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crazy handling on freeway
#1
Ok so my car is pretty much stock as far as suspension goes. I have saggy leafs in the rear and torched springs up front with Gas-a-just shocks in the rear and monroe oespectrum shocks up front. By lowering my car i know ive changed the geo on it creating some bump steer.
On the freeway (or streets) i feel like the steering is really really lose. It isnt tight like my DD(1997 nissan altima) i know its a newer car but im pretty sure the steering didnt suck this bad on my 72. It happens when 1.the road is f'ed up and 2. when im going 75+. It gets pretty scary driving 90+ and the road has imperfections. and it seems to "lag" when i turn. I'll need to turn the steering quite a distance (more than i am comfortable with) before it reacts
but i have other questions and concerns.
1.) With a proper OEM alignment i find that i still have the same problem. although it helped a little.
2.) one time going through a passage on the freeway i had passengers in the back seat (about 275LB worth of passangers) and it seem to "correct" my steering problems. which lead me to believe my problem is the rear. but "stiffer than oem" shocks didnt fix that.
3.) i recently bought some 600LB maier racing coils for the front and going to install them soon with my desired ride height. and going to get some 200LB leafs in the rear (for racing). Will this help my problem?
4.) the bolt that adjusts my camber is bent. can this be the problem? can going with eccentric eliminator bolts help this?

im running out of ideas. bushing have been replaced and it seems like no part is loose. would SFC, sway bars, work?

1972 Satin Black Coupe, turns better than average, goes vroom with 303 RWHP.
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#2
Any slack in the joints between your tie rods, center link, and drag link?

Have you checked, rebuilt, or replaced the steering gearbox recently?

-Kurt

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#3
Don't forget to check the rag joint, too.
Tires and wheel sizes can make a huge difference if they aren't compatible. Tread patterns will affect handling, especially if they are directional. Tire pressures can also make a big difference.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#4
Caster will help directional stability. The toe angle is important as well, if it's toe'd outit will want to wander on hard braking. Like has been said above make sure ALL of your steering components are up to snuff. IMO increasing spring rate will not solve your isues and will make your car ride like a truck.

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

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#5
do you have front and rear sway bars?

these will make a big difference on lowered cars.

OEM settings on the alignment unless they compensate for radial tires is not good.
you want as much caster as the car can tolerate before the tires start hitting the fenders, start with 2-2.5 caster. i recommend keeping the camber at 0
and for the toe in 1/16-1/8

Now you torched the front springs, that doesn't mean they are even in ride height, i would think about going with replacement 620lb front springs with a 1" drop
and while you are there inspect the spring perch. if the rubber is blowing out or cracking go with a roller rocker perch.
additionally they make outter tie rod relocation kits, that drops the angle of the tierods about 1" to reduce bump steer.


Now i went through some of the things mentioned.

on my car i have lowered front and rear springs. I also had a 1 1/4" front sway bar, when i started to drive it, after i rebuilt the suspension and had done a DYI alignment i had Scary bump steer. i had new gas a just shocks front and rear.

first issue was i had poly bushing replacements for the suspension and strut rods. I had nothing but issues with them and swapped them all for OEM style Rubber bushings. instantly i had improvements i got more float out of the suspension and it got a little less scary.

I also discovered my front sway bar hardware for the connector links was WAY too tall this was because the kit was for a stock suspension so my sway bar was riding too high and hitting the strut rods. I got 67 mustang connector hardware to lower the sway bar down and get it level with the lower suspension arm.

I still had bump steer and bought a tie rod lowering kit but never install it because i just could never find the time needed.

1 year later i discovered my made in china suspension rebuild was starting to go south. i had some bushing deterioration and i replaced the parts.
i discovered my new spring perches fell apart as well, i replaced them with roller rocker. now i didn't notice much of a change, but i did notice the strain on my power steering pump was reduced and i seemed to have more steering at low speed.

