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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Just changed the struts and rear shocks @ 61k miles.
Put in Bilsteins.
Stock replacements, no changes to ride height.
The struts showed up about a month after ordering, rears were on 3 month back-order.
Does the suspension need an alignment after doing this work?
Car steers the same, is not pulling.
But I don’t want to mess up the front tires, $200 each…..
Thanks,
Dieseldr
 

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If the lower strut attaching bolts are the camber adjusters, I'd say yes.

One time a friend wrecked his car when he got hit in a front wheel, buckling a strut, and gave it to me. I straightened the fender with a 2x6, replaced the strut, adjusted it until the steering wheel was centered again, and drove it home. But that doesn't help if you didn't test drive each strut individually when you replace two.
 

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Firestone Lifetime Alignment for every car!
 
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There are no methods available to adjust caster or camber. The only adjustable component are the tie rod ends for toe in.
The rear trailing axle also has no available adjustment.

So, the only way camber could be adjusted is to hog out the mounting holes where the strut attaches to the spindle and the only way caster could be adjusted is to hog out the upper strut mount holes.

All that to say you only need to verify and adjust toe in after a strut change.

Rob
 

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Can you show us where Alignment is a required maintenance yearly, that's a first
It's one of many things you learn in automotive class. Along with tire rotation.

There's a lot of firsts the general public don't know about.

Think about it. Why would you keep driving and not maximize your tire wear. Every bump and pot hole you hit. Knocks your car out. And you all know that parts don't last forever. Including your steering components. Part of having an alignment is making sure your components are still tight. You don't get an accurate alignment with worn out parts.

If you want your car to last. It needs to be maintained. If you want your tires to last. They need to be aligned and rotated.

ONly problem with alignments. Tough to find a guy that knows what he's doing. As evidenced in one post on here with the guy who now has a crooked steering wheel and a alignment pull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rob,
Thanks, makes sense. The steering and suspension on this car looks very simple, compared to the other vehicles I maintain.
I can't imagine much that would effect the toe except component wear or mechanical damage.
So we will have it checked out, see how much it changed in 61k miles.
Dieseldr
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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I'd get an alignment after changing struts, or any of the major suspension components.

Even despite Michigan roads, none of our cars get any kind of yearly alignment and have no issues with being misaligned. Unless you hit something so big (which will likely cause other kinds of damage), that suspension really isn't going to move out of alignment.

I do rotate tires on a regular basis on our vehicles, though. Most of the time it works out perfectly with having all-seasons for spring/summer/fall and winter tires for, well, winter. Generally the mileage put on during the winter is right around enough for me to be able to rotate them when I install them the next time. The all-seasons generally require a rotation sometime before taking them off, depending on vacations/extra driving.
 

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I'd get an alignment after changing struts, or any of the major suspension components.

Even despite Michigan roads, none of our cars get any kind of yearly alignment and have no issues with being misaligned. Unless you hit something so big (which will likely cause other kinds of damage), that suspension really isn't going to move out of alignment.

I do rotate tires on a regular basis on our vehicles, though. Most of the time it works out perfectly with having all-seasons for spring/summer/fall and winter tires for, well, winter. Generally the mileage put on during the winter is right around enough for me to be able to rotate them when I install them the next time. The all-seasons generally require a rotation sometime before taking them off, depending on vacations/extra driving.
Over time it all adds up.

My car came from the factory at the outter edge of alignment.

And here's something most of you probably don't know.

Alignment flexes out as your driving down the road. The faster you go. The farther the flex.

My car came at the maxed spec. Now take in to consideration the flex. I"m basically driving down the road out of alignment. From the factory.

Probably not now as I already took care of it.

2000 miles for it's first alignment.
 

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I completely disagree with cars needing an alignment every year. Completely unfounded. Personally I get lifetime alignments on my vehicles because I don't change vehicles very often and it's cheaper this way. A car will tell you when it needs an alignment through handling, vibration, and especially tire wear. Don't waste $100 a year on alignments. Be smart and do your tire balancing and rotations at the recommended intervals and monitor your wear...this tells you about small alignment issues. The car will tell you about bigger issues.
 

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I completely disagree with cars needing an alignment every year. Completely unfounded. Personally I get lifetime alignments on my vehicles because I don't change vehicles very often and it's cheaper this way. A car will tell you when it needs an alignment through handling, vibration, and especially tire wear. Don't waste $100 a year on alignments. Be smart and do your tire balancing and rotations at the recommended intervals and monitor your wear...this tells you about small alignment issues. The car will tell you about bigger issues.
Ummm no. It won't. Unless you plan on waiting till it's too late.

The machine will tell you long before tire wear. To which most people won't even notice the beginning stages.

Yearly maintenance is completely founded.

An alignment can be slightly off. And take a few thousand miles to notice tire wear. Without the slightest pull.

Tire rotations are recommended for a reason. Alignment checks are also recommended for a reason.

Don't wait till tires show. That just cuts down on the lifespan. And tires aren't cheap.

Alignments around here are $60.
 

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Agree to disagree on this one. However, I would love to see a link to a manufacturer recommending periodic wheel alignments in their service schedules. :th_salute:
 

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Agree to disagree on this one. However, I would love to see a link to a manufacturer recommending periodic wheel alignments in their service schedules. <img src="http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/images/smilies/th_salute.gif" border="0" alt="" title="th_salute" class="inlineimg" />
Disagree all you want. You can wait till your tires tell you it's time. That's your choice.

I went to school. Attended moog and Borg classes. Done 100's alignments.

I went to school and learned lots of things you won't find in a manufactures manual. Earned my degree and various licenses.

Do you disagree with mechanics at shops too?

Somewhere on this forum someone posted a article for periodic alignment checks.

But it's your disagreement. Carry on as you will.
 

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So, the only way camber could be adjusted is to hog out the mounting holes where the strut attaches to the spindle and the only way caster could be adjusted is to hog out the upper strut mount holes.
When did GM quit using eccentric bolts in the spindle mounts?

I know X bodies and A bodies had them but that was last century.
 

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It's one of many things you learn in automotive class. Along with tire rotation.

There's a lot of firsts the general public don't know about.

Think about it. Why would you keep driving and not maximize your tire wear. Every bump and pot hole you hit. Knocks your car out. And you all know that parts don't last forever. Including your steering components. Part of having an alignment is making sure your components are still tight. You don't get an accurate alignment with worn out parts.

If you want your car to last. It needs to be maintained. If you want your tires to last. They need to be aligned and rotated.

ONly problem with alignments. Tough to find a guy that knows what he's doing. As evidenced in one post on here with the guy who now has a crooked steering wheel and a alignment pull.
50 yrs ago, sure....

im sure the same class taught greasing the components

how many nipples on the car today?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was curious about the camber adjustment, so went and dug out the HELM manuals I bought for the car.
You do have to enlarge one hole (per side) to get some camber/caster adjustment! (Rob wins!!)
Very weird.

HELM service manual #5, page 16-99:

FRONT CAMBER ADJUSTMENT

4 remove strut assy. from vehicle
5 put it in a soft jaw vise
6 enlarge the inner hole (1) to match the outer hole (2)
(drawing in manual shows the bottom hole for this)

7 install strut assy. on vehicle
8 adjust the camber specification by moving the top of the wheel in or out
(drawing shows a guy pulling on the wheel)

(not doing this, unless the Bilsteins we just put on are manufactured way out of spec.)
 
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