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Steering aligment question
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natejohn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:33 pm    Post subject: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Hi everyone

So I just finished up replacing all of my suspension bushings with Powerflex, as well as adding the GW 1.5 lift springs and Bilstein HD shocks. At the same time as all that, I replaced the wheel bearings/seals and brakes.

Before I removed everything I took a bunch of measurements and set everything back to that. I know that it'll likely be out a bit due to all the new running angles etc, but I've had a bitch of a time with the steering.

I had initially removed the tie rod ends to replace, but decided they were in great shape and just put them back on at the same spot they were at. Now, while test driving, my steering wheel is just under a 1/4 turn to the left to keep me going straight. It was just fine and centered before.

My plan is to take it in to get the tracking done professionally, but the Bentley says to wait ~600-1200 miles before having that done to let things settle.

Could the new angles be causing it to be out that far? I took the tie rods in a little on each side which made some difference, but not enough to be where it was or where I'd like it.

I did read up on centering the rack and all that, but I'm not sure that'd need to be done considering I didn't remove it apart from undoing the mounts to replace the bushings.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Did you remove the steering wheel during the work?
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natejohn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Did you remove the steering wheel during the work?


No. Just the tie rods being disconnected and the mounts being undone to replace the bushings.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

when you lifted the van you changed the geometry, no way around that.

i'd center the rack and do a 100mph tape measure toe job and sww hwere you're at. but...camber has an affect on the toe as well...-will have toe in and+ will have toe out
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

You might well kill your tires if you try to run it 1000 miles before getting it aligned. You can get the camber and toe-in very close if you have or can create a perfectly level surface for the van to sit on while you take measurements. The caster takes some more effort to get correct, but unless you boogered something up doing the work it is likely pretty close to where it should be.
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natejohn
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
You might well kill your tires if you try to run it 1000 miles before getting it aligned. You can get the camber and toe-in very close if you have or can create a perfectly level surface for the van to sit on while you take measurements. The caster takes some more effort to get correct, but unless you boogered something up doing the work it is likely pretty close to where it should be.


I took the advice and had my van in to get an alignment done to at least dial it in close to where it should be. My plan was to then have it re-checked after 1000 miles or so if I felt it changed over that time. Unfortunately they didn't want to carry out the alignment due to the upper control arm's clearance from the tire.

I looked and agreed that it was riding really close to the tire, but that I thought the alignment would set things right. Not only did the tech not want to carry it out, he indicated he couldn't see where to adjust the camber from. I showed him, but my faith had already been lost in that place. So home I went.

I now have an appointment with a place that more specifically deals with Vanagons, and has a ton of experience with lifted ones. I am hoping they will clear it all up but I wanted to throw these pics at the forum to see what you think:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The UCA is definitely close to the tire. Has anyone else run into this problem? I've installed the recommended spacer for the upper ball joint, as included in the 1.5 lift spring kit. Everything is basically new. I hadn't read anywhere that a wheel spacer would be required or anything. Will it clear up with adjustment?
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Viva.Sabata
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Yup I did the same mods to my van. You’ll need spacers between the hub and wheel in the front. I can’t remember what I ended up putting in but they’re about 1/4” thick
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Microbusdeluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Well as soon as enough Canadians get vaccinated the border will open up and you can mosey on down I-5 to TruLine in Bellevue where Pete (a syncro owner) will take care of you. https://trulineseattle.com/index.html
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Viva.Sabata wrote:
Yup I did the same mods to my van. You’ll need spacers between the hub and wheel in the front. I can’t remember what I ended up putting in but they’re about 1/4” thick


Really, dang. Everything I read on GW site about these things, I never once saw spacers mentioned. It feels a bit like a band aid.
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natejohn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Microbusdeluxe wrote:
Well as soon as enough Canadians get vaccinated the border will open up and you can mosey on down I-5 to TruLine in Bellevue where Pete (a syncro owner) will take care of you. https://trulineseattle.com/index.html


Ha! I honestly feel enough of us are. We are running about 75% first dose up here. We thought the border would be reopening this weekend to double dosers but they went with another month.

We've owned our van for a year and a half now and haven't once been able to head down. We can't wait to road trip.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

A ball joint spacer is okay but a wheel spacer isn't? Shocked Cool

Vancouver Transmission in Surrey speaks fluent Vanagon, alignment included.
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natejohn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

Jake de Villiers wrote:
A ball joint spacer is okay but a wheel spacer isn't? Shocked Cool

Vancouver Transmission in Surrey speaks fluent Vanagon, alignment included.


No, not that it isn't okay. I just find it strange that the company that sells all of these upgrade parts doesn't once mention that a spacer may be necessary for the front wheels. I agree, it would create more clearance, but I want to be sure there isn't something else that has to be set right before just moving the wheel away.

EDIT: Also, I should thank you for the recommendation. Several people as well as the folks at Werke1 have pointed me towards IB motors in Vancouver as the guys to go to. Apparently they speak fluent lifted vanagon Wink
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Steering aligment question Reply with quote

natejohn wrote:
Jake de Villiers wrote:
A ball joint spacer is okay but a wheel spacer isn't? Shocked Cool

Vancouver Transmission in Surrey speaks fluent Vanagon, alignment included.


No, not that it isn't okay. I just find it strange that the company that sells all of these upgrade parts doesn't once mention that a spacer may be necessary for the front wheels. I agree, it would create more clearance, but I want to be sure there isn't something else that has to be set right before just moving the wheel away.

EDIT: Also, I should thank you for the recommendation. Several people as well as the folks at Werke1 have pointed me towards IB motors in Vancouver as the guys to go to. Apparently they speak fluent lifted vanagon Wink
GoWesty is kinda famour for crap like that. I have a 1/4" aliuminium spacer to keep my 225/55R16 tires off the upper wishbones. Wheel backspacing (ET) has a lot to say about clearance/lack thereof.
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