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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right before the last time I got my car aligned, I adjusted the caster on my whiteline rod bushings to, I want to say -1/2 but it was so long ago I can't remember. Prior to adjusting the caster, the car pulled a little to the left, but Ironically, adjusting the caster completely fixed it and it drove perfectly straight. I then took it to the shop, I had just installed a Procharger but was still untuned, so I insisted on that no one could take it for a test drive afterwards. Once they got it up on the machine, they called me over and stated that a certain parameter was off from the factory numbers, can't remember what that parameter was since it was so long ago. It was associated to the caster and by realigning the washers on the bushings, we were able to get those numbers within factory specs and everything checked out. Then when I drove it home, I noticed that the car was pulling hard to the left, so I adjusted the caster back to how I had it prior to the alignment which didn't fix it. I then played with the caster until I ended up with a configuration that didn't pull, but now I suffer from minor steering shake under deacceleration.

My question is I guess, is there anything to take note of when getting an alignment, it seems those factory numbers they are going by are not ideal and should be taken with a grain of salt. Any recommendations?

Also, I plan on upgrading a few suspension parts, starting with bushings, shocks and then so on, think I'm gonna look for a lifetime alignment this time. It's so hard to find a shop that is willing to align your car without driving it, considering using hptuners to limit rpm, throttle and top speed if I ever have to let someone else drive it.
 

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Caster is what you are adjusting with the different placement of the washers. Caster will cause a pull. If either your front or rear cradle is out of alignment you may be compensating by adjusting the caster.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Caster is what you are adjusting with the different placement of the washers. Caster will cause a pull. If either your front or rear cradle is out of alignment you may be compensating by adjusting the caster.

That reminds me, I need to check my front cradle, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I got the energy bushings master kit, rear koni shocks, I just ordered pedders rear drag springs, diff insert bushing, pedders rack bushings, pedders tie ends, and pedders radius rod arms since I replaced one of mine in the past with a used ebay part, could of came from a wrecked gto so should help with peace of mind. Front strut bushings are on the list next along with front springs, I replaced my struts years ago with pedders comfort struts, so hopefully they aren't too worn down. Any other recommendations?
I'm going to keep my drag bags, but I think I'm gonna wire up a system where I can adjust the pressure on the go. I already have a switch in the cabin that activates a valve joining the drag bags together along with activating an old $20 emergency air compressor wired up to a hobbs switch set at 30psi. If I get a microcontroller and an electric pressure sensor, then I could probably write up some code that allows me to adjust the pressure with a dimmer style switch on the go, I'll also have to get another valve to bleed off air when I want to decrease the pressure.
 

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Try to find an alignment shop that will listen to what you're trying to do versus "their spec", "factory spec", or "in the green."
I've been dealing with a similar issue on my own after having a "race" shop screw up my car's alignment with tons of cross caster that I'm slowly bringing back into square.
I'm finding that removing excessive cross caster is eliminating steering shake on the highway and a hard pull on certain road crowns. I don't know what the hell this shop was thinking with their go to alignment specs.

I'm of the belief that cross-caster and cross-camber is shit.
My Miata is dead square and drives straight as an arrow.
 

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I'm finding that removing excessive cross caster is eliminating steering shake on the highway and a hard pull on certain road crowns. I don't know what the hell this shop was thinking with their go to alignment specs.

I'm of the belief that cross-caster and cross-camber is shit.
hmmm.... Do you have an idea of how much is considered excessive?
 

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hmmm.... Do you have an idea of how much is considered excessive?
My caster on very old Pedders adjustable RR bushings:
FL 9.55* FR 8.77*

3/4 of a degree difference despite both Pedders bushings with set to the "Standard Caster Setting" washers and the cup at "Sport Setting".
Quick research finds recommendations of 1/4 to 1/2 difference.
509666


I got new Whiteline bushings and set them up with Standard on the front driver's left, and +1/2 on the front passenger right.
Drives straight and feels much better.
509665


I'd still like the car to get a proper alignment on a rack where they will actually adjust the caster, but I haven't found anyone that I can trust to do it.
Haven't tried to do the funky caster measuring with my Longacre tool
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I started to swap out some of the parts starting with the rear subframe bushings, rears shocks and the rear springs. So I lift one side of the car and unbolt the subframe on one side, I let it drop down until I get enough clearance to pull out the stock spring. I swap out the spring, shock and bushing however, when I try to put the subframe back on, I can't get the holes to match up? I've tried using force to move the subframe with no luck. Anyone ever encounter this? I'm thinking of lifting/unbolting the other side to see if I can move the subframe then to get it lined up but I don't want to risk throwing off the alignment more than I already have, any suggestions?
 

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So I started to swap out some of the parts starting with the rear subframe bushings, rears shocks and the rear springs. So I lift one side of the car and unbolt the subframe on one side, I let it drop down until I get enough clearance to pull out the stock spring. I swap out the spring, shock and bushing however, when I try to put the subframe back on, I can't get the holes to match up? I've tried using force to move the subframe with no luck. Anyone ever encounter this? I'm thinking of lifting/unbolting the other side to see if I can move the subframe then to get it lined up but I don't want to risk throwing off the alignment more than I already have, any suggestions?
Ratchet strap. Hook it somewhere else on the car and loop sround the subframe. Start ratcheting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ratchet strap. Hook it somewhere else on the car and loop sround the subframe. Start ratcheting.
I tried that, I put a lot of tension on it and the subframe didn't budge. They are pretty heavy duty straps but maybe not heavy duty enough. It doesn't make any sense, I don't understand how it moved by itself but I can't get it to move at all with a strap. There was so much tension on the strap that it was pretty violent when I released it.
I wonder if lifting the other side up without unbolting anything combined with the ratchet strap would help.
 

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I tried that, I put a lot of tension on it and the subframe didn't budge. They are pretty heavy duty straps but maybe not heavy duty enough. It doesn't make any sense, I don't understand how it moved by itself but I can't get it to move at all with a strap. There was so much tension on the strap that it was pretty violent when I released it.
I wonder if lifting the other side up without unbolting anything combined with the ratchet strap would help.
Yeah it gets pretty tight. I used a 12 or 1500lb 2in strap and cranked it as hard as i could till it moved into place
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah it gets pretty tight. I used a 12 or 1500lb 2in strap and cranked it as hard as i could till it moved into place
That makes me feel more confident, I wasn't sure if it was normal for it to move out of place, I was afraid I was going to have to order a rear alignment tool. I can probably source a come-along through my dad, but I think I would rather buy one locally and get it sooner, they don't appear to be very expensive. Thanks for the help guys.
Also, has anyone re-used the tty bolts? I've heard of a few people re-using them and I haven't heard of any ill effects. I don't mind paying for them but the general shipping time seems kind of long.
 
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