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Old 10-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
Teddy7
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Adjusted my toe. Car drives straight as an arrow now

This isn't for those people who want computer straight alignment. Just pay the 80 bucks or whatever it is and get it done right. I just slide my car around a lot and usually buy used pairs of tires more often than whole sets of 4, so getting alignments all the time isn't really worth it to me. I had a slight pull to the right, but also some decent tramlining after putting my 18's on. This is usually common with cars that already had alignment issues. People think the wheels caused the issues but it's usually the wider tires just allowing the driver to notice, already evident, alignment problems. I started by giving just my right wheel toe-in. After a couple small adjustments my car was driving straight and now tramlining in both directions evenly instead of favoring right. Meaning both front wheels now needed even toe-in adjustment to improve straight line stability. After a few even adjustments to each side. Car is driving straight and true better than ever before. I caution if you don't do anything in your car, and go through tires at a normal extended rate, just go get an alignment. This is for those people who have tramlining issues, or a slight pull and don't want to get an alignment on used sets of tires. I drive my car hard and throw it into corners pretty rough, so I don't care to have it perfect. My car has no abnormal wear issues and can make tires last if I drive it normal. All I'm saying is I expect to make adjustments every time I get new tires, which I'm okay with. It literally takes me 10 minutes to adjust the toe from the time I turn off my car to the time I'm turning the key to go on a test drive.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Technically, you should not need to adjust the toe every time you get tires.

You're correct that the wider tires make the pre-existing issues more noticable. But now that the car has been straightened out, it should remain straight after you replace tires again.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Technically, you should not need to adjust the toe every time you get tires.

You're correct that the wider tires make the pre-existing issues more noticable. But now that the car has been straightened out, it should remain straight after you replace tires again.
That's what I'm hoping for, but I guess I'm trying to think conservatively. We'll see whenever I throw new tires on in the future if it holds true.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Changing tires never affects alignment. It might expose an alignment issue, but it's not like two brands of tires give your car more or less toe. It just so happens that after 30K-40K of one set of tires your car might need an alignment anyway and the new tires expose the bad angles.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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Changing tires never affects alignment. It might expose an alignment issue, but it's not like two brands of tires give your car more or less toe. It just so happens that after 30K-40K of one set of tires your car might need an alignment anyway and the new tires expose the bad angles.
Mmmmmmmm kind of. If your previous tires were wearing improperly, sometimes alignment shops will adjust them to wear to a more proper level. Then when you get new tires, you may find the alignment to be a little bit different.

This is for a relatively extreme case, by the way. I've had one of those - garbage tires made by Maxxis (never buy them unless they're bike tires!) that wore on all four edges only. They're horribly loud.

When I took the car to the dealership to get them aligned, they said they wouldn't be able to get it perfectly straight due to the weird wear pattern on all four tires.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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Changing tires never affects alignment. It might expose an alignment issue, but it's not like two brands of tires give your car more or less toe. It just so happens that after 30K-40K of one set of tires your car might need an alignment anyway and the new tires expose the bad angles.
Are you just reciting what I said in a different way? Read the whole post, we're on the same page.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Mmmmmmmm kind of. If your previous tires were wearing improperly, sometimes alignment shops will adjust them to wear to a more proper level. Then when you get new tires, you may find the alignment to be a little bit different.

This is for a relatively extreme case, by the way. I've had one of those - garbage tires made by Maxxis (never buy them unless they're bike tires!) that wore on all four edges only. They're horribly loud.

When I took the car to the dealership to get them aligned, they said they wouldn't be able to get it perfectly straight due to the weird wear pattern on all four tires.
...and this^ is so true. My buddy had a set of cheap tires on his car and I swear his volvo turned into a monster truck in terms of road noise.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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This isn't for those people who want computer straight alignment. Just pay the 80 bucks or whatever it is and get it done right. I just slide my car around a lot and usually buy used pairs of tires more often than whole sets of 4, so getting alignments all the time isn't really worth it to me. I had a slight pull to the right, but also some decent tramlining after putting my 18's on. This is usually common with cars that already had alignment issues. People think the wheels caused the issues but it's usually the wider tires just allowing the driver to notice, already evident, alignment problems. I started by giving just my right wheel toe-in. After a couple small adjustments my car was driving straight and now tramlining in both directions evenly instead of favoring right. Meaning both front wheels now needed even toe-in adjustment to improve straight line stability. After a few even adjustments to each side. Car is driving straight and true better than ever before. I caution if you don't do anything in your car, and go through tires at a normal extended rate, just go get an alignment. This is for those people who have tramlining issues, or a slight pull and don't want to get an alignment on used sets of tires. I drive my car hard and throw it into corners pretty rough, so I don't care to have it perfect. My car has no abnormal wear issues and can make tires last if I drive it normal. All I'm saying is I expect to make adjustments every time I get new tires, which I'm okay with. It literally takes me 10 minutes to adjust the toe from the time I turn off my car to the time I'm turning the key to go on a test drive.
I have a slight pull to the right also.
What are you doing to adjust yours?

(I have no experience with alignment or toe.)
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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If you have no experience with alignment, you should not be even thinking about touching anything.

OP, I have a question for you. Did you adjust front toe or rear toe?

I have some followup comments depending on your answer.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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If you have no experience with alignment, you should not be even thinking about touching anything.

OP, I have a question for you. Did you adjust front toe or rear toe?

