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Old 01-20-2017, 02:50 PM   #1
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Front End Alignment on Chevy

We picked up our Forester 2861DS on a Chevy chassis on Tuesday, January 17th from RV Wholesalers. I will post a separate thread on that but all in all it was a great experience. Very helpful and nice folks.

My question is regarding a front end alignment for the Chevy 4500 chassis. The motor home had 600 miles on it when we picked it up and we drove it 700 miles home. We have found that the vehicle pulls to the right and the steering wheel is offset to the left. We have found a shop to do a front end alignment. I have done a search and have found suggested front end alignment specs posted here for Ford units, but not Chevy. Can anyone help me find what specs I should provide to the mechanic for the alignment?

Josh? Do you have any information for the Chevy units?

Thank you.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:35 PM   #2
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Any alignment shop worth it's weight in salt that has a good quality alignment machine, will not need any info from an outside source. Today's computerized alignment machines have all the correct and/or updated specs already in them. So, as long as the machine has been kept properly maintained and updated, the machine will tell the technician which way to adjust.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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X2 for sure. Perhaps the need for info = heed the need ( find another alignment center; even if you have to drive a distance to get it done RIGHT).
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:34 AM   #4
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I agree with the above posts.

I'll find the specs and post them back to this thread.


*Per our warranty department "We recommend they be set to factory specs" for alignment.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:03 AM   #5
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Use a shop that SPECIALIZES in RV's and trucks.
They know how to put a "motorhome" alignment under it.
That usually incs more caster than is recommended for a straight steer on offset and undulating roads.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
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As a longtime mechanic, now retired, I can say that factory specs are a good balance between handling and tire wear. MANY techs will blow a vehicle out the door if the specs are "in the green" so says the machine, when in reality there will be tire wear and handling issues. I used to be the guy in our shop who fixed those alignments. If you find a great tech who really knows what those alignment angles are and what they do, you better keep him. Not many techs these days have been properly schooled in that, and many other systems on your vehicle. It's also possible your pull is created by a tire. My .02.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:07 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your input.

Joshua, I would appreciate you posting the specs.

Springerdad, thank you for the additional information on the tire possibility. We noticed the pull while we were still in Ohio, which is where we picked up the unit. We had to take it to a tire shop to get the valve extenders replaced on the duals and spoke to the tech there about the pull. He did swap the two front tires but it made no difference in the handling of the unit on our 600 mile trip back to central New York, on various road surfaces.
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:59 AM   #8
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Kayleys Mom, our warranty department recommends factory specs for alignment.
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Cavitt View Post
Kayleys Mom, our warranty department recommends factory specs for alignment.
Joshua, thank you for your reply.

Just to confirm, by "factory" you mean Chevy specs?
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:33 AM   #10
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Yes.
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:53 AM   #11
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My specs are in this thread.
I used a motorhome alignment specialist (old school guy- these rigs are old school)

Rigs will handle differently depending on length, rear overhang and weight distribution.
Tire pressure also is a large factor (as Springerdad stated)
Don't forget these rigs are set from the factory with no load. Motorhomes pack more weight over the front axle than most delivery trucks.

Adding caster could wear your tires more when turning- how much do we actually turn these things and who really wears out tire tread- they usually rot the sidewalls before the tread wears out unless you are driving around the country a lot.
I prefer the straight steer feel of the added caster- handles much better in winds, undulating roads and passing trucks.

2251 Chevy alignment/wandering issue...
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:43 AM   #12
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After having tire wear issues, I learned from an online forum dedicated to my truck that the factory provided specs (specs that are embedded within alignment machine's software) were faulty, at least for the early model years. Through other's experience, the forum posted suggested alignment specs that require manual setting (different numbers for each side of axle). To get custom numbers, I had to locate a shop that was willing and had an able tech. I had to pay a little more also. From eyeing the original tire wear pattern, the technician agreed that the new numbers were solid and viable.
That set of tires (rotated every 6-7k) gave me 58k miles and we're changed to get more tread depth for snow weather. I'm just echoing that thinking factory specs are always spot-on can be costly. A good tech can be very helpful. And, since their talent is rare, they are located by researching the online "review" sites. Look at the shops that specialize in straightening out (hee-hee!) the issues within raised trucks with huge tires.
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:52 PM   #13
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I took mine to a good RV shop due to a slight right pull and darting issues. As it worked out, the caster/camber numbers were spot on per my desires, but the alignment was toed out. I still have the slight right pull, but all the darty-ness went away. I had already installed Bilstiens on the front, then installed the rear ones a few weeks after the alignment. The tech charged me half of our agreed-on price as he didn't need to change anything other than toe.
I've had pull issues on other rigs purely due to tires, so I'll try a side-to-side swap this spring on the fronts (or may do a full rotation) to see if the issue goes away or moves. The pull isn't bad, and on good flat roads, it doesn't pull at all. It tends to happen on roads with a high crown.
The steering on the Chevy has always been tight & stiff; I was used to the sloppy loosey-goosey clunky steering on our 2000 Ford, but have come to enjoy the Chevy steering. (which was one of the main reasons for selling the Ford & getting a Chevy)
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucemc View Post
I took mine to a good RV shop due to a slight right pull and darting issues. As it worked out, the caster/camber numbers were spot on per my desires, but the alignment was toed out. I still have the slight right pull, but all the darty-ness went away. I had already installed Bilstiens on the front, then installed the rear ones a few weeks after the alignment. The tech charged me half of our agreed-on price as he didn't need to change anything other than toe.
I've had pull issues on other rigs purely due to tires, so I'll try a side-to-side swap this spring on the fronts (or may do a full rotation) to see if the issue goes away or moves. The pull isn't bad, and on good flat roads, it doesn't pull at all. It tends to happen on roads with a high crown.
The steering on the Chevy has always been tight & stiff; I was used to the sloppy loosey-goosey clunky steering on our 2000 Ford, but have come to enjoy the Chevy steering. (which was one of the main reasons for selling the Ford & getting a Chevy)
Agree the Chevy is "tight" and gets "tighter" when you add caster.
Doesn't bother me- just a little more forearm strength when turning at a slow speed.

Caster is not always even left to right.
A simple road test will determine if you need to add or subtract by the vehicle pulling to one side.
A good shop should road test and readjust if necessary prior to delivery.
Tow should be about zero.
Camber should be close to zero but that should not affect driveablilty if it is off a minor amount.
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