Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how!
Classic Performance Products Classic Parts
American Auto Wire Classic Industries
Chevs of the 40sDanchuk Catalog
Hellwig Products IncPerformance Rod & CustomEcklers AutoMotive
Nu-Relics Power WindowsRain Gear Wiper Systems
Impala Bob's Bob's Chevy Trucks Bob's Chevelle Parts Bob's Classic Chevy



Username Post: Best non stock alignment numbers?        (Topic#352165)
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
07-23-18 11:18 AM - Post#2740908    

Hello CT,

For the first time ever I'm taking my 67 in for an alignment. I've usually always done it in the driveway by eye and with a tape measure and have had good luck with it. New tires on the front and it has changed the feel in that it tracks side to side a little more now. I'm at about 1/8 toe in, with camber appearing to be neutral or zero but likely uneven side to side. Caster...no idea, but way more than stock but probably uneven as well.

What would be the best numbers I should shoot for?
I like a good positive on center feel. Not too concerned anymore about max cornering ability.

I should note that my entire front end is aftermarket; GW upper and lowers, GW strut rods, Addco bar, Viking hybrid coilovers, Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 235/55/15's.

Cheers and thanks,
Mark

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 


Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
07-23-18 12:30 PM - Post#2740916    
    In response to mjc1

If no steering or suspension wear or looseness, in my shop, we would set camber .0 to plus .3 degrees, caster, plus 3-4 degrees, rack and pinion, about 1/16, std box 1/8 to 3/16.



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
07-23-18 01:00 PM - Post#2740918    
    In response to Shepherd

Thanks for the reply. Do you generally go with neutral or slight negative camber Shepard? I'm led to believe that should result in better overall tracking, and preserve the tires a little better. Supposed to help keep it straighter under hard braking as well.

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
07-23-18 01:59 PM - Post#2740924    
    In response to mjc1

Negative camber generally helps negotiating tight curves by keeping the tires planted, I don't recommend it for normal driving, slight increase in tire wear will result. Tracking is more related to caster, toe in has the most effect on tire wear, unless the camber is really out of whack. This has been my experience over 40 years in the shop environment.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4138

Reg: 12-29-02
07-24-18 06:17 AM - Post#2740994    
    In response to Shepherd

You recommend positive camber, as in the top of the tire is tilted out? I've never come across a recommendation to set positive camber during an alignment before.

I would have said the same as your other numbers, but with a little bit of negative camber, say -0.2*.

Also, keep both sides the same, except you could add say around a 1/2 degree more caster on the passenger side to compensate for road crown. I've seen many after printouts where each side was set within the spec range but still about as different as possible to the other side and predictably the car still didn't drive very nicely. "Why, the alignment is within spec?" then gets asked.



 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
07-24-18 11:49 AM - Post#2741016    
    In response to 65_Impala








0 to plus .3 degrees camber is in spec for almost any car, negative usually seen in performance vehicles.



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
07-24-18 02:09 PM - Post#2741037    
    In response to Shepherd

I think I'll shoot for neutral, as in around zero degrees camber. I'd like to see it we can get 4 degrees positive caster. Should be able to with the GW arms and strut rods.

As far as road feel, what would be the difference between slightly negative (tops tipped in) and neutral be?



1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
sz0k30 
"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 401
sz0k30
Loc: Oakland Co., Michigan
Reg: 10-12-08
07-24-18 02:14 PM - Post#2741038    
    In response to mjc1

If you've got all Global West components, why not just go by their recommended settings?



 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
07-24-18 03:11 PM - Post#2741046    
    In response to mjc1

Go with your plan.



Edited by Shepherd on 07-24-18 03:12 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4138

Reg: 12-29-02
07-24-18 04:00 PM - Post#2741052    
    In response to Shepherd

  • Shepherd Said:







0 to plus .3 degrees camber is in spec for almost any car, negative usually seen in performance vehicles.




On 60's cars with bias ply tires or on modern cars with radial tires?




 
japete92 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1096
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
07-25-18 07:05 AM - Post#2741120    
    In response to sz0k30

  • sz0k30 Said:
If you've got all Global West components, why not just go by their recommended settings?