I have some followup comments depending on your answer.
I agree I wouldn't necessarily go messing with things if you don't have some type of knowledge related to alignment. Yes I adjusted front toe, yet the back is equally important. I know there are many things that can make the alignment off. RTABs, etc. However, I'm not concerned with it being perfect as I've said before. I could visually see my front wheels had too much toe out before I made any adjustments. Yes, my rear alignment may have been causing the right pull, but I highly doubt it. I wasn't, and still am not, experiencing irregular wear issues of any kind. This isn't me telling people to do their own alignments, because you'll never beat the perfection of a computer program. This is just to let people know that it's rather simple to make these adjustments on our cars if they aren't super anal about their alignment or if they have a couple thousand miles left on their tires but don't want to get an alignment before they buy a new set. Only explaining myself, because I highly doubt you are going to enlighten me about something I'm not already aware of. Nevertheless, I'm all ears.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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Are you just reciting what I said in a different way? Read the whole post, we're on the same page.
I misunderstood the first time I read it. I thought you were suggesting that an alignment as something that needed to be done because you got new tires, but you were just saying you do it because your used tires aren't symmentrical and a custom alignment is needed to straighten the car out on the road.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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I have a slight pull to the right also.
What are you doing to adjust yours?

(I have no experience with alignment or toe.)
I can explain it, but I would be cautious with your inexperience with alignments. It's important to note your pull may be due to many factors aside from your wheels being out of alignment. So just keep that in mind. You have to get under the car and loosen your tie rod pinch nuts while keeping the tie rod stationary. Once the nut is loose, your tie rod essentially is able to spin freely. Depending on the direction you spin it is what determines more toe-in (front of wheels closer together) or more toe-out (Front of wheels further apart). Generally speaking, increased toe-in provides more straight-line stability and increased toe-out decreases straight-line stability. It may seem like a no brainer to just run more toe-in, but toe also affects turn-in ability and other aspects of the entire driving experience. Small adjustments to the tie rod make exponentially large differences, so if you decide to do this, take your time with minor adjustments and multiple test drives. Always make sure to re-tighten the pinch nut once you've made an adjustment. Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you kill yourself.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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I misunderstood the first time I read it. I thought you were suggesting that an alignment as something that needed to be done because you got new tires, but you were just saying you do it because your used tires aren't symmentrical and a custom alignment is needed to straighten the car out on the road.
Essentially, yes.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #14
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Priceless thread. For anyone reading, don't do this if you want your car to handle well, turn well or have tires last longer than 2000 miles.

I get what you are doing and it actually seems like you do know (some) about aligning a car. Bet that tramlining would have gone away with the stock wheels...
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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Priceless thread. For anyone reading, don't do this if you want your car to handle well, turn well or have tires last longer than 2000 miles.

I get what you are doing and it actually seems like you do know (some) about aligning a car. Bet that tramlining would have gone away with the stock wheels...
No. Tramlining, would be reduced with stock wheels. All wider wheels do is increase the tramlining effects that are already there. I'll put money down my car handles, turns, and goes through tires just as well as the rest of the cars on this forum. I've had the car long enough to know how long tires last me when I don't mess around on them. They last ages. It's not a track car by any means, but I have my car handling exactly how I need it to for what I use it for. I get where you are coming from, but I've repeatedly stated how this only applies to a small population on the forums. It's much easier to criticize things when you haven't tried them and just go off habit. Nothing beats a shops alignment if done right, so don't think I am suggesting people to do their own in order to get a perfect alignment. I did this to reduce Ackerman effect paired with other aspects that I've already stated. My car isn't some drift machine. It's far from it. Open diff, low hp, etc. I compensate for this with know-how in suspension setups for what I want. For example I may run less toe-in in the rear, maybe even some toe-out, for the future in order to encourage my rear end to slide out easier. I basically like oversteer and getting sideways. Nothing else equates to it, or makes me as happy, when I'm driving. I simply have a love for drifting, even if it's just measly me in my 325i in the rain. Rain is the only way it works though, I will admit that. It helps reduce tire wear and gives me tons of practice time. I can do it in the dry all day, but definitely not in my car. Please just don't start with the open diff discussion because I'll squash it with plenty of videos keeping continuous drifts with mine. LSDs and Welded are so much easier, but opens work. They are just very unpredictable.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #16
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I recently rotated my tires and now she's pulling to the left. So I switched the two fronts (which used to be the rears) and it still pulls... The tread wear is not so noticeably uneven to suggest the cause.
Could adjusting my toe help? And how is that done?
I don't want to get an alignment yet because I'm waiting for my new control arms to arrive...
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #17
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No. You have no idea without measuring what the effects of your adjustment will be.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:21 AM   #18
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I recently rotated my tires and now she's pulling to the left. So I switched the two fronts (which used to be the rears) and it still pulls... The tread wear is not so noticeably uneven to suggest the cause.
Could adjusting my toe help? And how is that done?
I don't want to get an alignment yet because I'm waiting for my new control arms to arrive...
It's honestly not worth messing with if you have new arms coming in. Just try and deal with it and go get an actual alignment once they are installed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:30 AM   #19
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No. You have no idea without measuring what the effects of your adjustment will be.
This is true, but it's not rocket science. My car drives more straight then it ever has with a shop alignment. I had alignments, with printouts, done on my car and they could never get it to not pull slightly in one direction or the other. Obviously something (i.e. a bushing, something bent, etc.) is causing it, but I would much rather just adjust it myself and get it how I have it now. It has been quite a while since I made the adjustments and no abnormal or increased tire wear is anywhere to be found. It is honestly ridiculous how straight it drives even though I did these adjustments with no measurements whatsoever. I can let go of the wheel on the highway and count to 20 (try this, 20 seconds is longer than you think) or so before it starts getting close to one line or the other (depending on road imperfections). Just don't think I am suggesting this in place of real alignments. I'm not a computer. This is for people who need a temporary fix between actual alignments and aren't looking for perfect.
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