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Old 11-15-2010, 07:17 PM
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496BBC 496BBC is offline
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Default DIY alignment on my 77

I've done the alignment on my car the last couple times its needed it.

I changed the ride height on the rear and its been raining with rain forecasted for the next few days so I decided to set it up and check all aspects of alignment on my car.

Took my time and located the frame center-line to work off of for my reference strings along each side. Once I got the strings parallel to the center-line I started pulling measurements. I took the frame dimension sheet in the download section and used it to locate center-line reference points along with using the frame rails. Its not as technical as the machines that the alignment shops have but I feel its very close.

One thing I noticed was the toe for the rear was 1/16" on the passenger side and a little over 3/16" on the drivers side.

When I installed the R&P I made sure to install and set it up with the steering wheel centered but once on the road it was a little off center (should have started looking for something then).

I stumbled onto an article on thrust angle that described the effect that I think I am seeing (the rear tires were not pointed in the same line as the center-line of the car).

I was lucky enough that the TA bolts were not frozen and the shims were fairly easy to remove and install. I was able to get the rear toe set at 1/16" equal on both sides. At the front I set toe to 1/32" on each side per the VB&P suggestions. I also centered the steering wheel so I can see if this will correct my steering wheel being off center.

I set the rear camber at 0* per VB&P and the front is next on my list to adjust to 0* or maybe 1/4* negative.

I think I'm going to bring it to a local shop to set the caster, I'm not sure I have the equipment to measure the caster good enough to get it the same on both sides. I'll see when I get through with the camber if I want to tackle the caster and see just how close I can get it.

Neal
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:33 PM
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Twin_Turbo Twin_Turbo is offline
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That is the best thing to do, take it to a good shop. You could invest in a longacre caster camber gauge

I would get as much caster as you can get and go from there. It will severely aid in straight line stability, especially since you now have r&p.

...or you could buy something like this (these are 2 alignment benches and 2 gas analyzers)

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:37 AM
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mrvette mrvette is offline
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IUn the Wash DC region, all my alignments were done by one outfit for decades....always good on first shot....GOD how I miss them....

moved to Florida and never did find a shop that knew crap....gave up and plotted out my garage with some steel 1.5" square tubing made up shim pads so the car can set dead level...the major point of any alignment rack, the rest is literally smoke and mirrors.....

4 jack stands and on my '72 the rear centerline/track width is 3/8 inch per side wider than the front....so rocket science and some monofil fishing line pullled snug from front to back fender....positioned in obvious fashion set the toe that way....AFTER setting the camber with the same carpenters level used on the garage floor setup....I put some sheetrock screws in the level side spaced to rest on the wheel rim same as the jigs the shop use.....
I have some info on the inches off for different wheel sizes and the trig calculations as to degrees.....it's the same for caster measuring....which is the only time the rear height has to be same as front....long as the side to side is dead level on both ends.....


For the past 12 years I have done the above short description, and been
very happy withy the results......

PM if you need links to the tables, I'm not home now, so can't help right away....maybe Thursday....
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:14 PM
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496BBC 496BBC is offline
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TT, I would love to have that kind of equipment in my shop. I do have an economy camber/caster gauge that I use to do the alignments. Its one that has a small level cell with an adjustment knob to center the bubble and you count the graduates on the knob, its the one that takes its reference off of the rim. Speedway Motors sells them.

Gene, I appreciate the offer for the tables. I'm going to work on setting the camber on the front and than decide if I want to attempt the front caster settings, if I do I'll shot you a PM.

Thanks Neal
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:52 PM
rodeck350 rodeck350 is offline
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A shop normally does an alignment to preserve tires. I've found that those settings do not necessarily provide the best driving. I normally play with mine until it drives the way i like.
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