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Alignment issues / adjustable ball joints

2637 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Languid
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.

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:

Left:3.40* Right:2.59*
Left:-1.28* Right:-0.74*


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.

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

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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 ;)

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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