Front End Alignment - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Magnolia, TX
Posts: 28
Front End Alignment

I am in the process of changing all of the tie-rod ends, bushings, upper A-arms, etc. While I am definitely not a mechanic, I feel like I'm making good progress and confident that with the help of this board, will not mess things up too much!

I have been looking for guidance regarding front end alignment and have searched the bulletin board and have found the following thread to be most helpful:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/susp...irewear-3.html

I know it is an old thread, but in any event, I am interested in getting a copy of attachments. For some reason, I am unable to see attachments.

My specific situation:
1. I have a left hand drive car (1990 Alfa Spider Quad)
2. as-found condition of LHS tierod linkage is 285 mm, c to c
3. as-found condition of RHS tierod linkage is 265 mm, c to c
4. center trackrod (steering link) is 246 mm, c to c
5. lastly, the RHS castor control rod is 3/8" longer than the LHS CCR.

Based on comments in the thread mentioned above, if I understand correctly, from PAPAJAM's post on 10-9-2003:

For LHD cars;
Left tierod length = 264-280mm (adjust 1st)
Right tierod length = left tierod length MINUS 5mm (adjust 2nd)

Center trackrod = 530-550mm (adjust 3rd)

Toe-in = 3mm total (1.5mm per wheel)

So, what should I do regarding tierod lenths? I'm thinking of adjusting the LHS tie rod to 278 mm and the RHS tie rod to 273 mm, splitting the difference in lengths while considering the 5 mm difference between LHS and RHS tierods.

With regard to castor control rod, should I return to as-found condition?

I'm thinking that the center trackrod, should be returned to as-found length and then the toe-in checked by "string method" described in the thread.

At what point should I have the 4 wheel alignment checked?

Thanks to all on this board, your help is much appreciated.

Happy New Year to all!

Brian.
sonofliberty63 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 10:30 AM
Moderator
Platinum SubscriberModerator
 
Alfajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Posts: 9,845
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofliberty63 View Post
I have been looking for guidance regarding front end alignment
It's great that you have taken the trouble to learn the detailed specs, rod lengths, etc. But honestly, most people (myself included) just get it close and then take it to an alignment shop. You'll never get it as accurate as a modern shop can. The key is finding a shop with a staff that understands vintage cars and spends the time to get things right. Bring your specifications with you, as their data may not extend back far enough.

Quote:
At what point should I have the 4 wheel alignment checked?
I think the answer is "never". There isn't much adjustable at the rear of a 105 series Alfa. I believe 4 wheel alignment is only necessary for cars with IRS, or perhaps solid axle cars with major accident damage.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 12-31-2017 at 10:42 AM.
Alfajay is online now  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 12:55 PM
BB Janitor
Platinum SubscriberAdministratorSuper Moderator
 
ghnl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 16,271
Garage
Series 3 Spider alignment procedure. If the shop won't follow the steps go to another shop.
Attached Images
 

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ghnl is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 01:16 PM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Vintre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waterdown, Ontario
Posts: 3,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
But honestly, most people (myself included) just get it close and then take it to an alignment shop. You'll never get it as accurate as a modern shop can. The key is finding a shop with a staff that understands vintage cars and spends the time to get things right. Bring your specifications with you, as their data may not extend back far enough.
I agree.

When I did my front end suspension change, I took a lot of measurements and thought I nailed it. 2 weeks later, I ruined a set of tires.

As said, get it close and drive straight to the alignment shop.

Good luck,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Honey, this is the last thing I have to do, then I'm finished. It'll just be a minute.
Vintre is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 02:55 PM
Registered User
 
spydaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Brisbane Qld. Aust.
Posts: 711
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
Series 3 Spider alignment procedure. If the shop won't follow the steps go to another shop.
Hi Eric and happy new year to all. Eric do you know if those values can be reversed for R.H.D. cars ? I ask because I have a bit of a wandering problem with my GT. I replaced all tie rod ends with new Lemforder tie rod ends set it up close etc. and dropped it off at a wheel alignment shop who assured me they new what they were doing. I've had it back but it's not much better .I have adjustable castor and camber too.

Current cars 1975 spyder under resto, 1973 Berlina Resto 1976 Berlina parts car 1972 GTjunior fully restored, 1 complete rolling shell spyder.exit 1989 75 T/S sold
spydaman is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 03:41 PM
Moderator
Platinum SubscriberModerator
 
Alfajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Posts: 9,845
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintre View Post
get it close and drive straight to the alignment shop.
or as straight as you can drive with a car aligned by an amateur.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
Alfajay is online now  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Magnolia, TX
Posts: 28
Thanks for the Excellent Proceedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintre View Post
I agree.

When I did my front end suspension change, I took a lot of measurements and thought I nailed it. 2 weeks later, I ruined a set of tires.

As said, get it close and drive straight to the alignment shop.

Good luck,

Vin

@ Vintre,

Thanks for your guidance and taking time to document your front end work. It was your excellent procedure with pictures was my primary guide.

Many thanks, Brian.
sonofliberty63 is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 04:37 PM
BB Janitor
Platinum SubscriberAdministratorSuper Moderator
 
ghnl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 16,271
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by spydaman View Post
do you know if those values can be reversed for R.H.D. cars ?
The instructions state "starting on the steering box side" which would lead me to believe that implies you would start on the right side of a RHD car.

