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Old 08-11-2006, 11:02 AM   #1
mug23
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Back to Boston
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2005 STI Race Ready
OBP/Orange

Default $150 for an alignment? Are you kidding me!

So I called Direct Tire in Watertown to schedule an alignment for my 05 STi and I asked what would be the price for the alignment. They asked if my car is lowered or not and I say, yes.

Well, they said it's $150 for lowered cars. They also said it's PITA to put a lowered car on the rack and they found out that it takes them longer to do it now. I was like, WTF??? $150 for an alignment on a lowered car? The only thing I want them to adjust is the toe to 0 all around and put as much as negetive camber as possible on a otherwise stock suspension with GF210 springs.

Now, there's noway I'm going to pay $150 for an alignment. These specs I give them is simple and easy to do. Nothing special about it. It's not like I'm asking them to corner weight my car or any other special things, I just feel that this is a big ripe off.

Don't get me wrong, Direct Tire is a awsome place. They do good work. I have had an alignment before and it was awsome, but at the same time, it didn't cost me $150 that time.

Also, I make an appointment with Townfair Tires to do the alignment and over the phone I mention to them that I want my own spec and not the factory specs on the alignment. They said, ok come on down.

When I got there, the sales guy said they will not do a custom alignment and only follow what the factory specs. This is their company policy. I really think that is bunch on bull on this. How hard it is to do the specs that the customer want??? I thought ain't businesses are catered towards what the custome wants within a reasonable doubt?

Well, I will never give my business to Townfair Tire for sure. They are like the worst.

Here's a solution I found. There's a place in Brookline called Alignment Specailty, Co. right on Brookline ave. The part that I have found to my liking is the fact that they don't use alignment machines to do the job. Everything is done by hand gauges on a electronicless alignment rack. I was blown away by the fact that there are still shops that do alignments by hand and not by machines. They seem to be very dedicated to alignments only. Check this out, they also do wheel balancing while the wheels are still on the car and the best part is that they are charging me not the $150 but, 100 bucks for the alignment.

I'm sure to pay $100 for a hand alignment. I'm so happy that I can find a shop that will do whatever specs I want and not have to pay a fortune for it.

I just want to vent out on this quest to find a good alignment place around the Boston area for people like us.
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Last edited by mug23; 08-11-2006 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
Ziggyrama
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2012 Tribeca Ltd.

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Find another shop. I recently got mine done at a local shop in Hudson, MA and they did it to spec that I wanted. The guy even slapped Ingals bolts on that I brought with me to get extra camber in the front. Oh, and I paid $70 for the service

I think you picked a wrong place to get the alignment done. I am sure there are lots of other places in the city that will do it the way you want it.

BTW, the shop I went to used devices thaty strap onto each wheel and send settings to the computer next to the lift. What is this electronic alignment rack you speak of?
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:21 AM   #3
mug23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggyrama
Find another shop. I recently got mine done at a local shop in Hudson, MA and they did it to spec that I wanted. The guy even slapped Ingals bolts on that I brought with me to get extra camber in the front. Oh, and I paid $70 for the service

I think you picked a wrong place to get the alignment done. I am sure there are lots of other places in the city that will do it the way you want it.

BTW, the shop I went to used devices thaty strap onto each wheel and send settings to the computer next to the lift. What is this electronic alignment rack you speak of?
This place have no electronics at all. Everything is done without the help of electronic devices.

Maybe I should have check the place you mention and save me few bucks. I just don't want to drive that far.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:27 AM   #4
pulski
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Default

Personally, I think the electronics were built to offer a more accurate reading... but maybe that's just me.

I went in with lowered suspension and paid $65 for a full alignment with no fuss. I even got a printout with: Factory Spec, Before Reading and After Reading, for everything that they check/adjust.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:51 AM   #5
redobs
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Actually, it's not unheard of to pay $150 for a performance custom alignment. KTR charges $150 and does everything by hand. Direct Tire charges more for everything than most tire shops. But, they also do it right. Chang charges his actual time, which I've heard is usually about 2 hours ($120). Also, those people will have a better understanding of toe and negative camber than a generic place would.

Oh, and the electronics is only as good as it's calibration.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:54 AM   #6
salisburyv
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I paid $100 for Jack at XXTuning to do my alignment by hand. I had it checked a year and a half later....My tech said it was still spot on. Thank you Jack!!!!
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:55 AM   #7
Ziggyrama
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2012 Tribeca Ltd.