At this point it was much much better but the rear end was really squirrelly i had an addco rear sway bar sitting in a box because i didn't feel comfortable drilling holes in my rear frame rails at the time, but i figured what the hell and installed it. Monster improvement, the rear end stiffened up and that squirrelly feel went away. Braking was more stable as well.

so first thing i would do is inspect the suspension for worn parts and the condition of the bushings and any play in the suspension.
inspect the spring perches. think about swapping the front springs for something better then just cut stock springs.
look at the alignment numbers again. you want more caster, 0 camber, and 1/16-1/8 toe in. i would start with less and see what happens.
next install sway bars if you do not have them.

some times they recommend -.5 - -1 camber on the tires for performance cornering, my experience this causes more bumper steer so i recommend 0 degrees


think about a outer-tierod drop as a last resort.
  Reply
#6
cudak888;157544 Wrote:Any slack in the joints between your tie rods, center link, and drag link?

Have you checked, rebuilt, or replaced the steering gearbox recently?

-Kurt


the tie rods and ball joints has been replaced and according to firestone no play or slack (if we are on the same page as far as the meaning) the centerlink an drag link have not been replaced so i wouldnt know about that one. The gearbox has been rebuilt and the pitman arm replaced.

Don C;157555 Wrote:Don't forget to check the rag joint, too.
Tires and wheel sizes can make a huge difference if they aren't compatible. Tread patterns will affect handling, especially if they are directional. Tire pressures can also make a big difference.

Where and what is the rag joint? my wheels and tires are 225/40/18 up front and some 275/35/20 in the rear. how do you tell if they are compatible? and explain the tread patterns what should i look for

droptop73;157602 Wrote:Caster will help directional stability. The toe angle is important as well, if it's toe'd outit will want to wander on hard braking. Like has been said above make sure ALL of your steering components are up to snuff. IMO increasing spring rate will not solve your isues and will make your car ride like a truck.

interesting because one time i had to make hard and it swerved a little.

72HCODE;157605 Wrote:do you have front and rear sway bars?

these will make a big difference on lowered cars.

OEM settings on the alignment unless they compensate for radial tires is not good.
you want as much caster as the car can tolerate before the tires start hitting the fenders, start with 2-2.5 caster. i recommend keeping the camber at 0
and for the toe in 1/16-1/8

Now you torched the front springs, that doesn't mean they are even in ride height, i would think about going with replacement 620lb front springs with a 1" drop
and while you are there inspect the spring perch. if the rubber is blowing out or cracking go with a roller rocker perch.
additionally they make outter tie rod relocation kits, that drops the angle of the tierods about 1" to reduce bump steer.


Now i went through some of the things mentioned.

on my car i have lowered front and rear springs. I also had a 1 1/4" front sway bar, when i started to drive it, after i rebuilt the suspension and had done a DYI alignment i had Scary bump steer. i had new gas a just shocks front and rear.

first issue was i had poly bushing replacements for the suspension and strut rods. I had nothing but issues with them and swapped them all for OEM style Rubber bushings. instantly i had improvements i got more float out of the suspension and it got a little less scary.

I also discovered my front sway bar hardware for the connector links was WAY too tall this was because the kit was for a stock suspension so my sway bar was riding too high and hitting the strut rods. I got 67 mustang connector hardware to lower the sway bar down and get it level with the lower suspension arm.

I still had bump steer and bought a tie rod lowering kit but never install it because i just could never find the time needed.

1 year later i discovered my made in china suspension rebuild was starting to go south. i had some bushing deterioration and i replaced the parts.
i discovered my new spring perches fell apart as well, i replaced them with roller rocker. now i didn't notice much of a change, but i did notice the strain on my power steering pump was reduced and i seemed to have more steering at low speed.