Agree! You already know the GM specs are out the window. The Global West recommendations is where I would start.

I don't believe there's a big difference between 'neutral' camber and say - 0.5 degrees.

Back when I was young, no body but a fool would drive these cars fast other than in a straight line. No one cared how 'well' they 'cornered'. Tire life (uneven wear) was more important. Neutral camber was the 'call'.

Today, everyone wants a BMW; which are marvelous to drive (I've owned several). "Cornering" has become more important to the 'youngsters'. A little negative camber (especially with radial tires) helps.

You decide what is more import on your specific car and driving style.

Your 'tracking side to side' may not be alignment related. Check the material condition of your suspension components.

Pete



Edited by japete92 on 07-25-18 07:08 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
9Teen67Biscayne 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 123
9Teen67Biscayne
Loc: OK
Reg: 07-29-16
07-26-18 05:40 AM - Post#2741199    
    In response to japete92

I have the GW uppers and lowers also - If I am thinking right - aren't the uppers 1/2" longer than stock - making the tires square to the pavement ( guessing the advances from Bias Ply to Radials is why they did that...) I'd use their numbers to baseline at first...

Tim Saepe Expertus- Semper Fidelis- Fratres Aeterni

"He must be the stupidest sonofabitch alive - but he sure is fast." - F. Gump


 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27960
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
07-26-18 09:06 PM - Post#2741257    
    In response to mjc1

I have been working on cars since I was 14, and I have never seen negative camber on anything except circle track cars (one side only) and wheelchairs.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4138

Reg: 12-29-02
08-05-18 05:48 PM - Post#2742053    
    In response to raycow

Every vehicle I own has negative camber, including my 65 Impala. A small amount of negative camber won't harm the tires or steering performance.

9Teen67Biscayne - The standard arms they sell probably don't move the ball joints outwards. If anything, they will move the ball joint backwards to allow for more caster. It might go out a bit to compensate for the geometry changes they made but it won't be much of a change. They do have an arm they say is for air ride or hydraulics that is longer. They don't specifically say how much longer on their site, but the idea seem to be longer so the tires can be upright when the car is radically lowered to where the camber curve would be heavily pulling the wheels in at the top.



 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 189

Reg: 07-09-18
08-07-18 04:57 PM - Post#2742267    
    In response to 65_Impala

I actually drive a newer Mercedes, not BMW.

No matter what you do with those older Chevys, they are not going to respond to and feel like a modern car. They sit higher, are longer, wider and weigh a heck of a lot more. Not only that, they are riding on 15 inch tires at most.

Enjoy them for what they are, what is now a relic of our automotive past, something to look at, smile and enjoy.



 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4138

Reg: 12-29-02
08-08-18 05:59 AM - Post#2742323    
    In response to Mercedes

  • Mercedes Said:
Not only that, they are riding on 15 inch tires at most.



Not my Impala....




 
RealSteel 
Poster
Posts: 3

Reg: 08-11-18
08-12-18 11:01 AM - Post#2742839    
    In response to mjc1

I started doing wheel Alignments in 1980...
worked in tire shops for the last 37 years, that said unless to have change front end components to allow changes in alignment specs. This is the rule 0.0 to .50 camber if possible and 2.0 L/S caster and 2.5 R/S caster If possible. If you get payed by the car see now many shims you got to work with most of the time not many if the camber is round 0.0 remove shims from front of arm and put them in the back of arm that will change caster higher. If caster is maxed out it will feel firmer at high speeds.do not go over 3.0 positive caster , high caster = speed wobble
If you get a pull right or left car pulls to the lower caster side or tire pull cross tires if caster number are good ....




 
japete92 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1096
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
08-13-18 04:16 PM - Post#2742971    
    In response to RealSteel

  • RealSteel Said:
I started doing wheel Alignments in 1980...
worked in tire shops for the last 37 years, that said unless to have change front end components to allow changes in alignment specs. This is the rule 0.0 to .50 camber if possible and 2.0 L/S caster and 2.5 R/S caster If possible. If you get payed by the car see now many shims you got to work with most of the time not many if the camber is round 0.0 remove shims from front of arm and put them in the back of arm that will change caster higher. If caster is maxed out it will feel firmer at high speeds.do not go over 3.0 positive caster , high caster = speed wobble
If you get a pull right or left car pulls to the lower caster side or tire pull cross tires if caster number are good ....





