Another alignment thread!

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. adriver

    adriver Blazing Apostle

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    Once I figured these out, I've been very pleased with the results.
    Good driving and no bad tire wear.
    On a concrete floor one thing I had to do was use a piece of machined metal to be sure and set the camber reading to zero on a unlevel floor.
    I set the metal on the floor for a smooth surface and the gauge on the metal.
    Not directly on concrete.
    The concrete surface was too irregular alone for the gauge contact points on the bottom to work well..



    Fastrax review and alignment questions for the pros.

    And turn plates was money well spent.
    https://www.quicktrickalignment.com/shop/qt-turnplates-made-in-the-usa-free-shipping-usps/
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  2. cookietruck

    cookietruck Well-Known Member

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    agreed on the adj struts, i installed them on my car because i had to fix a bent mounting location for the pass side strut rod. didn't want to pull it apart a third time after initially rebuilding the front end (the alignment specs were bad on the pass side, i could look at the front tire postion in the wheelwells and could tell the pass side had about 3/8-1/2" more clearance between the tire and front fender lip).
    installed the adj strut rods, with the torsion bar out, i snugged up the control arm in the k-member and lifted it to roughly ride height. adjusted the strut rods on both sides so that the strut positioned the arm in a good spot, no freeplay, it wasn't pulling the arm forward trying to bind it...
    after i got it all back together i dropped marks on the pavement with a plumb and measured from the rear of the torsion bar sockets to the middle of the front spindle bolt for the lower ball joint. both sides are within an 1/8" of each other now.
    went to the alignment routine after that...
     
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    • RollercamDART

      RollercamDART Active Member

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      Update #2:

      So after taking the car home last weekend from the alignment place I had just parked it and taken a peek at the cam bolts over the tire to see where they had them.

      It wasn't until yesterday that I crawled under the car to actually see where they had put things in relation to the adjustable strut rods and the ride height. Essentially I wanted to make sure they didn't mess anything up.

      What I discovered was that not only was the ride height adjusted to nearly the max (the end of the bolts are barely still in the cups on the torsion bar arms) but they had also pulled those adjustable strut rods in so far (they are adjusted to max as well) that the lip of the lower control arm is actually resting under the K frame where it wraps around in front of the LCA. The fact that I have no suspension is literally because the car is resting on the suspension. I guess I didn't notice this on the drive home because its all flat and the shop is less than a mile from my house. I was also assuming it was so stiff because of the torsion bars being run up so high. I know, stupid me...

      So this is my dilemma: I am concerned that they may have torqued/twisted the lower control arm, as well as pinched the bushings on the inboard side of the LCA. I do not want to touch or adjust anything yet since if they did mess anything up I don't want them to come back and say that I did it when I adjusted it in case I demand they replace the parts. With that being said, what do I need to look at specifically to see if there are parts that are bent now and is there anything other than the inboard side of the LCA and that bushing that I should be looking at as well that this could have bent.

      Thanks for sticking with me through all this fellas, I have been out of the A-body game for over 10 years and I was hoping my transition back would be a little more smooth than this, but here we are...
       
    • rustycowll69

      rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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      wow. just wow. This is troubling. I know that the number of old mechanics, who know what they are doing, is getting smaller all the time. But you'd think that some younger mechanics could figure it out, it doesn't seem like rocket science to me. I know I've had to find a new alignment shop several times over the last 20 years or so, because shops close, alignment specialists retire, etc. I even bought an alignment machine for myself, but I'm still looking for a reasonable priced rack.
       
    • Mattax

      Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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      Control arms are pretty hard to bend or distort. The bushings and any overtorqued threads are the most likely to fail first by wrenching. I don't think there's any way to evaluate until its back to normal or diassembled.
       
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