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I took my GT to the local alignment shop that is well known for being familiar with older cars. I took all the specs with me so that he would have everything he needed to know. Basically he told me he didn't need them, besides they probably wouldn't be right because they were from a time of bias ply tires and the difference in sidewall flex alone (radial vs. bias) requires different settings. It was a few weeks ago so I don't remember which (camber or caster) he said should be slightly plus or minus. I do know he turned the upper ball joint on one side and moved some washers on that same side.

I have to say the car handles and tracks well, improved from what it did before the alignnment. Has anybody else heard of using settings other than what is in the manual (on a fairly stock car)?

Thanks
 

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Stock settings are conservative at best. You can improve the handling dramatically via alternate settings.

I usually shoot for 1/2 degree negative camber, 4-5 degrees positive caster, and about 1/16" toe-in for a stock street-driven GT.
 

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bob, would that be different with antisway bars being used?
 

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Many factors affect the alignment. Springs, sway bars, ride height, tire type, and most importantly....driving style and usage.

I used to run a lot of negative camber in my street cars, with very stiff springs and swaybars, and still used to wear the outside edge of my tires. I've noticed as I've aged I've had to reduce camber, since I've generally slowed way down in my street driving. In fact, my WRX has worn inside edges on all the tires, since I drive it pretty mellow 98% of the time. I also recently got 35k miles from a set of tires...but I used to get 5-6k miles tops from my street driven Ascona's tires. Had to grow up someday....:(
 

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Had a lot to do with the 8 year old kid I hit about 6 years ago. I was driving under the speed limit actually, around 20 in a 25 zone, residential area....
Well, a kid was playing with some friends around some parked cars, he darted into the road, and I hit him. He was fine, not a scratch, but I knocked him on his ass pretty hard. In fact his mom came out and yelled at him, not me, as she said he had a tendency to run out into the street without looking. Regardless of fault, I could not live with myself if I killed a child. So I reflected a lot on my driving habits. Had I been driving 35-40 mph in that 25 zone (who hasn't?), I would have driven right over the kid, and he'd be dead.

Enough of a reason?
 

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Bob, I've been really lucky in my 50+ years driving, that I have not been in that situation, but, I've seen and heard similar tales that did not turn out as well. One, of many, reasons on surface streets I DO NOT drive above the posted speed limit. Now on the freeways, it's a little different. But, there is/has been an occasional illegal alien crossing the interstates here inSANe DIEGO. Some make it, some do not. :(

Ron
 

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That must have been a miserable experiance for you.
I am in the middle of rebuilding my front end. I have it out on the work bench.I am putting a sports spring from OGTS, which drops it about 1" How do I get close with my settings, I don't have any of the alighment tools. Should I shoot for the same settings as were above? or should I change the toe?
 

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Miserable is an understatement....I literally was shaking for hours after the ordeal, and I didn't drive for two days afterwards either.

If you have the 1" drop spring, you'll probably have more than 1/2 degree of negative camber anyway, GT's tend to gain negative camber when they're lowered. This is why most of the time you have to reverse the upper ball joint to reduce the negative camber. You're kinda stuck as far as adjustability here, GT's only have two settings for camber on each side.

I usually make the camber adjustable via a modified a-arm. I'll probably post photos of this modification next month when I get into a GT front-end overhaul project, as well as some other 'tricks' to help enhance handling.

The toe will change to *more* toe-in when the suspension is lowered, so that definitely has to be corrected. If you set it to no more than 1/16" to 1/8" *in*, you'll be safe. Just don't make it toe'd-out unless you're racing it....you'll just chew the tires to bits in a matter of days, and it will be twitchy as hell.

Bob
 

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Adjustable Camber

RallyBob,

What kind of problems, if any, would occur if the upper ball joint mounting holes were slotted to make camber adjustments? I realize that the upper ball joint could slit/shift causing an unwanted change. But, could star washers or something similar be added to give the joint enough bite prevent slippage?

When using the term slotting, what I really have in mind is enlarging the hole in the Upper A Arm just enough for about 1/2 degree of total movement. This would help to ensure that the settings for both sides could be made the same.

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Paul
 

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Two problems abound...

The first problem you've already addressed. The potential for movement is always there, particularly if the car is driven 'enthusiastically'.

Second, the a-arm can be weakened by the slotting and/or drilling.

I keep the first problem from happening via an adjustable 'stop'. I don't have any pictures if this modification, at least I won't 'til next month.

The second problem I address by welding in a reinforcement to the upper a-arm. Not too tough to visualize I think....

I also use hardened serrated-tooth metric bolts with large-flange heads on both the bolt and the nut. They do NOT move once set. They are similar to the rear differential cover bolts.

HTH
 
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