I'm at the dealer getting my first alignment...

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At 115k miles. The car is up in the air with four guys walking around under it with flashlights and then crowding around a manual. Should I be concerned? I am.
 
If it's an uncommon car or has a spec that's not easily adjusted then this is normal.

Caster is impossible on some vehicles.
 
I assumed we were talking about the G35, but then I see the mileage doesn't match.

What kind of car is it?
 
Originally Posted By: CBR.worm
At 115k miles. The car is up in the air with four guys walking around under it with flashlights and then crowding around a manual. Should I be concerned? I am.


I'd be happy they cared enough to ask and discuss.
 
I am more impressed than anything.. at least they are putting in the proper effort.. some places may get your toe correct and call it a day.
 
sometimes its better to go to a good front end shop if they come back saying you need this and that make them put it in writing and check with a good outside shop (not a chain shop that pays their guys by the job)
 
Some techs don't even know how to properly do an alignment. OJT by another untrained tech.

Not all shops are bad / do poor quality work.
 
Originally Posted By: bepperb
Originally Posted By: CBR.worm
At 115k miles. The car is up in the air with four guys walking around under it with flashlights and then crowding around a manual. Should I be concerned? I am.


I'd be happy they cared enough to ask and discuss.


A suspension inspection is part of an alignment.

It is likely that they will find worn compression rod bushings. I see these all the time on G35s, often at very low mileage.
 
A lot of these newer cars don't have caster or camber adjustment. All you do is set the tow and that's it. If the caster or camber is out of specs, then your parts are worn or you got a bent frame.
 
When was caster ever a normal alignment adjustment?

I would think that if that's out of whack the most likely issue would be a blown piece of rubber somewhere.
 
Originally Posted By: Mykl
When was caster ever a normal alignment adjustment?


Back when you adjusted via shims on the upper control arm, changing the amount on just the front or just the rear would change caster. Changing shims on both were for camber.
 
So they did 4 wheel toe and camber. Overall it drives better, but the steering wheel is a little off center - but not enough to bring it back. If their numbers are accurate, it was pretty far off before and much closer to ideal now - but not as close as I would have liked it to be. But they were running a $99 special for the 4 wheel alignment. The reason I brought it in is that it is following road grooves pretty aggressively which is a new feature. Probably just due to the tires being at 3/10ths tread depth.

They gave me the usual list of things that needed to be done, which are valid since they have no record of my vehicle having anything done in the last 65K. The only troubling thing on my list was that they said my rear subframe needs immediate attention. The techs left for lunch when they finished the job so I couldn't ask them what they meant. They also pulled 3 BCM codes that their computer didn't know what they meant.

I am under the vehicle regularly and have not noticed anything wrong with the subframe. The only things that come to mind would be rust (unlikely on a florida car and I haven't noticed it) or maybe subframe bushings.

I don't think the FX has compression rods. I had to replace them on my G at around 140K.

I need to check the lug nut torque.
 
So they did 4 wheel toe and camber. Overall it drives better, but the steering wheel is a little off center - but not enough to bring it back. If their numbers are accurate, it was pretty far off before and much closer to ideal now - but not as close as I would have liked it to be. But they were running a $99 special for the 4 wheel alignment. The reason I brought it in is that it is following road grooves pretty aggressively which is a new feature. Probably just due to the tires being at 3/10ths tread depth.

They gave me the usual list of things that needed to be done, which are valid since they have no record of my vehicle having anything done in the last 65K. The only troubling thing on my list was that they said my rear subframe needs immediate attention. The techs left for lunch when they finished the job so I couldn't ask them what they meant. They also pulled 3 BCM codes that their computer didn't know what they meant.

I am under the vehicle regularly and have not noticed anything wrong with the subframe. The only things that come to mind would be rust (unlikely on a florida car and I haven't noticed it) or maybe subframe bushings.

I don't think the FX has compression rods. I had to replace them on my G at around 140K.

I need to check the lug nut torque.
 
Please post the before/after printout sheet if you have it. I find that discussions about a certain vehicle's alignment are very hard to have without data. And then, in turn, we all learn if we have similar issues (tramlining, for example) and we understand what fixed it.
 
I do have the sheet, I'll scan it when I get a chance. It still tramlines pretty badly. Even though I paid for a 4 wheel alignment, from looking at the numbers I don't think they did anything to the rear. Probably drove it off and back onto the machine and remeasured. Maybe the rear was close enough to being in spec.

I got under the car and did some internet research, the subframe issue is apparently an oil filled bushing at the back of the differential that has ruptured and lost it's oil. The official fix is to replace the entire aluminum rear subframe that the bushing is pressed into. This is a $2,000+ job. It appears so far that no one makes a replacement bushing for this vehicle, although the G35/350Z has an almost identical bushing but with a smaller internal diameter that a couple aftermarket companies make. A couple companies list that same bushing as fitting the FX's, but apparently they don't. The existence of that part would change the job from removing every rear suspension piece in addition to the differential and exhaust, to just removing the differential exhaust and driveshafts.
 
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