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DIY steering adjustment
#1
Hi,

I'm wondering if it is possible to successfully align the steering using common garage tools. I don't want to spare the money, but I'm really unsure whether today’s alignment services get mit done right, especially here in Germany. I have replaced all steering components during the restoration, but the service I took the car to complained they had problems with the eccentrics of the lower arms (which I don't understand since they are new).

I have already read several articles and posts about the topic and understand the theories of aligning the steering. I understand how to measure/calculate angles at the wheel.

So, the question is whether anyone of you has done DIY steering alignment successfully?

While we are on the topic: What would be the best alignment specs for a '71 Mach 1? By best I mean reliable/comfortable street use.

Thank you, Manfred

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#2
Yes it is possible fast traxx sells a alignment tool that fits on your rim and allows caster and camber measurements, they have an add on tool that allows toe in measurement.

I did mine successfully but not perfectly. To do it at the minimum level you need a very level garage floor.

I did it with an uneven floor and it required constant realignment of the tool for each tire. Because of that my alignment was not great.

A lift would make the job great otherwise you will need to jack the car up and down adjusting the camber.

Turn tables help let the car settle when constantly lifting and setting the car down, this would be reduced if. Lift or a pit was used to get under the car easty to turn the bolts.

I drove my car for 2 years on a DYI alignment before I went to an alignment shop and had them check my work. My car went straight had no steering pull and tracked well. I was off a few degrees here and there. When I went for a drive after the alignment shop finished I felt there was no difference in performance and my DYI alignment was pretty good.

You can do an alignment with minimal tools like a ruler and a plub bob and a lever bubble, but its is nicer to have something made for the job,

Be aware all the tools you buy for DYI will be more expensive then having a shop do a laser alignment.

It is a good learning expirance and you will learn a lot you may get really good at it also and never need an alignment shop.

Google for videos on how to do it to get an idea
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#3
+1 on 72Hcode's post. Stock specs are Caster=0, camber=+.5, toe in=3/16 inch. If the tires are wider than original I'd set the camber to 0. http://www.speedwaymotors.com sells alignment tools if you want to invest in them.

Chuck
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#4
just be careful some specs are for the polyglass tires, radial tires are different,

you want as much Caster as the car will tolerant to help with highway driving. positive caster helps keep the car stable at speed, if you have power steering you run lots of positive caster, if you have manual steering you can't because positive caster makes the steering very hard to turn.

In the early days prior to radial tires, extra toe-in was added to compensate for tire drag at highway speed. with a radial tire you want less toe in some people run 0 toe in. 3/16 i think is the poly setting, i went with 1/8 since, i know a freind that set his at 1/16. i was told 1/16 to 1/8 was good.

for my car i went with +3 caster, Toe was = 1/8 and camber was -.5

if i did it again i would make the camber 0 because -.5 is just too aggressive and causes tire wear.

the other thing with Negative camber i noticed you take turns better but if you hit a really bad bump going straight on one side of the car, the car will wiggle around like crazy, because the negative camber as the tire goes up causes the Toe in to, Toe out, due to bumpsteer. I have a bumpsteer kit i never got around to installing.
something to think about and another reason to stick with 0 deg camber for normal driving.
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#5
Now you need to convert all of those numbers to metric. What is it with you guys, always discriminating against our friends from over the pond? Damn :o}

2011 Buick Regal
2010 Ford F150 Screw
2002 Triumph Trophy
1973 Dodge Challenger RT
1972 Mustang Grandé Coupe
1954 Ford F100
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#6
Now that is actually the easy part
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#7
Fordication;37887 Wrote:Now you need to convert all of those numbers to metric. What is it with you guys, always discriminating against our friends from over the pond? Damn :o}
I have complete confidence that Manfred, and everyone else, is capable of accurately performing the conversion. After all, they do own Fords. Chuck

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