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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2016, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rbgray1 View Post
Redhawk,

Sorry to hear of your troubles. Is it something wrong with the front A-arm geometry? You mentioned in a previous post about the tie Rods not aligning anymore, are the A-Arms wider track than the original Mustang 2 arms?
So cant answer that question becasue the hacks wont respond to my requests. They have my parts that were removed. I've been making progress myself so it will get done. Issue is getting toe and caster right. The tie rod on drive side is maxed out so considering buy new tie rods and cutting them so I can have more adjustment. Right now toe is off and caster is off. Once I have solution I'll post it.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RedHawk View Post
So cant answer that question becasue the hacks wont respond to my requests. They have my parts that were removed. I've been making progress myself so it will get done. Issue is getting toe and caster right. The tie rod on drive side is maxed out so considering buy new tie rods and cutting them so I can have more adjustment. Right now toe is off and caster is off. Once I have solution I'll post it.
Redhawk,

I still have my factory Arms in boxes in my garage, just getting some welding done and then repainting the frame before installing new Front A-Arms, rear QA1 upper and lower Links, coil overs on all 4 corners and Wilwood 4 piston 12.19 brakes.

Let me know if you need me to measure any of the OEM factory items for length from bushings to ball joint.

Also IMPORTANT...you mentioned that the only the driver side tie rod was maxed out. How is the pass side? If the shop disconnected both of your tie rod ends at the same time and the steering column or the wheels were turned prior to reinstalling the tie rod ends into the steering knuckles, your steering rack may be way out of index. The best way to set this is to disconnect both Tie-Rod ends from the steering knuckles, loosen the dust boots from the rack and pinion unit and then turn the steering wheel until the inner rods of the rack protrude about evenly from the rack and pinion body. This should also be fairly close to where your steering wheel centers if it was aligned properly before. You should now be able to reinstall the Tie Rod ends into the steering knuckle with both Tie Rod Ends being adjusted close to same amount with the tires pointing straight forward. If ball joint geometry was changed due to the new A-Arms, I don't know how it would effect one side and not the other.

Note..A good way to rough in the toe in on the front end is to use about a 12 foot length of masonry string, make a hook out of a piece of wire and attach to one end of the string. Hook the string on your rear end housing and then route the string around the back side of the rear tire, centered on the axle. Now pull the string to the front of the car, centered on the front spindle and pull tight while slowly moving toward the front tire. When the string touches both the front and rear edge of the front tire at the same time, that's close to perfectly straight. I usually rough in about 1/16" toe in on each side after suspension work just to get the car close so I can run to my local shop for an alignment without completely destroying a set of tires. Keep in mind, adjusting the upper A-Arm will effect Camber and Caster, so I try to get those fairly close by eye before doing ANY toe in adjustment with the string as adjusting the upper A-Arm will have an impact on rough settings of toe in.

I don't know if I'm stating the obvious, just trying to help.

Please let me know if you need any OEM Measurements, either of factory parts, or my ball joint width side to side, this is a critical measurement and one that we focused heavily on during my days as a Bodyman in a Ford dealership while straighteing frame damage and any suspension part replacements. If your ball joint width is correct, you shouldn't have an issue with tie rod ends. Also, I WOULD NOT go to a longer tie rod end, it would tell me geometry has changed and would create a whole litany of other problems including bumpsteer, anti dive angles, etc.

Hope I can help with your problem.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:28 AM
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Redhawk,

I still have my factory Arms in boxes in my garage, just getting some welding done and then repainting the frame before installing new Front A-Arms, rear QA1 upper and lower Links, coil overs on all 4 corners and Wilwood 4 piston 12.19 brakes.

Let me know if you need me to measure any of the OEM factory items for length from bushings to ball joint.

