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Old 11-07-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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Default 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

My tires are all at 35lbs, and the car pulls to the right. This has been a problem for a few weeks.

One thing I haven't done yet is rotate the tires to see if that helps.

If it doesn't ... How hard is it to perform a front-end alignment on this car? Tools required? Tips?
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

Suspension forum. Search for string alignment.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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Suspension forum. Search for string alignment.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

does it pull hard to the right? cause all cars are supposed to pull slightly to the right in case the driver falls asleep at the wheel.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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does it pull hard to the right? cause all cars are supposed to pull slightly to the right in case the driver falls asleep at the wheel.
First time I've heard that.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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First time I've heard that.
all cars should go to the right but not pull to the right. The reason being is if you fall asleep at the wheel or pass out the car will not go into traffic. I do not think this is in terms of alignment but more so the design of the car especially with FWD cars. Remember it should not be an instant right turn but more of something that occurs over distance.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

You're talking about torque steer.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

ummm my car goes perdectly straight at highway speeds not to the right ever
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

lol. An alignment should not be set to pull right. The crown in the road will cause the car to drift right. That sounds like a silly excuse you would get from a shop after getting a bad alignment.

[voice=dopey]"Thanks for the money! Sorry your car still pulls!"[/voice]

All sorts of things can contribute to a pull in one direction.
- Road
- Uneven Tire pressure
- Uneven wear on tires
- uneven camber
- uneven caster
- uneven rear toe

A string alignment isn't all that difficult. You will need some thin fishing line, a good metric scale and a level for your scale. Also a tool to hold the steering wheel steady sure helps. And you will want to make slip plates out of glossy bags with a little grease or spray lube inside. You also need to know your front & rear track widths.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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You're talking about torque steer.
No this is just traveling down the road without hitting the gas peddle. IMO I have seen this on like 90% of the cars I have driven.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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All sorts of things can contribute to a pull in one direction.
- Road
- Uneven Tire pressure
- Uneven wear on tires
- uneven camber
- uneven caster
- uneven rear toe
I wouldn't doubt that although there are no crowns in NJ roads, we are happy when a road doesn't have a pot holes.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

That is caused by the crown in the road which is a grading requirement for proper drainage.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

My car does not pull to the right.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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That is caused by the crown in the road which is a grading requirement for proper drainage.
this is correct, some roads have more or less, some are stepped, some even drain to the median.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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My tires are all at 35lbs, and the car pulls to the right. This has been a problem for a few weeks.

One thing I haven't done yet is rotate the tires to see if that helps.

If it doesn't ... How hard is it to perform a front-end alignment on this car? Tools required? Tips?
Verify the problem before you align it. Make sure it isn't a worn suspension component first. You can set that toe to a perfect 0 and still get pull if something is broken.

The string method works pretty well, I did it with some vice grips and a monkey wrench. An extra pair of hands doesn't hurt when you are first stringing the car up.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

vice grips? I just used 19mm and 14mm open-ended wrenches for the front. And a 14mm Box-end for the rear.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

i am going to ask the best question because no question is stupid. Right??? heheh. now when you guys adjust the tow in and toe out... how do you access the tie-rod, because usually an alignment shop either has a trench or a lift so they can do adjustments under the car, with the car's weight on the ground / lift platform....
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

tires can definitely cause a pull. do they all match?
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

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i am going to ask the best question because no question is stupid. Right??? heheh. now when you guys adjust the tow in and toe out... how do you access the tie-rod, because usually an alignment shop either has a trench or a lift so they can do adjustments under the car, with the car's weight on the ground / lift platform....
My civic is very low. I was able to lay on my back and easily reach under with the 19mm and break loose the jam nuts on the tie rods (hardest part). All while the string was in place along the side of the car. Just wear gloves because I banged the **** out of both my hands when the nut on either side finally broke loose. After it's loose, just spin it back by hand a few turns to give you room to make tie-rod adjustments.

Then when it comes time to make adjustments, you just lay on your back and slide your arm under with a 14mm wrench. the inner tie-rod has a hex shaped section that the wrench fits. You can easily spin it in either direction. Just make sure your going the correct way, and then re-check your string measurements.

The toe itself is very sensitive to adjustments in the front. I could definitely measure the difference in 1/8th of a turn of the tie rod. Just be aware that if you go a little too far, there is a small moment when backing up the tie-rod makes no adjustment. This is because the outer tie-rod rolls the opposite direction at first until it runs out of travel. Took me a while to figure this one out why it make a large change in one direction, then no change in the other... lol
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

Wow! It's been a few days since I was here.

No, it's not a torque steer issue, or a road grade thing. It will pull at cruise speed on all roads, including ones I know it should track straight on.

I, too, found the comment about cars being designed to track right puzzling. After a proper alignment, my cars have always tracked straight. Not being mean, but I don't think I can subscribe to that theory.

No, the tires do not all match. 3 of them are good Pirellis, and the 4th is a cheap Tiger Paw, which is on the FL of the car. I am planning to rotate the tires this weekend, putting the Tiger Paw on the rear to see how it affects the steering. Damn Tiger Paw, POS. But it's what I could afford at the time. Maybe that tire will have a run-in with a BIG nail soon, or maybe a surprise midnight slashing.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #21
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Default Re: 1998 Civic EX - How to perform an alignment?

I rotated the tires this weekend, and took it out for a spin. Definitely a lot less pull to the right. From the pull there was, I believe that to be due to the grade of the road. I appreciate everyone's input.
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