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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a '67 convertible. It's in the shop now, so my access to it is limited. However, when I dropped it off, I noticed the something about the back tires: the inside of the right rear tire "lines up" with the inside lip of the right fender. But on the left side, the inside of that tire lines up about an inch beyond/inside the fender's lip (towards the center of the axle). So in essence, the left rear tire sits "deeper" into the vehicle than the right. I'm a newbie to this stuff, so there's probably an obvious cause for this that I'm unaware of. The fenders look even and undamaged, so I don't think it's the body. And I can't imagine the previous owner had a spacer behind only one of the tires (though it's possible and I'll check when I get the car back). But assuming this isn't it, does anyone else have any ideas as to why this might occur? Someone told me they thought it was due to the leaf springs needing to be replaced. However, the leaf springs regulate up and down, not left to right. (correct?) So I'm not sure why the leaf springs would be contributing. Thanks in advance for anyone's thoughts and ideas.
 

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Also compare the distance to the inner fender well to see if it is consistent with the outer measurement. Placement of the springs on the perches can make a difference of the 1/2" you need to change. Worn spring shackles and bushings can also do the same. As long as the rear end has not been changed, the spring perches should be in proper location on the housing.
 

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Could be a number of reasons. I doubt it is a spacer on one side and not on the other. Spring mounts on the rear end could be welded unevenly. Framerails could have been replaced badly and the mounting areas for the springs are in the wrong. I would guess the perches are welded unevenly on the axle tubes.
 

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The difference you noticed really isn't that big of a deal for the era of manufacture these cars came from.

Leafs springs do control the axle in both lateral and vertical planes so worn or weak springs (most likely combined with worn bushings of the same age) could account for the slight offset. My opinion, it's most likely a combination of worn parts and a slight difference in left/right body parts right from the factory.

Many years ago I owned an '81 Corvette that the rear tires had a full inch difference in clearence to the outer fender lip from one side to the other, and when I asked a 'vette specialist about it he said those cars had such wide assembly variances that mine actually wasn't too bad, he'd seen many that were worse. Mustang assembly in the 60's suffered from the same variations from car to car.

I think even if you had a brand new suspension you'd still see some difference from side to side, but maybe not quite as much as you see now. That doesn't mean you shouldn't check things out tho. Assuming your car came from the factory with perfectly aligned body panels and frame rails, and that the rear end mounting points are perfectly centered in the body (and I've never seen this level of perfection in one of these cars), there's a lot of things that can happen to a car in 40+ years that could cause this difference you noticed, not the least of which could be simple things like different tires from one side to the other, or a single rim replaced at some point with one that wasn't exactly the same offset. Accident damage could also be an issue, but I wouldn't automatically jump to that conclusion. I would also check for rust damage in the frame rails and spring mounts.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is if you don't find any obvious cause for it and a visual inspection by a body repairman doesn't show any signs of frame damage then don't worry too much about it.

BTW, welcome to the Mustang community :)
 

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Different size tires could cause a difference also, depending on the sizes.

So many things. The best thing to do is compare all numbers and begin measuring. It can be made to sit correctly once you find the problem area.
 

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A friend of mine has a 1940 Ford coupe with different size fenders on the right & left side and on one side the tire sits further in. He says it's quite common because the difference in the fender dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just to cap this thread off, I replaced the leaf springs in the back and that lined up the tires left-to-right near perfectly (which, from what folks mentioned above, sounds like a rarity). I think one or both of the old leaf springs were bent or they weren't sitting on the placement studs properly.

Not too bad a job. Took about six hours (would have been less if I knew what I was doing). Interestingly enough, everyone said the front bolts on the leaf springs would be murder to get off. On my job, the came off no problem. However, the back rubber bushings and bolts refused to budge and I had to use a SawsAll to cut the rubber bushings off and release the leaf springs.

Also, If you do this job, there are small studs in the center of each spring which line up with and sit in a whole on the plates the springs sit on. These were somewhat tough to line up, but it's absolutely necessary to do so. So take your time with that one. I had the car jacked up by the pumpkin (with proper safety supports on the frame rails) and I lined up the mounting studs while a buddy pushed the tire and axle back and forth, up and down until they were lined up and I could secure the U-bolts.

Lastly, I got the leaf springs from MustangsUnlimted. The front mounting bolts they sent me were way too short and I had to reuse the original bolts. So try not to damage the old bolts if you can help it (or, at least visually check to see if the new bolts are long enough).

Thanks for all the help to everyone above.
 
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