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Hot Rods I need some I-beam alignment help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by alchemy, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    The car is a 32 Ford Tudor with a dropped I-beam, stock wishbone, 40 spindles with dropped stock arms, and an F-1 steering box. Tires are 550x16 Firestone bias ply with 28 lbs pressure. The steering box was rebuilt with new bearings, worm, and sector roller about 5,000 miles ago. So was the whole rest of the steering and brake system, and the tires are the same age. The tires are really rather round for repro Firestones.

    Drove rather nice for the first couples years with an eyeball alignment, then I got one of those adjustable pointer things where you spin the tire to make a line down the middle and compare the pointers to the front and back of the tires. Drove a little bit nicer after that with about a 1/8" toe in.

    I was having a little bit of wander and thought maybe I could make it better by tightening up the front end with nice Moog tie rod ends instead of the cheapo Chinese parts I installed back then. I put in new rod ends and made sure the steering box was centered before attaching the drag link. Set it up again with my pointer tool.

    The problem is I still have a bit of darting when driving 65 on the highway. Just checked again and the toe in is right at 1/8". And no, the nut behind the steering wheel is not loose.

    Anybody else have a different toe in recommendation for my setup?
     
  2. Bader2
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 1,143

    Bader2

    Try a little less toe,i usually go out and drive it,take a couple wrenches and tweak it on the side of the road til you get it where you want it. Also,i string it, which is going around the rear tires with masons line,bring the string to to front of the car,tie the string to a jack stand and move the jack stand til the string just touches the front edge of the rear tires,pull it nice and tight. Take your measurements to the front and rear edges of the front tires and adjust toe. Also shows wether the rearend is square in the car.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  3. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    My suggestion will have some people disagreeing, but, if it were mine, I would put a SoCal stabilizer on it. Some call them a bandaid, I call them a Godsend.

    By their nature, bias plies have limitations, but we all love them for the "look". Anything you can do to make the car more fun to drive is " traditional" IMO. Our hot rod forefathers were always looking for ways to make their cars better, that is what I consider tradition.

    Don
     
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  4. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,409

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    3 words, BIAS-PLY-TIRES..

    also when bias ply sit for a while, they take on a life of their own. IMO

    big tires in the back want one lane on the road, smaller front tires want their own lane,

    you GET TO ENJOY THEIR DANCE..
    1/8 th TOE IN is great,, do you have radials on the back?
     

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    The car does have a SoCal stabilizer. And I have measured the caster before and it was somewhere around 5 degrees IIRC. But that was a while ago and I can't remember for sure. I should go borrow the angle finder and do it again.

    7.00x16 Firestones on the rear. About 26 lbs pressure.
     
  6. borpa11
    Joined: Feb 10, 2014
    Posts: 63

    borpa11
    Member
    from Colorado

    Sid from Nostalgic Sids is a wealth of knowledge but agree completely with 1/8th toe in!
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Here is one possibility, since you already have a stabilizer on it. I had one on my 27 for years, and never had any handling issues at all. This past November, at Turkey Run, I crossed some brick streets and my front end went nuts, deathwobble ! I've had this car over 100 mph and it always went straight, so it was a shock to have that happen.

    Found out my kingpin bores in the axle had worn out over time, and the stabilizer had been masking it progressively getting worse. When the original stabilizer wore out, it could no longer control the front end problems.

    My point is, maybe your stabilizer has worn out. Just like any shock, they have a certain life. Maybe spend another $39.99 and try a new one. Just a thought.

