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5/17/2017 8:14 AM  #1


FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

I finally got the car over to the shop that originally did my front end alignment 2 years ago. She started getting "squirrely" on me when I drive it so I thought she needed another front end alignment. Front end was off and he showed me the numbers on the machine when he pulled down on the front end. Something is terribly wrong with my stock front end and need some guidance on what I need to do, I will do my best to paint a picture of the front end. She has 4100 miles on it. Went from drums to disk brakes with the original spindles. I did the 1" drop. Why? Cuz I thought that would give the car a better stance. New springs. New shocks. As you can see the tires need to be replaced. Drivers side worse than the passenger side. Robert talked about camber and bump steer and that's all Greek to me. Can someone dumb it down for me so I know what I need to be looking at? Should I abandon the 1" drop? Upgrade the front end? I just want to solve the severe wear on my front tires and maintain good front end alignment. Thanks in advance. In the mean time off to by 2 new tires. Bill.
http://i66.tinypic.com/106j2hf.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/2qd6emh.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/35c3dhe.jpg

 

 

5/17/2017 8:53 AM  #2


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

The Arning/Shelby drop is most definitely not the problem, assuming it was done properly! It will lower the front end slightly, but it's primary purpose is to correct the factory geometry, making it more stable when cornering. The drop (by itself) will not prevent the front end from being properly aligned. Camber is the amount "lean" to the tire/wheel from top to bottom. Again, the drop should not prevent your alignment shop from achieving the proper camber. Lastly, If your car sits at something close to stock ride height, bump steer should not be an issue.

If the numbers are as far out as you say, something else is either worn out, loose, broken or bent. Front end geometry does not just change unless something has changed or failed. A reputable alignment shop should have no difficulty diagnosing the problem. You should be able to make stock components work fine.

Last edited by rhutt (5/17/2017 9:01 AM)


'66 GT Fastback, 302, Edelbrock top end, 670 Street Avenger, MSD, JBA Headers & Exhaust, T-5Z, Currie 3.55 Trac-Loc
 

5/17/2017 9:41 AM  #3


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

 In addition to the above post make sure the alignment tech does not use the O/E Ford specs, they were meant for bias ply tires.
Using radial tires changes everything and requires updated numbers.
 Go to the site below for more information.
 http://opentrackerracing.com/technical/


Good work ain't cheap, Cheap work ain't good!   “My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best"
 

5/17/2017 10:14 AM  #4


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

With all said above.  Whoa!  Do not put 2 new tires on your car until you are ready to diagnose and fix your alignment problem which you should be able to do with your existing tires.  Find someone that knows what they are doing.  You need someone with a reputation for aligning the old classics using shims on the upper control arms.  Don't take the shops word for it.  Check around with friends and associates for a shop that has experience doing this type of alignment.  In simple words there are 3 considerations to align your car,  Caster, camber and  toe-in.  Read up on the purpose of each and how the adjustments are made.  The adjustments for caster and camber are made using shims on the two bolts holding your upper control arms to your inner fender.  This is a trial and error procedure which is very time consuming because the two nuts on the upper control arm have to be tightened each time shims are added or taken away in order to get accurate readings..  Toe-In is adjusted by turning your tie rod connectors which is a simple process.  Before you begin the  alignment you should check your tie rods ,  idler arm, upper control arm bushings and ball joints on your lower control arm for excessive wear.  You can not get a good alignment if you have excessively worn parts in your suspension.  Remember something has changed if the car was aligned properly and only 4300 miles since.  Hope this helps.  Good Luck.

Last edited by almcgee (5/17/2017 10:23 AM)


Fort Walton Beach or Bust (2017 BASH)
 

5/17/2017 10:51 PM  #5


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

Maybe the shop didn't align it correctly 2 years ago. When you mention adjusting caster and camber with shims a lot of alignment "technicians" get that deer in the headlights look. A lot of those guys weren't even alive when shims went by the wayside.

