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Effects of misadjusted torsion bars
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plymouth
Posted 2018-08-14 1:22 PM (#568412)
Subject: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Location: McComb, Mississippi
A little over a year ago, I went to an alignment shop to have my car's front-end aligned and also to replace all bushings and ball joints and tie rod ends. The steering box was also rebuilt by steer and gear. I also replaced the steering shaft insulator .The shocks are KYBs and the leaf spring bushings and shackle bushings we're also replaced. I have been so busy with school and other things in life that I never really checked the ride height. I had assumed that they adjusted the ride height when they did the front end alignment, but as I discovered, they did not. The car sits approximately 1 in low in the front passenger side and 1 and 3/4 inches on the driver side. I took these measurements using the factory method which consists of measuring the distance from the bottom of the ball joint to the ground and also from the bottom of the bushing on the lower control arm to the ground and subtracting the two. My Imperial is spect out to have two inches as the ride height and 1/8 in variance between the two sides. Would this cause any adverse effects other than just looking wrong? I took my car on a very long Highway trip and the car requires me to constantly touch the steering wheel to keep the car straight. Also, I am a little disappointed in the way the car rides. I'm pretty sure that it would write a lot better if those bars were adjusted closer to factory spec. I do believe that the alignment shop did use the specifications I gave them to compensate for radial tires. I would say the car handles pretty well considering how big it is. Just the steering seams to squirrely and the ride doesn't feel like what I imagined in Imperial to ride like. I'm not looking for a very marshmallow e ride, I'm just looking for something that doesn't ride like a dump truck on rougher roads. Any ideas? Thanks for any information.

Edited by plymouth 2018-08-14 1:24 PM
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wizard
Posted 2018-08-14 3:37 PM (#568414 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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The ride height is indeed very important for to achieve good roadability.

If you want an alignment shop to care about the ride height or the proper method to check it, then you need to hold up the instructions in front of their eyes.

The problem with the "instable" steering might be wrong toe-in or not compensated camber for road crowning.

First of all, check the toe-in on your garage floor for to see if it's off (should be 1/8") - then adjust the ride height properly, with a full tank and bounce the four corners of the car.


With the proper ride height set, check the toe-in again and make a road test.


If the toe-in is correct and you still need to compensate with the steering wheel (left or right) all the time, most probably the camber needs to be rechecked and compensated for road crowning.


Also, check your leaf springs - saggy rear springs will affect roadability negatively ....
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-08-14 5:43 PM (#568424 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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The ride height is set and maintained by the owner, not the alignment shop. Most cars don't have ride height adjustment to them so shops aren't looking for that. Also, ride height is very subjective by the owner and most owners don't want the shops to change where they put it. Therefore, you need to adjust it before you go into an alignment shop. Adjusting it slightly won't affect your alignment very much, but it will affect it a little. Constantly having to correct your steering is a result of too little caster. Most places won't adjust for caster. If you are working with a later model car, you can get MOOG problem solver UCA bushings that will add caster to your alignment. Constant correction to your steering can also be caused by running bias ply tires.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-08-14 5:46 PM
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Shep
Posted 2018-08-14 5:45 PM (#568425 - in reply to #568414)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Standard procedure in an alignment shop, is to provide a before and after printout of the settings, did you get one? If not you have no idea where the settings are. With radials some positive caster is necessary. If you know the settings, post back with th the info.
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plymouth
Posted 2018-08-14 5:55 PM (#568426 - in reply to #568425)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Shep - 2018-08-14 4:45 PM

Standard procedure in an alignment shop, is to provide a before and after printout of the settings, did you get one? If not you have no idea where the settings are. With radials some positive caster is necessary. If you know the settings, post back with th the info.


Thanks for the reply. The excuse I got that day was that there alignment machine had messed up earlier that day and they had a technician come in and fix it but the printer part was still not working. So I did not get the alignment specs. I did give them some that I found on this website for radial tires. I suppose I can look in my service manual and find out what the recommended specs are for bias Plys and post them and you guys can make suggestions on what you recommend to have it set at for radial tires.
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plymouth
Posted 2018-08-14 6:08 PM (#568428 - in reply to #568414)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Thank you for the reply. I guess when I have some time I will set the ride height to factory specifications. The rear springs look good. Here are the specifications out of my 1963 Imperial service manual for alignment. With these specs, maybe someone can give me some specifications to run radial tires. I cannot recall what I found last time. Should camber change do to radial tires or should the camber adjustment stay the same? Caster +1/4 to 1 1/4° Camber left +1/4 to +3/4° right 0 to +1/2° .toe in 1/8 inch preferred. Ride height 2 inches+- 1/8 ..side to side difference 1/8 in maximum.