    Don
     
  8. With 35 years in the tire biz, here's my 2¢:

    ^^^^^A characteristic of bias tires, unfortunately.
    They have a tendency to road walk, for various reasons, mainly non-compliant stiffer sidewalls.
    1/8"+ toe should be sufficient. As toe increases, your minute steering corrections throws all the toe into one tire, and it wants to center itself up. With the stiffer non-compliant bias sidewall, the tire will seek the path of least resistance, tracking in and out of wear ruts. Also a wider tread tire on the rear may be on the high section of pavement, while the narrower front is in the low part, and vice versa, constantly changing.
    Try lowering the inflation to help the sidewall be more compliant to road surface issues.
    Any worn shackle bushings front or rear that would affect tracking? Panhard rod? Loose u-bolts? Toe scuff on the tread that would affect the lateral movement of the tire?
    Any small issue, when added to other small issues, adds up to handling problems.
     
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  9. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,799

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    2 degrees more caster, I like 7 degrees, less caster, less stability at speed.
     
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  10. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 580

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    Yep Bias ply tires!
     
  11. I would try lower pressure.
     
  12. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    Shackles were new 5,000 miles ago and show no wear or looseness. I'll check the spring clamps again. Tires show no weird wear at all. I will try reducing the pressure a couple pounds and see if that helps any.

    Kingpins were also new and have been well greased, and the bosses were very tight when assembled originally.

    The stabilizer isn't 5000 miles old, and I'd really be surprised if it's worn out. But I'll check and see if it still has damping pressure.

    Adding more caster is a rather big deal, involving removing the whole front suspension and piecutting the wishbone. That's a very last resort.

    Thanks for all the ideas guys. Anybody ever find their own problem was cured by more toe or less than I used? Not gonna go radials.
     
  13. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,705

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Try some counteract balancing beads, I use them in all my vehicles.
    I get them at NAPA.
    704-1440 for 4 ozs
    704-1441 " 6 ozs
    704-1443 " 8 ozs
    704-1444 " 12 ozs
    http://www.counteractbalancing.com
     
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  14. Does the steering wheel move coinciding with the tire movement (bumpsteer), or is the tire moving first and you have to correct(roadwalk)?

    Do you know what the actual caster setting is now?

    Jack up the car, no weight on the tires, with the steering relaxed, and check the box backlash adjustment.

    Hope that it's fixable, as I'm building a similar Tudor.
     
  15. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,059

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    So,I see some good info has already been layed out for you!,but another 2cents can't hert; You say"little bit of wander" an " darting at 65mph". Wander = after all stuff has little to no play as you said ,can come from one or a combo of odd things,like tire psi too high for cars lbs{ 28 maybe great for 2600 to around 2800lbs,but too much for less,trick to setting front tire psi,is drop psi tell you see some flex show in the side wall of tire near the road{ how much would be test an try,but around 1/4in.+/ I alway run a bit higher in the rear tires,seem to help car run with less wonder. . Another thing that lets wander happen is four corner loading,to check jack axle up at deadcenter with something on jack head{ like angle iron point up} so it povits,as you jack look to see if one wheel come up a lot befor the other gets off the ground=springs are not centered load wise anymore. As for caster,you didn't change it,but 6* to 7* is just fine,5* is a bit low,if worked OK with 5*,it should keep working OK except if wishbone ball got sloopy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  16. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,629

    thirtytwo
    Member

    Take another wishbone cup and some washers and long bolts... You should be able to space it off the k member a degree or so at least you will get an idea of how it changes reaction , if any

    I had a car that drove beautiful until about 60-65 then it got twitchy only had about 4* in it
     
  17. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,409

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    you stated you have STOCK WISHBONE,, Did you mount it in RUBBER? That's NOT CORRECT. check rubber, see if its shot?
    CORRECT, is WITHOUT RUBBER. ( I realize that is grounds for an argument, but no rubber IS correct. )

    a rubber ball, for 32-48, is correct, not just "SOME" rubber.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  18. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,979

    sunbeam
    Member

    First of all Fords used lots of caster the factory called for 6 3/4 deg. and I like shackle angle of 45 deg. The more vertical the more the axle can move side to side unless you have a panhard rod.
     
