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-   -   Caster--Camber (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/caster-camber-93195.html)

Bryan59EC 07-06-2006 06:51 PM

Caster--Camber
 
Okay--I have a 59 ElCamino that I needed to get tubular upper control arms for.
Needed to do this to gain a little extra clearance between the #1 exhaust port of the 454 I put in the car. The stamped steel arm only gave me 3/16" clearance between the cast iron header (tightest I could find at 3") and the flange of the original arm. Also-with dropped spindles I had waaaayyy too much positive caster--no room to adjust. Tubular arms gave me lots of negative CAMBER . The closest the alignment people could get out of it was -1* camber.
I am attempting to get as close to 0* camber as possible but still maintain some positive caster. I know (dumb pollock--might be wrong here) that the positive caster is essential for stability,antidive, & steering return.
What is the importance of camber??
After the alignment I milled .125" from the mounting surface of the upper arm shaft to push the top of the wheel out a bit more. According to my book on this 1/8" would change camber by 3/4*. And it did take away the appearance of the car being collapsed in the front.
All bushings are new-HDfront springs provide the correct height.
This particular frame had absolutely no shims in it when I got it and it still appeared to have neg.camber
Upper control arms are from Air Ride Tech, And I did ask Tony if he had run into an issue like this before. Nope, he also asked me to contact him again after milling these shafts to see if it actually helped.
So Tony---If you pop in here---I am working on it.
I see so many newer cars that appear to have negative camber (my NEW Ranger being one of them) I just wonder if camber is over rated.
How far Neg can I be before tire wear is an issue?
How important is Camber other than both sides being the same?

Bryan

39 chev 07-06-2006 07:44 PM

caster-camber
 
Those old GM cars had a problem with the crossmembers sagging and causing negative camber. The closeness between your manifold and the upper arm,plus the fact that all the shims were removed ,would indicate a sagged crossmember. It is an easy fix with the engine out,a little tougher with the engine in the car. If you have access to old frame books,they will give you a measurement across the crossmember at the shim contact area.With the engine out,I just put a 10 ton portopower between the upper control arm shafts and spread about 1/2 inch past the factory spec. With the engine in the car{truck} the crossmember can be spread on a frame machine. A lot of new vehicles do run neg.camber,esp.ford products. you will get some inside tire wear with neg camber. at our shop we usually try for a little positive camber if possible.

Bryan59EC 07-06-2006 07:57 PM

The frame was from a 59 Belair and 6cyl Absolutely perfect appearing frame.
But, I just looked in the service manual and there is no dimension for between the mounts. I did check the dimension from outside to outside the rails before I started building it---was right at the target my book tells me it is supposed to be---in fact all cross checking came within a 1/4 inch(near as I could measure without fancy tools). But I have noticed a LOT of these X-frames in yards that have no shims in them. (have 2 in my yard that only have 1/16" at each location.) This car was never designed for a Mark motor, so I knew that I would have issues with that right out of the gate. Tubular arms gave me almost 3/4" clearance on that arm----only issue was with the left side--On the right--the exhaust port is behind the front upper bushing.
Thanks.

el pollo 07-06-2006 10:56 PM

Depending on the vehicle, camber can have a major effect in cornering and handling capabilities.

Having the alignment set at a more negative camber will allow the suspension to roll during cornering, which makes the tire sit flat and have as much tread contact as possible on the road. Bit it will cause the inside to wear out faster than the rest of the tire.

Setting an alignment up for more of a neutral camber not necessarily give you more even tire wear because the suspension rolls a bit less, and the tire rolls a bit more on the outside shoulder, causing uneven wear.

It's been a while since I did alignments, and it really depends on the vehicle on how much is too much on negative camber. So I can't answer that question...

1969NovaSS 07-06-2006 11:00 PM

caster is good for straightline stabilty. If you have power steering they usually run more caster then manual. -1 degree camber at a stand will not do anything. If you can ask the guy to see if you can sit in the car while he does an alignment to see how that will affect it. also lift the frone end of the car up with your body to see how it reacts. on my nova I set the alignment at -1 but thats wehn I sit in it and the front end comes up 3/4'' and goes to almost 0. then when i get on it with no sway bar it goes back to -1.5 so its even more stable at high speeds.Just some helpful tips.