Also IMPORTANT...you mentioned that the only the driver side tie rod was maxed out. How is the pass side? If the shop disconnected both of your tie rod ends at the same time and the steering column or the wheels were turned prior to reinstalling the tie rod ends into the steering knuckles, your steering rack may be way out of index. The best way to set this is to disconnect both Tie-Rod ends from the steering knuckles, loosen the dust boots from the rack and pinion unit and then turn the steering wheel until the inner rods of the rack protrude about evenly from the rack and pinion body. This should also be fairly close to where your steering wheel centers if it was aligned properly before. You should now be able to reinstall the Tie Rod ends into the steering knuckle with both Tie Rod Ends being adjusted close to same amount with the tires pointing straight forward. If ball joint geometry was changed due to the new A-Arms, I don't know how it would effect one side and not the other.

Note..A good way to rough in the toe in on the front end is to use about a 12 foot length of masonry string, make a hook out of a piece of wire and attach to one end of the string. Hook the string on your rear end housing and then route the string around the back side of the rear tire, centered on the axle. Now pull the string to the front of the car, centered on the front spindle and pull tight while slowly moving toward the front tire. When the string touches both the front and rear edge of the front tire at the same time, that's close to perfectly straight. I usually rough in about 1/16" toe in on each side after suspension work just to get the car close so I can run to my local shop for an alignment without completely destroying a set of tires. Keep in mind, adjusting the upper A-Arm will effect Camber and Caster, so I try to get those fairly close by eye before doing ANY toe in adjustment with the string as adjusting the upper A-Arm will have an impact on rough settings of toe in.

I don't know if I'm stating the obvious, just trying to help.

Please let me know if you need any OEM Measurements, either of factory parts, or my ball joint width side to side, this is a critical measurement and one that we focused heavily on during my days as a Bodyman in a Ford dealership while straighteing frame damage and any suspension part replacements. If your ball joint width is correct, you shouldn't have an issue with tie rod ends. Also, I WOULD NOT go to a longer tie rod end, it would tell me geometry has changed and would create a whole litany of other problems including bumpsteer, anti dive angles, etc.

Hope I can help with your problem.
Redhawk,

One quick addendum to my comment on String Toe-In setup I forgot to mention. With all wheels pointing straight, measure the overall track width from outermost tire sidewall for the front and rear ends respectively. If your rear track is wider (say 2" just for argument) then divide by two (2" divide by two=1"). Then when using the string pulled very tight to remove any droop in the string, use a tape measure on both the front of the front tire and rear of the front tire and adjust the tie rods until you have 1" reading on the tape measure at both the front and rear of the front tires. This takes into account any track width difference between the front and rear ends. Due to tire sizes, rim backspacing, rear end widths....each one of these will have an impact on overall track widths front to rear differentials. When alignments are done, measurements are to the outer bead of the rim. Without alignment equipment, it's very difficult to measure to this point accurately on the front and rear at the same time. If you take your time, the string method works pretty well for ROUGH Toe-In alignment at home in our garages just using the outermost bulge in the tires and the string. Also, keep in mind this process requires the front suspension to be "loaded" with most of the normal weight it will be carrying. When making tie rod adjustments, you may need to bounce the front end of the car to relieve any tire resistance from the ground. Another trick I use since I don't have tire plates at home is I raid my wife's supply of wax paper in the kitchen, tear about 4-6 18" long pieces of wax paper and place them on the garage floor under the front tires, placing 2-3 pieces of wax paper under each front tire. If your garage floor is fairly smooth, the wax paper will allow enough 'slip" of the front tire while adjusting the tie rod ends. A little bounce of the front suspension will also help. Remember, make adjustment slowly, bounce the front end and remeasure, it's very easy to over adjust if you make big adjustments to the front Tie-Rod toe in adjustments without releasing the tire contact tension with the floor.

Hope this helps.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:57 AM
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Redhawk,

If I can help in any way, you're welcome to call me on my mobile number.

440-915-2146

I'm on Eastern Time.

Rob Gray
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by RedHawk View Post
So cant answer that question becasue the hacks wont respond to my requests. They have my parts that were removed. I've been making progress myself so it will get done. Issue is getting toe and caster right. The tie rod on drive side is maxed out so considering buy new tie rods and cutting them so I can have more adjustment. Right now toe is off and caster is off. Once I have solution I'll post it.
That really sucks. Steering is the most challenging system on a car to get absolutely right, and (I'm sorry to say it) but 90% of the shops out there are little more than "R&R" (remove and replace, or "drop and swap") style shops.

