Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

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Richard_C
Donor 2016
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Richard_C »

Useful link and have seen similar prices elsewhere. ATS don't know their curbs from their kerbs though. Bit cross with them at the moment, took car for new tyres all prebooked, left it 90 minutes came back not even started .... lost half a days work while ATS Cambridge took 3 hours 45 minutes to fit a set of 4 tyres on a quiet *Thursday morning. Had I not prepaid I would have left.

Anyway, back to tracking. I was told about 51 years ago while I was learning to drive that a useful quick diy check is to rub your hand very lightly over the shoulder of each tyre, in both directions. If the blocks are feathered - one direction feels smooth and the other a bit like a saw blade - it indicates tracking out, bushes worn or very hard driving. I think it's still relevant and do it through habit when I am doing the pressures. No replacement for the proper job but a chance of early diagnosis.

Anyone else come across this?

* edit for clarity - fitted set of 4 tyres on my car on a quiet Thursdy morning...you can't of course fit tyres to Thursdays.

Andle
Donor 2020
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Andle »

Question:

On my car

A) What adjustments are applicable for the rear wheels

B) What adjustments are applicable to the front wheels

C) Could you please list the most up to date alignment specifications for my car.

D) I am going to get the tracking done tomorrow. Does this car need weights put anywhere in it - in order for the tracking to be done right.

E) Proper alignment is highly dependant upon finding a highly competent and knowledgeable technician. Problem is I can’t be sure until the tracking done. I want to make it as foolproof as possible - so I’m asking for help.

F) I am a newbie at this - please make it easy for me to put the up to date specs infront of the tech to get this done right.

G) Other than equalising the rods first & ensuring a steering clamp is used - is there anything else fellow members could point out before I give this new place a try?

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bobins
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by bobins »

When I had mine checked a few years ago at Merityre, it was all computerised. Their computer already had the tracking database loaded to it.

Andle
Donor 2020
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Andle »

I hear you loud and clear bobins.

My concern comes from the many posts about wheel alignment woes throughout various forums.

It really does depend on the technicians experience with the different marques for example - differing ride heights, corner weighting etc.

Second, is how recently the equipment was calibrated.

Thirdly - aside from calibration - there is the concern about how up to date their database is. If the garage doing the alignment decided not to subscribe to a live or active database - rather Depending on a locally stored one - they the specs could be significantly out of date.

This happened with the MK1 focus. The specs released by the manufacturer to the alignment companies turned out to be incorrect - and a bulletin was issued with a database correction. This affected all mo1’s as the incorrect specs were issued by ford.

Unfortunately - all those customers that had paid for an alignment before this correction - lost out as I doubt the garages called each customer to come in and have the correction done.

The only way to mitigate against this is to have the correct up to date values & correct procedure (guide/bulletin) in your hand when you walk in. Talk to the technician - so they realise this can’t be a 30 min job shunted into a 15 min slot.

I don’t want to waste time with repeat visits and arguing with the tech. Just want to nail it first time.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by GiveMeABreak »

I doubt you'll have a problem with the data for a vehicle of 13 years of age. The manufacturer data has not changed so would be relevant today.

On this model, the Front Castor angle, Pivot angle and Camber angle are not adjustable, only the tracking is.
On the Rear, neither the tracking, nor the Camber angles are adjustable.

Where they do get it wrong is when they don't get the exact model correct , where there can be variations - especially when there have been modifications to the geometries on say a MK I, MK II or MK III version over the years. For some models, this data won't change.

What you can do yourself is to ensure that you have the correct tyre sizes and that these are inflated to the recommended pressures as this can affect tracking.

Your tyres should be 185/65 R15 88H

The tracking values can change depending on the height of the tyres, but as long as their equipment is calibrated (it wasn't when they did mine and ruined 4 new tyres in 4 weeks) and the get the model and engine correct, you should be fine. In my case I went with a face like thunder and they closed the machine for 2 weeks waiting for the company to come and calibrate the machine.

When I went back having 4 new tyres fitted at their expense, they actually got the technician at Citroen to come over and tell them how the C5 should be tracked. This won't be such an issue for you though as you don't have Hydractive suspension on your Xsara.

Andle
Donor 2020
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Andle »

I am getting balding on the outside edge of the front two tyres - I’m hoping that the tracking will take care of this.

My fear is there may be damage to the suspension subsystem - which could spell trouble.

I’ve decided that I’m going for a hunter full laser track. Fingers crossed that it works out okay.

Marc - interesting question - when my car was new - what tyres did it come with from factory?

A) What are the recommended tyres for this car?

B) Need four new lug nuts. What is their part number please? Where would I get them cheap?

Hell Razor5543
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Hell Razor5543 »

It almost certainly rolled out of the factory wearing Michelin tyres.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by GiveMeABreak »

Andle wrote:
02 Jul 2020, 11:51
Marc - interesting question - when my car was new - what tyres did it come with from factory?

A) What are the recommended tyres for this car?

B) Need four new lug nuts. What is their part number please? Where would I get them cheap?
A) 15" "Melbourne"Light Alloy Wheels fitted with 185/65 R15 88H Tyres.
B) You need wheel bolts for alloy wheels - they are pretty much standard.

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white exec
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by white exec »

The Xsara Picasso mechanics' handbook will have the front & rear suspension data...
viewtopic.php?p=590278#p590278.
2005 is the last edition we have, but probably good enough.
Marc may have some later data, though.

Andle
Donor 2020
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by Andle »

:cry:
GiveMeABreak wrote:
02 Jul 2020, 13:23
Andle wrote:
02 Jul 2020, 11:51
Marc - interesting question - when my car was new - what tyres did it come with from factory?

A) What are the recommended tyres for this car?

B) Need four new lug nuts. What is their part number please? Where would I get them cheap?
A) 15" "Melbourne"Light Alloy Wheels fitted with 185/65 R15 88H Tyres.
B) You need wheel bolts for alloy wheels - they are pretty much standard.

Forgive me, I meant which brand + variant of tyre did these models ‘ship’ with from factory?

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Wheel alignment / tracking – Technical

Unread post by GiveMeABreak »

The brand was generally Michelin - but the variant will depend on what is produced at the time, but a summer tyre, something like 'Energy', 'Primacy'.