2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Handling, suspension, and brake tuning discussions
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vibolista
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Location: "Glacial", Maine!

2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby vibolista » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:06 am

Got a new set of snow tires for the Vibe (on dedicated set of wheels) ... and had an alignment done just to make sure everything was still good. Specs were close to OK, so the shop tweaked the alignment a bit, but the drivers side rear could not be brought to spec.

So now the question is... what can I do to have that fixed. No accidents, no big pothole hits, no rust issues yet. Drives about as good as it did when new, although that rear tire will eventually begin to scrub out some as time goes on.

What type of shop would be able to repair this kind of problem best?
'08 Manual, Sun&Sound, 17" Borbet Type CA wheels, 225/50 Summer Tires... 16" OE steel, 215/55 Snow Tires

ehoff121
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:19 am
Location: Conn.

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby ehoff121 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:55 am

Unfortunately, this is a common problem with Toyotas- the bolts become frozen and the alignment shop isn't able to free it and/or is afraid of tearing the rubber bushing it goes through.

If the bolt is in bad shape (they use brine on those roads up in Maine, which is rough on the underside of a vehicle), your local mechanic could cut off the bolt and replace it, along with the bushing. You might want to source the parts yourself from a Toyota dealer.
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD - Platinum

jolt
Posts: 448
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 am

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby jolt » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:29 pm

What type of shop would be able to repair this kind of problem best?


To locate a shop in your area, I would find a body shop that does frame straightening and has a frame rack. Talk to them about where they take their repaired cars to get an alignment done at.

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vibolista
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:34 am
Location: "Glacial", Maine!

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby vibolista » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, ehoff121 and jolt. Will chase this down this week.
'08 Manual, Sun&Sound, 17" Borbet Type CA wheels, 225/50 Summer Tires... 16" OE steel, 215/55 Snow Tires

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SeattleJeremy
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Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:02 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby SeattleJeremy » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:54 pm

vibolista, thanks for posting this. I'm having the same issue with my 2006 Vibe. The alignment shop I went to last month told me, "The only way to fix this is to replace the rear axle beam." Not sure how much these things are new, but used ones are like $300+

I made an appointment with an repair shop that also does alignments for next Monday. Hopefully, they can actually fix the problem.
06 Vibe Base - Mono Platinum - Manual

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ImUrOBGYN
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Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby ImUrOBGYN » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:41 am

I'm not 100% on the mkii's but the you cannot adjust the alignment on the mki, rear beam Vibe/Matrix. If something is that far out of line, then the rear suspension has been damaged and knocked out of alignment at some point and you must replace. Again, not sure on your year/trim.

Depending on the alignment/damage, there may be some custom options or inserts that could help, but I'm only guessing off the top of my head there.
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best
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SeattleJeremy
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby SeattleJeremy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:04 pm

I may have screwed up. How do alignment machines work? Do they base the calculations on the tire angle, or the wheel angle?

Here's the timeline.
  • 215,161 miles 9/2/2016, installed tires Pirelli Cintuato P7 AS+ 205/55R16 (Cheap alternative to Goodyear RSA's)
  • 232,656 miles 8/1/2017, Replaced front struts
  • 232,921 miles 8/4/2017, Four Wheel alignment @ Alignment shop A. Initial Toe was 3 degrees (spec is 0 to 2 degrees), and they stated it could not be fixed without replacing the solid beam axle.
  • 234,872 miles 9/16/2017, Oil Change and Rotate tires. In October when the rain returned found handling to be unacceptable.
  • 236,915 miles 11/6/2017, Four Wheel alignment @ Alignment shop B. Initial Toe was 0, and the front alignment was off, and they fixed it.

In the 18k miles after installing the tires I did not rotate the tires at all, and believe 3 degrees of Toe in the rear changed the shape of the tires to be trapezoids, instead of rectangles. I may just rotate the tires again, so the trapezoidal tires are on the rear again.

Anybody have any ideas?
06 Vibe Base - Mono Platinum - Manual

jolt
Posts: 448
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 am

Re: 2008 Vibe rear wheel alignment?

Postby jolt » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:00 pm

The rear wheel toe should be around ¼°, not 3°. The camber and caster are given in degrees of angle. The toe in or toe out are given in inches or mm, and also in degrees. These measurements are from the king pin or axle center line for the camber, caster, and toe if done in degrees. If toe is measured in inches, then it is done as the difference from the front of the tire to the back of the tire. As with all tools, an alignment machine is only as good as the person that is using it. If the person does not know how to use the tool, it is worthless. If the person does not understand what the machine is telling them, the information is worthless.

The first thing that needs to be checked is that all components of the suspension are in good shape and that nothing is loose or worn. You need to roll up your sleeves and get dirty to find bad suspension parts. You can not align any suspension that has worn ball joints, tie rods, pivot bushings, etc... as the alignment will not stay true if the suspension is moving. This also brings up something else that is called "bump steer" see: https://duckduckgo.com/html?q=bump%20steer , or this maybe closer to a Vibe: http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/ ... Steer.aspx Old Ford pickups with the twin I beam front ends were horrible at cupping the front tires because of bump steer and bad design.

For rear tire problems the Toyota manual listed "Abnormal tire wear" causes; 1. Tire (Worn or improperly inflated), 2. Wheel alignment (Incorrect), 3. Shock absorber (Worn), 4. Suspension parts (Worn). I would also add from the "Rear wheel shimmy" causes; 2. Wheel (Out of balance) and 5. Hub bearing (Worn). I will also add a bent rim or a bad tire that is out of round. Have you ever seen a tire cutting machine and do you know why they were around? See this for spec's on toe and chamber with drawing for toe: http://madstyle1972.com/Repair/27/200qjl01/i740001.pdf

The rear axle is a one piece unit on the standard Vibe as seen here: http://madstyle1972.com/Repair/27/20ixc/conponen.pdf
If the toe is out of spec and all parts are in good condition, then the rear axle is bent. Either through being hit, damaged, rust through that as weakened the axle metal, metal flexing because of light weight design, etc... can cause the axle to shift and become mis-aligned over time. There are some tapped shim kits that can be used to correct some alignment. The shims go between the axle and the rear wheel bearing hub. The axle can also be bent back into alignment by pulling or welding. There is no easy adjustments that can be done. It requires someone that is knowledgeable about suspensions and is going to cost money to correct. When you see a price for a wheel alignment, think alignment check. It is going to cost a lot more to correct the problem that caused the alignment to be bad.

Alignment shims can be found:
http://www.spcalignment.com/component/s ... m&to=USATo
or
http://www.moog-suspension-parts.com/ca ... gnment-kit
or others, just Google.


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