Anybody know what front-end alignment adjustments are possible on an '03
Dakota? Of course toe, but what about caster & camber?
Also, for any service folks, what's up with a "4-wheel" alignment from the
dealer? My invoice listed a 4-wheel alignment. Even though I paid the
advertised price on my discount coupon ($49.95), is this just a scam to
jack up the cost of a RWD front end alignment? TIA.
according to the factory service manual there are still camber and caster
adjustments on the 4wd and 2wd trucks as i suspected. (i havent worked on
the suspension of the DR trucks so i had to look to be absolutively sure)
Your 4 wheel alighnment should actually be a "Thrust angle alighnment" there
are no adjustments on a leaf spring suspension in the rear, but you can
measure the "Thrust angle" or the way the rear end sits in the vehicle and
adjust the front end to compensate (your actually alighning the car to the
way it gets pushed down the road). i hope that answers your question on 4
Chris, thanks for the response. Comments/questions below...
Do you know if caster/camber adjustment requires shims, or is it simply
adjusting existing components?
Indeed. I get the point about the thrust angle alignment, but I guess
the point is that there's no real "adjustment" to the rear. The thrust
angle is what it is. Any/all adjustments are to the front end only.
I have no idea, but i brought my 2wd 98 dodge dakota pickup into NTB
for new tires and alignment. I read over the printout afterwards and
notice that only the toes and cambers (front tires) were adjusted or
changed.....I asked why the casters were not adjusted, even though
are out of the proper range (according to printout), and the front
guy said he didn't think they could be adjusted (I didn't talk to the
alignment guy because the place was closing that night....I'll
go back...but first I want to become a little informed before doing
that). Drove the truck home and it handles quite well, but ......
still think they were probably just cutting corners (?). I do
remember the same thing happening about 5 years ago...NTB said
something to the effect that "not good to adjust the casters....can
throw off the toe" (or something vaguely similar to that).
p.s. Left caster is 4.9 but the correct range is: 2.5 to 3.5
RIGHT caster: same as above
Actually, i don't know if they did a good job with the camber and toe,
because they certainly didn't move the numbers anywhere into the
of the correct ranges, although they did put everything into the
correct ranges (but on the "edges" of the range, in some cases, if you
know what I mean).
That is exactly why the toe in is set LAST. You need to find an alignment
shop and forget these monkeys. They don't even lie well.
It seems to me NTB is owned by Sears? Sears has a VERY long history of
problems with auto service. My first memorable experience with Sears was in
1970, tried to sell ball joints for a 1970 Pontiac Bonneville with 2,000
miles on it. Those original ball joints lasted beyond 100,000 miles. Next
up was Die Hard batteries then the "incredi-cell" battery. Both were note
worthy as short lived. Adding insult to injury was a load test at 65%
capacity for five (5) yes five freaking seconds and then (the voltage
indicator fell like a rock at 5 seconds, this after an overnight charge)
proclaiming the battery "passed" the load test, one of the biggest crocks
I've ever seen perpetrated. I always expected a good battery to hold full
rated load for a full minute. 1985 was my last experience with Sears auto
centers. Over the years I've heard many stories about Sears auto service
and a few class action law suits.
I guess I should say something good about Sears, we did like the Sears
branded Michelin radial tires. Even Sears didn't manage to screw that up.
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