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Technical Alignment after Aerostar spring swap on shoebox

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by StefanS, Nov 17, 2021.

  1. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,256

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    So I've read probably 50 threads between here and Ford Barn about swapping coils on a Ford shoebox. Not one person has mentioned if they've needed an alignment afterwards. I bought the camber brackets from Shoebox Central to put on when I do my spring swap. Then I got to thinking, if I put them on and they're not needed it'll tilt the wheel out at the top throwing my alignment out. Are they needed for just a spring swap or no?
     
  2. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,881

    sdluck
    Member

    Always when you have the front end apart.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  3. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 676

    55blacktie

    I'll 2nd that. I did a complete suspension and steering rebuild on my 55 Tbird. I installed Aerostar springs and Drop 'em Stop 'em 1 1/2-inch drop spindles, Bilstein shocks, and Hotchkis tubular sway bar. I won't even drive the car to the alignment shop; it will go on a trailer.
     
  4. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 741

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There’s two questions here, one about the “camber adjustment kit” and the other about alignment. Shoebox Central says “a must for lowered cars”. If they’re right, then put them in. I don’t know enough about the front suspension on those to know.

    If your existing springs are stock and good, everyone I’ve read says they’ll lower the car. They didn’t lower my bird much, but my front springs were already cut. I did it for the rate change. It was enough to cause a small alignment change, but I’d already aligned it after I cut the springs.

    I’d verify they do as claimed, if so I’d use them. But I’d have the car aligned after it was back together. I might sneak it to the shop if it was close before and just springs, but with the camber blocks (or the whole front end like 55 did) I’d at least do a check (there’s threads here on doing your own alignment) or just use a trailer. But it wouldn’t go far till a real alignment shop with an old timer set it properly.
     
    loudbang likes this.

  5. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,256

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    I put the driver side on and I'll do the passenger side tomorrow. The nuts for the bolts are up inside the spring pocket so you can barely get a wrench on them. I tried to bend one of my old wrenches to fit in there and it snapped in half. I welded it up and made my own tool which worked perfectly but without it I dont see how it would've worked. 16372081252564795768014828169934.jpg I marked the camber before I started so we'll see if she goes back to the same place. Now another question Pertaining to those full metal lock nuts. The kit came with those But I was always under the assumption that they dug themselves into the thread of the bolt and that's how they locked. If that's the case how would you loosen them up to add shims if needed since the threads would be be destroyed at that point?
     
  6. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 6,459

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Swapping the springs will definitely mess with your camber and I assume the camber kit from Chris gets it back close. I have done the swap on a shoebox but never got to the point of taking it to get it aligned. However, as mentioned, any time I mess with the height of a car, first thing is an alignment. That’s right where we are now once we swap a few worn out parts on my kids Edsel after a spring swap. Alignment is always needed.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,832

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm going to say that 99.9% of the guys who install that kit do so when they have the springs out.

    Not knowing what the caster, camber or toe in was before you took it apart it would be beyond wise to either align the front end or have someone align it. I the years that I aligned front ends there were very few that didn't need some adjustment after I changed parts on them.

    The camber kit turns that model of Ford from something that no one wants to deal with to and easy to adjust with shims if you have to front end. 1949-1953-ford-camber-adjustment-kit.jpeg
     
    pprather, guthriesmith and loudbang like this.

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