Alignment after struts

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So I threw a set onto my '99 Camry. Took it for a quick spin and indeed, handles much better. I guess when I thought the struts might have been done after 50k, I was right: they certainly were after 90k. Steering wheel for some reason is a bit crooked now, which I found kinda surprising (on this car the tie rod goes to the steering knuckle, and I didn't touch the balljoint, didn't touch any alignment locations) but I guess that's just the way it goes with suspension parts.

Front of the car now sits about 1" higher, which is annoying but not shocking (buy cheap struts, get cheap results). What I'm wondering is, should I wait a bit for the alignment, maybe it will settle down a bit and impact the alignment? Tires are shot so and I have the replacement tires sitting in the garage, so no loss there. I would not expect ride height to affect alignment but... nothing is ever ideal, is it?

[I do have an alignment scheduled for next week, real question is, do I continue to the use the car in the meantime. Test drive didn't indicate much.]
 

supton

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Once you undo the bottom bolts, you throw it off.
is there that much slop in those two bolts? I didn't think there was.

Toe is probably way off.
Might be, power did seem a bit off... Tires are at 3/32's, maybe I can get 'em to 1/32. :)

Years ago my brother did tie rods on his vehicle, did his own alignment. Drove 150 miles or whatever, and tires were visibly worn. "I don't understand, when I take my hands off the steering wheel, it goes straight!" Yeah I bet when you let off the gas it came to a stop on its own too.
 
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What i have done, is place a laser pen on the bearing hub and with a sharpie, mark its spot on the concrete.

Install new struts , put the laser pen on the bearing hub and tighten down the strut bolts so its on the same mark. Will not get the toe right but the camber is close. Close enough to drive to the alignment shop.
 
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You might want to check your headlamp aim on a wall. Might be out of spec. on the vertical, too high/too low.
 

Nick1994

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Yeah the toe will be off. Changing the suspension height changes how much the tires point in or out.

I'd wait a few weeks before an alignment since you've got old tires, and let the suspension settle.

I still need to put the $9 front struts on the Camry I bought last year.
 

supton

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Yeah the toe will be off. Changing the suspension height changes how much the tires point in or out.

I'd wait a few weeks before an alignment since you've got old tires, and let the suspension settle.

I still need to put the $9 front struts on the Camry I bought last year.
Eh, the steering wheel bugs me too much. Don't ask me why, I guess it's because it's right in front of me? Will probably hit 250 or so miles then get it aligned (made the appointment already). Should have done this a while ago, most of the shake at 80 is now gone, and it doesn't porpoise over road joints, and it no longer rolls around when I turn the steering wheel. Wasn't windy this morning so not sure if the lane changing in crosswinds was fixed.

$9 struts? That's some quality right there. :)

You might want to check your headlamp aim on a wall. Might be out of spec. on the vertical, too high/too low.
I'm sure they're off, but this car has such dim lights it's an exercise in futility. I should look for some brighter bulbs, but I think the housings are just shot (they were cheapie replacements put on before I bought it, at least I suspect they were cheap).
 
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Nice job @supton. I would give it room to settle if you can… a few hundred miles? like you, I would not have expected a significant change in alignment, based on personal experience.

is the car level left to right?
 
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