Engine Cradle Alignment
Before aligning a vehicle, perform a pre-alignment inspection. This inspection includes inspecting the engine cradle for misalignment. Engine cradles have motor mounts and lower control arms attached. They hold and fasten the engine to the frame. If the inspection reveals a bent or loose engine cradle, it must be repaired or refastened to the vehicle correctly before performing a wheel alignment.
The engine cradle has both lower control arms attached. These control arms affect the vehicle's alignment angles. A crooked or misaligned engine cradle will affect a vehicle's camber angle. Excessive camber angles result in pull and tire wear.
Engine cradles get damaged from hitting curbs. If an engine cradle is bent, it will need repairs before attempting wheel alignment. The lower control arms are attached to the engine cradle or subframe. Therefore, alignment angles will be affected. The camber angle is the inward and outward tilt of the top of the tire as viewed from the front of the vehicle.
If the engine cradle has shifted from a collision, looseness, or during a repair, one side will have too much negative camber, and the other will have too much positive camber. The steering will pull to the side with the most positive (+) camber.