Alignment Issues

Chandler

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I am having issues with getting the alignment angles on my 73 Fury Wagon; can't get more than 1º caster even w/FirmFeel tubular Upper control arms, and one side maxes out at 0.5º negative camber

I have new bushings in the lower control arms on the strut rods, new Ball joints top, and bottom, & there doesn't appear to be any damage to the stub frame that could be impacting my alignment angles.

Also, I have rechecked my ride height and it was approximately 1" lower than what the FSM specifies, but have now readjusted it.

That slight decrease in ride height couldn't throw off the angles that much could it?

I am also hoping someone can confirm that I have not mistakenly installed the arms onto the wrong sides? UCA's in the picture were removed/installed from the driver side. Thanks in advance

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Davea Lux

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Check the base of you cross member for dents, if the car has been high centered at some point, that can tweak the stub to where it will not align properly. We used to see that on police cruisers that were driven over railroad tracks and center medians. Also check the cross member for rust as that will weaken the unit and cause it to sag. If the replacement upper control arms use a stock bushing, there are offset bushings available to correct some distortion in the stub, but a better solution is to get the car on a frame rack and bend the unit back into shape. Trick as always is finding a shop with specs on older vehicles.

Dave
 

Boydsdodge

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Are the chassis different from 73 to 74 on Plymouth Furys? I have 74 Fury wagon chassis/frame diagram.
I will post, just incase it is of help.
Finding the lower ball joint correct location really helps with know where your upper ball joint should be per Caster Camber.
I have installed plenty of Firm Feel ABE body upper arms, some with great caster gains and others not much more then 3deg pos caster. It is not the arms but all the many out of spec frames. I have had to use adjustable strut rods to get lower ball joint in correct location.
What were the the max alignment numbers on the original upper arms?
It sucks to have to do it, but like Davea Lux said, you could use the moog offset bushings. Not install as per Moog instructions.

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Chandler

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Appreciate the Frame Data. I'll have to take some measurements to see if the data matches '73

So, I've spoken with Firm Feel and learned I cannot put offset bushing in their UCA's due to how they designed their UCA's. Based on what I told them over the phone their suggestion was to look at my new strut rod bushings and make sure they aren't so thick that they're pushing the strut rod rearward.

I'm going to pull the front strut rod bushing and check their thickness this evening, hopefully.

In the meantime, here are the current alignment specs for the car and how the eccentrics have been set

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Big_John

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See the rear eccentric bolt? That should be 180 degrees from where it is. Right now, the rear eccentric is set for minimal caster.

Find another shop or do it yourself.

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saforwardlook

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Big John is right - get another shop or do it yourself. Lowering a cars suspension height also just makes getting any caster worse too and puts more load on the bushings. The factory never intended their cars to look like the front end can't support the weight. I don't understand why guys think that look is cool. From an engineering perspective, it makes no sense. But its your car..................................
 

Chandler

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Big John is right - get another shop or do it yourself. Lowering a cars suspension height also just makes getting any caster worse too and puts more load on the bushings. The factory never intended their cars to look like the front end can't support the weight. I don't understand why guys think that look is cool. From an engineering perspective, it makes no sense. But its your car..................................

I don't mind the slightest bit of rake or an overall evenly lowered ride height. That being said, actually being able to get the proper alignment angles/actually driving the car without it handling poorly and avoiding premature wear does take priority.

Ride height has been restored to factory spec.

I gave the shop the benefit of the doubt, thinking it was too simple to screw up, but I'll attempt to tackle it myself now and see how it goes.

Still learning as I go, so did not realize a slight ride height drop could impact suspension angles THAT much. All the input/help has been appreciated
 

Boydsdodge

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I agree with saforwardlook and Big_John on your adjuster cams. I start my alignments with full out on front cam and full in on rear, then see where I am at with numbers. Then try to get my 1/4 to 1/2 deg neg camber with as much pos caster I can get.
I have found some polyurethane aftermarket strut rod bushings push the lower control arm back, what then causes a loss of positive caster. your options are using adjustable strut rods, finding old original style strut rod bushings or cutting the thick bushings down to the correct thickness. If that turns out to be your problem, I doubt the strut bushings are your problem. You did install new strut bushings?
Get a new alignment guy, I know how hard it can be. After many years dealing with alignment shops charging custom rates, I bought my own alignment tools.
But I do front end rebuilds for others.
 
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saforwardlook

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I don't mind the slightest bit of rake or an overall evenly lowered ride height. That being said, actually being able to get the proper alignment angles/actually driving the car without it handling poorly and avoiding premature wear does take priority.

Ride height has been restored to factory spec.

I gave the shop the benefit of the doubt, thinking it was too simple to screw up, but I'll attempt to tackle it myself now and see how it goes.

Still learning as I go, so did not realize a slight ride height drop could impact suspension angles THAT much. All the input/help has been appreciated

I was in your shoes a very long time ago and from your photos of your project, you are a young guy relative to most of the members on this site and taking on a relatively difficult project overall, so I admire your efforts and results given what you intend to end up with.

The first thing to start with is setting the torsion bars to get the correct front suspension height.

The second step is to set the caster. One thing relative to alignment that visually helped me simplify the goal is that you want the spindle to reflect the backward angle of the forks on a bicycle. That means the top of the spindle needs to be as far rearward as possible and the lower part of it out at the front as mentioned in the above post. That gives the best tracking feel to your steering with a minimum of correction needed to keep going down the road in a straight line. The camber adjustments to get it within spec come next and tend to reduce that backward angle of the spindle at the top. Then comes the toe adjustment............

I am sure it will become second nature to you very soon.

No matter how well you set the suspension, do not expect the kind of steering feel that modern vehicles provide. Personally I wish someone would come up with an original looking variable assist power steering gear that provides maximum assist at low speeds and minimum assist at higher speeds to help with tracking down the road. My more modern 1997 Chrysler Concorde has such a system but also has a rack and pinion system that is so good that it seems to anticipate just what you want to do next - it feels perfect to drive down the road with maximum confidence.
 

HWYCRZR

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Not an expert, but I tried to convert the Mopar alignment in simple terms. Yes there are a couple of areas where the discussion got a little deep, but the read should give you a starting place on alignment procedures. This was on my '68 Polara, some of the specs may be a little different, but same procedure.
‘68 Polara Alignment by the book Post 13 starts talking about Caster adjustment
 
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