SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-03-2008, 03:43 PM   #1
fquan59
Member
fquan59 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 141

1997 SL2
Default 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

So I went out and bought 4 brand new Kumho tires. I knew the alignment was bad but the tire guy showed me the two front tires and confirmed it. So I took the car to the Saturn dealer, yesterday, and had the alignment done. (By the way, because I took a test drive in the Sky, I received a $5 off coupon so the alignment was only $70.) Well, the car still pulls slightly to the right. I have an appointment next Tuesday to bring the car back in so they can check it.

In the meantime, I'm checking this forum about alignment work and read about stuff under the car that can be bent and affect the alignment and wonder if that's my problem. Here's the reason for my thinking. About three months ago, I noticed that a section of the front driver's side wheel is missing (about a 1 inch by half in section along the rim). I wish I had taken a picture of it so I can show it. But as I think about it, the impact to rip off a chunk of the wheel had to be pretty substantial. I'm pretty sure it happened when my son was driving the car but he doesn't remember hitting anything.

So, if the impact is hard enough to tear off a chuck of wheel, what kind of damage could it have done to the frame or any other part of the car? Am I thinking correctly about this? So if the technician at Saturn aligned the car to specs and it still pulls to the right, what should I do? I'm a computer guy and not a car guy so I don't even know what to inspect to make sure I don't have any bent parts under the car. If any of you can provide suggestions for a visual inspection I'd sure appreciate it. And it would sure help if you could use simple terms for this computer geek.

Thanks in advance!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fquan59's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fquan59 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fquan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 07-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
2003MercMaraude
Member
2003MercMaraude is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: So. MD
Posts: 333
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

PS I really hope you are not still driving on that wheel. It is a safety hazard and needs to be replaced.

Did you get a print out of the alignment? Always, always demand one. Without the sheet you are screwed. You are not going to be able to tell visually if suspension geometry is within tenths of a degree. If all of the angles are fine, the car should not pull. If something is bent that affects the alignment, it will show up on the printout. If the thrust angle, total toe, cross caster, cross camber is all okay and the wheel was centered the car should point straight.

...
Rides:

2004 Ford Taurus SEL
2003 Mercury Marauder
1988 Chevy K1500
1976 Pontiac Firebird

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to 2003MercMaraude's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help 2003MercMaraude reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
2003MercMaraude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #3
fquan59
Member
fquan59 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 141

1997 SL2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003MercMaraude View Post
PS I really hope you are not still driving on that wheel. It is a safety hazard and needs to be replaced.

Did you get a print out of the alignment? Always, always demand one. Without the sheet you are screwed. You are not going to be able to tell visually if suspension geometry is within tenths of a degree. If all of the angles are fine, the car should not pull. If something is bent that affects the alignment, it will show up on the printout. If the thrust angle, total toe, cross caster, cross camber is all okay and the wheel was centered the car should point straight.
No, I'm not driving on the wheel. As soon as I saw it, I called the junk yard and got a replacement. Unfortunately, I did not know enough to ask for the printout. It was after reading about it today that I learned to get one. Also, as for the specs for my car, I found information on this link which I think applies to my car but not sure:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=144

Unfortunately, I don't know what the thrust angle, total toe, cross caster, cross camber are.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fquan59's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fquan59 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fquan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
92SL1Mann
Advanced Member
92SL1Mann is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Ghetto St. Thomas, ONT
Posts: 682
 

1992 SL1
1996 SC2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

won't most roads oull you slightly to the right (due to the crown of the road) to pull out put of oncoming traffic should you fall asleep? or is that an old myth.....

...
1992 SL1, 376,000Kms
1996 SC2, 243,000Kms

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to 92SL1Mann's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help 92SL1Mann reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
92SL1Mann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant future
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 51,504
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

depending on the degree of crown you will feel more or less of a pull to the low side. Try the left lane on the interstate and compare that to the right. Try and find a day with no wind. If you then drive in the middle you should feel no pull either way. The crown is for water drainage, nothing more.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 04:22 PM   #6
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant future
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 51,504
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fquan59 View Post
Unfortunately, I don't know what the thrust angle, total toe, cross caster, cross camber are.
Thrust angle is when the front wheels are driving straight ahead what direction are the rear wheels going? The ideal is zero degree difference.

Cross caster is the algebraic difference between the left and right wheel caster. Desired is zero, which means that they are both set to the same caster angle.

Cross camber is the algebraic difference between the left and right wheel camber. Desired is zero, which means that they are both set to the same camber angle.

They should be able to meet the preferred specs. Be sure that either you sit in the car while they do this or bring out their dummy driver sand bag. Also make sure that they check the ride height, before aligning the car.