The second you start changing suspension components, you REALLY need to have the car in the hands of a qualified suspension specialist- Someone who understands all the inter-connected trigonometry, and the engineering involved. Someone who can can look the car over, and do the entire job in their head, before they ever take a wrench to your car.

Regarding the tie rods being maxed out- When you say "maxed out" does that mean that all the threads are exposed? or does it mean that the outer tie rod can't screw in anymore because it's bottomed out?

The Classic Roadsters assembly manual specifies that you are supposed to cut 7/8 inch of thread off of both inner tie rods. Is it possible that one of your inners is cut correctly, and the other one isn't? This would create a big difference in the exposed thread counts from side to side.

Also- I'm not sure if this would still even be necessary with your new control arms, because I don't know if the length, or the pivot point of the new control arms has changed, which would thereby change the entire sweep angle of the suspension, therefore requiring all new calculations for the corresponding tie rod lengths and sweep angles.

Lots of math to do when you start re-engineering the front end of a car.

Even if you get the basic alignment measurements into spec, you have to be sure that the tie rod sweep angles are correctly matched to the control arm sweep angles, or else bump steer will result...

Rob- Great writeup on the string alignment technique... Very old-school.

Most of the time I have to go over to the HAMB (and suffer through all of the associated verbal abuse, hahah) to get high quality feedback from the old-school hot rodders...
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by moore_rb View Post
That really sucks. Steering is the most challenging system on a car to get absolutely right, and (I'm sorry to say it) but 90% of the shops out there are little more than "R&R" (remove and replace, or "drop and swap") style shops.

The second you start changing suspension components, you REALLY need to have the car in the hands of a qualified suspension specialist- Someone who understands all the inter-connected trigonometry, and the engineering involved. Someone who can can look the car over, and do the entire job in their head, before they ever take a wrench to your car.

Regarding the tie rods being maxed out- When you say "maxed out" does that mean that all the threads are exposed? or does it mean that the outer tie rod can't screw in anymore because it's bottomed out?

The Classic Roadsters assembly manual specifies that you are supposed to cut 7/8 inch of thread off of both inner tie rods. Is it possible that one of your inners is cut correctly, and the other one isn't? This would create a big difference in the exposed thread counts from side to side.

Also- I'm not sure if this would still even be necessary with your new control arms, because I don't know if the length, or the pivot point of the new control arms has changed, which would thereby change the entire sweep angle of the suspension, therefore requiring all new calculations for the corresponding tie rod lengths and sweep angles.

Lots of math to do when you start re-engineering the front end of a car.

Even if you get the basic alignment measurements into spec, you have to be sure that the tie rod sweep angles are correctly matched to the control arm sweep angles, or else bump steer will result...

Rob- Great writeup on the string alignment technique... Very old-school.

Most of the time I have to go over to the HAMB (and suffer through all of the associated verbal abuse, hahah) to get high quality feedback from the old-school hot rodders...
moore_rb,

Thanks for the note, I completely forgot about the original build directions of shortening the inboard tie rods by 7/8" since I originally did this 26 years ago. Just referred to my original CR1 build manual and it clearly states removing 7/8" from inner ends of 74-78 Mustang II, 73-79 Pinto, or 75-79 Mercury Bobcat on page 3-12 of the original build manual. Hard to remember everything I did last night little lone 26 years ago.

This might be part of Redhawks problem, I would just like to see him check A-arm bushing to ball joint dimensions, and overall ball joint widths (on the ground) versus our stock set-up to see if ball joint widths have changed by much more that 1/8 inch.

Regarding the string alignment process, thanks for the "old school" comment. I've used this rough set-up for years and it works, you can't argue with something that still works. As a matter of fact, old racers used this process at the track just to double check toe and make minor changes when alignment equipment wasn't available. You can even buy aluminum plates now with slots in them where you just measure side to side front and back of front tires with a tape measure to set initial toe in before a full professional alignment.

