1. 67autocross

    67autocross A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel

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    Just like paint shops don't really want anything to do with old cars I'm sure alignment shops feel the same way.
    If someone asked me to set up the front end on an old Mopar for them I tell them it would be at least 4 hours and that would be if everything was rebuilt probably.
     
  2. Killer6

    Killer6 Well-Known Member

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    No argument from Me there, unfortunately I've watched a number of service writers come & go, or just flame-out. It can be a demanding position, & the people there usually
    aren't very tech savvy, they make appointments & receive/release customers. Most wouldn't know to ask or suggest these details, that's been a source of issues repeatedly,
    & it's not always their fault. Private smaller shops are a dying breed in general, pretty soon franchised chains & dealers will be all that's left w/a few exceptions.:(
     
  3. Killer6

    Killer6 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if that hadn't been a long time friend, I would've hit 'em for 3.0hrs., which included settin' the T-bars.
     
  4. 1969383S

    1969383S FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I would agree on the dealer level for sure, the service writers are not the guys I want to talk with. I was refering to the Goodyear, Hotrock, local kinda larger franchise stores that generally had a single service manager and Tech's and a Store manager. These are places that due a large volume of non dealer work! The mom and pops so to say in the overall deal. Appertently they believe there are more than enough customers to outweigh there stupidity!
     
  5. Killer6

    Killer6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I wouldn't fret over it, as 72blu said, there is always grease in the joints when assembled. Did You receive the print-out from the alignment? If it shows (like My buddy's)
    toe, camber way off(at least one side), final specs You requested & goes straight, roll with it. Otherwise, hit up the guys stroked recommended, there are still some shops that
    take care of & know what to do with older rides!
     
  6. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Exactly. The "special grease" thing is completely relevant. On all of my cars all of the bushings are polyurethane, so, they get poly grease. Of course, the ball joints and tie rod ends do not, they get the regular old standard grease. So yeah, if I took my car to an alignment shop and found that some mouth breathing "alignment tech" had used standard grease on all the grease fittings in the front end I would be PISSED. Because it would mean pulling all of my poly bushings and cleaning the standard grease out of them.

    I do all my own alignments though, bought the turntables, slip plates, caster/camber gauge, toe plates, etc. There was a dirt track guy that worked at one of the shops near me and he was great, but once he left I got tired of explaining why the factory alignment numbers in the computer are completely wrong and why they should use the "custom" numbers I gave them. I mean, bias ply's vs. radials, 100% aftermarket or modified suspension pieces, why would you use factory numbers? That and there was an inverse relationship between the amount of aftermarket suspension pieces I installed and the number of shops willing to even touch the suspension on my cars. The more aftermarket parts I put into the suspension the fewer shops would even agree to work on the cars, let alone guarantee anything. So I tracked down all the stuff I needed bit by bit (used stuff so I could afford it all) until I had everything. Now I don't have to worry about it, I set up my own alignments. If I really want to make sure I got it right I drive it down and just have a shop check my alignment on the rack to make sure the bubble gauges I use jive with the laser rack.
     
  7. northeastmopar

    northeastmopar FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    As I stated in my post. I have been doing business in this garage for 30 years. I asked them to look it over as every nut bolt and cotter pin is brand new and I wanted them (because they are suppose to be professionals) to check over my work and do what they feel needs to be done to assure the front end is tight and correctly aligned. I live a block away. My two phone numbers are right in their computer. COMMUNICATION is key here. But what I am guessing is that the mechanic did not question the lack of grease in all the fittings, so what else did he miss?? I know if I go to a Dodge dealer I will probably run into many YOUNG mechanics who will chuckle and talk about the need to no longer grease newer cars. I get that. That is why I asked the questions I asked. I am a carpenter by trade and if one of my customers wants to be "anal" they are paying for that right to be that way. All he had to do was call me??
     
  8. 340doc

    340doc Well-Known Member

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    72bluNblu, you seem knowledgeable on this subject and I've seen this come up before. Just curious what the difference would be in the way the car drives if original alignment specs were used with a radial tire v/s a radial spec. thanks.
     
  9. abodyjoe

    abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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    it would wander and feel kinda loose.
     
  10. 340doc

    340doc Well-Known Member

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    OK, thanks joe
     
  11. northeastmopar

    northeastmopar FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Yes. That is exactly how my ride feels. I left the mechanic the Mopar 72 service manual which shows the torsion bar ride height adjustment and I also printed the specs posted earlier for the radial tires right in the book, so I am wondering if this guy ever even looked at it?? They also charged me $100.00 so I thought they must have done a thorough job but who knows. I guess I am goling to to it at another shop and this time I won't allow my info to be passed through 3 people. Communication is key here.
     
  12. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Joe covered it pretty well. It comes down to the camber and caster settings in the original specs. The factory specs call for +.25* to +.75* for camber, and 0 to -1* of caster. But that's horrible for radials and handling. It's basically the opposite of what you want.

    Caster adds a self centering effect to the steering, basically, the more positive caster a car has the more the wheels want to go straight down the road. So, more positive caster means more stability at speed. It can also make the car harder to steer if you add too much (it resists steering change), so that's why you see different specs for power and manual steering. But you definitely want positive caster. The wheels tend to return to center after a turn or bump, so, the car tracks straight. Negative caster will increase the tendency of the car to wander, especially with input (like a bump, turn, etc).

