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Old 02-04-2003, 11:06 PM
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Post Mustang II front end Question

I'm a singer-songwriter, so I don't know much about mechanics ... but I love the '50s and recently bought a 1954 Chevy Pickup out of Texas that has the Mustang II front end installed. My mechanic says I got a great li'l truck and that everything was done "right" (mid '70s 350 w/Edelbrock manifold & Q-jet carb, 350 Turbo trans, and 12-bolt Chevy rear end all match up nice). I'm in love with this truck :
<a href="http://AlanHorvath.com/images/54chevy.jpg" target="_blank">http://AlanHorvath.com/images/54chevy.jpg</a>

Problem : the 2 front Cragar wheels were bent and the truck was shimmying at around 50mph+ ... so I put new Cragars on and it cleared up a *lot* ... only I'm still getting a shimmy at 50mph+.

My mechanic says there may be a way to adjust the Mustang II front end stuff, but he's not real familiar with the Mustang II kit ...

Are there any suggestions you might make? Do you know how we might make adjustments on the Mustang II stuff?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as you can imagine. I've *got* to get this shimmy thing taken care of and I don't want to spend an arm and a leg doing it.

If you have any questions about playing guitars I could reciprocate!
:o )

Thanks.

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Old 02-04-2003, 11:08 PM
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PS - Here's my reply info if you want to email me :

Alan Horvath

alan@alanhorvath.com
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Old 02-05-2003, 04:05 AM
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The best thing to tell your mechanic is the alingment specs of the kit are the same as the Mustang II. That will allow him to insure proper alingment. However, improper alingment usually shows up in poor tire wear. The bent front wheels could indicate the front suspension had been subjected to a severe jolt at one time, but I would look elsewhere such as out of round /bulging tires, drive shaft/u-joint problems. The same impact that could bend rims could do some big time damage to tires that do not show up visually. I assume they were correctly balanced when you replaced the bent rims. Also, have him remove your front rotors, check for damaged wheel bearings, repack and retorque the spindle nut. Improperly torqued wheel bearings (spindle nuts) can cause higher speed viberations. One last thing, the internal rod ends of the Mustang II rack do wear and can get some play in them. Have your Mechanic check these.

Trees
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Old 02-05-2003, 07:23 AM
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Many kit manufacturers recommend the use of a vibration dampner in the steering hookup to the column. I didn't use one and the steering wheel had a pretty good vibration at about 60 mph. The car wasn't moving around or anything just transfering the road vibrations directly to the steering wheel. I put a dampner on and 99% of the vibration went away. Just something to consider.

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Old 02-05-2003, 09:52 AM
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Horvath,
I just put a Mustang II kit in a '46 Chevy Panel truck yesterday and here are the specs off the sheet.
Caster 7/8 +/- 3/4
Camber 1/2 +/- 3/4
Toe-in 1/8 +/- 1/8
The kit is from Heidt's.
Hope this helps you out.
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:53 AM
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You guys are great!

Thanks a million ... I'll apply all your suggestions and repost when I'm a happy driver again.

Alan
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:08 AM
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if ya got power steering, try 2-3 degrees caster.
makes a lot of difference.
oem camber and toe work fine.
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Old 02-08-2003, 08:24 AM
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Thanks, Tom

No PS ... yet. But probably will put it in later this year.

Alan Horvath

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Old 02-14-2003, 05:06 PM
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Hey, Hotrodders

I just got my truck back today ... my mechanic did up my Mustang II front end -- I gave him a list of everything you guys told me to check, and the shimmy is 95% gone.

THANKS for all your help!

She still has "a little shimmy when she walks" (up around 60 mph) but it seems like it's predominantly in the steering column (like Bill "Centerline" mentioned).

Also, my mechanic says he doesn't know of any vibration dampener he can put in, so I emailed Bill to get info ... if anyone here has info, I'd appreciate it. I figure this is something I can install myself, but I need a web link or manufacturer or part number.

PS - Here are the spec's he applied - does this look right to you guys? :

Camber : left = - 0.2* ... right = 0.4* ... spec's : -0.3* - 0.8*
Caster : left = - 0.3* ... right = 0.2* ... spec's : -0.5* - 1.5*
Toe : left = 0.21* ... right = 0.23* ... spec's : 0.13* - 0.25*
Cross Camber : - 0.6*
Cross Caster : - 0.5*
Total Toe : 0.44* ... spec's : 0.26* - 0.50*

* = "degrees"

Cool?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-15-2003, 03:18 AM
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looks like it should have a very slight pull to the right.
still ain't enough caster, though.

and it's got too much toe for my taste.

does the column shake?
if so, it wouldn't hurt to run a brace sideways to the column off the cowl.
helped a little on my 48 chevy coupe....

flaming river and borgeson both have dampers available, usually around $100 for 'em
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, Tom

Where would you have the Toe?

Yes - my column shakes slightly ... around 65 mph. Do you have a picture of where/how you did the brace on your '48 Chevy Coupe?

Bill hooked me up with Heidt's damper :
<a href="http://www.heidts.com/heip27.htm" target="_blank">http://www.heidts.com/heip27.htm</a>

Now I'm trying to figure out how I know which I have : a MALE or FEMALE spline? Then I'll order one.

Re: a "slight pull to the right" ... the truck seems perfect. If I coast on a straight, flat road it goes straight as a pin ... even when I apply brakes. My mechanic is a good one, I believe.

[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: horvath ]</p>
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:33 AM
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WOW! Flaming River sure has an exiting site! Looks like I'll be spending some money there!
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Old 02-15-2003, 03:12 PM
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just a quick question, are your crager rims unilug . had this shaking problem on my 28 ford. after alot of looking i found out the wheel nuts were not the right ones.the shank size was out. would not center wheel properly. cleared up shaking completely. good luck!
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Old 02-15-2003, 04:57 PM
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Wow ... that's a good one. I'm pretty sure I have the unilugs .. the shaking isn't that bad ... but I'll check with my mechanic on Monday, to be sure!

Thanks!

[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: horvath ]</p>
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Old 02-16-2003, 06:14 AM
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hovath, if it were me, i'd have the caster at the max (1.5 degrees) the toe at 1/8th inch, and the camber at +0.2 degrees on the lf and +0.3 on the rf (compensate for road crown)

you may still have a tire pull or problem but the proof is if it drives good and the tires ain't getting ate up, leave it alone.

as far as the pic of that brace, i'll get one took today and e-mail it to ya
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