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Old 12-23-2007, 06:10 AM
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'67 Nova SS alignment problem

A buddy stopped last night and asked me if I might know what would be wrong with the front of his '67 Nova SS. The problem is that when he turns his tires (both of them) really kick at the bottom like this //. The further he cuts the wheel the further the tires lean. He did talk to a guy about getting it aligned that is very knowledgeable and got it partially aligned so he could drive it there. After he got it back he was driving home and when he turned the wheel he could feel something "pop". After looking at it, the weld on the frame rail on the passenger side had broke. So he re-welded it, and took it down the road. Same thing. After a couple of turns it "popped". Welds broke again. He double checked all the dimensions according to the book, checked all dimensions from one side to the other side. Checked everything for square, and checked everything two or three times to make sure all bolts and nuts were tight. He stated everything looked good. I looked the car over and it appears everything sits right. By that I mean the tire is centered in the wheelwell opening. Straight on looking at the front the tires are sitting straight up and down, so the toe in / toe out looks to be correct, the camber / caster appears to be good, although he is going to take it back in again for alignment. He also mentioned that he thought the tire was "rolling back" along with tipping when he turns because it will hit the inner fender. I think it is because of the tire tipping. I also want to mention that the car is a frame off resto. Everything rebuilt. It is a different front clip but came off of another '67 Nova. All of the body gaps look great. Doors to body, doors to fenders, etc. All look to have about a 3/16" gap so there is no body twist. I can't help him much because I have never dealt with the Nova type front clips. I guess I could get a picture as to how much the tires tip and post them but I would say that the tip angle is probably around 10 degrees. Yes TEN (10) degrees not one degree. It is a drastic tip. Kind of reminds me of the older ford trucks with the twin I beam suspension that would turn in when you turned the wheel. So what I do know is:
Aligned by a very knowledgeable alignment man
Body off resto
All body gaps good
New (used) clip from another '67 Nova
Everything rebuilt
Approx 10 degree tip on tires when turning. The sharper you turn the more the tip
Running 15" wheels all four corners
And I failed to mention that when he busted the welds twice, he bolted a small piece of angle iron to the sub-frame where the welds broke. Now it makes it hard to turn, but tires will still tip //

Any ideas at all will be greatly appreciated. He says he's pulling his hair out on this and he can't afford too much of that. LOL!!!

TIA,
Kevin

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin45
A buddy stopped last night and asked me if I might know what would be wrong with the front of his '67 Nova SS. The problem is that when he turns his tires (both of them) really kick at the bottom like this //. The further he cuts the wheel the further the tires lean. He did talk to a guy about getting it aligned that is very knowledgeable and got it partially aligned so he could drive it there. After he got it back he was driving home and when he turned the wheel he could feel something "pop". After looking at it, the weld on the frame rail on the passenger side had broke. So he re-welded it, and took it down the road. Same thing. After a couple of turns it "popped". Welds broke again. He double checked all the dimensions according to the book, checked all dimensions from one side to the other side. Checked everything for square, and checked everything two or three times to make sure all bolts and nuts were tight. He stated everything looked good. I looked the car over and it appears everything sits right. By that I mean the tire is centered in the wheelwell opening. Straight on looking at the front the tires are sitting straight up and down, so the toe in / toe out looks to be correct, the camber / caster appears to be good, although he is going to take it back in again for alignment. He also mentioned that he thought the tire was "rolling back" along with tipping when he turns because it will hit the inner fender. I think it is because of the tire tipping. I also want to mention that the car is a frame off resto. Everything rebuilt. It is a different front clip but came off of another '67 Nova. All of the body gaps look great. Doors to body, doors to fenders, etc. All look to have about a 3/16" gap so there is no body twist. I can't help him much because I have never dealt with the Nova type front clips. I guess I could get a picture as to how much the tires tip and post them but I would say that the tip angle is probably around 10 degrees. Yes TEN (10) degrees not one degree. It is a drastic tip. Kind of reminds me of the older ford trucks with the twin I beam suspension that would turn in when you turned the wheel. So what I do know is:
Aligned by a very knowledgeable alignment man
Body off resto
All body gaps good
New (used) clip from another '67 Nova
Everything rebuilt
Approx 10 degree tip on tires when turning. The sharper you turn the more the tip
Running 15" wheels all four corners
And I failed to mention that when he busted the welds twice, he bolted a small piece of angle iron to the sub-frame where the welds broke. Now it makes it hard to turn, but tires will still tip //

Any ideas at all will be greatly appreciated. He says he's pulling his hair out on this and he can't afford too much of that. LOL!!!

TIA,
Kevin
Kevin,

The fact that the clip was changed leads me to believe that something is not installed properly. Sounds like it needs to be taken apart, all parts inspected for wear/damage, check all the part numbers against the Nova's repair manual to make sure everything is compatible, etc. Is it possible that there is a mix/match of incompatible parts from various Nova models that was used in the build? If the frame is breaking, or the car is hard to steer, I'd ground that bird until the problem is fixed.

Antny
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:52 PM
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I don't know much about the early Novas at all, as far as whether suspension parts changed throughout the years they were made, but, I'd have the alignment guy check the caster angle first, see if it is withing specs, then check the steering axis inclination. Are the correct spindles on the car?
Like Antny said, incompatable parts...

Are the upper and lower control arms on the right side? There was a post on here a while back where the guy couldn't get a proper alignment...and his upper control arms were swapped side for side.

The welds breaking..
That leads me to believe there are some SERIOUS bind issues going on. The metal to metal kind of bind

Time to jack that puppy up and do some watching and turning.

Misalignment of wheels by itself won't break suspension parts . Not in that short of a time...

Later, mikey
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:53 PM
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Some pics would sure help us to help you.It's hard to fix it without seeing it.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:19 PM
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On my old 66 nova the aftermarket ball joints would wear out laying on the bench, before you could get them installed.
Well maybe not that fast but they would not last, I'm glad I kept the old one's I took off because they were still good. I ended up putting them back on and they were still on it when I sold it.
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