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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all, just wanted to pick some brains here on an issue I've had for a few years now. My 72 Elco eats the outsides of my front tires. I've made a few suspension changes over the years, currently running stock spindles with 1/2 tall ball joints and offset upper bushing shafts. I've gotten it aligned after any changes I've made but the results are always the same. Recently when I switched from Fatman fabrication drop/tall spindles back to stock, I had an alignment done and the shim stack they put in was pretty significantly thick. Like an idiot I decided after all this to change the tie rod ends and get another alignment. The shim stack the next shop put in was MUCH smaller. I wouldn't think changing tie rod ends would alter the camber/caster that much. I'm running 17" TTII's with 225/50r17.
 

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You really should get your elco to negative camber on compression. They way the old alignment is when making a panic stop half of the front tires contact patch will be up off the ground and that's not good.. A pair of good modern uppers is all that really needed like SPC or Detroit Speed.. Make sure you get Delrin bushings up front and spherical Delrin bushings in the rear. My experience tells me to stay away from poly..
Ask the others there's a lot of people on this board who have made the jump to modern suspensions, there the ones with the smiling faces coming into the car cruise.. Ask around and get actual advice instead of opinions..
I have;
-SPC with Howe .9 and .5 tall ball joints up front.
-Spohn Delspheres in the rear.
-Lee 14: 1 800 series box set at 30 pounds.. This really made the difference. It has a perfect amount of feed back and snaps back to center after a turn.
I use 225/70R15 Coopers up front with Pro Trac Street Pro 235/60-15 in the rear..
 

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Are they aligning it to stock specs?? If so, that is the problem. They need to use different numbers to stop the tire wear.
 

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What are the alignment settings? Without knowing that we can't tell you what is going on. Typical alignment setting for most cars are as much positive caster you can get up to around 6, .5 neg camber, and 1/16-1/8 toe in. Don't be concerned on the size of the shim stack.
 

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Sometimes just a front wheel alignment just will not do it because the alignment is off front to rear. Just have someone follow you and see if the car appears to be going sideways. Modern cars today do get checked and aligned 4 wheel alignment is common. Back in the days it was common to see old cars going sideways down the road. Usually the cause and correction is costly so keep your fingers crossed
 

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I never could get a front end alignment that was worth a darn around here.
Gave up 20+ years ago trying that.
I did alignments when I was in my early 20's and it is not difficult to get it right at home with common stuff all of us have.

White spray paint and tape measure.
First thing is to set toe like @oldcutlass stated. Tape measure under car at the front of the tires as high up as you can go without touching anything.
Measure center to center.
Now go to the back of the tire and do the same thing.
set toe 1/16 to 1/8" .
Find a flat area for the car to travel on like a flat parking lot.
Get the car going forward perfectly then stop and get out and paint a white stripe across the tread on both front tires.

Get back in and drive forward about 100 feet without turning.
Stop the car and get out and look at the white paint.
If it is worn on the outsides or insides of the tire more then correct it.

I do not have odd worn tires on my vehicles and that is the way I do it.
Yea I add a lot of caster also.
 

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When I had my El Camino done, we used the specs for a '96 Impala SS and took as much caster as it would allow. You can choose the car when setting up the machine.
 

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I set my toe off the rear wheel. I saw it in the Herb Adams chassis engineering book.. I use long straight edges that tile floor installers use. First you have to get the width of the rear end and front end and enter that number into the over all formula..
That said nothing beats an alignment done by a tech who knows how to run a Hunter Hawkeye alignment rack...

On my 69 el Camino I like 6.5 and 7 degrees positive caster, having a very high dynamic camber allows me to run a very slight static camber. Static camber over .25 upsets straightaway feel and performance. I also like to run a very slight toe in like 1/32 off of the cars center on both sides. I have Delrin control bushings up front and spherical bushings with Delrin in the rear, rubber on the rear end uppers.. I tried poly and they didn't work for me..
 

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On my 70 EC, I have stock control arms with stock bushings using coil over shocks and all new ball joints and tie rod ends.

As to my alignment, I'm running the same values as a 1973 Monte Carlo and I have no oddball tire wear or steering concerns with any of it.

Rick

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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If you dial in more caster, that tips the steering spindle back, raising where the tie rod attaches to the steering arm. If the tie rod angle ends up pointing down or not almost parallel to the lower control arm, your car will suffer from bump steer which plays havoc with toe settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I couldn't find the most recent alignment printout but I did find one from a few years ago. He set it to 5th gen specs and if I remember correctly it didn't eat the tires as bad. I think my course of action is to get some good adjustable UCA's and start doing my own alignment. I currently
have rubber bushings with a JGC steering box.
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