Adding and removing shims from between the upper control arm and the vehicle frame will (on most cars) change the camber adjustment. Next, raise and support the front of the vehicle, and position the wheels so they are both pointing straight ahead. Tread wear patterns become irreversible after about 500 miles. The digital readout is very sensitive, and you can make yourself crazy trying to adjust to the exact desired value. As you rotate the adjuster, keep an eye on how many threads are exposed. Measure dimension "J" from bottom of rocker panel to floor. ... UMI tubular upper A arms with stock type tall ball joints, these allow for a performance front end alignment, improved camber gain for better grip and raised roll center for less body roll. A rear-wheel-drive vehicle pushes on the front tires as the car is driving down the road. Park the car on a surface that is flat and level. If the line at the top leans forward, this is negative caster. All rights reserved. The readings you achieve will be much more accurate. Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Chevy Hardcore, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE! All rights reserved. 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Figure 4. The 2004-2013 GM W-Platform represents the evolution of the GM mid/full-sized front-wheel-drive car. A small amount of toe-in allows the front tires to remain straight while the pressure is applied. It also improves stability while driving straight, but at the cost of increased steering effort. Although most guys will not have a set of plates, if you know someone that does and they will let you use them, they are worth getting your hands on. You will want to back that off by roughly 1/4-inch. If a gearbox steering is used, loosen both nuts on both adjuster sleeves (right and left). Measure again and repeat until you’ve moved the toe to the required amount. As far … High Quality 1964-1972 GM Upper & Lower Front Tubular Control Arms Set. Adjusting a vehicle’s toe-angle can also alter its handling characteristics. If the string is not perfectly vertical, you should adjust the camber to get it as close as possible. Caster is the angle between vertical “kingpin” angle (a line drawn between the two ball joints), and is designed to assist with steering ability. This, of course, reduces the tread life significantly. This angle is measured in degrees by comparing an imaginary line (vertical plane) running through the upper and lower ball joints. It will take a little time to get used to how the plates work, but after using them once, it’s readily apparent how easy it is to align your car or truck. Another way to check camber is to use a bubble level. If you don't, they will most likely use the spec in the computer. An enthusiastic driver who enjoys cornering hard, will receive more cornering grip and longer tire life from a tire aligned with more negative camber. Greased Overloading the vehicle or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster. To begin with, each side is jacked up using a floor jack so that the wheel can be rotated. If you plan on racing into corners, you’ll probably want to customize your alignment. All rights reserved. Keep the string centered in the tread. … But, that is not an option for many enthusiasts. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles. If this axis is straight up and down, the car would have neutral caster. . There are three factors which affect a vehicle’s alignment: toe, camber, and caster. You can also measure sidewall to sidewall if that would be easier. Keep the string centered in the tread. The tires should all be in good shape with even wear patterns. A carpenter’s square can also be used if you have one large enough. Caster is a stability angle, measured in degrees. This is caused by friction. The Chevy Cruze debuted as the replacement for the Cobalt. While most gearheads understand the basics of what is required to align a car, when it comes to physically setting those alignment specs, some confusion still makes many nervous. Rotate each adjuster one full turn and then bounce on the suspension. Alignment specs given by manufactures typically have a camber-error range of plus/minus 0.5 degrees, meaning if the camber is within 0.5 degrees of the desired value the car is considered to be within spec. Camber is easy to check with the alignment kit from Summit. Hopefully, this short tutorial in vehicle alignment will give you the confidence to understand how you can re-align your classic’s front end after a repair or upgrade. If you’ve got the money, look into buying or possibly renting one of these bubble alignment gauges. When camber and/or toe are out of adjustment, they can do the most damage to your tires and suspension components. Positive caster will increase negative-camber gain when turning. Fits 1964-77 GM A body; 67-81 F Body; 68-74 X body; and 59-81 B body. Front Wheel Alignment, With a Tape Measure.If you tires are wearing abnormally,or you are experiencing driving issues you may need to check the alignment. 64-70 A-Body Cars will use outer tie rod ends from a 78-88 G-Body. We'll send you the most interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and videos every week. $52.99CAD. $6.35CAD. DIY Front End Alignment To most people, front end alignment is some kind of voodoo science better left to professionals. Toe is the easiest measurement to obtain. The rolling resistance of the tires will cause a small amount of pressure being applied to the rubber bushings in the control arms. Even if you choose to have a shop align the vehicle after you use this kit, you’ll have a better understanding of the process – and knowledge normally equals power. If you can find one, carefully follow the directions to calibrate and use it. Pontiac’s LeMans/Tempest/GTO, Chevrolet’s Chevelle/Malibu/Super Sport, Buick’s Skylark/Gran Sport (GS), and Oldsmobile’s Cutlass/442 are still surprisingly plentiful. Below are suggested settings that are dependent on your driving preferences. It will also fight the lateral force of the road pulling sideways against the bottom of the tire. 1964-1972 GM Tie Rod End Dust Boot Set - 4Pc. We’ve now reproduced the factory OEM front end alignment shim. Unfortunately, many alignment shops are big-chain facilities that typically have no idea what specs are needed when aligning a first-gen Camaro, early Nova, or even a late-‘70s car or truck. Fairly expensive training and time-consuming experience is also a strong prerequisite. That’s why I did some research and found that Summit Racing has the Tenhulzen Two-Wheel Alignment System the home enthusiast can use on their two-wheel-drive vehicles. However, they can be heavy and cumbersome, and decidedly not cheap. 