Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

All the stuff under the car, Transmission, Brakes, Suspension & Steering
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lavron
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Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

Post by lavron »

Soon I am going to attempt to do my at-home alignment again, it doesn't have to be perfect but would like it close enough before I take it into the "pros" for a machine alignment.

What I am looking for is an order because I have seen conflicting steps on how to align and I trust the folks here more than anything else I might find out on the interwebs :P so how should I proceed? Caster, Camber, Toe? or Toe first? Hopefully, you guys understand what I am asking :roll:

I just want to see how close I can get it because before I could not get the camber set correctly, just remember I have no idea what I am doing just trying to plow through it.

See Ya,
Mike
64 Comet 202 Sedan, My first car, I have owned it since 1979!
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Performance rebuild on a BUDGET - Installed; 250-6, T-5, 8.8 LSD, MII, Air Ride - Whatever I do it will be awesome!

power band
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:23 pm

Re: Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

Post by power band »

Haven't worked with M2 suspension but I use a simple 'bubble' gauge to set camber and caster (@ $ 125.oo) . It will get it close enough to take to get checked on a computer alignment rack.

Caster and camber interact as you adjust so it's not usually a set-once job. I line up a cheap (HF) Laser horizontally outside rear wheel centers instead of string theory and measure off the laser to the front rims for Toe in. adjust. For Caster and camber I use the Bubble gauge on the leveled wheels.

Virtually impossible to get 'modern' caster settings with the original early car with nonadjustable strut rods and only Shims' behind A arms. With adjustable rods, you can pull usually LCA forward enough to get Caster close but may make Camber setting unworkable.

'Modern' alignment typically specs' Positive Caster and Negative Camber . Earlier cars without PS and marketed to the 'family' were set up with very neutral alignment for easier slower steering with dated Bias Ply tires. My Non-PS '74 Mav had slow but easy steering so @ 3+ degrees positive Caster and @ 1/2 degree negative Camber and it's like riding on rails at speed.


'Cheap Tricks' -

>Water level for frt/rr levelling of wheels .

>A stack of 1' squ. @ 1/8" thick CV Floor Tiles for leveling and with grease under top tiles two will make caster adjustment wheel swings like power steering. (.. almost pushed the car off lift sideways on the greased tiles)

Fortunately I have a local shop (with the owners name on it) willing to check out and tweak my settings .

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Adapted the later Maverick adjustable LCA to the non-adjustable '61 setup.

Image . Image .


have fun

lavron
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Re: Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

Post by lavron »

I have the Econo Caster/camber gauge from Speedway and a set of the toe alignment plates, I am ignorant enough on how to do this I will feel more comfortable having it computer aligned in town, it is a little locally-owned place as well, the only other choice is the Ford dealership and that probably won't happen, I am sure the kids working there will be all kinds of confused, with it being well over 10 years old (the M2 may be much newer technology for the '64 Comet but only by 10 years ("74) and in today's world it is 40+ years old technology, antiques to them probably came out 20 years before they were born :roll: the other place in town would probably let me go back while they were aligning it and watch and answer questions.

just wasn't sure if I should do the toe first and then try to get the caster/camber close.

See Ya,
Mike
64 Comet 202 Sedan, My first car, I have owned it since 1979!
Image
Performance rebuild on a BUDGET - Installed; 250-6, T-5, 8.8 LSD, MII, Air Ride - Whatever I do it will be awesome!

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poboyjo65
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:40 pm
Location: Camden, Tenn.

Re: Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

Post by poboyjo65 »

It wont hurt a thing to set toe first,at least eye ball it get it close as possible by eye .but it must be set last ! :!:
bad toe in is the only one that will cause rapid wear,so check it last.

Caster
Camber
Toe

is the order

but you need set each one 2-3 times or more until you get it right where you want it .each setting will affect the other settings slightly,so keep going back & doing all three again ,-dialing it in. after a few sessions drive it & then check it again. NO BODY WILL GET IT AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN!! save your money cause they just wont put out the effort!!!
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Johno
215-60-15 on 7x15's .... 29-15-15 on 10x15's

lavron
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Re: Looking for Front End Alignment Tips

Post by lavron »

Thanks JohnO, hopefully, I will be able to get it dialed in, I will google around and see if I can find any info on setting the M2 style frontends to see how they hold everything to make adjustments a little less difficult, I only tried the one time and like I said could never get the camber set properly, I think the caster was in within spec and the toe was close but I have the boards now and tape measure set I did not have before so maybe it will be slightly less tedious.

I might try the greased tile trick power band suggested, I had heard of doing that before but went with a folded up trash bag, which is pretty slick itself.

I think the caster is built into the design and is pretty close but should be able to tweak it a bit by swiveling the upper control arm, I think like John said when you do that it would affect other things like caster and toe so they would have to be readjusted, I guess it is like anything try the first time to get everything roughly close and then start dialing it in, certainly, I have never done a front end alignment in my life because I have never done anything quite to the level of this build and if I did any front end work they usually just went to the alignment shop.

Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it.

See Ya,
Mike
64 Comet 202 Sedan, My first car, I have owned it since 1979!
Image
Performance rebuild on a BUDGET - Installed; 250-6, T-5, 8.8 LSD, MII, Air Ride - Whatever I do it will be awesome!

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