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Front Alignment Specs

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After rebuilding the front sub-frame,on my 74 base model the alignment shop says they can't get the camber and caster within specs

The car is running IE Stage one springs and roll bars if that makes any difference. The wheel tire combo is 14x6  with 195x65x14s

I have acquired pair of K Mack camber and caster adjustable plates to try to set the car within specifications.

The question is , What are the stock settings for camber, caster and toe in ?  The alignment shop computer prints the results as an E-21, making me wonder if they have the complete specs.

This is a street car, no autocross, no track, so I believe the stock set up would be fine.

Does anyone have experience or recommendations for tweeking the camber and toe in for the street ?

The car is not going to be a daily driver and I consider all season 14 inch tires inexpensive, so a little abnormal tread wear is acceptable if there is an improvement in handling

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TOE IN 1/8" OR SO,  he RIMSPOKES.

 

everything else is non- adjustable.

 

t

 

<edited for reading comprehension>

 

However, with the plates, about -2 camber, and about as much caster

as you can take for effort in the steering will be pretty fun.  The E21 has

different front steering geometry, so I would not trust those numbers...

 

Alignment is a bunch of compromises- what works best for you is what you want.

 

Edited by TobyB

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Thanks Toby

 I will use your recommendations as a starting point.  Not really trying for anything spectacular, but just trying to get both sides equal so the front end will center and drive straight

As it is now, after Turing hard into a parking space the car wants to pull in that direction. At a dead stop if I crank the wheel in the opposite direction it will drive without any pull

When  the car is on the ground with weight on it, The tie rod hits the header slightly on the rack it clears but I don’t think it’s sticking or causing the pull after a hard crank either right or left

Any ideas about what causes this ?

Its a nuisance 

 

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The more camber the more it will track straight, but the more difficult to turn at slow speed. There is a fine balance. Toby is correct with a good camber setting at 2-2.5 negative..then set toe-in 1/8 to 3/16”
Matt


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If it was my car I would set toe at 1/8 to 3/16 toe in as mentioned above.  I would set camber at 1.5 degrees negative.  More camber will improve front cornering grip and reduce understeer as you approach the limit but you will see more tire wear.  I would set the caster to the max.  The KMac plates tend to slip so mark the plates when you get them set.

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On 2/14/2018 at 2:16 PM, Schnellvintage said:

The more caster the more it will track straight

And Tom, if it's not wandering, you have enough toe-in.

Some cars, tires-and drivers- like more, some less.

 

t

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Jeff

thanks for your comments and suggestion about marking the KMack plates

 

just to confirm.  Max caster is in the 2 degree range ?

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Here is the alignment report for my '76 when I last had it done in 1995.

Drives straight as an arrow, and easy to turn. Can even take hands off the wheel for long periods on the highway.

Stock 13" wheels with 185/70 tires.

5a864cb27755f_BMWWheelAlignment.thumb.jpg.4498a6f1887317f6efcd4865186c3e50.jpg

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John

from you post it looks like the stock caster recommendation is 4 degrees Is that what your car has been running?

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According to the spec, the caster should be 4 degrees +/- .50.

Looks like mine is 8.6 degrees. Not sure if this is adjustable.

I lowered the car by about 3/4" with sport springs....and had the alignment done with the springs.

Tires wear evenly, and the steering feels great. (25K miles since last alignment).

John

 

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Yeah  the printout shows 8.6 degrees of caster Without any specific knowledge about the dynamics of alignment I would assume that caster is the least critical setting.

For our cars, neither camber or caster are adjustable They are determined by where the the three top strut bolts mount to the body under the hood  If the frame or unibody are bent or out of original placement then the camber and caster will not align to specs 

I’m going to use KMack adjustable top plates that allow the location of the top of the strut to be moveable giving the ability to adjust both camber and caster 

Most adjustable plates only adjust for camber particularly for track cars Makes me think that caster is not that critical, but again I have only limited appreciation alignment and the effects of changing the geometry of a front end

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