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Discussion Starter #1
I put some spacers in my front springs to clear the 8" Corvette wheels and now my car pulls to the left when I hit the brakes. I had the front right brake hose replaced but it didn't help. I was told it can't be aligned because of not enough shims or something like that. They said the only way to correct it would be to have the frontend rolled. Has anyone had that done to their car and is there any harm it can do? I heard it would raise the frontend some but would it hurt the value of the car? My rear rubber brake hose collapsed the other day but I don't think that would have been causing the front to pull.
Thanks.
 

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So you're saying it drives fine, but pulls when you hit the brakes ?

Not a frontend alignment issue, but could be a worn part in the frontend (tie-rod, ball joint, bushing) I would look at the brakes first, pads worn evenly, no oil/fluid on the rotor/pads, unless you have drum brakes on the front which could just be in need of adjustment.
 

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Sounds like multiple issues here, not necessarily connected. The braking issue sounds like you need to bleed the brakes as they are not distributing brake force evenly to both sides of the car. When the collapsed hose was replaced and one front hose replaced (not both at the same time?) were the brakes properly bled and tested? Perhaps when the brakes were bled the button on the back of the metering valve (hold off valve) was not depressed and thus the front calipers not bled properly/evenly.

As for "rolling the front end" are you talking about rolling the tops of the fenders for clearance? I'm running 8" wheels in the front with lots of space so it can be done. Some careful measurement may require you change the 8" Corvette wheels (ralleys or some other?) for similar wheels with a different backspace (easy if ralleys, not so much if a different design of Corvette wheel). Not sure what this has to do with the alignment shims unless they are trying to get more negative camber into the car to allow the wheel to clear the top of the fender or wherever the clearance problem is. With stock control arms you will be limited in your caster/camber adjustments by the quantity of shims that can be used while maintaining an acceptable caster/camber, but again, nothing to do with the brake issue IMHO. Is it possible that the alignment tech is not familiar with alignment of older cars? I took my specs in to an old school alignment shop and asked that they be used instead of the specs in the alignment machine's computer, mine were quite a bit different.
 

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This is good advice especially about the brakes
Sounds like multiple issues here, not necessarily connected. The braking issue sounds like you need to bleed the brakes as they are not distributing brake force evenly to both sides of the car. When the collapsed hose was replaced and one front hose replaced (not both at the same time?) were the brakes properly bled and tested? Perhaps when the brakes were bled the button on the back of the metering valve (hold off valve) was not depressed and thus the front calipers not bled properly/evenly.

As for "rolling the front end" are you talking about rolling the tops of the fenders for clearance?
I'm pretty sure the alignment tech is talking about chaining the car down and rolling the top control arm attachment points outward to increase positive camber. I feel that this might be unnecessary or could be accomplished with offset shaft kits.
I'm running 8" wheels in the front with lots of space so it can be done. Some careful measurement may require you change the 8" Corvette wheels (ralleys or some other?) for similar wheels with a different backspace (easy if ralleys, not so much if a different design of Corvette wheel). Not sure what this has to do with the alignment shims unless they are trying to get more negative camber into the car to allow the wheel to clear the top of the fender or wherever the clearance problem is. With stock control arms you will be limited in your caster/camber adjustments by the quantity of shims that can be used while maintaining an acceptable caster/camber, but again, nothing to do with the brake issue IMHO. Is it possible that the alignment tech is not familiar with alignment of older cars? I took my specs in to an old school alignment shop and asked that they be used instead of the specs in the alignment machine's computer, mine were quite a bit different.
The OP didn't say what the shop wanted to use for Specs or what the current specs are but I think the comment about not familiar with old cars (and modern tires) is spot on. I would go with Camber at 0 to 1/2 NEGATIVE, as much postive caster as I could get within that camber and 0 to 1/16 toe in. A little more positive camber on the left (1/4) would be OK if necessary. Some pics of the current shim packs and the current specs would be helpful.

Jeff
 

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If rolling the front end entails chaining the car down and somehow bending the attachment points, I would not do this. There are better ways as suggested by Yellow69RS without deforming your car. Again, not clear where the clearance problem is, more info would help.
 

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I agree with all of the suggestions posted above. More information from the OP would be helpful.

For the "pulling" issue.... How bad is your car pulling when you hit the brakes (slight pull?... drastic pull?) Do you have front disc or drum breaks? If drums, were both sides adjusted correctly? Were the front brakes inspected and tested to confirm there are no leaks, and both cylinders (drums) or calipers were operating correctly and neither was frozen/seized up? Could also be dirt/clog in the proportioning valve and/or junction block. Do you have a firm brake pedal when applying the brakes?... or does it feel spongy?
Another possibility is very worn upper and/or lower control arm bushings. When I rebuilt my front end, one of my lower control arm bolts had worn thru the metal sleeve in the bushing... and grooved out the rubber almost to the point of reaching the control arm. This caused all sorts of "weird" front end behavior as the lower control arm would move as I was driving and braking.

