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Old 12-27-2011, 09:10 AM
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Need Help with Alignment Specifications for a Clipped Truck

Hello all,

After rebuilding the front suspension in my 54 truck, I am having trouble aligning it correctly. The suspension is not the original straight axle, but rather a clip from a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I took the truck to the tire shop that I take my daily drivers to and had them align it to stock 1982 Oldsmobile specs. The truck now drives poorly. During sharp turns, the tires fight each other. Should I be using specs other than the stock Oldsmobile ones? The truck has 2" drop spindles, 1" drop springs, and a raked stance. Would these factors affect alignment? The shop is willing to re-align the truck if I can provide specs.


Thanks,
Ed

PS- Prior to the rebuild, the truck did not exhibit any of these problems.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:33 AM
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my first thought is that the alignment shop made an error
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
my first thought is that the alignment shop made an error
I agree. caster /camber toein are standard stuff. Did you get a read out to what they set it to?
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:58 AM
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I honestly can't imagine that the stock specs for the Olds would be perfectly fine. If there are problems on turns like you desribe I would say increase the caster. The more the caster the less it "wants" to turn if that makes any sense. The less caster the more the tires "bite" as they are turned. Less caster is something you do on an auto cross car for instance while a highway autobaun cruiser you have more caster. So if it feels like they are "biting" and acting strange around the corner it may be because there isn't enough caster. Other than that I haven't a clue or tip other than the stock Olds alignment.

Brian
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:59 AM
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Do you have the specs they set it at? Can you scan it or take a photo of it and post it?

Brian
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:01 AM
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First off, I know little about alignment science.......That said...

"The truck has 2" drop spindles, 1" drop springs, and a raked stance"

Would this not affect the alignment of the suspension?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:47 AM
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Hello guys,

Thank you very much for your responses.

To those asking what the exact alignment specs are, I do not know. I have no print out; the tech said he used the specifications for a 78-82 Oldsmobile Cutlass. I can stop by on my way home from work and ask what those specifications are.

Would it help if I posted pictures of what the truck looks when turned to full lock?

To MARTINSR, why do you feel that the stock Oldsmobile specifications would not be correct? Is it because of the drop spindles? The drop springs? The rake? All of the above? Your comment about adding more caster seems like doing that would negate the angle of the rake.



Thanks again,
Ed
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
First off, I know little about alignment science.......That said...

"The truck has 2" drop spindles, 1" drop springs, and a raked stance"

Would this not affect the alignment of the suspension?
Most all the alignement specs outside if toe and included angle are in relation to the earth, so the rake and height have nothing to do with it. Outside of the dropped spindles of course, that can change how specs needed.

Without a print out you have nothing. That is your "receipt" of what was done. You have no idea if they set it to the Olds specs or not.

Believe me, there are MANY tire shops who will leave the hard to adjust stuff alone because they don't want the trouble.

Brian
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Most all the alignement specs outside if toe and included angle are in relation to the earth, so the rake and height have nothing to do with it. Outside of the dropped spindles of course, that can change how specs needed.

Without a print out you have nothing. That is your "receipt" of what was done. You have no idea if they set it to the Olds specs or not.

Believe me, there are MANY tire shops who will leave the hard to adjust stuff alone because they don't want the trouble.

Brian
Thanks again, Brian.

I will stop by the shop after work and see if they have anything printed out for my truck.

What effect would drop spindles have on the alignment?


Thanks,
Ed
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:15 PM
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Dropped spindles will not affect it, the alignment is still the same. Cut springs will affect caster, but adding shims on the upper control arms will help that.

As a rule of thumb, when the vehicle does what you describe, adding caster, and reducing toe in will help. With a radial tire no more that 1/16" toe in.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:28 PM
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Currently there are no shocks installed on the front. The alignment shop thinks that foul be affecting the alignment, but I don't see how that could be the case.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enjenjo
Dropped spindles will not affect it, the alignment is still the same. Cut springs will affect caster, but adding shims on the upper control arms will help that.

As a rule of thumb, when the vehicle does what you describe, adding caster, and reducing toe in will help. With a radial tire no more that 1/16" toe in.

Exactly, they won't effect alignment IF the included angle is the same between the OE and AM dropped. But of course while aligning this would be a moot point. They do however change the camber on turns, but in the real world it isn't going to make any difference.

But I was thinking more if they were cast the same. But really that doesn't even matter once it's aligned. I am so gun shy of after market ANYTHING that is what was in my head.

Brian
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burger
Currently there are no shocks installed on the front. The alignment shop thinks that foul be affecting the alignment, but I don't see how that could be the case.
You are driving it without shocks? Hell yes that could make a BIG difference in how a car handles!

Brian
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
You are driving it without shocks? Hell yes that could make a BIG difference in how a car handles!

Brian
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.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
You are driving it without shocks? Hell yes that could make a BIG difference in how a car handles!

Brian
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.
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