39 chev 07-07-2006 06:58 PM

caster==camber
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bryan59EC
The frame was from a 59 Belair and 6cyl Absolutely perfect appearing frame.
But, I just looked in the service manual and there is no dimension for between the mounts. I did check the dimension from outside to outside the rails before I started building it---was right at the target my book tells me it is supposed to be---in fact all cross checking came within a 1/4 inch(near as I could measure without fancy tools). But I have noticed a LOT of these X-frames in yards that have no shims in them. (have 2 in my yard that only have 1/16" at each location.) This car was never designed for a Mark motor, so I knew that I would have issues with that right out of the gate. Tubular arms gave me almost 3/4" clearance on that arm----only issue was with the left side--On the right--the exhaust port is behind the front upper bushing.
Thanks.

I am not saying there is really anything"wrong"with your frame,but it has been a common problem on those GM cars for years. That is why even today there are aftermarket suppliers who make offset upper shafts and bushings,to increase camber on these cars. When I started doing front end work 36 years ago,vehicles like your El camino were in our shop as family daily drivers,and it was very common to have a camber problem,since we were a frame shop we"jacked" the crossmember,rather than use the offset shafts and bushings. I will still stand by my recomendation that your camber should be between 0 and.25 positive.

Bryan59EC 07-07-2006 10:18 PM

0* is really what i am after. The service manual specs 0* to 1* pos.

after milling the shafts-(as I could find no one that had offset shafts for this app) and doing some math (from the spec tables in the service manual)
I should have----0.1*+ on the left and --0.05*+ on the right
I have the caster at at about 1/2*+ on both sides but cannot get any more
without pulling the camber back into the negs.

I am going to take it back to the alignment sometime after monday--I guess I will see then how I am at my math.

See pic of this car in the thread--(show pics of your engines boys) Hotrodders Lounge

Thanks
Bryan

P.S. I did not take it as you thought something was wrong with my frame. I did take it as "this guy has been there--he knows)

redsdad 07-08-2006 07:30 AM

I had a 60 wagon (same basic frame) that I drag raced. It had sagged, but you couldn't see it. They also don't respond well to lowering by shortening the springs (not sure if you are doing that or not - you can guess how I know). I had a frame shop "pull" it and that helped. I ended up finding some MOOG offset shafts (stock upper control arms).

Bryan59EC 07-08-2006 12:30 PM

Dropped with spindles----Where can I get these shafts----I'm gettin ready to call Air Ride and ask 'em if they have heard of this before. On the rear of the shafts (after 1st alignment), there was 1/2" of shims on one side and 7/16 on the other. No shims at all on the front of the shaft. Caster was +1 (or close to it) on both sides but the Camber came in @ -.7 on both sides.
I don't want to think that perhaps I ended up with a set of funky arms (fluke).
But, it is a possibility that should not be overlooked. I know that -.7 is not tooo bad, but it does kinda make the car look like it is ready to collapse. (optical illusion)

And I am pretty sure that I should not be having 1/2" difference in the shim-paks front to rear.

Sooo----are these shafts offset fron and rear---or just the front??

xntrik 07-08-2006 01:49 PM

Dropped spindles try Heigts. (sp?)

Remember those manuals have factory alignment specs for BIAS ply tires only.

I would find an alignment guy that will listen to what you want and you should align the car for the tires used. Trouble is, few have a clue as to what it might actually need for your lowered height or tire type.

IMO few "ASE certified mechanic" alignment guys can find their butt with both hands. They can go by the book but don't have a clue as to what they are really doing.

I used to have an alignment and tire shop years ago, and in the last few years have had more than one car screwed up by the ASE boys. In their over confidence they align old cars with poor technique, improper tools (Ford) and will bend and screw up your car with their incompetancy.

I had one shop align a car and the tires squeeled when driving forward across the parking lot, and they argued with me that it was aligned correctly..... after much bashing and badgering and complaining, they actually let me align the car myself on their rack. :rolleyes: Their rack had not been calibrated in months.... I had to run a calibration on their rack for them before I did the alignment.

More than once I have stopped an alignment mechanic while my car was up on the rack and made him take it down and I left their premises. Idiots.

signed,
Crabby Old Fart
who believes in doing it right :thumbup:

www.readershotrods.com

redsdad 07-08-2006 03:18 PM

Not sure if MOOG still makes them or not. Any parts store that sells MOOG front end parts could look for you.

Bryan59EC 07-08-2006 04:58 PM

xntrick

know what you mean
I am currently having issues with the alignment joint now---Very large chain
The manager there did not even have the balls to speak with me directly. He used someone lower on the food chain to relay messages.

