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View Full Version : help! front end all jacked up



bumpskier45
02-01-2014, 09:01 PM
Ok I replaced springs,shocks,all the rubber for the front end. So I got everything back together and when the driver side tire is straight the steering wheel isn't but I know that is due to it needing a front end alighnment. So the issue is the tire on the passenger side is at I would say about a 15-20 degree angle pointing out. So how do I make it straight without affecting the other side,it made some absolutely horrible noise when I pulled it out of the garage. As for the new injectors,the ported late model blower I had done,engine is purring like a kitten again but that does me no good at the moment LOL.

RalphP
02-02-2014, 01:55 AM
Well, when you fix the passenger side, it'll help recenter the steering wheel.

You'll need to crank both sides in a bit (until the tires point straight ahead or slightly inwards).

Lesson: Always, Always, ALWAYS make sure you adjust the lock nuts on the new rack or inner tie rods to where the nuts were on the old one, and then spin the outer tie rod to that point before locking the nut on.

Oh, and make sure the inner tie rods aren't Mustang part #s - they're longer than the MN12 ones.

RwP

bumpskier45
02-02-2014, 10:30 AM
what do I have to take apart to fix it,the tie rod?I'm not sure where I went wrong I tried to put everything back together exactly as I took it apart but somewhere along the way I went wrong. can the passenger side be moved straight without affecting the driver side somehow?

RalphP
02-02-2014, 12:10 PM
Not take apart, but adjust.

I think you're in a bit over your head at this point. Or you'd realize that the left toe, right toe, and wheel center are all related, and no, the left tire is NOT right if the right and steering wheel center is off. Center that steering wheel, and you'll see how far off both are.

May I suggest diving into a good service manual on how the toe in is adjusted? And some study on how the steering works in total?

Or, here's a web page on how it works (http://www.freeasestudyguides.com/alignment-toe-adjustment.html).

BTW - When it's adjusted right, the steering wheel will ALSO drop back into being centered.

RwP

racecougar
02-02-2014, 01:13 PM
As Ralph said, start by centering the steering wheel. You'll loosen the jam nuts butting up to the outer tie rods on the inner tie rods and turn the inner tie rods to adjust toe for each side.

bumpskier45
02-02-2014, 02:30 PM
after getting under the car I understand now what you are all talking about. I may have been over my head no doubt but with all of your help I understand a lot more. I appreciate all your help,without it I would be towing my car to a shop and paying someone to fix it,I suspect that even after I make the tires straight again it will still need a professional alighnment done.

bumpskier45
02-02-2014, 09:43 PM
ok,I have "adjusted" the passenger side that was off,no adjustment was needed on the driver side. the passenger side I moved at least 1" to 1-1/2" both tires are now straight but my question is what could have happened to make that side that far off? It is good enough for me to get it to the shop now for an alighnment,just curious what I did to make it need that kind of adjustment.

racecougar
02-02-2014, 10:33 PM
Yes, it absolutely should have a real alignment done. As far as what caused the change in toe...what did you take apart?

bumpskier45
02-02-2014, 10:41 PM
I removed the lower control arm,and since I had that off I did the shocks and springs,of course replaced the strut rod bushings,and put it all back together.There was a lot of movement of the spindle that holds the brake roter,but everything should have fallen back into place once I put everything back together,or no?

racecougar
02-02-2014, 10:56 PM
Bingo. Any movement of the camber bolt attaching the LCA to the K-member also has an effect on toe. Any change at the K-member to strut rod bushing (where you set caster), also has an effect on toe.

bumpskier45
02-03-2014, 12:45 AM
So when they go to alighn the car will they have to take some of that apart to even things up? or can they match everything as is and even the tie Rods up as it sits?

KMT
02-03-2014, 12:52 AM
Not take it apart just to align, no.

On our cars, there are three adjustments on the front suspension:

caster (strut rod lengths)
camber (lower control arm inboard cam/eccentrics)
toe (tie rods)

You'll need a 4-wheel alignment, so be sure the techs are familiar with the car, and don't let them tell you the rear isn't adjustable :) You should have tightened everything with the suspension loaded to help with the alignment process.

SCDIAMOND
02-03-2014, 06:28 AM
You should have tightened everything with the suspension loaded to help with the alignment process.