 

5/18/2017 5:52 AM  #6


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

I rebuilt the front end on my 65, new upper and lower control arms , new tie rods, new new new!!  I also did the Shelby/Arning drop.  Had it realigned to spec that several suggest, like Daze!  The car was very scary to drive.  When you accelerated the front would lift and would not come back down unless you would hit the brakes and it would drop.  The scary part was when the front would come up it naturally changed the geometry of everything and cause the car to dart like bumpsteer.  I ended up putting the top  control back to the factory holes.  Something made me realize that I did not replace the springs.  I dont know why???  Anyway I replaced the front coils AND the rear leafs and BAM problem solved!!  the cars handles great!!  I guess the question here is "Did you replace EVERYTHING during your rebuild??"


Getting back to my roots!!
 

5/18/2017 6:10 AM  #7


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

I went from not really knowing a whole lot about suspensions other then shock replacement and a couple ball joint replacements to doing a complete high performance suspension along with doing my own alignments and making the car drive great.

The problems with these are are several. First a lot of replacement parts are garbage. In the heyday of these cars replacement parts were a big market and many times the same company supplying Ford and USA made. Today these cars are more of a novelty, a niche market in limited amounts and who knows where. So I agree with worn parts. When I did my car even though the parts looked in good shape and were Ford service replacement parts, the bushings in the lower arm were totally trashed. You could not see the damaged bushings with the arms still bolted in place. They'd bushings not only get twisted going up and down but they also follow the arc of the strut. They really take a beating. Once they wear your caster, camber and toe is going to be all over the place and so will your car on the road. My car was so bad I could not drive next to someone in fear that my car would suddenly dart into them. It sounds funny but it was true. The struts are another issue with the rubber biscuits. As these compress under braking the caster changes erratically making the car twitchy. Last, alignment settings make a big difference. Caster is what keeps the car straight and stable. Think of your bicycle as a kid. At a stop while sitting on it remember as you would turn the handle bars the front of the bike would raise up a little? The more caster, the less leverage it has to lift the front up so the wheels stay straight. Stock caster was something like 0 to 1 degree positive caster. Even back in the day it wasn't anything to talk about even with bias tires. With radial tires, they have a softer side wall and aggravate the lack of caster.

So what can you do? Go through the suspension and replace worn parts. You can use stock parts but there's a good chance you'll be going through this again. I would like to suggest stepping up to some performance parts. The main reason is the quality will be immensely better and last a very long time besides performing a whole lot better and making the car fun to drive. I would like to suggest adjustable struts because they do away with the rubber biscuits that compress and dry rotors. You'll also be able to add a little more caster. The big thing is they will work consistently the same no matter what. I would also like to suggest replacing the stock style lower arm with something that has a mono bearing. The bearing will allow free movement in every direction and again performing consistently. Between these two and a good alignment you won't believe it's the same car. Later on you can change the upper arm if you want but I feel the lower arm and strut will make a bigger difference at this point.

One thing I discovered doing my suspension. If you can do this work yourself, you can do your own alignment! It's really worth it especially if you really want to drive your car. If you go into it completely cold without knowing a few easy things, yeah it's going to be very frustrating. But it's so easy with just some basic information and understanding that the Ford shop manual covers. The shop manual gives great information on setting the shims with their values. If you can read a simple bubble level, you can do a alignment, really. I did.

