“Free” alignment?

This is just a theory, but it should work.

I’m changing the rear struts and springs in El Borrego since the Monroe set I had in there collapsed nearly completely.  Measuring the height of the other CR-V with proper rear springs and struts, my rear bumper was three inches lower.  Looking underneath, the springs were nearly totally collapsed.

I am still debating making the modifications to install a lift kit, but I am thinking I might return or sell the kit.  Either way, I would need to set the camber on the rear if not all four wheels.  I could mess around with trying to find the most level pad of concrete in the driveway and measuring the camber with a bubble level tool (which attaches magnetically to the brake rotors through the wheels), but I thought of another way to do it.

Our local tire shop has a free alignment check available.

What I can do is get the free alignment check, and find out how far off camber the tires are.  Then I could attach the bubble level tool, zero it, then adjust the camber based on how far off the camber measures. It also will allow me to fine tune the camber, since alignment shops never set the alignment perfectly–if they are within the tolerance range, they consider it done.  Note that this is a relative measurement–I am using the reading from the tire shop’s alignment machine and adding/subtracting camber from that to dial it in where I want it.

The problem with my rear alignment is that with the rear springs partly collapsed and a full load of luggage riding on them, it throws the camber way off and I now have a nice set of Geolandars getting cupped wear on the inner tread blocks.  This with allegedly “correct” alignment, set by the tire shop and verified by the dealer’s service department.

I made a second attempt at installing my SumoSprings on the new strut/spring set but like before, I just can’t get them set in place.  Since they will stiffen the rear under load, I need those to keep my alignment correct so I don’t ruin more tires.

I only have one more partly free weekend to get this job done. Next road trip departs in two weeks!

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