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I'm so mad with the alignment shop!!!

887 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Shaun @ Street or Track
I get there at 6:30 as they close at 8. The guy tell's me it'll be $87 instead of $69 as my car is lowered (1st annoying thing). OK, I can understand how it'll be harder for the guy to get in there. They didn't start work on it until 7:45 and I could tell the guy obviously wanted to go home (2nd annoying thing).

I gave them my specs:

-1 camber
1.5 caster
1/8 toe

He got to work. When I say work, all he did was remove all but 1 of the alignment shims on the UCA and adjust the adjusting sleeves on the tie rods. Doesn't the strut rod have anything to do with it? This is what I ended up with:

-0.4 camber left
-0.7 camber right
0.7 caster left
0.8 caster right
0.1 toe left
0.06 toe right

"Hmm, not exactly close to what I wanted", I said. "It's within spec", said the tired, wanting to go home tech. (3rd annoying thing) After complaining then deciding they REALLY wanted to go home, I said ok, paid my $90 and went for a spin. Drive's ok until I hit 60+ on the highway. I now get a vibration shaking the car all the way from 60 up to about 90mph and the car feels 'floaty' at speed. Wasn't there before (4th REALLY annoying thing).

So after waiting around for 1 hour, waiting another hour for the work to be done, spending $90 and it not in driving ok, I'm annoyed!

They did say the work has a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. You can bet there gonna see me Saturday morning first thing!
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Sounds like they only tried one shim setting and didn't want to mess with the control arm bolts again. You might be getting into toe out on the freeway. Don't know about the vibration.
Don't think the stock 65/66 strut rods are ajustable?
That's why I always pay for these things with a credit card...that way if they don't make good you have recourse. I hope you did as well, if not, a tip for the future.
I don't know about the vibration but I would question your alignment spec's. -1 camber is a lot. Only the Shelby R model ran that much negative camber and it had lowered upper arms and was set up for pedal to the metal racing. The regular Shelbys with the lowered upper arms ran 0 camber on the street with the Shelby springs which were quite a bit stiffer than the stock springs. The regular mustangs ran somewhere between +1/2 to +1 degree camber to compensate for lift of the weaker stock springs. Some positive caster will help your high speed stability so that looks ok to me except that you want 1/2 degree more caster on the passenger side than you do the driver side. This compensates for road run off or the curvature of the road surface and lets you run straight on what amounts to a bowled over surface. 1/8th toe is also more race oriented. Once the car gets up to higher speed the toe comes out and the car will roll easier on a race course(go faster). Running that little toe on the street may cause a floaty feeling requiring constant steering input and will be generally annoying. The stock mustangs ran several different toe ins: 65:9/32, 66:1/8th?, 67-69: 3/16 .

I don't know how you plan to drive your car so these are just
observations. If the car is mostly a race car it will not really roll very well on the street.

ps: there is a sweet spot in the manual steering in the idler arm. It is very important that the center link be centered so that the steering wheel is straight with the wheels tracking straight. Otherwise the sweet spot will be off and you are constantly fighting the steering by having to put force into it in one direction or the other.
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The car is a 'weekend warrior'! I love that! I also am planning 5-6 track events per year.

It is lowered 2 inches, has 620 springs on front and has the Shelby mod. That's why I went with more agressive specs. I can handle a little bit of tire wear on the street as I don't do that many street miles.
Sounds to me like your alignment guy removed the shims to give the -camber. If all the shims are gone, then that's all the -camber you can have unless you go to an arrangement like a 67-68 lower control arm with the eccentric bolt.

Negative camber is the "tilted out at the bottom" so you can have full tire contact during hard cornering. Positive caster allows the tires to return straight after a turn, but increases steering effort. Toe in makes the car track straight.
Thanks Art. I understand the basics, that's why I'm not taking the BS from the shop. I found another one in their chain close to me, I spoke with 2 guys there who both own old Stangs. I'm off there tomorrow!
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