Vintage Mustang Forums banner
21 - 40 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It's because you just let the car down off the jack and have not driven it. Think about what happens when you jack the front end. The wheel moves down and the bottom of the tire moves in. Now lower the car. The bottom of the tire is still in as the tire contacts the ground. The friction between the tire and the ground prevents the bottom of the tire from moving out to it's natural location. That goes away once the car is driven. Drive it around the block, then give it a good bounce.

Right now you are trying to solve something that many not even be an issue.
Everything you've said makes sense. I sure hope that's the case. I'll roll the car around a bit to let things settle and then swing back around with my findings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I'm all for DIY....but if you have a really good alignment shop nearby, there's no shame in using it. At least that's what I tell myself.

My DIY alignment attempt ended up pretty wonky. I blame at least some of it on the fact my garage floor isn't poured level. It's all sloped to the floor drains. Anyway...if your car isn't sitting flat when you start, than that bubble in the level doesn't mean what you think it does.

Phil
I don't think my garage floor is perfectly level, either--that may cause problems. Also, it's old concrete, so it has some pretty decent pitting going on. I assume this isn't ideal for alignment, but I guess it might be worth a shot if I ever find myself unable to find a competent shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Sagging shock towers are very possible, but usually the top goes inwards, which probably makes the lower control arm pivot move outwards (assuming the show tower "pivots" around the frame rail). That would make the camber negative, not possitive.
That was my train of thought as well. Thanks for confirming.
Was wondering if you have an export brace and or Monte Carlo bar to keep the shock towers from sagging.
Another trick when aligning... use 3 or so garbage bags under the tire when setting to allow tire to "slip" into position.
I considered this, but I figured that sagging shock towers would pull the upper arms in, making the camber overly negative, not positive. See above ^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
This^^^^ I used 3 mil thick black contractors garbage bags folded up under the tires. Bounce the car a few times to unload the suspension. I have a 66 with the Arning drop and so my own alignments. It's really not that hard. The Ford shop manual has a excellent tutorial on aligning your car. Each 1/32" shim on one bolt will effect caster by 1/2°. A 1/16" placed on both bolts will change camber by 1/3°. Ford recommends no more then 1/8" difference between front and rear shim pack on a control arm. That works out to 2° of caster and 2/3° camber. Almost exactly the Arning, aka Shelby alignment.

Do adjustable struts. I saw you mentioned them. Worth the money. For one it'll allow you to fine tune your alignment. The other, handling and especially braking will be dramatically improved. Your car will stop dead straight, no more darting.

If you do your own alignment I guarantee you that you will take the time to understand, you will take the time to do a good job because it's your car. Your car will drive better since you took the time and set the specs to where you wanted and not what the machine said. Besides feeling empowered by your new skills, you will be able to really fine tune and dial in your car to how you like. I sort of got thrown into the deep end of the pool doing my own alignment. I'm so glad I did! I can't stress enough to do your own alignment. No matter how expensive or fancy the alignment machine is, if the operator doesn't give a crap, that's what you'll end up with, crap.
As usual, you've pitched in with some extremely valuable information. I'll definitely be coming back to reference this post when I'm doing my own alignment, or at least trying to get it into the ballpark range.

Yet another vote for adjustable struts; looks like I'm gonna be ordering those soon. They seem to be a safety feature--reducing wandering under braking--as well, so that is extra important.

Also sounds like learning to tune my own alignment will benefit me greatly. I'm not opposed to it at all, just wanted to see if there was a reliable shop around who could do it once and let me drive the car around while I figure some other things out. Mustang Ranch is here in Utah and they're not too far from me. They're supposedly pretty good, but I've also heard some negative things about them. We'll see what I end up doing. I love the idea of completely understanding alignment and being able to get it perfect, exactly how I want it.

