Corvette Forum : DigitalCorvettes.com Corvette Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys, bare with me, this might be a bit long winded...

I've finished re-installing my front end with all new control arm bushes, sway bar bushes, ball joints, tie rod ends etc...

Before removing all the front end components, I had removed the alternator bracket, power steering bracket etc to get them chromed. I am going to fit a Jeep steering box so it was my intention, after I had re-installed the front end, to put all the brackets back together so I could take the car for a wheel alignment. Once I had the alignment done, I was going to bring the car home and start on the Jeep box install.

Now that I have all the front end in, it seems a lot of work to re-install all the brackets etc... just to get a wheel alignment when I really only wanted the alignment so that I knew the steering was "right" before installing the Jeep box. After the Jeep box install, I will be painting or powder coating all the various components (alternator, power steering pump etc) so it seems pointless re-installing everything now, only to be removing them again in the near future. Does that all make sense?

Now to my question/s. I've had a bit of a search and from what I've read, I need 1/16" or 1/8" toe in. My car is still on stands with the front wheels off. As a way to get the alignment close enough before I pull the steering box, can I measure from disc to disc and get a toe in measurement that way?

Also, the steering wheel is not indexed correctly. I know I can correct this with the tie rods but how can I "centralize" the steering system while the car's on stands so that I can get the steering wheel pretty close to correct index? Can I measure from the front edge of the disc to somewhere else on the frame (for example, the lower control arm front cross shaft bolt) so that I can then adjust the tie rods and get the steering wheel pretty close to correct index?

OR!!!

Am I better off centralizing the front end, pulling out the old steering box, installing the Jeep box then sorting out the steering wheel indexing during the shop wheel alignment?

Sorry if I sound stupid or if I've missed something obvious but front end and steering is all new to me :crazy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,100 Posts
I'll jump in, I'm in NO WAY a front end guy, but more of an "as I see it" type. There is without any doubt someone that knows more about alignment than I do.

Here goes.

To get the steering wheel centered, you need to put it there and tie it down so it stays there. Then, figure out where exactly straight ahead is on each front wheel. And that is each by itself, not together. Then adjust the tie rods so they slip in without pulling either wheel. Now you have a "zero" point. And adjust each side meaasuring them against one another for the final toe-in, turning each one the same amount.

Like I said, i'm NOT a front end guy, so don't take this as the way to set it up. And if I'm wrong, I'll apologize in advance and take my :spanked:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
the steering box internals are manufactured with tighter clearances at the ''centerpoint'' of travel...must disconnect everything from the strg box ''pitman arm'' and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock, divide in half to center the mechanism... then clamp one end of a flat steel bar to the pitman arm and the other end of the flat bar to a convenient, sturdy part of the car frame before adding linkages.

''bump steer'' will change ''toe'' settings as the wheels move up/down...jack both lower a-frames till vehicle weight compresses springs to normal ride position (place jacks as far outboard as possible)...clamp a 27'' long flat bar to each brake rotor and measure from the ends of the flat bar (drop plumb bob to floor for ez of measure) to set toe.

a newly assembled front suspension can be expected to ''settle'' in, often with substantial changes in alignment (can't say abt today, but ''back in the day'', when c3's rolled off the truck,after ''road vibes'' settled the suspension, the dealers were reqd by GM to reset front alignment prior to customer delivery)...a hundred or so road miles with ''sacrafice'' old tires before new tires/ final alignment is preferred
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok guys, thanks so far but...

Is there an approximate amount that the bump steer will change once the weight's back on the wheels? I have the car on stands now and it's sitting quite high. It was difficult enough jacking the lower control arm to get the spring compressed enough to get the spindle connected - I don't think I'll be able to jack it to represent the wheels being on the ground.

What is a good reference to set each wheel straight ahead? Like I first said, can I measure from the disc edge to the lower control arm front cross shaft bolt on each side, then once both sides are the same, measure from disc to disc at the front and at the back and adjust the tie rods until both measurements are the same? I could adjust toe in later.

I'm not sure what you mean Jeff?

Is it a big no no to get the front end straight and straighten the wheel by removing it and repositioning it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Does your steering box shaft have the flat spot?
Whatfur? :rolling: :rolling: :thud:

sorry i will stop with that now. it just had to come out.:bang
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Now your confusing flat spot with G-spot.:smack
I need oxygene :rolling: :rolling: laughing so hard i cant breathe,:rolling: my side hurts too.:rolling: that was good.:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Does your steering box shaft have the flat spot?

Thanks for all that info Jeff. I had a look earlier and with the flat spot on the steering box shaft at 12 o'clock, the pitman arm is pointing straight ahead but the wheels are steering a few degrees to the right

At the moment though, I can't drive the car as it's still on stands and will be for a while. While the car's like this, is there a way to make sure the wheels are straight ahead other than by approximate eyeballing?

I though that if I made sure that the flat on the steering box shaft was at 12 o'clock, I could measure from the front edge of each disc to the respective lower control arm forward cross shaft bolt and then adjust the tie rods so that both sides were the same measurement. Then, take the measurement from disc to disc at the front edge and compare it to the measurement from disc to disc at the back edge. If I then adjusted the tie rods so that the front edge measurement was an 1/8th of an inch smaller than the rear edge measurement, then wouldn't that be reasonably close to correct alignment?

I only want to get it close so that I have a good starting point for the Jeep box install. Once I have it installed and have the car on it's wheels, I only have to drive about 1 mile to the wheel alignment place to have it done properly.

The pic is of (or what should be) the rag joint! Good quality work from 3rd world mechanics :thud:

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,873 Posts
I would suggest you use the cancel cam as a guide to center the wheel, just put some tape around the wheel when it engages the cancel cam, do it the other way around and presto you have center. Then center the column and putm it in column lock and work on getting the rest hooked up properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
brake rotors are only abt 12'' diameter, the tires are abt 27''...if you set your toe by measuring front/rear edge of the rotor (disc), your actual toe at the tire will abt 2-1/4 times what was measured at the rotor...clamp 27'' long flat bars to the rotors and measure ends front/rear of those to check toe...if you drop ''plumb'' line ''points'' to the shop floor to check toe, you can extend a line thru these ''points '' to the rear of the car, lay out the center of the rear, and see if the front wheels are aimed straight down the road.

to get the front suspension to ''ride heights'' with the car up in the air, remove the front shocks and use a length of 1/2'' allthread rod in place of the shock, with end plates or large washers on the ends of the allthread rod...a bit of oil on the allthread will make the nuts much easier to turn to compress the spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
brake rotors are only abt 12'' diameter, the tires are abt 27''...if you set your toe by measuring front/rear edge of the rotor (disc), your actual toe at the tire will abt 2-1/4 times what was measured at the rotor...clamp 27'' long flat bars to the rotors and measure ends front/rear of those to check toe...if you drop ''plumb'' line ''points'' to the shop floor to check toe, you can extend a line thru these ''points '' to the rear of the car, lay out the center of the rear, and see if the front wheels are aimed straight down the road.

to get the front suspension to ''ride heights'' with the car up in the air, remove the front shocks and use a length of 1/2'' allthread rod in place of the shock, with end plates or large washers on the ends of the allthread rod...a bit of oil on the allthread will make the nuts much easier to turn to compress the spring.
Righto, gotcha! That all makes sense now. Like I said, I only need to get it close enough to get me to the alignment shop.

Thanks guys :thumbsup:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top