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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im Having trouble with my drivers side alignment

Got the passenger side looking perfect, but drivers seems to tow out at top no matter how i try to adjust the upper control arms? any ideas or pics would help. its only a roller at the moment but would like to sort this asap.
Im shure my sn95 spindles arn't bent as they as brand new. Im using ford racing bumpsteer, FFR LCAs flaming river manual rack. Bilstien coilovers.

Jimmy O

[ March 24, 2007, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: cobrabhoy ]
 

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Are you at ride height? If not I wouldn't worry about it too much until you set that.

Sounds like camber is off (top of the wheel tilts out). For camber shorten both upper control arm links on that side.

For toe you will need to use the tie rods to adjust this.

Caster, probably can't eyeball this, but you would move the UCA links in opposite directions to adjust. In another words screws one leg in and screw the other out.
 

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First, Makesure you're lower control arm is mounted with the correct holes in the frame.

Next, put the car on it's feet, as close to rideheight as possible, and preferably with the engine in so you have most of the wieght on the wheels.

Put a level on the outside of the wheel vertically and adjust the camber by turning the upper control arm adjusters in and out till the wheel is almost perfectly verticle or slightly leaning in at the top. Don't worry about the toe and caster in at this point.

Next, use a tape measure and measure the distance between the two wheels from the front of the tire and the rear of the tire, the front should be about 1/2" shorter, adjust as necessary with the Tierod ends.

This will get you close enough that you won't scuff the tires when moving the car around the garage or driveway.

When you've got a gokart trailer it to Ace Alignment in St. Catharnies and get a proper alignment done and it will be perfect. I won't go anywhere but Ace.

Mark
 

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Here's what I do:

The front suspension MUST be at (or very near) ride height. It must be parked on pretty level ground.

Start by loosening up the lock nuts as much as possible; all the way to the outside ends of the threads.

As you're looking at the outer end of the arm, turn both turnbuckles as far clockwise as they will go. That's maximum negative camber.

Measure your camber angle. You can use an alignment tool. But I also have an electronic level I bought from McMaster that works very well, and costs half as much.

Make a referance mark on each turnbuckle.

Turn each turnbuckle exactly one turn clockwise. Remeasure your negative camber.

When you're down to about 1/2 - 1*, you're pretty close.

Adjust caster after you have done camber. Turn the wheel 15* out. Measure the vertical angle of the wheel, the same as you did for camber.

Turn the wheel 15* in. Measure the angle of the wheel again. It should be 2-4* more than the first measurement. Lengthening the rear turnbuckle will increase caster. Lengthen the rear turnbuckle and shorten the front turnbuckle by exactly the same amount, and it should maintain camber pretty closely.

Recheck camber. Recheck caster.

Max toe in should be about 1/16" - 1/32"; a very tiny amount. All you need is two bungee cords, two pieces of lumber (or steel) about 28" long, and a ruler.

Bungee the boards horizontally to the outside of the wheels, below the level of the frame. Make a mark on the inside of the lumber, about even with the foreward edge and rear edge of the tire. The marks should be about 26" apart.

Center the steering rack. A very important step.

With your tape measure, measure the distance between the two front marks and the two rear marks. Subtract the two numbers. The front number should be 1/16" to 1/32" LESS then the rear number.

Adjust at the outer tie rod ends. Turn both sides exactly the same to keep the steering rack centered.

If the body is on, it's a lot easier to put some small spares on the front to do this. The turnbuckles are easier to get to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanx for the info guys im going to re look at my lower control arms start from there im shure its something simple.

jimmy O
 

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Jimmy,

When you say "toe out at the top", it sounds more like a camber issue than an actual 'toe' adjustment. Using the inboard mounting hole might cause this. (As Mark pointed out).

Pictures will definitely help.

Are both your front lower control arms identical? Any chance you got one pin drive arm mixed with your set?

Check FFR's parts catalog for a pic and dewcription of the difference:

FFR tubular front LCA description

Just a thought.

Sean
 

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Jimmy the settings will change once you drop the engine and trans in the car. Also make so the car is sitting on it's own wheels as you are making the adjustments. Can't do this on jack stands. Roll the car forward and backwards a few feet after the adjustments since it can change the final settings.
 

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Originally posted by boB:

Turn the wheel 15* in. Measure the angle of the wheel again. It should be 2-4* more than the first measurement. Lengthening the rear turnbuckle will increase caster.
Bob,
I did my front end last weekend with the Fastrax gauge. I want to clearify something. I thought shortening the rear part of the UCA would give me more caster. I shortened mine all the way and measured 5.75* caster (I have PS). Did I go the wrong way? Before this adjustment I had no caster and the car would not come back to center after a curve. Now it will return to center some, but not as much as my daily driver.

