Bumpsteer/Alingment install done.. now need help - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Bumpsteer/Alingment install done.. now need help

Need some help. Got the car on the ground last night to go out and drive, and the alingment is beyond fubared due to the bumpsteer install.

I need someone's help that can get the alingment decent enough to drive because right now, the car wants to go every direction but straight and i can feel the tires draggin

the pics dont really show how far off it really is though.

this is with the steering wheels pretty much straight





was thinking.. since i'll probably have to pull the wheels.

if put the steering wheel at center, and use my angle finder on the rotor, and if i were to adjust it until it hit 0*, that should be good to drive on right?

i tried getting under the car and making a few adjustments, but i think i might have made it worse, because now one side is completely adjusted in, and one side has about 5 threads showing. so i'm just going to take the wheels off and start over.

PLEASE help if you can.. i'm going to try to fix this, this weekend so i can get an alingment setup.

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 02:37 PM
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It's MASSIVELY toe'd in.

Undo both outer tie rod ends and re-center the steering wheel. Then re-install the tie rod ends and make your adjustments. Don't use the fender edge as a reference, because due to its forward taper, if you look down on them from the top, the wheels will appear toe'd out even when they're dead perfect.

There are half a dozen ways to get the toe setting perfect, try some searches on "home alignment". If you don't want to make a simple tool you can at least hang a weight down from the same part of the tread at the front and back of each tire and measure between the points it makes on the ground until you get it close, or right.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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i've checked out a few home alingment pages, but they all seem to deal with caster/camber and not toe in/out.

i'm just having a hard time figuring out where and how i should adjust the tie-rods. aside from finding a DIY page, what about the 0* angle idea i mentioned?

so if i take them off, should i keep the outer portion 2-5 (the part that bolts to the spindle) threads away from the center section (the red part)??

it just seems that when i went to adjust it, i was either backing the outter part out to far, or the other side was adjusted to far in, and not allowing for anymore adjustment. i couldnt find a happy medium, even though the MM instructions said to keep it 2-5 threads out (i kept it out about 3 threads).

sorry for all the questions.. i'm just kinda lost. i thought i had put them in pretty much the same place as the stockers, but i guess not.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 02:58 PM
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You should not be turning the tie rod end sleeve (red part, I assume) relative to the threaded end with the spherical bearing in it. The way you adjust ANY of these outer tie rod ends is to loosen the jamnut (the one at the inner end of the tie rod end sleeve) with a 7/8 wrench and turn the tie rod with a 14mm wrench on its flats or a pair of vice grips. You do not turn the tie rod end itself.

With a bumpsteer kit you want the tie rod sleeve locked against the spherical bearing at all times, the adjustment is made by turning the tie rod itself which will draw the tie rod end in or out. it's not threaded at the rack, it just spins on that end.

Did these things not come with instructions?

BTW every alignment thread I've seen on here including the 1000 I've posted myself has dealt with toe. Read deeper into the posts.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 03:36 PM
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Here is MFE's write-up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE
First, the caster. I have no provision for measuring this, just remember on a Fox body car you can’t get enough so set each plate as far back as it’ll go and forget it. If the car drifts to one side after all is said and done, remove caster from the side it’s pulling toward. Edit: Norm Petersen says "You can make a simple jig from strips of wood or metal to make steering to a specific angle easier and more accurate. I made one for 14.5 degrees (left and right) when I upgraded the homemade camber measurement apparatus to one with a pivot, two magnetic levels, and a dial indicator for easier reading and less math. For 14.5 degrees, caster = 2.0 x (camber difference)." In other words measure the camber with the wheels turned 14.5 degrees left, then 14.5 degrees right, and multiply the difference in measurements by 2 and that's your caster. I drive a fox body and I just set it all the way back. One of these days I'll measure it.

