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Thread: New tyres and wheel alignment - car doesn't drive straight

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    New tyres and wheel alignment - car doesn't drive straight

    Hi all,

    Hoping for some wheel alignment / tyre help here.

    Backstory
    ---------
    2016 GU Y61 Legend Edition Patrol, 55,500k's on original Bridgestone D693 AT with no issues. At approx 20,000k's upgraded to OME 2" lift with castor kit and wheel alignment. Patrol drives straight (hands off the wheel) and steering wheel is centered - as it has done from new, tyres rotated every 10,000k's. No issues, until today.

    Today
    -----
    Take Patrol in to get 5 new tyres (the spare had been rotated out as it has been plugged). Bridgestone D697 LT in same size as originals (275/65R17), wheel alignment done as suggested. However, after picking up the patrol, it pulls badly to the left (hands off the wheel pulls straight away - within meters) and I have to hold the steering wheel consistently to the right (way off center) just to stay on the road.
    I immediately take it back, they 'check' it again, say its fine. I drive out - no difference. I take it back, convince them to take a ride and see what it's doing, they do and realise how bad it is. They have another go, and swap front wheels (left to right), it's a bit better, but still pulls a little to the left, and steering wheel is way right hand down off center. At this stage they suggest I go to their sister shop (next suburb over) and they'll have a go.

    2 attempts there and the end result is that it still pulls to the left, but not as bad, and wheel is nearly centered (acceptable but not perfect) - but still pulling left. Not just a drift or slow veer, but pulling.

    Here are the specs they gave me as the day progressed (times indicate progression). It seems all over the shop to me - any ideas?

    alignment_1.jpg

    alignment_2.jpg

    This last one was a different machine and shows as a Y62 with independent suspension - no idea what to make of that?

    alignment_3.jpg

    The end result was they said that was all they could do, cya.

    Any help appreciated. I just want my Patrol to drive like it did this-morning!

    Cheers,
    Shane

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    Expert Brissieboy's Avatar
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    After dealing with a proper suspension shop, I will never have an alignment done at a basic tyre shop.
    Professional suspension shops have their gear calibrated daily, where your tyre shop probably does in weekly (at best).
    Professional suspension shops know what to do when the suspension is not standard (such as your lift) while your tyre shop probably does not.
    Professional suspension shops have the knowledge and can do what is required to correct a problem rather than just try to hide it.
    It may cost more initially, but you just might be better off in the long run.

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    Patrol God Dhuck's Avatar
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    First things first, I do not look at what vehicle is chosen from the data base provided by the machine manufacturer. First report even as Y62 0.9mm of toe nice, camber relatively even and no caster reading. The second reading as a Y61. Am guessing that it is the same machine later in the day. 5.1mm of toe is very excessive, camber typical of a live axle and caster relatively even. Heavy positive or negative toe will make it drive like crap. The caster in that report indicates that it will follow the camber of the road. Then the third report, I don't care that it says it's a Y62. Like I said, it doesn't matter what vehicle is selected, it comes down to the figures. The before part of this report the figures are reasonable. However the current part of this report, camber OK, caster even (again will follow the camber of the road). But this is what has me tripping out at what they have done. -6.2mm of toe is f#$%ing ridiculous. Race cars run negative toe but not that much. Read your pm that I have sent you mate.
    In the words of a Dhuck "QUACK".

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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    I think you should expect your money back . If it were me I would be making that firmly but politely clear to whoever is in charge & telling them that both a) it was fine before they adjusted it & b) you will be taking it to a specialist wheel alignment place to rectify what they have done. If they suggest having another go I would refuse on the basis that they had plenty of opportunity to get it right & told you they could do no more. Any further attempt will just be more of the same.

    Actually I think that the people who told you your well handling vehicle needed a wheel alignment & then turned it into an ill handling vehicle should be responsible for the cost of getting it rectified elsewhere, but that might be a harder road to follow.

