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1973 Satellite front end too low

r0yce

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Hi folks,
I recently finished re-assembling my front suspension after a total overhaul.
I replaced all bushings, bearings, tie rods and ball joints. Along with that, I sandblasted and powder coated all parts.

After installing everything, I noticed that the frontend of the Satellite sits really low, although the torsion bar adjusting bolts are almost all the way in.
In another forum I read the following:
"If they need too much adjustment, you will have to re-adjust your camber[upper a-arm]"

As I didn't adjust anything yet (only brought everything to torque specifications), I have a few questions:
a) Is the mentioned quote true and how does camber effect the height of the front end which is usually adjusted by the torsion bar adjustment bolts?
b) What the best way to temporarily adjust the camber / entire front suspension before the car goes to the shop for final adjustment? I have an upper control arm with a pivot bar (R,W car line, see image attached)
2LhsZP4.png

I tried loosening the bolts (marked "D" in the picture) but was unable to move anything by hand)
c) the torsion bars only go in one way, correct?

Pictures of the progress can be found here, although not related to this post:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VpnzyUgwt9BUMsX9ajTvlC_z8qHE3V_I?usp=sharing

Any help, guesses and tips are highly appreciated!

Best regards from Germany,
Paul
 
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Did you remove the upper bump stops and drop the upper control arms down as far as they would go before sliding in the torsion bsrs?
 
Did you remove the upper bump stops and drop the upper control arms down as far as they would go before sliding in the torsion bsrs?
As I removed anything on the front suspension, The upper control arms were as low as they would go before I installed the torsion bars.
The steering knuckle wasnt even in when the torsion bars were seated.
Maybe I messed something up on the assembly order (if there is any)?
 
Bars on the wrong side? Or as said clocked wrong. If it was OK before that's about all that can be wrong.
 
Bars on the wrong side? Or as said clocked wrong. If it was OK before that's about all that can be wrong.
I didn't remove the bars from the car at all, so the sides shouldn't be swapped by accident.
What do you mean by "clocked wrong"?
 
I didn't remove the bars from the car at all, so the sides shouldn't be swapped by accident.
What do you mean by "clocked wrong"?
Well you said complete front suspension overhaul so one would expect that you removed and either replaced or detailed the torsion bars. Is the adjustment bolt bottomed out?
 
Well you said complete front suspension overhaul so one would expect that you removed and either replaced or detailed the torsion bars. Is the adjustment bolt bottomed out?
Well, you're right. Complete except for the torsion bars :)
The adjustment bolts are almost bottomed out. There is about 1/2 of an inch of thread left but the wheels are still pretty deep inside the wheel wells.
I assume by "clocked wrong", you mean that the torsion bar was inserted in the wrong rotational angle (sorry, don't know how to describe it properly) and need to be seated with the front anchor in another angle (the one that pivots inside the lower control arm)?
 
Well, you're right. Complete except for the torsion bars :)
The adjustment bolts are almost bottomed out. There is about 1/2 of an inch of thread left but the wheels are still pretty deep inside the wheel wells.
I assume by "clocked wrong", you mean that the torsion bar was inserted in the wrong rotational angle (sorry, don't know how to describe it properly) and need to be seated with the front anchor in another angle (the one that pivots inside the lower control arm)?
Where were the adjusters set when you took it apart? Most likely if you still have adjustment the bars are correctly installed. Loosen the caster camber bolts and get the wheels set where they look right and set the toe as close as possible. Then see what it looks like.
 
Where were the adjusters set when you took it apart? Most likely if you still have adjustment the bars are correctly installed. Loosen the caster camber bolts and get the wheels set where they look right and set the toe as close as possible. Then see what it looks like.
The adjustment bolts were screwed in about half the way when I took it apart.
As I said in the opening thread, I don't have those caster camber bolts but a pivot bar instead. This one didn't move by hand and I don't understand the correlation between caster / camber and frontend height.
 