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  19. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    Still haven't measured the caster yet this morning (actually at work right now) but will this evening. The wishbone has a rubber ball mount like all 32's do, and it was new 5,000 miles ago, but there's been a lot of oil dripping back there so maybe it's deteriorated. I'll maybe throw in the extra cup and longer bolts like suggested, and see if the ball is still good at that time.

    Shackles on front and back sit at a nice 45 degrees.

    The box seems good and tight, and when it might dart (this is not a huge lane change, just a small bit of direction change) I can correct with just a little turn of the steering wheel.
     
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  20. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    I just measured and the caster is right at 6 degrees. And the spring clamps are all tight.
     
  21. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,743

    A Boner
    Member

    5,000 miles....does the F1 box have a adjusting screw and nut like a Vega box? Box might be wore in and now needs a slight adjustment ( tightening ). My coupe with a Vega box and 6,000 miles felt a little twitchy till I adjusted it a little.
     
  22. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

     
  23. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    My steering box is still tight. Kinda stiff even, so I'm sure it's not that. I wonder how long my worm and sector roller will take to "wear in"?

    I began adjusting my toe out a bit from my 1/8" toe in starting point. Had a PM from a trusted source about his car that required 1/8" toe OUT. So I thought I'd creep up toward that.

    I ended up at about 3/4 of a turn of the tie rod towards the toe out. I'm probably at about 1/16" in or so at this point. No time to check right now, I'm just happy it seems better. Packing for Back to the Fifties!
     
  24. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,409

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In my opinion, the steering box, Should NOT be kinda stiff...... my .02 cents.
     
  25. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,096

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    You mentioned "borrowing an angle finder" to set caster and a "pointer tool". Are you doing all this alignment work yourself in your shop w/o an alignment rack? You can only get so close.

    I'd invest in having a really good alignment shop (that is familiar with Hot Rod suspensions, radial tires, etc.) spend a couple of hours dialing in the car with a laser straight 4 wheel alignment. Also, consider having the tires spin shaved (even though you said they're pretty round). See what a pro alignment guy can find.
     
  26. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    I actually called a local retired alignment shop guy who had decades of experience with old cars and bias ply tires, and he said they used the exact same pointer tool thing that I'm using when they set toe on a car like mine. I went and bought a new angle finder with a bigger dial and can read exact degrees now. It's right at 6 degrees caster.

    Having a laser alignment on all four wheels might be nice to set the toe with, but I think the standard spec that they'd have in their book would say 1/8" toe in. That's what I started with and it wasn't working for me. I need a hot rodder's opinion, not the factory Ford spec.

    I want to thank all you guys for your help, and will definitely spend more time fine tuning after this weekend's event. And I'll make an appointment with John Worden for a tire shaving too, just to be sure.
     
  27. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,409

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As I have stated before: Nuthing is more depressing than watching a brand new pair of tires "hit the ceiling as the shavings :eek: and the thread disappears." should be outlawed, IMO.

    :oops: My Brand new B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A's went away, before my eyes: with my 20 year old, stupid permission.
    Performed by a tire shop owner, that belonged to my Mom's Church.
    Then he stated," these tires are NOT GOOD." WELL, NO SH.T !!!!
     
  28. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 802

    porkchop4464
    Member

    My first thought, try tilting her back by 3 or 4 degrees and see what happens. I bet you will lose that shake.
     
  29. On my Deuce pickup I ran with 3/16" toe OUT with bias ply tires,I had a 7 degree caster and my alignment was old school with a can of white spray paint used on the center of the tire when spun and a 2 x 4 with nails to scratch a center line on the tires,then used a tape measure.

    When these cars were new no one ever heard of laser alignment.

    Ran down the road perfect,look ma,no hands a 75 MPH handled great and tracked straight as a string. HRP
     
  30. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,886

    alchemy
    Member

    Ain't gonna happen. It has a stock Ford wishbone. No adjustment like that available.

    As for the tire shaving, I trust Worden to do a good job. I'll be there watching it happen and will call whoa if we get too deep.
     

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