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, Lovells GVM upgrade, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697s, Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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    Arfa Brayne (12th March 2020)

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    OK = basics.
    Y61 is a front beam axle, so other than toe in, there is no other adjustment done for a wheel alignment. (Unless you change castor bushes or add drop boxes etc, the only way to adjust the caster and camber is to BEND the diff housing.)
    Y62 is independent front end. so yeah, you can adjust more than the toe in, which is why they used those figures on your fudged "alignment"

    So if you have a Y61 and they claim to have changed the caster or camber angles, you have documented proof of absolute bull$h!t.

    Here's what I reckon has happened based on previous experience in the tyre and alignment game.

    - 1 The original Bridgestone tyres were made in Japan and of really good quality - but your Bridgie replacements are crap made in any of half a dozen cheap labour countries with poor standards. ........ Poorly made tyres need lots of balance weights, and if not cast and cured properly will PULL/Drag unevenly as well as give you higher fuel consumption. (bet you've got a wad of weights on every wheel totaling more than 35g per wheel)
    The standard "cure" (sleaze out) is to put pulling tyres on the rear axle (which your blokes have done) - except the rear tyres that went on the front were shoddy too. This "cure" is what you do for cheap retreads, not new quality tyres.

    -2 You cannot alter the caster and camber to change "pull" (on Y61), but you can adjust the "return to centre" damper and spring position on the track rod.
    This will place spring tension on your steering to push it against the pull of your dodgy tyres.......... however without changing the steering wheel spline, your steering wheel will now be off centre. Also the spring is a fixed load, where the pull of the tyres will vary depending on road surface, vehicle load and tyre pressure. SO result is it will be all over the place and handle like a blind brumby.

    The cure. = Find out where your tyres are made. Yokohama, Toyo, some Dunlop, still make tyres in Japan and stamp "made in Japan" on the sidewalls. If there is nothing stamped on the sidewalls regarding place of manufacture you can usually assume they are poor quality.
    Try a set of a mates tyres on your rig if possible.
    Last set of Bridgies I put on my Patrol only lasted a month before I resold them to a young hoon for a third the price I bought them. Utter crap.
    I've sworn by Bridgestone for 40 years = fitted to every vehicle I've owned, always top quality. Never questioned the choice. .... Until the last set I bought (and will ever by) caused me to research what the hell went wrong.

    Bet you buttons to billions it's the tyres.
    If possible, get a written opinion from a reputable tyre/alignment shop and see if you can get a refund for your tyre purchase or a trade in on a better set of tyres.
    Never do business with the original tyre shop again, and make sure you tell everyone your story.
    I took pride in doing a good value job and looking after customers - business was very successful. I deeply loath dodgy operators - they place cash above safety and ethics.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    Best way to deal with a "Can't" is to chop off the "t" and brew it in boiled water for a few minutes.
    Sip on the "t", and consider what you've got left to work with

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    FWIW for the last 40+ years I’ve always taken my cars to a specialist wheel alignment/suspension shop. That’s all he does and has ever done. Never had an issue, I always rotate all five tyres and whenever I get a new set I tell them who will be doing the wheel alignment.
    He’s always inquiring what you intend to use the car for and will tweak the alignment to suit the driving conditions (highway or outback).

    Sorry this isn’t much help to you as he’s in Ballarat, I’m sure he’d be happy to discuss your issues if you wanted to ring him.

    https://www.trulinesteering.com.au/
    Cheers
    Jack

    2012 Simpson 50th Anniversary Edition.
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    Arfa Brayne (12th March 2020)

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    Patrol God Dhuck's Avatar
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    Did you even look at the specs Arfa. Try some offset bushes in the radius arms and setback bushes in the rear if the arms. Get rid of any RTC damper as this hides alot of issues in the steering (death wobble, vibration etc).
    In the words of a Dhuck "QUACK".

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    Arfa Brayne (12th March 2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhuck View Post
    Did you even look at the specs Arfa. Try some offset bushes in the radius arms and setback bushes in the rear if the arms. Get rid of any RTC damper as this hides alot of issues in the steering (death wobble, vibration etc).
    Do you think the alignment shop changed the caster correction bushes without charging for them or the labour required ??
    "Setback bushes" on a 3 link will only change the position of the axle in relation to the body, not the caster or camber.