Aliment Issues.... what type of spacers did you install (ring spacers at the bottom of each front spring or the metal inserts that are inserted into the spirals within the springs)? How much did you lift your car's front end? If I recall... the more you lift your front end, the more positive camber you induce (just look what happens to the tilting angles your front wheels (camber) when you lift your front end of the ground). If you induced too much positive camber, front end tech my have run out of space on the upper control arm mounting bolts to add shims to pull the control arms back into the car (increase negative camber). As previously asked... what front end specs were you looking for?... and what was the best the tech achieved?
Are all of your other front end components correct and functioning properly.

I have no idea of what "having the front end rolled" means. Can you provide more details.

If you are also able to provide some photos, they can be extremely helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the great info I received. My car has front disk and rear drums. I raised the front end with one 2" hard rubber type spacer on each side where you spread the coils and they hook over the coil. When I put the 8" ralley wheels with the same 215.65.15 tires I had on my 7" ralleys they would rub on the front. The 7" ralleys of course didn't rub but the 8" did. As far as I can remember this is when the car started pulling a little to the left. I had the front right brake hose replaced a few years ago but it didn't seem to help. I haven't done a good check or taken it to a different alignment shop for another opinion but I will. I've heard you can drive down a level road, if you can find one, and let go of the steering wheel and see if it stays straight to test the alignment but I don't think I've tried that if it is true. I don't think I've ever replaced any frontend parts since I've had it. I bought it around 2000. The car doesn't pull real hard but enough to hold on to the steering wheel. Someone mentioned...(Perhaps when the brakes were bled the button on the back of the metering valve (hold off valve) was not depressed and thus the front calipers not bled properly/evenly.) I don't think I've ever heard of that but I doubt that it was done when the front hose was replaced. I will mention this when I take it to a different shop. My car is at a shop now getting the electronic ignition, distributor, timing, and carb checked out. I did go to hotter plugs and a new carb. He will test drive it once the rear brake hose is replaced tomorrow. I will ask him about the "hold off valve" tomorrow. He's very good with older vehicles.
 

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I have no idea of what "having the front end rolled" means. Can you provide more details.
First thing to refresh is terms
Camber= the inward or outward tilt of the wheel at the top ( positive is out at the top)
Caster the forward or rearward tilt of the spindle at the top ( positive is towards the driver

To roll the frame a chain is place on both sides to hold the car down over the control arm attaching points then the center of the frame is jacked up pushing the control arm mounts outward increasing camber positive. this can also give you more "wiggle" room to get favorable caster settings in some cases. Caster is adjusted by removing shims from one bolt and moving it to the other. In theory this doesn't affect the camber but my years of experience says different.

Jeff
 

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Good suggestions given,
But we must remember, frontend alignment specs given, at least dated ones, were for an eight inch crowned road.
Right tire always had a little more positive camber.
A vehicle, used to be, had a little drift, say 4-6 car lengths, to the right shoulder for safety reason in alerting a driver in case he/she nodded off while driving.
A pull is within a car length.
 

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Hey Jeff,
Thanks for the explanation of "rolling the front end"!

Seem like kinda drastic measure for getting more favorable caster settings. It sounds like something you would do if the car was ever in an accident that messed up the front sub-frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got my car out of the shop today and it's running great. While he had it he replaced the rubber brake hose in the rear because he said it collapsed. I've noticed for awhile that when I came to a stop the car wouldn't roll to a completely smooth stop. It would kinda stop like the brakes were sticking a little. Anyway, when I drove home I noticed now that it doesn't pull at all. It stays straight. I wouldn't have thought the rear brake hose collapsing could cause the car to pull. My steering pulling to the left is fixed now.

I started the car while I was at his shop and it idled on about 900 which I like and then turned it off before it had a chance to warm up. I think he said that wasn't a good idea to do when you have an electric choke because it didn't have a chance to warm up and go through its cycle or whatever he said. When I started it again to leave I drove it a few miles and the idle stayed on 1100 to 1200 and never went back down to 900. I don't know if the electric choke had something to do with this or what. Can anyone that has an electric choke tell me anything about them as far as if they can keep the idle up and not let it go back down.
 

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Good suggestions given,
But we must remember, frontend alignment specs given, at least dated ones, were for an eight inch crowned road.
Right tire always had a little more positive camber.
A vehicle, used to be, had a little drift, say 4-6 car lengths, to the right shoulder for safety reason in alerting a driver in case he/she nodded off while driving.
A pull is within a car length.
The specs I used back in the day had road crown compensation listed like Left Camber !/2 to 1 degree positive and Right 1/4 to 3/4 positive plus or minus 1/2. I set most of them to 1/4 on both sides and gave it more caster on the right to compensate for road crown. Setting the road crown compensation with the non tire wearing angle. That's what they taught me at Bear alignment school in 1980. No reference was ever made to having them drift to the shoulder that I recall. We did talk about radial tires on cars that didn't have them originally and the 1970 Monte Carlo with it's factory spec of 7 degrees of positive caster. I was told that Monte was the first american car designed for radial tires. The y discovered it didn't really need all of that caster.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I called Summit and asked them about the issue with my electric choke idling up but not coming back down to the normal idle. They said that was a normal issue with a new carb with an electric choke. They said that there were 3 screws on the throttle linkage that needed to be adjusted. I'll probably take it to the guy that installed it and have him adjust it. It starts cold at 900/950 rpm's then goes up to 1100/1200 rpm's but never comes back down to 900/950 rpm's. I'm glad it was a simple fix and not a defect.
 

