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Front and Rear Wheel Alignment

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by ScottD3, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    I went to get my tracking sorted out and the garage said my track rod ends need replacing.
    Off I went to get the parts and replaced them my self.

    All done and I'm back at the garage getting the alignment done.

    On the way home I noticed that the car would go to the right with the wheel straight but it appeared to track ok.
    I went back to the garage and had a chat to the alignment guy who came out and met me in the car park.
    I mentioned that the car steers to the right if the wheel is straight.
    He explained that the front wheels are tracking fine and the issue is with the rear wheels/axle.
    He went on to say its possible that the rear axle at fault cause its a solid axle and there is nothing that can be done about it.
    Fair enough, I asked him if its possibly a bush at fault, he said it could be but due to the age of the car (1998) and miles (120k) its not really worth spending the money on getting it correct and its common fault on most solid rear axle cars.

    Is he right in what he was saying?
    Is there a way to fix it?

    This is the information on the print out he handed me.

    Front Camber
    Initial Specifications Final
    Left -1.04 -1.00 -0.17 -1.16
    Right -0.56 -1.00 -0.17 -0.54


    Front Toe
    Initial Specification Final
    Left 1.4mm 0.5mm 1.6mm 1.0mm
    Right -3.0mm 0.5mm 1.6mm 1.2mm

    Rear Camber
    Initial Specification Final
    Left -1.94 -1.83 -1.17 -2.02
    Right -1.20 -1.83 -1.17 -1.15

    Rear Toe
    Initial Specification Final
    Left 3.2mm 0.5mm 1.8mm 3.4mm
    Right -0.2mm 0.5mm 1.8mm -0.5mm
    Total 3.0mm 1.1mm 3.6mm 2.9mm


    Rear Thrust Angle
    Initial Final
    -0.27 -0.31​
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
    #1
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    your front toe should be circa 10minutes, not sure what that is in mm.

    rear toe seems to be wildly out on one side, which may be a bent axle, but it also could just be the two axle bushes. If you havent changed them, get them done.

    Your front camber is also wonky, you can even it out by shunting the subframe over a bit.

    I presume the second "front camber" is actually the rear?

    Again the left hand side is out of spec, possibly indicating a bent beam, but as above, i'd try changing the bushes first and see what happens.
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  4. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    You've said about 10minutes before. What does that mean?
    10 minutes of what?

    Looking at the paper work, they have never been replaced. Is it just two bushes on each side?
    Any thing else worth doing at the same time?
    How big of a job is it?

    Loosen it off and give it a wack?
    Any other options apart from that?

    Yup, rear. I've corrected it now :)

    Looking at the body work on that wing, it would appear its been resprayed at some point. That and this toe spec, It seems like that side of the car has been twated at some point.
    I just hope its not bent.
    I'll looking to getting them bushes replaced and take it from there.
    Having a quick look at axles, they don't seem that expensive.
    If it is bent, how much of a job is it to replace it?
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  5. neilA4
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    neilA4 Member

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    [May 1, 2011]
    angles can be mesured in degrees, minutes, seconds

    i.e 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in a degree and then 360 degrees.

    10 minutes sounds feck all but over a large dimension it could be noticable.
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  6. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Well mine was done the other day and the car feels very unstable at high speed with very light and float steering. I have a suspicion the garage set the toe to 0. Would the symptoms back that up?
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  7. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Axios: looking at your specs it says the range is 0.6-1.6mm and your sitting at 1mm. On my sheet it gives the range as 5 to 15 minutes and i'm sitting at 10. So they're probably more or less the same. As neil says, 10 minutes is an angle, basically its 1/6th of a degree. The idea is you just want a tiny amount of toe in to keep the car stable at high speeds (see below).

    Oranoco: Ye i think so.

    Most manufacturers specify a little toe in, as this means at high speeds the car becomes more stable, as the wheels are slightly steering towards each other, but as a result numbs the turn in a bit.

    Toe out reduces high speed streight line stability, but gives better turn in and feel when pressing on.

    They use bushing compliance to ensure that while the car is toed in for high speed streight line stability, when you give it some and drive the car hard the wheels toe out a little improving the feel of the car thru the corners. IE they design the flex in the bushes to work with the geometry, instead of against it. Driven axles generally toe out a bit anyway when load is applied.

    You've probably got a number of things going on, as the polybushes will have reduced or eliminated this compliance that allows the toe changes, and the garage has probably dialed in 0 toe so your not getting any stability benefits. You'll have to play about a bit and find a setting you like, but i'd start with a little toe in and see how that helps.

    A race car would probably be setup with stiff bushes and toe out to maximise the turn in, they arent too bothered about stability in a streight line as they're always "on it" anyway, but in a road car the requirements are different, and as always everything is a compromise.
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  8. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [May 1, 2011]
    The thing I don't understand if why the car started acting like this when I swapped the front and rear wheels over.
    I'm going put them back and see if its any better but still odd.

    I'll get it up on the ramps and have a poke about.
    Might end up reconditioning a second axle and swapping them over if the bushes or any thing needs replacing.
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  9. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [May 7, 2011]
    Got the car back and can't see any thing wrong with it.
    It all seems fine and the bushes appear to be ok.
    unless its a wheel or a stub axle i'm out of ideas.

    I'm going to swap the wheels over and see what happens.
    #8
  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2011]
    If the bushes are original, change them.

    Mine looked ok bar a little cracking. When i removed them one literally fell apart and the other wasnt far behind. Might not cure your tracking issue, but its a worthwhile thing to do on any B5.
    #9
  11. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics

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    [May 8, 2011]
    I'm 90% sure they are original.
    I will have a chat to a friend and try and secure his services and ramps.

    Go OEM or after market on them?
    #10
  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 8, 2011]
    I just went new OEM, were £7 each from All German IIRC. The difference i felt from the PASSENGER seat on the test drive was pretty staggering. The reduction in bodyroll/slop was so marked it felt like i'd just installed some lowering springs and uprated shocks.
    #11

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