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Thread: Best place for lowered car alignment

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    Default Best place for lowered car alignment

    I added coilovers to my Viper and dropped it so need an alignment. What are the go-to alignment shops today for lowered cars?
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    I’d take it to Davenport.
    I like neat cars.

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    My top choice is a large SVT dealer like Cam Clark or Advantage. They have a shit load of experience with the Shelby and GT alignments as they come with track settings and are stupid low.

    GT350, GT350R, Mach 1, Mustang GT PP2, Ford GT.

    Next choice would be a Chevrolet dealer, much less traffic of low cars with track settings.

    Aftermarket shop.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."

    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Take it to Balance auto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkane View Post
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    My top choice is a large SVT dealer like Cam Clark or Advantage. They have a shit load of experience with the Shelby and GT alignments as they come with track settings and are stupid low.

    GT350, GT350R, Mach 1, Mustang GT PP2, Ford GT.

    Next choice would be a Chevrolet dealer, much less traffic of low cars with track settings.

    Aftermarket shop.
    I'm going to take this opportunity to shit on dealerships. Dealer techs are paid flat rate (piece work). They work in an environment that puts quantity over quality. Repetition, speed, and familiarity is the best way to make your pay. Giving a Ford or GM tech a modified Mopar to work on it going to hurt his pay. The tech is going to be pissed because he has to work on an unfamiliar vehicle. It's lowered, so everything is harder and takes longer to do further cutting into his pay. The tech is not going to give very many fucks if he is loosing money on the job.The service writers at the dealer may not even book the vehicle in because they know it's going to piss off whoever they give the job to.

    My vote is Davenport, they have built their business model around modified vehicles.
    Last edited by Flexray; 09-24-2022 at 10:28 AM.

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    There are some dealerships that do quite a bit of outside work. One of the Nissan dealerships used to be the place to take DeLoreans, for instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexray View Post
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    I'm going to take this opportunity to shit on dealerships. Dealer techs are paid flat rate (piece work). They work in an environment that puts quantity over quality. Repetition, speed, and familiarity is the best way to make your pay. Giving a Ford or GM tech a modified Mopar to work on it going to hurt his pay. The tech is going to be pissed because he has to work on an unfamiliar vehicle. It's lowered, so everything I harder and takes longer to do further cutting into his pay. The tech is not going to give very many fucks if he is loosing money on the job.The service writers at the dealer may not even book the vehicle in because they know it's going to piss off whoever they give the job to.

    My vote is Davenport, they have built their business model around modified vehicles.
    Well put. My bias is I take my low ford to ford.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."

    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexray View Post
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    I'm going to take this opportunity to shit on dealerships. Dealer techs are paid flat rate (piece work). They work in an environment that puts quantity over quality. Repetition, speed, and familiarity is the best way to make your pay. Giving a Ford or GM tech a modified Mopar to work on it going to hurt his pay. The tech is going to be pissed because he has to work on an unfamiliar vehicle. It's lowered, so everything is harder and takes longer to do further cutting into his pay. The tech is not going to give very many fucks if he is loosing money on the job.The service writers at the dealer may not even book the vehicle in because they know it's going to piss off whoever they give the job to.

    My vote is Davenport, they have built their business model around modified vehicles.
    you make it sound like Davenport or any other aftermarket shop doesn't pay their Tech flat rate as well?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team_Mclaren View Post
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    you make it sound like Davenport or any other aftermarket shop doesn't pay their Tech flat rate as well?!
    Most aftermarket shops don't pay flat rate. It's usually hourly with a productivity bonus.

    Out in the aftermarket, you have to work on multiple different vehicle makes. You won't do the same task enough times to build efficiency at it. It forces you to be more well rounded and learn big picture systems instead of specific vehicle failures. The flat rate system was not designed for all makes/models, or complex modern day vehicles for that matter.

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    It’s been a while since I’ve had to get an alignment on a lowered car but I used to use Precision Alignment & Brake. They were well reviewed by Beyond at the time and did a good job on anything I brought in. They have a viewing window in their waiting area so you can see them bringing your can on and off the lift which I liked (I had a bad experience with a dealership damaging a body kit once which resulted in my always being nervous about bringing a lowered car anywhere to get worked on). The Precision guys were careful and were happy to take on the job even if getting the car on the lift took as much time as the actual alignment!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team_Mclaren View Post
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    you make it sound like Davenport or any other aftermarket shop doesn't pay their Tech flat rate as well?!
    Davenport pays their guys by the hour, not flat rate.
    @ExtraSlow Davenport was also the shop that McLarens were serviced at when the MP4-12C first came out and they didn’t have affiliation with any other dealer. Kinda neat that this was the case.
    I like neat cars.

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    In Edmonton, the place to go was Sherwood Dodge. A guy named Matt was the tech there and he did any and all vehicles. He would also set them up how you asked if you wanted something abnormal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90_Shelby View Post
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    Davenport pays their guys by the hour, not flat rate.
    @ExtraSlow Davenport was also the shop that McLarens were serviced at when the MP4-12C first came out and they didn’t have affiliation with any other dealer. Kinda neat that this was the case.
    I guess it can depend on the job, a lot of shops pay flat rate for alignment because it's a set price. just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team_Mclaren View Post
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    I guess it can depend on the job, a lot of shops pay flat rate for alignment because it's a set price. just saying.
    Some shops have set prices for certain tasks, like alignments and some maintenance items. They call it menu pricing, or a canned job. All other repairs get billed from a labor guide. How the customer is billed, is different from how the technician is paid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    In Edmonton, the place to go was Sherwood Dodge. A guy named Matt was the tech there and he did any and all vehicles. He would also set them up how you asked if you wanted something abnormal.
    Matt was awesome. He did a couple of my vehicles. Do you know if he's still around?

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    +1 for davenport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShermanEF9 View Post
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    Matt was awesome. He did a couple of my vehicles. Do you know if he's still around?
    I don't know, unfortunately. I think he was cudaKid on 780tuners before that place got unplugged and turned into whatever Grindr/Facebook thing it is now.

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    I should have just brought it to Davenport from the get go - only reason I didn't is because they're usually booked up and I figured being end of year it would become a next year deal and I wanted to get it done this year so would bite the bulllet and just go to a dealership.

    I took it to one Dodge dealership who wanted $600 to do it ... figured whatever I just want to get it done ... 2hrs later they couldn't figure out how to get it on the alignment rack

    Called another dodge dealership who was like 'we can do a traditional alignment but not a performance alignment'. I spent 5 minutes trying to get them to define what the difference between traditional and performance was then just gave up because it was like me - 'I want OEM caster/camber/toe specs at my lowered ride height' them - 'we can do that if it's a traditional alignment but not a performance alignment' ..... huh

    Figured I'd outsmart the system so rather than call a third dealership I showed up with the car to book the appointment after wanting to see their equipment/tech ... when i'm in the service bay to talk to the service guy a mechanic walks in and is like 'do I have to work on that viper?' and the service manager was like 'no, he's just here for a quote' and the mechanic said 'good' ... lol, that gave me a lot of confidence :/

    TLDR - should have called Davenport first rather than assuming they'd be too booked right now

    TLDR2 - this reminded me why I do most of my own work (I have a fastrax but I only do alingments on my race cars I build since they're easy to do on the ground since i can just pop off carbon fiber front/rear clips and have immediate access to all suspension points)
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