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Too low to align? Is this bs?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Eagletucky, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Eagletucky
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 728


    Took my 52 dodge truck to the alignment shop today. When I picked it up this afternoon, the guy at the shop stated the truck was too low. The truck body is sitting on a stock s-10 chassis, but the body is channeled. The guy said the front fender was too low and interfered with the laser.

    This sounds like b.s. Anyone else had this problem?
  2. Trade tech learning at its best :D. Just say'n, find yourself an old school shop that knows how to do so called off the wall stuff. It's amazes me how all these laser guys don't know how to alignments.
  3. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,999


    Buy wider wheels, LOL.
  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    If you can find a shop that saved the old setup; the kind that has magnetic heads that fit onto the bearing hub. Those don't need lasers or light beams for caster/camber settings.

    Toe might be a problem depending on what they have.

    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 113


    yes its posible if its a old alignment machine that the lazer couldnt see across the front. call around to see has a new one and it will work. the new ones read forward not across.
  6. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,447


    Yep, find an old school mechanic that's capable of reading a yardstick...laser alignment guru's are only for Hondas, Toyotas and newer cars...

  7. trailer-Ed
    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 1,778

    from JC, MO

    Yes this happened to me not long ago on my 40 ford coupe. I had to pull the front fenders off for the alignment. I'll have to do the same on my Thames as well. Just part of having them low. With an independant front end you really need a good laser allignment!!
  8. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,520

    Atwater Mike

    Typical! I see this more in frame and alignment shops than any place else!

    "Ignore the history! We can change it anyway." -You know who.
  9. cheveey57
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 676


    Yes it IS B.S. The B.S. is the fact that these "so called" wheel alignment experts can't do anything without a laser or a computer.
  10. Zombie Duck
    Joined: Oct 6, 2010
    Posts: 101

    Zombie Duck

    They use lasers for that now? When did that happen?:confused: I love living in a small town.:rolleyes:
  11. newsomtravis
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 562

    from pville, ca

    yeah, wasn`t b.s., now go to a real alignment shop that knows how to do it, not just watch a computer screen and follow the directions on it.......don`t need any fancy laser job to do a good alignment on and old car or truck, waste of money if ya ask me, they just buy those so they don`t have to hire a skilled alignment guy....just some kid straight outta high school and pay minimum wage....
  12. dalesdeadbug
    Joined: Oct 28, 2010
    Posts: 36

    from cincinnati

    the shop i work at has a top of the line hunter alignment machine and it really isnt bs. it does a great job on any kind of car especially one with independent front suspension but the targets can have problems working when cars are really low. that being said you can usually do one thing or another to trick the machine into working for you
  13. In my area there are a number of shops that use the old style machines that read front to rear.Some use projected light that is reflected off of mirrors that are attach to the wheels and project the angles on a screen in front of the car.It doesn't matter how low the vehicle is.Old schoolers will tell you that those machines are just as accurate as the new state of the art stuff.The new machines just require a lower skill level to get the equipment set up properly. Shop around,I'm sure someone can handle the job.
  14. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,253

    Beef Stew
    from So Cal

    Not BS at all. My OT daily driver is 3.5" off the ground and I've been told before that it was too low to align. Took it to a shop with a different setup and had no problems. Just call around.
  15. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    Learn how to do it yourself, it's a lot easier to do your own alignment than to pull your fenders. This laser exactness would last about 8 minutes around here, I hit a canyon full of water and bent the frame on an F350 last month. I think it will be out of adjustment a touch.
  16. itsnotaratrod
    Joined: May 18, 2010
    Posts: 50

    from california

    we dont use lasers anymore[the latest ones anyway] .. his machine is an older model or a cheaper one ...with these models a laser is sent around the entire car any thing in the beams path will disrupt the laser and the measurement.. the new ones use a camra system that just reflects from a tower in front of the car . so the only thing that holds us back is being able to clamp the heads on the wheel or that the car is to low to get on our rack sense we dont have pits.. All we do at our shop is alignments..
  17. Ya I bashed new tech's and the machines. But your last sentance says alot. Theres not many guys like you that are willing to work around the set standard way of useing them. And there are far fewer that seem to really understand they basics.
  18. newsomtravis
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 562

    from pville, ca

    shop around you can buy your own caster camber guage for 99 bucks on sale your own trammel bar and and be done with alignment shops forever........
  19. itsnotaratrod
    Joined: May 18, 2010
    Posts: 50

    from california

    you should be able to calibrate the machine for the heads being lower or higher , when the machine was set up originaly its programed in for the avrage cars ride hight.. this is in a pitt ??
  20. gtkane
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 327


    That's exactly what we did for a club members 47 chev that is about 4 inches off of the ground.
    We did the caster/camber and toe with the heads at the lowest setting.
    It has been 3 years, and he hasn't scrubbed the tires off yet!
  21. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    what they never aligned a Miata, or Vette..I call Bull shit..

    Anyways, I was told the same thing about my 53 i took it to a shop that knew how to work on cars instead of how to turn away business..

    all they need to do is use a few 2x12's and lay them on top of each other (one longer than the other on each side) in front of the machine and dive on..
    if they cant figure that out, i wouldnt want them to be working on my car anyways

    Now i guess it could matter with some of the new fangled machines, i dont know, i dont go to those..go to an old school alignment shop..
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  22. M_S
    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
    Posts: 542

    from SoCal

    Find a shop with a scrub gauge, or build some toe plates and do it yourself.
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,819


    The guys who suggested this are correct. The laser alignment machines are nice and a real selling agent for the techs who operate them but find a shop that has a gage like F&J or one of the others suggested and you will be fine. Wheels were aligned with bubble gauges for around 80 years before the hi tech stuff showed up and most good front end guys still use their bubble gage to check the high zoot one and make sure it is working right.

    One suggestion, see if you can flag down a Snap On truck and ask the person driving it if any of his customers still use a Snap On Caster/camber gage (the bubble kind)

    Every operator of one of those fancy machines will at sometime tell you that it is "just as accurate as a Snap On gage if he has been around for a while.

    The guy who has that style gage will know how to set the toe in without an issue but a scrub gage as someone else mentioned makes that pretty simple.
    You might find shops that can't get the rig on the rack because it is too low but it shouldn't be that hard to find someone who can.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,819


    It isn't at all, the hats (adapters) that clip to the wheels to hang the laser equipment on to check the alignment won't clear the fenders. Some of that crap is pretty big and made for the big modern wheel wells. He just has to go to someone who has the old bubble gage.
  25. itsnotaratrod
    Joined: May 18, 2010
    Posts: 50

    from california

    mr48 is correct the heads are not made to work with cars that have fenders that cover the top of the wheel .. dating back to the late 80's they have been designed for cars that dont have fenders this large..
  26. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


  27. ironpile
    Joined: Jul 3, 2005
    Posts: 915


    I agree with Johnny.
  28. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    Buy the tools and do it yourself, then you can align your own cars.
  29. we got two shops tha ONLY do it the old school way,funny they get them dead on when we leave..........amd cheap
  30. 4tl8ford
    Joined: Sep 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,087

    from Erie, Pa

    Are there state minimium requirements? If you under you to low.

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