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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had a "3rd party" alignment done and they changed the toe from significantly inward (0.23 and 0.31) to significantly outward (-0.28 and -0.30). They say it's to spec but this seems wrong to me.

I would think something close to 0 degrees of toe is correct for this van. Someone else on this forum posted an alignment sheet that appeared to be from MB. It showed the toe target spec as +- 0 degrees 0.10' which would be +-0.17 degrees in decimal for the 'unpressed' position. (One confusion that I suppose can arise is the difference between decimal degrees and degrees and minutes/seconds.)

A Mercedes Benz technician (elsewhere on the web) gave me these specs that are supposed to be up to date MB official alignment specs for the front:
Camber: -1.4 +/-0.3 degrees
Caster: Not specified but usually is 10 to 11 degrees
Toe: 0.03 to 0.13 degrees

Does anyone have negative toe on their front wheels and find that it works?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have since conversed with another MB technician who tells me that my new alignment is perfectly within spec. He says that the spec range for toe for the front wheels is -0.41. to -0.74 in total degrees (left and right added together). This means toe-out!

Since this change I've found that the van seems to meander a little more at highway speeds. It doesn't pull as tight of a line up the middle of the lane. It also seems like it takes a little more force to turn the wheel at slow speeds (still not much force at all but 'feels' different than it did before).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since my initial posts in this thread I spoke to a few more Mercedes technicians about this. The last 3 folks all said that the toe should basically be zero. Everyone I've spoken to said that the camber numbers we're seeing on these vans are very small and shouldn't have much impact on wear.

I have had another alignment done since. The tires were wearing terribly. Initially I thought I was just getting outside edge wear on the front but since tire rotation makes it harder to follow trends, I'm not exactly sure how the inside 1/3 of the tread was wearing. It may have been happening on the rear tires. Tire pressure was correct. I put a new pair of Michelins on the back and the best pair of Continentals on the front. I still need to evaluate the wear since the last alignment and tire change but it seems to drive well.
 

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Since my initial posts in this thread I spoke to a few more Mercedes technicians about this. The last 3 folks all said that the toe should basically be zero. Everyone I've spoken to said that the camber numbers we're seeing on these vans are very small and shouldn't have much impact on wear.

I have had another alignment done since. The tires were wearing terribly. Initially I thought I was just getting outside edge wear on the front but since tire rotation makes it harder to follow trends, I'm not exactly sure how the inside 1/3 of the tread was wearing. It may have been happening on the rear tires. Tire pressure was correct. I put a new pair of Michelins on the back and the best pair of Continentals on the front. I still need to evaluate the wear since the last alignment and tire change but it seems to drive well.
chmedly how are your Continentals doing compared to Michelins and could you see where they are made?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tire wear photos - 4,210 miles after alignment

chmedly how are your Continentals doing compared to Michelins and could you see where they are made?
Sorry this took awhile. Winter weather etc made it challenging to take more pics. Also, as you can see, I'm still figuring out how to take photos of tires. The shadows from sunlight make a huge difference in how the tread appears. Anyway, here are some comparison photos from shortly after the last alignment and now. I've put about 4000 miles on them in that time. I think they're doing ok. Probably a little more wear on the outer edges of the fronts but not like the 4k miles before that. The front left tire has uneven wear around perimeter of the tire too. So the after photo might be on the worst side of the tire. And to be clear, the front tires are the original Continental VancoFourSeason tires (the best out of the 4 when I got the alignment done and I think one came from the rear and one from the front but they both spent time on both the rear and front). And the rear tires are Michelin Defenders.

As far as country of origin, I'll have to look at the tires again. I gorfot that you asked about that when I was taking photos.
 

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thanks so much for this thread, I was struggling with lack of specs in our ancient Hunter alignment rack after installing H&R springs. I've posted before/after photos of alignment specs over on another thread . If anyone lands here looking for alignment after lowering, these measurements seem to track well. Thanks again
H&R spring before and after pics
 
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