DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Reader
4/16/12 8:59 p.m.

I just purchased a 2009 Sonata from the Hyundai dealership subject to it aligning properly. Skipping all the drama, caster is 3.4 left and 3.6 right. Dealer alignment machine says this is within spec, but when I asked for a printout of the factory specs it shows the factory specs of 4.1-5.6 degrees. Tech tells me that caster is not something they can adjust but that there are aftermarket shims to do so. I have good reason to believe the car has never been hit.

Can anyone verify the factory caster specs of 4.1-5.6 degrees (4.75+/- .75)? Also, can anyone confirm or clarify how the caster is adjusted? Did maybe the factory specs change, maybe in a TSB?

The dealership gave me a before/after printout of the alignment but it didn't show that factory specs. But it did say "06-10 Sonata Modified Specification." I asked for a print of the specs but that just shows "06-10 Sonata."

I'm trying to investigate all possible explanations before I conclude dealer dishonesty. Can anyone shed any light?

I'm hoping to have answers before I talk to the dealer tomorrow. Thanks!

David

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy SuperDork
4/16/12 9:25 p.m.

Its certainly non adjustible, other than loosening cradle and strut bolts and sliding things to the limit of travel. The fact that its the same side to side ( or as close as it needs to be) implies that its not bent. Could be as simple as a machine or operator error.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/17/12 7:35 a.m.

www.hmaservice.com Create an account and get every little detail you can ever imagine from Hyundai for free.

From there, the Shop manual shows Caster to be 4.75-4.8 as "normal range"

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Reader
4/17/12 8:54 a.m.

Bobzilla -

Thanks for the reference. Frustratingly, I can't get their sign-up page to work. :-(

That caster range of 4.75-4.8 doesn't make sense. But I think it's just a type, and they mean 4.75 +/- .75 degrees.

David

bravenrace
bravenrace UberDork
4/17/12 9:04 a.m.

In reply to DWNSHFT:

Are you having drivability issues? The only noticably consequence of the caster being out of spec would be steering feel. I'm just curious as to why you are so concerned about it.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/17/12 9:08 a.m.
DWNSHFT wrote: Bobzilla - Thanks for the reference. Frustratingly, I can't get their sign-up page to work. :-( That caster range of 4.75-4.8 doesn't make sense. But I think it's just a type, and they mean 4.75 +/- .75 degrees. David

It only works in IE.

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Reader
4/17/12 10:53 a.m.

In reply to bravenrace:

On my test drive the car had a steering wheel wobble above 70 MPH. So I asked for wheel balancing and to verify the alignment is within spec. Good thing, as two wheel weights were missing (they said) and right rear camber was off. All good so far. But this revealed the caster issue. The dealer agreed to align the car so I simply want them to bring the car into spec. If I don't have the dealer do it now I likely won't be able to in the future.

I think caster is more important than simply steering feel, as it controls dynamic camber gain.

David

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
4/17/12 11:33 a.m.

Steering wheel shake is a wheel balance issue. Every Hyundai I've owned has been super sensitive about wheel balance. Road Force machines are aMUST when mount/balancing one. The Elantra can't have more than 10lbs of roadforce on a tire that will see the front wheel.

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Reader
4/18/12 2:41 a.m.

Dealership sent the car out to an independent shop to check the alignment. Story is that the caster was actually in spec but the dealership alignment rack was out of adjustment. I don't know if I believe that but the independent did a full alignment and it came out fine so I'm happy. No wheel wobble any more.

Yay!

David

bravenrace
bravenrace UberDork
4/18/12 5:36 a.m.

Alignment can't produce a vibration. Only wheel balance, runout or bad parts can do that. Dynamic camber gain? That's nothing you will ever feel in any street car, and is not a consideration when doing and alignment on a street car. Steering feel, however, is greatly effected by caster, and can be very noticeable to the driver. But I'm glad you got it all worked out.

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