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Discussion Starter #1
Okay after realizing the shop manual specs are based on bias ply tires, which are no longer the standard, I decided to compile a list of alignment specification for the first gen mustangs with modern radials, all you input is important. This list will be continuously updated until its finalized hopefully the list will help the fellow mustang owners with there alignment.

Posted both the shop manual specs which shouldn't be used on radials from my understanding. And started the new table waiting for you inputs.


WARNING: use the list at you one risk, the specifications are contributed by fellow mustangers





This is not finalized this is a sample of how the list would be compiled
 

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This is an interesting excercise.. Don't forget that the Shelby drop has different alignment specs as well..
 

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This is an interesting thread. I'm sure the intention is good. Problem IMO is what are we adressing? My 68 brochure and glove box tag/sticker shows F70 radial tires as optional. As I recall radial tires were an option before the 68 model. Many VMFrs install 16, 17 even 18" rims on their Stang with very low profile (radial) tires. Also many have the so called Shelby drop and/or lowered suspension.

Ford may well have been wrong with the original alignment spec, especially if the car had radial tires. IMO a 68 Mustang with 17" rims and 50 profile radials along with lowered front suspension is a whole different animal from original stock with or without radials!

Just my blathering!
Slim
 

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With or without the drop, the Shelby had the same alignment specifications. I would use them for radial tires.

 

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So lets forget bias ply tires. Are we saying that 235/50-17 tires with the Shelby drop would use the same alignment specs as 195/75-14 without the drop?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So lets forget bias ply tires. Are we saying that 235/50-17 tires with the Shelby drop would use the same alignment specs as 195/75-14 without the drop?
Good question, I think we should start with stock wheel specs and then have other configurations

okay this might be harder than I though
 

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So lets forget bias ply tires. Are we saying that 235/50-17 tires with the Shelby drop would use the same alignment specs as 195/75-14 without the drop?
Yes, they would. If you pull the owner's manuals for each year Shelby, they all show the same alignment specifications, regardless of year or engine, even though the "drop" was discontinued early in the 1966 model.
 

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Oh!
 

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*Never under any circumstances use NEGATIVE caster.* Here are desirable/usable specs for almost all applications.

Anywhere between 2 and 7 degrees of positive caster (the spindle leans back) - if you have really strong arms or power steering move to the higher end of that range.

-1/2 degree camber (the top of the tires leans into the wheel well).

1/16 to 1/8 of an inch toe-in.

Don't have any difference between the sides of the car for any of these settings.

JMO.

John Harvey
 

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FWIW this is what John at Opentracker recommended to me on another forum:

If any early Mustang is set to factory settings, it won't drive well. They didn't put enough caster in the cars and that makes them wonder over bumps. The return to center is done by the caster angle more than the idler arm. The factory settings had up to 1deg. of positive caster. We put 2deg. or more of positive caster in all of our cars. That gives the cars stability at speed and return to center around corners. We use these alignment settings on all of our street cars.

0 - Camber

2deg. positive caster

1/8" toe-in

The camber and caster should be the same on both sides. We do not set the cars for road crown.

The 1" upper arm drop is a good idea if you don't mind drilling holes in the car. The upper arm drop changes the camber curve to give the car more grip. It can also give you better tire wear if you like going around corners.
 

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front end alignment

John, good suggestions. The factory specs are crap, radial tires or not. I agree that you don't ever want negative caster, I'm not at all sure why the chart suggests that for some of the cars, that must be a typo or something.
One does need to remember, however, the reason the cars were made and sent out the door the way they were. A car with the tail lower than it should be, the way most of our stangs went out the door, and not enough caster, also the way our cars were built, makes for a car that understeers badly, and feels more and more unstable the faster you go. thats exactly what the factory wants. The more afraid you are, the slower and more carefully you'll go. That makes a soft cushy life for your car, and means less warranty claims and lawsuits for the manufacturer. From their point of view, everythings great.

If you really want to enjoy the car, they way it could be, you need to lower the front end a coupla inches and align the front like JS recommends. LSG
 

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John, good suggestions. The factory specs are crap, radial tires or not. I agree that you don't ever want negative caster, I'm not at all sure why the chart suggests that for some of the cars, that must be a typo or something.
If so, it's a widely circulated one. Anyway, the chance of any of us aquiring a '65 Shelby R Model are somewhere between "slim" and "none".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is what I gathered from this thread. The 67 - 70 still needs some changes I assume, please verify have a look at the numbers and see if they are acceptable or require changes. At the end of the day some people might disagree with the figures, but as long as we can establish a common ground that would be great. Again use the list at you one risk, the specifications are contributed by fellow mustangers
 

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alignments

199, the chart is a good start, but does not show enough positive caster. I'd consider your 2 and 2 & 1/2 degrees a bare minimum. LSG
 

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In my opinion, a chart is only a starting point. You need to set the alignment for what your using the car for, how it's driven and for how the tires wear.

Camber is a driver issue. My daily driver has 0 camber and my weekend car has -1 camber. Both wear the tires even. I drive my weekend car a lot harder than I do my daily car. If you chew off the outside edge of your tires you need more camber. If the inside edge wears more you need less camber. Toe changes can do the same thing so you need to make sure the toe angle is not the reason your getting odd tire wear. We keep the toe at 1/8" for the street, 0 to + 1/8" for the track.

When you get over 5deg. positive caster the cars start to drive really weird. The only people I know that use more that 5deg. pos. caster are the drag racers. The road racers use up to 5deg. The more caster you put in the car, the harder it is to steer in the parking lot but the more stable it is at speed. The deal with caster and camber is to make sure both sides are the same or the car will pull. We do not set our cars for road crown. I agree, you do not ever want neg, caster.

My daily drive has these settings.

0 - camber

2.5deg. positive caster

1/8" toe-in
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In my opinion, a chart is only a starting point. You need to set the alignment for what your using the car for, how it's driven and for how the tires wear.

Camber is a driver issue. My daily driver has 0 camber and my weekend car has -1 camber. Both wear the tires even. I drive my weekend car a lot harder than I do my daily car. If you chew off the outside edge of your tires you need more camber. If the inside edge wears more you need less camber. Toe changes can do the same thing so you need to make sure the toe angle is not the reason your getting odd tire wear. We keep the toe at 1/8" for the street, 0 to + 1/8" for the track.

When you get over 5deg. positive caster the cars start to drive really weird. The only people I know that use more that 5deg. pos. caster are the drag racers. The road racers use up to 5deg. The more caster you put in the car, the harder it is to steer in the parking lot but the more stable it is at speed. The deal with caster and camber is to make sure both sides are the same or the car will pull. We do not set our cars for road crown. I agree, you do not ever want neg, caster.

My daily drive has these settings.

0 - camber

2.5deg. positive caster

1/8" toe-in
Thanks opentracker, I looked at the settings from your post on another thread plus looked at you website and looked at others posts from other individuals and tried to get to an agreeable figure, which at the end is like your dd settings :)

are 67-70 settings the same do you have any input for them?
 

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I use the same settings on Chevy's.

You pretty much want the camber to be 0 on a daily driver street car, and have enough caster to keep the car going straight but not fight you in the parking lot. So yea, I use the same settings on the later years.

We just did our 68 Ranchero with a Opentracker kit and it got the same settings. It drives great and handles the corners like a pro. We did a stock type rebuild with the roller perches and idler, 560 springs and a larger front sway bar.
 
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