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We went camping last weekend, and I wanted to get an alignment on my 4Runner before we went but didn't get to it to the last minute, so I took it up the street to the Firestone on Broadway and Mineral. I was leery, but figured it was just an alignment, what could they do? Anyway, I dropped it off on Thursday night and asked them to have it done by Friday afternoon. I got a call from them on Friday morning saying that they found some things wrong and would not be able to align the truck unless I paid them a scad of money. :( Told them not to touch anything and I'd pick it up later.

When I got home from work and got up there, they said that the idler arm had a bunch of play in it (I thought they said it was bent on the phone earlier, but could be mistaken). I took a look at it and could not even find tool marks on the bolts, so I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion. They also said that one of the wheel bearings was super loose and had a ton of play in it as well. This may be, as I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet. They also offered to replace my non-existent front shocks. There were a couple other things too, but the final tally for all the work that the truck supposedly needed: $1,483. I only paid $1100 for the truck four years ago. :D The shocks alone quoted at $99.99 each plus $122 labor, so $322 total. Fifteen minutes after I got home, I had Suzuki Samurai stockers from Napa (longer than stock for the BJ spacers) installed for the grand total of $54. Haven't gotten to the rest of it yet, but it handled a weekend of dirt roads just fine. :rolleyes:

Anyway, just thought I'd share a refresher of why we do our own work. :welder: As soon as I can, I'll take it up to Elroy's Brakes and Alignment on 14th and Chase - most skilled, honest, reasonable shop in town. Fuck Firestone.
 

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The only thing I hate more than working on a vehicle is PAYING someone to work on my vehicle ...

Actually, their diagnosis is pretty reasonable - those are pretty commonly worn out components ... the prices do seem a bit high though. To chek the idler arm, put your hands at 9:00 and 3:00 on the wheel and try to rock it back and forth. If it's REALLY worn out, you will see the idler arm move - that's how mine was last time. I would recommend the brass bushings from http://www.custommachiningusa.com/Specialty_Items.html

That reminds me, I need to check/pack my wheel bearings here before 'wheeling season!
 

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Um... we are in the thick of wheeling season. ;) I'll help you repack those bearing this week babe! That is something I CAN do!
 

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oh i totally agree with you , i used to work for bear alignment in loveland, you gotta figure a shop thats been around since 1965 is doing something right, shit we had people come in who had taken their cars there for the last 35 years, the idler arm play would be noticable if you grab ahold of it and tweak it with your hand or a small pry bar, the wheel bearing is something you either have to spin up or pry on and watch very closely while torquing on it, and the shocks well there is no excuse for $320 some odd to install new shocks, that take all of 10 mins each side and about 35-45 bucks for a good set from vato parts..... i would never take any of my vehicles to a place like firestone, they just dont have that down home style feel to them , stupid chain companies
 

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oh i know bear was a chain but a much better one, and this one hasnt been franchised since the 70's it been privatly owned since then the guy who owns it worked there for 15 years and then bought it from the previous owner a little while after coming back from the navy and has owned it ever since....he doesnt advertise accept in the phonebook where its just a listing and runs on years of word of mouth he s a great guy ild go back and work for him agin if i could
 

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Interesting you should mention Firestone. I had been checking up here for alignment options and nobody offered a true lifetime alignment - it was all like two years max, or up to so many miles. I finally stopped by the Firestone to ask and was told theirs was as long as you owned the vehicle and it didn't matter if you replaced suspension components or not, all for double the price of a one-time (which, ironically enough, they didn't really warranty at all unless it was major - other places gave you like 6k or something to bring it back for another, but they were one and done). I liked the idea of having a national chain if I had to have it done somewhere else for some reason, but maybe it sounds too good (cheap) to be true because it is. Or maybe you just found a bad branch. :dunno:
 

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A firestone lifetime alignment is too good to be true. They almost always suck. I'll ask Troy to eleborate....
 

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I use Firestone for both my 87 Runner, my 89 Camry, and 90 Camry. Never had a problem, and they've actually diagnosed problems that others argued about. I finally had the Dealer look at it and guess what, Firestone was right. All of the vehicles that I take there are stock though.

ALL of mine are lifetime warrantees. Not everyone has the same results, but not everyone uses the same Firestone either.
 

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Yeah I am speaking for a non stock heavily wheeled vehicle.
 

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I still believe that it's hit/miss with 1) the shop and 2) the tech.

As for me, I stick with small well established shops where the owner is on site and has a stake in providing good service and lives on their reputation (like Bear up here in Loveland).
 

