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Wheel Alignment - How long after replacing suspension?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by TimG, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    What's the general consensus on how much mileage to do before getting an alignment done after changing over suspension? I know from experience it takes a while to settle and the car can drop quite a bit further in this time. I normally just kinda leave it for 'a while' but what are other peoples thoughts on it?

    Tim
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  3. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    I've always left it till the suspension has settled in. As you said it drops more once its settled. Maybe 2-4weeks?
    Mine needs doing buy cant find any one that can do it for me :(
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  4. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    I used to just get a simple tracking done as front camber cant be adjusted on most VAG platforms and the increased - camber on the rears is usually helpful for clearance! Problem is if your tyres are actually level with the arch or tucking normal old school garages cant get the tool on that hangs on the tyres!

    Because of this I had to find a centre with a Hunter 4 wheel system where they attach the device directly to the rim. They still only adjust the front toe in the £55 charge though and its extra if you want the rears done (place I went to in Brighton anyway).

    [​IMG]

    If anyone has any different experiences with aligning a 'low' car please share them!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
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  5. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    Cheers for that Tim. Will see if i can find some one local-ish with the "hunter 4 wheel system".
    will let you know how i get on lol may have to travel to get it done
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  6. Greeny233
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    Greeny233 Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    Get it done straight away, the tracking could go miles out after fitting new suspension and driving about could ruin your tyres and handling.
    The suspension will settle far less than the initial drop so not much point in waiting for it to settle.
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  7. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    That's a fair comment. However I've gone from having one brand of coilovers to another. The car was all tracked after the first set were fitted 18 months ago. I have actually only gone a 'bit' lower than I was before.

    The reason I know the alignment is out is clearly its all been taken apart down there with the change of struts etc, but also the steering wheel is no longer central which annoys the hell out of me!
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  8. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    On that note, how does the steering wheel end up off centre anyway? The tie rods aren't touched so how does unbolting the hub & changing to a different strut affect the steering wheel position? Can't quite get my head around it [​IMG]
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  9. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    My steering wheel slightly off where i had new hubs, brakes fitted at the same time as the coilovers. And the passenger front hub was buckled slightly out a few mm (seller didnt tell me it was damaged Ar$£ h0le :happy:) Couldnt get a new hub till monday and this happened on friday evening. By the time they fitted the new hub my steering wheel was slightly off :| Does my heading and as said will wear your tyres done. Never had this issue before with the other two sets only when that damaged part was fitted. Hope you get it sorted asap mate
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  10. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    Contacted these guys Tyre Alignment in Southampton | Laser Wheel Alignment in Winchester this afternoon on recommendation from some threads on Pistonheads. The guy sounded really knowledgeable and if I took the car in he'd hook it all up and see what was going on for free. Then if I wanted, set it up how I wanted for around £40 and then I could go back in a week or so to check it again (if it had settled/moved etc), again free of charge.

    That cost was just for the front end adjustment mind, but I said the rears are spot on fitment wise for me already, albeit a little more camber than factory!

    He also said its far from straightforward just doing the fronts, if the rears are out of factory spec as its all related, but he'd sort it. I said tbh I just want my steering wheel straight and to avoid tyre wear rather than a fancy fast road set up etc. [​IMG]

    The other thing he said was to get it done asap after lowering as once tyres wear unevenly at all, they continue this way, which will likely have a bigger impact than waiting for suspension to 'settle'.

    Anyhow, I'll report back after I've been there.
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  11. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 23, 2012]
    Cheers Tim :thumbsup:
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  12. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 24, 2012]
    I think there's a few places that'd be happy to check alignment they'd sorted once the car had settled, and make any final adjustments free of charge. Or if not, there should be. That's what I'll be looking for once I get coils on (didn't do any alignments after putting on the springs, probably should have).
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