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Old 11-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default alignment problems

Hey guys i just had an alignment done by mazda, i gave them the specs that are up here on the forum and they said they'd do there best.
But once again the car is still pulling to the right, but that's not my only problem, i have a weird steering issue it could be pulling to the right then the car feels lose and it'll pull to the left for a bit then go back to the right?! When i had the car alignment set to mazda specs it was even worse.

Any one got any thoughts? i got a read out of the latest alignment ill attach it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well there is a TSB for the pulling to the right, which is fixed by replacing a control arm. As far as your alignment is concerned, Mazda did an excellent job
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hmm but if the lower control arm was messed up wouldn't the alignment specs be wrong too? i also dont have any uneven tread wear.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Seriously - they did a great job? Do you know what your looking at? Its not to say these have a "range of adjustment to work with" but. . . .

The rear toe was better before they touched it, as was the thrust angle. They did fix the rear camber as a highway use car would wear down the inside edge of the rears.

What is the caster angle as is its clearly not .08. The pick shows potentially the range of measurement but not the actual value the caster is set at.

OP have you rotated the tires left to right to see if that changes it? Have started it with the front in the air (tires off the ground) and see of the Rack is turning easier to the right or maybe even steering it to the right? You might want to check. How many miles and has it ever been wrecked or hit curb hard?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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its the same issue with my snow tires or my summer tire.. or for that matter the stock tires lol. Never started it in the air to check rack i will try and do this tomorrow. and i got the car used no telling what has happened but the car looked ok when i bought it (no damage, clean carfaq) and i gave them the the spec from the forum and as far as i can tell there pretty close too
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lets confirm; So your complaint is on a flat road at cruise/light throttle and it veers right? Hint - getting on the gas and/or letting off quickly and allot of cars will not go straight.

Without the caster # I can't say much. On a flat road not banked, not crowned, a car with equal camber and caster will typically go straight unless the vehicle loading is such that the static numbers set in the shop are no longer valid in use. Hint: 99% of shops DO NOT place a driver in the seat. Most cars can accept a 160lb load in the drivers seat and drive fine. However placing a 250lb load can change the alignment.

OK - keeping in mind equal camber, caster, loading, and road surface (flat) = car goes straight. A car with unmatched Camber >0.5deg and or unmatched caster >0.75 or so and this may not be true. Your car has more negative camber on the left than the right. With a wide tire, this can make the car go right. It could be compensated for by a caster change but normally in the US you would see the CAMBER numbers on your car swapped. -0.3 LEFT and -0.6 RIGHT and with the road crown from driving on the right side, the car would go straight most of the time. So why didn't they make an effort to bring the left side camber down to Zero (-0.1 to 0.0)? This could fix this issue. Do a search for my username for camber & caster. You should find another thread talking about sub frame alignment.

See if you can find out what the caster is and they guy/gall why they left the rears toes thrust angle like is? Did you tell them it has torque steer?
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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in this post it looks like the same print out as yours but notice the caster value is big bold and easy to read. Alignment .. "in Spec" Not Good Enough

The before numbers are likely good numbers for daily use and not destroying tires.

Also remember that Toe In wears the outer edges of the tires and Toe Out wears the inside of the tires. When you hammer the gas (Rack and Pinion behind the axle) the wheels Toe IN which if you drive aggressively often a little toe out may be preferred to Zero or Toe in. Also if spend allot of time in parking lots (sharp turns) Toe out isn't a bad thing. . .
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes i described it to her as, "the car normally pulls to the right, but sometimes it feels like the steering gets loss then itll pull to the left for a bit, then get loss again and goes back to the right". It is not dependent on throttle input.

I will call them up and tell them about the camber being wrong in the front and ask whys there no caster #. If caster does have a huge difference in either side should i recommend the upper control arm TSB or sub frame alignment? Can i check the sub frame myself? Or can i just run the spc front ball joint?
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I suspect the number is not there because they didn't take the time to turn the wheels and calculate it. The more I read about these and see, it looks like any change any caster / camber numbers from AS FOUND to AS LEFT are basic measurement errors or someone pulling tricks.

Why: only options are moving bolts within the confines of the holes they are fastened too. The Mazda TSB even offers this as a solution. So it may get some people some VERY SMALL changes. But it takes time. I advise everyone to watch their car being worked on so they can track what is being done.

I'd say when left to right cambers need equal and opposite adjustment AND when caster is also OFF, I'd be taking a real close look at measuring the sub-frame and moving it. Measure it again and then check, Camber, Caster, Set toe and correct steering angle position. Hint: I worked at transmission shop for years and before that an alignment shop. There is almost always some amount of wiggle room in the sub-frame and often large alignment holes the factory used to set the sub-frame to the body. Sub-frame removal and crashes tend to change where it was from where it should be if that makes sense.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmm so i need to go to mazda tell then they f**ked up and get them to check the front caster and go from there? and let them fallow the tsb procedures?
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