Next, the camber. Easy. You just want to measure how far out of vertical the wheels are. With the car parked on a level floor and with the wheels pointed so they’re straight ahead (regardless of steering wheel position, you can fix that later, just go where you know the car tracks straight ahead), place a construction level against the bottom lip of one front wheel. Hold it so the level indicates perfect vertical (note: if this is not possible on your car, cut a length of wood to the exact lip-to-lip inside diameter, and use it as a standoff for the level), then using a ruler or tape measure, measure the distance from the edge of the level to the top edge of the wheel. 5/16 of an inch is essentially –1.0 degrees. 7/16 is just a hair over –1.5 degrees, my preferred street setting. It gives me hard cornering capability without chewing up the outside edges of the tires, and if you set your toe properly you shouldn’t have to worry about inner edge wear. Some people (weenies, LOL) find this setting a bit aggressive but IMHO under no circumstances should you go less than 5/16. You’ll probably find yourself at the outside edge of c/c plate travel at the –1.0 range but it depends on a lot of things so you won’t know until you try.



Now, onto the Toe setting, always done last because camber has such a dramatic effect on it: You want to measure the difference in distances between reference points halfway up the front of the tires and halfway up the backs of the tires. Unless you drive a swamp buggy you can’t just measure across because the car gets in the way, so you need a “caliper” of some sort to transfer these points down to the ground level for measurement. You could do it with a plumb bob and some chalk and measure inbetween, which I’ve done with success, or you can make a tool. I got a 6 foot rail of that shelving material with the slots cut in it, that you hook thick sheet metal brackets into for putting boards on top of. I don’t know what it’s called, maybe slotted-rail shelving or something. I got one rail and two of the brackets, locked one bracket on the rail so it won’t move at all, and kept the second one as a “slider” that will be used to actually take the measurement. Other people use square tubing and other kinds of bracketry. Get creative.

I set the rail under the car so it runs side to side, align the locked bracket with a specific portion of the tire tread halfway up the back of the tire, then positioned the other end of the rail to take a measurement. Before I measure, I go back and make sure the fixed end of the rail is still in position because it’s easy to move as you position the other end. Then I place the slider bracket so it corresponds with the portion of tread I’m using and make a mark on the rail. Now bring the rail to the front of the tires and make another measurement the same way. The distance between the marks is toe. I pre-marked the rail in 1/16th increments where the slider would go but in any case that’s how you do it. If you use this bracket device you’ll have to be precise about how the “slider” bracket sits on the rail to maintain accuracy. I set mine so it’s 1/16 toed in, meaning the front side measurement is 1/16th of an inch shorter than the measurement of the back side of the tires. Adjusting the toe is easy. You probably don’t even need to raise the car. By holding the outer tie rod end with some vice grips or channel-locks, take a 7/8 wrench and loosen the jamnut. Then use pliers or a 14mm wrench on the tie rod itself to turn it inward or outward, then hold the assembly still while you tighten the jamnut. A little goes a long way, and if the wheel was crooked now’s your chance to fix it. One full turn of a tie rod should be 1/16th inch of toe change. If you need to toe the wheels in from where they are, start with the wheel opposite where the steering wheel is pointing. In other words if the wheel points to the left, take toe out of the right wheel. If you don’t need to make a toe adjustment but you do need to straighten the wheel, add a little toe to the wheel on the side it points to and take the exact same amount out of the other side until the steering wheel runs straight.




My device looks like this, the bracket on the first photo is locked in place:



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post #6 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE
You should not be turning the tie rod end sleeve (red part, I assume) relative to the threaded end with the spherical bearing in it. The way you adjust ANY of these outer tie rod ends is to loosen the jamnut (the one at the inner end of the tie rod end sleeve) with a 7/8 wrench and turn the tie rod with a 14mm wrench on its flats or a pair of vice grips. You do not turn the tie rod end itself.

With a bumpsteer kit you want the tie rod sleeve locked against the spherical bearing at all times, the adjustment is made by turning the tie rod itself which will draw the tie rod end in or out. it's not threaded at the rack, it just spins on that end.

Did these things not come with instructions?

BTW every alignment thread I've seen on here including the 1000 I've posted myself has dealt with toe. Read deeper into the posts.

yea, it came with instructions, i tried to follow, but it obviously didnt work out to well.

with the sleeve part, whenever i turn it away from the spherical part, it automatically is going to leave threads exposed, so i dont get how i can turn it, and it stay locked against it at all times? with the tie rod end bolted in place, it will leave threads exposed as i turn the sleeve.

(i know mentioned to not turn the sleeve, but with it bolted in place, its the only part i can adjust, aside from the two jam nuts on each end)




Quote:
Here is MFE's write-up...
thanks.. just printed that off.