Cheers
Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,491 Posts
Man, what a great looking setup you've got there. It sounds like adjustable struts are well worth the money, so I'll probably just bite the bullet and get em. Thanks for the tool suggestion; I'll keep it in mind when I look into doing my own suspensions.
I have the same Street or Track suspension except mine isn't the coil over, it's the conventional with roller spring perches. I've also installed the 67-73 camber adjustment system with fixed blocks instead of a eccentric bolt. I can get some crazy settings if wanted. Currently I run 4° positive caster and 1.125° negative camber and 1/16" toe in. I've had my car close to 110 mph, my brakes weren't too happy. Car was absolutely stable. It was at a charity event at Watkins Glen. Supposed to be paced at 55 mph but I was over 105 before i decided to brake way early for a up coming turn. I'm in front of @2nd 66 friend in his 85 5.0 Mustang. We were running away from him
Screenshot_20200927-154528.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Alright guys, I pushed the car back and forth a dozen times in my garage (probably about 6 feet each way). The suspension does indeed appear to have "settled." I took a square tool to each front tire and found the following:
  • Driver's side appears to be perfectly perpendicular to the ground, at 90*.
  • Passenger side appears to have a very slight negative camber going; there's maybe a 1/4" of space between the top of the tire and where it would meet the measuring square if you were to draw a horizontal line between the two.
I assume it may settle slightly more as I drive and the suspension itself gets some flex going from bumps and such. Who knows, maybe I'll have to add a few shims.

Turned the wheels lock to lock and discovered that I'm cutting it pretty darn close on my tires and the UCA, especially when at the deepest of each turn. No rubbing, but there's probably 1/8" of clearance between the sidewall and the outside edge of the UCA. Granted, this was all observed with the car in the air. How will the relationship between the UCA and the sidewall change while driving? I didn't see much of a change with the weight on the wheels. I'm pretty much expecting this to become a problem when the suspension is doing its thing on the road, just because of how small the clearance is. Starting to wonder if I should have gone with 205 on the front instead of 215.
  • Can I grind down the outer control arm lip a little, or will that compromise the structural integrity of the arm?
  • What alignment adjustments can be made to help address this issue?
  • It seems that I have more clearance on the fender side of the wheel than the suspension side. Would a 1/4" spacer be acceptable, as long as it's one of the hub/lug-centric spacers and not a "generic" one?
Yet again, thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
1966 Coupe
Joined
·
84 Posts
Alright guys, I pushed the car back and forth a dozen times in my garage (probably about 6 feet each way). The suspension does indeed appear to have "settled." I took a square tool to each front tire and found the following:
  • Driver's side appears to be perfectly perpendicular to the ground, at 90*.
  • Passenger side appears to have a very slight negative camber going; there's maybe a 1/4" of space between the top of the tire and where it would meet the measuring square if you were to draw a horizontal line between the two.
I assume it may settle slightly more as I drive and the suspension itself gets some flex going from bumps and such. Who knows, maybe I'll have to add a few shims.

Turned the wheels lock to lock and discovered that I'm cutting it pretty darn close on my tires and the UCA, especially when at the deepest of each turn. No rubbing, but there's probably 1/8" of clearance between the sidewall and the outside edge of the UCA. Granted, this was all observed with the car in the air. How will the relationship between the UCA and the sidewall change while driving? I didn't see much of a change with the weight on the wheels. I'm pretty much expecting this to become a problem when the suspension is doing its thing on the road, just because of how small the clearance is. Starting to wonder if I should have gone with 205 on the front instead of 215.
  • Can I grind down the outer control arm lip a little, or will that compromise the structural integrity of the arm?
  • What alignment adjustments can be made to help address this issue?
  • It seems that I have more clearance on the fender side of the wheel than the suspension side. Would a 1/4" spacer be acceptable, as long as it's one of the hub/lug-centric spacers and not a "generic" one?
Yet again, thanks in advance!
If you are thinking seriously about adjustable struts and you have already been dealing with John at Opentracker it could be worth kicking this topic around with him
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,237 Posts
Alright guys, I pushed the car back and forth a dozen times in my garage (probably about 6 feet each way). The suspension does indeed appear to have "settled." I took a square tool to each front tire and found the following:
  • Driver's side appears to be perfectly perpendicular to the ground, at 90*.
  • Passenger side appears to have a very slight negative camber going; there's maybe a 1/4" of space between the top of the tire and where it would meet the measuring square if you were to draw a horizontal line between the two.
I assume it may settle slightly more as I drive and the suspension itself gets some flex going from bumps and such. Who knows, maybe I'll have to add a few shims.

