Leaning 69 Camaro - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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I got this car with the *** way up and the nose way down. I rebuilt the front end complete, new springs too, converted to power steering and put new rear springs in and stock shackles. The car leans 2" on the left. We have tried everything and cant fix the lean. The body seems straight (not twisted). We jacked the front end up so the tires were off the gound from the the center and the back is still leaning. I think this rules out the sway bar and the front springs and a twist for that matter. We cant seem to figure this out. Any help? Anyone had this problem?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 04:23 PM
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I've heard that some cars with massive amounts of torque can "twist" the rear frame rails over time, especially if a one-legger rearend is being used. Do a search on the subject, it's been discussed in detail several times......KZ

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I searched and didn't find anything. I think we rukled ut a twist. We took our floor jack put it center on the cross member and picked the car up until the front wheels were off the ground. This put the car on three points. we can easily rock the car left to right. when we let go it always settles 2" lower on the left. so if only the the back wheels are on the ground you would think it would level off even if there was a twist. Still bottom of the rear wheel wells to the foor is 28.5 inches on the left side and 26.5 on the right side. We even tried air shocks thinking that should level it off through air pressure transfer but no luck... Help somebody help...

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 06:11 PM
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I put air shocks on the back of my '69. Instead of using the tee I put on seperate lines and fill valves behind the license plate so I could adjust the left and right preload. You might want to try that as a last resort. I think I got all the fittings at Pepboys.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 06:52 PM
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Make sure that the front springs are seated properly in the pockets. Common problem when rebuilding the front end.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 03, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, we did individually charge the air shocks and we can almost get it level, but then the *** is way up again. As far as the front springs, we did check and they are fine but besides that we jacked the front as i said and ruled out the frons suspension.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 03, 12:39 AM
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It reads like the pass rear spring is weak and/or has been deformed in its life.

Barring the option of removing the rear springs and checking unloaded height between the two and maybe even swap sides, the other item you might check is to measure the height of the bottom to the floor.

Let the car sit on its wheels on the blocks high enough so you can crawl underneath with a tape measure and measure the same two points the length of the car.

Make a ladder sheet, label front and rear, and measure a point on one side, and the same point on the other side. Then compare measurements.

You might even do this with a floor jack under the pass rear wheel to level the car, then measure underneath. If there is a twist in the body, this will find it.

If the car appears to be straight from the front to the rear while looking with the eye, it very well could be the flat spring. Check the rear spring front boxes for deformation. Check the rear frame rails to see if they are parallel and not one cocked up, this is where the rear spring attachs.

Everett "An Engineer's mind is never idle."
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 03, 02:09 AM
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How are your body mounts? Mine leaned about 2 in. in the front passenger side. All the mounts were squashed, and my rad support was rusted out. Just didn't see it right away, because everything is kinda hidden. Car sits level now.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 03, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update. The body mounts are new all around. We leveled the car and measured all frame points to the ground and they are even. So no twist seen. The car has a second set of real leaf springs and they even switched sides and it was still low on the left side. It almost acts like the car is heavier on the left then the right. We are stumped. I have no idea where to go next. Maybe we should force the front spring out of the cradel to add an inch on the left? has anyone done this?

Here is a picture of the car. www.apswater.com/camaro

[This message has been edited by apswater (edited 02-07-2003).]
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 03, 10:25 PM
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Some times one would feel better being bumped by sharks for food instead dealing with unanswered problem causes. I haven't seen anyone mention the alignment of the car. You might try talking to an alignment specialist. No not the kid the shop refers you too in most cases. Maybe do an internet search for alignment and or level, height, level and whatever else you can find. Anyway a guy can go in to have his car aligned and if lucky the alignment guy will allow you to sit in the car and he'll fix ya up so that the car will be sitting level even with 200LB in the drivers seat.
If you did get the car aligned after R&R-ing the front end just try telling the guys it isn't level. The shocks might be the cause if they are race shocks with adjustable preasures. Some front shocks have 3 setting. Good luck. Check your bushings for uniformity.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 03, 04:17 AM
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I had this problem with my car but but not to the same extreme. Mine leaned about 1" to the driver's side. It took a very long time to correct and I'm still not sure exactly which component was to blame.

In my case I hade subframe damagejust behind the steering box (bent up and in slightly). I discoverd the damage by rebuilding the front end of the car and eventually replaced the subframe. I also totally rebuilt my suspension both front and rear. The car still leaned after all this replacent and rebuilding. ???

So I said to heck with it and started driving the car for a while. Turns out that the installation of the rear springs while the car was sitting cocked due to the frame bend was holding the car up. I took out the rear springs and swapped side to side to be sure. Car still leans!

I look at the bumper very closely and notice that it is askew. I look even closer and the spoiler is also mounted with a slant! Needless to say I removed both bumper and spoiler then realigned both with the body and re-attached. Presto the car does not lean anymore! I think the bumper and spoiler were installed by eye when the car was leaning instead of measuring from body points. This caused an illusion that the car was still leaning.

In my case there were many contributing factors to this problem. Driving the car helped get the rear springs to settle properly. The illusion part was very odd but correcting the misalignments made the car look much better.

Scott- Austin, Texas
My '68 RS/ZZ4

[This message has been edited by choptop (edited 02-08-2003).]
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 03, 08:39 AM
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Like previously said, check the front springs to make sure they are seated properly in the lower control arm. When I replaced my front springs I had to put them in slightly turned, then after attaching the ball joint nuts I turned them so as to seat them properly. I could see where if the spring had not been turned to seat it, the car would be higher on that side.

BTW, when I ordered all my parts, the supplier sent me big block springs. My car sat almost 3 inches higher in the front than before. I was almost sick when I got done. Well, instead of taking them back off I just added a little bit more air to my rear air shocks. The car sits higher than it is supposed to but it looks COOL!! My wife even commented on how it looked like I was ready for the drag strip!! Oh, and it still handles good on the road, just a little stiffer.

Also, my car is lower on the right side. I didn't notice it until I developed some pictures. I measured and sure enough, it is. But unless you look real hard it is almost unnoticable.

Warning! Unless you are naked do not lean on this car!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 03, 07:14 PM
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A lot of these cars lean, tilt, have tires that aren't centered in wheel-wells... front-back, side-side, etc. Next gathering of 60's vehicles you attend, look carefully. Some is due to actual problems but I wonder if at least some is just tolerances of the manufacturing process back then.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 03, 03:05 AM
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I doubt a 2" lean is due to tolerances. He has a problem somewhere. Folks keep mentioning checking the front springs but if he jacked up the front end and the lean didn't go away, then how can it be in the front suspension?!

Apswater, does the lean go away when you center the jack on the rear axel and jack the car up?


[This message has been edited by Scooby Doo (edited 02-09-2003).]
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 03, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys. Jacking up the back is difficult. If we jack it at the diff housing, you dont isolate the rear springs. We did take a forklift and pick it up by the center of the rear bumper and it was level but we are not sure that it wasnt the flat fork doing it. At this point we are going with the airshock route in hopes it will settle down at some point.
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