Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My '11 with 110K miles just got treated to a 4wheel alignment and of course the - camber is excessive. I see the adjustable rods and think I may look into getting one....or two

The question I have is what is the first and last adjustment to be made on the rear end alignment. Common sense tells me the camber must be set first then the toe. Does anyone know this for sure? If I am wrong I can buy the rods and do the camber myself.

Another option is to get on a first name basis with the local alignment guy and tip him well. I'm still considering loading up a small camper and headed west so getting it aligned for the heavier load may do the new Michelins a big favor.
 

·
Registered
07 2wd 5-speedauto
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
Camber is set first, because when it's adjust will change toe.
I set my rear toe to the lowest spec, Honda spec is too much.
 

·
Premium Member
2007 Element EX TRP
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
Rear camber is non-adjustable with the stock camber arms. :mad: To straighten the rear tires back to (anything) reasonable, you NEED adjustable camber. I replaced mine several years ago (then a 4 wheel alignment) and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! The tires wear MUCH better, she handles better, and looks better. All for a hundred bucks (or so) and my time to put them in. HIGHLY recommend!!! (y) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Camber is set first, because when it's adjust will change toe.
I set my rear toe to the lowest spec, Honda spec is too much.
Curious why Honda spec is too much? To correct an handling issue? Did you notice any difference after you made the toe change?
 

·
Registered
07 2wd 5-speedauto
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
Most manufactures tune the suspension for massive amounts of understeer. This makes it "safer" for the average knucklehead to control the car at extreme steering inputs. Also makes for a not so fun car to drive. When I set the rear camber and toe to the min specs, it was immediately apparent. Steering had much more feedback. At the limits on an exit ramp or testing in a parking lot, it still understeers, it has to because it's front wheel drive and nose heavy. We used to set up auto crossing suspensions with the rear toed out, like 1/4 inch. Sure made for a fun car to slide around the course.
Setting the toe closer to 0 will help with tire wear also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I could do without the plow. The other car we drive is a '17 Fiat 124 Abarth so were are both a bit more in tune to a cars handling than the average Buick Roadmaster owner. I was thinking shouldn't an alignment be done with the car laden? Most of our driving is either headed back east with the car packed or used as a pickup truck around town. Full fuel, a HUGE Yellow Lab and a couple hundred pounds or corn or birdseed we are often over grossed. I remind her we should have gone with the Ridgeline.
 

·
Registered
07 2wd 5-speedauto
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
Always good to align with at least some of the average weight. Keep in mind the rear camber changes a lot (more negative) as you load it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
My '11 with 110K miles just got treated to a 4wheel alignment and of course the - camber is excessive. I see the adjustable rods and think I may look into getting one....or two

The question I have is what is the first and last adjustment to be made on the rear end alignment. Common sense tells me the camber must be set first then the toe. Does anyone know this for sure? If I am wrong I can buy the rods and do the camber myself.

Another option is to get on a first name basis with the local alignment guy and tip him well. I'm still considering loading up a small camper and headed west so getting it aligned for the heavier load may do the new Michelins a big favor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Rear camber is non-adjustable with the stock camber arms. :mad: To straighten the rear tires back to (anything) reasonable, you NEED adjustable camber. I replaced mine several years ago (then a 4 wheel alignment) and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! The tires wear MUCH better, she handles better, and looks better. All for a hundred bucks (or so) and my time to put them in. HIGHLY recommend!!! (y) :)
Can you recommend the adjustable camber you used. I have a 2005, AWD and the rear annoys me every time I look at it.
 

·
Registered
2004 SOP EX/AWD/MT
Joined
·
169 Posts
Adjustable control arms are quite common.
Autozone, summit racing, rockauto...even amazon has them.

If you ask me, our Elements should have come with them stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I just finished the major maintenance yesterday and backed the big butt up on some ramps for a look see of the rear suspension. What I didn't see rather concerns me. I hope I get the terminology correct. At the rear of each lower suspension link there is what appears to be a round washer with hash marks around the perimeter. It's double nutted and appears to me to be the way to adjust the toe on each rear wheel by adjusting the length of that suspension link in reference to the spindle. Here's what missing. There is no indication there has ever been a wrench of socket on those nuts and no evidence of any movement in any of the metal on either side.
I know there did tell me the camber was off and could not be adjusted. I'm going to look again at the paperwork and see if they claim they did any adjusting on the rear toe.
 

·
Registered
2008 Element EX AWD
Joined
·
2,817 Posts
Adjustable links cost a lot less than a $100.

If you install a set just before you are going to have a professional alignment done, set them to the same length as the ones they replace. The ride doesn't change noticeably, but quality of the alignment will - with not excises about "can't adjust" to spec. btw, The rear alignment spec is a compromise for handling over a range of cargo weight, probably optimized for less than 675lb since it didn't change between 2004 and 2007 when the max was dropped from 875 lb
 

·
Registered
2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
Joined
·
487 Posts
If you do install adjustable upper control arms, make sure you tell the alignment shop. I installed them on a Civic one of daughters had and the shop (a Honda dealer) didn't adjust them because the car didn't come with them originally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I think I will start looking at the adjustable link. I noticed some on Amazon where the bushings weren't holding up and not a replaceable part. One YT video showed links for a CRV that were AC Delco parts? That didn't seem right but who knows. One still must be careful as the AC Delco part may well be just another Chinese part with a fancy name.

Digging further into the appearance of nothing being touched on the rear, I did find out through parts diagrams the bolt and nut I'm looking at are in fact used to adjust the toe. I did not get around to looking at the bolt head end to see if they had been touched. The front tie road ends do show markings from a wrench so at least I wasn't completely ripped off. The Element will be busy for a while making the trip from Ohio to Eastern PA due to an illness with my Wife's mother so it's going to stay as is until I get a week that I know she isn't going to need it before I do any unbolting of important bits.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Check out these links. The first is a good deal on the parts, and the other 2 are How To Install videos, and the last is one thing to watch out for. Hope this helps:




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Yesterday I backed the Element up on ramps to take a gander as the classic butt-thump. Broke all four 8mm bolts holding the sway bar bushings in place. PB Blaster and all. New bushings on order and two wraps of good old duct take around the bar to get me through until the parts come. Drilling out those four stubs wasn't fun but it's now tapped 5/16x18.

Anyway, I see no evidence of the rear suspension adjusted at all. No wrench marks, no fresh metal or paint showing and no dirt moved. I'll go speak with them about this.
 

·
Registered
2007 Element EX AWD AT (two!)
Joined
·
487 Posts
I had the same experience with my daughter's E. I was just trying to put a little spacer between the bushing and cross member to prove that the bushings were making the noise. Broke one bolt on both each side, so I didn't attempt the other two at the time. Tapped the holes and left the spacers in. That's why I'm looking for a spare cross member to clean up, tap the holes if necessary, and have it powder coated and ready to go when the time comes.
 

·
Registered
07 2wd 5-speedauto
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
Two of the sway bar mount bolts broke on mine. I just drilled it out and used a longer bolt with nut instead of tapping threads.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top