Mustang II LCA alignment with crossmember? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-16-2005, 09:51 AM
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Mustang II LCA alignment with crossmember?

I've got a Fatman's crossmember with Air Ride Technologies upper and lower control arms. The ART instructions are vague at best and this is my first street rod build so bear with me, please. I bolted them on and they hit the crossmember when they get just above parallel. The centerline of the balljoint is supposed to be the same as the centerline of the crossmember but it isn't. It is about 1/4" rearward. ART's instructions say to add washers to the front to the front of the crossmember/spacer bar and trim the rear of the spacer bar the same amount.

Any of you ever run into this sort of alignment problem during installation?

Since the spacer bar is just tacked in place, I plan to bore through the front "wall" of the crossmember and slide the whole assembly forward (something about "adding washers" to a suspension that sounds unsafe to me ).

Any input would be appreciated.

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Old 07-16-2005, 12:20 PM
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Adding shims to one side or the other of an A-arm to achieve alignment is an age old principle. OEM guys do it too but they use $$$$factory made shims that do exactly the same thing the cheapie washers do. Go ahead with the washers for your rough alignment. Then when you are ready to put it on the road, take it to a front end shop and they will fine tune it to perfection (with more washers most likely!).
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:03 PM
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Thanks, Willys. I guess "install a shim" sounds more technical (and I wouldn't have thought twice about installing shims! , go figure!). ...add washers till it's right..." sounds hokey!!

It's about a 1/4" off now. Should I get it closer or just shim it that much?

Thanks again. I've read many of your post and you seem very knowledgable on suspension geometry!!
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:39 PM
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1/4" is a lot but I have seen worse. And of course, if you have the ability to get it closer B4 welding, by all means do it. Suspension installation and all frame work for that matter is a place to spend time drinking a brew, scratching anatomy and measuring a bunch of times B4 striking an arc t be sure it is 100% right.
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:51 PM
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Got those control arms on the correct sides? Might try swapping them side to side...
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10xGN
Got those control arms on the correct sides? Might try swapping them side to side...
I wish it were that simple my fellow GN fan! (I did check that when the problem first popped up, though!) At least it's an easier fix than my downpipe clearance problems!
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
1/4" is a lot but I have seen worse. And of course, if you have the ability to get it closer B4 welding, by all means do it. Suspension installation and all frame work for that matter is a place to spend time drinking a brew, scratching anatomy and measuring a bunch of times B4 striking an arc t be sure it is 100% right.

Okay. Today I got the passenger side centerlines to match up. The kit came with what ART referred to as "thick washers" but no explanation of where to install them. Guess what? They're 1/4" thick! After I installed 'em it all lined up like it should. Now a new problem pops up...

When I moved to the drivers side, the centerlines are almost lined up already. When I install the spacer, it's gonna put the control arm CL forward of the crossmember centerline. I've got to install it, though, because otherwise the arm hits the crossmember in it's upward travel. Is that gonna screw up my alignment in the future?

Last edited by SinistrV6; 07-19-2005 at 04:39 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:40 AM
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Any suggestions?
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:09 AM
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Not wanting to plug other forums but if you look at www.webrodder.com there's some tech articles with pictures that may help you. Enter FATMAN or MUSTANG in the search box.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:17 PM
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Thanks, Jalopy. Guess I got tunnel vision. I've used the tech articles on webrodder before but didn't think of it this time.
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:15 PM
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That link won't open for me. Just sits there and churns.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:10 AM
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I still haven't resolved this...

I sent a detailed e-mail with a drawing I did of the problem to ART but that was Friday so they probably won't answer till later in the week. What is more critical, Centerlines lined up, or having both sides identical?

The part that I can't figure out is how this is happening? It's not chassis-dependent. I'd have the same situation if the MII crossmember was lying loose on the floor. The only thing that makes sense is; maybe the LCA's aren't identical. Some deviation in the angles of the bars, if you follow me. I'm gonna pull 'em back off and compare 'em. That's the only thing I know to do.

BTW, I've checked, rechecked and checked again my measurements for centerlines. I've used a plumb bob, a framing square, and a laser and they all gave identical results.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:14 PM
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Call Fatmans Monday and they should be glad to answer your questions. I'll almost wager they will also say you would not have the problem if you were using their control arms!!

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Old 07-31-2005, 08:05 PM
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I talked to a technician at Fatman's last week and he said he didn't understand why I was having problems but he didn't think the centerlines not being in line on one side was a big deal. He's probably right, I just don't like things not being "right" where my front suspension is involved. The fault almost has to lie in the LCAs themselves. We'll see what ART says...

P.S. Moving the LCA forward on the passenger side by 1/4" cut into the amount of room available to mount the shock also. The lower mounts are pre-welded onto the ART LCAs. I had to shim it to the rear a little to gain enough room for the shock to clear the UCA. It's still very close.

Man, it's like dominos!
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