How much do you pay for your Special Alignment? - Suspension and Brake Forum

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How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:48 AM
So its common knowledge you can get an alignment done on your car for $50-$70

So why is it that once I put some koni yellows on, or when I slot my struts, they double that to dial in the camber?

Please share your alignment costs and big chain prices.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:49 AM


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:59 AM
I've never paid more for them to align my car, even adding camber.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:08 AM
Yeah, the tech's calling me when he gets it on the alignment rack. I've read a couple articles, and I can adjust the camber with a piece of metal stock, a level, some electrical tape, and a digital caliper. All of which I have sitting right here, minus the level.

I still haven't authorized a "special alignment", so I'm gonna most likely just buy a level for $20, and save myself 40 bucks.



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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:48 PM
Any standard 4 wheel alignment also adjusts camber. If they're trying to charge u more, refuse to pay and take it somewhere else.





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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 1:15 PM
Roofy wrote:

Any standard 4 wheel alignment also adjusts camber. If they're trying to charge u more, refuse to pay and take it somewhere else.


Yep, i never just leave my car. I always wait for it and unusually bug the "tech" who is working on it. The last place that did an alignment for me was Jack Williams. If I were you I would go somewhere else.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 1:34 PM
I thought that you cannot adjust the fronts on our car without buying the cam spacers??



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:40 PM
Tinkles(KGM) wrote:

Roofy wrote:

Any standard 4 wheel alignment also adjusts camber. If they're trying to charge u more, refuse to pay and take it somewhere else.


Yep, i never just leave my car. I always wait for it and unusually bug the "tech" who is working on it. The last place that did an alignment for me was Jack Williams. If I were you I would go somewhere else.


ALWAYS!!!!

I only leave my car if it has to be over night, and the only time that has happened is the clutch/trans issues I was having. The place I go to is managed by a guy who drives a A4, that is slammed and blown. I always request that he do the alignment, then I throw him 20 bucks for letting me bug and request @!#$ on the spot.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:50 PM
i also bug the tech when they do mine. They should not be charging you to do more. only time that come into play is if you have stock struts that they have to manually slot.
Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 3:19 PM
Two things to never tell a shop when you go in for an alignment-
1- I have coil-overs or lowering springs
2- I have "performance" anything

Prices go up, techs become "special", more custom parts are needed, etc, etc.

Like Roofy said, a 4 wheel alignment will always adjust caster, camber, and toe (at least they're supposed to, some shops will just adjust toe and call it good). If you tell them beforehand "I want my camber at XXX degrees", they'll most likely do it, unless it's something way out of whack.

If you want to do it yourself, it would be way easier to just use a camber gauge than stringing it and doing all the math. Make sure you do a rolling caster compensation after each camber adjustment.

.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:43 AM
James Cahill wrote:

Two things to never tell a shop when you go in for an alignment-
1- I have coil-overs or lowering springs
2- I have "performance" anything


I disagree. If I used this approach, I would have wasted a trip to a few places since they don't accommodate lowered cars because they dont want to take the risk of getting it up on the rack. Some racks are easier than others.

I dont mind them charging a few more because of the pain to get my car up on the rack from being so low. Not a problem at all in my book.


Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:35 AM
Well I guess my strategy worked out by a freak act of god.
The main alignment tech was in my graduating class.

The camber was already magically -1.2 on both sides, so no special charges.
Told me to come up any time and he'll dial in whatever I want. WooHooo

But yeah, the techs know that that's BS, when they go talk to their manager, then they get it.

I didn't trust them at all after that, so it forced me to sit a parking lot over and watch them change my tires and do the alignment
They did a good job haha. I went to thank em' after, and the Snapon truck was there :x Then I met a v-tech guy with a turbo on his car the size of a watermelon, claiming that it spools great. I dunno. It was an experience.

On agreement^^ they charge you for a standard 4 wheel alignment. If you have a vette, or something that can dial in everything front and rear those charges don't change. I agree on leaving it there, and just requesting the tech to call you before he touches it. I messed up telling the sales guy all the specifics.

(edit)
Oh and yeah...
Camber is not adjustable on our cars, nor is caster. I have koni yellows, with a slot on the bottom. I'm not sure if they come that way I bought them new.
Caster on my car is out of wack +4 driver -5 pass.
I'm pretty sure this has something to do with me sliding into a curb over the winter and bending my control arm back 8 inches... that was a fun... very long drive home.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:46 AM


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:56 AM
The only time shops charge more is when you have to have camber kits installed bc of you lowering your car. Anything That is adjustable on the car they will do. As long as you tell them that it has been done so they can adjust it. On alot of cars toe is the only adjustment and camber for some.
Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:00 AM
I personally get payed 1.5 flat rate hours for a alignment whether I adjust everything or anything at all. the only time we charge extra is installing parts to get the adjustments within spec. And alot of cars arent as easy as you think. I break out the torch on 1/3 cars I do bc of rusty adjusting nuts or bolts or just cant adjust them bc they are rusted up solid.
Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:03 AM
Eric Knight wrote:


Camber is not adjustable on our cars, nor is caster. I have koni yellows, with a slot on the bottom. I'm not sure if they come that way I bought them new.
Caster on my car is out of wack +4 driver -5 pass.
I'm pretty sure this has something to do with me sliding into a curb over the winter and bending my control arm back 8 inches... that was a fun... very long drive home.



cradle adjustment may help with the cross caster difference. I haven't done one on a jbody so there may not be alot of movement in the subframe....w bodies have alot.

what were the 2ndary measurements...included angle, sai?
Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:17 AM
BuiltNBoosted wrote:

James Cahill wrote:

Two things to never tell a shop when you go in for an alignment-
1- I have coil-overs or lowering springs
2- I have "performance" anything


I disagree. If I used this approach, I would have wasted a trip to a few places since they don't accommodate lowered cars because they dont want to take the risk of getting it up on the rack. Some racks are easier than others.

