Alignment Thread 68 Coupe...Need Advice - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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So today I finally got a custom alignment after the new springs have settled in. She’s had new rear leafs and a mostly new front end. New Bilstein shocks too. New 302 etc all restored and it’s a power steering car. Pretty much stock suspension and ride height.

I asked the shop to put it at:
Caster 2.5
Camber -.25
Total toe 1/8

Insisted they not use the 68’ OE specs that were for skinny bias ply in the old days. Did research and most recommend the above specs.

It drives with much more stability and was pulling sharp left before with wheel at 1 o’clock.

Now the left pulling is mostly gone but still tends slightly left and is affected by road crown. Wheel is now around the 2 o’clock position (noticeably to the right) Some steer box slop but not terrible.

I have my own alignment rack avail to use at my Army base shop if I want to tweak it.

I’m wondering should I loose up the steering wheel and center it myself or try to do do some tweaking first?

2nd Photo is what it’s now set to 😁
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Last edited by jsbenami; 10-07-2019 at 09:22 PM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:16 PM
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DON'T center the steering by removing and replacing the steering wheel. but if you remove the horn button ,,The steering shaft should have a notch in it that gets clocked to the top and center when the steering box is centered.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know! I did remove The horn button cover today just to see the condition and it looks like someone got in there had it off at some point. The only thing I didn’t redo or replace was the front end arms and springs...but the last owner did when he had the motor out before I redid the rest of the car.

Maybe I can use that mark to see if they put the wheel back on straight?
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:29 PM
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The shop that did the alignment should have centered the steering wheel.

Since the wheel is to the right, if you return it to center the tires will be pointing to the left. Since the steering link is aft of the ball joints you need to lengthen the left side tie rod and shorten the right side tie rod. Loosen the two clamps on each adjusting sleeve and rotate each adjuster exactly one turn in the same direction. I don't remember which direction, up or down, lengthens the left side and shortens the right side but you can figure it out. Test drive the car and see where the wheel is. If it didn't move far enough turn each adjusting sleeve again. As long as you turn each sleeve the same amount you won't change the toe-in setting. Adjust the sleeve, test drive, adjust again, test drive until you get the wheel where you want it.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbenami View Post
So today I finally got a custom alignment after the new springs have settled in. She’s had new rear leafs and a mostly new front end. New Bilstein shocks too. New 302 etc all restored and it’s a power steering car. Pretty much stock suspension and ride height.

I asked the shop to put it at:
Caster 2.5
Camber -.25
Total toe 1/8

Insisted they not use the 68’ OE specs that were for skinny bias ply in the old days. Did research and most recommend the above specs.

It drives with much more stability and was pulling sharp left before with wheel at 1 o’clock.

Now the left pulling is mostly gone but still tends slightly left and is affected by road crown. Wheel is now around the 2 o’clock position (noticeably to the right) Some steer box slop but not terrible.

I have my own alignment rack avail to use at my Army base shop if I want to tweak it.

I’m wondering should I loose up the steering wheel and center it myself or try to do do some tweaking first?

2nd Photo is what it’s now set to 😁
Just some observations.....

Camber should not be unequal on a street car. You can, however, split
caster to compensate for road crown.
If you ran the tires for any appreciable time with the old "alignment,"
you can get some continuing funky behavior for a period of time because
the tires wore in based upon the old alignment.
Did the alignment people put your weight into the driver's seat when they
did the alignment?

As mentioned, the steering wheel is centered via the tie rod adjusting sleeves.
Don't pull the steering wheel to try to accomplish that. After the adjusting sleeves
are set correctly, then you would "clock" the steering wheel.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:44 AM
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Your specs look good. Cross rotate the front tires and see if it still drifts left. Also make sure the air pressure is the same side to side. Cars tend to pull to the side with the most Camber and least Caster. I usually build in a little Caster (about .2 to.3 degrees) to compensate for the crown of the road. Also driver weight will change your alignment and can cause a pull if your a big guy.
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Last edited by cmefly; 10-08-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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I’m think I’m a fairly slight dude at 5’10” and 160 lbs 🤣 all 4 tires are new with the build and have at most 800 or so miles on them. I’m a stickler at keeping them all around 30 psi. 215/60/R15s on front and 225s on back.

