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Old 09-20-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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wheel alignment for an 04 36' Alpine fdds

Has any Alpine owner had wheel alignment done??? If yes, where and how was the work done. I live in the San Diego area. I did go to the place in Colton that Mark Harrah recommended. I would appreciate any information forthcoming. Thank You Bill Merritt
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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I had mine done at Pete's Road Service in Santa Ana. I believe they still have a San Diego location. Great service.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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Hi Bill,

I had my alignment done at RV Specialists in San Diego.

sdcyclist
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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Hi Bill,

Welcome to the forum! This IS the right place to get <almost> all your questions answered, and maybe even make some new friends, too.

We've got a 2004 34 footer and had front end alignment done at Del Ray's in Tulare. They have other shops in Fresno and Hanford but the Tulare shop seems to handle the big trucks.

We had one other shop look and tell us they couldn't do it cause of the long distance from the center of our steering axle to the front of the rig (their laser machine wouldn't mount with that great a distance). But, it was carefully explained to me, the "old fashioned" method of string and bubbles had been used for many decades and still worked just fine.

So, we let them do it their way and didn't insist on fancy lasers and we have been quite satisfied, for at least a couple of years, with the alignment that we got.

We got the tip to go to Del Ray's from Tom Dietrich, a fellow Alpine owner and tire distributor extraordinaire, who posts frequently on this forum. I think if you ask around to find where the "big trucks" go for their alignment and whether they're happy with the results, you'll end up someplace you're happy with.

Or, let this thread simmer for a couple of days and I'm sure you'll gets lots of input from the SoCal Alpine owners.

Speaking of SoCal, are you aware of the National Alpine organization "ACS" (Alpine Coach Association) or your local group of owners, Alpine SoCal?

Links:
Alpine Coach Association
Alpine So Cal RV Club

Good Luck Bill, and we hope to see you at a rally someday!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
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Just got ours done at East County Alignment 10741 Woodside Ave Santee
619-562-4110. Have used them for 25 yrs, they are perfectionists so sometimes not the cheapest.

Regards,
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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I too can recomment East County Alignment in Santee. Last year while in Junction City awaiting parts for other work I took the coach to Kaiser in Eugene. I had heard that they were the "best in the west" -- not necessarily so. It took three tries before they finally got all four wheels aligned and it still didn't drive right. When we got home I took it over to East County for a recheck. Guess what they found? Several of the bolts holding the rear suspension had not even been tightened after the alignment. I'm not saying "torqued;" I'm saying finger tight or less. East County had done our other motor homes, and I regret that I used Kaiser as a "target of opportunity" while in the Eugene area.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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Dick - That is terrible to hear about Kaiser! We just sent someone there.

Both WRV & Guaranty use to say they were the best in the USA! In 4 years - ours has been aligned there twice and then we took it to Hendersons in Grants Pass (I think a little over a year ago) and the alignment only needed a little adjusting. We have had excess wear on the right front tire - replacing it after 2 years with a used one and then replacing the fronts with Michelin tires last January.

This place in Santee is good to know - since we don't plan to go to back Oregon next year!
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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The Swans,
Yes, Guaranty did recommend Kaiser for me too, and I had checked other forums including Country Coach and thought I could do no better than these people. There is much more to tell about my story with these folks; but on the third visit to try and straighten everything out, Dick Kaiser the owner who no longer works in the shop came from home to personally apologize. Unfortunately, as I said before I was not all impressed, especially when East County found several of the suspension bolts had not been tightened when Kaiser aligned the rear. What they did was not to place the washers on the bolts and just tightened, probably not torqued, until the nut bottomed out on the threads without actually tightening the parts together -- very sloppy to say the least. If you want more details please send me a private mail and I'll give you more information.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Your information is interesting, Dick. In the very beginning we did have questions about Kaiser. After 1 year, they found our ball joints on the drag length on the idler arm had to be replaced. We could not wait 5 days for them to get them so we went on home and they had them shipped to us (we figured they would be cheaper from OR w/ no tax). We took them and went to Colton Truck to have them put on. Only trouble was - they sent 2 rights. Colton went right out and got the left one & put it on. Not only was their price for it 25% cheaper, their labor was even cheaper!!!\

Next time we have the need - we will check out East County!
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:57 AM   #10
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I have 2004 34' alpine coach with alignment probem. Took it to evergreen towing , repair & alignment. did not get a copy of the alignment setting from them, plus it still pulls to the right.
Does anyone know of a good place to have my coach alignment in western part of wa.? how about valley freightliner in Mt.Vernon, Wa.??
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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This a really great topic--begs the question as to exactly what can be "aligned" on an Alpine coach. Notwithstanding the bolt-issues on the first 50 2005s, the rear axle geometry is pretty much locked in at manufacture. Assume you might change rear thrust angle a bit by whatever slop is in the bolt holes but now you have to depend on the bolts holding whatever "twist" they managed to induce when the bolts were loose [a bit different situation, but ask 2005 owners how well the bolts held their bolt hole slop].

Camber in the front axle is set at the foundry so unless you bend the axle, it is what it is. So what is left is toe-in/toe-out, parallel tracking and component wear [ie drag linkage]. Look forward to someone telling me different but I get the idea a lot money is being spent to adjust toe-in/toe-out.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:28 AM   #12
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Old Scout,
You can adjust castor also.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #13
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MKelly--unless there is some kind of concentric adjustment internal to the king-pins [hard to imagine]. The king-pin housing is a forged part of the solid front axle--no top or bottom linkage to adjust [like on an independent front suspension/axle].
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:14 AM   #14
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Google "truck caster shims" and you will see how caster is adjusted on a straight axel.
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