I dont mind them charging a few more because of the pain to get my car up on the rack from being so low. Not a problem at all in my book.


Getting a car on a rack is a different issue than charging more for an alignment because of springs, etc. I agree with where you're coming from though.

Eric Knight wrote:

Oh and yeah...
Camber is not adjustable on our cars, nor is caster. I have koni yellows, with a slot on the bottom. I'm not sure if they come that way I bought them new.


WTF? Of course the camber is adjustable.

.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:03 AM
I got charged $70 canadian to do mine. That was the standard rate. They also set my Teins to -1.5 degrees on each wheel.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:56 AM
. wrote:

I personally get payed 1.5 flat rate hours for a alignment whether I adjust everything or anything at all. the only time we charge extra is installing parts to get the adjustments within spec. And alot of cars arent as easy as you think. I break out the torch on 1/3 cars I do bc of rusty adjusting nuts or bolts or just cant adjust them bc they are rusted up solid.


Yeah, I agree with ya there and it's usually older Mitsu's, Toyota's, Hyundai's, Honda's etc.

As for my place of work, no matter what the setup it's basically $80, but if the car/truck has a 'modified' suspension there is no warranty.


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 1:27 PM
James Cahill wrote:


Eric Knight wrote:

Oh and yeah...
Camber is not adjustable on our cars, nor is caster. I have koni yellows, with a slot on the bottom. I'm not sure if they come that way I bought them new.


WTF? Of course the camber is adjustable.

.

How so.. in 00+ cavaliers?

The caster was not changed. I'll post the whole sheet in a few hours.



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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 2:19 PM
Eric Knight wrote:

James Cahill wrote:


Eric Knight wrote:

Oh and yeah...
Camber is not adjustable on our cars, nor is caster. I have koni yellows, with a slot on the bottom. I'm not sure if they come that way I bought them new.


WTF? Of course the camber is adjustable.

.

How so.. in 00+ cavaliers?

The caster was not changed. I'll post the whole sheet in a few hours.


As far as I recall it's by slotting one of the holes or using a camber bolt kit. But, I do have a way, but not going to share due to possibility of flak for it.


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 3:20 PM
Interesting, I'll be going in for an alignment soon.. good read so far.



Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:40 PM
Here's the spec sheet from my alignment.
There were no cross measurements done. Does that look alright?



^^ By our cars being non adjustable, I meant all factory.
It's 100% possible with camber bolts, or your secret way.
I'm betting you slot the strut towers. I may do so, and make a hold down plate, just to fix the caster.



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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:58 PM
Eric Knight wrote:

Here's the spec sheet from my alignment.
There were no cross measurements done. Does that look alright?



^^ By our cars being non adjustable, I meant all factory.
It's 100% possible with camber bolts, or your secret way.
I'm betting you slot the strut towers. I may do so, and make a hold down plate, just to fix the caster.


As for the non-adjustable factory adjustments as far as I know is only front Caster. For the rear, it's adjustable by full contact shims. Also, I don't look at toe in inches. I look at it in degrees. I also do two different print outs on one sheet, Vehicle(which is what you got) and summary on the back side(which includes all cross measurements and secondary angles, SAI, included angle, etc). I don't recall what the tolerance is for cross caster, but I can only assume it's in tolerance.

Having any pulling afterwards? I'm willing to bet it would be because of the rear as I'm seeing the thrust angle to the right.


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 5:16 PM
It doesn't pull at all. It "drifts" slightly, as in half a lane on the highway after letting go of the wheel for 15 seconds slightly.
I thought shims in the rear were for toe. darn, I was going to put some in, but now I'm not. Unless you suggest something.

It also handles amazing. Next time I get it done I'll be sure to get the cross measurements, angles, and whatnot. If the same guy can't provide that, I'll be looking for a new shop.

Edit: And it looks like I payed $70 just to have my toe corrected :/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Wednesday, August 22, 2012 5:25 PM


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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:11 PM
Eric Knight wrote:

It doesn't pull at all. It "drifts" slightly, as in half a lane on the highway after letting go of the wheel for 15 seconds slightly.
I thought shims in the rear were for toe. darn, I was going to put some in, but now I'm not. Unless you suggest something.


There are half shims available, but I would suggest against it. That's mainly cause the tech can pull up a template for a certain shim to us to change both camber and toe. This will be an additional cost of course.

Eric Knight wrote:

Next time I get it done I'll be sure to get the cross measurements, angles, and whatnot. If the same guy can't provide that, I'll be looking for a new shop.


Ask for a summary print out, along with a vehicle print out. The titles that show up in the print menu is "Print Summary" and "Print Vehicle(Before and Current Measurements)"

Too bad you weren't further west, I would be more than happy to do it for ya.


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"If life is a joke, why aren't we laughing?"
"Normality depends on one's perception of reality."
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Re: How much do you pay for your Special Alignment?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:35 PM
Cool thanks! This thread has helped tremendously.

I do make quarterly trips to Chicago, maybe I'll keep you in mind if the timings right, but I'm good until spring at least.



I roll on steelies. Work-in-progress daily-sleeper potential.
http://www.j-body.org/classifieds/engine/60493/
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