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  #1  
Old 02-13-2006, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 781
alignment values

Hi,
Just bought a '95 E420. A year ago it had an alignment and new shocks. I am having tire wear problems and wanted an opinion on the final alignment values.
Left Front Right Front Total Toe Steer ahead
Camber -.7 -.8
Caster 10.1 10.3
Toe .19 .18 .38 .01

Left Rear Right Rear Total Toe Thrust Angle
Camber -.9 -1.4
Toe .18 .07 .25 .06

These values are about 14K old. Do they look right? I have no expertise in this area.
Anziani

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  #2  
Old 02-13-2006, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,142
Is this supposed to be some kind of quiz? Here are my alignment values. Guess what kind of abnormal tire wear I have.

Also, guess the toe units. Degrees? Inches?

So here is my pure guess. The front is okay, but the RR has too much camber and the LR has too much toe, so one or both rears has abnormal wear.

Look at Larry Bible's Sticky and get back to us.

Duke
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2006, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 781
alignment values

Duke,
Sorry about the units. Not knowing, I thought the knowledgeable would know the values.
Your response was exactly what I was looking for, an indication that something was wrong in the rear.
The car is a new acquistion with vibration problems. Tire guys said that the alignment or shocks were bad.
Found out yesterday that one of the wheels is pranged, pot hole or curb.
thanks for your help.
Anziani
'95 E420
'91 190E (sold)
'87 300E
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2006, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,142
I've done all my own alignment for over 20 years, but I think that most modern alignment equipment reports per wheel toe in degrees. Hopefully the test report should explain the units.

I don't have the OE specs for your model, but the reports often have them because they are programmed into the system. Also, the CD or service manual websites should have the numbers.

For most cars, setting to the OE specs is usually best along with minimizing the cross readings, which are pretty high on the rear of your car.

If this is what was set by the alignment tech, I have to say the work was pretty sloppy. Before owners take their car in for alignment, they should do the research to obtain the specs, go over them with the tech, and insist that the cross readings be as low as possible - certainly no more than about 0.2 degrees on caster and camber, and no more than .05 degrees for rear wheel toe angle.

Also, ask for a printed report of the original settings before any adjustment is done, and a second report with the final settings.

Most modern alignment equipment is excellent. If only the alingment techs understood how to use it and spent a little extra timing dialing the settings in to optimal values. That's why I started doing my own with just an inclinometer and tape measure on my garage floor. Even with such crude tools, I can get better settings than any alignment shop. I proved this when I realigned my 190 and then got the dealer to put it on the rack and check the settings under warranty. I was amazed how close I was to my target values.

It's a very time consuming process to do yourself this way (including getting the steering wheel dead on center when driving straight), but once done, the settings should hold for a long time as long as you don't bang the wheels into curbs and such.

Duke

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