98 specs.

If an Alignment Is Performed

Front

Camber:
Preferred Setting -0.50
Minimum -1.20
Maximum +0.20

Cross Camber:
Preferred Setting 0.00
Minimum -0.40
Maximum +0.40

Caster:
Preferred Setting +1.70
Minimum +1.10
Maximum +2.30

Cross Caster:
Preferred Setting 0.00
Minimum -0.40
Maximum +0.40

Toe (Per Wheel):
Preferred Setting +0.10
Minimum 0.05
Maximum +0.15

Total Toe:
Preferred Setting +0.20
Minimum +0.10
Maximum +0.30

Rear

Camber:
Preferred Setting -0.70
Minimum -1.40
Maximum 0.00

Cross Camber:
Preferred Setting 0.00
Minimum -1.00
Maximum +1.00

Toe (Per Wheel):
Preferred Setting +0.10
Minimum +0.05
Maximum +0.15

Total Toe:
Preferred Setting +0.20
Minimum +0.10
Maximum +0.30

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
fquan59
Member
fquan59 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 141

1997 SL2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

I'll give it a try, OldNuc, tomorrow morning. I had heard the same things that 92SL1Mann heard about the crown in the road. As a matter of fact, I had the same pulling to the right occur to me with an old Firebird I had about 25 years ago. After an alignment, the Firebird did the same thing my Saturn is currently doing.

Thanks for the specs. I noticed that it says 98 specs. Would it be the same for my 97. I can't thank all of you enough for the help.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fquan59's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fquan59 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fquan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 06:48 AM   #8
2003MercMaraude
Member
2003MercMaraude is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: So. MD
Posts: 333
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

To counter road crown, typically a good alignment shop will set the front end of the car with a few tenths caster lead on the right hand side, ie if the driver's side has 2.0 deg caster have 2.2 caster on the pass side. Caster is a non tire wearing angle but can be used to pull the car against a crowned road. Sometimes you can't stagger the caster without having to bump the front subframe so it's not always easily adjusted.

...
Rides:

2004 Ford Taurus SEL
2003 Mercury Marauder
1988 Chevy K1500
1976 Pontiac Firebird

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to 2003MercMaraude's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help 2003MercMaraude reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
2003MercMaraude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 09:18 AM   #9
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant future
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 51,504
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

The alignment specs should be the same for all of the gen-2 bodies. I don't have access to a library so I can not verify that but it will be close.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 10:02 AM   #10
fquan59
Member
fquan59 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 141

1997 SL2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

I did the driving tests as suggested by OldNuc and I also checked the air pressure to make sure the tires were 30 psi in the front and 26 in the back. Road crown was what was causing the slight drift as some of you suggested. Once again, thanks to everyone who helped.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fquan59's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fquan59 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fquan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 10:07 AM   #11
mr18436572
Senior Member
mr18436572 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,299
 

2000 SL2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

make sure they adjust toe in the rear, and camber/caster/toe in the front if any of those are out of spec

lot of techs dont bother with front camber/caster which will make a car drift or pull if its out of spec

...
2000 SL2 auto - 167k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 161k - sold
1997 SC2 auto - 105k - sold
2000 SC2 auto - 117k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 250k - sold
2001 SC2 5sp - 160k - sold

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to mr18436572's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help mr18436572 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
mr18436572 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 10:50 AM   #12
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant futureOldNuc has a brilliant future
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 51,504
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

With a front wheel drive car you ask for a 4 wheel alignment or they will ignore the rear end. Any alignment better set/check the front wheel camber and verify that the caster is in spec. If they do not I want a refund and am going somewhere else as they have just tried to scam me.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008, 02:39 PM   #13
fquan59
Member
fquan59 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 141

1997 SL2
Default Re: 1997 Saturn SL2 - Alignment?

When I took the car to the dealership, they said it was a 4 wheel alignment. So I can only assume that is what they did. Next time I'll ask for a printout to see what the numbers look like.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fquan59's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fquan59 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fquan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2002 Saturn SL2 Alignment Specs ghostU67 S-Series Tech 5 11-05-2006 08:54 PM
1997 saturn sl2 overheating droops S-Series Tech 10 10-02-2006 10:10 PM
P0405 on 1997 Saturn SL2 fquan59 S-Series General 0 07-02-2006 04:44 PM
1997 Saturn SL2 giger S-Series General 1 05-15-2006 09:24 PM
HELP!!! 1997 Saturn SL2 Problems jdipp S-Series Tech 8 07-20-2004 10:32 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:23 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.