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    Thread: Need help with one wheel way out of alignment

    1. Junior Member 01greengti's Avatar
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      02-02-2020 07:45 PM #1
      I've had my '06 A3 2.0T FSI for a few months now. When I bought it I noticed that the driver's side rear wheel had negative camber while the opposite side rear wheel appeared vertical. The car drives well with no apparent handling issues. However, I have running noise (thought it was a wheel bearing) from that corner and the inside shoulder of that wheel is wearing out prematurely.


      Here's what the tire store found, and they report that there's no more adjustment available on that wheel.


      This weekend I put the car on jack stands and pulled the wheels to check, compare both sides and rotate the wheels. The bearings seem fine in that there's no play or looseness in the wheel and no rotational rubbing/grinding noise you'd expect from a bad bearing. I found that the shock on that wheel had a ding in it, and looks slightly bent, so I'm guessing the prior owner hit a kerb or something in the past to do that. Otherwise a visual inspection revealed nothing that I could see. Nothing else looked bent, broken or miss-aligned. Both sides looked identical to me.

      Here are my pics of the dinged shock and suspension.




      So, I'll be replacing the shocks, but my question is can this cause the negative camber to this extent, and do I need to replace the shocks and then keep looking, or does anyone have a suggestion about what else I can try or look into?

      Thanks in advance for the help.

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    3. Member TBomb's Avatar
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      02-04-2020 02:56 PM #2
      It's possible the bent shock could be causing that much negative camber, but more realistically whatever impact caused the shock to be damaged bent something else that is causing the camber to be that far out. It looks like the shock was dented/bent due to impact with the wheel, which means it would have taken a pretty good blow to do something like that.

      Do you have a vehicle history report? Was it ever in an accident? I'd look at all the suspension components on that side to see if anything looks like it may be bent.

    4. Member Tcardio's Avatar
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      02-04-2020 03:22 PM #3
      I would look at the control arm
      I hate cupholders

    5. Member TBomb's Avatar
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      02-04-2020 04:00 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Tcardio View Post
      I would look at the control arm
      Most likely the upper one, right? Since it is so far negative on the camber?

    6. Junior Member 01greengti's Avatar
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      02-04-2020 05:22 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by TBomb View Post
      Do you have a vehicle history report? Was it ever in an accident? I'd look at all the suspension components on that side to see if anything looks like it may be bent.
      I don't have any history other than some service records from the PO. I did inspect the suspension components and linkages and everything looked straight and correct and identical to the opposite side. There's one "wishbone" (13 in the diagram) that is already curved by design, and looks like the most likely, if not only, component that would cause this after a wheel ding, since the lower components would have to have been pulled out to cause negative camber. That being said, it doesn't look bent or different than the good side, and there's no evidence of any impact/contact. The diagram tells me that #'s 9 & 10 is the adjustment cam and that's where I should look for adjustment (though the shop said there's none left).
      Last edited by 01greengti; 02-04-2020 at 05:26 PM.

    7. Member Tcardio's Avatar
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      02-05-2020 12:05 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by TBomb View Post
      Most likely the upper one, right? Since it is so far negative on the camber?
      looks like the one right under the orange glove
      I hate cupholders

    8. Junior Member 01greengti's Avatar
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      02-05-2020 01:08 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Tcardio View Post
      looks like the one right under the orange glove
      That's what I was thinking. That would be #13 in the diagram. Since it looks fine, what can I do to determine if it's at fault and should be replaced. I'm trying to not just replace guessed parts until the issue goes away.

    9. Member Tcardio's Avatar
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      02-05-2020 02:33 PM #8
      Its trial and error but I would have Audi look at it. I have no idea how much experience your shop has but I am always suspect. I know most don't want to go to stealerships but a second opinion is needed. Camber is usually the control arm and aftermarket control arms are adjustable. 034 has one
      I hate cupholders

    10. Member
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      02-11-2020 01:18 PM #9
      The upper and lower control arms have adjustable camber washers where they connect at the rear subframe (#9 in the diagram). You can start there. If there was that kind of impact to bend the shock, it's possible that the subframe shifted. You can correct it by loosening the bolts and re-torquing, but it's tedious and might mess up the other side. 034 and tyrolsport both sell rear subframe locking collars that ensure it is centered in place. Then you use the adjusting washers to get the camber in spec. doing that and replacing the bad shock should get everything straight.

    11. Junior Member 01greengti's Avatar
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      02-12-2020 03:34 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by npace View Post
      You can correct it by loosening the bolts and re-torquing, but it's tedious and might mess up the other side.
      That could be worth a try. Is it as simple as loosening to let it settle and re-tightening, or do I loosen, measure, and then re-tighten? Is there a write-up for this?

    12. Member
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      02-12-2020 08:00 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by 01greengti View Post
      That could be worth a try. Is it as simple as loosening to let it settle and re-tightening, or do I loosen, measure, and then re-tighten? Is there a write-up for this?
      Unless you have an alignment shop do it, it's trial and error. There are alignment shops that shift the subframe for an alignment (not ideal, I always ask them not to use this method), but they have the laser / paddle setup. If you're using measuring tape with a camber gauge and toe plates on the ground, it's going to take a while.

      If it were my car and I was just trying to get it in spec, I would start with adjusting the eccentric washer position on the subframe, then shifting the subframe itself, and then start looking into other points for adjustment or replacing parts.

    13. Junior Member 01greengti's Avatar
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      02-12-2020 09:13 PM #12
      On the basis that I have that amount of camber and the adjustment is maxxed out, should I start loosening the subframe from there, or reset the cams first? Also, is this done with the car on jacks or on the ground (i.e., does the suspension have to be loaded for doing this?)?

    14. Member
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      02-12-2020 10:46 PM #13
      You can do it on jacks, but you have to put the car back on the ground and roll it back and forth a few times before you take your measurements.

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