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Discussion Starter #1
Hey VMFers (that almost sounds like I'm swearing), I know that I could go shop to shop "interviewing" them with the right questions but then, it's still a crap shoot. My '66 coupe is just about ready for the alignment and I'm confident about the specs that I want when the work is finished. However, I get the impression that a typical "we do it all" shop might not have the necessary experience to fine tune the alignment on Roxy correctly. Furthermore, I understand that many shops won't want to deviate from the stock specs in the "book."

Anybody here in northern NJ have a recommendation for an alignment shop that they trust? I know to get a hardcopy of the alignment results when they're done.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Do you farm out the car or are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy?

There is no specific art to alignment. You can do it yourself and learn at the same time. Longacre has inexpensive tools to do this yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't intend to buy the equipment as I am traveling light. Heading west. I just need a trustworthy alignment shop that can handle a classic Mustang properly.
 

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Where are you in Northern NJ? Maybe Hackensack spring right off RT 80.
This is the OP's best bet. Tom can show you how to do it yourself in under an hour. For a little more than the price of a lousy shop alignment one can buy a very nice digital Longacre camber/caster tool that can compensate for a slanted floor and have money left over for a toe-in tool. Toe can also be set very accurately with just a length of string and a couple of thumbtacks or a little tape, essentially free.

Once you have the right tools, you can take as long as needed to get it exactly where you want it to be, and/or experiment with different settings to find out what suits your particular driving needs.


I don't intend to buy the equipment as I am traveling light. Heading west. I just need a trustworthy alignment shop that can handle a classic Mustang properly.
I'll take the tools off your hands, just throw them out the window when you pass close to Oklahoma


Z
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Where are you in Northern NJ? Maybe Hackensack spring right off RT 80.
Thanks for your reply Tom. I'm in Morris county and my car's near Morristown (zip 07860). Have you used Hackensack Spring before? They're about 35 miles away. I sent them an e-mail message.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is the OP's best bet. Tom can show you how to do it yourself in under an hour. For a little more than the price of a lousy shop alignment one can buy a very nice digital Longacre camber/caster tool that can compensate for a slanted floor and have money left over for a toe-in tool. Toe can also be set very accurately with just a length of string and a couple of thumbtacks or a little tape, essentially free.

I'll take the tools off your hands, just throw them out the window when you pass close to Oklahoma

Z
Thanks for the suggestion but I'm consulting the forum to avoid a "lousy shop alignment." I like the idea of doing it myself and I looked into the Longacre products. It looks like the digital "acculevel" tool is about $300.
Longacre Digital Caster Camber Gauge 78295

A good alignment shop should charge less than $100 to do the job. Buying the tool just isn't practical for me right now... but when I get settled wherever I end up out west, I will likely purchase the Longacre kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Just an FYI, This is the one I was referring to. Summit has it for $220
Depending on what kind of wheels up you have, you may not need the 3 arm adaptor.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lng-78290

Happy trails on your journey west.


Z
Thanks zray. That's a better price. I missed the 78290 model on Longacre's website. It's nice and compact. If I don't get a "warm and fuzzy" feeling about a local shop, I'll have to give the Longacre product more consideration. It's even cheaper (new) on fleaBay.
 

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Thanks for your reply Tom. I'm in Morris county and my car's near Morristown (zip 07860). Have you used Hackensack Spring before? They're about 35 miles away. I sent them an e-mail message.
I used to live 10 minutes from Morristown and there is a race shop nearby that specializes in Porsches that did the alignment on one of my other cars. I can't remember the name of it off hand, but I will dig through my files and see if I can find it. It is close to you and they did a good job and didn't charge Porsche prices for a non-Porsche vehicle!:smile2:
 

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While I dig through my receipts, I remembered that two other places were recommended to me- Fairway Tire in Dover and Euro Tire in Fairfield. The place I went to was closer than both of those, but they came with lots of recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I used to live 10 minutes from Morristown and there is a race shop nearby that specializes in Porsches that did the alignment on one of my other cars. I can't remember the name of it off hand, but I will dig through my files and see if I can find it. It is close to you and they did a good job and didn't charge Porsche prices for a non-Porsche vehicle!:smile2:
Is this place off route 46 in Rockaway, behind the Trend Volkswagen dealership?

Thanks for your suggestions! It's a big help. I don't like trying out a shop without recommendations.
 

