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#1064769 - 01/14/20 11:38 AM front end alignment  
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markg Offline
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nj
I put a new steering box and upper control arms on my 86.the driver side wheel now seems to be a little too far back towards the wheelwell.if I got an alignment will they be able to correct this?the only adjustment I see is the bar on the new upper control arm has threads that may allow it to adjust forward and backward.
I bought the control arms as a set from amazon.they were only 86 bux shipped.the quality seems great but the balljoint im sure is cheap.it was so tight I could not rotate the stud to move the cotterpin hole.seems ok now though.


86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#1064770 - 01/14/20 12:15 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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MC96 Offline
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St. Johns MI
Sounds like a caster issue. Did you make sure to put the shims back in the same orientation they came out?


86 SS
400SBC, 4l80e, MSD Atomic injection/trans controller, Tilt glass clip, all tubular arms, corvette brakes, 9" rear
In progress
#1064772 - 01/14/20 01:48 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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markg Offline
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nj
yes but I cant tell if the arms are exactly the same as the originals.
my frame rotted out at the bottom of the steering box only on the outside.
I was going to make a plate and weld it in but one of the bottom bolts broke.
at this point I couldn't trust driving it(still my daily)
I got a new box from autozone but its 3.5 turns lock to lock.dissapointing but I needed one quick.
I welded in a patch and put the new upper arms on but the wheel is about 20 deg off and I can tell it needs more of an alignment than my normal "eyeball" style.
the car is a non ss but ive had a ss box in it for about 20 yrs.
its a big disappointment going back to the non ss box.


86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#1064773 - 01/14/20 02:21 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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upflying Offline
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Reno, NV
I dunno, a loaded Chinese control arm form Amazon may have been for a different car. Your wheel shift rearward suggests the geometry is different.
I would rebuild your OEM arm with new bushings and ball joint.


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

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#1064774 - 01/14/20 02:47 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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SSLance Offline
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Peoria, AZ
I'm not even sure where to start here. Don't skimp on suspension parts!! Your life depends directly on them. And I"m not just talking about the cheap ebay arms.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1064775 - 01/14/20 03:03 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: upflying]  
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MC96 Offline
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St. Johns MI
I dont know of another car that would have the same bolt spacing as ours for an upper (other than the s10 but its the same exact part)

I guess going to the original post, I assumed you meant rearwards in the wheel well, do you mean its tilted in like a camber issue? New control arms should have an offset cross shaft that OE ones did not, akin to adding an extra camber shim under each bolt (or taking one away if it is rotated the wrong way)


86 SS
400SBC, 4l80e, MSD Atomic injection/trans controller, Tilt glass clip, all tubular arms, corvette brakes, 9" rear
In progress
#1064777 - 01/14/20 10:18 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: upflying]  
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Buick Runner Offline
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Dharma station 1 the Hydra
Originally Posted by upflying
I dunno, a loaded Chinese control arm form Amazon may have been for a different car. Your wheel shift rearward suggests the geometry is different.
I would rebuild your OEM arm with new bushings and ball joint.


GM reused the same front suspension design on G bodies in several other car and truck models for decades. It is why 2wd Blazer spindles fit on G bodies with no issues.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1064800 - Yesterday at 01:27 AM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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markg Offline
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nj
i just had it aligned at a local mavis.
I asked earlier if he had the shims to go in the upper control arms on an older car like this and he said of course.
they adjusted the toe in and the "steer ahead" and set my steering wheel straight.
I asked about the caster and camber and he said they don't do caster and my camber was slightly negative which is good and doesn't need adjusting.he also said he would need a lot more time if he had to play with shimming it.
I left a bit aggravated because I thought they were going to do a lot more but maybe it was in spec and they didn't need to.
the wheel is straight and it drives very straight.


86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#1064806 - Yesterday at 01:37 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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SSLance Offline
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Only reason I can think of to NOT check and correct caster is lack of turn plates or just lazy. I would have only paid half very ause that is what you got, half an alignment.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1064810 - Yesterday at 09:35 PM Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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markg Offline
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nj
I had him take a pic of the screen when he was done the camber is -.1 in tolerance and the other side is -1. which is in the red.
the caster was not measured.
should I be concerned much about the -1. camber on the one side?


86 ss 86 cl,330hp GM vortec cratemotor-700-r trans worked,ford 9.5 inch rear with 3-50s,custom 3 inch exhaust with flowmasters.
#1064812 - 2 hours ago Re: front end alignment [Re: markg]  
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mmc427ss Online content
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Pottstown, Pa
One thing you need to know about some things that are done to cars, automatic transmissions builds, rear end setup/builds, and front end alignments also, are a few that fall into that "black magic" thing that some techs with all the knowledge can only know about and do, behind the Professors curtain.

Truth is, the knowledge is simple and as a car guy putting parts on the front end of a car you need to understand how alignment gets done and what that piece of paper says that the Professor gave you when done. When you deal with discount tire dealers usually there is a guy doing alignments that's paid to knock them out.
When you walk in with something other than a Camry and expect something other than "close enough, can't see it from my house" you haven't found a shop to really make the car all it can be.

I'm sure there is a good front end shop in your area that will talk to you about what you expect. But that's where having some knowledge come in, knowing what all the different alignment setting are, how they can vary depending on how you intend to use the car. Camber, castor, toe are the basics that every car guy should understand. There are dozens of places on the web to get a good education, for free.

Today with the high tech alignment racks that do four wheel alignments there is no reason to not get the caster, camber and toe dead on to what you expect. The shop I deal with has the latest and greatest. Our daily driver's have visited often, I get a nice printout I understand easily. My 86 has been on it a couple times over the years with me standing there watching, I got what I asked for. But when I got serious about drastic changes to the front suspension on the 86 I did my homework on geometry. Bought a set of turnplates, a caster/camber gauge, toe gauge and built a portable alignment rack in my shop. Again this is knowledge and unmasking the black magic of alignment.

You don't need to go that far, just get an education in alignment so next time you can ask the questions that need asked. Don't let them hide behind the curtain and say everything is good to go.
Bob


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