I’m prob going to take it back considering those jerks charged me double time at 300$ for the alignment 🤨 let them do the tie rod movements. I’ll verify tomorrow that the wheel is on straight as best I can. If they’d charged 1 hr I’d let it go but not for double price. Really didn’t want to deal with them again it was a lousy shop.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbenami View Post
I’m think I’m a fairly slight dude at 5’10” and 160 lbs 🤣 all 4 tires are new with the build and have at most 800 or so miles on them. I’m a stickler at keeping them all around 30 psi. 215/60/R15s on front and 225s on back.

I’m prob going to take it back considering those jerks charged me double time at 300$ for the alignment 🤨 let them do the tie rod movements. I’ll verify tomorrow that the wheel is on straight as best I can. If they’d charged 1 hr I’d let it go but not for double price. Really didn’t want to deal with them again it was a lousy shop.
New tire can still cause a pull. You got screwed paying $300 for an Alignment. That job takes about 40 minutes to do at best on a 68. Take it back until they get it right
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Last edited by cmefly; 10-08-2019 at 06:11 PM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 07:40 PM
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New tire can still cause a pull. You got screwed paying $300 for an Alignment. That job takes about 40 minutes to do at best on a 68. Take it back until they get it right
^ What he said. EXACTLY what he said.

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1991-1995
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:28 PM
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Dealership tech here... If the steering wheel is cocked right, you may tend to subconsciously push the car left. Also, The right side castor is normally higher to compensate for road crown (rh "lead"). The camber should be equal, especially with a shim car. Modern specs say less than <.5deg total camber(LH + RH) shouldn't cause pull. Most places will fix the steering offset without a hassle. Many places do charge an upfee for camber castor adjustments, since simple toe adjustments are the most common for $69.95 these days, so the 300 bucks may just be a guy having a bad day... You want the bent over, old guy, with the smoke hanging out of his mouth to do it, not the kid with gages in his ears and all the tats; it will be a breeze for him.
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It's just a little rust...

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:51 PM
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I realize everything is expensive were you live but $300 is beyond excessive for a 2 wheel alignment. I'd try to find a reputable shop before taking it back to crooks.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah when the car was aligned only by eyeball-assembly I took it to some guys with a phenomenal rep and they did it for 90$ even tweaked the carb for free. I've since learned to make the carb sing

But they are very far from me so I wanted it done locally. BIG mistake to go to a Ford dealer. HUGE mistake. Should have run once I saw the shop. The tech was not a young guy but definitely seemed bothered by working on a car that needed all the angles set. Seemed competent and he wanted to do good. But the service manager was a A-HOLE. Would not even look me in the eye or shake hands. His boss talked nice on the phone. But this place obviously has seen better days after lurking around the service lane and the shop. I'll give them one chance due to the extreme cost. Else I'm taking it back to the guy 50 miles away or putting it on the Army's rack myself It's brand new machine...doesn't have specs before 1982 (I now think of this a good thing!) and they don't know how, and don't like using it.

I've only found out one thing about these cars....that you can only rely on yourself to get it done right!
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbenami View Post
I've only found out one thing about these cars....that you can only rely on yourself to get it done right!
Yes - Lease a car under warranty if you want to rely on dealership guys....I've known alot!


It's just a little rust...

1966 secretary special originally 6cyl 3 spd coupe.(Goes to work twice a week)
5.0 SEFI complete from 1988 Mustang GT, world class T-5, 9 inch with 3.50 Trac Lok and Shelby style traction bars. Old Air A/C system.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:18 PM
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Yep!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GT289 View Post
^ What he said. EXACTLY what he said.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbenami View Post
those jerks charged me double time at 300$ for the alignment
Education is not free. The steering wheel being off may or may not be an issue. It could have been moved off the correct splines during its past life. Check the notch in the end of the steering shaft as noted above.

Bob


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