A couple of weeks ago I got a wheel alignment on my '04 Camry 4cyl.
All 4 wheels were changed. I had just gotten a new set of tires, and
I got the alignment because the tread was wearing in a consistent
taper down from inside to outside.
Since the alignment the car drifts to the left on all roads. It did
not drift before the alignment.
Can we agree the wheel alignment was done wrong?
Maybe, maybe not. It might be related to the new tires; sometimes
mismatched tires (one tire notably larger than the one on the other
side) or a fault in the construction of one of the tires can cause a
pull. Try rotating the tires to see if the pull changes; if it does
not then it's a fair bet that the alignment is off.
Absolutely. In fact, a strangely worn tire can cause a pull when you
correct its alignment. If this is the case, it will return to running
straight and narrow once the tires wear down evenly.
Or as others have mentioned, swap the tires left to right and see what
If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times. "Car
started to pull after tires replaced."
All too often the lazy tire franchise sweeps the problem under the rug
by rotating the offending pair of tires to the back -- also a
favorite trick for tires that do not balance satisfactorily.
Of course the problem comes back at the first maintenance rotation.
A.K.A. Discount Tire/Americas Tire. They burned me one time too many,
including destroying two wheel studs on my truck by hammering the lug
nuts on when the threads were dry and needed anti-sieze, and putting
some major gouges into the back side of the rim on my car when their
mounting machine slipped. Personally, I won't be going back.
You can mount your own tires, and at least static balance them
yourself, without much in the way of investment. A bit on the labor
intensive side, but at least you have total control over what does and
Now I happen to have alloy wheels that go for $200 U.S. _EACH_
That's $800 worth of rims, and I'm not eager to hand them over to some
guy who is watching the clock to see when it's time to punch out.
I would rather just buy the tires, and do them one at a time by
myself. Yes it will take -me- forever, but I won't be chopping up my
wheels and studs.
OTOH, I am almost certain that NOBODY considers this job a DIY.
It's a PITA though if you don't have a permanent pad to mount your tire
changer on. And low profile tires are near impossible to break the
beads on without a professional-style tire changer, the Harbor Freight
manual deal isn't going to cut it. (BTDT)
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
==============================================================>It's a PITA though if you don't have a permanent pad to mount your tire
I've been reading up on this Nate. It looks like
pneumatics/hydraulics are really necessary to create the forces needed
to break the beads without damaging the wheels. And the last price I
saw for a Pro model was just short of $7,000 U.S.
OTOH, who needs a used tire? Who give a s**t what shape it is in when
you take it off the wheel? It isn't like you're going to use it
again. So cut the f**ker off with a saw, staying away, of course from
the soft alloy metal of the rim. That takes care of punching the bead
off the rim.
If you manage to mount the new one, bring it up to 40 psi max and with
the proper bead lube it should seat. If it doesn't, break the bead,
relube, and try it again.
The only rub is the steel belts in the radials. So use a cut-off saw
to lance the tire in multiple places, and a hydraulic floor jack to
force the rubber away from the wheels rims. If you put the rubber
between a hydraulic floor jack and a hard place, it's gonna come
loose. I'll make a bet on that.
I was offered a "Big Four" tire changer for $250 a couple weeks ago.
For me the appeal was not only that it looked like it could be made
functional fairly easily, but it still had the "Studebaker Corporation"
tag on it.
I didn't take it because I have a) no shop air (working on that) and b)
no space to permanently devote to it.
I care about used tires because it seems like I'm always trying
different sized tires and/or refinishing wheels (I work on a lot of old
I seem to not have trouble mounting/dismounting bias ply tires, FWIW.
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
You know the old saying: "necessity is the mother of invention"
I figure I can make use of an old I-beam to provide a *frame* in which
to put the rubber part of the tire/wheel and the hydraulic floor jack.
Sort of like a square and force the rubber up against the I-beam
keeping the metal wheel away from it at the same time. That has to
break the bead. I mean, depending on the dimensions of the *box* I
build, I can use a bottle jack up to 30 TONS, or a little floor jack
at 1.5 tons. I can promise that the rubber is going to move -away-
from the wheel rim seats with that kind of force, especially applied
to only one part of the tire at a time. In fact, when breaking the
bead on an ENTIRE tire at a time, the pro machines only use up to
3,000 pounds of force. Imagine what I can do with a hydraulic jack.
Now I look at it this way, I've got $800 of wheel rims, and with tires
at about $100 each, that's $1,200 dollars worth of rolling stock. To
me, that might as well be a million dollars. So if I can make
something out of Salvage Junk that does what I want it to, the deed is
done. All I have to do is some welding/cutting with an oxy-acetylene
torch to build my *rig* and I have it for Life, which in my case,
might mean until next month. When not in use, I lean it up against
the inside of my garage.
The question is: "Is it worth the trouble" ??????
Stanfa Auto around here is pretty good, and they can do the job before
I go through 3 cups of coffee. And I don't even have to get my hands
I can go either way with this. Let the pros not only mount my tires,
but also dynamically balance them, whereas I would only be able to
static balance them. Then I don't have to do _anything_ except reach
in my wallet and hand over some dough.
OTOH, my stepfather would have jumped my a$$ for being a nitwit and
paying someone else to do something I can do for myself.
It's a toss up. Right now, I know they can do the job, they have the
equipment, they have the experience. They can get my car "in and out"
in the time it takes me to eat lunch.
Than again, I can do a *fair* job myself, as long as I'm willing to
manhandle some weight and get my hands dirty. But the tires won't be
dynamically balanced. And I have to go out and get a wheel weight
set. The I-beam...they're a dime a dozen at the local dumps. If you
can haul em away, you can get em for dirt cheap.
Why do it myself? The answer is the same as why do all of us here on
rec.autos.tech do our own work and not farm it all out to other
a) because we want the job done right
b) because we might be doing a custom job that would cost too much for
somebody else to do
c) because we're an independent lot
d) because we have a need to feel cold steel in our hands and use our
e) because we're living on a shoestring and DIY is the cheapest way
Pick and choose. I believe I fall into all of the above categories, a
through e inclusive.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.