Author Topic: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?  (Read 4428 times)

henry510

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What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« on: July 06, 2018, 09:53:43 AM »
Just checking to see if anyone has experience or advice on front alignment that won't hold (usually toe in) for more than 3k- and it isn't due to getting big air or big bumps offroad! I just installed 5 new KO2's and want to protect the investment.

It's a 97 Montero SR with 244K.

I've just replaced all bearings, sway bar end links front and rear (Moog), sway bar bushings front and rear (Moog), all four shocks with 5100 Bils, upper and lower control arm bushings with siberian and new OEM ball joints- both because it's time and to see if that will help.

Outer tie rod ends still seem solid- and were replaced with OEM ~30K ago.

Next up are new torsion rods and trailing arm bushings and an adjustable panhard.

I can't think of anything else but any advice would be appreciated. Again brand new tires all around so don't want to trash them!
1997 Montero SR- 242K and counting

S298WP

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 09:57:42 AM »
Mine falls out a lot too. But bashing rocks and 33s don't help.
Firestone does a lifetime alignment. Well worth the money!

henry510

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 10:35:29 AM »
Yes- I'm already on the alignment shop frequent flyer program!  :)
1997 Montero SR- 242K and counting

Shovel

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 10:45:25 AM »
I'd be a little concerned about this because our alignments are not dependent on cams or friction so the only way they can fall out of alignment is if something is bending or breaking.

For example on my fullsize truck the alignment is dictated by a set of eccentric cams on the LCA's and if they are torqued to the correct spec the only thing that is holding it in alignment is the 3ish square inches per eccentric cam washer, times whatever PSI they're being smashed down to their bracket with.    It's just friction and it can slip if it gets slammed hard so then it needs to be aligned again.

But on the Montero your camber is managed by shims, they should not be slipping.    Your caster is fixed unless you're in a collision,  then it can be sort of fudged a little bit with unequal (round!!!!) shimming and minor suggestions to the UCA pivot.    Your toe is hard set by the tie rods.      None of these things can move unless they're bent or worn out.

So if your toe is changing you're either beating the absolute crap out of the vehicle or you have a worn part you haven't yet addressed.     Have you done the idler bushings (or idler assembly) ?   How's your steering box? 

henry510

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 10:57:53 AM »
No collisions (knock wood-  I'm the original owner so that is for sure. According to the tire shop readout- caster reads in spec (2.8L and 2.3R)

I did a new OEM idler arm early this year. The pitman arm was done a few years back.

I've not messed with the steering box ever- though now that you mention it, I get the sense of a little clunk in the steering wheel when going over something just right. It's not something I can reproduce but more something I think is there.

I live in CA so the roads are crap- especially in my town- but my wife's Civic holds alignment for 5 years at a time on the same roads! Yes, I drive a bit off the beaten path but it's really more dirt road than full on offroad. I'm certainly not beating on it.

1997 Montero SR- 242K and counting

Crumb

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 03:38:21 PM »
 Honestly, your setup should be able to take a severe beating offroad and hold just fine. These things don't get knocked out of alignment easily, my first thought is that your bearing preload is incorrect. This is a semi common issue, for what ever reason guys don't trust the FSM or do them by feel (shops are notorious for the by feel method) or without the proper tool you might not get an accurate reading for your initial preload. I would check that and then make sure your idler (joint and kingpin) and pitman arms are in good shape.

henry510

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 09:38:29 AM »
Thanks for the advice on the preload. I just did my bearings myself and unfortunately did it by feel since I don't have the tool!  :-\ I'll try get hold of a tool and check it out. The pitman was done a few years back so maybe time to give that another looksee.
1997 Montero SR- 242K and counting

concealer404

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 10:29:24 AM »
Can someone explain to me like i'm 12 years old how bearing (wheel bearing right?) preload messes with alignment?
1998 Montero Winter Package (For Sale)
1994 FZJ80 Land Cruiser (Wife's)
2006 V8 4Runner Sport Edition (Mine)

Crumb

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 01:10:25 PM »
The bearings get loose and let's say there is ⅛" of play at each hub, now we get it aligned at the shop. There is still " of overall slop compounded by whatever size tire, maybe 15" away from that bearing center could be " toe in or out.  I'm not great at explaining things especially alignment but they shouldn't even set your alignment if the wheel bearings are not done correctly however if they're just cranked down by "feel" they tend to go loose after some driving. Now your alignment is no good, been there, got the shirt.

concealer404

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 01:14:54 PM »
Ok so, if the truck is in the air and there's no perceivable slop when you shake a wheel, nor any shitty noises while driving, chances are you're good?

I'm kinda asking in conjunction with the snap ring question i bugged you about earlier.  I think all that is fine, but i'm really reaching at this point.
1998 Montero Winter Package (For Sale)
1994 FZJ80 Land Cruiser (Wife's)
2006 V8 4Runner Sport Edition (Mine)

IncorpoRatedX

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 11:56:23 AM »
Just got an update text about this. Yikes! His ball joint bolts worked loose.

concealer404

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 12:01:00 PM »
Just got an update text about this. Yikes! His ball joint bolts worked loose.

Yup.  Hoping that's it, but it's hard to diagnose further with this particular f***ery going on.

I also checked ASA to see if there was a washer of some sort that was supposed to go behind the outer CV snap ring (outside of spindle/hub) and didn't see anything. 1/8" of available movement in the CV shaft seems a bit weird to me, but i've only messed with axle NUTS in the past, not snap rings.
1998 Montero Winter Package (For Sale)
1994 FZJ80 Land Cruiser (Wife's)
2006 V8 4Runner Sport Edition (Mine)

Shovel

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 12:05:57 PM »
Yes there is a very thin washer between the snap ring and hub sun on the outer cv

concealer404

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2018, 12:08:33 PM »
Yes there is a very thin washer between the snap ring and hub sun on the outer cv

Neat.  My truck apparently didn't get that option.  Any chance of a part number?  Can't find it in ASA diagrams.

To be sure we're on the same page:  I'm talking end that's covered by the hammered-on cover.  Outside face of wheel.
1998 Montero Winter Package (For Sale)
1994 FZJ80 Land Cruiser (Wife's)
2006 V8 4Runner Sport Edition (Mine)

Shovel

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Re: What to do about an alignment that won't hold?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 12:14:53 PM »
Correct, outside wheel end of CV, under the dust cover.   There is the split ring that fits into the groove in the splined end of the shaft and holds it into the hub assembly, and behind that a very thin washer.  Thin both in its side profile and its outer radius, maybe 2.5mm larger outside diameter than inside.

I have not needed one yet so I don't know the part number, will see if I can rustle something up