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Old 06-03-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
WV6Z
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2004 ION-2 Sedan
2002 SL2
Default Alignment Questions

Well, if you saw my very first post regarding my junk yard find/resurrection asking about adding cruise control to an '04 level 2 sedan with an automatic transmission, you may have noticed that I had to replace the rear axle assembly. So, my question is this, as I have yet to get an alignment, as I am just finishing up this project car and road trips have been little more than to see how it's all coming together, am I right in the assumption that the Ion is pretty much a front alignment only vehicle? Sure, I can see that to aim for factory spec perfection (yes, that is an attempt at humor ), some frame pulling may be required, but, as the front end would appear to be the only 'axle' with alignment adjustment, is my assumption correct?

Also, as I was thinking along the lines of it potentially only being a front end adjustment, is my local shop's offered quote of $99 + tax (and potentially parts) reasonable? My Civic's 4 wheel alignment was $69 + tax about 2 months ago is what I am comparing this against for my own point of reference, so, what do you folks say?

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Old 06-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
JH6
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2003 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Alignment Questions

I do get a regular 4 wheel alignment on my 03 ion.

Comes to about 65 bucks, anything much more than that price is too much.

Most chain type places have a coupon, check your paper closely.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alignment Questions

I get 4 wheel alignment in all my front drive cars.

As stated above, look for a coupon in paper.

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Old 06-04-2009, 11:13 PM   #4
WV6Z
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Default Re: Alignment Questions

I thought that there was no rear axle adjustment on the Ion? Hmmmm, guess I will have to take a look - see, because if I ended up paying for a 4 wheel alignment on a car that allows for no rear axle adjustment, I might come unglued on the local tire and balance hack shop guy......

Now if they are actually using a frame machine, I guess that would be different, but, hey, if I need to have my car put on a frame machine to align it, I think I will buy a 'For Sale' sign for it.

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Old 06-05-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
DukeCitySC2
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2006 ION-2 Sedan
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Default Re: Alignment Questions

They do have shims (available at NAPA) to correct the rear stub axles if needed. A "thrust" alignment is what I get on FWD, it is more than a simple front end alignment but less than a full 4-wheel alignment.

The one thing I have learned to make very clear to the shop is, I want the steering wheel centered!! It is entirely possible to have perfect alignment all around but NOT have the wheel centered, and I can't believe they would think that's acceptable, but sure enough I've been burned on this. I have them write it on the work order.

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Old 06-05-2009, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alignment Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeCitySC2 View Post
They do have shims (available at NAPA) to correct the rear stub axles if needed. A "thrust" alignment is what I get on FWD, it is more than a simple front end alignment but less than a full 4-wheel alignment.

The one thing I have learned to make very clear to the shop is, I want the steering wheel centered!! It is entirely possible to have perfect alignment all around but NOT have the wheel centered, and I can't believe they would think that's acceptable, but sure enough I've been burned on this. I have them write it on the work order.
Thanks for the reply, I will remember that!

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Old 06-07-2009, 11:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alignment Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeCitySC2 View Post
They do have shims (available at NAPA) to correct the rear stub axles if needed. A "thrust" alignment is what I get on FWD, it is more than a simple front end alignment but less than a full 4-wheel alignment.

The one thing I have learned to make very clear to the shop is, I want the steering wheel centered!! It is entirely possible to have perfect alignment all around but NOT have the wheel centered, and I can't believe they would think that's acceptable, but sure enough I've been burned on this. I have them write it on the work order.
Yes, I learned this the hard way long time ago. And like an idiot, I believed the manager at auto chain repair place. He told me that the two are connected and that the steering wheel cannot be moved to center it once the alignment is done - and I believed him. Never went back to that place again.

Now, when I have an alignment at any shop, I ask to personally speak with the mechanic doing the alignment. I look him/her in the eyes and state that i want my steering wheel centered when done.

Some reply that they do not touch/adjust/move/unlock or in any manner move the steering wheel in Front Drive Cars for alignment. I have no idea if this is true or not.

I still speak with person doing the alignment each and every time.

Also, request to DRIVE the car before you pay for alignment.

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