Edited by plymouth 2018-08-14 6:10 PM
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Shep
Posted 2018-08-14 6:31 PM (#568430 - in reply to #568428)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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With radials at least 1.5 up to 2.0 degrees positive caster is preferred, at times it is beyond the normal range in the adjustments. Camber and toe in stay as specified.
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wizard
Posted 2018-08-15 12:24 AM (#568449 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Here's what I use on my '60 Saratoga

CAMBER, NEGATIVE ¼º to ½º (mind that compensation for road crowning might be needed - see oem differences in Camber)
(OEM LEFT POSITIVE 3/8º ± 1/4º (+3/8º preferred) RIGHT 1/8º ± 1/4º (+1/8º preferred))
CASTER, POSITIVE 1,5º)
(OEM +3/4º ± 1/2º)
TOE-IN 1/8”
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finsruskw
Posted 2018-08-15 7:12 AM (#568466 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Folks, Kindly hit the enter bar once in a while when making a long post.
Makes it much easier to read and comprehend.

Thanks from an old fart!!
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plymouth
Posted 2018-08-19 8:36 AM (#568631 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Sure thing! Thanks guys for all the help. Just to clarify, which specs should I go with for crowned roads? And when I go with the specs for crowned roads, will the car still track straight on the highway?
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wizard
Posted 2018-08-19 9:56 AM (#568633 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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As you see in the OEM specs above, the difference is 1/4º less for the passenger side (right).

This will get your car to go on a straight track, crowned or highway (even the highways should have a crown in the sence that the road is inclined slightly)
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plymouth
Posted 2018-08-19 11:44 AM (#568635 - in reply to #568633)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Location: McComb, Mississippi
Thank you so much. I'll be getting an alignment done in the next few weeks and I will report the before and after measurements and specifications.
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wizard
Posted 2018-08-19 12:17 PM (#568637 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Great, remember;

- correct tire pressure
- full tank of gas
- no additional extra load
- bounce all corners good
- with the engine on, search steering wheel center position, turn steering wheel to the left and back to center position - if you end up too far, youre not allowed to turn the steering wheel back to center - just do it once again until the steering wheel is in center. Block the steering wheel in this position.


After the alignment, I use to smear some chalk on the tires, or spray the tires with whatever spray can through a narrow cut window in a piece of cardboard. Then drive the car on a straight road for a short distance (not over 100 yards) and check if the paint/chalk has been evenly removed - this means that you have the proper tire pressure and the correct toe-in
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BigBlockMopar
Posted 2018-08-19 3:21 PM (#568644 - in reply to #568430)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars



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Shep - 2018-08-14 12:31 PM

With radials at least 1.5 up to 2.0 degrees positive caster is preferred, at times it is beyond the normal range in the adjustments. Camber and toe in stay as specified.



No, Camber goes negative with radials, meaning the top of tire will lean 'in', instead of out.

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Stroller
Posted 2018-10-26 12:49 PM (#572404 - in reply to #568412)
Subject: Re: Effects of misadjusted torsion bars


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An alignment is only as good as the tech who is doing it plain and simple. Some cars require the ride hieght to be entered into the alignment settings. I did alignments and tell ya what setting the ride hieght on some cars is a major pain in the star fish. I've had to do alignments with the driver sitting in the car simply because of the love of doughnuts, if ya know what me means. Compensating for road crown is something it seems is getting to be a lost art or old school now as well. I would love to have my own Hunter H-111 and rack but my garage and wallet ain't gonna have it. So I use 4 milk crates, turn tables and magnetic heads with a toe bar and sometimes string.

Never consider places like Big-O an alingment shop either. With old cars if the specs are not in the computer they need to entered. Bad thing is they will do a static display with out the settings and with this a before and after display can be done. But again it depends on the tech and if they even know how to do it. But yes the ride hieght is more than needed. I not only check from the bottom if the ball joint, but I will measure from body lips to compare side to side. Sometimes doing this is when you find out the vehicle has been wrecked sometime in it's life and then it's off to a frame rack it should have visited. I can not even begin to tell how many times I found cars were smashed and never put on a frame rack.

Edited by Stroller 2018-10-26 12:52 PM
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