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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is turning into one of those horror stories about a simple upgrade gone wrong. I posted a while back (no replies) on getting the SVT suspension kit on my ZX3. I had it done at a Ford SVT dealership. My driver-side front tire started wearing on the inside FAST.

I took it back, they "aligned" it again. Few weeks later, I had to get inspected, failed because of that tire, which is almost completely bald on the inside now, meaning that it's still been wearing unevenly.

So before I buy new tires and ruin one of them, how can I get this thing aligned? NTB said it was a "custom alignment" being that I had an aftermarket suspension, and they said if I didn't have a camber kit it would never be fixed. Everyone on here says no camber kit for SVT suspension.

Even if I take it somewhere else, how can I KNOW it's done right without wearing down another tire? Can I get alignment specs and take them with me to a garage? What would YOU do? (other than complain to the dealership... cause that won't fix my car)
 

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Maybe it wasn't installed correctly?

Does the car pull or drive noticibaly different after you had the svt setup installed? Maybe you have other problems with your front end that their not checking..bad tie rods, wheel bearing, lower control arm bushings ect. I would check all of that out before getting it realigned. Althogh they should have checked all of that before even doing the alignment.

edit: Did NTB do the alignment? If not, bring it to them and have it checked (they check it for free) and tell them you want a print out. Also tell them to align it to a SVT instead of a zx3. I used to work for Tire Kingdom, wich is the same as NTB. They should be able to do that with no problems.
 

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never go to a dealership to have any work done...only warrenty work if needed...I go to a shop were a good relationship has been built over time...alot less worries this way
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
02specv said:
Did NTB do the alignment? If not, bring it to them and have it checked (they check it for free) and tell them you want a print out. Also tell them to align it to a SVT instead of a zx3. I used to work for Tire Kingdom, wich is the same as NTB. They should be able to do that with no problems.
No, NTB are the ones who said they wouldn't do it, citing the fact that it's a "custom" alignment and that I need a camber kit... what would I do with the print out?

I did tell the dealership to do an SVT alignment, that's why I had to find an SVT dealership. My usual Ford place didn't have the settings because they don't sell/service SVT products.

Maybe it should still be aligned as a ZX3? Can anyone with SVT set-up on ZX3 confirm or deny this for me? It doesn't make a lot of sense, but hey...

To your other question, Yes, the car exhibits the tendency to pull (especially to the right) when driving over imperfections, even small cracks, etc. in the road. And, like I said, the driver's front tire is losing rubber on the inside shoulder like a mofo, so there's no secret what the problem is, but Ford screwed it up twice and NTB said they won't touch it. Not sure what to do.
 

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Focused Focus
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Its not a "custom" alignment. It should spec to a svt. Sounds like someone didnt do the job right to start with. Theres no way you should need a camber kit with the svt kit, by far. Your regular Ford dealer should have no problem what so ever aligning that car. Sounds to me like your dealing with a bunch of "new graduates" from some tech school. No offence to anyone here. We have had the same problem here at my dealership, we have quite a few grads from NTI and dont know their ass from a hole in the ground.
 

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more than likely you have something else wrong, either improper installation, or something else is bent causing your camber to be out. it may be just within specs (which is how most dealer mechanics look at it, they don't bother to make sure that the readings are even from left to right) but with too much cross camber. either way, you shouldn't need a camber kit with the svt suspension. you have something else wrong in there that's throwing your camber out. figure that out, get it fixed, and it'll take care of the problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks, guys, for the sanity check. the suspension is the only thing i didn't install myself, and it's the only thing that's screwed up.
 

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Go to a place that is good @ alignments and have them put it to spec and take your charts back to ford along with the bill and tell them they did it wrong(show them the propper alignment) get the service manager and demand your money back for the alignment.

Also 1st mistake is having any work done @ any ford dealer unless you know the mechanic. Ford dealers are trained to fix over 50 diff models and they suck at even doing that. Aftermarket should be done by a reputable shop or one you are familiar with (not a dealership)

Also SVT alignment is no diffrent than a ZX3 its the same chasis its just about .5" lower. They isntalled your suspention wrong or your outer tie rod is bent or something which would cause the wear on your tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just spent the morning calling/visiting garages and alignment shops in my area. Nobody will take me. I'm like a leper. They sing the same damn chorus: You changed your ride height, you changed the geometry, and without a kit to adjust camber, it will never be aligned.

Where the hell are you guys getting your SVT suspension installed? I don't live in or near any large cities, so there's really no "tuner" shops around. Everybody seems oblivious to the fact that people are "changing their ride height" every day. They're trying to convince me that it can't be done... and in a way, if no one will do it, it can't!
 

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That's why you don't tell them you have a different kit. Just say that you had to get new shocks/struts and that you need to get aligned. That should take care of it.
 

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Where in Pa are you? I didn't have any trouble having my car aligned with the SVT kit.


EDIT: What Blane said makes sense. There is no reason they need to know it's been lowered. I didn't tell my shop mine had been, and they didn't have any trouble.
 

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The only thing they can align is the toe, so unless it is horribly off, something else is wrong.
 

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you know, I have actually had the same problem. I didn't change height though. I have an SVT and the dealership that my family has done business with for generations can't fix a F&^ing thing on this car. I have actually spen a couple thousand on repairs that have never been done. It's very frustrating. What did i do in the end to get back at them for no refunds? I charged $850 worth of tires to my "prefered customer account"!!! two days later i called the Service manager and told him that if he doesn't get his head out of his ass and admit the bogus charges for parts that were never put on my car, then i won't pay my acount balance. I don't like to do business that way. I guess sometimes you just have to be an [:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)] back. So what did i get in the end? a $2300 bill for suspension work that isn't fixed, four $210 tires (that i'm NOT paying for) and a $1,450 SMIRK on my face. was it worth it? No. Will i ever do business with that dealership again? Not until they fire the new manager.........We'll see
 

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I agree, tell them you just installed new shocks (don't mention the springs) The regular ZX3 alignment specs are not that much different than then SVT specs. Once you find a place that will take the car ask for them to get the front camber and toe as even as possible side to side and in the middle of the allowable spec range if possible. A max toe setting along with a max camber setting, even if in the allowable spec range, will promote tire wear. Take it to a place that will give you a printout of the specs once it is done and post those here for us to look at. Its really pretty hard to srew up the install. The main thing I see too many installers do is to tighten everything up while the suspension is drooping on the lift. Final torquing should only be done with the suspension loaded.
 

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Don't say any thing about changing anything. Go in there and say, "I have a svt focus and I want to get an alignment" thats what I would do.
 

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your problem now could be in the tires... if you drove too long with it mis aligned, your tires could have worn inproperly.. causing a warp of some kind. I suggest new rubber in the front paired with a fresh alignment from a neutral party. don't even tell them you have an aftermarket suspension... when they ask what car you own.. just say it's an svt.
 

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I've had an SVT kit installed on my car for 25k miles. It's an early 2005. After I installed the kit in my garage I took the car to get aligned. I told my SVT and Roush certified dealer to align the car. And that's all I told them.

I haven't worn tires in any odd fashion since that time. After reading up on some posts I'm going to install SVT rear endlinks and take the car back for an SVT alignment.
 
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