front-end alignment headaches - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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front-end alignment headaches

Brought the car down to the neighborhood garage to have the front end aligned after installing the Detroit Speed & Engineering upper and lower control arms. I also installed all new moog inner and outer tie-rods and idler arm while I had it apart.

This did not go so swell. There is not guite enough room for adjustment on the passenger-side to get the correct toe in before the 2 tie-rod ends bottom out against each other in the tie rod coupling sleeve. DSE recommends 1/16" (.063") toe in, but we could only get -.08" before they bottomed out.

DSE calls for the following specs;
Camber: -.03"
Caster: +4.2"
Toe: -1/16" (-.063")

The local garage achieved the following;
Driver-side Passenger-side
Camber: +.01" -.01"
Caster: +4.3" +4.1"
Toe: - -.10" -.80"

Unfortunately, the mechanic also managed to hammer in the front tube of my passenger-side headers in the process.

My questions;
1. Do the achieved numbers look acceptably close enough?
2. Regarding the passenger-side toe-in, has anyone ever had this problem before (tie rod ends with not enough adjustment before they bottom out inside the sleeve), and how did you fix it? Is it acceptable to leave it at -.80".. is that close enough?

thanks,

mike

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 02:11 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

W.A.G What does the sleeve and tie rods look like on the DRV side ? Are the tie rods close to being bottomed out on the DRV side.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

On the driver's side, there is a little more room, but not much more. However, to keep the steering wheel centered, I think you really cant play with the other side to make up for it.

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 03:58 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Why not take one side apart, put a nut on the threaded rod, cut the rod with a saw, clean it with a grinder, back the nut off to remove burrs and reassemble? Shouldn't take long. You can set the toe yourself if the shop's too far away.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 04:17 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Ficarra View Post
Why not take one side apart, put a nut on the threaded rod, cut the rod with a saw, clean it with a grinder, back the nut off to remove burrs and reassemble? Shouldn't take long. You can set the toe yourself if the shop's too far away.
X2
The pitman arm should be straight back when setting the toe in, And so should the idler arm. Most of the steering column parts only go together one way. The pitman arm can go four ways but only one way correctly when box is centered. The rag joint is keyed to go only one way, the steering wheel has a little play to affect the centering, most are marked at center as is the top of the column. If all that checks out OK check for bent steering arms.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 05:20 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Torquer View Post
Brought the car down to the neighborhood garage to have the front end aligned after installing the Detroit Speed & Engineering upper and lower control arms. I also installed all new moog inner and outer tie-rods and idler arm while I had it apart.

This did not go so swell. There is not guite enough room for adjustment on the passenger-side to get the correct toe in before the 2 tie-rod ends bottom out against each other in the tie rod coupling sleeve. DSE recommends 1/16" (.063") toe in, but we could only get -.08" before they bottomed out.

DSE calls for the following specs;
Camber: -.03"
Caster: +4.2"
Toe: -1/16" (-.063")

The local garage achieved the following;
Driver-side Passenger-side
Camber: +.01" -.01"
Caster: +4.3" +4.1"
Toe: - -.10" -.80"

Unfortunately, the mechanic also managed to hammer in the front tube of my passenger-side headers in the process.

My questions;
1. Do the achieved numbers look acceptably close enough?
2. Regarding the passenger-side toe-in, has anyone ever had this problem before (tie rod ends with not enough adjustment before they bottom out inside the sleeve), and how did you fix it? Is it acceptable to leave it at -.80".. is that close enough?

thanks,

mike
Mike,
Can you go over your numbers and make sure degrees are marked as degrees and inches are marked as inches?
DSE Camber -.03" does not make sense to me.

Most alignment shops give toe in degrees these days. -.10 deg of toe is .045 inch on a 26" tall tire.
Our 73 Camaro had no problems setting toe, but we used the Hotchkis adjuster sleeves.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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Last edited by davidpozzi; Jun 24th, 08 at 05:33 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Thanks guys, that is where I am at now.. cutting 1" off the outer tie rod (since it has the normal threads) and dressing with a thread file. I just wanted to check with others before I mutulated any new moog steering parts. Just seemed strange to have to cut a whole inch off the appropriate steering part to make it fit, but I just heard of others that have had to do it.