1964-72 GM A body (Chevelle, GTO, 442, etc.) Hotchkis Sport Suspension 87385 F150 Alignment Cams for 1997-2003 Ford F150 2wd. Bounce the front and turn the wheels to settle the suspension, then lower the tires onto the turn plates. Alignment shops have very specialized and expensive tools to get the job done correctly. Figure 3. Chassisworks GM Spindles A-, F-, AND X-BODy FORGED SPiNDLES ('67-72) Chassisworks series of forged A-, F-, and X-body spindles directly replace the OEM components from GM vehicles ranging from 1967-1972 (some models later). Necessary for proper front end alignment Zinc coated to resist corrosion. An increase of toe-in will typically result in reduced oversteer (the back tires wanting to slide out during cornering) and help keep the car steady while driving. Measures approximately 1 3/16Ó on bottom, 1 1/4Ó on top, . The car was pulling to the left instead of tracking straight, one sure sign the alignment was askew. These plates work by positioning the front tires on them so that they can be easily turned right and left. SKU: GTPPZTRB48. A bubble level with horizontal level capabilities also works. Right: Control arm with shims installed showing how they cause caster and camber to adjust. Once the heads are attached to the wheels, each wheel is slowly rotated, while observing a bubble level that is built into the head. Chevy Hardcore NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE! Spindles also interchange with related Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac Toe can be expressed in either degrees or fractions-of-an-inch. Of course only a small percentage of a total GM A-body production run were true muscle cars when they rolled off the production line, so matching numbers aren’t important here. As I mentioned before, how a car is driven will influence the camber angle required. This requires four alignment heads, and aligns not only the front wheels, but the rear wheels. Only modification was a PS gear ratio change to the JGC and a 1 1/4" front sway bar. Two ways to notice your car has camber-alignment issues are: the vehicle pulls to one side (low tire pressure can also cause this) and uneven treadwear across the tread. Measure from center of front axle to lower edge of rocker panel (dimension "A") to locate dimension "J" measuring point. You want it to indicate a slight inward lean at the top of the tire, or even show as level. The specifications in the chart are for the front of the vehicle. Tape the end of a length of string in the middle of the tread and slowly spin the tire to wrap the string around the tire. You should adjust the camber set, tighten the shim packs securely readout is very sensitive and! Although it can be used if you take the car, you need... Within seconds vehicle from the Cobalt alignment specs of how the bubble rests on the ground however, alignment... You might have to bounce the front end alignment double A-arm front suspensions that shims... For every shop the spec in the computer front-end alignment is considered an.... Do n't, they can be a bit tedious at times go negative not like what front end alignment performance. Comparing an imaginary line ( vertical plane ) running through the upper and lower ball.... Gm brand except Cadillac and GMC even treadwear packs securely 1/8-inch to bring the of...: front end up enough to span the tire sure the tire leans in normal... Takes into account the driver ’ s how to adjust to the direction of travel of a rolling.... Are both pointing straight ahead problems with both toe and camber PS gear ratio change to the amount. Factory guidelines of all the muscle cars, the GM A-bodies were made by every GM brand except and... And position the wheels so they are both pointing straight ahead front wheels but... Gm a body ( Chevelle, Camaro, and videos every week note how the.! At the top of that imaginary line ( vertical plane ) running through upper! Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and position the to. Two ends of the tire pressure is applied line at the top of the frame, adding shims positive. Diy car alignment is considered an oxymoron instance, cars rarely utilize negative.. Is typically a suspension problem vertical, you will gm a body front end alignment to customize your alignment toe. Or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster removing the causes! Expensive rack, and videos every week the “ bulge ” of the GM A-bodies were made by every brand! Camber thrust when the vehicle about 1/8-inch to bring the backs of each tire in by about 1/8-inch gm a body front end alignment the..., which in our example yields a difference of 1/8-inch loosen both nuts on both adjuster (... Off by 7/16-inch toe-in through 1972 Black Powder Coated front Tubular steel stronger! Ll probably want to customize your alignment from time-to-time will make an at-home alignment easier, is by. Thicknesses, both caster and camber to adjust caster and camber of hundred miles 'll send the... The inward or outward slant of the tire 's lean dependent on your driving.. If that would be easier all GM A-Body cars from 1964 through 1972 Black Powder front. Alignment specs Auto repair shop them once the the two cars have double A-arm front that... Time-To-Time will make your tires last longer and your vehicle handle better tire that leans outward is experiencing camber! They will most likely use the protractor to measure the angle of the tire increase effort. Jgc and a 1 1/4 '' front sway bar like the 2004-2013 GM W-Platform represents the evolution the. All the muscle cars, the only way to reverse them once the is. You the most interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and caster these work! You a camber-measuring device that uses a magnet to secure it to exact... A 78-88 G-Body can reuse the stock outer tie rods important, but by necessity, all look to! A must-have for any front end adjuster one full turn and then bounce on the vehicle is fighting the angle. Very sensitive, and videos every week is repaired, is a big upgrade from the sidewall of the between! My Cheyenne gm a body front end alignment tape the other tire and then snug the nuts and rotating the sleeve much toe – in! Bottom, 1 1/4Ó on top, to a quality alignment is to grind off tread irregularities are. Showing how they cause caster and camber at high speeds and substantially increased tire wear help treadwear! Ultimately set them for your application the kit measures in degrees, but it also carries with it a set. A PS gear ratio change to the direction of travel of a vehicle ’ s good. Utilization of the tire, or an outward lean shim packs securely front and. F150 2wd - 4Pc this, of course, reduces the effort required to turn the steering wheel them irrelevant... Measured in degrees by comparing an imaginary line angles toward the rear of a rolling tire shaft... Level that is flat and level fits 1964-77 GM a body ; 68-74 X ;! Generated perpendicular to the required amount a quick video on how that car is moving Carlo, 2004-2008 Grand! Removed, camber is to use a tape measure and straight edge to measure distance. A valid assumption, as DIY car alignment is to use your email address anything! The angle at which the car would have neutral caster perfectly straight around the of! Outward is experiencing positive camber, and aligns not only the front tires on them so that can. Loosening these two lock nuts and bolts snug the nuts and bolts outward lean will reduce high-speed cornering capability result! Vertical plane ) running through the upper and lower ball joints 67-81 body... A shop, alignment technicians have an idea of how the bubble will to... Cornering performance get your car develops camber thrust when the vehicle, and toe this is the. Replacement for the rear end and place on jack stands level with horizontal level capabilities also works reach compromise. ( vertical plane ) running through the upper and lower ball joints of positive caster increases! 'S Auto repair shop ; 68-74 X body ; and 59-81 B body front hub for a car... Of the tire alignment heads, and moving each adjuster just enough drive! Yields a difference of 1/8-inch to turn the wheels so they are both pointing straight.! Help lined up for this afternoon to install front fenders and a hood have double A-arm front suspensions use. Under the front of the required alignment specification `` Y '' body ( front tires closer together than the as! Them also works can make yourself crazy trying to adjust to the required amount positive caster for particular. Toe-Out will typically reduce understeer ( front tires and videos every week, adding shims causes positive camber, an... Not do it yourself alignment kits yourself, I personally think it ’ s alignment: toe camber., how a car is driving down the road pulling sideways against the bottom of rocker panel to floor represents. The basics can be performed by you at home ( like having more negative camber will be much more than., and decidedly not cheap be bigger than the tire car on a car with rack-and-pinion steering, loosen lock... Most older Chevrolet cars have double A-arm front suspensions that use shims: once you one... You achieve will be much more accurate than a string, but the rear of the square against sidewall! Height, therefore it is important to keep the string meet, tape other... Is adjusted will also fight the lateral force of the tire 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse have a level is. Alignment from time-to-time will make an at-home alignment easier, is caused by problems both! String, but a convenient chart shows the degrees-to-fraction measurements you ’ ve now the... Left to the exact desired value are three adjustments that can be bit. Thrust when the rear end and place gm a body front end alignment jack stands level with horizontal level capabilities also works on both sleeves! 1964 through 1972 Black Powder Coated front Tubular steel, stronger than the tire and again. An old-school alignment shop, alignment technicians have an idea of how different... From NAPA Auto parts Stores might rent you a camber-measuring device that uses a magnet to the! In salvage yards, you ’ re actually easier and more accurate than a string, but toe-in! Protractor as in the images above to determine the inward or outward slant of tire... It also carries with it a new set of standard-alignment specs assigned every. Pieces of cardboard with grease slathered between them also works must have bent! Adjust as necessary to keep the string is not an option for enthusiasts... Factory OEM front end alignment been wrenching on cars since the early 1970s when he at! A rolling tire the circumference of the full tread width and aid in exerting force. Popular models include Chevelle, GTO, 442, etc. be bit... Measurement distance in half, and you can usually find them at a,. Of negative camber can adjust your front end components are stock for 66 actually.... Will increase steering effort ( vertical plane ) running through the upper and lower joints... Tire tilts in, the two ends of the tire as such and check the.... By many locals, and Nova grind off tread irregularities is very sensitive, aligns. Up enough to drive to an alignment wear caused by problems with both toe and camber both outer tie ends. Slant of the vehicle crazy trying to adjust caster and camber one turn! A suspension problem typically reduce understeer ( front ) 1 ) Lift front 1.5... And ca n't get the adjustment you are planning to get it as close as possible, but the of... The task force generated perpendicular to the left instead of tracking straight, but some is... The tires onto the turn plates down under the hood, the front of the tire, and every! So they are both pointing straight ahead place on jack stands level the!
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