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Old 02-05-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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Front End Alignment

I had new tires install today. Front end is way off and called around for a price. I'm getting mixed messages here. Some say front end only, some say all 4 wheels etc . Whats the deal there? Thanks
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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the only part of your alignment which is adjustable is the front toe (tie rods).
Other sections (front camber/rear camber/rear toe) can be moved, but the labor costs are prohibitive, as the mechanic will have to install shims.
I vaguely remember a company which sells an aftermarket kit for the front camber, which really wasn't too unreasonable, but the rears can get complicated.
I used to work for a tire shop and they charged $80+ for an alignment (whatever could be adjusted, 2 wheel or 4, all the same price, and we didn't deal with the aftermarket shim kits

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Old 02-08-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
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I do alignments at Sears. Alignment should cost around 70 bucks for the HHR, but as wysguy stated, front toe only. Camber kit should be about $25 per wheel, and about 20 each to install. The mechanic simply removes a bolt on the strut and replaces it with the new camber bolt kit. It only needs to be done ONCE.....the camber is then forever adjustable.

If you are at all mechanical, install the bolts yourself(one per strut), then drive IMMEDIATELY to the shop for the alignment. Read the instructions, some vehicles need the TOP bolt replaced, some the bottom bolt.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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$65 for a front alignment at the dealer.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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As upnorthhhr said there is only front toe that can be adjusted. If the rear needs any adjustment shims will have to be installed it can get very pricey and a pain in the but! It is a four wheel alignment because the front is truly aligned from the rear. As long as the rear is not badly out then it will not hurt much as long as you keep your tires rotated on a regular basis. I recomend to my customers to rotate every 5-6000 miles. Toe is really the only adjustment on the front unless camber bolts are installed on the top bolt hole of the strut. There's no adjustment for caster, all though if you need caster to be adjusted you can if someone take the time to drill out or slot where the top of the strut is bolted in the body but it can be a real pain in the butt. If you do need any caster adjustment you most likely have something bent in the front end. Same goes for the rear if you need a big adjustment you may have something bent. I hope this helps good luck.
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