Last edited by Sinner 88; 01-26-2006 at 03:49 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 03:55 PM
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Loosen everything. Get those 3-5 threads exposed on the outer part, then turn the sleeve against the outer-end jamnut to lock the outer end in place. Then make your adjustments by turning the tie rod itself. When you're done, use a wrench on the sleeve to holt it steady while you tighten the inner-end jamnut against it.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE
Loosen everything. Get those 3-5 threads exposed on the outer part, then turn the sleeve against the jamnut to lock the outer end in place. Then make your adjustments by turning the tie rod itself. When you're done, use a wrench on the sleeve to holt it steady while you tighten the jamnut against it.

i drew this up since i learn better from pictures (sorry)



is that right? to add to the above notes though. i would adjust the nut inwards(towards rack) to pull the tire in, and outwards(towards spindle) to push it out right? and if i need to adjust it towards the rack, i would move the sleeve first, then tighten nut against it.

sorry again.. i know this probably isnt that confusing and i'm probably making it harder on myself, but i'm just trying to get a good understanding how it all works before trying to get everything setup.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 04:17 PM
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Um, please tell me you actually adjusted bumpsteer and didn't just throw the parts on. Bumpsteer kits are not "plug and play". Just installing one without making the measurements and adjustments necessary is likely to just make things worse.

The reason I question that is because it is necessary to set caster and camber and take and adjust toe settings at various suspension heights (normally with the springs removed) to set the bumpsteer. And, measuring caster is more difficult than reading toe, at least for me.

You might visit Maximum Motorsports' website for good instructions on all this.

Edit for clarity and brain fart.

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Last edited by rfloz; 01-27-2006 at 01:35 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 04:44 PM
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You turn the inner tie rod for adjustment. The tie rod is the black shaft that the red sleeve is bolted onto and goes into the rack boots. After you have the rod end tight with the lock nut on that side, loosen the inside lock nut. Then with a big wrench hold the red shaft from spinning and use some visegrips to turn the inner tie rod. When done adjusting lock down the lock nut.


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post #11 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 04:53 PM
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 05:09 PM
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Oktavius got it.

And while 100% of the benefit of a bumpsteer kit cannot be gained without actually measuring bumpsteer, you can get a ton of its benefit just by eyeballing or measuring the position of the tie rod relative to the A-arm pivot points. If the car is suffering severe bumpsteer that's a lot better than not having them on there at all.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfloz
Um, please tell me you actually adjusted bumpsteer and didn't just throw the parts on. Bumpsteer kits are not "plug and play". Just installing one without making the measurements and adjustments necessary is likely to just make things worse.

The reason I question that is because it is necessary to read caster settings at various suspension heights (normally with the springs removed) to set the bumpsteer. And, measuring caster is more difficult than reading toe, at least for me.

You might visit Maximum Motorsports' website for good instructions on all this.
i TRIED to adjust. this is why i made the thread, because the toe adjustment is way out of wack. the caster/camber was set previously by the original owner with c/c plates. i'll obviously be having it done again once the car is somewhat driveable.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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ok.. thanks Okatavius and MFE.. that makes more sense. thanks alot for the picture.

out of curiosity.. since the it seems the outter nut and threads dont have much to do with adjustment, what the point in having the threads exposed? i know MM directions say to have it like that, but what for. why not just do it like MFE was suggesting (atleast i think this is what he was implying) and have it threaded all the way against the end on the spherical bushing?

thanks again for the help guys.. i'm slowly picking it up..lol
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-26-2006, 09:13 PM
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I use Han Solo's method for toe and bumpsteer adjustment because the first time I did my own alignment, I didn't have the materials lying around to try MFE's method. It's so nice to be able to drive the car without having to constantly make steering adjustments.

My guess as to why the threads are exposed is so that before you connect the tie-rods for the first time, you can get your steering wheel centered and your toe set pretty close to what you want. Then you adjust the length of the tie-rod end to a length that allows you to screw it onto the tie-rod and then attach it to the spindle without having to move your wheel a lot.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-27-2006, 08:27 AM
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The inner tie rod should have a couple of flat spots on opposite sides of the rod that you can shove a wrench on to turn it, if you don't have vise-grips.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-27-2006, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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sweet.. thanks for the added help. pretty sure i should be able to get this pretty close now.
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