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Wheel alignment for Gen 1 $$$$ quote

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Wheel alignment for Gen 1 $$$$ quote
Old July 1st, 2020, 02:33 PM   #1
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Wheel alignment for Gen 1 $$$$ quote

Called dealership about a wheel alignment for my 94'. Told me about 3 hours labor and total cost around $350+. I could see that for a Gen IV or V.
I drive around town and don't track the car. Just need a basic alignment due to having new front tires and it has a slight pull to the right. If it takes a viper tech three hours, two of those hours must be jacking off somewhere. Any alternatives?
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Old July 1st, 2020, 03:30 PM   #2
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Old July 1st, 2020, 03:48 PM   #3
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If the dealership does a BY THE BOOK ALIGNMENT, which includes ballasting, height measurement with Viper fixtures, retorquing preloaded bushings and a 4-wheel alignment with rear caster gauges installed, then that's about what they might expect for time. If they are just going to roll it up, set the front caster, camber and toe; then set rear camber and toe, you are better off going to another commercial shop with a Hunter infrared system where it will spend about 45 min on the rack.

The one thing commercial shops cannot do is measure rear caster. But, they can f*ck it up without knowing it and you will have a very nervous ride.

https://www.viperclub.org/vca/thread...t-spec.606810/
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Last edited by GTS Dean; July 1st, 2020 at 04:01 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post

The one thing commercial shops cannot do is measure rear caster. But, they can f*ck it up without knowing it and you will have a very nervous ride.
This.... I just finished replacing every bushing, ball joint, inner and outer tie rod ends on my car to make sure it was 100% ready to go (several of these were bad). I've got my camber, front caster and toe (front and rear) good but my car still doesn't feel right at speed. I'm going to bump up the caster a little in the front to see how it feels next.

Dean - I still plan on bugging you at some point when all this COVID stuff dies down a bit. I think it's the rear caster at this point. I've tried to keep things even (left and right) with my adjustments but still not where it seems it should be. In your opinion, siding on the error of caution, would slightly negative caster in the back be better than positive from the butt dyno? My hope was to get it damn close before bugging you to much.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
If the dealership does a BY THE BOOK ALIGNMENT, which includes ballasting, height measurement with Viper fixtures, retorquing preloaded bushings and a 4-wheel alignment with rear caster gauges installed, then that's about what they might expect for time. If they are just going to roll it up, set the front caster, camber and toe; then set rear camber and toe, you are better off going to another commercial shop with a Hunter infrared system where it will spend about 45 min on the rack.

The one thing commercial shops cannot do is measure rear caster. But, they can f*ck it up without knowing it and you will have a very nervous ride.
The alignment GOD has spoken. /Thread
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Old July 1st, 2020, 04:08 PM   #6
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From a PM yesterday with WDW MKR:

(me) I usually don't have too much trouble with caster. Remember this: Dodge designs the slotted ears so that the center of the slot on each corner pair should give you very close to your +6F, +1R design settings (GEN 2). Before I got the 6990 kit and DRB, I was fiddling with the rear alignment before Viper Days when I had stock cams installed. Not knowing how to set it, I just put a 3/4"/19mm wrench on each end of the wishbone, *and in unison* rotated them full range inboard to outboard, then centered them in the slots and did the same on the other side. That should get you nominal caster. Then I just pulled both wrenches toward myself in time until I got the negative camber I desired. Once I borrowed the gauges from the dealer, my caster was within about 0.2 side-side.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85vett View Post
In your opinion, siding on the error of caution, would slightly negative caster in the back be better than positive from the butt dyno? My hope was to get it damn close before bugging you to much.
DO NOT GO NEGATIVE ON THE GEN 2 REAR CASTER! Slight positive and even side to side is preferred. I can't find the settings for the Gen 1 online, but I think they are VERY different from the later cars. I will check my old '93 service manual later.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 09:42 PM   #8
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Here are some photos of relevant Gen1 suspension pages from the service manual. The rear caster angle is dramatically different from the Gen 2+ cars. After something like 40+ Viper alignments done by myself, I can tell you this: Loosen adjuster locknuts slightly, blow road grit out of the cam and ear locations and start adjustments from both ends of a lower wishbone with the cams centered in the slots. Camber should be adjusted by moving both cam pairs in or out in time with each other to get most of the camber adjustment, then snug locknuts, lower onto rubber and check readings.

****Don't let the tech make any more than fractional degree adjustments to caster/camber with weight on the suspension! I've seen mangled ear stops, fucked up cam bolts and cams from careless gorillas trying to get all the work done with just one cam pair under load.*** That's one of the reasons I started doing my own.
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Last edited by GTS Dean; July 1st, 2020 at 10:05 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
DO NOT GO NEGATIVE ON THE GEN 2 REAR CASTER! Slight positive and even side to side is preferred. I can't find the settings for the Gen 1 online, but I think they are VERY different from the later cars. I will check my old '93 service manual later.
Will do. Was thinking that the trailing effect may be better than the slight pushing effect. Seeing your post below, I need to redo how I did my camber in association to the caster. I started with the camber bolts centered straight up. For the front I moved the rear camber bolts (only) inward (push rear of control arm out) as far as possible and the front only enough to get to the desired camber which I thought would max positive caster at the same time. For the rear I did the same but I used both front and rear bolts about the same and then turned the rear camber bolts inward (pushing rear of arm out) slightly more than the front to try and create that slight positive caster effect. Think I may go back in there and do them equally. I was only shooting for .5 negative degrees on camber for front and rear (street only car) but with it lowered I had to push those camber bolts almost to max to get there.

Ironically, the car tracks nice and straight. It just feels loose and not super stable (kind of darty especially if you hit an uneven patch on the road).

To make sure my brain hasn't farted and I'm being stupid. Pushing rear camber bolts inward (and thus pushing the back of the control arm out and forward) increases caster, correct?
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 10:26 AM   #10
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Yes that's correct. If your camber is good, then you can add caster by moving the front pivot inward and the rear pivot outward to hold camber. Since you have poly bushings and not rubber, the dartiness could be a combination of several factors: unequal rear caster, BUMP STEER, or shock valving too stiff/uneven. The rubber bushings - shocks and wishbones - really should be torqued pretty closely per the manual. I've tried it both ways and correct bushing preload is a real thing.
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 10:36 AM   #11
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Not sure if it matters with the Poly bushings but I followed the torque specs to the letter from the manual when putting the car back together. It's a lot better now then it was before but I had several suspension parts that were bad, included a couple bushings that were severely cracked and falling apart.

Thanks again for all the info. I'll put it to use this weekend to see if I can get things better.
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