Funny side story...I bought a factory refurbished Club Car golf cart for my home in Florida last year and when it was delivered, it steered like crap, pulled hard to one side and generally awful to drive. I did the string process in my garage over the course of about 45 mins and several neighbors saw me and asked what I was doing. I explained the process and ...walah, golf cart drives like a new street car. I then had at least 4 neighbors request my assistance with their golf carts and did the same process and they were amazed how simple and how well their golf carts drive in our community. At one point that evening it looked like a street rod meet for golf carts in my driveway and garage. I think I got paid with a few cases of beer and at least one bottle of Jim Beam Black that is long gone by now. I laugh every time I think about it and my neighbors keep commenting how much better their carts are now for this simple 15 to 45 min process.

Since I have my entire front end suspension removed, would it be possible for you to measure your front end ball joint width (center of ball joint grease fitting from side to side) of your lower and upper front end? I can do this, I would just need to temporarily bolt my old A-Arms on quickly and take measurements. I think Redhawk would benefit greatly to know these "before" measurements to understand if his ball joint width has changed from original dimensions.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:57 PM
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RedHawk,

Whoa.....Whoa.... Whoa....!

Just for the sake of confirmation based on your troubles, I spent the evening tonight bolting up my raw front suspension to confirm before and after measurements of the OEM A-Arms and the Heidts A-Arms.

Here's what I found:

The lower side to side ball joint Joint dimensions with factory A-Arms is 47-7/16 from side to side with the arms just below level by about a quarter inch, enough to measure from grease fitting to grease fitting(I have photos).

With the Heidts lower Arms installed (keep in mind, I'm staying with lower strut rods from the Pinto Suspension), the side to side ball joint measurement is 46-5/8! Almost one inch narrower than factory OEM. Just for kicks, I bolted on upper OEM and Heidts upper A-Arms and they look OK for inclination angles for Caster and Camber, well within adjustable range (I have an inclination level that I can rough in positive or negative angles from the spindle and ball joint angles).

Problem is the shortened lower ball joint dimension and ALSO the fact that the lower Heidts tubular A-Arms interfere with the spring tower upright on the front of the car due to the "sweep" of the tubes not being as drastic as the factory curve. This would cause me to "bend" the angled shock tower steel slightly to provide for clearance of the new lower Heidt's tubular A-Arms through their travel. Both not good.

I'm going to be on the phone with Heidt's first thing tomorrow morning to determine if their A-Arms are intended to be geometrically the same as Mustang II parts or if they are engineered to work with their suspension components, period.

This test does not make me very happy as I didn't need this hassle. Oh well, it's been said that the build, or rebuild in my case both ways, is as much fun as driving it. At this point in time, I don't agree.

At least I didn't paint the parts yet....Ooops, sorry for that, it wasn't meant negative.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rbgray1 View Post
RedHawk,

Whoa.....Whoa.... Whoa....!

Just for the sake of confirmation based on your troubles, I spent the evening tonight bolting up my raw front suspension to confirm before and after measurements of the OEM A-Arms and the Heidts A-Arms.

Here's what I found:

The lower side to side ball joint Joint dimensions with factory A-Arms is 47-7/16 from side to side with the arms just below level by about a quarter inch, enough to measure from grease fitting to grease fitting(I have photos).

With the Heidts lower Arms installed (keep in mind, I'm staying with lower strut rods from the Pinto Suspension), the side to side ball joint measurement is 46-5/8! Almost one inch narrower than factory OEM. Just for kicks, I bolted on upper OEM and Heidts upper A-Arms and they look OK for inclination angles for Caster and Camber, well within adjustable range (I have an inclination level that I can rough in positive or negative angles from the spindle and ball joint angles).

Problem is the shortened lower ball joint dimension and ALSO the fact that the lower Heidts tubular A-Arms interfere with the spring tower upright on the front of the car due to the "sweep" of the tubes not being as drastic as the factory curve. This would cause me to "bend" the angled shock tower steel slightly to provide for clearance of the new lower Heidt's tubular A-Arms through their travel. Both not good.

