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Thread: Rear shock replacement - alignment needed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Default Rear shock replacement - alignment needed?

    Do you need a wheel alignment if you replace the rear shocks on the XC or not?
    Will probably have front struts done when I buy new tires soon but may put off the rears unless it will cost me another alignment 6 mos later.

    Any expert advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    I wouldn't say an alignment is needed as the shock isn't really attached to an adjustable suspension or steering component; it's not really doing the same job as the front struts are, really.

    Dave.
    Our Most Probable Fate Is Death !!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Devon PA
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    No

  4. #4
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    Jan 2009
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    Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
    Do you need a wheel alignment if you replace the rear shocks on the XC or not?
    Will probably have front struts done when I buy new tires soon but may put off the rears unless it will cost me another alignment 6 mos later.

    Any expert advice is appreciated!
    What alignment is going to change if you do the front shocks? Only the camber and as far as I can tell it's impossible to adjust that outside of spec anyway. 0.3+/- 0.9 degree isn't really a very precise setting and the range of variability in the spring strut, +/- 0.5 means if you set it in the middle it's pretty much guaranteed to be within spec. I've removed and reinstalled front shocks several times without realigning, it's not an issue as far as my tires can tell. There is no rear camber setting, again, it's 0.3+/- 1 degree, hard to miss. As far as I can tell, toe in is the only real concern. If your caster is out of spec it's because something is broken

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjonnie View Post
    What alignment is going to change if you do the front shocks? Only the camber and as far as I can tell it's impossible to adjust that outside of spec anyway. 0.3+/- 0.9 degree isn't really a very precise setting and the range of variability in the spring strut, +/- 0.5 means if you set it in the middle it's pretty much guaranteed to be within spec. I've removed and reinstalled front shocks several times without realigning, it's not an issue as far as my tires can tell. There is no rear camber setting, again, it's 0.3+/- 1 degree, hard to miss. As far as I can tell, toe in is the only real concern. If your caster is out of spec it's because something is broken
    For many years the only adjustability, other than toe, in front strut-type suspensions has been with whatever slop there is between the mounting holes and bolts holding the bottom of the strut to the hub carrier. Hence the camber kit available from IPD which basically gives you a smaller diameter bolt with an eccentric to assist in adjustment. With the stock bolts you might be lucky to get a half degree of range but usually way less. Obviously the OEMs do this to aid in assembly of the car when there is no wear or bent bits yet. No need to put every car coming off the line on an adjustment rack.

    I've basically done the same thing as IPD on Improved Touring (ITB) VWs that we raced by using one mounting bolt (Grade 8) the next smaller diameter to the stock bolt. In fact, this was the official fix from VW for adjusting out a slightly bent front end. I was able to get about 2 degrees of adjustability by replacing the upper of the two lower mounting bolts. Worked pretty well on those as I was able to run about 1.5 negative. Tried it on a street Golf I had a while back and it worked great there too. Plenty of front end stick, but tire wear went thru the ceiling. I was running Yok 008s and not being known for long life anyway, I got something like 15,000 mile out of a set of tires.

    Oh well, the days of my youth.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '02 V70XC (Ash Gray)-350K kms to-date
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5 speed R - gone @250k kms
    '98 V70 -wife's basic, no options wagon - gone @390k kms
    '91 744GL - killed by son @ 220K kms
    '90 744T w/Turbo Plus -killed by son @260K mi
    '78 245 w/4sp-OD -killed by wife @166K mi
    '76 265 w/4sp-OD -gas hog gone
    And a whole tonne of other Euro stuff (VW (8), SAAB (5), Land Rover (4), Audi (3), BMW (2), Porsche (2), Mini (2), Opel (1), MB (1), MG (1), Sunbeam (1))

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    299

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    Thanks for all the input - front ends are not my area of expertise so all advice is valuable. Every other time I have had to touch anything on the front end it needed alignment so figured I would ask.

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