Drilling Strut Tower: Normal or Not?

11-28-2006, 11:02 AM
Following an accident (torn up front end) and subsequent repair at the dealership of purchase the following transpired: Car never seemed to drive right Took back to dealer numerous times Never any real change Had to pay to have strut towers drilled to achieve alignment Finally they found a broken belt in one tire I replaced the tire Some improvement but still not right I finally took to it a suspension shop They replaced the shocks and struts and 4 wheel alignment They told me dealer drilled strut towers to compensate for not having brought the front end back into spec following the accident repair. Dealership says it's normal to have to drill the strut towers out Any of you front-end/suspension guru's have any thought?

11-28-2006, 03:48 PM
That is usually a highly last minute resort. The need to drill implies that the camber setting (the tilt of the tire inboard or outboard) cannot be adjusted back into spec, or that the caster (fore or aft tilt of the strut for weight disbursment) that normally is never adjusted anymore, is out due to the tower being damanged.

11-28-2006, 03:53 PM
Unless there has been a marked movement in the unibody, subframe or suspension comnponent, drill or expanding the upper strut tower holes is not done. What did the subsequent shop finally fix that overcome this is issue. Usually thrust angle and/or wheel set back readings on the initial alignment attempt may reveal a problem, another unknown.

11-28-2006, 04:10 PM
I've seen and heard of it being done. I would say it is not normal practice but I know for a fact that it has been done by both dealers and body shops to compensate for accident damage. You can only pound out and straighten so much to include putting it on a frame pulling machine. If the strut tower is damaged which is technically part of the inner apron, drilling and repositioning the upper strut mount may help and at least bring camber back into specs. The proper repair procedure to is cutout and replace the respective damaged apron part. Measurements should be taken down to a few millimeters based on references like the Mitchell's Parts and Repair Guides.

BTW - Here is a pic I got off a website a few years back dealing with alignment. It calls for elongating the upper strut mounting holes. Click on link.


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12-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Thanks. Not sure where to go from here . . . I've pretty much decided that the dealer isn't coming to do anything about their screwup and GM/Buick says it's a dealer issue.

BTW: My Ex-wife called me a few months ago when here transmission went out on her Honda Civic on a Saturday morning. The dealer sent a wrecker for the car immediately and gave her a free loaner. She had 12 miles left on her warranty. They repaired and return the car to her and picked up the loaner. Zero cost to her! Makes you wonder about these GM dealers. :screwy:

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