new suspension

David Conner conner at
Tue Oct 19 14:06:33 EDT 2004

One thing you should realize is that a good alignment is a compromise to
some extent.  There are good reasons for the specs are given as a range
rather than exact numbers.  All those numbers given to two decimal places
imply a level of precision that doesn't exist ... camber to two decimal
places for example.  These measurements are relative to reference points on
the car that are not that accurate.  There also limitations to the
refinement of suspension adjustments and there's a certain amount of
friction in the system that is impossible to eliminate entirely. If after
an alignment they measure everything and make a fancy printout, you drive
off the rack and around the block a few times and then back onto the rack
and check it again a new printout of the specs will show some changes. 

If the floor or other reference surface is slightly out of level that will
have an effect.  
The loading of the vehicle makes a difference:
- Was the weight of the driver accounted for?  Just this deifferece alone
will make a difference of some tenths of a degree in camber.  And a change
in camber effects the toe.
- How much weight in the trunk?  
- Full tank of gas?  
- Tire pressure?
All these things make a difference.  If all these things are accounted for
and you have a "perfect" alignment, then drive down the road with a
passenger or an empty gas tank, full trunk, etc, the alignment has changed.
 Bottom line ... don't sweat a couple of tenths difference between
left/right camber.  

Another factor is suspension settlement after the rebuild.  I think Bentley
says to do an alignment after 1000 miles to allow time for things to
settle.  If it hasn't been that long it may be pointless to sweat the
refinements at this time.   
- -
Dave C.

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