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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Problem:
My CRX has had a little problem with tramlining and a sort of inconsistent erratic or nervous pull to the right. It doesn't correlate to acceleration or braking -- it seems more related to road grooves. The feeling is mildly disconcerting, but tire wear is another concern.

History:
I figured the problem could be resolved with an alignment. I was looking at an upgrade for suspension and wheels/tires, so I decided to wait until everything was in. I've just finished installing everything and I took the car in for an alignment. I got the numbers back yesterday and am a little concerned. The toe was easily adjusted, but caster and camber are off. Most importantly, the problem persists after toe was zeroed out. Due to some sort of miscommunication, they only did a Front End Alignment, but they also found that the rear had some issues:

[CASTER]
Left:3.40* Right:2.59*
[FRONT CAMBER]
Left:-1.28* Right:-0.74*

[REAR THRUST ANGLE]
Angle:0.11


Proposed Solution:
The shop's recommendation was to install SPC adjustable ball joints in order to adjust caster/camber, and the mechanic said the RTA would be an easy fix.


Opinions?:
I suppose I'm really seeking a second opinion here, so I guess my questions are:

1) Does it seem like the caster/camber could be causing the behavior I'm experiencing, or could there be other, more likely causes I should investigate before proceeding?

2) How hard is it to replace ball joints? I'm certainly a beginner home mechanic, but I've had some recent successes doing my own maintainance, and installing exhaust and suspension.

3) By my calculations, I'd save only $25 (before any special tool purchases) if I opted to buy and install the parts myself. Are the mechanic's labor, the shop's warranty, and my time worth what I'd save otherwise? :D

Thanks!
 

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What do they mean by "Rear Thrust Angle"? I've never heard that term before.

The only adjustable characteristics of our suspension are front toe, rear toe, and rear camber (with washers, so you can only go more positive). Any other adjustments require aftermarket parts or modifications. If the caster is out of wack, it always means that something is bent, and it will need to be replaced or repaired in order to correct it.

SPC adjustable balljoints will just help you correct the front camber problem. The ones you are replacing are the upper balljoints...and they are only replaceable on the 90-91 upper arms. The 88-89's are welded onto the arms. It might be a fun project, but you'll still have to get them to align it for you anyways...so you might as well let them install them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
stickershop said:
What do they mean by "Rear Thrust Angle"? I've never heard that term before.
I don't know exactly -- it's just one of the figures under the "Primary Angles" header of the Rear Alignment column :(

stickershop said:
If the caster is out of wack, it always means that something is bent, and it will need to be replaced or repaired in order to correct it.
I was afraid of that...
I've just made a visual inspection and can't see anything that looks bent or damaged. Is it possible that worn bushings could account for out-of-spec caster?
stickershop said:
SPC adjustable balljoints will just help you correct the front camber problem.
The mechanic I talked to indicated that the caster could also be adjusted to some degree with this set of ball joints. Was he just blowing smoke?
 

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He's not blowing smoke, you can adjust caster as well as camber with the adjustable ball joints very easily...

However, as for SPC..... i'd prefer you use Ingalls 8) ... in fact, how bout even getting a 10% discount off a price that is already way lower than that dude would probably try to sell them to you for? PM me for details ;)

http://www.IngallsCamberKits.com

But anyway, all joking and shameless plugs aside, an adjustable ball joint set up by an experienced tech is the best way to adjust from camber on our cars. Forget about the control arm mounts... I rarely sell them for these cars. You can only adjust so much until the upper arm hits the frame... lol.
 

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Actually, just looking at the factory service manual...your caster is within spec. It's supposed to be 2 degrees 59' plus or minus 1 degree.

Camber on the front is supposed to be 0 degrees plus or minus 1 degree.

Camber on the rear is supposed to be 0 degrees 26' plus or minus 1 degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Composimo: PM'd

Stickershop: Yeah, I noticed that the values were within spec (there are Honda specs on the alignment printout), however the odd tramlining issue remains so I want to try to pull it all together 8)
 
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