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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2011, 08:26 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Hello again Brian,

I haven't driven the truck at high speed yet! Just between my house and the tire shop, which is about a mile of 20 mph driving. All of the problems that I describe can be observed at parking lot speeds. Would the shocks come into play at 0-5 mph on a flat surface?


Thanks
Ed

PS- stayed a little late at work, so I was too late to visit the tire shop after work.
On FLAT ground at a very low speed without turning too sharp,yeah it shouldn't make that big of a difference but it is going to bounce quite a bit and lean faster and I just makes no sense to align it, drive it or anything without the shocks.

This is how I look at stuff like this. You are GOING to put shocks on there at SOME point right? It isn't like you are going to decide to not use them or something, you know what I mean? You ARE going to put them in at some point, why not put them in NOW and see how the truck drives?

Brian

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Old 12-27-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
On FLAT ground at a very low speed without turning too sharp,yeah it shouldn't make that big of a difference but it is going to bounce quite a bit and lean faster and I just makes no sense to align it, drive it or anything without the shocks.

This is how I look at stuff like this. You are GOING to put shocks on there at SOME point right? It isn't like you are going to decide to not use them or something, you know what I mean? You ARE going to put them in at some point, why not put them in NOW and see how the truck drives?

Brian
Hello Brian

Shocks are on order with Rockauto. I found a really good deal on premium Monroe's and will have to wait for them to get here. Am I being impatient to have the trick aligned before they arrive?


Ed
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Hello Brian

Shocks are on order with Rockauto. I found a really good deal on premium Monroe's and will have to wait for them to get here. Am I being impatient to have the trick aligned before they arrive?


Ed
I would not think it would affect the alignment
but you can not get a true feel for how the truck will handle/drive until you get them on

get them on when they show up, go for a drive, see what you think

I would still address you questions to your alignment guy, and get a print out
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:01 PM
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It's not that the shocks are a darn thing to do with alignment but if you can't drive it KNOWING everything is right, what is the test drive good for?

The alignment could be fine, just get the shocks and take her for a test drive and see. But get that print out if they have one. If they don't, think twice about using them again. You really want to see what your truck is at.

For instance, you could be "in specs" but with one wheel all the way to the + and the other side all they way the other direction to the furthest - and it's called "Cross", "Cross camber", "Cross caster" etc.

There is a range that the specs allow. The caster may be 2.5+ to 3.5+ for instance. Anywhere in that range and it's "in spec". Now if both sides are 2.5+ or close that's all cool but what if the left side is 2.5+ and the right is 3.5+? The car is going to drift to the left. Now what if the camber range is 0.5- to 1.5+ and one side is 0.5- and the other is 1.5+, they are "in spec" but a "cross camber" would exist and the car could have some serious pulling problems, even though it's "in specs".

A visual may help. Look at the top left example. You see where the arrows are? Look at the very top left which is camber. The left on is 0.1 degrees and the arrow is just left of center. The right is -0.4 and also left of center. So the right is leaning in and the left is leaning out, yet they are both "in specs" and green.


You want to know what your car is at, it's your money.

Brian
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the visual, Brian. I see exactly what you mean about the car being "in spec" but still being able to exhibit problems.

So here's where we are at: the tire shop does not have a print out of my alignment. They would need to put it back on the machine to see where it is at. First I am going to install the shocks, then I am going to bring it back to have the alignment checked. I have done a lot of research on the internet, and it looks like the recommended specs for modified g-bodies are 4.0-4.5 + caster; 0-.3 - camber; 1/16 toe in.

Sound good? Would you bring it back to factory specs or go with the added caster (factory is 3.0 +) and negative camber (factory is .5 +)?



Thanks,
Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
It's not that the shocks are a darn thing to do with alignment but if you can't drive it KNOWING everything is right, what is the test drive good for?

The alignment could be fine, just get the shocks and take her for a test drive and see. But get that print out if they have one. If they don't, think twice about using them again. You really want to see what your truck is at.

For instance, you could be "in specs" but with one wheel all the way to the + and the other side all they way the other direction to the furthest - and it's called "Cross", "Cross camber", "Cross caster" etc.

There is a range that the specs allow. The caster may be 2.5+ to 3.5+ for instance. Anywhere in that range and it's "in spec". Now if both sides are 2.5+ or close that's all cool but what if the left side is 2.5+ and the right is 3.5+? The car is going to drift to the left. Now what if the camber range is 0.5- to 1.5+ and one side is 0.5- and the other is 1.5+, they are "in spec" but a "cross camber" would exist and the car could have some serious pulling problems, even though it's "in specs".

A visual may help. Look at the top left example. You see where the arrows are? Look at the very top left which is camber. The left on is 0.1 degrees and the arrow is just left of center. The right is -0.4 and also left of center. So the right is leaning in and the left is leaning out, yet they are both "in specs" and green.


You want to know what your car is at, it's your money.

Brian
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:58 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Thanks for the visual, Brian. I see exactly what you mean about the car being "in spec" but still being able to exhibit problems.

