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Old 03-03-2011, 04:15 AM   #57
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Location: Lost, OH
What I Drive: 2003 2dr ZX3

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So I got busy and checked the alignment on my 03 ZX3 at a bit over 100K miles...this car is probably stock and has the 205/50/16 tires on it.

It was pulling to the left and one of the tires on the front was very seriously worn on the inside edge.

When I bought it they sales lot guy said they had replaced the spring and top bearing and maybe the strut on the right side....which I could verify by the new spring and 3 shiny bolts on top of the shock tower...not sure about the strut. Must have been driving it on a broken spring?

Someone must have hit a pothole or curb...because the right tie rod was bent by about 1/8". Castor probably OK...wheels are evenly spaced in the wheel well on both sides. As far as I can tell...the camber is at ~ -1.5* on both sides.

Using a nylon string stretched around the tires at centerline I got the following specs....

lft rear = +0.259"

rt rear = +0.262"

lft front = -0.132"

rt front = 0.0"

I used 0.1"" spacers under the string at the rear tires to account for the different track front and back...probably not really needed due to the minor difference front to back....numbers for rear toe account for the 0.1".

Measurements were taken at the tire sidewall...and so are off slightly due to not using the tread.

So I reset the front toe to very slightly toed out..almost at zero.

Result...tracks very straight now. Replaced the bad tire with a used one...want to get the alignment sorted out before new tires this fall.

Also replaced the swaybar links on the was loose.

Due to the almost equal number for rear toe...I'd say the rear tires are aligned with the fronts...but seem to have excessive toe in.

Wondering if there is enough toe adjustment to get the rear toe nearer to specs?

Do notice that this car has a lot of rubber where the control arms, etc I guess those are there to isolate from noise...but probably allow a good bit of deflection under loads?

Also understand that 50 series tires are going to be real sensitive to alignment issues. Want to align for mpg...seems that poor alignment can cost 10% or more in mpg.
2003 2dr ZX3 2.0 L Zetec auto 205/50/16s

...and I am unanimous in that position.
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