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Hackensack Spring was around before dirt. I haven't used . Them in a long time but they do good work. I know of Eurotire on 46. I haven't used them but they are not a fly by night place either. I would feel comfortable with them or the shop Chaplin used.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I used to live 10 minutes from Morristown and there is a race shop nearby that specializes in Porsches that did the alignment on one of my other cars. I can't remember the name of it off hand, but I will dig through my files and see if I can find it. It is close to you and they did a good job and didn't charge Porsche prices for a non-Porsche vehicle!:smile2:
Over the weekend, I sent a couple of e-mail messages to the recommended shops to ask:
"Do you have experience performing precision alignments on classic Mustangs? My 1966 Mustang coupe is outfitted with all new stock suspension components except that the Upper Control Arms are mounted in the Shelby Drop configuration and I've replaced the original strut rods with adjustable versions to simplify caster settings. (Ford didn't use adjustable strut rods on the first generation Mustangs.) What do you charge for an alignment and will you set up my car to my specifications?"

PowerTech is the Porsche shop that I found locally (in Rockaway, NJ off route 46 behind the Trend Volkswagen dealership). According to their website, they use a Hunter alignment machine. Mike responded with a quote $165 - $275. Clearly, a typical NJ rip-off joint. Perhaps this is not the Porsche shop that you were thinking about Tom?

I couldn't find a listing for Fairway in Dover, NJ...

I'm still waiting for a reply from Euro-Tire in Fairfield NJ.

Hackensack Spring is about 35 miles from me and Bryan Zillitto replied: "69.95 + tax. Yes, we actually do it the old fashioned way with mechanical toe gauges, camber trees, and bubble camber gauge... And yes, we do classics all the time. Thanks."

I figured that this info might be useful to somebody else in the future. I'll see what Euro-Tire has to say and I'll report back.
 

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Over the weekend, I sent a couple of e-mail messages to the recommended shops to ask:
"Do you have experience performing precision alignments on classic Mustangs? My 1966 Mustang coupe is outfitted with all new stock suspension components except that the Upper Control Arms are mounted in the Shelby Drop configuration and I've replaced the original strut rods with adjustable versions to simplify caster settings. (Ford didn't use adjustable strut rods on the first generation Mustangs.) What do you charge for an alignment and will you set up my car to my specifications?"

PowerTech is the Porsche shop that I found locally (in Rockaway, NJ off route 46 behind the Trend Volkswagen dealership). According to their website, they use a Hunter alignment machine. Mike responded with a quote $165 - $275. Clearly, a typical NJ rip-off joint. Perhaps this is not the Porsche shop that you were thinking about Tom?

I couldn't find a listing for Fairway in Dover, NJ...

I'm still waiting for a reply from Euro-Tire in Fairfield NJ.

Hackensack Spring is about 35 miles from me and Bryan Zillitto replied: "69.95 + tax. Yes, we actually do it the old fashioned way with mechanical toe gauges, camber trees, and bubble camber gauge... And yes, we do classics all the time. Thanks."

I figured that this info might be useful to somebody else in the future. I'll see what Euro-Tire has to say and I'll report back.

Based upon the responses I would go with the Hackensack Spring choice, the "we do classics all the time" is a huge clue. Not trying to trash or belittle Euro-Tire in any way, but I would bet they rarely if ever work on a classic where shims are used fro the adjustment purposes. Experience in dealing with this type of adjustment in my opinion is valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Based upon the responses I would go with the Hackensack Spring choice, the "we do classics all the time" is a huge clue. Not trying to trash or belittle Euro-Tire in any way, but I would bet they rarely if ever work on a classic where shims are used fro the adjustment purposes. Experience in dealing with this type of adjustment in my opinion is valuable.
I agree that experience with classic Mustang alignments goes a VERY long way. I'm still curious to see what Euro-Tire has to say. I'm all for Hackensack Spring... I just wish that they were closer. I guess it depends upon how closely I can "eyeball" my alignment so that I can at least drive 35 miles with a margin of safety.
 

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I dug through my receipts and couldn't find it (I've moved 3 times since and a lot of my stuff is still in boxes), but there is another place near by that might be worth a try. Give Palumbo's in Milburn a call.

There is no magic to aligning a Mustang and anyone who wants to charge you more than $100 without a doubt IS trying to rip you off. $50-$75 would be more like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I dug through my receipts and couldn't find it (I've moved 3 times since and a lot of my stuff is still in boxes), but there is another place near by that might be worth a try. Give Palumbo's in Milburn a call.

There is no magic to aligning a Mustang and anyone who wants to charge you more than $100 without a doubt IS trying to rip you off. $50-$75 would be more like it.
Yeah, I politely confronted Mike at the Porsche shop (Power-Tech) with Hackensack Spring's quote ($69.95 plus tax). He said, "I would go with them. That’s a great price." What a creep... it's a shame because Power-Tech is right around the corner.
 
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