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Ecomike 04-13-2019 10:20 PM

2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
The hit some hit some ice and slid into a curb and killed a tire on the front passenger side. Rim had a slight bend, that was repaired (steel rim), and 2 new tires were put on the front.

Then about 4 weeks later at night the drivers side rear tire hit something and bent the hell out of the rim and shredded the sidewall and part of the front of the tire. Too dark and too much snow, so she was not able to find what she hit. Pot hole maybe? No idea. AAA towed it home.

A brand new rim and a good used tire (prior good front tire maybe?) where put on the drivers rear. Wheel bearings are all fine. Yes I was shocked too.

But now it has a slight pull to one side. It is very driveable, she has probably put a 500 miles on it since the last tire got wasted.

We got an alignment check, but I have 45 years of hard knocks bad experience with those places, and I have lost all faith in alignment folks. Been doing all, and I mean all my own vehicle work for the last 20 years. Started doing some 45 years ago. So here is the alignment data (image below).

Shop wants to fix the front end Caster first, but I just read that caster is not even adjustable on these??? Also the pull to one side she is pretty sure started after the rear tire/wheel got seriously hammered (it looked like it hit a huge pot hole from hell or something sharp and hard rolling in the blizzard wind/snow.... and the two wheel attacks were about 4 weeks apart, so I suspect the problem is the rear toe in and not a problem on the front????

Is the rear Toe adjustable? If so how (what part)? I know how to driveway toe in adjustment on front ends of old rigs....Old tech Jeeps etc.
Here is the data print out. Not sure if their "specs" list is right???? I printed out one from another thread link here, with the updated GM specs...

I will post more as I find more details. I am inclined to fix the rear toe on both sides then see what is what. It also wonder if the re-used tire on the rear has a belt issue. For Now I will assume the tire is OK. All tires were balanced.


Ecomike 04-13-2019 10:59 PM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
Forgot the link:


Samtherecordman 04-18-2019 01:49 AM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
Whats your question?
What are you trying to do?
Make it simple!!!

Ecomike 04-18-2019 11:51 AM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
Whats your question?[/QUOTE]

[U]Need to fix the pull to the right. My 45 years of curb encounters...LOL, experience says adjust the toe In and forget the rest.

I am not sure if the toe in error on the rear also causes these rigs to pull to the side? I think it does/can.

Looking for what other's know about the rear toe in experience on pull and tire wear. Does any one know for sure,personally if leaving the caster as it is, and just fixing the toe in the Ions, is unsafe. Caster is not adjustable on the IONs. The Ion is being driving daily and has been with those alignment values with no problem, front for 8 weeks with new tires and rear for about 10 days.

I know from experience that goofed up toe-in numbers like these can cause a pull on the steering wheel. And pull the car to not steer straight hands free.

What puzzles me is my daughter thinks the tire pull started after the rear tire, drivers side got busted up (pot hole?) bad and replaced. And not after the early curb-drive by took out the Passenger side front tire. And yet my experience says the bad front toe in numbers are causing the pull, and possibly the rear.[/U]

"What are you trying to do?"

[U]As little as possible, LOL
[QUOTE=Samtherecordman;2297114]Make it simple!!![/B][/QUOTE]

fdryer 04-19-2019 03:26 PM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
In my humble opinion, caster off by either 0.15 or 0.18 of one degree is negligible in the overall scheme of front end alignment. In essence, tires leaning backward or forward between one to two tenths of one degree means nothing. The tires are leaning a smidgen more than acceptable. This has nearly zero effect during turns but does affect steering returning to straight ahead driving after a turn. In racing circles with high speeds, this may be a real factor. In normal every day street/highway driving, nil. Let's remember that this discussion is about everyday driving and how caster affects steering response. Not racing at high speeds.

Pulling to one side usually means a bent suspension, somtimes with a quick toe-in/toe-out adjustment to drive safely before repairs are made. Personal experience; bent the right front lower control arm when hitting a curb over heavy snow. Got the car back to my garage and readjusted right toe-in to allow driving to a shop to replace the bent control arm. Drove under 50 mph on local streets to avoid any unanticipated issues while getting the car to a shop nearby.

WrightMan 05-15-2019 10:29 AM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
If all the fenders and rims are straight then measure front of rim to fender and rear of rim to fender and compare 1 side to the other. This can give you an idea if maybe something got bent but you would need to measure very closely.

bern 05-16-2019 12:10 AM

Re: 2003 Ion 3 alignment questions
The most recently hit left rear tire pushed trailing axle backwards. to adjust loosen the three large bolts that goes straight up underneath the left rear passenger door that holds the trailing axle to the body. Then ply the trailing axle forward while holding the trailer axle forward tighten the bolts. The the total toel in the rear is not too bad but the trailing axle should be adjusted so that both the left and right rear toe is close to equal . Also the rear toe thrust angle will cause the rear to turn the rear of the car to the left and then the steering wheel has to be at turn to the left to make the same turn on the front. this can make it seems like a pull because the steering wheel is always the little left. The hit in the front right likely caused the right front lower control arm to be bent backwards reducing the Caster on that side which would cause a pull to the right. Replacing the right front lower control arm and then reset the toe.

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