For the alignment experts; easy camber&caster fix???

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. Thedeputy

    Thedeputy Well-Known Member

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    The geometry of my classic b-body allows easy camber and caster adjustments with the excentric bolts. Improved tires have changed the desired specs you want for a well handling street car, http://www.allpar.com/history/mopar/front-end-alignment.html.
    Positive caster is desired as is negative camber. These two specs are not a good combination and leads you to resort to excentric bushings in the uca.

    What if I were to install shims (say 1/24" or 1 mm) between the spindle and the lower ball joint? Would this give more room in the rear adjustment to get the desired specs of +3,5 degrees caster and -1 degrees camber?

    The way I see it the entire uca would need to be adjusted sideways to give correct camber, which would also give more room in rear adjustment for more positive caster.

    What do you say to this? Am I missing something or might it work?

    Thanks,

    Antoon
     
  2. oldbee

    oldbee Well-Known Member

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    Not a front end guy but I can tell you one thing, +caster will give you stability but if you lose p/steering it's gonna be a b---- to turn the wheel. If I remember right the camber setting can be adjusted a tad to allow for road crown that is not exactly a national rule, but more statewide?
     
  3. Cranky

    Cranky Banned Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Never took measurements on my 66 Belvedere but you could see the negative camber I dialed into it. I know it had more caster too since it drove better at higher speeds and was a bit harder to steer when parking it but it wasn't bad at all. I'm no Charles Atlas and it wasn't a problem. Granted, my front tires were 225-75-15's on 7" cop car wheels and I kept them up at or near max inflation. Now if I understand where you are placing the shims, then it may help you. Just make sure they are just as large as the boss on the spindle and are made of a decently hard material. Ain't but one way to find out....
     
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    • dvw

      dvw Well-Known Member

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      You don't need 3-5 degrees of positive caster, +2/+2.5 will work fine. Yes shimming the spindle will increase negative camber. If you really desire to run -1 camber you may be able to obtain that by moving the rear cams full inward and bring the front cams out far enough to set the camber at -1. Then see what Camber you have. iI have also shortened the strut rods to gain positive caster. The most radical aproach was a buddy's 68 S/S Barracuda. The K-frame weld nuts were moved forward 1". Then the entire K-frame assy was moved forward, 6 degrees positive caster. I run my 64 Belvedere at close to 150. It tracks fine with +2.5 degrees caster. Also note; increasing positive caster lowers the outer tie rods. This will change the bump steer curve.
      Doug
       
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      • Thedeputy

        Thedeputy Well-Known Member

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        Thanks for the replies. The car has manual steering and as it is right now it feels pretty good for such a nose heavy car. I've installed all new bushings and ball joints, and adjusted the steering gear to zero lash. For the strut rods I installed PU bushings. Because they are too thick on the inner side I sliced a 1/4" from the inner bushing. I hope this will also be enough to give at least 2 degeees positve caster.
        All that's left now is an alignment job. When spring arrives I'll have it checked out and if I don't get the results I'm looking for and install the shims. Maybe I will learn something new :)

        Thanks
         
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