Here's a link to my DIY alignment. Take a look at it. Seriously think about something aftermarket performance parts. Opentracker or Street or Track both make excellent parts along with great customer service. I went with Street or Track. With their arms it makes it a lot easier to add the needed caster. I run 4° positive caster and the car just drives so nice. Don't worry about the steel bearings and ride quality. It actually improves. I do not have any rubber anywhere in my suspension. It I gave you a ride, you'd never know it.

http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vintage-mustang-forum/885066-setting-caster-camber.html

Last edited by Huskinhano (5/18/2017 6:11 AM)


I'm not a complete idiot.....pieces are missing. Tom
 

5/18/2017 6:47 AM  #8


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

terry wrote:

I rebuilt the front end on my 65, new upper and lower control arms , new tie rods, new new new!!  I also did the Shelby/Arning drop.  Had it realigned to spec that several suggest, like Daze!  The car was very scary to drive.  When you accelerated the front would lift and would not come back down unless you would hit the brakes and it would drop.  The scary part was when the front would come up it naturally changed the geometry of everything and cause the car to dart like bumpsteer.  I ended up putting the top  control back to the factory holes.  Something made me realize that I did not replace the springs.  I dont know why???  Anyway I replaced the front coils AND the rear leafs and BAM problem solved!!  the cars handles great!!  I guess the question here is "Did you replace EVERYTHING during your rebuild??"

The way these suspensions work as the suspension compresses the tires toe out. When the suspension droops during hard acceleration or going over a crest in the road, the tires toe in. At stock ride height the suspension is more in the middle of it's travel and while there Mau be big changes in toe from one extreme to the other, it hasn't changed enough from the stock height, it isn't enough to cause any real problems. Once you've done something that lowers your car and you set toe, you now have cut down the tie out range but you've increase the range of toe in. I noticed working on my car the suspension had more travel then my tie rod ends or in my case, the rod ends on the bump steer kit. It would bind up and cause this while on Jack stands. I can't help but to wonder if the boot on stock tie rod ends hide this from view?

I would suggest adding caster as this will lengthen the whole tie rod assembly which will help reduce bumpsteer steer. You could install a bump steer kit,a little stiffer or better shock all will help. I have 72 spindles on my 66 and I have that driving pretty well.


I'm not a complete idiot.....pieces are missing. Tom
 

5/19/2017 1:56 PM  #9


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

I had a similar problem.  The local shop is very good at doing alignments but they had to jack the front of the car up to do the caster and camber.  When they let it down the front suspension did not settle all the way back down to ride height so when they set the toe it was wrong.  I took it out and drove it about 20 miles, realized the toe was wrong and took it back.  They readjusted the toe without jacking it up and it's been fine since.

 

5/19/2017 7:33 PM  #10


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

What were the numbers on caster, camber and toe?
What size wheels and backspacing do you have?
All you have to do is align it right and it will be fine.


Money you enjoy wasting is NOT wasted money... unless your wife finds out.
 

Today 9:31 AM  #11


Re: FRONT END ALIGNMENT - BAD NEWS

I was able to have my front end aligned this morning at a Ford Dealership. The fellah that does the alignments comes with high regards so I thought that I would try him. We spent 3 hours on her and worked at getting it right. In the end she needed shims added to the Upper Control Arms. I measured them to be .110" thick. I had no idea how involved aligning this car was.  I look forward to having this issue behind me. No worn, loose or broken parts.
BEFORE I  buy new tires and keep an eye on the wear on the tires let me provide some information that may have been missing from my original post based on some questions concerning my set up that may help guide me toward resolving my problem.
1. New coil springs from Virginia Classic Mustang 67-70 Small Block V8/6 Cylinder Item #SU8306.
2. 1" Sway Bar
3. Mustang Steve's Disk Brake Conversion Kit using original spindles
4. 1" Shelby Drop
5. BF Goodrich 245/45ZR17 Tires
6. Rims from a 2013 Factory OEM Mustang Part Number DR3Z1007E Hollander 3906 Size 17" x 7"
7. 2" spacers All the way around.
8. Current Measurements:
CAMBER = LF 1.0 RF 1.0
CASTER - .1* RF .4*
TOE = LF 5/64" RF 6/64"
TOTAL TOE 10/64"
STEER AHEAD = .02*
If by providing this information could provide the correct alignment numbers, that would be great.THANK YOU

Last edited by Chelby-Ann (Today 9:32 AM)

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