At this point it was much much better but the rear end was really squirrelly i had an addco rear sway bar sitting in a box because i didn't feel comfortable drilling holes in my rear frame rails at the time, but i figured what the hell and installed it. Monster improvement, the rear end stiffened up and that squirrelly feel went away. Braking was more stable as well.

so first thing i would do is inspect the suspension for worn parts and the condition of the bushings and any play in the suspension.
inspect the spring perches. think about swapping the front springs for something better then just cut stock springs.
look at the alignment numbers again. you want more caster, 0 camber, and 1/16-1/8 toe in. i would start with less and see what happens.
next install sway bars if you do not have them.

some times they recommend -.5 - -1 camber on the tires for performance cornering, my experience this causes more bumper steer so i recommend 0 degrees


think about a outer-tierod drop as a last resort.



i have stock front sway bar no rear sway bar.. OK so things i have and what i have planned. i already have the 600LB front springs just waiting to be installed. I have 200lb leafs that i'm going to order soon. I have the 1 1/8 in front sway bar and thinking about 3/4 rear sway bar. I need sub frame connectors so that's next on my list. Also in the near future is the tower brace and pan-hard bar with torque arm. also few questions. you mentioned the tie rod relocating kit. what is that? is that the "bump-steer kit"? if not how useful is that kit? and how useful is the "adjustable strut rods" because as far as i know they are already adjustable. also i plan on getting roller perches. also should i go with poly or rubber? seems like you dont like rubber. also with all the upgrades and so forth how can i determine what is the best alignment? and how can i know if my parts will be compatible with one another.

I will try and find the paper for the specs on the alignment. i am not home but ill try and find it when i am

1972 Satin Black Coupe, turns better than average, goes vroom with 303 RWHP.
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#7
If you have wheels and tires that are closer to stock, put them on and take it for another ride.
If not, find someone with a good set that you can borrow.
Then come back and let us know what you find.

My 5.0 is stock, and tight as a drum underneath. Car has custom subframe connectors, X-brace and chromoly 3 point strut tower brace. The braces themselves improved the car immensely (it is a convertible). Has new(er) OE style struts/shocks, and OE alignment.
I went from the stock 15x7's on it, up to 16x7's. Ride quality deteriorated a bit, but handling improved by the same.
Replaced those with staggered 17x8 and 17x9's with some fat 50 and 55 series Michelin rubber without changing anything else.
Handling is sorta OK at extremes, but it is a GIANT handful on a straight open highway. It follows the troughs and peaks in the asphalt like never before.

It is scary bad.
I absolutely hate it.

In my case, a realignment to suit the wheel/tire might fix it, might not.

Pete - MotoArts Decals and Signs
'71 Sportsroof 351C-4V/4-speed - FINALLY under construction - no, wait, on hold again...
'90 Mustang 7-Up 5.0 ragtop, rolling beater
'66 Sunbeam Tiger Mk.IA, survivor
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#8
hmmmm interesting..so the size of my tires can be the cause. is realignment the only way to help compensate? i dont want to buy other wheels. i like how it looks.

1972 Satin Black Coupe, turns better than average, goes vroom with 303 RWHP.
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#9
"V" shaped tread patterns are usually directional and having them on backwards will affect handling. Too much air pressure will cause the tires to pull onto ridges and grooves in the pavement. Too low can cause a lag in the steering.
I agree with 72H, OEM alignment specs are for bias ply tires and need to be adjusted for radial tires. Further adjustments are likely needed to compensate for your tire/wheel choice.
Sometimes different tread patterns on front and rear tires just don't work, almost as bad as having a mix of bias and radial tires.
Ever wonder why you see so many used 18-inch and bigger wheels and tires for sell on Craig's List? They might look good to some people, but if the suspension isn't designed for them they can handle poorly and people switch back.
TireRack has a lot of information:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/t...s&techid=9



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#10
If your springs are shot, nothing is going to help until they are replaced. Bad shocks will cause significant handling problems.

Front suspensions in good shape will handle reasonably well. Not new car, but they should neither be scary nor unpredictable. Rear sway bar should remain smaller than front sway bar to prevent excessive oversteer or the tendency of the car to want to swap ends suddenly.

Since you will be changing the front springs, you'll be in a position to inspect everything else in the front suspension

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"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!
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