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Alignment: How often do you have it done?

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Old 06-21-2010, 03:22 AM
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Alignment: How often do you have it done?

I had to replace a tire a few months back because it was badly cupped due to a worn ball joint and mis-alignment. I installed Camburg ball joints and got the alignment done...and now only 5k miles later my 2 front tires are both showing signs of slight cupping. I got them aligned again, but it is frustrating me. I rotate every 3k and have gotten a ton of miles out of these mud terrains, but my alignment seems to keep going bad. How often should I be doing it? Maybe because my truck is offroad pretty often I should be having the alignment checked pretty frequently?

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:53 AM
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I haven't had an alignment since my Bilstein strut install 1.5yrs ago and wont need one any time soon. Tires are wearing just fine and truck drives smooth. Alignment should only need to be done when a suspension component is changed.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:04 AM
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I do it annually (about 20k). And it is always out at least a little. Pot holes and suspension wear will put it out. It's cheap insurance, and perfect time to check for bad parts.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:14 AM
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I went three years on my stockers and did not need one until I added a level and 20's. That was about a year ago and I already need to get it done again my truck is pulling right. I wondered if the bigger wheels and tires made a difference?
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:36 PM
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If you are off road as much as you say you may want to get it checked every 3 to 6 months depending on how hard you drive it. Pounding your truck offroad wears everything out faster and will certainly knock your alignment out.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzstang View Post
If you are off road as much as you say you may want to get it checked every 3 to 6 months depending on how hard you drive it. Pounding your truck offroad wears everything out faster and will certainly knock your alignment out.
I certainly dont "pound" on it, but trails littered with potholes are frequent as well as old logging roads, uphill over rocks, washouts etc. The fact that they are large heavy tires probably doesn't help. I guess I will have it checked every 6 months or so just to make sure. Replacing $350 tires because of cupping is not something I want to have to keep doing. For a while my truck sounded like it had 3 KM2s and 1 mud grappler. The one badly cupped mud tire was ridiculously loud. I even took a video.



Thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:19 PM
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I bought a lifetime alignment at firestone when I 1st got my truck for $120. I take mine in every 6 months or so, usually nothing is wrong but good piece of mind as I go 4 wheeling every now and then.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:41 PM
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I think I've had three or four alignments since 2001. You need to keep an eye on the tires for sure. You could have an alignment and hit a pothole on the way home and knock it right back out. I try to look at my tires closely every week when I wash the wheels and tires.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandell View Post
I think I've had three or four alignments since 2001. You need to keep an eye on the tires for sure. You could have an alignment and hit a pothole on the way home and knock it right back out. I try to look at my tires closely every week when I wash the wheels and tires.
I use a plastic ruler to check the levelness of my tread, always spot on flat
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:37 PM
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how often are you rotating?

what else have you replaced? Upper and lower ball joints? what about tie rods?


I usually do mine once a year to touch it up, but i do them my self at work so its free to me, just time
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:48 AM
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I bought a package "lifetime" tire rotation and balance when I got my Nittos at NTB and also purchased their lifetime alignment.

I have my tires rotated every other oil change and balanced. The alignment is checked and corrected every year. If you have roads like they do in NJ then it's always good to have it checked. Service techs say to have it checked every 6 months, alignment that is but I think that's BS.


Regardless its always best to pay the extra 30-50 bucks to get the lifetime alignment package at places like NTB, firestone or goodyear since it covers the truck for life HOWEVER make sure you ask the following:

"Does the lifetime alignment cover me if I change any of my suspension parts?"


NTB say yes so when my Bilstein Level Shocks get here they will do the alignment for free however firestone told me no and I would have to pay again.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:01 PM
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I rotate the MTs every 3-4k and do an alignment every other time. Might be overkill, but those MTs are expeeeeeesive.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:18 PM
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i go as soon as its pulling hard to the right, but my problem is the stealership nor small shops ever do it 100% right. next im tryin 4wheelparts
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:20 PM
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I do an alignment once when I get new tires. If you do and alignment every year, and pay to have tires rotated every 5k, then you spend as much on all that as a set of new tires cost. I think you either have to balance these costs, or do them your self.

If you still have problems with cupping, have your idler arm checked. I may be the cause of you cupping problem and will continue to ruin your tires no matter how many tire alignments and rotations your have done.
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