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Alignment & Camber Problem '01 Legacy Wagon - HELP!


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7 replies to this topic

#1 JulesSoob

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

I bought a used Legacy Wagon awhile back. It drove well, but it seems to have some alignment and/or frame issues. Well, it's mine now, so I'm wondering how best to live with its problem.

It developed a pull to the right, so I got it aligned. According to the shop's printout, the caster on the right was less than the caster on the left. I'm assuming that is what caused the pull. There is no adjustment available for camber on this vehicle. The problem was corrected (as I recall) by an adjustment with the toe-in that kept it within specs but compensated for the caster being less positive on the right. Well, I just had my tires rotated (at a different shop) and now the pull is back. I am planning on taking it back to the shop that did the alignment and having them see what its numbers are now. There appears to be some cupping on the tires, but I believe that was residual - prior to the first alignment I had done. Is there anything I can do about the less than ideal positive caster, or am I stuck? The car runs and drives great, except for the pull. OOPPS...I meant caster, not camber

#2 outback_97

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:10 PM

Is there anything I can do about the less than ideal positive camber, or am I stuck? The car runs and drives great, except for the pull.


Not sure I fully understand, but unless it's different from my '97 LOB, it should have camber adjustment via the stock bolts in the front (the rear has no camber adjustment stock). If that is not enough adjustment, one can get aftermarket camber bolts from a company like Ingalls to give greater adjustment.

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Steve

#3 jamal

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 05:39 AM

There could also be a tweaked lateral link, control arm, strut, or crossmember. The first three are pretty easy to replace. A crossmember takes a bit more work but is do-able.

#4 cannonball

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

I thought the camber was adjusted via the strut tower by loosening the bolts at the bottom. Am I wrong?

#5 jon38iowa

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 12:06 PM

I thought the camber was adjusted via the strut tower by loosening the bolts at the bottom. Am I wrong?

Hi:
I don't know about the wagon, but on my Forester I am told there's a camber adjustment built into the top of the struts. By the way I had the same issue as yours- slight pull to the right, however it took two different shops( $200.) to get the car back to perfect.
John

#6 unibrook

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

My 2001 Forester had a slight positive camber to one of the front wheels. The alignment shop said not bad enough to bother putting on a rack and pulling on frame. But the camber was definitely enought to cause noticable wear on outside edge of my tire. My bro and I were able to correct it a bit ourselves by loosening the strut retainer bolts and pulling strut at bottom. Just enough play to get minimal adjustment. If you need more adjustment, do what guy above says and get the replacement bolts that will allow greater swing. ****oh yes, it helps to have the air-wrench for working those bolts***

#7 jamal

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

The top bolt that attaches the front strut to the spindle is cammed and allows camber adjustment (on all "new generation" Subarus). I've found that alignment shops sometimes don't know what they're doing and it's helpful to show them how to do it. Well, that happened to me at pep-boys anyway, but I was there and had him set the alignment how I wanted, so I basically got a custom alignment for $50. Then he didn't tighten a bolt but that's another story.

You can use the aftermarket bolt pictured above in addition to the stock bolt. The aftermarket ones are smaller and designed to fit in the lower hole on the front or the two holes in rear on the spindles. They're also a bit prone to slippage from what I hear. By putting one of those in the lower hole and maxing it out, you'll be able to adjust camber and not worry about slippage assuming it is installed and torqued correctly. With the bolt set at the maximum no moment can develop to turn it.

#8 tcspeer

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 07:56 PM

The pull is most likely back because of the wear pattern on the tires, if you will change the right front tire to the left and the left to the right the pull will most likly go to the other side.

I bought a used Legacy Wagon awhile back. It drove well, but it seems to have some alignment and/or frame issues. Well, it's mine now, so I'm wondering how best to live with its problem.

It developed a pull to the right, so I got it aligned. According to the shop's printout, the caster on the right was less than the caster on the left. I'm assuming that is what caused the pull. There is no adjustment available for camber on this vehicle. The problem was corrected (as I recall) by an adjustment with the toe-in that kept it within specs but compensated for the caster being less positive on the right. Well, I just had my tires rotated (at a different shop) and now the pull is back. I am planning on taking it back to the shop that did the alignment and having them see what its numbers are now. There appears to be some cupping on the tires, but I believe that was residual - prior to the first alignment I had done. Is there anything I can do about the less than ideal positive camber, or am I stuck? The car runs and drives great, except for the pull.






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