nov 3, 2017 at 10:27 AM
    #5
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Jack the front up so you can spin the wheels freely. If you can't, could be a *really* bad bearing or stuck brake.

    You can also rock the tire back and forth while the full weight of the truck is on it (on the ground). If you get a knocking, wheel bearing is likely toast.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2017 at 5:33 PM
    #6
    splitbolt

    splitbolt Well-Known Member

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    Something's up with the rear toe/thrust angle.
    Negative and positive toe switched between the 2nd and 3rd alignment.

    What are you torquing u-bolts to?
     
    Ted Steel likes this.
  7. Nov 4, 2017 at 5:54 PM
    #7
    Ted Steel

    Ted Steel Well-Known Member

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    Totally missed that, but see it now clear as day.

    I agree with @splitbolt - looks like something might be moving on you. Look for witness marks front to back.
     
  8. Nov 4, 2017 at 6:02 PM
    #8
    Daveo

    Daveo [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been tightening u bolts with a wrench so no torque reading. They have still been tight the two times I have had them apart.

    I forgot to mention that I did drop the axle off of the springs between 2nd and 3rd alignment. I did not try to influence the position of the axle when they were apart at that time though.

    Also, as a reminder, the truck has basically had the same right pull through all of the alignments shown above. Other than steer effort changes when there were changes in nominal caster, they have all felt really similar.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2017 at 6:10 PM
    #9
    Taco Addiction

    Taco Addiction We found Jimmy

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    Kings, SCS Wheels and other mall crawling crap
    You've changed a lot all at once, tough to find one issue contributing to the issue.

    I think you have at least two issues, at least one front and one rear:
    1. Front: Your caster is way off and none of the shops could/would fix it. Seems something pre-lift/OEM componentry is the cause as I wouldn't think all the shops were incompetent . Any shop should be able to adjust caster easily with your Camburgs. Notice not one shop changed your caster at all. Why?

    2. Rear: I agree with @splitbolt something is amiss with your rear thrust angle. I have a 2004 and no rear adjustment but you might be "dog tracking" in addition to the front end being off (caster).

    I know its a bitch but after multiple alignments with multiple shops, I would go back to OEM and start over. Or close as possible. I would try to find out what component is causing each issue cuz I know alignment is my number one pet peeve (hence my purchase of new UCAs). I was tracking ok but felt very light/floaty at speed. Now It is dead on.

    Below is my readout of alignment just a week ago with King mid-travel and Total Chaos UCAs on a 2.5" lift. I had major toe issues and nearly out of caster but the TCs fixed it perfectly. I think you have more than one issue causing the problems.

    Hope some of this helped. Good luck!


    upload_2017-11-4_19-50-3.jpg
     

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