What is wrong with my suspension/steering? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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What is wrong with my suspension/steering?

Hello and thanks for letting me join the forum.
Sorry for the possible language mistakes (i am from the other side of the atlantic).
I just bought a 65´ mustang, in general good condition, but when i bought it the steering was all over the place! never experienced anything quite like it, it was in all directions and no control thru the steering wheel.
I then checked the suspension and steering because i was pretty sure that an alignment wouldn´t cut it.
I found play in the all the control arms, both upper and lower, and the mounting thing for the spring on top of the upper control arm. I then replaced all of those things, but noticed that there was a lot of shims on the passenger side of the upper control arm, compared to the other side (around half an inch on both threads). But i assembled all the things and then measured the wheels with a simple bubble level camber measurement tool. There was way to much camber on the wheel with the many shims! and i can physically see the aggressive camber.
My question is therefore: why is there so many shims but still to much camber is there any common "mustang" things that could be wrong (other than this being a result of an accident )
If it means anything, there is some aftermarked wide 17" rims on.

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:09 PM
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Is it positive camber (top of wheel extended out) or negative camber (top of wheel tucked in).

Either way, sounds like you could do an alignment yourself. Do a quick search in here for alignment and you’ll find specs for a decent alignment with those 17” tires.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:44 PM
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One thing that is often a problem on these cars is oversize wheels, which have a positive offset, protruding outward farther than stock wheels. That, plus age, plus possible accidents, often forces the shock towers inward. Using a hydraulic ram, they can be forced outward where they belong, and a high-quality export brace will keep them there.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:45 PM
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Someone may have installed the shims thinking it was easier and cheaper than replacing worn or bent parts.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
Hello and thanks for letting me join the forum.
Sorry for the possible language mistakes (i am from the other side of the atlantic).
I just bought a 65´ mustang, in general good condition, but when i bought it the steering was all over the place! never experienced anything quite like it, it was in all directions and no control thru the steering wheel.
I then checked the suspension and steering because i was pretty sure that an alignment wouldn´t cut it.
I found play in the all the control arms, both upper and lower, and the mounting thing for the spring on top of the upper control arm. I then replaced all of those things, but noticed that there was a lot of shims on the passenger side of the upper control arm, compared to the other side (around half an inch on both threads). But i assembled all the things and then measured the wheels with a simple bubble level camber measurement tool. There was way to much camber on the wheel with the many shims! and i can physically see the aggressive camber.
My question is therefore: why is there so many shims but still to much camber is there any common "mustang" things that could be wrong (other than this being a result of an accident )
If it means anything, there is some aftermarked wide 17" rims on.

Thanks in advance!!
Look to see it the Shelby/Arning drop was done on the car.

I live in Kaiserslauttern, DE. You anywhere near there?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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It is negative camber. But if the wheels where the problem i guess the other one would be the same, but that is allright..?
I just guess something is wrong if there is way to much camber and there almost isn't room for more shims?..

No shelby drop, its bone stock with mentioned new control arms, but that did not seem to fix the issue..
I live in the tiny country Denmark, not a lot of mustangs here since the gas is 4 times more expensive than in usa.. so i signed up here for mutual knowledge exchange
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:20 PM
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:52 PM
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You are in the right place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
It is negative camber. But if the wheels where the problem i guess the other one would be the same, but that is allright..?
I just guess something is wrong if there is way to much camber and there almost isn't room for more shims?..

No shelby drop, its bone stock with mentioned new control arms, but that did not seem to fix the issue..
I live in the tiny country Denmark, not a lot of mustangs here since the gas is 4 times more expensive than in usa.. so i signed up here for mutual knowledge exchange
Good thinking Oscar!

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:56 PM
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Good Thinking Oscar!
Oscar what is your experience level with front suspension set-up? Thanks

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:35 PM
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The first thing I'd do is check SAI (Steering Axis Inclination) and compare it to specification. SAI will not change unless a control arm or spindle is bent. If SAI is within specification then measurements should be taken to determine if the shock tower (upper control arm mounting location) or front subframe rail (lower control arm mounting location) is not where it should be.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 11:37 PM
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You could also have worn out bushings and ball joints.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 12:28 AM
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Do you have the shock tower braces? Is your lower crossmember tight? Without good support, everything in the front of these Mustangs can get pretty floppy, and that makes it really hard to get any good handling.

Above and beyond all that - do not use the original factory specs for alignment. They were for skinny bias-ply tires. Modern low-profile radial tires will show off any deficiencies in alignment. You want them very close to straight up and down, with less than one degree of negative (tops lean in) camber (1/2 or less would be much better for a street driven car). No positive camber. For manual steering, about 3-4 degrees of positive caster to help with high-speed stability and return-to-center. More will make your car harder to turn, as it'll want to go in a straight line. With power steering, run more. It'll also add a little bit of camber in turns, helping to brace and keep your tread flatter on the road. With insufficient caster, your car will be as wild as a shopping cart with two bent front wheels.

Toe in should be about 1/16-1/8", so when you are driving and all the slack is taken up, your tires are 'zeroed out' and perfectly parallel going down the road.

If you get the chance, do the Shelby/Arning drop. It is free, but it also corrects your steering geometry, reducing body roll, understeer, and improving handling significantly, all for a little bit of work with no new parts involved.

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Last edited by Grimbrand; 07-23-2019 at 12:34 AM.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Here is some pictures if anybody can see something wrong..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 67171988_691966534587081_1440042821418483712_n.jpg (444.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 67414979_475164003217706_1341603760132063232_n.jpg (462.3 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 67602036_466001543949494_2163373102849851392_n.jpg (424.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg 67147784_351152795804601_7215802836922138624_n.jpg (477.2 KB, 20 views)
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 12:37 PM
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A few years back I attempted and successfully did my own home alignment. It's not as hard as you think. Since you were using a bubble level to check camber, you're 3/4 of the way there. I'd highly recommend getting the Ford shop manual. It has all the info you need to do your own alignment. It explains how the shims work and how their different thickness effects caster and camber.

https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/v...er-camber.html

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:11 PM
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Check if there are any signs of previous frame repair, on one of the pics it appears to have a weld on the frame? Not sure as I don’t have a 65 but my 63 falcon doesn’t have it.

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