Alignment

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Rodeoflyer
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Alignment

Post by Rodeoflyer » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:49 am

I walked into 4 wheel parts this morning to talk to them about an alignment. The guy said they would need a $50 cancellation deposit and I could come in next Tuesday at 1pm for the alignment. I was actually starting to think about it when he said it would be $165 :doh: . I was still laughing on the way out the door.

Any suggestions or...

I'm thinking about checking the toe myself in the driveway using the angle iron method and going by what Don suggests, 0.0-0.05 toe and 4.5 degrees caster which should be the first mark on the caster adjustment towards the rear of the truck (see his alignment notes below).

The adjustment cams are backwards on these trucks, compared to the solid axle Rams from the last 20 years. The cam bolt is actually inside and moving the axle itself, while the cam washers are located by the arms, unlike previous generations. This means moving the arrow on the cam to the rear of the truck, is increasing caster degree.

With our 2.5" coils, the approximate good handling cam indicator position, is about the first mark to the rear of the truck.

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DamageWagon
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Re: Alignment

Post by DamageWagon » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:05 pm

I paid a good shop a fair price to do an alignment for me and I still feel like I got hosed, just because it's simple to do. I paid $90 for it (they upped the rate when I went to pay stating that my aftermarket drag link was a lot harder to adjust than stock).

I would do it yourself, especially with your radius arms I imagine it's a good bit easier for you than for the 4-link trucks. Those angle marks aren't necessarily that accurate, but they get you close. Don's specs are usually great, or very close for most people. I would throw a Wixey angle cube on there if you can find a good reference point (likely the top of a knuckle) and do it yourself. Start spraying penetrating line on all the bolts a few days early. Have a good breaker bar and eat your wheaties. Setting toe yourself is pretty easy so as well. This is also a great opportunity to start fiddling with your truck and learning what's making a squeak, how a brake line is too tight, a bolt was loose, tie rod is wearing, things like that.

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Rodeoflyer
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Re: Alignment

Post by Rodeoflyer » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:24 pm

Absolutely. I've always done the work on my vehicles and this one is even easier to work on. Hell I don't even need to pull out my creeper! Alignment is just something I've rather have them put on the machine for toe and caster but I'm not about to wait four days and pay them $165 for it.

Has anyone done an alignment on the 4.5 gen radius arm trucks themselves and can give me some pointers (if there are any other what Don's said in his tech section)?

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Reloaderguy
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Re: Alignment

Post by Reloaderguy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:27 pm

I paid Les Schwab $70 and they did it in 30 minutes. I originally did the alignment myself but there's no way to accurately measure .05 with a tape measure. Same goes for caster, it's pretty hard to measure the difference between 3.8 and 4.2 with a tape measure and angle finder.
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Colibri
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Re: Alignment

Post by Colibri » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:28 pm

You can tackle it in the driveway no problem, toe first then caster.

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Rodeoflyer
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Re: Alignment

Post by Rodeoflyer » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:33 pm

I thought I'd let a dedicated 4x4 shop do it but that's another option. We have plenty of truck 'accessories' shops here in centex. I'll just do some shopping around this weekend. I know one thing, I'm definitely not paying $165 for it. It was funny when he asked me what 'kit' I have installed. I said it's just a set of Thuren springs. He looked confused and said 'I haven't heard of that kit', we'll have to look at it :D .

I mean it's just caster via the caster cams on the radius arms and toe via the tie-rod right? It's can't be that difficult but I'd like to get it on an alignment rack.

I may give it a try, colibri if I'm not comfortable with the what the other shops tell me. Thanks guys!

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Re: Alignment

Post by Colibri » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:57 pm

When I've paid for alignments in the past I've had better luck at national chains like firestone, les scwab, etc. than with specialist 4x4 places. The 4x4 guys are usually bro truck mall crawler guys that will dial in 3* of caster so you can turn your 24" rims easier in parking lots lol. They charge an arm and a leg as well. Go somewhere that does alignments all day every day and tell the tech exactly what you want.

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Rodeoflyer
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Re: Alignment

Post by Rodeoflyer » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:54 pm

That's probably a good call colibri. I'm liking this forum...you guys are a great help.

I'll let you know what I find this weekend.

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Will
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Re: Alignment

Post by Will » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:36 pm

I do my own with a string and propane tanks. Haha. Zero toe and then adjust the steering wheel link. The caster, I know where it needs to be by trial and error. Adjust, drive, adjust, drive. The factory spec has the axle rolled a tad to far forward for me, I like it back so it tracks better and doesn't feel to loose.

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