This is my question too. Did you tighten everything with wheels in the air? I am able to undertake the same task in a few months and have been reading all the info I could on the subject. Let us know how the alignment turns out. What parts did you use?

bumpskier45
02-03-2014, 10:15 AM
yes I had the car completely in the air,but take heed though as kmt said I should have tightened the suspension with the car on the ground. Live and learn,take this thread and learn from my mistakes.These cars as you know are old,if you don't have an impact wrench and compressor you will have a hell of a time getting things apart especially if your car is in an area where salt or brine is used on the road. I tried to save some money of course by doing it myself but all things considered if your knowledge level is about where mine is and you are not a pro like the folks in this thread......take it to a shop,trust me on this. If you insist you are going to try it and feel confident about tackling it I used moog for the lower control arm,strut rod bushing,shock,and spring stuff I got from bill at supercoupe. good luck,is yours is anything like mine its not an easy job.

racecougar
02-03-2014, 07:21 PM
If you used the Moog strut rod to K-member bushings, do yourself a favor and switch those out before taking the car to the alignment shop. Those thermoplastic bushings are known to fail, which can result in a dangerous situation. Stick to the stock Motorcraft rubber bushings there.

bumpskier45
02-04-2014, 10:44 PM
I purchased the strut bushings from bill at supercoupe so I think they should be ok never known him to sell me bad stuff

bumpskier45
02-04-2014, 11:10 PM
by the way the alignment guy at ford says its next to impossible to get the front end of these cars back together right especially the sc model. I have an appointment with them next Tuesday,I hope it makes it there when I drove it the other night I heard a sound sort of like a big 4x4 truck would make from its tires coming from the front tires on my car,was very faint had to turn the the radio off but you could here it.

KMT
02-04-2014, 11:26 PM
Any car is tough to put back together right when you DIY using basic tools - and even if you're careful, all that work deserves a professional 4-wheel alignment with modern equipment, etc. to insure you get your money out of all those new parts.

I wouldn't drive it much, if any, until it goes for alignment :)

Good luck, you're almost done.

bumpskier45
02-05-2014, 03:19 PM
The dealer that I need to go to is 18-20 miles away approximately,I think it should be fine for that short of a distance,what do you think? and yes I spend a decent amount of cash on this front end I want to get my money out of it for sure.

KMT
02-05-2014, 03:22 PM
Generally, you should be fine. If you sense a lot of tire noise, tho, like the tires are being abused, any distance can be a problem, I think.

S_Mazza
02-05-2014, 04:20 PM
by the way the alignment guy at ford says its next to impossible to get the front end of these cars back together right especially the sc model. I have an appointment with them next Tuesday,I hope it makes it there when I drove it the other night I heard a sound sort of like a big 4x4 truck would make from its tires coming from the front tires on my car,was very faint had to turn the the radio off but you could here it.

Not sure I would take my car to that guy.

Not saying it's easy to do a proper alignment on any car, but ... it's not impossible.

Now, is it impossible to do a proper alignment and make money when you advertise a $59 special? I would say it's unlikely. Which is why that kind of shop will either assign the guy who sweeps floors to do your car, upsell you other things like crazy, or both.

bumpskier45
02-05-2014, 08:43 PM
when I test drove it up the road the noise was pretty faint you had to turn off the radio and the fan for the heater to hear it well,anyone else may not have noticed it but I know how my car is supposed to sound if that makes any sense. I am pretty sure Ford will not give me a guy that sweeps the floor,they are the dealer after all if you can't go to them I don't know who you can for an alignment.

racecougar
02-05-2014, 10:53 PM
A real alignment shop. ;)

KMT
02-05-2014, 10:59 PM
A real alignment shop. ;)

+1.

It took me a while but I finally managed to find a good tire shop with a seasoned alignment tech that actually knew these cars and wasn't afraid of one that had been lowered. If I lose this guy, I'll panic now :)

I stopped going to the nearest dealer when I had them bleed my brakes and they gave it back to me with the reservoir completely full...

bumpskier45
02-06-2014, 09:06 AM
I am in a small town,the next nearest town from me is considerably further away,the dealer is really the only place within a reasonable distance. Will have to say a prayer this guy knows what he is doing,I talked with him earlier this week in detail about the things you all talked with me about,he seemed to have it together,whatever he does has to be better than how it sits now,I can always do a detailed search for a good alignment guy after my car is rolling half way decent again.