I'm going to be on the phone with Heidt's first thing tomorrow morning to determine if their A-Arms are intended to be geometrically the same as Mustang II parts or if they are engineered to work with their suspension components, period.

This test does not make me very happy as I didn't need this hassle. Oh well, it's been said that the build, or rebuild in my case both ways, is as much fun as driving it. At this point in time, I don't agree.

At least I didn't paint the parts yet....Ooops, sorry for that, it wasn't meant negative.
First of all big Thanks to you and everryone else with the advice. I am a commercial contractor by trade and build buildings. I feel like your speaking chineese when reffering to suspension though. I think I just opened up a can of worms, but followed your advise and I think I got it dialed in with no pull, a little toe in and straight. Atleast long enough to get through the weekend for an alignment scheduled Monday morning with another reputable classic car shop. Ugh!!

One thing I can happily say is the shocks and spring setup are simply incredible. No more nightmares at the dentist to replace disloged fillings. I can hit bumps, cracks, small woodland creatures, mariachi bands, barn swallows, neighborhood solictors, Kardashian family members whatever with no issues what so ever. WOW!

Last edited by RedHawk; 09-08-2016 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:14 AM
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Redhawk,

You're welcome. It's good to share ideas and fixes when we both are doing very similar things to our cars. I know I'll like the final outcome as well, just want to confirm that some of these engineering changes in the parts are for the better and don't cause me headaches down the road. Hopefully I will have pictures in the next few days of all the new suspension, coilovers, and Wilwood brakes on the car. I figured out a great easy way to convert the rear to QA1 coilovers with some very simple and strong brackets I'm welding on the upper frame in the rear and changing the lower shock mount on the rear. I'll send pics when done.

BTW, if you hit a Kardashian.....make sure you put your car in reverse and do it at least 4 more times......then repeat!
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:31 AM
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Redhawk,

One more thing I forgot to mention.

Since you were less than satisfied with your previous shop's performance, I'm guessing they also installed your Wilwood systems?

I ran into something in very small print when I built up all my components for my rear drum to 12.19 rotor conversion from Wilwood. Apparently Ford used at least 10 different axle sizes for the 8.8 rears. The outermost portion of the axle has a raised area that the drum centers on to index in to eliminate runout. There are no fewer that 10 different sizes of these. Wilwood ships with the kits only one set of "rotor hat indexing bushings" with their kits (most common size, 2.83"). My axles are 2.52 indexing hubs and I had to special order these from Wilwood (kinda crappy since they cost $15 each plus shipping).

Reason for my comment is you may want to double check these from your buildup since you were less than satisfied with your previous shop. With the wrong ones installed, the rear rotor hats will have excessive runout during braking as the only thing centering the rotor would be your lug nuts and wheel.

Easy to check. Remove the rear wheel and look at the center of the rotor hat where it meets the axle. You should see a small aluminum "rotor indexing bushing" that centers the rotor hats on the axles. Based on numerous axles used by Ford, odds are not in your favor that the correct ones came with the kit.

Take a close look at the Wilwood instructions. Better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to brakes.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by moore_rb View Post
That really sucks. Steering is the most challenging system on a car to get absolutely right, and (I'm sorry to say it) but 90% of the shops out there are little more than "R&R" (remove and replace, or "drop and swap") style shops.

The second you start changing suspension components, you REALLY need to have the car in the hands of a qualified suspension specialist- Someone who understands all the inter-connected trigonometry, and the engineering involved. Someone who can can look the car over, and do the entire job in their head, before they ever take a wrench to your car.

Regarding the tie rods being maxed out- When you say "maxed out" does that mean that all the threads are exposed? or does it mean that the outer tie rod can't screw in anymore because it's bottomed out?

The Classic Roadsters assembly manual specifies that you are supposed to cut 7/8 inch of thread off of both inner tie rods. Is it possible that one of your inners is cut correctly, and the other one isn't? This would create a big difference in the exposed thread counts from side to side.