    It's easy to get lost in the specs.
    Seriously - the best tool an alignment specialist has is what he was born with - palm of the hand and eyes to check the existing wear, and ears to listen to the customer.

    The specs are just a starting point of reference for anyone experienced in wheel alignments. The settings change by driving style, local terrain (bends, straights, road camber, road surface) tyre drag, load, tyre size and rim offset.
    Fitting a new set of tyres for a new customer I always offered a genuine free wear check and alignment after 1,000km. Because every set of tyres and every driver is different.

    Yeah Duck - the specks on the falsified readout are stupid wrong. BUT - LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER and consider the mechanical limitations.

    1- The vehicle was driving straight without problems before the new tyres.
    2- FRONT END CASTER (3 link) is only adjustable by changing components like bushes, arms and drop boxes,
    3- the CAMBER IS NON ADJUSTABLE without some serious bending force or modifications.
    4- the workshop printout (specs) is an impossible pack of lies.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    Best way to deal with a "Can't" is to chop off the "t" and brew it in boiled water for a few minutes.
    Sip on the "t", and consider what you've got left to work with

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack View Post
    FWIW for the last 40+ years Ive always taken my cars to a specialist wheel alignment/suspension shop. Thats all he does and has ever done. Never had an issue, I always rotate all five tyres and whenever I get a new set I tell them who will be doing the wheel alignment.
    Hes always inquiring what you intend to use the car for and will tweak the alignment to suit the driving conditions (highway or outback).

    Sorry this isnt much help to you as hes in Ballarat, Im sure hed be happy to discuss your issues if you wanted to ring him.

    https://www.trulinesteering.com.au/
    Yeah - a smaller town bloke has something important to protect = his reputation.
    It takes years to build a good rep, and only a few mistakes to destroy it and your business in a small town. In the city there are countless fresh victims and suckers.
    To be in business for 40 years in a small regional centre shows the right stuff.

    For 4x4's it's a good idea to have a set of 6x tyres and wheels. That way, fronts go to rear, rears go to spare/shed, and the 2x spares (which have the most tread) go to the front. With a good alignment, good tyres and reasonable driving style, you'll get 80,000km out of a set with the added bonus of being able to damage 2x tyres beyond repair without needing a mismatched new tyre in the set. Even good tyres can pull when mismatched.
    As tyres age they harden, and the compound changes grip and wear characteristics.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    Best way to deal with a "Can't" is to chop off the "t" and brew it in boiled water for a few minutes.
    Sip on the "t", and consider what you've got left to work with

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try to answer all the queries to help clarify...

    I wasn't sure if the numbers were absolute or relative to the vehicle data selected in the machine (thanks for clarifying Dhuck). OK so being absolute, total toe went from .09 to 5.1 to -6.2. There was also a 4th printout showing total toe of 1.5 as well. So they tried a fair few settings.

    So here are all the markings and weights from the tyres:

    Made in Japan P1102 D697FZ LT275/65R17 118/115S 0020610 65PSI

    All pressures are 40psi spot on

    Front right weights
    front_right.jpg

    Front left has no weights on it


    Back left weights
    back_left.jpg

    Spare weights
    spare.jpg

    Back right weights
    back_right.jpg


    Twice during the day I asked them just to return the wheel alignment settings back to what they were this-morning. They said they can't, so I assume they didn't have them recorded before changing it? who knows?

    Obviously I can't left it at -6.2. I thought of swapping backs to front and go else where for another alignment - but the weights on the rear left are plentiful - it might make it worse lol

    I spoke to Straight Wheels Truck Alignment (rocklea) today - who can take a look, but if it's the tyres, how do I prove it if they are out of whack?

    Cheers,
    Shane
    Last edited by smyz250; 13th March 2020 at 10:03 AM.

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