Alignment questions: is camber/caster not usually touched?

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1,946
Location
Kansas
Thread starter
Little brother put the 03 Taurus in the ditch in the morning ice. Didn't do any damage besides pop the front driver tire bead. No tire damage. Took it into Goodyear for an alignment. Now the steering wheel is centered in the 11 o'clock position going down the road (wasn't like that before hand). And all they adjusted was toe. Did they not adjust anything else? I'm planning on going back and at least getting the steering wheel fixed.
 
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1,021
Location
Athens, GA
Depending on the car, Camber and Caster may not be adjustable from the factory without different parts. You'd have thought that they would have at least checked the steering wheel for being straight though. That's amateur hour there. The right side of that car has more camber than I would expect from a family hauler both front and rear, but that might be normal depending on the car.
 
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Messages
572
Location
Ohio
Nissan put a new cvt in my car and when I got it back the steering wheel was at 10 o clock and I had just put new Dunlop's and had an alignment. I took it back obviously upset and they fixed it. Camber on most cars is usually not able to be adjusted on most cars but I've never had an issue when it was a tad off. Volkswagen van and my impala come to mind while I both had over 100k and no abnormal tire wear or or noises.
 
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1,408
Location
RI
Camber isn't adjustable on that car in the front. It requires drilling out the holes for the strut mount IIRC. There still isn't much room for adjustment even then. With those readings I'm surprised it's not pulling left. Something may be bent on the RF.
 
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4,633
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Originally Posted by FordBroncoVWJeta
Didn't do any damage besides pop the front driver tire bead.
Well, unless the alignment tech is incompetent, something must have been bent if the wheel is so far off. It's takes a pretty hard hit to pop off a tire bead. Sure you're getting the full story from bro?
 
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15,225
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Tech may not have had wheel centered when he set toe. but things to check 1- The strut top bearing race on impact side may have come apart - a lot of people don't even know they exist. 2- the steering coupling/ rag joint may have failed or is worn. IIRC Taurus have a handshake finger joint under the dash to decouple the steering shaft there in case of a hard LF hit. With the car OFF, if you can move the steering wheel 10 degrees very easy, its shot.. 3- Going off road in a ditch shouldnt have caused a negative camber on the pass , side if that's what went in first. one degree negative is not terrible by any calculation and is good for crown correction for the average driver in the U.S. check the stuff above and if good, back to the shop. ps: the rear toe could use a touch up if easy.
 
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Messages
21,305
Location
Apple Valley, California
If he hit something so hard that it took the tire off the rim it's likely that something is damaged. The 1.9* negative camber on the passenger side says something is bent. That negative camber will be easy to see and will wear that tire. I don' t think caster is adjustable on this car. If he is like my customer and has no real understanding of front ends he likely told them to just align it as best as they can without replacing parts.
 
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15,225
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
You bend a LCA its going POSITIVE on the camber and the caster should be wonky there too. But accident could have popped a LCA thrust poly bushing and its moving around. Then the strut top steering ball race like I mentioned. sound like it went over a short curb at least.
 

Pew

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1,011
Location
Illinois
They didn't touch your rear toe at all. I bet the tech looked at the total rear toe, saw it was in the green, and left it at that and that's how you're getting your 11 o'clock steering wheel.
 
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Messages
8,086
Location
New England
That front right camber is really high. The past few Subarus I've had, the front camber was able to be adjusted by up to 1* of camber. -----I had -1* camber on my previous STI (maxed out), -0.7* camber on my current Legacy (maxed out), and zero camber on her FXT. -----I don't recall where I read it way back when, but it was recommended not to exceed -1* of camber or so for a DD to minimize inside tire wear (that, and most of us normal drivers won't make up that extra degree of camber when cornering at anything less than auto-X speeds.) The rear camber is NOT adjustable and was as negative as yours is, if not closer to -2* - par for the course for Subaru. Caster has not been adjustable on any car I've owned, as far as I know. Aftermarket parts are required for caster and rear camber adjustment on my Subarus, or for more aggressive negative camber in the front.
 
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2,992
Location
The Northeast
Originally Posted by Pew
They didn't touch your rear toe at all. I bet the tech looked at the total rear toe, saw it was in the green, and left it at that and that's how you're getting your 11 o'clock steering wheel.
Yeah, they didn't touch the back (unless bro only asked for a front end alignment). Most shops only do a toe-and-go and say in the fine print they'll mess with other stuff for an add'l fee. Could be several things: (1) Back not in sync w/the front (2) Lazy tech didn't center the steering wheel correctly (3) Something is bent - FR camber is suspect
 
Messages
2,023
Location
WY
I had a Ford pickup,(IFS 4X4), many years back that hit a deer on the passenger headlight area. They had to replace basically all the steering and suspension parts along with the sheet metal and plastic parts. It still wouldn't come into alignment specs. They eventually put it on a frame machine and pulled that last few thousandths to make it compliant to minimum specs. Built Ford tough.
 
Messages
7,534
Location
Cajun Country, La.
I just recently had an alignment done on my 07 F-150. They stated my caster/camber needed to be adjusted. They recommended a caster/camber shim kit. I ordered it and had my son install it. I brought it back to have it aligned and they got it right on! thumbsup
 
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