Would you want that much +caster if the car did not have power steering? Many cars did not. GM caster numbers (and the upper control arm design) were basically neutral. That made non-power steering easier.

Pete



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
08-15-18 01:28 PM - Post#2743162    
    In response to japete92

Great topic and reply's guys!

Car goes in next week. The shop is small and the owner is great. Will let me take part in the alignment. And will work with any numbers I want. As for the way the car drives right now...it's actually pretty good. Just has what feels to be a little less self centering than I'd like. When I did my driveway alignment I was pretty careful, and I think I was actually able to get pretty close to 1/16 toe in. Anyone's guess as to the caster number, but I measured each strut rod length and set them the same. Initially after installing all the GW parts, I dialed in as much caster as I could get out of the rods. Understandably, the car felt very difficult to actually turn. Dialed them back to the point it felt right.
Camber...I simply eyeballed that the wheels appeared as vertical as possible on flat ground (I have a good eye lol!). All in all pretty good over the past few years. Tires wore very evenly and the car drove pretty nice. After installing the Viking hybrids, the ride height is way lower, so all the old good geometry went out the window.

As far as the comment that these cars will never be like a modern car, that's pretty obvious. But with all new modern parts and tires, it aint too bad. When I bought the car, it was ALL original except tires, 38000 miles and I'd go as far as to say it was actually kind of unsafe. It's not the same car today. They can certainly be brought up to a good and safe standard.

The plan now is to take a measure and see where we are at. Shoot for neutral to slight negative camber, and keep it under 3 degrees of caster as suggested with 1/16 toe in. I'm very curious to see what my eyeball and tape settings got me. Will report back further on the results. Cheers.



1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
08-21-18 07:08 AM - Post#2743877    
    In response to mjc1

Just got back from the shop. Turns out my driveway numbers although out, weren't completely out of whack after all. I think it was pretty much mostly the left side caster being so much different than the right that was giving it a little bit of a funny feel, along with that excessive negative camber. I must say, I was quite proud of my right side numbers, and my toe was pretty close as well.

The mechanic Tony was old school, and likes big caster, suggesting 4 degrees being a good number. He also suggested I keep both sides as near equal as possible. Also in my case he dialed in just a wee bit of negative camber along with just little less toe. It was great being able to watch all this as well.

A short drive and it feels absolutely improved... just about as perfect as it will get. Wheel is centered perfect. I'm happy, and my tires will be too.
Cheers and thanks for all the advice guys. And a shout out to ZM auto service in Burlington Ontario for a job well done!

Before,


After,




1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
japete92 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1096
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
08-21-18 12:23 PM - Post#2743905    
    In response to mjc1

Those are VERY close to the numbers I use on my '63 (I too have GW upper control arms). One slight difference is; I have approx 1/2 degree more positive caster on the right (passenger) side. I use +4.3 on the left side and +4.8 on the right. That's to accommodate the 'crown' on the roads.

Just trying to be helpful and offering something to think about as you drive your car.

Pete







 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1498
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
08-22-18 07:45 AM - Post#2743983    
    In response to japete92

Thanks for the tip.

Hopefully all of this post might serve as some good info for others on modern radials trying for better handling and feel.
From what I gather, these numbers can be rather subjective. It's obvious there can be some wide differences in opinions on this. Bottom line is most all will certainly give better results than the old numbers.

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
Shepherd 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1550

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
08-22-18 09:46 AM - Post#2744001    
    In response to mjc1

Seconded



 
bry593 
Contributor
Posts: 817

Reg: 10-07-13
10-03-18 09:46 AM - Post#2747787    
    In response to japete92

"+.5 Caster on RH" - Same here





 


Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Report Post

Quote Post

Quick Reply

Print Topic

Email Topic

552 Views
FusionBB
FusionBB™ Version 2.1
©2003-2006 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.054 seconds.   Total Queries: 13   Zlib Compression is on.
All times are (GMT -0800) Pacific. Current time is 04:39 AM
Top