1950 Chevy 3100 frontend alignment - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:47 AM
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1950 Chevy 3100 frontend alignment

Hi, First day on here and I need some help. I have been working on my 50' Chevy 1/2 ton pickup. I have put on front disc brake and power steering conversion as well as 3" lowering springs on the original straight axle. The thing has got terrible bumpsteer and wants to change lanes at virtually and bump in the road. I had the alignment checked and found that it still has 5 degrees negative caster even with a 4 degree shim. Aside from a larger degree shim, what are my options here? Do I need to have positive caster for this thing to drive good? I really dont want to do a Mustang II swap as I have already spent a bunch of money trying to keep the straight axle for nostalgia purposes. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:42 AM
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I don't know what is going on with the caster, are the shims in correctly? Sounds stupid but if you had them do it, you never know being most tire shops with alignment machines no NOTHING about alignment if the computer doesn't tell them how to do it.

Is the axle still under the springs as it was new? If it was the shim should be installed from behind the axle with the thin part forward.

The bump steer is caused by the drag link angle not the caster. Little to no caster or negative as you have will cause it to wander, but it won't give it bump steer. Realistically, it could wander so bad that it feels a little like bump steer I guess.

But when you lower the truck over the axle the drag link going from the pitman arm on the box to the steering arm on the spindle goes up hill right? It is suppose to be level so when the axle goes up it follows the same arch as the axle. It was common to shorten the pitman arm, if you go this route your turning radius gets a changed as it won't turn the wheels as far as it did. And if you do this BE SURE TO GET A QUALIFIED WELDER to weld it! That was the fix when I lowered mine years ago, and I never did it. To tell you the truth it didn't drive that bad so you have got to have something else going on too? I imagine you could bend the steering arm down on the spindle, again, be very careful as heating that metal up to bend it will seriously weaken it, I personally don't recommend it but it was done for years on hot rods like that. But I did see one break after years on the road, snapped right off the spindle!

Is the steering box still in the stock location? Listen, won't handle like a sports car but it can work damn nice with the I beam axle so there has got to be something here you are missing. Put it up on jack stands under the axle, remove the wheel and get some photos of this and post them, let's figure this out so you can go cruising. But first, check your shims and see if they are in correctly. Thick end to the REAR of the axle IF the axle is mounted under the springs like originally.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:31 PM
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What do you have the toe in set at ???
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:49 PM
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Brian, Thanks for the help, the shims were in backwards! Switched them around yesterday and it was night and day difference! It still rides like a straight axle truck but it at least goes where I tell it to and not where it feels like going. Thanks again for pointing out what should have been obvious.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverine5150 View Post
Brian, Thanks for the help, the shims were in backwards! Switched them around yesterday and it was night and day difference! It still rides like a straight axle truck but it at least goes where I tell it to and not where it feels like going. Thanks again for pointing out what should have been obvious.
No problem, with the axle under the springs ones brain short circuits because it's so odd. I drove many, MANY thousands of miles with a set up just like that, it works. Just don't plan on beating a late model car around the off ramp.

Brian
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:40 PM
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tires and rims

I had 8 in rims and wide low profile tires on the front of my old chevy pickup, It wanted to follow every crack in the road... too much wheel off set changes where the centerline of the tire and the center line of the king pin meet, and the road -tire contact patch. . With stock wheels and tires if handeled ok. like an old truck.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:36 PM
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Good point, when I put stock rims with narrow tires after having the offset mags on there it was very noticeably different for the better.

Brian
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