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this reminds me of my bad deal on alignment. after the leadking basin loop my crap was shot so i put in a new rack but didnt adjust the tierods to set the toe. i figured it wasnt that bad if i could drive on it for a few days... well a few days turned into a month when i ran low on fundage and the tires wore down to nothing... luckly christmas came early and got a new set of tires and some more money to do the alignment so i went to a big 0 in denver after picking up the tires from 4wheel parts and asked them if they could to the alignment then mount the tires... well they mounted the tires and did all that before doing the alignement and adjusting to toe for the new tires WHAT I NEEDED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! well they told me i needed a new front suspention!! all the ball joints, tie rods, a lower control arm, and bushings.... FWHAT!???!?!?! i just put a good tierods on it!!?? i just checked them there was no play in the wheel but you could move them by hand.

luckly i had a very good freind named sean! he diagnosed the front suspention and checked everything out to make sure. and we found a loose ball joint at the upper control arm (FUCKING SPACERS!!! ARRGHHHHH!!!!!) and thought new tierod ends would be a good idea but wouldnt be a reason for not being able to align it.

soo move forward a few days and i take it to another big o tire in louisville the one sean has used before he checked it out aligned it to spec and did it right also pulled out the lower control arm and i was all done... no lower control arm no bushing just one ball joint and some tierods for good measure!

i hate people somedays....
 

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99% of the people at most of these places are more adequately described as "alignment machine operators" than "alignment technicians". If you have it pretty close when you bring it in, they can nail it - however, as you adjust each factor (toe, camber, caster) the other factors get adjusted too. If you have to make a major adjustment, they are simply not trained/experienced in how to deal with that - and the store manager wants your rig off the rack, so they aren't given the oportunity to do the iterative work to get it all in.

Search on here - there's a writeup on how to do a garage alignment. It'll get ya close enough to put you in the zone for the alignment machine operator to hit the specs.
 

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DO NOT GO TO FIRESTONE. Simple as that. I hate those guys.
 

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Well since I am dealing with a newer truck I am going to Brian at Burt. The alignment he just did (with some other things) has been great. I also had the tires balanced at Burt last year and the are still smooth as glass even after wheeling and tire wear. I will pay for the quality Burt......... or a Brian is giving me.
 

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I've never had to align the 85, and never had a problem with tire wear. Neither had to have the XJ done either, so I'm not sure where to take a solid axle truck.
 

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We went camping last weekend, and I wanted to get an alignment on my 4Runner before we went but didn't get to it to the last minute, so I took it up the street to the Firestone on Broadway and Mineral. I was leery, but figured it was just an alignment, what could they do? Anyway, I dropped it off on Thursday night and asked them to have it done by Friday afternoon. I got a call from them on Friday morning saying that they found some things wrong and would not be able to align the truck unless I paid them a scad of money. :( Told them not to touch anything and I'd pick it up later.

When I got home from work and got up there, they said that the idler arm had a bunch of play in it (I thought they said it was bent on the phone earlier, but could be mistaken). I took a look at it and could not even find tool marks on the bolts, so I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion. They also said that one of the wheel bearings was super loose and had a ton of play in it as well. This may be, as I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet. They also offered to replace my non-existent front shocks. There were a couple other things too, but the final tally for all the work that the truck supposedly needed: $1,483. I only paid $1100 for the truck four years ago. :D The shocks alone quoted at $99.99 each plus $122 labor, so $322 total. Fifteen minutes after I got home, I had Suzuki Samurai stockers from Napa (longer than stock for the BJ spacers) installed for the grand total of $54. Haven't gotten to the rest of it yet, but it handled a weekend of dirt roads just fine. :rolleyes:

Anyway, just thought I'd share a refresher of why we do our own work. :welder: As soon as I can, I'll take it up to Elroy's Brakes and Alignment on 14th and Chase - most skilled, honest, reasonable shop in town. Fuck Firestone.
They are trying to make a living. If you are gonna bitch about prices start doing shit yourself. I am a service writer/used car tech. So this is the reason I hate "diy mechanics" some how you know everything, and what everything cost. Why are you even bothering w/ the alignment with that spacer lift and loose front end parts? It will come out of alignment in a fuckin' mile.
 

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We went camping last weekend, and I wanted to get an alignment on my 4Runner before we went but didn't get to it to the last minute, so I took it up the street to the Firestone on Broadway and Mineral. I was leery, but figured it was just an alignment, what could they do? Anyway, I dropped it off on Thursday night and asked them to have it done by Friday afternoon. I got a call from them on Friday morning saying that they found some things wrong and would not be able to align the truck unless I paid them a scad of money. :( Told them not to touch anything and I'd pick it up later.

When I got home from work and got up there, they said that the idler arm had a bunch of play in it (I thought they said it was bent on the phone earlier, but could be mistaken). I took a look at it and could not even find tool marks on the bolts, so I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion. They also said that one of the wheel bearings was super loose and had a ton of play in it as well. This may be, as I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet. They also offered to replace my non-existent front shocks. There were a couple other things too, but the final tally for all the work that the truck supposedly needed: $1,483. I only paid $1100 for the truck four years ago. :D The shocks alone quoted at $99.99 each plus $122 labor, so $322 total. Fifteen minutes after I got home, I had Suzuki Samurai stockers from Napa (longer than stock for the BJ spacers) installed for the grand total of $54. Haven't gotten to the rest of it yet, but it handled a weekend of dirt roads just fine. :rolleyes:

Anyway, just thought I'd share a refresher of why we do our own work. :welder: As soon as I can, I'll take it up to Elroy's Brakes and Alignment on 14th and Chase - most skilled, honest, reasonable shop in town. Fuck Firestone.
Fucking cry baby:rolleyes:
 
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