So here's where we are at: the tire shop does not have a print out of my alignment. They would need to put it back on the machine to see where it is at. First I am going to install the shocks, then I am going to bring it back to have the alignment checked. I have done a lot of research on the internet, and it looks like the recommended specs for modified g-bodies are 4.0-4.5 + caster; 0-.3 - camber; 1/16 toe in.

Sound good? Would you bring it back to factory specs or go with the added caster (factory is 3.0 +) and negative camber (factory is .5 +)?



Thanks,
Ed
Sounds good, see what you have when they put it back on the rack. Really the 3.0 caster should be plenty. But if that is what it is at and the car drives funky you may want to add more. But realistically, a stock G body drives darn good, if the specs are the same, yours should too.

Brian
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Sounds good, see what you have when they put it back on the rack. Really the 3.0 caster should be plenty. But if that is what it is at and the car drives funky you may want to add more. But realistically, a stock G body drives darn good, if the specs are the same, yours should too.

Brian

Thanks for all the advice. I'll post back once the shocks are in and I've had the alignment adjusted.


Ed
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:49 AM
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Making progress:

Shocks are installed.

Stopped by the tire shop this morning and set up an appointment for New Years Day. Current alignment specs are:

+.4/+.6 camber
+4.9/+5.5 caster
Toe is in spec

The only thing that jumps out at me is the huge amount of caster. What would that cause?


Ed
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Making progress:

Shocks are installed.

Stopped by the tire shop this morning and set up an appointment for New Years Day. Current alignment specs are:

+.4/+.6 camber
+4.9/+5.5 caster
Toe is in spec

The only thing that jumps out at me is the huge amount of caster. What would that cause?


Ed
more caster is better than less caster
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:33 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Making progress:

Shocks are installed.

Stopped by the tire shop this morning and set up an appointment for New Years Day. Current alignment specs are:

+.4/+.6 camber
+4.9/+5.5 caster
Toe is in spec

The only thing that jumps out at me is the huge amount of caster. What would that cause?


Ed
I don't like that positive camber at all, why would it be set up positive? That means the wheel is leaning out at the top, not indicative to good handling. You want negative camber so the tire bites as you are leaning while going around a corner. As an example, instead of leaning a ladder against the wall so the bottom is away from the wall as you climb it, imagine leaning it IN to the wall as you climb it, that doesn't work so well does it?

Can't believe that is stock specs for a 1980 Olds, 1950 maybe but not 1980.

And did they just tell you this? That really doesn't mean a whole lot. They could have just said "in specs" for all angles.

Brian
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I don't like that positive camber at all, why would it be set up positive? That means the wheel is leaning out at the top, not indicative to good handling. You want negative camber so the tire bites as you are leaning while going around a corner. As an example, instead of leaning a ladder against the wall so the bottom is away from the wall as you climb it, imagine leaning it IN to the wall as you climb it, that doesn't work so well does it?

Can't believe that is stock specs for a 1980 Olds, 1950 maybe but not 1980.

And did they just tell you this? That really doesn't mean a whole lot. They could have just said "in specs" for all angles.

Brian

Hello Brian,

I have the factory spec sheet from their alignment machine. The only thing that's out is the caster. I am told that is the minimum amount they could get. The positive camber is the factory specification. We're going to align it again on Sunday. Care to recommend any specs?


Thanks
Ed
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2011, 01:47 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Ed I am thinking the sub frame was welded in leaning down in the back so it had to much caster to begin with. This is a common mistake in sub frame swaps as the person welds the sub frame on where it looks purty instead of taking into account the control arm shaft position so it can be properly aligned.

One solution may be offset upper control arm shafts.



With these you can get both caster and camber where it needs to be.

Brian
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2012, 10:59 AM
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Hello, I am a little late to the party, but maybe I can help. Set the front end up for 1/2 degree negative camber, and around 3 degrees positive caster if they can get to that point. The camber spec is more important to get to first, and then see what they can do for caster. Set the toe for 1/16" to 1/8" in.

Driving with no shocks won't affect the alignment or how it drives at low speeds, actually it is a good way to get a feel for your spring rates without feeling the affects of the shocks.

Cross camber and cross caster refers to setting the caster slightly more positive on the right to compensate for the crown of the road that wants to pull the truck to the right. 1/4 degree more positive caster on the right will usually be enough for this. I don't mess with cross camber, I would rather have both sides of the truck with the same camber spec so it handles the same on right and left corners.

My guess is that the large amount of caster is causing the feeling you have in the front end. Tire size and wheel offset affect how the truck drives too!

Good luck
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:51 AM
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Update:

Everything is fixed and the truck handles great.

There were a few problems that made the truck drive poorly in low speed, full lock situations. The steering box was not centered within the full range of motion, creating a situation where a full lock right turn would crash the left tie rod into the lower a arm. This was resolved by adjusting the tie rod sleeves to center the steering arm to the full travel of the steering. Caster was reduced from 5.9/6.5 to 4.4/4.8. This made a very visible difference in the way the outside wheel sits during a full lock turn. As a result of these changes, the truck drives great now.



Ed
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2012, 03:17 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Right on, glad to hear you got it, now drive the friggin wheels off that truck!

Brian
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