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Technical Steering alignment

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Horse46, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,237

    Cliff Ramsdell
    Member

    Like the beaner said. We did all our old school alignments this way till into the ‘90’s on customer cars and I still do it like this at home on my solid axle builds and for the newer cars to get them to the alignment shop.

    Cliff Ramsdell
     
  2. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    I've often wondered how you're supposed to read a Chalk mark definitively to the accuracy of 1/16 of an inch :confused:?
     
    MO54Frank and Blues4U like this.
  3. Very narrow chalk is the key:):)
     
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  4. Cliff Ramsdell
    Joined: Dec 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,237

    Cliff Ramsdell
    Member

    You use a tire scribe. First jack the car up, spin the wheel and mark the center of the tire with the chalk to high lite the center then use the scribe to put a nice sharp line around the center of the tire. Drop the car and use a toe gauge (or tape measure but that takes two) and check your toe. Piece of cake.

    Cliff Ramsdell

    Alignment scribe
    s-l500.jpg
     
  5. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    You'd be surprised what some guys can do with Kentucky windage and Tennessee elevation.
     
  6. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    LOL , that made me laugh , good one !
     
  7. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    This is what I remember from the 60's
     
  8. Horse46
    Joined: Jul 31, 2020
    Posts: 23

    Horse46

    Update, front axle has been replaced. It was it worse shape than I thought, it was bent in the middle and bent backwards. Fitted a new forged 47” and it clears the headlights, has moved the tie rod forward so the pitman arm doesn’t touch, and no more uneven camber.[​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
  9. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,599

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    DAMN!! Id take that old axle back to who sold it to you and whack em with it!

    Glad to see the car is better now
     
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  10. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,808

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It looks like the axle was bent forward, which usually happens when a cheap axle is tied down for transport. But, if it was bent backwards towards the firewall, it usually means the axle got caught on something while moving forward.

    You can tell that is a Jonny Law/Hoffman Company style axle by the odd way the I beam part of teh axle meets the leaf spring boss. If you look at your new axle, it is much different (and better looking) in that area.

    Glad you got her back on the road.

    -Abone.
     
  11. NAT WILLIAMS
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 94

    NAT WILLIAMS
    Member

    I have a quick question that was brought up at the beginning of this post. I tilted my vega box up about 8-10 degrees to lessen the angle to the column. Lined up the pitman arm with the tie rod and it works fine but my question is should the box and pitman be parallel with the tie rod and drag link? It was asked if the pitman sweeps which mine would slightly. Will that cause bump steer?
     
  12. NAT WILLIAMS
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 94

    NAT WILLIAMS
    Member

    Never mind, I answered my own question. It's amazing how much you can forget.
     
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,497

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Long past when he probably got it fixed but on some tires I put a chalk mark on the center of the tread so we could see the pencil line I put in the middle of it. I have no idea of how many cars I set the toe on by putting a pencil line in the middle of the tread and then measuring from line to line.

    The pencil line/chalk line compensates for any wheel/tire run out that you would miss by putting something against the sides of the tires and measuring from them. Board next to the tire on the shop floor is totally useless except for getting a loose ball park measurement.
     
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,497

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow that is one bent up axle. Looks like it may have hit something at one time.

    I've got a crudely dropped Chevy axle out back that someone put some bends in the middle in an effort to narrow up the spring pads to run on a different frame. I think it is a 55/59 axle that got used on a 36 or so truck.
     
  15. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,577

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Horse 56, I'm glad to see you got your car straightened out. I read this thread after I ordered a new Super Bell axle, getting a chromed one as no one had a raw one in stock. I saw the cheap ones readily available, but knew I didn't want one. Thanks for putting this out there, and sharing your experience, hopefully it'll save someone a lot of grief or serious injury.
     
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  16. Departed
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 155

    Departed
    Member
    from Canada

    My guess would be they strapped it down right in the middle of the axle and bent it.
     
  17. wandi harry
    Joined: Jul 19, 2008
    Posts: 233

    wandi harry
    Member

    So not having tried to bend cast iron myself are we agreed that the bent axle is cast and able to handle some bending
    And do axles actually bend when you tie your vehicle down? ,surely not.
     
  18. fegsta
    Joined: May 17, 2020
    Posts: 177

    fegsta

    Grate to see your progress, was wondering how you were getting on with it. Take care, Tim.

    Sent from my KOB-L09 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. Your old axle looks like those Chinese cast skinny axles... Very cheap and very dangerous...

    Enviado desde mi Mi A1 mediante Tapatalk
     
  20. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Michael Ottavi
    Member

    This is what happens when you have a shit aftermarket axle. fullsizeoutput_7e3.jpeg
     
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  21. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,577

    flynbrian48
    Member

    That is no bueno. Your car?
     
  22. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Michael Ottavi
    Member

    Totaled, 3 broken ribs, but lucky to be alive......... DSCN0884.JPG DSCN0874.JPG
     
  23. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,859

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wow, just read this thread. Do the world a favor and destroy that POS axle.
     
  24. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    Oh man! 3 broken ribs is bad enough, I know. Lucky you survived. I believe that is a Superbell. I gotta ask, is that broken axle the cause or the result?
     
  25. Michael Ottavi
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Michael Ottavi
    Member

    I spent much time going back where it happened, coming down Hunter Mountain at about 50 mph. Bumpy mountain road that I drive all time. I was tooling along and the next thing I knew, I was bouncing off the guard rail. I have driven at Bonneville way more than three times that fast and was able to hold on to the car, so the axle was the cause as far as I am concerned.
     
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  27. I for one would like a close up of that logo! I have an axle in the project that is suspect.
     
  28. No, it's Superbell.
    The one at the start of this thread was Vintage Parts (Hoffman) as sold through Johnny Law (Hoffman.)
     
  29. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana


    That broken axle pictured above by Michael Ottavi IS a Superbell. I just compared a blow up of the pic to the Superbell hanging on my shop wall. It is a Superbell.
    I just changed out the Superbell in my '26T coupe for a forged axle. Glad I did that, but that is the first time I have ever heard of a broken Superbell. There are thousands of them out there. They have been around for a very long time. No offense to Mr. Ottavi, but I'm not convinced of the culpability of the axle.
     
  30. Begs exposing another bad front end design that makes the hot rodding rounds. There are (were?) some aftermarket companies selling MII front ends with strut rod eliminators. There is a very good reason Phord used strut rods on that unit. With out them the lower A-arm places a huge bending stress on the cross bolt which in turn stresses the X-member metal. The X-member will eventually crack and fail. It is unavoidable. I hate naming names but Heidt's (old?) design made the pages of magazines with failure pictures. Below is a recommended modification if one insists in running eliminators on that front ens.

    Heidt's fix.jpg
    That is for the ones that don't beef up the X-member in that area. There are ones on the market that have been sufficiently strengthened but one with just the sheet metal walls will fail.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/mustang-ii-chronicles-failure-abounds.257826/

    Also the strut rod mount should be bolted to the frame not welded. When the NSRA events were for rods and not Yugos and VWs, and I attended, I made it a point to go around to cars with MII front ends and point out cracked welds on strut rod brackets.
     

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