Alignment HELP!

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Yesterday, I replaced all four struts on my '96 Saturn SL2 with KYB GR-2 struts. I also replaced the front strut bearing plates with KYB units. The car now rides fantastic; I should have done this several years ago. Today, I took the car to the local Les Schwab tire shop for an alignment. The reason that I took it in for an alignment was because the KYB struts had elongated mounting holes, and after the strut installation, the camber was way off. The tires were pointed outwards. So, the Les Schwab tech put the car onto the alignment rack. Here are the initial readings: Before: LF Toe: -15/32" (1/32 to 1/16) RF toe: -15/32" (1/32 to 1/16) Front Total Toe: -15/16" (1/16 to 5/32) LR toe: -1/32" (1/32 to 1/16) RR toe: 5/16" (1/32 to 1/16) Rear Total Toe: 9/32" (1/16 to 5/32) LF Camber: 1.6°(-1.2 to 0.2) RF Camber: 1.4°(-1.2 to 0.2) Front Cross Camber: 0.2° (-0.4 to 0.4) LR Camber: 1.0° (-1.4 to 0.0) RR Camber: 1.7° (-1.4 to 0.0) Rear Cross Camber: -0.7° (-1.0 to 1.0) LF Caster: 2.0° (1.2 to 2.2) RF Caster: 2.0° (1.2 to 2.2) Front Cross Caster: 0.0° (-0.4 to 0.4) Thrust Angle: -0.36° After an hour of adjustments, here are the results: LF Toe: 1/16" (1/32 to 1/16) RF toe: 1/32" (1/32 to 1/16) Front Total Toe: 3/32" (1/16 to 5/32) LR toe: -1/32" (1/32 to 1/16) RR toe: 5/16" (1/32 to 1/16) Rear Total Toe: 9/32" (1/16 to 5/32) LF Camber: -0.4° (-1.2 to 0.2) RF Camber: -0.6° (-1.2 to 0.2) Front Cross Camber: 0.1° (-0.4 to 0.4) LR Camber: 0.4° (-1.4 to 0.0) RR Camber: 0.5° (-1.4 to 0.0) Rear Cross Camber: -0.1° (-1.0 to 1.0) LF Caster: 1.7° (1.2 to 2.2) RF Caster: 1.7° (1.2 to 2.2) Front Cross Caster: 0.0° (-0.4 to 0.4) Thrust Angle: -0.34° The tech claimed the rear toe was not adjustable and a rear toe kit was needed to bring the rear toe back to spec. He also advised me that I will need a rear camber bolt kit in order to bring the rear camber back to spec. I agree with him about the rear camber, and I will purchase a Moog camber bolt kit for the rear ($19). However, my research and the various techs that I have spoken with have all told me that the rear toe IS adjustable, and that it can be done by adjusting the rear lateral links. Is that correct? I have some time to play with it as Les Schwab said that they will re-do the alignment within 30 days for no charge. Anyway, what do you folks think of the situation? Thanks.
 
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Look good except rear toe and camber. Would have to see a machine or maybe at work tomorrow I can look up alldata. Not sure right off.
 Originally Posted By: "The Critic"
Today, I took the car to the local Les Schwab tire shop for an alignment. The reason that I took it in for an alignment was because the KYB struts had elongated mounting holes, and after the strut installation, the camber was way off. The tires were pointed outwards.
If they had elongated holes they should be able to swing rear camber in spec no problem???? Did they try??? Looks like they did the front and shipped it. It will drive straight and just explain away the rest. Top of my head there is a special hook to adjust the rear toe but it is adjustable.
 

JHZR2

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I always go to the dealer for an alignment... seems to me that going elsewhere alwas results in an issue of some sort - dealer seems to get it right first time.
 

The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: ewetho
Look good except rear toe and camber. Would have to see a machine or maybe at work tomorrow I can look up alldata. Not sure right off.
It was a Hunter machine. The machine just told the tech to get a toe kit for the rear.
 Originally Posted By: ewetho
If they had elongated holes they should be able to swing rear camber in spec no problem???? Did they try??? Looks like they did the front and shipped it. It will drive straight and just explain away the rest. Top of my head there is a special hook to adjust the rear toe but it is adjustable.
No, they did adjust the rear camber-- see the difference in the before and after. They adjusted the rear camber the best that they could using the strut's elongated mounting holes, but the end result was still short of the correct range.
 
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Weird....Something seems off if camber is off that far!!! If the machine said kit it may need that. Was over on rock auto and they have a kit to install an eccentric kit to adjust rear toe.
 
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Can you slot the rear struts some more? I just used a rat tail file on the top holes on my Neon. Takes a little while but not too difficult. Camber bolts have a bad rep in the Neon world for slipping as they are much smaller and have to be torqued very close to their stretching point. And sometime they still slip...
 
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Yes, every Saturn SL and SC had fixed rear bolts on the rear suspension that made toe change impossible. The replacement eccentric bolts are a MUST to get the tires to last. Incorrect toe destroys tires like no other misalignment problem. further filing of the rear struts is doable and worth the money.
 

The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: artificialist
Yes, every Saturn SL and SC had fixed rear bolts on the rear suspension that made toe change impossible. The replacement eccentric bolts are a MUST to get the tires to last. Incorrect toe destroys tires like no other misalignment problem. further filing of the rear struts is doable and worth the money.
I called the local Saturn dealer and the tech told me that there is a special GM tool that can be used to adjust the rear toe. Supposedly the rear toe can be adjusted by adjusting the lateral links. The Saturn tech said that the eccentric bolts are not needed. Any experience with this?
 
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The rear camber is pretty even, so it's OK. I do like the extra neg camber if you can get it, though. The rear toe is a problem, This HAS to be fixed.
 

The Critic

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 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
The rear camber is pretty even, so it's OK. I do like the extra neg camber if you can get it, though. The rear toe is a problem, This HAS to be fixed.
Surprisingly, the tires do not show any signs of uneven wear, even after 32,000 miles. I have been rotating them at 7-8k intervals. I think the rear toe is a likely cause of the car "drifting" across the lane during high-speed highway cruising.
 

The Critic

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Something seems odd. If they were able to adjust the camber by two degrees in the front with the strut holes alone, I don't see why they can't do the same for the rear. I called a different Les Schwab location and they said they can take care of the rear toe, so I'll get second opinion from them regarding the rear camber before I splurge on rear camber bolts.
 

The Critic

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I'm going to take it to a different Les Schwab location on Saturday morning. They are going to take care of the rear toe on that visit. They are also going to try adjusting the rear camber a bit more. If that fails, then I'll get the rear camber bolts and bring it back for a 3rd alignment.
 
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