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Alignment won't stay put

Old 11-03-2018, 01:18 PM
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Unhappy Alignment won't stay put

Hello all, first time posting, but I've been lurking for years.
I am not much of mechanic, but I do my own maintenance, and swap parts. I have a 1990 XJ Pioneer 4x4, 4.0. I have 235x75r15 tires, but other than that, it's fully stock. I hadn't had any problems with it, until I replaced the tie rods. I took it in for an alignment, and a week later the alignment was off again. Right tire toe pointed out about two inches by eye ball. So into the shop it went. Turns out the (I don't know what it's called) place where the right outer tie rod mounts had been ovaled out. It was replaced, realigned, and a week later off again. The tie rod was torn up pretty bad from riding in the ovaled out mount, so it got replaced, and realigned. A week later, you guessed it, it's out again. I'm running low on money, and tread on my tires. Please help.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:12 PM
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Have somebody check rock the wheel slowly back and forth while you're under there looking for slop at all the suspension parts. Any slop in these parts means they need to be replaced.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Jarvie View Post
Hello all, first time posting, but I've been lurking for years.
I am not much of mechanic, but I do my own maintenance, and swap parts. I have a 1990 XJ Pioneer 4x4, 4.0. I have 235x75r15 tires, but other than that, it's fully stock. I hadn't had any problems with it, until I replaced the tie rods. I took it in for an alignment, and a week later the alignment was off again. Right tire toe pointed out about two inches by eye ball. So into the shop it went. Turns out the (I don't know what it's called) place where the right outer tie rod mounts had been ovaled out. It was replaced, realigned, and a week later off again. The tie rod was torn up pretty bad from riding in the ovaled out mount, so it got replaced, and realigned. A week later, you guessed it, it's out again. I'm running low on money, and tread on my tires. Please help.
If sounds like the hole on the knuckle is wallowed out and if so... you will need a new knuckle or that will never stay put.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:01 PM
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Welcome to the site and good luck finding your problem Jonathan Jarvie !
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Jarvie View Post
Hello all, first time posting, but I've been lurking for years.
I am not much of mechanic, but I do my own maintenance, and swap parts. I have a 1990 XJ Pioneer 4x4, 4.0. I have 235x75r15 tires, but other than that, it's fully stock. I hadn't had any problems with it, until I replaced the tie rods. I took it in for an alignment, and a week later the alignment was off again. Right tire toe pointed out about two inches by eye ball. So into the shop it went. Turns out the (I don't know what it's called) place where the right outer tie rod mounts had been ovaled out. It was replaced, realigned, and a week later off again. The tie rod was torn up pretty bad from riding in the ovaled out mount, so it got replaced, and realigned. A week later, you guessed it, it's out again. I'm running low on money, and tread on my tires. Please help.
Like Firebane, above said, check the knuckle. Also the ball joints, anything that offsets the alignment.

Honestly, if the shop you go to can't figure that out, find another shop.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:09 AM
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I think you need a different shop, or at least a different alignment tech if you're using the same guy. A *good* alignment shop should check 'everything' on a proper alignment rack with suspension at normal ride-height before starting out. Some shops put a vehicle up on a hoist, but when suspension parts fall to full 'droop' they may not appear to be sloppy in that position. Some techs are just plain lazy and aren't willing to go the extra mile to look at EVERYTHING. It shouldn't be that tricky. I can see a shop missing one thing, that can happen, but not this many times. If it's the same tech all the time, he doesn't know what he's doing.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by firebane View Post
If sounds like the hole on the knuckle is wallowed out and if so... you will need a new knuckle or that will never stay put.
The knuckle was replaced.
Everything seems tight to me. I had it in the shop again today, they have given up. I am going to take it to an alignment place, that does free inspections, to see if they can figure it out.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:51 AM
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I'll agree with the others - find a different shop. A proper and reputable shop shouldn't even do an alignment if there's worn parts unless you are informed and insist.

Just a thought on the "free inspections" -- sometimes you truly do "get what you pay for". You might try seeking out an independent shop (not a chain store or discount tire place) with a good reputation. I have a locally owned tire shop near my work (45min from home) that is spectacular and I won't take my XJ or the family car anywhere else. They're not as cheap as the discount chains, but they aren't a whole lot more either and the work is always top notch.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
I'll agree with the others - find a different shop. A proper and reputable shop shouldn't even do an alignment if there's worn parts unless you are informed and insist.

Just a thought on the "free inspections" -- sometimes you truly do "get what you pay for". You might try seeking out an independent shop (not a chain store or discount tire place) with a good reputation. I have a locally owned tire shop near my work (45min from home) that is spectacular and I won't take my XJ or the family car anywhere else. They're not as cheap as the discount chains, but they aren't a whole lot more either and the work is always top notch.
The shop did refuse to do the alignment without replacing the track bar. Which was replaced. They didn't notice the hollowed out knuckle, because I had replaced the tie rods. After the alignment went out the first time, they took it apart to inspect it, and found the bad knuckle, which they replaced. This is a local shop, with a very good reputation. They have treated me very fairly in the past. It seems that alignments are their weak spot.

I got it back from Perfection Tire today. They said the track bar was incorrectly installed, and the bushing had failed. It has been replaced, and we are on the fourth alignment. Fingers crossed this one will hold.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Jarvie View Post
I got it back from Perfection Tire today. They said the track bar was incorrectly installed, and the bushing had failed. It has been replaced, and we are on the fourth alignment. Fingers crossed this one will hold.
I'm really wondering how they installed a track bar incorrectly.

Oof.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:40 PM
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A good alignment guy should check everything out first before doing an alignment.
Not much to align other than toe. But he still should check all the parts before committing to making an adjustment.

Good luck
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:42 PM
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Well it's been a couple weeks, and the alignment is still on. I even took it up a service trail. Just wanted to let anyone who finds this thread know, it was the track bar.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:43 AM
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:50 AM
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Nice!!! Thanks for posting back with the resolution!
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