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Wheel Alignment

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Richard J

Club Member

Wed 07 Feb 18 16:02

Wheel Alignment


Looking to get all my wheels aligned etc.

I hear the Hunter system seems best?

Any oned used anyone decent ideally in the Essex Area?

It's for a C4, if that makes any difference?



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Forrest Gump

Regional Rep

Sun 11 Feb 18 12:17

Re: Wheel Alignment

I was told that Queens Park Tyres in Billericay know what they're doing when it comes to more specialist cars. I've not tried them myself but you could give them a call to check them out.


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Richard J

Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 13:10

Cheers Andy

I have seen on some other forums etc. that Elite Direct in Rainham get reccomended and do the Hunter alignment, phoned them and a normal car is £70 but of course "your car sir has more adjustments so it's going to be more" so probably going to go there

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Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 13:49

Re: Wheel Alignment

If your back tyres are wearing evenly, which no doubt they are, a simple tracking check at the front is all you need. Its a simple adjustment, and doesn't need megabuck "alignment" checking and adjusting.

Its just a car like any other, so try think objectively and keep your wedge in your wallet. These Hunter machines are only really useful for large SUV's etc that really need to be kept aligned as their weight can screw them up quickly incurring large bills for tyres. A C4 is a simple beast that these tracking guys like to take advantage of of their owners.

Alternatively, run a plumb line or a laser around the four tyres and check with a Vernier caliper that the front sidewalls are even on each side to the line, if not, loosen the track rod end locknuts and adjust. I did this after adjusting/reshimming my '87's geometry for -ve camber and more +ve caster and it was perfect when I asked the guys to check the tracking at the MOT last time with their simple laser gauge for an extra tenner for their breakfast bacon rolls..

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Daytona Vette

Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 14:16

Re: Wheel Alignment

I have to say that most people do not understand what is involved in setting a car up properly and just because a garage has Hunter equipment does not mean that they are proficient in what they do.

Depending what you want from your car - a set of wheels to go to the supermarket, or a car that handles at speed with confidence.

If you want the latter or any where near it, you need to consider; you have got camber, caster and toe on the front and camber and toe on the rear, body height and chassis height at each corner, together with the weight at each corner, all subject to adjustment and when you alter one of the variables it has an impact somewhere else so everything has to be fine tuned over and over until all the variables are correctly set.

Done correctly you can transform the handling of a car and dial in more grip at the front or traction at the rear.

You do not get the above for £50 or £100 and certainly not if the outfit does not have scales for corner weighting.

Last edited by Daytona Vette on Tue 13 Feb 18 10:13; edited 2 times in total. [1 %]
Barry - Daytona Vette

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Richard J

Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 14:27

Re: Wheel Alignment

Only reason I was looking at alignment is I think my car tends to dart around a bit

Got new tyres on the back, as thought that would help, didn't seem to make a difference so probably going to get new on the front (does need them)

It may be how these cars are, as I have no point of reference and the family motor is a 4x4 so always feels solid...

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Richard J

Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 14:39

Just read something on American forum, which seems to suggest with tyres as wide as the C4 and especially the 92 (as all the tyres are the same size) the tyres tend to follow ruts in the road,

Which maybe explains the last time I experienced it I was going down country lanes?

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Club Member

Mon 12 Feb 18 17:41

Re: Wheel Alignment

My '87 steers like a go cart.

Its very positive and controllable on the 'B' road twisty commuter bits that I drive on 90% of the time without being too light thanks in part to a steering system filled 100% with Lucasoil steering stop leak (not got leaks, btw) for the last 12 years.

I have 255/50x16's @ 36psi on the front, and 295/50x16's @ 32psi on the back. Works perfectly for me whether its on the motorway, or in the highlands or that lovely bit of road from Keswick to Windermere.

As Barry says, suspension geometry is a real black art with lots of parameters to consider and there are lots of people happy to take your money on the back of that. Personally I'd prefer to try to understand what's going on than just throw money at the situation and pray that the guys know what they are doing. A Corvette is not a complex car, its really made for regular guys with basic tools to maintain and as such is very forgiving.

Think about it like aircraft.. In a B17 you take off, you set the trim according to your payload and wind direction and after that it flies itself. However, ..a P51 fighter is inherently unstable so it can fall about all over the sky in a dogfight, you have to have it working right and stay on it.. That's the similar difference between a 4x4 and a Corvette..

Have a read of this...

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Daytona Vette

Club Member

Wed 14 Feb 18 09:10

Re: Wheel Alignment

Richard J wrote (View Post):Only reason I was looking at alignment is I think my car tends to dart around a bit

A car’s handling behavior depends on symmetry, geometry, alignment, stiffness, components, wear and loading.

If your car is darting around a bit;

Bump Steer - you have an issue with component wear and or alignment.

Tramlining - you have an issue with stiffness and or component wear.

Bump steer is definitely attributed to component wear or alignment or a combination of both, the alignment of the angle of the steering arm to bottom wishbone is critical to bump steer.

Tramlining is not caused by wide tyres, (although a narrower tyre may help reduce Tramlining,) the issue is caused because the tyre footprint has not squeezed to the shape of the road – (dropping the tyre pressures will also help reduce Tramlining) but the main cause is related to stiffness of tyres (low sidewall) and suspension, but not wide tyres – You can have very low aspect ratio sidewalls as long as the suspension is not ultra hard, unless of course you want Track car setup which does not work on our cambered poor roads.

Many people forget that our tyres are part of our suspension set up – pressures and sidewall stiffness play a big part in some aspects of handling.

The first things to check are tyres; specifications, pressures and wear patterns they should all be equal per axle (excessive tyre pressures or excessive hard suspension can cause tramlining.

You then need to check all the steering and suspension components for wear, there is no point in paying for alignment if something is worn, if you need to replace bushes you may want to use the harder poly bushes

Once you are in a position of knowing all components are good and you want a good outfit to align and transform your Vette, contact Centre Gravity in the Midlands, yes a distance from you and a wedge out of your pocket, but there is a reason why customers drive up from Essex and others down from Scotland to have their cars aligned by Centre Gravity and you will probably wait six weeks for an appointment - they are more than good!

Best of Luck

Last edited by Daytona Vette on Wed 14 Feb 18 09:14; edited 2 times in total. [2 %]
Barry - Daytona Vette

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Club Member

Wed 14 Feb 18 11:03

Re: Wheel Alignment

I had to get my C5 re-aligned after lowering and suspension upgrades so I did some online research and, coupled with my own experiences in setting up other American cars, came up with these settings for the C5 Coupe;

Front Toe ZERO

Steering Wheel Angle 0.0 degree

Front Individual Caster MAX adjustable positive matched side to side

Front Individual Camber -0.50 degree

Rear Individual Toe ZERO

Rear Thrust Angle 0.0 degree

Rear Individual Camber -0.45 degree

I have a very good independent garage just around the corner run by a genuine car enthusiast. He is also very knowledgeable and he was able to set my car up for me at a cost of £75. However on another visit for a MOT test he checked the whole lot again for free because he had just had his stuff re-calibrated and wanted to check it was still OK.

He was surprised at my request for a lot of caster. But when test driving it he saw where I was coming from. The car turns into corners much faster. He was quite impressed.

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