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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

Does anyone know if getting a wheel alignment is necessary after JUST getting wheels/tyres done?

I know you have to when you change or modify suspension, But I am not sure if i should get a wheel alignment done now, or wait until I get suspension as I dont want to wear out my new tyres!

Any ideas from the know?
Cheers
 

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Did you change the size of your Wheel/Tire? If its the same size as stock then no. But if its different then yes I would get one. All depends on when you plan on doing you suspension. If its a month down the road i'd wait. But if its 6 months i'd get it done.
 

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Changing your wheels/tires does NOT affect your alignment angles. Unless they were unnecessarily rough with the car, your alignment should not be affected. As long as your alignment angles, specifically camber, are appropriate for the size of tire/wheel that you are using, you will not need to get an alignment any more after you changed the tires/before than you did before you changed them.

However, the factory alignment is TERRIBLE, and making sure that your alignment is correct is important if you wish to retain any sort of even tire wear. Basically, get an alignment soon if you haven't gotten one already since you've had the car, and then get one every few thousand miles depending on what kind of driving you do and when you suspect it is off. I get one about every 20k, and at signs that the alignment is off.
 

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lol i get one like every 5k :(
 

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lol i get one like every 5k :(
I WOULD get one every 5k if it weren't so hard to find someone who can do a decent alignment. Most places just throw it into the green and try to kick you out the door despite you telling them exactly what angles you want, and usually they completely neglect centering the wheel. The number of times where I've had to remind them what I explicitly told them when I initially brought my car in is pretty amazing. The poor quality work that is somehow acceptable in the car service industry is pretty pathetic. I need to find a shop here in CO that I can trust who does decent alignments/balancing. Those are the two things that seem to be the hardest to find someone who does them correctly. I don't enjoy having to spend two hours while a shop has to pull my car in two or three separate times to do something that should only take them one try if they were even halfway attempting to do a decent job.
 

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yeah my best friend of 12 years does my alignments and i help him so i know it gets done right. i just have to stop putting on parts and messin with stuff so i can stop gettin alignments
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Man its good to see people into it as much as me. I service my car also like 500km's before its due and it makes me sick when people leavfe for like 5000km's past.

Anyways my question has sort of been answered, thanks! but for the sake of it, I had the stock 17x7 205/50 rubber on it. And now have 18x8 225/40 rubber on it. Very similar in terms of absolute differences.

So in other words, from what I gather, if I am gettting suspension done before christmas, wait then get it done. Also, once I have done it, get it done every so often cause its not a thing that is stable from that point on! Every 5km's or at least at/before service sounds good.

I know a guy who gets wet doing alignments (he's very good) but he he's probably thinking of the $115 bucks he charges...

Whats it worth to you guys?
 

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I would get it done because there is such a huge allowable discrepancy with the stock settings from the factory. I usually get it done with every 2 tire changes just to make sure. On average, I have noticed differences of about 5-10% even with hard driving for example: -1 deg to -1.1. $55 four corners with camber adjustments.
 

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Changing your wheels/tires does NOT affect your alignment angles. Unless they were unnecessarily rough with the car, your alignment should not be affected. As long as your alignment angles, specifically camber, are appropriate for the size of tire/wheel that you are using, you will not need to get an alignment any more after you changed the tires/before than you did before you changed them.

However, the factory alignment is TERRIBLE, and making sure that your alignment is correct is important if you wish to retain any sort of even tire wear. Basically, get an alignment soon if you haven't gotten one already since you've had the car, and then get one every few thousand miles depending on what kind of driving you do and when you suspect it is off. I get one about every 20k, and at signs that the alignment is off.
This is correct a swap of wheels/tires isnt a breach of the alignment. Working for Goodyear for 5 yrs prior to service, rule of thumb (any suspension part removed) get a alignment, your car pulls either side in a straight line while not accelerating get one and the obvious abnormal tire wear rear/front.
 

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I got a question... I have 20k + miles on my car. It tracks straight, tire ware is even, brakes are good. Hopefully Santa is bringing me cash to purchase a set of sways and endlinks ;D. I was going to install them and then have the alingment looked at, but I want to makes sure that I bring it to a shop that will do it right. Are there any tell tale signs that a shop is good, in other words, what should I look for in a good shop?
Thanks in advance ....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Im not sure about tell tale signs, but get a shop that doesnt specialise in crap boxes!! I got a guy who does normal cars but also does a bit of racing work and has a bilstein suspension shop he owns next door...
He also was kind enough to talk about camber set up etc... if the shop is clean, that helps IMO also..
 

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Just make sure the shop is capable of a 4 wheel alignment on your car. If they are most likely its going to cost between $50-70. Most new machines are capable of printing out your cars specs to whats adjusted on a hard copy, ask for it and tell them its for your personnel records. You also may want them to explain it. I will have numbers that "SHOULD" be 0'ed out. But yea any shop that sells new tires should do alignments.
 

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Im not sure about tell tale signs, but get a shop that doesnt specialise in crap boxes!! I got a guy who does normal cars but also does a bit of racing work and has a bilstein suspension shop he owns next door...
He also was kind enough to talk about camber set up etc... if the shop is clean, that helps IMO also..
One of my favorite alignment shops is in a dirty old building near the airport in Indianapolis. They are a bunch of old school mechanics. I don't think there's one computer in the actual garage.

Generally though I look for a shop that can give me a print-out, and I try to stay away from MOST large service chains. Sort of a trial and error thing though. Two of the most annoying things are finding shops that can either do a proper wheel balance or proper alignment. Most of them seem to rush the jobs.
 

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i have actually sat in my car twice before during wheel allignments. the first time i was asked to and the last time i asked to myself. when i was asked the first time, i was impressed w/ the technician for actually asking me to sit in the car, the car was a 87 v6 fiero gt and it handled like poop before but so much better after the tweak. if you have lowered your wrx w/ softer cobb springs or the like, make sure you sit in the car while you get it done so that the geometry is correct when you are in the car. i also feel that it is important to get a proper allignment before you start trying to dial in oversteer w/ sways. so much understeer can be eliminated by chamber adjustments alone before buying a massive rear swaybar. ;)

as far as clean shops go... it just means they clean their shop more than a dirty shop, not that they are better mechanics.
 

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You cant trick the type of machine im talking about, it uses laser heads to find exact wheel angles. The front heads have to lasers ones that go the rear heads(rear wheels) and from side to side on the front. The mech cant make bogus #'s on the printout. Plus big chains will gaurentee their work, atleast Dobbs and Goodyear in Stl MO did. I dont see how its even possible to do an actual alignment with out a machine.

Forgot to mention, its good pratice to get the wheels balence every time you get a alignment, this also preserves tire life. A bad balance is a good for chopped tires and a annoying shimmey.
 
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