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So, my wife's R/T was hit a few months back in what was a pretty minor fender-bender. She was struck front-right side, just above the wheel at 20-30mph, as someone ran a stop sign. Specifically asked the shop to check alignment due to where the car was hit, and was told "we did and you are in spec".

Had the car back and everything looked good, but she was complaining about pull on the wheel, so took it to another shop (Firestone, dealer couldn't get me in for 2 weeks) and the attached is the before/after on the alignment work.Mind y ou, she's had the car 8 months, and it was aligned and in spec just after we bought it.

Firestone is saying that they can't adjust the front right camber (it's right on the edge of spec) due to damage in the suspension, but can't tell me what's damaged. Repair shop is still claiming there was no damage.

So, any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
 

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I would go back to the insurance company and tell them it can not be aligned due to bent suspension pieces. Tell them to either 1.) Rebuild the front suspension, every nut, every bolt, 2) buy the the car, or 3.) Tell the person who hit you's agent that you will be parking it in his living room in the not to distant future.
 

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If it's from an accident and not fixed right make them correct it even is that means lots of suspension parts. Camber bolts might be an option or SPC upper control arms.
Always go to the shop of your choice not someone that has a backroom deal with the insurance company.
 

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<- ex wife workes in the insurance field.
OP, you want the car repaired to "pre-accident condition". period.
Then i'd seek a "diminished value" claim. period.
this is your right, and not subject to the shop or the insurance would like.
Sometimes in life, one has to assert their rights, despite resistance.
What you may think was a low speed impact, could have done damage beyond your ability to detect and obviously the shop doesnt care to give you back a car thats been made whole again. there is generally no such thing as a minor accident above 10mph..something always get broke.

shimming or buying offset camber bolts will not put the car back to pre-accident.
In fact, its a band aid on what could be a larger problem, that could easily come back later to bite you.
There could be any number of bent components, shifted/bent front frame/cradle, etc.
The car needs to be put on a frame jig and confirmed straight by a proper shop willing & able to do the work correctly, then 4 wheel aligned. You ahve the right to choose the shop as well, so find one you like & trust.
dont sign off on this until the car is returned to pre-accident condition and meets your approval.

If your insurance will not help you, you may need a lawyer. sadly, with insurance co's, they generally only respond in doing the right thing, after an attorney is involved.

BTW - stay the hell away from firestone. all of them. Over priced shoddy work by minimally educated warm body type employees, being the company standard!
 
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So, my wife's R/T was hit a few months back in what was a pretty minor fender-bender. She was struck front-right side, just above the wheel at 20-30mph, as someone ran a stop sign. Specifically asked the shop to check alignment due to where the car was hit, and was told "we did and you are in spec".

Had the car back and everything looked good, but she was complaining about pull on the wheel, so took it to another shop (Firestone, dealer couldn't get me in for 2 weeks) and the attached is the before/after on the alignment work.Mind y ou, she's had the car 8 months, and it was aligned and in spec just after we bought it.

Firestone is saying that they can't adjust the front right camber (it's right on the edge of spec) due to damage in the suspension, but can't tell me what's damaged. Repair shop is still claiming there was no damage.

So, any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

The difference in alignment might be explained partially by the following:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cross-Camber and Cross-Caster

Most street car alignments call for the front camber and caster settings to be adjusted to slightly different specifications on the right side of the vehicle compared to the left side. These slight side-to-side differences are called cross-camber and cross-caster.
For vehicles set up to drive on the "right" side of the road, the right side is aligned with a little more negative camber (about 1/4-degree) and a little more positive caster (again, about 1/4-degree) to help the vehicle resist the influence of crowned roads that would cause it to drift "downhill" to the right gutter. Since most roads are crowned, cross-camber and cross-caster are helpful the majority of the time, however they will cause a vehicle to drift to the left on a perfectly flat road or a road that leans to the left.
Using cross-camber and cross-caster is not necessary for track-only cars.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Based on my limited experience a hit at that speed at that location will cause some hard points to be out of position. These are critical hard points that need to be precisely located in order the steering/suspension/drive train (even body panels) fit properly and in the context of this discussion the alignment adjustment ranges are adequate for bringing the car into proper alignment without having to use all the adjustment to do so.

The way to know what hard points are out of position and then used to monitor the progress as these are brought back into position is an alignment bench. This not what the car is aligned after new tires are fitted, but is what -- or is similar to -- the fixture/bench the car is assembled on from the bare floor pan to all the other sheet metal pieces that make up the chassis/tub that the other systems bolt to.

Celette makes such a bench. A body repair shop must have such a bench that it can place the car onto -- with at least wheels/tires removed or depending upon the severity of the accident running gear, steering and suspension hardware removed. Then with the proper gauges the various hard points are checked to ensure they are ok. If not ok then body shop uses various techniques to move the hard points into proper position.

It is very important this step not be skipped or skimped. The chassis/tub whatever is the foundation upon which everything else attaches. But often this step is skipped as it can be expensive to bring the hard points into proper position and in some case facing this expense the car could end up in the too expensive to repair category and then have to be declared a total loss.

The only way to know the hard points are ok is you either believe what the shop said -- it would be nice if there was something in the repair paperwork that documented the car's time on the bench and the hard points checked were listed and their positions noted and if any were out of position this noted and then that they were brought into position also noted.

If this is not available it might be because it was not done.

If the repair shop won't put the car back on the bench and show you the hard points are ok -- and at no cost to you though maybe it can get something from the insurance company (though this unlikely) -- you may have to pay for this. What you then do or can do with the info I don't know.

The insurance company may claim and rightly so that the shop said it repaired the car properly and if it proves to be not the case then the burden is on the shop to make things right. In CA a repaired car is warrantied by the body paint shop for a long time, I think for as long as the owner retains the car. (But a way around this is the body/paint shop will shut down and reopen under a different name.)

