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Alignment problems

From: Aleksander Mierzwa <alex@matrix.pl>

>a) Rear toe setting is incorrect. The only suggested cure is to replace
>whole rear axle. He said that since only the toe is incorrect and camber is
>OK, replacing just the axle stubs probably won't help (it's a FWD car, mind

I had this happen to me with a 1980 VW Jetta when I hit a kerb (I was going
sideways at the time!)
The rear axle was significantly bent and it was easy to see that the rear
wheel didn't point in the right direction any more.

I got a rear axle from a VW Golf (Rabbit to Americans) from a scrap yard for
GBP30 and spent an afternoon fitting it and that did the trick.

>b) Front caster angles are seriously out of spec.

I've never really understood caster, so I can't help give you an
authoratitive answer, but you're welcome to my best guess.

>I inquired
>about the rubber sway bar bushings and he said even if they were worn, they
>couldn't affect this.

Surely a worn anti-roll bar (ARB) bushing (to give it the correct British
name!) will allow the bottom of the steering axis (isn't that what caster is
all about?) to move around.  The top is fixed by the upper strut mount, the
bottom is fixed in a lateral sense by the control arm (I think that's the
right name for it) and in a front/back sense by the ARB (Why didn't they use
a wishbone (A-arm) like everyone else?).  The bushings probably need to be
replaced anyway (it's a frequent MOT failure point over here along with worn
upper strut mounts).

I thought ARB's sprung back to the original shape after they were bent - on
my Jetta, it was the only reusable part from the entire righthand front
suspension.  However, I'm sure you can pick up an old ARB from a scrapyard
for a few pounds (or is it zloties?) to do a comparison.


Aleksander Mierzwa
Warsaw, Poland
87 Audi 5000CS turbo (mine)
88 Renault Medallion wagon (mom's)
91 mountain bike (just in case both cars broke at the same time :-)