How to convince an alignment shop?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by biker, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Rayden2009

    Rayden2009 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Holy, thats a lot of caster!
     
  2. Rayden2009

    Rayden2009 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I take my car to a performance shop that specializes in hotrods etc. I did the same as you, gave them a sheet of paper with my specs and they nailed it. They are a bit pricey, but I like knowing they are comfortable with the car (not like a 20 year old tech at some alignment shop). I outsource everything I cant do to them. I once got scolded on here when I confessed to letting Costco mount my tires and they dinged a rim. It opened my eyes that I'm not letting just anyone touch the car, as most people don't know what they are doing. Interestingly, Costco was out of balance by ~1 oz each tire. I drove around like that for a few years before I finally broke down and took it in to the performance shop, who dialed them in. Normal run of the mill places are for normal run of the mill cars.
     
  3. procharged81

    procharged81 Veteran Member

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    A lot of the stuff we know and take for granted is going down the drain with the newer generation.

    Good friend has a resto shop. Had a new guy start working at his place. Came from UTI. He didn’t want to hire him, but he was relentless with the phone calls, so he figured that was a good start. He didn’t last more than 2 months before he got rid of him.

    No clue what a distributor was, what a firing order was, what a coil is, or what any of that does. All the new cars these days are coil on plug, everything is marked, and that’s what they work on in school. No idea what a Chilton repair manual is either.

    To be totally honest, I’ve set 2 sets of points in my entire life. I know what they are, what they do, but it’s not something that guys even use anymore. Most cars have been swapped to electronic of some sort.

    Do as the machine tells you and don’t worry about the theory, how, or why....
     
  4. LeighP

    LeighP Veteran Member

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    When I built my 71, I bought a home alignment tool from Summit and set it up on the garage floor.
    After I got the car inspected and registered, I took it to an alignment shop I know that do old cars all the time. The guy told me afterwards that it was almost spot on.
    You'd be amazed how close you can get using the simple home alignment tools.
     
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  5. Bikefixr

    Bikefixr Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Been down this road many times. I just do my own. String. long levels, protractor, tape measure and spare naked rims. Shops do it by the book for liability reasons. If they deviate, and you get hurt and sue them, they have no defense. Shops by me won't even mount a larger than stock tire on my daily drivers.
     
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  6. ruthlessz28

    ruthlessz28 Veteran Member

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    I agree with most everything everyone says. New techs don't under stand alignment angles, don't know how to think on there own for a custom alignment. I've been doing alignments for over 20yrs. I know what I'm doing with or without a machine. I just reluctantly sent my truck to get alignment, (my current shop doesn't have a machine)(and I don't have a lot a spare time)3 attempts were made to align it couldn't do it ,it pisses me off the shop bragged that there tech has been doing alignments for9-10 yrs but couldn't do a simple alignment. I'll be making time this weekend to align it myself.
     
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  7. Ozz1967

    Ozz1967 New Member

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    They all send them to school to learn the machine, but with new cars, they go by the machine specs and the machines don't understand if it's not programmed into them. It takes years to gain the understanding of how to set specs. The question is, will a machine allow you to set specs sent by a customer if they put the machine into the red? I think so but as Bikefixr said, it's probably a liability issue.
     
  8. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    yup on that liability thing. The little bitty shop i have been going to for 20 yrs has always worked with me when doing "different stuff"......AFTER HRS! Helped a friend on his bracket car. We swapped out the front clip to a heidt's . Trailered it to the shop. At 1700 hrs fired it up drove it in and XXXX set up the front end then we weighed it out made a few other tweeks...Paid BUSINESS "fee" then labor charge.
     
  9. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Mayor of Simpleton Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Biker, how was the guy's attitude when you went back? I didn't realize it was a dealership. If that guy spent his career working on Toyotas it's expected the Camaro would put him off his game. You get set with one manufacture and everything else starts to seem weird.
     
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  10. OFLHLG

    OFLHLG New Member

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    Yes this is a problem. I have a 70 1/2 and I have no idea where to take it to get an alignment.... it does need an alignment. It’s really scary....There anybody around anymore who can do these
     

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