Weird Alignment Issue - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 1:27 PM Thread Starter
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Weird Alignment Issue

A year ago I bought a 67 Chevelle SS that already had a QA1 Street Performance upper control arms and sway bar installed. The lower arms, springs and shocks are still basically stock. It also had the stock power steering box, which was really sloppy. I recently installed a new Borgeson 12.7:1 box. The steering was then nice and tight...huge improvement. No more constant steering input on the freeway. The car did want to slowly track to the right, so I brought it in for alignment. Now I'm wondering what the heck is going on with these caster numbers. NEGATIVE 3.15, are you kiddin' me?

The shop is competent and their equipment is top notch. They have done other vintage cars for me in the past with good results. They just couldn't dial in any more positive caster. I got on the phone with QA1 support and we went over the possible issues. The arms are on the correct side, the cross shafts are installed correctly, ball joints appear correctly aligned. The only thing we haven't done is adjust the upper ball joint mount (the QA1's are adjustable). I'll try that, but I don't think there is 8 degrees of positive adjustment there.

Any advice or knowledge would be appreciated at this point. The car drives fine really. Maybe it steers a little too easy, but it doesn't wander and tracks straight. No bump steer either.

Frank
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 1:55 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

I just went through something similar but a little different. Installed new tubular upper and lower control arms and ASSUMED they were properly matched.Turned out the lower control arms were 1" too short, but I assumed they were correct so kept trying to push the camber out. Scratched my head a bit before I figured it out.
With yours, it seems the upper control arm center isn't jiving with the lower? That's obviously a ton of caster, seems the parts aren't right.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 3:45 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Are you sure that those new upper arms are compatible with stock lower arms? Some aftermarket arms move the ball joint locations around to improve overall geometry. Point being, those aftermarket upper arms may only be intended to be used with matching aftermarket lower arms.

Also, I think those aftermarket arms have offset cross shafts so if those cross shafts are installed wrong or 180 degrees out they would jack with the caster in a bad way I'd think.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 4:54 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank69 View Post

Any advice or knowledge would be appreciated at this point. The car drives fine really. Maybe it steers a little too easy, but it doesn't wander and tracks straight. No bump steer either.

Frank
I bring no good advice or knowledge, other than to ask a question.....does the steering return to center? My alignment shop is not top notch (i didnt know this before hand), when they first did my alignment, they set it back to factory specs, and it really didnt return much. When i went back with numbers i got from people here, return to center improved, and is almost 100%, but they could only get +2 degrees with factory control arms.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 5:24 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70montee View Post
I bring no good advice or knowledge, other than to ask a question.....does the steering return to center? My alignment shop is not top notch (i didnt know this before hand), when they first did my alignment, they set it back to factory specs, and it really didnt return much. When i went back with numbers i got from people here, return to center improved, and is almost 100%, but they could only get +2 degrees with factory control arms.
Pos 2* is a very good setting for stock control arms. Be happy.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 5:26 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Frank, can you post pictures of your shim pack on both passenger and drivers sides upper control arms?

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 5:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich-L79 View Post
Are you sure that those new upper arms are compatible with stock lower arms? Some aftermarket arms move the ball joint locations around to improve overall geometry. Point being, those aftermarket upper arms may only be intended to be used with matching aftermarket lower arms.

Also, I think those aftermarket arms have offset cross shafts so if those cross shafts are installed wrong or 180 degrees out they would jack with the caster in a bad way I'd think.

According to tech at QA1, these arms are compatible with stock lowers. I thought the same thing right away, that the PO might have mounted the control arms on the wrong sides. According to QA1tech, the "QA1" sticker is on the forward side of the control arms (not a definitive identifier obviously, but mine are towards the front) and the "bent" side of the control arms should also be towards the front of the car, with the straighter arm towards the rear. Mine appears to be correct, but tomorrow I'll jack it up, pull the tires and check for sure.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 6:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
Frank, can you post pictures of your shim pack on both passenger and drivers sides upper control arms?

Here you go.


Driver's Side Front: 10mm (total)
Driver's Side Rear: 5mm


Pass Side Front: no shims
Pass Side Rear: 5mm
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 6:38 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Can you post a picture of the balljoint end of the arms?

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 7:03 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Not seeing why they didn't give you some positive castor, you have plenty of adjustment on those shim packs. They have more on the front than the rear (driver's side), never seen that before. When you say they couldn't give you more pos. castor, did they give a reason?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 7:22 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

When I installed my UMI uppers, I made the mistake of getting them on the wrong sides. This was even after reading instructions and thinking I had them on correct. With them on the wrong side, I was getting over 10* of positive caster, so I don't think that's your issue.

jim
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 19, 8:22 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank69 View Post
Here you go.


Driver's Side Front: 10mm (total)
Driver's Side Rear: 5mm


Pass Side Front: no shims
Pass Side Rear: 5mm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheveslakr View Post
Not seeing why they didn't give you some positive castor, you have plenty of adjustment on those shim packs. They have more on the front than the rear (driver's side), never seen that before. When you say they couldn't give you more pos. castor, did they give a reason?
I agree. I think you need to find a better alignment shop.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 19, 3:58 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim's69Ragtop View Post
When I installed my UMI uppers, I made the mistake of getting them on the wrong sides. This was even after reading instructions and thinking I had them on correct. With them on the wrong side, I was getting over 10* of positive caster, so I don't think that's your issue.

jim

Thanks Jim, feel better knowing I was not the only one to put them on backwards.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 19, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

Hereís some photos of the driverís side upper control arm. Some of the guys over on the pro-touring forum say theyíre mounted on the wrong side, but QA1 tech doesnít think so. Any opinion? Iíll get the left/right arm measurements from QA1 today and verify.




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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 19, 12:57 PM
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Re: Weird Alignment Issue

I think they are on the wrong sides also. Don't those arms have some pos. caster built in?

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

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