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Camber issue [due to hitting a curb]

ccurtis1125

Member
Apr 25, 2021
12
2
Cincinnati
Hello all. New member here and my time with my Tesla is not going so well


Right after I purchased my Model 3 I got ran off the road and forced into a curb. It didn’t mess the tire up but it destroyed the wheel however, it was still drivable. I recently just got my car aligned at tire discounters in Fairfield and they were not able to get the driver side front camber in spec . It has some negative camber which leads me to believe that something is bent. Any suggestions? I can take the Tesla but I just feel like their labor rates are insane but I’ll do whatever I have to do. Just wondering if anybody has experienced any of this as well. I’m hoping for no frame damage because the hit was hard but, I feel it would neee to hit a lot harder than what it did for frame damage to occur. Any help is greatly appreciated. The car pulls to the right and the steering wheel is off a bit. 2018 Model 3 Dual Motor. Any iSight is greatly appreciated.
The other thing is I took this to tire discounters because they were able to get me in the quickest after I got my wheel mounted and balanced. Do you think they potentially missed something that Tesla could do better because they didn’t seem to think anything was bent?
 

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Occhis

Member
May 26, 2019
236
106
Front Royal, VA
Most alignment shops say the camber can’t be adjusted, but it is adjustable depending on how far out of spec it is. See attached
 

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dmurphy

Buster: 11/25/14 - 6/20/21. So sorely missed.
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,777
5,125
New Jersey - Morris County
With a shot into the curb hard enough to crack the wheel like that, it’s possible you’ve bent the lower control arm.
Good news is that’s a quick and relatively inexpensive replacement if that’s really what happened.
I’d honestly take it to the Service Center. They’re reasonable on parts pricing and labor isn’t really out of whack relative to a good shop. I mean, they’re not shade-tree-mechanic cheap, but no more than anywhere else you’d find, really.

Best of luck! I slid on ice into a curb with my Cadillac a few years ago. Mangled that lower control arm into a boomerang; car was undriveable. Couple hours in the shop and was good as new.
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,016
1,999
Houston
The before and after is a good example of how bad these alignment people are.

Since there was really no change to the front's before and after, it's clear the dude did absolutely nothing to try to adjust the front camber. He just punted to collect the same alignment fee without doing a lick of work up there. If he had tried to move the camber on the left with the instructions above, the numbers would have changed. But he clearly didn't want to take out the trunk liner, and go find the right wrenches, and actually do any real work that day. Plus he didn't even to any toe link adjustments to get your steering wheel straight, or you would have seen the toe numbers change.

But he must have had the right wrench accidentally handy for the rear toe links, so he took the time to make the rear number worse! That's way too much toe to have good tire wear. Yes, it may be in spec, but in spec can mean long lasting tires, or short lasting tires. Your tires will be done soon. I am sure he changed the rear just so he could charge for the alignment.

He gave you the screw job with a cherry on top. I am sure you thanked him.
 
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Mrcarcrazy

Another internet expert @ no charge
May 22, 2019
880
899
South Padre Island, Tx
Did you change the wheel prior to this alignment?I wouldn’t trust any numbers from an alignment if they mounted the head to a wheel that damaged…and I used to do that for a living

To be fair to the alignment tech/ wrench jockey…his machine likely doesn’t show him the adjustment shown above as it’s not an adjustable part as much as it’s working with tolerance stacking.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,016
1,999
Houston
I used to do that for a living

To be fair to the alignment tech/ wrench jockey…his machine likely doesn’t show him the adjustment shown above as it’s not an adjustable part as much as it’s working with tolerance stacking.

Huh? What's not an adjustable part? The camber? If you're saying that, you're 100% wrong.
 

Mrcarcrazy

Another internet expert @ no charge
May 22, 2019
880
899
South Padre Island, Tx
Huh? What's not an adjustable part? The camber? If you're saying that, you're 100% wrong.
Huh? What's not an adjustable part? The camber? If you're saying that, you're 100% wrong.
Entirely possible.
Is this the method listed in the service manual? If so, *sugar* design (IMO).
It reminds me of shifting the subframe to get the alignment in spec. While not an intentional adjustment in the design of the vehicle it does give you some wiggle room. (Usually after someone tried to occupy the same space as another vehicle or fixed object).
It’s been a few decades but the newer Hunter machines show the techs the traditional adjustments that the manufacturers have put into the car. If it’s not on the machine I don’t blame the tech for not knowing this is an adjustment as its overly complex, it’s something I’d expect on a 90’s era GM.

Anyway, I learned something new, so thanks for that.
 
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Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,347
1,645
Seattle, WA
Iv
Entirely possible.
Is this the method listed in the service manual? If so, *sugar* design (IMO).
It reminds me of shifting the subframe to get the alignment in spec. While not an intentional adjustment in the design of the vehicle it does give you some wiggle room. (Usually after someone tried to occupy the same space as another vehicle or fixed object).
It’s been a few decades but the newer Hunter machines show the techs the traditional adjustments that the manufacturers have put into the car. If it’s not on the machine I don’t blame the tech for not knowing this is an adjustment as its overly complex, it’s something I’d expect on a 90’s era GM.

Anyway, I learned something new, so thanks for that.
I’ve had techs tell me that sometimes to get the specs perfect on our cars, they have to shift the subframe around. Didn’t sound like it was typical, but it happens. They throw the car on the rack and pray they don’t have to.
 
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gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,192
2,726
Seattle, WA
I’ve had techs tell me that sometimes to get the specs perfect on our cars, they have to shift the subframe around.
Ooh, really? My left-right camber is off on the front end of my model 3. I have the passenger side as low camber as I can up top, and the driver maxed out, and the passenger side is still 0.1° greater. I even undid the lower control arms at the subframe and pushed them in/out as much as possible.

I'd never considered the subframe (and now I feel dumb)! I'll have to give this a shot. Anyone have any good pointers at where the fasteners are we're looking at?
 
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gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,192
2,726
Seattle, WA
Or, like me, buy about $300 in precision measuring tools to do your own alignment, and never have to deal with these "tools" again.

What do you use? I've had a lot of success on toe with just two precision length bars- stick one on the front, one on the rear, run a laser (or string) between them, measure to the front/rear of the wheel, and since I just want zero toe, make the measurements equal. Always drives dead straight. $10 in parts from Lowes. I use the center of the grill in the front and the hole in the diffuser as the center marks- but I've shot a laser down the rib on the battery and know for sure these are centered on my car. I've even learned that when drooped, 5mm toe in on the front and 5mm toe out on the back becomes zero when I drop it, which makes it a lot easier (this will be ride height/spring rate/camber dependent though).

$20 digital level for camber seems to work fine for me.
 
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gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,192
2,726
Seattle, WA
FYI, moving the subframe does work. I got about 0.25 degrees increase on one side (and equal decrease other) by shifting it.
4 bolts each side. 2 in the rear, one in the middle right above the axle, one in the front under the splash shield (at least on AWD).
 
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