    Camber effects the contact patch. When you go around a corner the weight of the car transfers to the outside wheel, and the suspension compresses. That tends to tip the top of the tire out, away from the car. The more angle on the tire the smaller the contact patch, and that tire is carrying more of the load so it's more important for traction. Negative camber tips the top of the wheel toward the car. When you're going straight it will put more pressure on the inside of the tread, but, when your turn the tire will tend to straighten up, evening the contact patch and giving the best traction. The more aggressive a car is set up for handling the more negative camber it will have. If the car handles well and has a lot of grip, it will transfer more weight and tip the tire more. For a street driver you can run up to around -1* of camber before you start to see abnormal tire wear (unless you're driving the car hard in the corners! Then you can get away with a little more). Full on autoX and road race cars will run as much as -3*. Needless to say, with positive camber like the factory specs the tire is already tipped out, so, when you start cornering it tips out even more, reducing the contact patch.

    This is a good tool for alignment with radial tires, the ranges are pretty good. It's a little conservative, especially for the amount of positive caster. It works decent for manual steering, but for power you can add a couple degrees to all the categories if you can get it. Modern cars tend to run as much at +7 to +9* of caster, and I know Peter Bergman runs like +8 on his '71 GT. I have +7* on my Duster, and it has 16:1 manual steering. I may dial it back a little, as the steering effect is noticeable. The amount of caster needed does depend a bit on suspension design, you can see on the bottom of the chart the FMJ cars should have more.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  13. 340doc

    340doc Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the well worded explanation blu
     
  14. vynn23

    vynn23 Member

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    How hard (or even possible?) is it to get 2.5-3.0 degrees of caster with the stock UCA's and bushings? Just wondering what limits of the stock hardware are.
     
  15. Bad Sport

    Bad Sport HALF A BUBBLE OFF Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    IMO, a "good" mechanic will wipe clean the zirks after greasing so dirt and grime doesn't accumulate on the grease fittings.. So it could be they were greased and wiped clean.

    Try putting some grease in a couple and see if they are dry.
     
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    • 72bluNblu

      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Depends on the ride height. With the stock bushings I doubt most could get more than +2. With the Moog K7103 offset UCA bushings and stock UCA's though you can get +3 to +3.5* based on what I've seen. Again, it's ride height dependent.

      You can get into the range of the "max street performance" settings in the above SKOSH chart with just the offset UCA bushings and a little ride height tuning.
       
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      • oldkimmer

        oldkimmer FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I just had 73 cuda in for an alignment.I checked the front over to check for worn/loose parts. I checked ride height, greased it, wiped off the zerks then opened the hood. The customers waite in the office and I usually don't get to talk to them, but as soon as I opened the hood he asked why the hood was being opened and demanded to come out and talk to me. Let's just say he did a lot of cursing and took his car away burning rubber half way down the block. I hope he never comes back with that kind of attitude. Kim
         
      • 67Dart273

        67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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        I would have paid to be in the corner watching that!!! LOL
         
      • Yote

        Yote Well-Known Member

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        Have them use the skosh charge ( above post) the origional specifications were for bias ply tires.
        Yote
         
      • mopar_nocar

        mopar_nocar Well-Known Member

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        So, more ride height = more caster or lower ride height = more caster?

        sb
         
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        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

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          Then you need to go back to school. The Mopar cam adjustment is one of the most simple to align. As long as the frame rails are not tweaked and in good shape, one hour at the most from drive on to drive off is almost too long.
           
        • 67autocross

          67autocross A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel

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          Why would I need to go back to school.... I don't do front end work for a living..... but if you think you can take the car to a $19.95 alimement centre and get it done correctly... you'll be on here the next day crying that the car drives bad... like we see here almost every day now.
           
        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

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          I did my first alignment in 1976 and made a living at it until I was hurt on the job in 1999 and after that did consulting work for local dealerships and shops. So I know what it takes to get a good alignment.

          I can align a car properly with a tape measure, level and angle gauge on any flat concrete or asphalt surface, so I think I got it covered.

          I have tried to help with alignment problems on here before but gotten ignored, so I just backed off.

          Since most all of my expertise is in everyday street driving with no road race experience, I am somewhat looked down on, so I just shut up.
           
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          • mopowers

            mopowers Well-Known Member

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            I just got my 68 Dart aligned a few months ago. Cost was $50 and I was in and out in 1 hour with a print out of the alignment. Good enough for me. 4 hours is absolutely ridiculous.
             
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            • GGs66GT

              GGs66GT FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Talk about modern alignment equipment and older cars they are not very compatible as some have to be hung on all four tires and the equipment is to large for closed rear wheel wells. I had to find a shop that could hang their equipment on my Dart.

              Last Friday morning I took my 66 Dart in for alignment at 8 am when they opened . I had just changed everything from the lower control arm up ( 73 Disc brake conversion ) .
              Would you believe they already had 5 alignments ahead of me .
              I talked to the tech and told him I wanted the maximun caster that could be dialed in and to tighten the upper cam nuts at ride height. I mentioned it had an ever so slight pull to the right and that the steering wheel was just a bit to the left of center.
              When they finally got it done at 20 to 5 the pull was gone but the steering wheel was now slightly to the right of center. I hope he tightened the nuts at ride height.
               
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