Exactly the WRONG thing to do to me--10 min later I was at HIS Bosses door.
I did not even ask for my money back or demand they re-align it. (this man came to me in less than 3 minutes)

Just told his boss that his sub-ordinate was in the wrong business.

I waited 45 min for him, he knew I was waiting, and he left the premises to go to another store. Upon his return he was again told I was still waiting and he opted to use a middleman intead of speaking with me directly.

I just wanted a yes or no answer----was told that he would put it on the rack-but no adjustments would be made. WHAT'S THE FREAKING POINT!

I think I will make it to the big cheese on monday to commend the 2nd in charge. And the honesty of the middleman guy for backing me and not his company.

I have had not much luck in getting anything done on this car without a hassle. Mostly because of the integrity and ethics of the people and businesses nowadays. (by all means I am NOT pointing fingers at everybody, I am sure there are places that still know the Golden Rule---I have just not found em here yet)

Bryan<<<<<<<<<venting :boxing: :spank: :mad:

I will let everyone know who this chain is after it is settled, and I have had an opportunity to regroup. I have to be able to fight off the assults I may take from Rob, Mike, Classix_Lover(don't know his name) and the many others that may jump on this wagon.

:spank:

Bryan

xntrik 07-08-2006 06:01 PM

I don't think that there is anyone who would argue the point that there are lots of @#$%^ businesses out there today with lots of ^&*) employees.

WE have to know what we want and try to find the right person to do the job.

My business associate, who is totally NOT knowledgable about cars, had an episode this week at an "auto service" getting new tires put on, that the employee was extremely rude and also bad mouthed the company continuously. When my friend thanked the guy as he left, the guy cussed him..... and my friend went and confronted his mgr. and the GM, and now had to go to the top dog. Yep, the guy still works there. My friend will NEVER go back there again.

Welcome to the new America.


www.readershotrods.com

Bryan59EC 07-09-2006 11:32 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Here are a couple of pics.

on the first one you can see where I milled .125" from the areas that mount to the frame--Although I probably did not have to mill the rear mounting points at all. .125 was as far as I was willing to go for fear of compromising the shafts' integrity.

The second and third pics show the difference in the shim paks. This seems too big a difference for me. Removing the rear shims would give me much more + camber but will toss the caster into shopping cart negatives.
I am now at +1/2 on caster--1/8'" shim removal from the rear of the arm changes caster to the neg 1*

I am not wanting to think this, but--I am beginning to imagine the possibility of the tubular arms being boxed incorrectly---Or someone at air ride had a bad day.

The dropped spindles came from Classic Performance Products, And the possibilty exists that the spindles are drilled in the wrong spot. I have no way of checking this.

I think I will e-mail Tony @ air ride and have him look at this thread and get his opinion as well.

It just appears to me that, The rear tube is approx 1/4" too long and the front is 1/4" too short.

I know that with the stock upper arms just bolted to the frame (with the dropped spindles) I had visible + camber and visible + caster.

I'm also gonna post a pic of that----hard to see though--was taken during the mock-up stages of makin' everything fit together--disc brakes, hyd. clutch, etc.

Look close in the upper left corner and you can see the 59 before I started tearing it apart.


First pic was too big---had to resize--it is now pic #5

Bryan

oldguy829 07-22-2006 08:50 PM

Caster/camber
 
Bryan, you are in luck, cause you are in San Antonio.
General Brake and Alignment on s. Nogalitos has been in the business about 60 years, or something ridiculous. Their specialty is trucks, so they have frame straightning equipment, can bend crossmemebers, twin I beams, straight axels. You name it. They do car alignments on an old fashioned machine, no computers. Tommy is the shop foreman. Tell him Don sent you. They aligned my 41 Pontiac - original front end - last week. I'll pick it up monday (Yes, you may have to leave it, cause they are going to work on it till it's right. could be an hour, could be a week. they had to dissassemble my upper control arms to free the adjusters. Looks like it hadn't been moved in 40 years, but I cut 3 Inches out of the front springs and I needed a drastic change) In addition to good tire wear, you need good handling. Tommy will drive it with you to see what it is doing wrong and fix it. Been using them exclusively for my brakes and suspension work for 30 years. Everything from the wife's Jaguar to the Motor Home. I have no financial interest in them, just want to plug some guys who do it right.


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