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The electric choke should keep the rpm's up until the engine is warmed up, then the rpm's should drop down to your desired number.

There should be a screw with a spring around it (drivers side near the throttle linkage) that you can turn to adjust the curb idle up or down. If I recall, turning it clockwise will increase the rpm and counter clockwise will decrease it. I'm fuel injected now, so I haven't fiddled with a carb for a few years. You can do this in a few minutes in your driveway.
 

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If rolling the front end entails chaining the car down and somehow bending the attachment points, I would not do this. There are better ways as suggested by Yellow69RS without deforming your car. Again, not clear where the clearance problem is, more info would help.
I would Never do this!

Thanks for all the great info I received. My car has front disk and rear drums. I raised the front end with one 2" hard rubber type spacer on each side where you spread the coils and they hook over the coil. When I put the 8" ralley wheels with the same 215.65.15 tires I had on my 7" ralleys they would rub on the front. The 7" ralleys of course didn't rub but the 8" did. As far as I can remember this is when the car started pulling a little to the left. I had the front right brake hose replaced a few years ago but it didn't seem to help. I haven't done a good check or taken it to a different alignment shop for another opinion but I will. I've heard you can drive down a level road, if you can find one, and let go of the steering wheel and see if it stays straight to test the alignment but I don't think I've tried that if it is true. I don't think I've ever replaced any frontend parts since I've had it. I bought it around 2000. The car doesn't pull real hard but enough to hold on to the steering wheel. Someone mentioned...(Perhaps when the brakes were bled the button on the back of the metering valve (hold off valve) was not depressed and thus the front calipers not bled properly/evenly.) I don't think I've ever heard of that but I doubt that it was done when the front hose was replaced. I will mention this when I take it to a different shop. My car is at a shop now getting the electronic ignition, distributor, timing, and carb checked out. I did go to hotter plugs and a new carb. He will test drive it once the rear brake hose is replaced tomorrow. I will ask him about the "hold off valve" tomorrow. He's very good with older vehicles.
If you used a Spacer that goes between Coils Get Rid of them! It could affect your Braking as you are changing the Spring Rate and under a dive (braking), it could pull. Get the right Spring for your application!

First thing to refresh is terms
Camber= the inward or outward tilt of the wheel at the top ( positive is out at the top)
Caster the forward or rearward tilt of the spindle at the top ( positive is towards the driver

To roll the frame a chain is place on both sides to hold the car down over the control arm attaching points then the center of the frame is jacked up pushing the control arm mounts outward increasing camber positive. this can also give you more "wiggle" room to get favorable caster settings in some cases. Caster is adjusted by removing shims from one bolt and moving it to the other. In theory this doesn't affect the camber but my years of experience says different.

Jeff
Jeff, why would you or anyone else want Positive Camber?
 

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Mr. BMR, Positive camber would be for the passenger tire giving the tire full contact on the surface.
Imagine typical 8-9 inch crown, car is in front of you, car is sitting lengthwise on a drinking glass.
The specs given made each tire have the same contact patch in the road for even tread wear, thus pass tire received positive camber compensating for the road crown.
The crown was not uniform from the center to the gutter, but a tighter radius closer to the curb.
 

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Jeff, why would you or anyone else want Positive Camber?
This sagging of the suspension was commonplace when these cars were daily drivers and radial tires were just becoming popular. Many alignment people at that time were just told what to set cars to for reasonable tire wear and not really trained. I was sent to Applied Power (Bear) front end alignment class in Milwaukee for a week in 1980. Three students including myself and a great teacher. He taught us to use caster to compensate for road crown as it is not a tire wearing angle and set camber from 0 to 1/4 positive. Running negative camber will give you inside tire wear. I worked for a Firestone store and the last thing we wanted was tire wear!

Mr. BMR, Positive camber would be for the passenger tire giving the tire full contact on the surface.
Imagine typical 8-9 inch crown, car is in front of you, car is sitting lengthwise on a drinking glass.
The specs given made each tire have the same contact patch in the road for even tread wear, thus pass tire received positive camber compensating for the road crown.
The crown was not uniform from the center to the gutter, but a tighter radius closer to the curb.
Cars pull to the side of the most positive camber, increasing camber on the passenger side will NOT compensate for road crown. IIRC the specs I set my Camaro to back in 84 were Left 0 Camber 2.5 postive caster Right 0 camber and 3 positive caster Zero toe total. I could barely tell the tire wear from back to front.

Jeff
 
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