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Old 09-21-2018, 02:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24

1996 GMC K1500

I just finished replacing most of the steering components. Many were very bad like the upper ball joints that were original on a 247,000 mile truck. Driving the truck sounded like it was a freight wagon carrying metal pans. I took it in to get an alignment and it took about two hours all work time for them to complete the alignment. Toe, Camber were now to spec with one caster reading out of spec. They said that the alignment bolts were bad and needed to replace to get it aligned correctly. I had just changed the upper control arms and ball joint and I did not see anything bad. I had the GM alignment specs out of the service manual and was shocked that they were using numbers not even close to the correct specs. After reviewing the printout, not one single value for toe, camber or caster was within spec. I also noticed that camber and caster did not change from the start values. Went out to the garage pulled the wheel and removed the alignment bolts......I used a 8 inch socket and it broke loose easily. I am guessing that it was about 30 ft lbs. Even if was aligned correctly it would not have stayed that way for long. I think the torque value is like 107 ft lbs (did not check so don't use this value). The knockouts were still in the truck. I was amazed that a 22 year old truck with 247,000 miles had not been correctly aligned. Guess they went through a lot of tires. It would have been impossible to align the camber and caster. The stupid tech hammered on one of the bolts and deformed the adjusting washer. I welded and ground it back to usable condition. I tried to remove the knockouts with a punch and sledge hammer but after a couple of hours gave up and ordered a 22 dollar knockout remover tool. The tool worked perfect, worth the 22 dollars any day. Took it to a different shop for alignment and guess what they used the correct alignment values. I was amazed that the first shop did not know about knockouts and that they cooked the numbers to make it look like it was aligned correctly. They knew that I have been rebuilding the truck, thus having a fair level of mechanical knowledge. Guess they thought that I would not know any better. This is why I do all my own work on the truck, so I know it is done right. Can you imagine how many people over the years got poor alignments from them. The point of this post...........better check out their work.
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 585
Re: Alignment

I can second the checking work part, I have received shady work a few time and always made sure it was corrected. Even had a GM dealer put tires on my truck and told me they we E rated. I even showed them the tire was wrong. Than I took my truck to another shop and had them prove the tires were the wrong rating. The dealer paid to have the correct tires installed.
1959 Chevy Apache 3100/ 283 TBI / 4L60E
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