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Old 03-02-2011, 11:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How can I tighten up my steering/handling?

So I replaced all of the suspension, steering, and power steering components, but the handling still leaves quite a bit to be desired. Getting up over 65 mph is pretty unnerving, as the car has a really bad tendency to wander and feels very uncontrolled, kind of like it's floating.

I replaced everything with the exception of the drag link, strut rods/bushings, coil springs, and ps slave cylinder, as those parts all appeared pretty new or in relatively good condition by the look of them, and the place I bought it from put a new steering box on it before I bought it. I also did the shelby drop, and of course, got the car aligned. It's certainly better then it was before I replaced everything, but it's still not as good as I would like.

I've had several old cars in my day, so I'm well aware of how they handle versus a new car, but I don't remember my other mustangs being quite as sloppy. Heck, maybe they did and I just didn't have a good frame of reference back then.

Whatever the case, what else can I do to further improve things, short of going R&P? I'm planning on a 408 build in the next year, so my goal has been to get the car shored up so it can safely handle the additional power. It's not going to be a track car or anything, but I'd like it to feel stable running down the highway or between stop lights. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When you got the alignment done was it to stock specs or drop specs?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Same question as Tx above, they should have supplied you with a paper stating the specs they set the car to, post the specs and you'll get some useful input.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I gave then the specs opentracker gave me, but it looks like they probably used what was in the computer instead. Here's what i've got on the print out:

Front
Camber: left .78, right .76
Caster: left .36, right .16
Toe: left .19, right .17

Cross camber: .02
Cross caster: .20
Total toe: .35

Rear
Camber: left -.19, right -.40
Toe: left -.19, -.14
Toe angle: -.33
Thrust angle: -.02
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When you say "sloppy", I think of "play" in the steering wheel. Is there?
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Caster: left .36, right .16? You have got to be kidding me. 3 degrees minimum, 3.5 is better.

That is a HUGE part of your problem.

If you want to make the best bolt on improvement you can get a set of Konis. You will be shocked at the difference.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68RCodeConv View Post
Caster: left .36, right .16? You have got to be kidding me. 3 degrees minimum, 3.5 is better.
I agree, his alignment sucks. Here's the book spec. He's not even close:

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I knew something didn't feel right. 22, that's the actual sheet I gave them, I printed it off another forum post where you had posted that. I told them to use the shelby specs, those are the same as what opentracker gave me, but obviously they didn't. I should have looked over the specs when I picked it up, my mistake.

I'll get it re-aligned, then re-evaluate what I need to do from there.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B2BigAl View Post
So I replaced all of the suspension, steering, and power steering components, but the handling still leaves quite a bit to be desired. Getting up over 65 mph is pretty unnerving, as the car has a really bad tendency to wander and feels very uncontrolled, kind of like it's floating.

I replaced everything with the exception of the drag link, strut rods/bushings, coil springs, and ps slave cylinder, as those parts all appeared pretty new or in relatively good condition by the look of them, and the place I bought it from put a new steering box on it before I bought it. I also did the shelby drop, and of course, got the car aligned. It's certainly better then it was before I replaced everything, but it's still not as good as I would like.

Any suggestions?
I guess you replaced the sway bar with at least a 1" sway bar too?
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Stock alignment spec's are for bias ply tires. They have different contact patch tendices that radials. Stock alignment specs with modern tires does feel dangerous. You may have a tough time finding a shop that wants to work on an old Mustang and secondly finding a place that will set to your spec's. The shop has liabilty to think about.
Buy an alignment tool from Speedway motors, make some grease plates and do it yourself. Tool cost $100 and you can set it up exactly how you want, any time you want. Not difficult at all.

I would go for thr Shelby R modle spec's from the table posted above. If street only, I would go with less camber (as in zero)for better tire wear, but you need the caster for more stability.

Last edited by Mutang; 03-03-2011 at 11:10 AM. Reason: content
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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We use 0 camber on our street cars with 2.5deg positive caster or more. Without changing anything else, a new alignment will make a huge difference to the way your car drives.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Just for example:
Quote:
Caster: left .36, right .16
Are they kidding? I could understand if you read this off of a "before" printout, that's the kind of figures you's get by sheer guesswork when installing a new front end.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just a point of clarification. It is my understanding negative caster is where the top of the spindle is slanted toward the rear of the car, positive caster is where the spindle is slanted toward the front.

positive caster makes the car easier to turn at parking lot speed

negative caster makes the car feel more stable at higher speed

Correct??
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom991 View Post
I guess you replaced the sway bar with at least a 1" sway bar too?
Not yet. It's on my list, along with some tin man sfc's.

I called the shop and they said they'd take a look at it next week, and readjust it. Hopefully they'll get it right. If not, I may have to look into aligning it myself.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutang View Post
Just a point of clarification. It is my understanding negative caster is where the top of the spindle is slanted toward the rear of the car, positive caster is where the spindle is slanted toward the front.

positive caster makes the car easier to turn at parking lot speed

negative caster makes the car feel more stable at higher speed

Correct??
Other way around. Positive caster is with the upper ball joint farther back than the lower.

Neg. camber = top of tire in . . Pos. camber = top of tire out
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