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Alignment 4wd and 2wd


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What is the difference between alignments on 2wd and 4wd vehicles? The tire shop today was telling me they do free front-end alignments when you buy tires but you have to pay extra if it is a 4wd vehicle. Then he said something about lining up the rear wheels, how does that work?

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ZERO difference. 2wd and 4wd on our trucks use the exact same steering and suspension components.

 

So is this the case for all trucks/cars?

 

This is NOT the case for all cars trucks. Some have completely different setups between the two, not that it should make a difference in an alignment.... and don't let them sell you a 4 wheel alignment as the rear end is not adjustable. When they say 4 wheel alignment, it mean that they adjust the rear end adjustments (if it has any) before setting the front end adjustments, this usually pays the tech about 1/2-1 hour more than a 2 wheel or front end only alignment. Our trucks only require a 2 wheel or front end only alignment.... 2wd or 4wd should not make any difference.

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ZERO difference. 2wd and 4wd on our trucks use the exact same steering and suspension components.

 

So is this the case for all trucks/cars?

 

This is NOT the case for all cars trucks. Some have completely different setups between the two, not that it should make a difference in an alignment.... and don't let them sell you a 4 wheel alignment as the rear end is not adjustable. When they say 4 wheel alignment, it mean that they adjust the rear end adjustments (if it has any) before setting the front end adjustments, this usually pays the tech about 1/2-1 hour more than a 2 wheel or front end only alignment. Our trucks only require a 2 wheel or front end only alignment.... 2wd or 4wd should not make any difference.

 

I would assume then, that any car/truck that has leaf springs in the back are not adjustable. It would mainly be for vehicles that have rear control arms?

 

I am getting tires put on the MJ and my 97 blazer. Would I be correct in saying my blazer also is not adjustable in the rear?

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I think it's safe to say that any vehicle with a solid rear axle cannot be adjusted. There's nothing to adjust.

 

Front solid axle vehicles should also, for the most part, have no difference between 2wd and 4wd.

 

Luckily, yours has both. No alignment in the back, no difference between 2wd and 4wd for the front. If all you need is a toe alignment, you can easily do it yourself, after they screw it up.

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I think it's safe to say that any vehicle with a solid rear axle cannot be adjusted. There's nothing to adjust.

 

Front solid axle vehicles should also, for the most part, have no difference between 2wd and 4wd.

 

Luckily, yours has both. No alignment in the back, no difference between 2wd and 4wd for the front. If all you need is a toe alignment, you can easily do it yourself, after they screw it up.

 

Atleast with the MJ, it will only be temporary. I will be putting my lift on as soon as it warms up and then I will try and find a good 4wd shop to do an alignment. Then they can also tweak the adj control arms and trac bar if necessary.

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The only adjustment/check there is to be done on a solid rear setup is the offset of the whole assembly to the left or right. Only typical way this becomes a problem is after a collision.

Correction: You can also check if one wheel is pushed further forward than the other.

 

neither of these are terribly likely to be an issue for most people.

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There is nothing to adjust on the rear of an MJ, but, they still have to put all 4 sensors on regardless if it is a 2 or 4 wheel alignment.

Almost every shop now quotes every alignment as a 4 wheel just because the majority of cars now have rear caster/camber/toe settings.

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  • 2 months later...
The only adjustment/check there is to be done on a solid rear setup is the offset of the whole assembly to the left or right. Only typical way this becomes a problem is after a collision.

Correction: You can also check if one wheel is pushed further forward than the other.

 

neither of these are terribly likely to be an issue for most people.

 

Yeah! Someone finally said it!

OK...I am a 4x4 Jeep newbie, but not new to vehicles. This is exactly what shops used to ask me (years ago) upon learning that a vehicle was new to me - "would you like all four wheels checked...in addition to the front standard adjustments. They would call it a "4 wheel alignment" and explain it as above. Now I've got my first Jeep, and want these type of measurements done, but you'd think I was speaking Martian or something.

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