All front end parts are brand new including control arms. Pitman arm is straight.. definitely not 90 degrees off. I noted that new rag joint I installed also only goes one way

mike

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

David,

you are very right, thanks.. all measurements should be in degrees, including the toe-in. I almost made the mistake cutting an 1" of the tie rod, but it is .8 degrees, bit .8". Thanks for the info on converting degrees to inches for the toe-in.

mike

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 08, 06:09 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Sounds to me like you got (4) of the same tie rod ends, inners I believe are the longer of the two, that would explain why you are bottoming out when trying to adjust. In all my 15 years of aligning I have never had this happen. Since you already cut them I guess you made them work so that is all that matters.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 08, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Sorry, my numbers where a bit screwed up.. he got -0.8 degrees toe on the passenger side. I beleive a minus toe is actually toe out. Also, I mixed up degrees and inches since the DSE instructions used both, but my mechanic only used degrees in his print-out. The correct final measurements are as follows;
Driver-side Passenger-side
Camber: +0.1 degrees -0.1 degrees
Caster: +4.3 degrees +4.1 degrees
Toe: +.10 degrees -.80 degrees

DSE calls for 1/16 Toe-in which is +0.0625". This translates to about +0.14 degrees using the following trigonometric equation to covert degrees to inches;
Sin of degrees of toe * tire diameter = inches of toe
or
SIN(.14*PI/180)*26.1" = .0638"

Therefore, -0.8 degrees Toe out, plus the additional 0.14 degrees or so toe-in I need, means I need to cut almost 0.5" off the tie-rod end to get the Toe-in I need.

I think I got it all figured out now, but learned more than I wanted to about wheel alignment plus a refresher on trigonometry.

David: I have also been using the Hotchkis adjuster sleeves. I also dug up the degrees to inches conversion equation you referred to (see above), and went through all my calculations.

Thumper: I beleive I have the right tie-rod ends. Both outers are the same part number. The inner tie-rods are different (right and left) and only go on one way when the castle nut is facing the front of the car, so I couldn't have reversed them.

mike

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 08, 10:39 AM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Mike another trick. This one with your keyboard. Most don't have the degree symbol (&#176 but on a Windows machine, move the cursor where you want the symbol, hold down the alt key while you type 0176, then release the alt key. It helps clarity. ° °° See? Works every time. (except backwards.)

One owner 69 Camaro,(yep, bought it new
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RS SS Hugger Orange, L88, 4:10's tru-tack posi, ducted hood, Endura, spoilers.
TH400 (CX) with Coan 8" converter, GV-OD, 8 track still on console and best et 10.495,
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1000cfm AED and HD Harold-Lunati SR, 725 lift with shaft rockers too.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 08, 06:58 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Dang, what's the keyboard short cut on a mac?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 08, 07:03 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Mike,
Here's an online calculator for angles, I'd be dead in the water without this kind of stuff, I'm not good at it: http://www.1728.com/trig.htm

We have the Hotchkis adj sleeves on our 73 Camaro with .5 deg neg camber and 1/16" toe in. We have had no issues with them.
Is the problem no threads, or are the two tie rod ends actually touching each other?
If they are touching, I think you may have the wrong tie rod ends on one end or the other. I think we saved the old ones we took off and I can measure their length for you if needed.
David

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 08, 07:11 PM
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Got it!
Outer stud to inner end of threads, 5.5".
Inner stud to end of threads 11 3/4".

There is aprox .5" between the ends of the tie rods in the adjuster sleeve.
David

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 08, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: front-end alignment headaches

Thanks David. There is no problem with the adjusting sleeves. The inner and outer tie rod ends are touching in the sleeve. I beleive with the significantly altered geometry of the DSE tubular a-arms, I came out .44" too long on the right hand side tie-rod. Yesterday I cut 0.5" off the outer tie-rod and re-assembled. Just need to get it re-aligned now. I also still have the original tie-rods that I compared with the new moog ones I installed. They match up perfectly. The beleive the issue is the revised geometry and I found another person with a 2nd gen that had the same issue and needed to shorten the tie-rod end.

mike

1973 RS Z28: 401ci Dart Little M, Littlefield 6-71 supercharger @14lbs boost, Callies Magnum crank, Lunati rods, JE pistons, 7.8:1, AFR 227 Comp heads, T&D 1.6 shaft rockers. Reed solid FT cam (240/[email protected]/.542 lift-112 LSA), QFT 750 carbs
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