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Discussion Starter #1
for an alignment? I need one badly (fronts) and how about for a new suspension set-up, mine's been great untill this past month, I think 16 years of use have finally taken their toll.
 

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alignments here run from 49.95-79.95

depending on what you want in a suspension is how much you will pay
 

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ssm86's estimate sounds right. Or if you know you are going to do a lot of suspension work Firestone does lifetime alignments its about $100 (IIRC) and is well worth it if you are going to need alignment done a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
that actually does sound like a good deal.
 

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Scrodes - if you plan on keeping your car for a long time, look for a "lifetime" alignment deal at a reputable shop. My Firestone guys sold me on a while ago for like $100 or so. The 3rd alignment and ones after it are effectively free and since alignment is so important for our cars, as they get older, new tires or suspension components, and with frequent hard driving - it can be a real money saver.... if you can find someone that offers it in your area. Just a thought.
 

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Keep in mind, many of the shops that offer lifetime alignments do very quick dirty jobs. Find a good shop that uses laser alignment machines, and gives you a printout of your original alignment, new alignment, and the OEM specs. My local shop does it for $49, and they take their time to get it right. They spent 3 hours on my old truck that had massive suspension problems. They did MORE than an alignment for $49. They adjusted the suspension height, fixed my bad geometry, etc.
 

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Alignment machines don't do Laser, the flashing LED lights you see do nothing more than light up the alignment heads (Things attached to the wheels) for locating them. Modern alignment machines use nothing more than digital cameras. The lights flash and the camera picks up what colors reflect back. That sets a base point. Depending on what color they change to, is what determines where the head is at from dead center.

When you get an alignment, make sure they do Camber and Caster. Most Shops (Including mine) Will not touch camber or caster unless it is out pretty bad, and causing a tire wear issue. If one is slightly out, they they won't do much about it. One example of an exception is If Your caster is in or out equally on both sides, but out of spec, then you're not going to cause a pull, caster is not a tire wearing angle. Unless you have one side caster out way more, and you have a pull, you'll be compensating with the steering wheel to keep it straight. That's indirect tire wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My car will be going to Nissan for it's alignment, I've never been satisfied with an alignment anywhere else. and in retrospect I dont think there is a firestone in canada, or at least not around my house.



Post Edited (Jan 6, 10:24pm)
 

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I've been doing my own alignments for a few months now. I made my own aparatus that uses string, and by measuring the distance from between the edges of the wheel and the string connected to the apparatus I can effectively measure the toe-in or toe-out. I cannot adjust camber or caster on my own, but those values rarely change significantly over time unless your bushings are quite worn or you've damaged the control arms or tension rods.
 
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