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Old 05-13-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
KWayRacing
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Default Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

Another tech and I were debating this today. He was waiting on some tires to be delivered to our shop and I suggested he go ahead and do the alignment while he waited. He said no way that the new tires would alter the alignment. I called bull. I said that only thing that could possibly change would be ride height and only be a max of 1/4 in.(new tire 10/32 old tire 2/32 =difference of 8/32=1/4 and that small amount would not make any difference. And besides it was a stock honda he was aligning which only has toe adjustment and new tires would not change this setting. Any thoughts or definite answers?
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

It doesn't really matter.

Though, if your alignment is currently off, any miles put on the new tires will be miles with unnecessary additional wear. For that reason alone, I'd go ahead and align with the old tires, or have them do the alignment at the same time as when they mount them, but not after.

And the car height change from old to new tires doesn't affect the suspension at all, neither does going to a different sized tire. Its only when you adjust the suspension to change ride height that the alignment changes.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

Exactly because spring determines ride height
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

If the tires are crappy enough it could throw off the reading of the alignment machine, not the settings themselves. He is right to wait for a new set of tires.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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If the tires are crappy enough it could throw off the reading of the alignment machine, not the settings themselves. He is right to wait for a new set of tires.
Interesting. Good to know.
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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If the tires are crappy enough it could throw off the reading of the alignment machine, not the settings themselves. He is right to wait for a new set of tires.
How? The alignment heads are connected to the wheel which is bolted the the hub which is in direct connection to the suspension. So wgat I hear you say is that a perfectly aligned car can change tires and that would change the readings...thats wrong.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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How? The alignment heads are connected to the wheel which is bolted the the hub which is in direct connection to the suspension. So wgat I hear you say is that a perfectly aligned car can change tires and that would change the readings...thats wrong.
If the old tires are worn REALLY unevenly, then yeah, theoretically it could SLIGHTLY change the alignment readings after putting on new tires.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

after. why take any chances?
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

I had a great alignment on my car and put on a new suspension. I also rotated my tires from back to front on the same side. I got an alignment done and everything was in spec afterwards, but my car slightly pulled to the left because of severe camber wear that was on the rear tires just recently rotated to the front.

So yes I would wait until the new tires are on to get the alignment so the customer doesn't come back saying the tech doesn't know what he is doing.
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Anyhow, blaze the chemi is correct,
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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Originally Posted by KWayRacing View Post
How? The alignment heads are connected to the wheel which is bolted the the hub which is in direct connection to the suspension. So wgat I hear you say is that a perfectly aligned car can change tires and that would change the readings...thats wrong.
You also have 5" of tire between the rim and the alignment rack.

Always do the alignment how the car will be driven...you or the same amount of weight in the drivers seat too!
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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You also have 5" of tire between the rim and the alignment rack.

Always do the alignment how the car will be driven...you or the same amount of weight in the drivers seat too!
That doesn't matter. You could theoretically put the wheels on same height as tire wooden blocks and align the car. The tires don't change the position of the bolted parts. If they did when you got new tires you wouldn't need an alignment because the new tires would majically correct the alignement in the same way that it is suggested that worn tires will affect alignment.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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Originally Posted by KWayRacing View Post
Another tech and I were debating this today. He was waiting on some tires to be delivered to our shop and I suggested he go ahead and do the alignment while he waited. He said no way that the new tires would alter the alignment. I called bull. I said that only thing that could possibly change would be ride height and only be a max of 1/4 in.(new tire 10/32 old tire 2/32 =difference of 8/32=1/4 and that small amount would not make any difference. And besides it was a stock honda he was aligning which only has toe adjustment and new tires would not change this setting. Any thoughts or definite answers?

Think about it for a moment. What are you doing when you do an alignment? You are taking measurements of a very small amount, correct? Precision counts. Measurements are taken so adjustments can be made to the suspension. The less accurate your measurements are the less accurate the adjustments to the suspension and the less accurate the alignment.

Not all tires are constructed exactly the same and will sit differently depending on air pressure, uneven wear patterns, etc. The only good reason to align a vehicle to old tires if they are staying on it. The only reason to align a vehicle to old tires when they are going to be replaced is "convenience", not because it is just as good.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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The only reason to align a vehicle to old tires when they are going to be replaced is "convenience", not because it is just as good.
This. Don't be lazy.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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Originally Posted by Evs-One View Post
If the tires are crappy enough it could throw off the reading of the alignment machine, not the settings themselves. He is right to wait for a new set of tires.
I agree with this,but sometimes you don't have the luxury to put the new ones on first and it will only throw the machine off a litle,no enough to matter.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

I would personally do it after I mount the new tires just to be sure the aligment is 100% accurate. I do not have any proof that it would be innacurate with the other tires, but I always felt like it would be different. That's just my .02 cents.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Alignment Before or after new tires... Does it really matter?

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I agree with this,but sometimes you don't have the luxury to put the new ones on first and it will only throw the machine off a litle,no enough to matter.
You revived a 5 year old thread for this?
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