The adjustment bolts were screwed in about half the way when I took it apart.
As I said in the opening thread, I don't have those caster camber bolts but a pivot bar instead. This one didn't move by hand and I don't understand the correlation between caster / camber and frontend height.
Those upper bolts are your caster camber adjustment. There is slots for the bar to move. The wheel needs a close camber setting and then the final height adjustment is made. Once the ride height is set then the final alignment setting are made. Just google caster and camber and read. You will understand after that.
 
Those upper bolts are your caster camber adjustment. There is slots for the bar to move. The wheel needs a close camber setting and then the final height adjustment is made. Once the ride height is set then the final alignment setting are made. Just google caster and camber and read. You will understand after that.
I understood the concept of how caster and camber works but I don't get how the camber, which to my understanding is the outwards or inwards tilt of the tire, affects the actual frontend height.
 
Camber is controlled by the bolts inside the fender in the engine compartment (2 per side). Caster and camber or anything to do with the upper control arm do not control ride height in any significant manner.

As mentioned, I'd say most likely you engaged the torsion bars one face off. The lower control arms need to be all the way down (typically bump stops removed) before the torsion bar is inserted into the hex slot of the lower control arm. Height adjuster bolts should be backed off all the way with just a few threads engaged.
 
Hi folks,

In another forum I read the following:
"If they need too much adjustment, you will have to re-adjust your camber[upper a-arm]"
You are stuck on this meaningless seed of information.
 
Camber is controlled by the bolts inside the fender in the engine compartment (2 per side). Caster and camber or anything to do with the upper control arm do not control ride height in any significant manner.

As mentioned, I'd say most likely you engaged the torsion bars one face off. The lower control arms need to be all the way down (typically bump stops removed) before the torsion bar is inserted into the hex slot of the lower control arm. Height adjuster bolts should be backed off all the way with just a few threads engaged.


Thanks to all!
I'll try to re-insert the torsion bars when the suspension is at its lowest possible position.
I guess I'll need to remove the upper bump stop and lower part of the shocks, to get it as low as possible, right?
 
Thanks to all!
I'll try to re-insert the torsion bars when the suspension is at its lowest possible position.
I guess I'll need to remove the upper bump stop and lower part of the shocks, to get it as low as possible, right?
Yes.
 
I understood the concept of how caster and camber works but I don't get how the camber, which to my understanding is the outwards or inwards tilt of the tire, affects the actual frontend height.
If the tire is not making correct contact to the ground it will change the ride height. Not a lot but it does. Plus its the illusion that can trick you. Thats why I said get they looking the best you can and then set the ride height. I have aligned front ends for about 50 years and every adjustment changes something positive and negatively. Also after adjusting you need to jounce the suspension especially when on a hard surface.
 
Post so pictures of what you are seeing.
 
As mentioned, I'd say most likely you engaged the torsion bars one face off.

I had the amount my height adjuster bolts change a noticeable amount when I redid the front suspension on my 73 Road Runner (in my case, out). I also suspect I had the torsion bar clocked in a different position, but don't know for sure.

Note that it may not be the suspension itself that needs to go lower, but the tab in the lower control arm that engages the height adjuster bolts. If you have run out of space on your height adjuster bolts, pry the tab lower. If still not low enough, then remove the stops and try again.
 
Post so pictures of what you are seeing.
I'll be at the Garage in a week due to holidays. I'll keep you guys posted with pics when I get there!
Appreciate all the help so far

Note that it may not be the suspension itself that needs to go lower, but the tab in the lower control arm that engages the height adjuster bolts. If you have run out of space on your height adjuster bolts, pry the tab lower. If still not low enough, then remove the stops and try again.

With the "tab", you're talking about the adjuster blade?
33fMQqL.png
 
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I forgot to mention that it also helps to have your strut rod nuts loosened up. This eliminates one of the things that fights you in getting the lower control arms pushed down to the max allowing easier torsion bars engagement.
 
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