Rear Alignment with Shim

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by TFT, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Some additional photos:

    Jack from jack point and remove wheel. Make sure if you don't use a slotted jack that there's a pad on the jack that won't bend the lip. I use a rubber hocky puck. Disclaimer, a hydraulic jack is not considered safe when crawling underneath a vehicle. It can fail and the car can drop.

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    Remove clip holding brake line in place:

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    Remove clip holding emergency brake cable in place:

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    Remove ABS clip. Push down on the tab inside the clip, not up:

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    Remove four bolts from behind hub. Not shown in the photo, but you can pull the drum off to lighten the assembly. This photo kind of sucks but it shows removing one the bolts on the bottom:

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    Support hub with a jack or something that will keep it from falling to the ground when you pull it off:

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    I used a dremel with a sanding tube and checked it against the pattern. It's also helpful to rotate the two disks every so often to even out the trimming. Align the two numbers for top when the shim fits over the axle. Do this first before removing the tabs for the 4 bolts. If you don't, trimming the inside will be much much more difficult:

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  2. WindyCityPilot

    WindyCityPilot Junior Member

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    Hello everyone....first time poster.

    I actually drive a 2010 Corolla S and am having some issues with the rear alignment. In my endless searching on how to fix this I stumbles across this forum.

    I got an alignment done today and they were able to put the front into spec with no problems:

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    The rear however was an issue. The right rear toe was well outside of spec:

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    I see that a few people on here have used the SPC shim:

    Specialty Products Company - SPC Alignment

    My question to everyone here is do I need to add positve toe or negative toe to fix my issue?

    I'll probably only install a shim on the right rear and the left rear is in spec. So if I could take out .25" of toe and .4 degree of camber I should be close to matching the left side.

    But are these positive or negative numbers. I'm looking at the chart for the SPC shim and I'm getting confused. :)

    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide.

    I got a quote from the alignment shop for $150 to install the shim and re-align the car....so it's not a terrible price...but if I can do the shim myself and save some labor costs that would be great.
     
  3. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    :welcome:

    Convention is that positive toe in is when the tire tread(s) are closer at the front tread compared to the rear tread when looking down from above the car. Negative toe in is the opposite (rear tread closer than front) .

    My interpretation is that you have too much positive toe in on the right rear. You need to shim to get a smaller value (1/16 vs. 1/4) of positive toe.

    I would probably let the alignment shop go ahead and do the complete job because you are going to need to have it checked and aligned anyway once you finish with the shim and you will probably spend at least $80 to get a 4 wheel alignment. If they do the whole thing and they don't get it right on the first try, you won't be out any extra, but if you do it and you don't get it right you will have to take it back and try to correct or pay them to fix it.
     
  4. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Yes, the only way it makes sense financially for your to do it yourself is if an alignment shop agrees to retest for free or you have something like a lifetime wheel alignment with Firestone.

    In your case, you'd use template 10b. You want to even up camber while your at it. Looking at the chart, you have a few choices.

    1) 37/12 (get's you 3/16" of negative toe which should leave you with 1/16th toe which is the same as the left. It adds .38 degrees of positive camber which gives you 1.22 degrees).

    2) 38/13 subtracts 7/32 of toe leaving you with 1/32 toe with the same amount of camber adjustment as choice 1 above.

    Since this is the right side, the numbers on the shim must face outward. Read the instructions very carefully.

    If you happen to be a very aggressive drive in the corners, going down to 1.2 degrees of negative camber might not be a good idea in which case you'd want to leave it where it is and also shim the left. However, if you're not an ultra aggressive corning monster, -1.2 degrees of camber is better for tire wear than -1.6.
     
  5. WindyCityPilot

    WindyCityPilot Junior Member

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    Awesome thanks for the info everyone! I'll probably try to shim it down to -1.2 camber...I don't drive my car all that hard.

    The alignment shop will do an alignment for $50....so I will probably give shimming a try. See if I can figure it out.
     
  6. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Just to clarify I meant that it would give you .38 of positive camber bringing it from -1.6 to -1.22, not positive. I forgot the negative sign.
     
  7. WindyCityPilot

    WindyCityPilot Junior Member

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    I gotcha....I think I outsmarted myself on this one. Positive/negative....just when I think I have it right my brain starts to think and then I get confused. :)
     
  8. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Went to recheck the alignment today to make sure the shims really do what they're supposed to. This is before the shims were installed.

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    This is after:

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    The before and actual should be identical on this second printout as no alignment changes were made. I wonder if that much variation is expected given that the alignment equipment wasn't even removed in between.

    The before numbers on the right rear wheel match exactly with what the shim should have done.

    The numbers on the left rear wheel are really close but with a -.25 adustment, the readings should have gone from .31 to .06 but instead went to .09. Still really close.

    Interestingly, front toe is now slightly out without being adjusted since a few weeks ago, but again that's probably just variation from one alignment rack to another. Total toe of 0.20 is just about right for the best fuel economy without having the cars straight line stability messed up.
     
  9. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    The rear looks good now. I think that .01 to .02 differences are repeatability error with the equipment.
     
  10. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    With front toe and rear toe now corrected, fuel economy has risen roughly 1.5 to 2 MPG.
     