Please clearify my adjustments.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Greg,
I'm not Bob, but shortening the rear will give you more Negative caster...which is the kind you want!

Bob, do F5's require toe in? I have not yet got to the point of allignment on my Coupe. If so, doesn't that make it squirlly?
 

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Shaun,

Thanks! FFR says 1/16" toe-in in the manual. Where are you in TN?

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanx guys for the Great response Ill keep you all informed

jimmy O
 

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I purchased the FastTrax and am trying to figure out the best way to gauge the 15 degrees (not eyeballing for 14.5 or 15.5) I need to turn the wheel for finding caster.

Can someone provide the methodology that they used? Hopefully it will be easier than my Rube Goldberg idea.
 

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I used the recommended 1/16" toe in with PS and it seems fine. Greg you may only be able to get 5 3/4* neg caster. Not all can be adjusted to 6*. Just be sure you still have enough threads left when you tighten the jamp nut so it holds together. They recomend 3/4" threads remain inside tube when done.
 

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Originally posted by NBWW:
Greg,
I'm not Bob, but shortening the rear will give you more Negative caster...which is the kind you want!

Bob, do F5's require toe in? I have not yet got to the point of allignment on my Coupe. If so, doesn't that make it squirlly?
You're right. When I pictured it in my head, I pictured the wrong side
When you actually do it, it's easy to do it right. It only works one way.

Yes, a little bit if toe in helps with stability. Like snow-plwing on the ski slope.
 

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Lurker,
I have the Fastax too. The point on the end of the level has angled edges. Turn the wheel until one edge lines up parallel to the body and set your bubble to zero. Then turn the wheel in oposite direction until the other angle lines up parallel to the body and read your caster. The bevelled edge is there for your seep measurment degrees.

HindSight, I have about 1 1/8" of threads left inside the tube.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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I understand the 15 degree bevel on the edge of the tool. However, the "turning the wheel until it is parallel to the body" method seems to me to be a very imprecise way of measuring it. What looks to be parallel to the naked eye may be off a degree or two (or more).

I'm looking for a more precise way to measure the 15 degrees than my poor visual approximation. I don't want to resort to fancy (read expensive) degreed alignment plates. Do I start by chalking out parallel from the 4" tubes from the frame? Guess that the wheel is straight then measure a 15 degree angle from that in some way? Another way?
 

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Lurker- Have a piece of plywood about 15x17 inches w/ the sides all square. Then I cut one end off at 15 deg.I put a piece of wood trim on the floor behind the front wheels (wheels straight), and then another behind that. I put weights on the second one and remove the first one.this gives room for the wheels to be turned w/o disturbing my reference.Then i have several short (about 10 in) pieces of trim.I place them against the reference piece as spacers to get my plywood piece to sit on the floor just outside the wheel w/ the angle side nearest the wheel. I can then turn the steering and look down from above and eyeball the wheel to be parallel w/ that angle edge.You can do this a LOT faster w/ a helper to turn the wheel to the angle and then hold it there while you take a reading. But you can do it yourself by turning past the needed angle and let it settle back.Good luck
 

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Bob, I was surprised about the "toe in" because every car/truck I have ever owned, or worked on required "toe out" which makes them drive straight. [along with neg caster] I guess since the weight distribution is near 50/50, the Cobra needs a little more aggressive geometry.

Greg M, I'll Pm you.
 

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Lurker,
Make some kind if marks like CraigS said. I taped a piece of paper to the floor after laying out the arc with a protractor.

"I understand the 15 degree bevel on the edge of the tool. However, the "turning the wheel until it is parallel to the body" method seems to me to be a very imprecise way of measuring it. What looks to be parallel to the naked eye may be off a degree or two (or more)."

The angled edge method should work pretty well because you are only going to see 0.2 degree of caster (MAX) for each degree of front wheel sweep. So if you are visually off by a couple of degrees sighting along the edge of the car, that would result in an error that is too small to even resolve with that bubble level indicator.

Greg
 

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Toe in is used to help straight line stability. Toe out is used to help a car turn into a corner easyer,quicker.
Caster effects,controls the amount of effort needed to turn the wheel from center and also return to it's center. More negative caster,the more wheels want to keep tracking straight,and the more driver effort needed to turn the wheels.
Camber effects amount of tire contact mostly in corners when wheels are turned. but also as suspension compress's and rebounds.
 
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