Also- I'm not sure if this would still even be necessary with your new control arms, because I don't know if the length, or the pivot point of the new control arms has changed, which would thereby change the entire sweep angle of the suspension, therefore requiring all new calculations for the corresponding tie rod lengths and sweep angles.

Lots of math to do when you start re-engineering the front end of a car.

Even if you get the basic alignment measurements into spec, you have to be sure that the tie rod sweep angles are correctly matched to the control arm sweep angles, or else bump steer will result...

Rob- Great writeup on the string alignment technique... Very old-school.

Most of the time I have to go over to the HAMB (and suffer through all of the associated verbal abuse, hahah) to get high quality feedback from the old-school hot rodders...
Oh gosh! Cut to the scene of me standing on a ledge!!. "RedHawk you have a family with 3 beautiful children and a wife and devoted dog lola. COME DOWN FROM THE LEDGE."

I'll look at the threads too. You may be right. For now I'm doinking around with thermostat because of the many F'd up things these Monkeys did my car is now overheating and the battery isnt charging. For laughing lying and crying out loud!

Used my multimeter and can see that when car is running with 2000 rpms batrery voltage isnt jumping. It stays at 12.7 or less.

Also, also its now overheating shortly after starting cold and letting idle for a couple minutes. Timing off? Hell I dont know. Thermostat? Probably. They supposedly replaced this too.not sure what temp so I bought a 180 and 195. Was thinking to test the one in there and go with 180 first.
-Upward and onward.

Last edited by RedHawk; 09-11-2016 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:16 PM
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So updatee.
Btw, here she is just sitting there on one of the nicest days of the year.

So here's what I found. While running at idle I checked with temp gun and didnt see any overheating at either water jets, sending unit, water pump, radiator hose or thermostat housing. Now thats without running car hard.

I took multimeter and confirmed battery is not being charged. So I tested alternator while running and saw 13 to 14v. Then testeted continiuity of wires to battery teminal in engine bay since battery in at back and everything tested out. What didnt test out was diode test. I'm get OL on + and .4 on -. I'm no electrician but shouldnt that be at least .5 or .8? I tested my 427 BBC sitting on engine stand and it showed .8

What I think may be happening when overheating is fan stops coming on once battery hits critical low point which is why it overheats in stop and go but drops to 180-190 at 50mph plus

The alternator ran fine when I dropped the car off. They repositioned it when it was high on engine to a lower postion and did their wiring tricks. Could they have messed it up there? I attach pics of before and after.
Thoughts?
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Last edited by RedHawk; 09-11-2016 at 02:35 PM..
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2016, 05:45 PM
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So I took the car to the other shop today and the tech and I spent a healthy amount of time dialing in the suspension. It was clearly off, but for now we got it in fairly acceptable specs What was confirmed, however, was that the shop that did the original work did not do the necessary leg work in determining the correct parts to achieve the desired result.

Even though reasonable specs were achieved today the toe is still not ideal and if not corrected in a reasonable period of time premature tire wear will ultimately occur. This is because after they realized that the parts ordered weren't going to simply bolt on they decided to cut the existing tower brackets and fabricate their own. This changed the tie-rod specs and when they tried dialing in the toe there wasn't enough threads to adjust, the driver side tie rod maxed out with no threads showing. What I need to do now is to order slightly shorter tie rods if this is even possible in order to adjust toe to 0 specs. I am researching this now.

I will say that after today's alignment the car is very pleasing to drive, except of course the over heating.

This past weekend I diagnosed that the alternator diode was bad. We again confirmed this after the alignment was finished today. I know this can happen at any time its just suspect that it happened on their watch. Hard to ignore when so many other things were improperly done. I think after replacing the alternator overheating may be eliminated since this is controlling not only electric fan which has been losing its velocity once battery doesnt charge but also the sequence of other electrical components like spark plug firing which may be creating excessive heat.

Sucks that this thread has turned in to a ***** session and completely unrelated issues from the original suspension plans. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes.

