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On my 3rd Eldorado - 2000 ESC
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2002 Eldorado with 25K miles... my 4th Eldorado (the only car I ever want!) It pulls to the left so I went for alignment and attached are the "Before" and "After"... Should I have insisted on better results or what? They asked me if the car was ever in an accident and if any suspension modifications were done halfway through the work. The Carfax showed no accidents and far as I know, no mods.... Any ideas?
And I don't know if it's my imagination, but after this alignment, it seems to make a lot of racket while driving...like my 2000 with 220K miles I just replaced with this one. I'm pretty worried...

align1.png
585416
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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981 Posts
Ok, the pictures represent how close to mfg spec the setup is.
  • green good, red bad
  • the valley is the spec range with the upper and lower amounts of the spec shown left and right of the valley
  • the deeper valley is ideal
  • The actual measurement is down in the mIddle
  • the little vertical black like out a visual image of the actual measurement.
Caster shows how much forward the lower ball joint is pushed forward of the upper ball joint. A little positiVe is good as it helps with keeping wheels aligned when driving forward
  • caster is only measured on the steering wheels
  • caster is typically not adjustable (unless you acquire race set up suspension items like adult mounts etc)
  • out of alignment typically is an sign of some suspension /frame damage. Could also be a strut mount that is loose, shifted, etc
  • your right front is out a bit
Camber shows how much the top of wheel is tilted in or out. Typically, typical road car is verticle or tilted in a teeny bit. The teeny bit allows the wheel to go verticle on a turn and place all of the tread
- you are a negative, the better side, ok all four. Prior owner might have asked for negative for winding roads or aggressive driving

Toe shows how much the tire is pointed in or out. On older suspension, the wheels were toed in as when driving, the tire would splay out to a straight ahead orientation. Later cars with tighter suspension have much less toe in. Total toe shows how much the two wheels are when added together. Older cars would "align it self" to the final splayed tires, so if the toes were set right relative to each other, they would produce straight ahead and minimal wear. Total toe out of wack will result in excess wear and lessened track stability (think slight hydroplane). Thrust angle is the net effect of the tire direction relative to center line. For the rear end. Pointing left or right might push a car in that direction (RWD) or have the rear end drift on the direction.
  • your right front is toed in too much. Front end will likely realign on the road to give a straight ahead effect but the steering wheel might be off a bit. Correcting the toe might also fix the career
  • rear toe is out of wack. Total toe looks ok but it is misleading. But when both are pointing in same compass direction, the toe angles will add to zero (-1 + 1 = 0). The thrust angle of off which will result in rear end drifting.
  • (on older RWD setups, we used to have the rear end point in a direction to allow the car to compensate for the crown in the road without having the driver so it. Roads got better, flatter, and this thrust angle is lessening or zero)
All that said, race cars, drift cars circular track cars all have unique caster, camber, toe requirements.
 

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On my 3rd Eldorado - 2000 ESC
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much! I couldn't make heads nor tails of it...so I really appreciate your input!!
Now, if it were your car, would you take it back to Firestone and ask them to make specific adjustments, or is this just the best they can do? I don't really understand how this car can NOT be "align-able"... I drove it from Florida to New York and it was the smoothest, tightest ride I've had in a long time...maybe because I drove my my last Eldorado from 50K to 220K. but it's still my winter car.
What concerns me the most is the rear end drifting you mention, as I really enjoy a car that hugs the road. Rear end drifting doesn't sound enjoyable at all.
 

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92 Fleetwood 2dr cpe - FWD, 96 Seville SLS, 02 Seville
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Oops, I read your post wrong (apologizing for the extras images) and assumed you had only posted 1 report - 3 times.

The second report is the after adjustment report, where they made the corrections. Comments:
- front right caster is just a tad off. The toe in correction did nothing to this reading. Since the left side is perfect, I'm guessing that someone for a curb, pothole or something. Its close enough to spec so you probably won't notice anything in handling. Monitor it for any unusual noises (pop or clunk) which might indicate a strut mount or bushing going.

(This assumes the Firestone tech did their job and looked for any obvious problems in the suspension like looseness etc)

- rear toe in looks almost perfect. Not sure why they let a little thrust, but it might be the local setup more , helping you with the crown in the road. Or it compensates for the the front right caster setting. Worth a question to Firestone.

- Big question is why they let so many corners go with the camber being off. To correct, they can use what's called camber bolts. They should have recommended these to you. Key for camber is keeping as much tire on the road when going straight and when on a curve with speed (centrifugal force momentum). Firestone might have figured that at least, they are erroring in the right direction (a teeny too much neg camber is better than any pos camber). Another question for Firestone.

In general, the settings achieved are not bad for a 18 year old car, and should allow for straight run on a Highway. The slight off camber, toe, thrust, caster settings might cause a little extra wear on tires (Ie get 55k on 60k tires)
 

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On my 3rd Eldorado - 2000 ESC
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Discussion Starter #6
Oops, I read your post wrong (apologizing for the extras images) and assumed you had only posted 1 report - 3 times.

The second report is the after adjustment report, where they made the corrections. Comments:
- front right caster is just a tad off. The toe in correction did nothing to this reading. Since the left side is perfect, I'm guessing that someone for a curb, pothole or something. Its close enough to spec so you probably won't notice anything in handling. Monitor it for any unusual noises (pop or clunk) which might indicate a strut mount or bushing going.

(This assumes the Firestone tech did their job and looked for any obvious problems in the suspension like looseness etc)

- rear toe in looks almost perfect. Not sure why they let a little thrust, but it might be the local setup more , helping you with the crown in the road. Or it compensates for the the front right caster setting. Worth a question to Firestone.

- Big question is why they let so many corners go with the camber being off. To correct, they can use what's called camber bolts. They should have recommended these to you. Key for camber is keeping as much tire on the road when going straight and when on a curve with speed (centrifugal force momentum). Firestone might have figured that at least, they are erroring in the right direction (a teeny too much neg camber is better than any pos camber). Another question for Firestone.

In general, the settings achieved are not bad for a 18 year old car, and should allow for straight run on a Highway. The slight off camber, toe, thrust, caster settings might cause a little extra wear on tires (Ie get 55k on 60k tires)
Sorry so late in responding -- Thank you so much! I'm glad you got the "full picture" LOL

I got the "Lifetime Alignment" so I will be asking Firestone those questions esp. about camber bolts, since Firestone techs were acting so stressed out about not getting the alignment perfectly, and they were questioning me so much about whether I made modifications to the suspension, and was the car in an accident, etc.
Thanks again!
 

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02 Seville, 04 SRX (sold), 96 Eldorado (sold), 99 DeVille (sold)
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One thing to note, is if your control arms are worn, you'll never get a good alignment until you replace them.
 
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