Turned the wheels lock to lock and discovered that I'm cutting it pretty darn close on my tires and the UCA, especially when at the deepest of each turn. No rubbing, but there's probably 1/8" of clearance between the sidewall and the outside edge of the UCA. Granted, this was all observed with the car in the air. How will the relationship between the UCA and the sidewall change while driving? I didn't see much of a change with the weight on the wheels. I'm pretty much expecting this to become a problem when the suspension is doing its thing on the road, just because of how small the clearance is. Starting to wonder if I should have gone with 205 on the front instead of 215.
  • Can I grind down the outer control arm lip a little, or will that compromise the structural integrity of the arm?
  • What alignment adjustments can be made to help address this issue?
  • It seems that I have more clearance on the fender side of the wheel than the suspension side. Would a 1/4" spacer be acceptable, as long as it's one of the hub/lug-centric spacers and not a "generic" one?
Yet again, thanks in advance!
I've clearanced the tip of my UCA for different set of wheels I had at the time . Pics latter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,491 Posts
Depending on back spacing of wheel, you should be able to run 215's. I'm running them on my car with ARE, TTD's with their lousy 3.75" back spacing. My car is lowered a bit which doesn't help. I run that 1.125° negative camber mostly for tire clearance and I have the fenders rolled. With a ideal 4.25" on a 7" wide wheel, I think you'll be ok.

One of the reasons I'm running the tubular lower arms is because I decided to do my own alignment, I had problems with positive camber. I discovered my lower control arms were shot. One arm was so bad I pulled the whole bushing out very easily with 2 fingers. If I hadn't tried doing my alignment, I wouldn't have found that. Both arms are wasted.
799254
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,237 Posts
Thanks. Looking forward to seeing those.
pic is not actually of my car ,but might as well be did the same thing to mine


I may have missed what wheels your having issue with size x size x backspace ? alos hubcentric doesn't apply these cars are lugcentric
Found it 15x7x4.25 is ideal in that size ,you should be golden
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Depending on back spacing of wheel, you should be able to run 215's. I'm running them on my car with ARE, TTD's with their lousy 3.75" back spacing. My car is lowered a bit which doesn't help. I run that 1.125° negative camber mostly for tire clearance and I have the fenders rolled. With a ideal 4.25" on a 7" wide wheel, I think you'll be ok.

One of the reasons I'm running the tubular lower arms is because I decided to do my own alignment, I had problems with positive camber. I discovered my lower control arms were shot. One arm was so bad I pulled the whole bushing out very easily with 2 fingers. If I hadn't tried doing my alignment, I wouldn't have found that. Both arms are wasted. View attachment 799254
More good info, thanks. I replaced basically every suspension component on this car, except the factory struts, which I cleaned up and installed with new bushings. Sounds like those are going to be gone now soon, too. Hopefully I won't have any destroyed bushings or anything... LOL!

Thanks again, the wisdom is much appreciated.

Cheers,
Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
pic is not actually of my car ,but might as well be did the same thing to mine


I may have missed what wheels your having issue with size x size x backspace ? alos hubcentric doesn't apply these cars are lugcentric
Found it 15x7x4.25 is ideal in that size ,you should be golden
Can you explain what exactly I'm looking at here? Seems like the outer lip of the control arm has been ground down near the ball join--is that right? No problems with weakening the structure of the arm?

And yeah, wheels are 15x7 w/4.25" backspacing. Research indicated this was the best size, but the UCA and tire sidewall are a lot closer than I was hoping...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,237 Posts
Can you explain what exactly I'm looking at here? Seems like the outer lip of the control arm has been ground down near the ball join--is that right? No problems with weakening the structure of the arm?