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^^^ That is probably true but alignments are not rocket science. Especially if you're coming in with your own specs, all they have to do is get it there. Things get more interesting when you're on the fence with a setting and the shop has to get creative to get you to the spec but for most people, that is not an issue. Also, most of us are fairly knowledgable about our cars. We know how to direct them to certain parts of the car when they get confused. When I did my alignment, I was there for the entire procedure and I got to watch every step. At the end, I felt good knowing that nothing was touched that shouldn't have been.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:57 AM   #8
iamrazor
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Actually, thats not a bad price...







...if they're throwing in a hooker for an hour
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #9
mug23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamrazor
Actually, thats not a bad price...







...if they're throwing in a hooker for an hour
Now, that's a deal I love to pay.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:05 PM   #10
mug23
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OBP/Orange

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redobs
Actually, it's not unheard of to pay $150 for a performance custom alignment. KTR charges $150 and does everything by hand. Direct Tire charges more for everything than most tire shops. But, they also do it right. Chang charges his actual time, which I've heard is usually about 2 hours ($120). Also, those people will have a better understanding of toe and negative camber than a generic place would.

Oh, and the electronics is only as good as it's calibration.
Do they corner balance the car too with that price if you have coilovers?
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:20 PM   #11
Matt K
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there's a one-man shop in acton, ma called acton brake and alignment, the guy's great, will set it to your specs, will discuss what specs you might want and why, has a lot of track experience, and IIRC cost me $60. Electronic alignment gauges. You know that a non-electronic gauge needs to be calibrated too, right? I don't see any reason to avoid an electronic gauge.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:22 PM   #12
express_wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mug23
Do they corner balance the car too with that price if you have coilovers?
Yes, for that price. They should.

Recently, I just got corner balanced, alignment, and the height of my coilovers evened out at Synaptic3 for $130 no tax. I thought it was perfectly reasonable. It took them just under 3 hours but charged for two.

They are nice guys and located in Candia, NH if somebody is wondering.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:31 PM   #13
Matt K
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yeah, I met the synaptic guys setting up for WBM, very nice guys, seemed very capable too. I'd totally give them my business.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:45 PM   #14
bugeye829
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u can check and adjust the toe yourself all u need is a measuring tape and a couple of wrenches to adjust the tie rod. as for your camber its probably already negative because the car is lowered but that can also be adjusted with the strut to spindle bolts.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:48 PM   #15
Turco
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Wicked White Evo IX

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I got my car done at Firestone in watertown. I paid $120 for lifetime alignment. I have a sentra so it isnt awd but i asked for Crazymike and the guy said it is the same price for WRXs and they dont care about lowering as long as the car can get on the lift. He said you could give the tech custom specs if you could explain them to him. I really liked them, did a great job putting my wheels on but dont trust their time estimate it was way off, 45 minutes != 2.5 hours
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Old 08-11-2006, 03:57 PM   #16
Jack
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Buy:

Piece of 1" aluminum square stock
Carpenter's square (the big L)
small square with level
steel tape measure
1 pencil


You can set zero toe with this equipment and some time on any flat surface that's fairly level.

You need only normal tools to pull out to maximum camber. If you want to measure what it is, I can do that in about 7 minutes including finding my camber gauge. Another 5 minutes and I'll give you a caster reading as well.

I'm glad I got screwed 7 years ago and learned to do this myself. You guys are getting robbed!

Note......I don't know how to do rear toe set on your car....but can easily measure it.

jack
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:26 PM   #17
Draken
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Rear toe is cake on Subies. Eccentric bolt where the rear link attaches tot he frame. It is even marked with little serrations. I think the manual says 1 serration on each side = 1/8" toe change. We use to change rear toe between pairs of runs at ProSolos, i.e. in 5 minutes.

I've done my own alignements since Jesus was a corporal. I built a set of toe plates for like $10 and use tape measures. I also have a nifty camber gauge I built using a $5 Harbor Freight magnetic base gauge as a base.

If you have an hour, and a flat surface, give it a go.

Chris H.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:23 PM   #18
WeldingHank
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PSM

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didn't know i was infringing!

Last edited by WeldingHank; 08-12-2006 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:15 PM   #19
gslben
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Good thing you're badmouthing some other shop. If u were badmouthing one shop on here the Russian Army would have marched on your house by now. Phew
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:56 PM   #20
vwown3d
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Leh Keen
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i paid 80 at xx for one car. and then 200 and bridgestone on the gf's car. its a liftime allignment, can go in whenever or in whatever state I want. great for wihter/summer mods!
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