Stock front wheel alignment

Suspension, including wheel, tire and brake.
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PMCS Rally
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Stock front wheel alignment

Post by PMCS Rally »

Replaced all rusted frozen front suspension/steering parts of 71 sedan and now I need alignment job. So I called nearby tire shop and they declined the service of old cars like mine. Maybe they just do not want to do it for some reason but do I need to look for a special tune-up shop for this job or try DIY?

If I am not mistaken, the only adjustment needed for this type of suspension is toe-in for the stock setup. Is that correct? Tie Rod and Tension Rod are the only adjustable points. I only need a setup for street driving.

Any advice on this will be very much appreciated.
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bertvorgon
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by bertvorgon »

Yes, toe is the only adjustment to be done on a stock setup.

Surprised a shop would not adjust the toe for you.

You can do it yourself...make a "Trammel bar"...link attached but you may find another description.

https://enderw88.wordpress.com/2008/12/ ... ammel-bar/

and another;

https://lugnutz65chevystepside.weebly.c ... think.html

you get the idea at any rate. I did mine for years like that till a good shop came into play.

Make sure you have the equivalent weight of YOU in the driver seat..it does change. Also...after car is jacked up and then set back down....make sure you ROLL the car to settle the rubber tires. Maybe bounce the car too to settle any stiction in the shocks. If you can fit under the car to adjust the arms, great.

A nice flat floor sure helps too.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

Keith Law
1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer
Three B's Racing
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by Three B's Racing »

It's likely they don't have the specs for our 510's. Here in NH I could not find a single place to do mine for that reason. I told them I had my own specs and it was a double decline due to they didn't want to be responsible of any issues none vehicle specs may cause causing a bunch of come backs because of various reasons. The race shops in and around my area said they would do it to my specs $300 for a one time setup and if it pulls or causes any other issues and needs an adjustment another $300 f'k that, so I made up my own string line alignment which works very well for a four wheel alignment.
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PMCS Rally
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by PMCS Rally »

Thank you for valuable information. Now I am dangerous enough and know what to do. I think I can use my aluminum extrusion to build my trammel bar.

I too told the tire shop that I have factory alignment spec but that did not make any difference. I thought it was an easy part of my project but was not. Thanks for a reality check.
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PMCS Rally
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by PMCS Rally »

OK, I made my gauge tool and started measuring. Now I now it is a bit toe-out. Maybe I am missing something but I have one beginner question. Most DIY instruction says to adjust (turn tie rod) equal amount on each wheel till in the spec. This may work if both wheels are already aligned. Since mine is not aligned, to keep the equal amount of toe-in on each wheel, should I use the distance from one wheel to the CENTER of the body frame?
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Tedman
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by Tedman »

This is my eyeball alignment technique to get the front toe close, and the steering wheel straight with relatively equal length tie-rods: First, set your steering wheel to the straight ahead position and roll the car a little to relieve any torque in the tires, then site down one side of the car at hub height along the rim edges from behind. It really helps if you have room to stand well back of your car.

Then, you can judge relative to the rear wheel whether the front wheel is toed in or out. Next, adjust the tie-rod to get the front wheel pointing parallel to the rear wheel. Then repeat to get the other front wheel parallel to the rear. It usually takes me a few iterations on each side. Straighten steering wheel, roll, site, adjust tie rod, roll, re-center the steering wheel, etc.

When you are satisfied that both wheels are pointed straight ahead and your steering wheel is in the straight ahead position, now you can measure and set your toe by adjusting each tie rod equally. If you don't adjust the tie rods equally, your steering wheel will go off center and your tie rod lengths will diverge.

Obviously, the BIG assumptions here are that the rear wheel toe is not completely out of whack, and the rear thrust angle is not excessive. I'm sure there's easier ways, but this has worked for me, usually after having already spent for a quality 4 wheel alignment and then not being able to resist the urge change/improve something in the front suspension/steering which would disturb the front end alignment. As always, YMMV.
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PMCS Rally
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Re: Stock front wheel alignment

Post by PMCS Rally »

Thank you for the instruction. I confirmed the linearity of rear wheels. Using jack stands and string, I adjusted passenger side toe-in. I will work on the driver side tomorrow.
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