Unless you can confirm the car is straight and the hard points are properly located anything you do will be but a band aid. But it may have to suffice unless you are willing to fund the time it takes for another body shop to put the car on an alignment bench and ensure the hard points are ok and if not make them ok.

At the same time every component that was not replaced at the time car was being repaired has to be inspected and a determination made if it is ok to reuse or does it need to be replaced.

Then the car is put back together and the alignment is then set on the alignment rack.

The alternative is to consider aftermarket suspension/steering hardware that provides for more adjustment range which then gives the tech aligning the car more adjustment.

Given the alignment is not out that much it may be possible to fit -- if they exist for the car in question -- caster/camber plates which allow the top of the strut to be moved about which provides some camber and caster adjustment. A top alignment tech can probably advise you of the feasibility of this method.

A link to show you a bit about what a Celette bench is all about:


https://www.celette.com/our-products/


To show you how a hard point can get out of position note the metal shelf that runs along the passenger side of my Turbo's front trunk, the shelf to which the fender bolts too. If this shelf is not in the right position the fender won't fit properly and the headlight won't align properly.

The next picture shows the car on the Celette bench. This is the front of the car with the front bumper hardware -- the stuff under the bumper cover -- removed.

The 3rd pic is a close up of the shelf the fender bolts to and you can clearly see the impact (oh with a fat slow dumb ass mule deer) caused this to be bent down from the force of the impact on the upper surface of the passenger fender. The head light area received the bulk of the force and there were tuffs of mule deer hair in the broken headlight plastic.


Added: Oh, and to show you how I came by my unfortunate albeit limited experience with an impact in that general vicinity, here's a pic of my 2008 Cayman S which got hit at about the driver's side front wheel area. The Cayman S was declared a total loss.
 

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Steering rack is a mandatory replacement item (per OEM collision related information) on the Challenge (current generation with electric power steering) if the wheel is hit.

It's not optional. No serviceable parts or inspection procedures.

Your car went to an incompetent, garbage "body shop".

The car should have been 3 dimensionally measured and repaired correctly. Steering rack, one side suspension, and wheel (no FCA wheel is allowed to be repaired beyond the painted surface) should have been about $5000 right there.


I'm a collision professional. What area are you in, I may be able to locate a shop to re-inspect the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The difference in alignment might be explained partially by the following:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cross-Camber and Cross-Caster

Most street car alignments call for the front camber and caster settings to be adjusted to slightly different specifications on the right side of the vehicle compared to the left side. These slight side-to-side differences are called cross-camber and cross-caster.
For vehicles set up to drive on the "right" side of the road, the right side is aligned with a little more negative camber (about 1/4-degree) and a little more positive caster (again, about 1/4-degree) to help the vehicle resist the influence of crowned roads that would cause it to drift "downhill" to the right gutter. Since most roads are crowned, cross-camber and cross-caster are helpful the majority of the time, however they will cause a vehicle to drift to the left on a perfectly flat road or a road that leans to the left.
Using cross-camber and cross-caster is not necessary for track-only cars.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks man, I really appreciate the additional information. Gives me a lot more to go on and something to look for in a shop.:icon7:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Steering rack is a mandatory replacement item (per OEM collision related information) on the Challenge (current generation with electric power steering) if the wheel is hit.

It's not optional. No serviceable parts or inspection procedures.

Your car went to an incompetent, garbage "body shop".

The car should have been 3 dimensionally measured and repaired correctly. Steering rack, one side suspension, and wheel (no FCA wheel is allowed to be repaired beyond the painted surface) should have been about $5000 right there.


I'm a collision professional. What area are you in, I may be able to locate a shop to re-inspect the car.
Just moved to Huntsville, AL. If you know any good shops, I'd love to know. This was repaired at Joe Hudson Collision which is one of the highest rated shops here, for what that's worth :/
 

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Just moved to Huntsville, AL. If you know any good shops, I'd love to know. This was repaired at Joe Hudson Collision which is one of the highest rated shops here, for what that's worth :/
Highest rated is meaningless in this industry if you are looking at online reviews.

1, nearly all customers can't identify a correct repair vs one that just looks nice.
2, insurance companies steer customers to their contracted shops. A shop with a bunch of insurance company contacts (These are called DRP shops) will get a bunch of business and a bunch of positive reviews from people that don't have a clue what they are even looking at.

I will see if there is a shop anywhere near you. I will post back if I find anything.
 

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Just moved to Huntsville, AL. If you know any good shops, I'd love to know. This was repaired at Joe Hudson Collision which is one of the highest rated shops here, for what that's worth :/
Weird question but what color is your car. Someone on my collision group is asking and may know something. They asked if it was purple.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Weird question but what color is your car. Someone on my collision group is asking and may know something. They asked if it was purple.
No, it's black. Repair place reached out to me today and it taking the car back in to have the front-end further inspected. We'll see where this goes.
 

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No, it's black. Repair place reached out to me today and it taking the car back in to have the front-end further inspected. We'll see where this goes.
Good. I'm fairly sure someone from that shop took notice when I splattered the shop name and situation out to 22,000 collision repair professionals.

If things don't get resolved Joey Greers Frame Shop in Decatur Alabama will find out what's going on. Just give them a call.
 

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Good. I'm failing sure someone from that shop took notice when I splattered the shop name and situation out to 22,000 collision repair professionals.

If things don't get resolved Joey Greers Frame Shop in Decatur Alabama will find out what's going on. Just give them a call.
Well, call started with "I heard through the grape vine..." so could be. Just happy that I might be able to get this resolved. Again, thanks for the effort and feedback.
 
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