As for a good alignment, there is a shop local to me that is known for doing very precise work. Years ago I fixed up an MGB then took it to a local tire & alignment shop. They charged ~ $40 for the alignment (on an MGB only the toe is adjustable) but it still didn't feel right. And, they wouldn't let me in the shop or to even talk to the guy doing the alignment. Later I found 'The Good Shop'. The owner (it was a one-man shop then) took me into the shop as he worked on the car. He very carefully sneaked up on the alignment as the final tightening of the locking nuts would change the setting a wee bit. When he was done he had me take the car out for a drive. It was markedly better. When I got back he noticed that the steering wheel was not perfectly centered so he put it back on his alignment lift and adjusted it again. For all that he charged me $60. I've since taken my Alfa's & MGA there and received the same careful attention. One time the strut to adjust the caster on my GTV6 was seized (and the caster was not to spec). I bought a replacement strut, anti-seized the threads, installed it and went back to his shop (about 2 weeks later). He then re-did the alignment and would only take $20 for the re-do. So, finding a Good Shop is worth the effort - and probably a bargain in the long run.

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ghnl is online now  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 04:46 PM
Registered User
 
spydaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Brisbane Qld. Aust.
Posts: 711
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
The instructions state "starting on the steering box side" which would lead me to believe that implies you would start on the right side of a RHD car.

As for a good alignment, there is a shop local to me that is known for doing very precise work. Years ago I fixed up an MGB then took it to a local tire & alignment shop. They charged ~ $40 for the alignment (on an MGB only the toe is adjustable) but it still didn't feel right. And, they wouldn't let me in the shop or to even talk to the guy doing the alignment. Later I found 'The Good Shop'. The owner (it was a one-man shop then) took me into the shop as he worked on the car. He very carefully sneaked up on the alignment as the final tightening of the locking nuts would change the setting a wee bit. When he was done he had me take the car out for a drive. It was markedly better. When I got back he noticed that the steering wheel was not perfectly centered so he put it back on his alignment lift and adjusted it again. For all that he charged me $60. I've since taken my Alfa's & MGA there and received the same careful attention. One time the strut to adjust the caster on my GTV6 was seized (and the caster was not to spec). I bought a replacement strut, anti-seized the threads, installed it and went back to his shop (about 2 weeks later). He then re-did the alignment and would only take $20 for the re-do. So, finding a Good Shop is worth the effort - and probably a bargain in the long run.
Thanks mate, bit hard to get to your shop so I'll have to do some hunting here ...Regards John

Current cars 1975 spyder under resto, 1973 Berlina Resto 1976 Berlina parts car 1972 GTjunior fully restored, 1 complete rolling shell spyder.exit 1989 75 T/S sold
spydaman is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 04:52 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,971
I agree with Eric and Jay. I live in a city of about 300,000 and there is only one shop that I would trust to do a correct alignment. There is a high end (Merc, BMW, Volvo) independent dealer close to me and I asked the service manager where they send their cars for alignment and he sent me to a family owned tire shop. Like Eric, I talk directly to the guy who does the alignment. The toe only has to be out by a small amount for you to have rapid tire wear.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 05:23 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,120
Quote:
I agree with Eric and Jay.

This has pretty much been my experience. If there's a fundamental rule it's that you should stay away from any shop that won't let to go talk to the guys working on your car. Run, don't walk, away from that kind of place. The shop that does my daily-driver work suggested a tuner-car shop down the street as a good place to take my Super for an alignment. I was a bit dubious about using a shop I didn't already know about until I found that not only did they have a first-class alignment rack, but the guy doing the work knew about Alfas and even had alignment specs in his database. As he was working on my Super, he called the other mechanics to come look at my stainless Alfaholics exhaust and adjustable upper control arms. It pays to find "one of those" shops. The $60 charge was money well spent.

Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
180OUT is offline  
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
Gold Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Magnolia, TX
Posts: 28
I Can't See any Attachments

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
Series 3 Spider alignment procedure. If the shop won't follow the steps go to another shop.
@ghnl,

I am not sure why I can't see any attachments and am unable to see your attachment. What could I be doing wrong?

Thanks.

Brian.
sonofliberty63 is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 05:42 AM
Senior Member
Gold Subscriber
 
Vintre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waterdown, Ontario
Posts: 3,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofliberty63 View Post
@ Vintre,

Thanks for your guidance and taking time to document your front end work. It was your excellent procedure with pictures was my primary guide.

Many thanks, Brian.
Glad to hear it helped.

Good luck,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Honey, this is the last thing I have to do, then I'm finished. It'll just be a minute.
Vintre is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 06:07 AM
Registered User
 
Ranz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hobart Tasmania
Posts: 1,101
Spydaman...
Have you got a service Manual applicable to your car?
Mine (Autobooks) says to ignore the 5mm differential in tie rod lengths for RHD cars. I.e. Same lengths each side for RHD.
Have no idea why the differential is there for LHD only... but take care.
Interestingly, the acceptable range for tie rod lengths recommended is different in different manuals I have:
Autobooks poublication ('62-78 cars) 264-280mm (didn't differentiate between models)
Intereurope publication ('59-69 cars) 283-293mm for Giulia Sprint GT, which it appears you have.

The Intereurope publication is far more detailed and specific on many service item details, which I lean to trusting. Again, tho, take care.
Having said that, you also mention a 'Wandering' problem. Have you gone w-i-d-e with your tyres, and/or maybe have Mags with an usual offset? Wider tyres wander and follow ridges more. Wrong offset will play havoc. BB wisdom also seems to say castor can affect centering feel.
There could be more at play here.
Ranz is online now  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 06:35 AM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,971
Quote:
BB wisdom also seems to say castor can affect centering feel.
More caster increases straight line stability but makes steering heavier. The car will pull to one side if the caster is not the same on both sides.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome