For What Its Worth
Alignment specs with Rack and
pinion and CPP lower A-arms
specs I used are 0-.25 degrees Camber, 1.5-2.5 degrees
positive Castor. and 1/16 toe in. The Castor needs to
stay close to equal on both sides. How close they can
get to 2.5 degrees
Castor depends on the cars fit tolerances etc. A savvy alignment mechanic
how much difference to put between driver side Castor/Camber and
passenger side to
account for the driver in the car.
someone that can align an older car correctly took a few
tries. Modifications should not be a problem to a good alignment
finally found Garland
Safety Lane alignment in Garland TX. Well seasoned
mechanics and it took 15 minutes total to do the car correctly.
Definitions of what people are
talking about when discussing front suspension
the tires are turned in or out
when going straight. Too much either way
wears tires. Too much toe out and tires wear on the inside. Too
much toe in and tires wear on the
outside. Toe out helps to make turning
easier, but going straight harder, it wanders easier.
in tends to keep the car from wandering.
the center of the wheel leads or
trails the pivot center line made by drawing a line through the upper
ball joints. When it trails the center
line, positive caster, it is more stable.
Too much trailing and it gets hard to turn. When leading,
caster, the suspension wants to help you turn but does not self center
or stay straight by default. O or even some negative caster is primarily
for racing courses. Positive caster is what is used on the
vertical angle of the wheel when looking down the side of the car.
As suspension goes up & down this can
change. When this is out of spec,
side or other of the tire gets too much wear. Reference
Front end alignment
Setting Camber, Caster and Toe
predetermined settings. Done at normal height going
Settings vary based on tires used and the geometry of the
suspension. Manufactures give
recommended settings for ride, safety and tire wear concerns.
turning radius of the front wheels when turning.
When you turn the wheels the linkage will cause a variance in the
turning radius from one wheel to the other. The inside wheel in
a turn is turning a smaller radius. A good
setup has the wheels turning the "correct" radius based on the amount
of turn. If this is off, the car may not
turn as well and you may hear squealing from the tires as one will
the turn a little. Reference Link
The amount the steering
suspension travels. When you hit a bump, how much
the steering wants to change or turn right/left. This also
when going in
a turn and one side drops lower than another. Usually you want
near 0 bump steer. Parts need to be designed with the right
geometry to avoid problems. Reference link
The theoretical centerline down
the length of the car that the car
rolls about when going in a turn. When it is high, we say a car
is top heavy. It is part of the basic design of the suspension.
Dropping a car
with Drop Spindles vs. shorter springs
keep the normal geometry angles and action. Just make sure the
drop spindle design clears brake rotors etc.
Drop springs put the suspension in a constant bump mode. Setting
the alignment at the new height
helps, but roll center and geometry changes during turning & bumps
than what it was designed to do at stock height.
In/out, caster and camber can all change during turning and suspension
making the tires grab better or in some cases worse.
It can be a problem when the parts were made
to fit the available area first and provide proper geometry second.
Changing geometry of parts will effect how
the suspension works as a whole.
VHubbard. May 2009
Back to the 66' Nova page