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Opinions on '69 Alignment specs that were done

TWINRAY

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Long Island, NY
Corvette
'67 Goodwood Green Coupe, '69 Lemans Blue Roadster
Had the alignment done yesterday. Should have known there would be a problem cause the owner who normally does the alignments was on vacation and another worker in the shop did the work. I told him I wanted the vehicle aligned to Vette Brakes and Products "Daily Street" specs. I gave him a copy of the page in the catalog. Told him these are different from so called Standard specs. The results are in an attachment to this post. Sorry but the cut and paste didn't work.


They were shutting up shop when I picked the car up and the worker who did the alignment gave me a printout of the specs done and the copy of VBP page with the specs I told him to do. Said he got them close to what the Street Specs were. I didn't have a chance then to look at any paperwork but when I got home could see he fked up. The only spec done to VBP Street specs was the rear Camber. The rear Toe is way too much even over Standard specs (.31 total to .1875 max Standard to .125 max VBP. The other specs fall in line to Standard (Front toe, caster and camber). I was going to go in the AM but took the car to work to see how it felt. Last year I put in tie rod ends, a HD Moog Idler arm and a new P/S valve and cylinder. The steering wheel return isn't too good. I've read comments that some think it is the HD Idler arm since they had similar problems and replaced the idler arm with a standard one and all was OK. I really dont want to take this idler arm off. The steering wheel return now is worst. Maybe bacause of the new ball joints? On the highway going straight the steering is OK but in general, it sucks - always seem to be making corrections?
Any comments? I will be going back to the shop tomorrow at least to get the rear toe fixed.
 
B

BeaterShark

Guest
Did they give you the before readings? Also, what kind of shop is this and how much did you pay for the alignment?

The rear toe on these cars is not easily changed and many of the "fixed price" alignment shops will not mess with it. Also, once it's setup, it really doesn't change, so it probably has been out of spec for a long time.

The steering return is most effected by the castor. The more castor, the more self-centering the wheels are.

I get the impression that this is a shop you have used in the past with good results. I'd just bring back the car when the owner comes back and tell him that you are not satisfied with the alignment. Most likely, he will re-do it for you.
 

TWINRAY

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Long Island, NY
Corvette
'67 Goodwood Green Coupe, '69 Lemans Blue Roadster
BeaterShark said:
Did they give you the before readings? Also, what kind of shop is this and how much did you pay for the alignment?

The rear toe on these cars is not easily changed and many of the "fixed price" alignment shops will not mess with it. Also, once it's setup, it really doesn't change, so it probably has been out of spec for a long time.

The steering return is most effected by the castor. The more castor, the more self-centering the wheels are.

I get the impression that this is a shop you have used in the past with good results. I'd just bring back the car when the owner comes back and tell him that you are not satisfied with the alignment. Most likely, he will re-do it for you.
Hi Beater,
The before readings were way out. I just put in new ball joints, springs and poly control arm bushings. I put the alignment shims back as they were but it was not really drivable so I didn't concern myself with the before readings. It's a regular repair shop (no gas) and I paid 99.99 - same as I paid last year after I did the tie rod ends and HD rear strut rods. It doesn't have the eccrentic adjustment. It adjusts like regular tie rods. The shop is local and except for alignments, all the business they get is inspections. I been using them for over 10 years. Looks like the caster is at its max. I will bring it back to them and as far as being satisfied in the past with their alignments:
Wifes '79 Camaro - really not satisfied (not done by the owner, when will I learn?)
My '96 Jeep Cherokee - satisfied (done by owner)
'67 Corvette - ditto
'69 Corvette done last year - not really (owner)

Any more alignments, I have another place I'm going to try out.
Regards
 

brusso

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
369
Location
wareham, MA
Corvette
1975 red coupe
This is one of those things that really burn my but and is half of the reason that I got out of the trade. You know those +/- tolerances? Thats where the manufacture recomends. Fine, but that dosen't mean that you can have both front wheels having different readings within specs and call it a good alignment. I've worked with people that would say "What about compensating for road crown?" Well most people I know avoid those roads anyway. We try to drive our cars on decent roads or highways. If you want the best results, use the VBP recomended settings but both sides of the same axle should have the same readings.

I can't tell you how many times I've paid for an alignment and gotten the "We didn't have to adjust anything cause it was to spec." Then you look at the print out and see yes within spec but different from side to side. Thanks for letting me rant. I feel better now.
 

TWINRAY

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Long Island, NY
Corvette
'67 Goodwood Green Coupe, '69 Lemans Blue Roadster
brusso said:
This is one of those things that really burn my but and is half of the reason that I got out of the trade. You know those +/- tolerances? Thats where the manufacture recomends. Fine, but that dosen't mean that you can have both front wheels having different readings within specs and call it a good alignment. I've worked with people that would say "What about compensating for road crown?" Well most people I know avoid those roads anyway. We try to drive our cars on decent roads or highways. If you want the best results, use the VBP recomended settings but both sides of the same axle should have the same readings.

I can't tell you how many times I've paid for an alignment and gotten the "We didn't have to adjust anything cause it was to spec." Then you look at the print out and see yes within spec but different from side to side. Thanks for letting me rant. I feel better now.
I went back this morning. Told him the rear toe was way out. He said it was in spec. I told him and showed him the mfg recommendation and told him it was almost double out and not even close to the VBP setting that I wanted. It was obvious he didn't touch the rear toe. The owner was back and I told him that for all the suspension replacement I did, it still steered for s**t. He put it on the lift and disconnected the idler arm (Moog HD). It was stiffer than s**T. When it got to the extreme right of travel, it was almost like stuck. I told him that I've read that some people say that is the reason the wheel doesn't return. That they have replaced their new Moog HD arm with a kit type replacement arm and the wheel returns. I didn't like what he proceeded to do but I figured something had to be done. After he disconnected the steering linkage from the idler arm, he gave it some wacks with a hammer. He said it was nothing more than if I went into some potholes. With that "adjustment" and another 1/4 turn out of the steering box, it's alot better. I'm not "chasing" the steering wheel going down the road and it helped with the return. Next project on the list is a new steering box. He didn't charge me for the time spent which including test rides was slightly over an hour.
 

zwede

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
51
Location
Plano, TX
Corvette
1971 Coupe. 454 EFI, 5-Speed.
Yes, your rear toe is too far out of spec. Most shops refuse to touch rear toe on a C3. Even if the shims are not rusted it is still too much work for them.

Your front camber is also bad. 0.8 pos is not acceptable on a performance application. If you do any sprited driving you will notice understeer as well as premature wear of the outer shoulder of the tires. I always have rear-wheel drives aligned to -0.2 to -0.3 (that's negative camber) and this wears tires evenly for me. I'm not in the habit of slowing down for turns though, regardless what I'm driving. Much to the amusement of coworkers when I'm driving my 83 Cadillac DeVille.
 

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