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Alignment question

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by dsm363, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I got an alignment done after a few years and the image is below. They said it tracked straight and no abnormal wear either. Never hit a big pot hole that I know about but they weren't able to bring left rear tire into spec. Is there anything to do about this? They said they could put anymore shims I think in place and still tighten down the screws.

    Roadster alignment.jpg
     
  2. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #2 wiztecy, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    So your driver's side rear toe was out of spec as well as the driver's side rear camber. That camber was and currently still is off by -0.5 degrees vs. the passenger rear camber. The passenger front camber was off by -0.5 from the driver's front camber. Appears they put in a shim(s) on the passenger side, realigned and brought the passenger front camber back in by +0.6 so it was only off by -0.1 degrees from the driver's.

    Interesting to see is that your caster is around 4.2 degrees and relatively symmetrical for both sides (off by only 0.1 degree. My 1.5 was way off and around 3.2/3.6 and I had to pull all the shims to get it around where you're at.

    As for things being out of spec and such. One thing to note is that if you sat in the car or ballast your weight in the car, some of these numbers will change (such as camber but not caster). Its always a good habit to ballast the car with the normal weight and location of the rate as configured when you drive the car normally. No sense really doing it without the weight. When nobody is in the car these numbers don't do anything for you to be in spec! You could be running out of spec in some cases if you actually get in the car. Also things get out of spec from factory or right after they get built on the 1st drive. Reason being some suspension components need to be torqued down only when under normal weighted load of the car. If not they'll shift on you.

    So getting back to your question about the driver's rear camber being more negative than the passenger. The only limitation I could see Tesla hitting from my own experience are the bolt lengths - too short. If that's the case you'd could put in longer hardened bolts, just make sure they're the same grade of hardness. If you don't want to do that, you could pull a shim out of the passenger rear to bring the camber closer to the driver's. But I'd like to know why its off like that. I also wouldn't do anything until I get the alignment numbers after the car has been ballast as I discussed earlier. Also check your shocks/seals and things like that, in particular on that drivers rear. A blown seal and a sag in the suspension can throw things off.
     
  3. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    If you can't get any more positive camber on the left rear without longer bolts you definitely have something wrong. The bolts are usually fully seated and stick out the backside of the spindle with the camber around -2'. You should be able to get well into positive camber before the bolt length becomes a concern. Take a look at both sides and see if you can see the bolts protrude thru the backside (wheel side) of the spindle. If you have a lot more shims on the left rear and can't see the bolt ends, then something is damaged. Maybe the tech just got lazy.
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I agree. Those bolts are plenty long enough. The correct camber will prevent a lot of unnecessary wear on that tire. I would insist they adjust it to the proper setting.
     
  5. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #5 wiztecy, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    I also agree things should be checked out for that this is a sign that something isn't right or the job wasn't completed as they described. Also longer bolts are weaker since there's more leverage to make them snap so that route is more of a temporary band-aid. I'd rather go more negative on the passenger side if I didn't want to mess with it.

    I for sure would inspect to see what they did on that driver's rear camber area to verify what they said. Also I'd inspect your wishbone bushings, see if any are failing causing the wishbone to not sit properly which could aggravate the negative camber. Otherwise somehow the wishbone changed its orientation causing the hub to fall down / more negative camber or something hit the wheel on the outside that pushed the wishbone in and down, again possibly shifting the bushings / locked in seat it had before or possibly it bent. But you said you never hit anything nor any pot-holes and I presume you owned the Roadster since new so possibly it was set like that from the beginning on a Friday Christmas Eve evening :)

    **One observation is your original toe on your driver's rear. It also was out of spec. With that it makes me feel something hit the wheel or something / multiple things shifted. I can't see both of those things getting set wrong from the start. They should of nailed the toe at least.

    *Another interesting observation is that the opposite / passenger front side was wacked too, the toe was off/out of spec and the camber went more negative compared to the driver's side.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. They said they couldn't get it within spec without damaging it or something. I've had it since new. I might show it to a different service center.
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #7 wiztecy, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    I'd call to ask to elaborate in "technical detail" what they mean. Also if you have a knowledgeable TMC member close by you can both jack up the Roadster to verify that area. I'd volunteer but you're still some miles away unless I want to do a fun roadtrip.

    I don't know if you're going to get any further by going to another service center other than wasting your time. This is one of the reasons why I ended up learning and doing the majority of servicing my cars myself. Its you driving the car not them. Even though they're trained they're still people who make mistakes.

    Also this shows that getting an alignment done can show and tell you more about how your wheels contact the pavement that you already didn't know. Its a true vital sign that you need with any car you put your life on the line with. Remember all these settings / specs tells you how your car will handle in a turn as well as how well it'll brake.
     
  8. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    Sounds like the something was their knuckles. Most of the time shops quote a universal alignment price, and then don't do the full job when it's more involved than they thought.
     

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