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Alignment Day

Hello again everybody!,

This weekend was a long one… for the longest time, my alignment has been off, and it’s because some of my alignment parts were broken. I finally got around to replacing the parts, and it was time to do the installation.

On the checklist: Four new eccentric bolts for the rear alignment, 4 new washers for those bolts, and two new tie rod boots for the front suspension. I bought the new boots from Napa Online. It seems like Kragen and Autozone don’t normally stock these parts, but they were available online. It only took like three days to get these to my door, and they only cost around 12 bucks each. Not bad considering the OEM boots from the Nissan dealership is something like 50 dollars each! The eccentric bolts with new washers costed about 40 dollars total — kind of expensive for bolts, but I had no choice. I couldn’t find any other place to get these besides at the dealership.

So, I started by lifting the rear of the car into the air. And, as a side-note, check out my exhaust couplers. I guess all that street scraping shaved the bottom of one of my couplers completely flat. Also, one of the bolts fell out. If anyone knows where to get a replacement for these things please let me know. :|

So anyways, here’s a picture of one of my old worn-out eccentric bolts. You can see the groove — that’s normal, but you can also see a bunch of scratch marks. That’s from the cam washer slipping past its spot on the groove and damaging the threads of the bolt, simultaneously screwing up the alignment of the rear end. :( I can’t really complain though because I’m pretty sure these are the original alignment parts that came on the car back in 1997. So, I expected them to be a little worn.

After installing the new bolts, I had to realign the car. And yea, I do this in my backyard. It takes…. FOREVER! But, I can do this accurately enough so that my car doesn’t veer when I let go of the wheel, and the steering wheel is straight when the car’s moving straight. I mean, it’s not bad considering I just use a plumb bob hanging from a short thread, a ruler, and a t-square. :) I’m going to take my car to my friend’s alignment place next weekend to see how accurate my backyard alignment is haha. It’s a pretty decent process, the only bad thing is that I don’t have the tools to measure caster angle for the front.

After a while, the sun started going down, and I wasn’t done aligning the car yet. There’s a pic of my car floating in the air, “burning the midnight oil.” … or more like the 9:00 PM oil.

Finally, there’s a pic of my old tie rod boots. These things should always be kept in check. And make sure to re-lubricate the joints that these boots are supposed to protect. I have a friend who neglected these things for a while. He was driving around with torn boots for a long time. When he finally inspected the tie rods, he noticed a lot of play in the parts there — like a dangerous amount. It’s a good thing he replaced the parts when he did. Anyways, keep ‘em in check!

That’s it for Now! See Ya Again Next Time!



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