Last edited by RedHawk; 09-12-2016 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:24 PM
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. What I need to do now is to order slightly shorter tie rods if this is possible in order to adjust toe to 0 specs. I am researching this now.
Recall what I posted above- According to the CR assembly manual, the inner tie rods are supposed to be cut down 7/8 inch shorter than stock MustangII inner tie rods. (Page 3-12)

Are you saying that your shop is suggesting that yours need to be even shorter than that?
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:21 PM
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Recall what I posted above- According to the CR assembly manual, the inner tie rods are supposed to be cut down 7/8 inch shorter than stock MustangII inner tie rods. (Page 3-12)

Are you saying that your shop is suggesting that yours need to be even shorter than that?
Yes because the wheel that needs to be brought in has no more adjustment.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:56 AM
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Wow- I can't imagine how that is possible...

Unless the steering rack itself is not centered correctly, then you need to have them verify that both inner tie rods are 10-1/2 inches...:
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:41 AM
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Redhawk,

Good to hear you're making some progress on some of the other issues.

One of the things I found during my front suspension A-Arm and coil over mock up was a narrower ball joint width(see my previous post on this). The other issue I found is that the lower strut rod type a-arms would hit the spring towers on the lower front edge. Kind of made me step back and rethink the plan.

Plan B is to install lower A-Arms(ordered from Heidts yesterday and returned the strut rod type arms).

In the meantime, I borrowed a tram gauge from a friend of mine, this is 130" long (adjustable lengths)extremely accurate pointer and measuring device. What I plan on doing is to take extremely accurate measurements of the stock M2 set-up, ball joint width, front to rear ball joint length, diagonal ball joint lengths(left rear axle center to right front ball joint, etc), track widths front and rear, pinion face width side to side and any other measurements that I think would be worthwhile.

When the new parts arrive tomorrow, I'll mock up the new Heidts Arms on the car and compare all of these measurements to see if anything is off considerably from the OEM baseline measurements. From one of my previous posts you can see that the Heidt lower strut rod arms produced nearly ONE INCH NARROWER ball joint width side to side. Even though these aren't their "narrowed" arms, it makes me a little suspicious. Definitely going to check all measurements before any welding.

The One inch narrower lower geometry would definitely impact tie rod length. It would not have an impact on bumpsteer as the inner pivot point of the rack hasn't changed, just the overall tie rod length would need to be shortened by 7/16" on each side.

If you can hold off a few days, probably tomorrow or Thursday, I should have all of the accurate measurements for you to compare to. Once again, I'll have OEM M2 measurements and Heidts parts measurements for us to compare.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:44 AM
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Woops, when I said "pinion face width" I meant to say Spindle face width side to side.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RedHawk View Post
So I took the car to the other shop today and the tech and I spent a healthy amount of time dialing in the suspension. It was clearly off, but for now we got it in fairly acceptable specs What was confirmed, however, was that the shop that did the original work did not do the necessary leg work in determining the correct parts to achieve the desired result.

One last item. If you were just starting this project, would you use the Heidts stuff again? Reason is, I called them on Friday on this narrower geometry issue and they said they talk with their engineer and call me back at 2pm. Well, never heard from them.

When I called them yesterday morning, I got the same CSR on the phone and he said "Oh, I remember you, sorry I didn't call you back on Friday but I did talk with our engineer and he doesn't know what would be causing this narrowed ball joint width".

I'm no suspension engineer, but I can tell you this. There is only ONE WAY that the lower ball joint width is narrower and that is if the control arms themselves are narrower...Period!
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:59 AM
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"This is because after they realized that the parts ordered weren't going to simply bolt on they decided to cut the existing tower brackets and fabricate their own."

"This past weekend I diagnosed that the alternator diode was bad. We again confirmed this after the alignment was finished today. I know this can happen at any time its just suspect that it happened on their watch. Hard to ignore when so many other things were improperly done."

Presumably the shop's fabrication of new tower brackets involved welding on the new ones. If so, I believe the process of welding could easily damage sensitive electrical components such as the diode and/or other components unless proper precautions are taken (e.g. disconnecting the battery).

Coincidence? Possible. Cause and effect? Probably.
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