  11. NenaPR51

    NenaPR51 New Member

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    Sell the piece of @@@t before it dries your bank out!!!! You have no idea the headaches and the expensive repairs I incurred with my prius, changing the $3 thousand dollar battery was one of them. It was great the first 4 years but afterwards, it all went downhill. Hybrid... never never again! All the gas I saved I had to spend in repairs. Good riddance Prius !!!
     
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear about your apparent bad luck. My 06 (nearing the 6 year mark) is doing fine and I've spent very little on repairs or alignment so far.

    The 2nd gens (04 and beyond) tend to be more reliable and Lifespan/Operating costs - Prius Wiki would tend to prove you (NenaPR51) wrong. Also, in CR, every year of Prius w/reliability data listed (currently only 02 to 11) have much better than average reliability records.

    You could've spend a little less on a HV battery by getting one from a wrecked Prius or going with remans like FAQ. I am not too surprised about HV battery failure since you live in a hot climate. In the summer, I try to park mine in covered parking, a shady area or one that's exposed to direct sunlight fewer hours of the day.
     
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  13. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Revisiting this thread as I'm getting ready to do the shims for my father in laws Prius. Didn't see that last post by the obvious Prius hater who apparently didn't know that their battery was covered by a the federal 100K mile 8 year warranty.

    I stupidly bought an extended warranty 7/100 on our 2009 prius. The 100K came and went without me ever getting to use it. I feel so stupid having blown $1000.

    Of course right after the warranty expired, my driver hid bulb went out and I had to spend $50 from amazon to get a genuine Philips replacement. Working fine, but if it had decided to go out at 99K miles, it would have been covered.

    We now have 120k miles and to date, the bulb is the only thing that has broken. I don't really count the shim as a repair but rather an alignment. Of course I feel even stupider about that because it was like this from day one even on the free Toyota alignment when the car was new and Toyota's response was the rear is out of spec but it's not adjustable so your screwed. Of course it was adjustable, but they would have had to install shims or do the Toyota recommended fix of replacing the axles. I didn't know enough then to insist that they fix it.

    I see a Prius model has again made the top of Toyota's most reliable cars in the US.
     
  14. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    +1

    0.01 degrees change is only a change of 0.002 inch in a foot and there is rubber in the system
     
  15. joeuser

    joeuser Prius Junkie

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    Quick question. When I had my tires changed at 45K miles (5K miles ago), the alignment came back fine for everything except the rear left (driver side). Should I look into having toyota work on the car (replace the axle assembly) through the 7year/100k miles extended platinum care. I looked at the coverage for the platinum care and axle is covered however I have a feeling they will try to pin this on my somehow. Need ideas as to how to proceed.

    Thanks,
    Joe

    EDIT: I sincerely apologize for resurrecting a year old thread. Will be more careful from now on.
     
  16. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    My guess is that Toyota will say that the rear axle alignment problem is due to owner abuse, for example, reversing the car and hitting a curb with a tire.
     
  17. mfa-prius

    mfa-prius Old member

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    I have no qualms about reviving an old thread; the information is mostly timeless, and I've learned a lot from reading the whole thread. But a couple questions remain.

    I just had the 4th 4-wheel alignment done on my '05. The alignment report (which I had to ask for) said "One or more values are not within specification". I noticed the rear left wheel's toe was 0.43° (out of spec), and on checking earlier alignments I see that it's been that way forever. Total toe was 0.47°, just within spec, so perhaps that's why the Toyota dealer said everything was fine.

    So the 2 questions:
    1) Just what are the specs for the 4 wheel alignment values? I've looked at 4 sources and found 4 values, but for now I'm going with +0.03° to +0.28° on the rear wheels (0.05° to 0.55° total) for now. One spec sheet gives only a "total" spec.
    2) How bad is the out-of-spec 0.43° toe on the L Rear wheel? I don't see any difference in tire wear between the L and R tires, but how will the mileage be affected? This car is noticeably more "draggy" than my wife's '12 v, but there are probably lots of more relevant reasons than alignment. Is it worth trying to get both rear tires to minimum toe?
     
  18. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    1) See factory service manual page. This is for 2007 but spec should be the same for all Gen 2.

    2) When I had similar out of spec rear toe, I noticed that the handing was goofy at highway speeds. Did not see noticeable improvement in fuel mileage over the long term. RearAlign.png
     
  19. Toppcat

    Toppcat Member

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    With rear toe being off more than .20 degrees will affects cars straight line tracking
     
  20. Toppcat

    Toppcat Member

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    When the torsion bar twists rear aligment changes so if one side has much more toe or less than the other side at high speed your going to be correcting your car a lot making very uncomfortable to drive! Most aligment shop won't address this issue and tell you it non adjustable and live with it! You could replace the whole trailer arm and hope you get a good one! Or take your chances on installing those plastic shims which I will not use! There no plastic parts holding a axle I have ever seen! I custom made .008 steel shims which change toe .15 degress , added trd rear sway bar, I can take my hands off the steering wheel at 90 mph it will track straight as a arrow! It must be a prius thing! NEVER had this problem on yaris, Mazda 3, fiesta st, nor volt .is that why gen 4 prius went to a double wishbone rear suspension?
     
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