And yeah, wheels are 15x7 w/4.25" backspacing. Research indicated this was the best size, but the UCA and tire sidewall are a lot closer than I was hoping...
Not much to explain other than what you mentioned. The ball joint shroud is trimmed back and blended back into the sides . No weakness as far as I can tell. while 4.25 back space is ideal for a 15x7 wheel it probably still doesn't fit as well as a 17x8x4.75. FWIW The reason I did this was I had 15x7x4.5 Explorer wheels with 225/60/15 tires at the time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Not much to explain other than what you mentioned. The ball joint shroud is trimmed back and blended back into the sides . No weakness as far as I can tell. while 4.25 back space is ideal for a 15x7 wheel it probably still doesn't fit as well as a 17x8x4.75. FWIW The reason I did this was I had 15x7x4.5 Explorer wheels with 225/60/15 tires at the time
Good info, thanks.

Took my car on it's first real trip today. Went down to the station to fill up; was really pleased to see the fuel gauge work properly after the fill-up and I was happy to answer some questions from a couple who admired the car. I gotta say, it felt really good to know what I was talking about and finally get to enjoy the car a little after five (six?) years of undrivable restoration.

As far as wheel and tire fitment goes, I think I should be alright. I haven't gotten the chance to go over speed bumps or dips at any speed yet, to see if I get rubbing there, but I've only got one identifiable rub--when making a deep turn right, the outside of the driver wheel clips the front, inner lip of the fender well. At least, that's where I think it's coming from. It's very brief, and it doesn't feel like it's making a ton of contact, but I want that fixed ASAP. I think the reproduction fenders have a narrower wheel well or more metal poking out down in that front corner or something. Might have to look into rolling that area. At this point, the suspension has settled enough (I think?) that I can safely say the half inch of clearance between the UCA and tire SHOULD be enough... I don't want to jinx it. I think a proper alignment will do great things for the car, and with the front edge of those fenders rolled or whatever, I think these wheels will work just fine.

I also noticed that my rear driver's side rear wheel was smoking when I pulled in. Being the very intelligent person that I am, I touched the rotor--surprise, it was hot. Fixing a dragging brake is probably next on my list of things to do. Hopefully I didn't glaze the rotors or pads and it's just an improperly adjusted parking brake or something. Ah, the joys of rear discs... if I could take back one modification I've done to the car, that would be it. I guess I could always go back to drums.

Anyway, a little bit of an essay going on here but I'm real happy with the fact that I got to drive a bit today. Here's a couple photos from up at the local elementary school.

IMG_4242.jpg


IMG_4243.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
You can grind the nose of the UCA down without concern. The body of the 4 bolt ball joint is thick and strong and grinding the nose of the UCA frame down won't compromise strength.

If your garage floor is not level, but it's reasonably close, you can use string and a string level to determine how far off your garage floor is in degrees from horizontal and then add (rear tires higher than front tires) or subtract (rear tires lower than front tires) the number of degrees from your caster measurements to get the true value.

I like to do this even if I think my floor is level since it's easy to do and then you'll have accurate results. Make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure beforehand too as a low tire can mess with caster measurements.
 
  • Like
Reactions: alex1965

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
You can grind the nose of the UCA down without concern. The body of the 4 bolt ball joint is thick and strong and grinding the nose of the UCA frame down won't compromise strength.

If your garage floor is not level, but it's reasonably close, you can use string and a string level to determine how far off your garage floor is in degrees from horizontal and then add (rear tires higher than front tires) or subtract (rear tires lower than front tires) the number of degrees from your caster measurements to get the true value.

I like to do this even if I think my floor is level since it's easy to do and then you'll have accurate results. Make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure beforehand too as a low tire can mess with caster measurements.
Loads of great info here. Thank you much!

About caster... positive caster moves the wheel slightly back back in the wheel well, correct? If I have one shim under each UCA bolt, and I add a couple to the front bolt, that could potentially be a temporary fix for a slight rub at the front fender?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Positive caster will move the tire toward the front of the wheel opening. At least by adjusting the lca strut if you had adjustable. Adjusting caster by shimming the uca would move the upper tire area back slightly but will also move the upper tire outward a little too.
 
21 - 40 of 40 Posts
Top