Alignment Numbers for Radial Tires on a '69 GS

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by BuickV8Mike, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    I just finished putting my front end back together and plan on taking it in for alignment. I have seen numerous posts with all kinds of discussion about the best numbers......but am unable to find them now using the "search" function. Any recommendations and or links to those better discussion threads would be greatly appreciated. I decided on the regular ball joints so I may not reach the "best" setting but I'll have them do their best based on the recommendations. Thank you very much, Mike
     
  2. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Anyone?
     
  3. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ask Tom T. He has posted on the settings for these vintage cars now that they are equipped with radials.
     
  4. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    You want as much positive caster as you can get (factory parts will limit that). Set toe in towards the minimum, like 1/16". Camber can pretty much be 0.
     
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

  6. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Thank you Jim and Larry!

    Looks like the shims effect Camber and Caster. I'm taking it in in the am. He was happy I had the shims. Guess they no longer use shims. Positive caster is curious. Should I be approaching the 0.75" shim thickness limit to get max. Caster? Or do I leave the Camber spec before that?

    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
  7. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    With radial tires, I was constantly wearing the outer edges of my front tires way before my rear tires would show much wear. I decided the stock specs aren't good for much.

    You would really benefit from a more modern alignment. If everything is stock, I'd put as much positive caster in as I could. I'd try for +5° if possible but if you can get even +2°, that's better.

    For camber, I like -0.5° and for toe-in go with 1/16" or less.

    My cars have tall upper ball joints (needed new ones anyway) and I've put tubular upper control arms to gain more positive caster. I run +5° caster, -0.5° camber and 1/16" toe-in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  8. 2manybuicks

    2manybuicks Platinum Level Contributor

    me thinks you meant -0.5 camber.
     
  9. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I did and corrected.
     
  10. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    1/16th. toe is NOT enough. It will now start wearing the insides of the tire.
     
  11. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    For the average driver, maybe. I've not noticed anything yet. As I said, I used to burn the outer edge of my tires with my driving style. If I start to see wear, I'll increase to an 1/8".
     
  12. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    There is some debate about that Tom. The argument is there is less deflection due to the lower rolling resistance of radials, so less toe is needed.
     
  13. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    That may be true Larry, BUT in my experience 1/16th. is not enough. Myself I would start with at least 1/8". Don't forget the older steering linkage had some movement which will tend to spread the tires out while driving down the road.

    Tom T.
     
  14. TORQUED455

    TORQUED455 Well-Known Member

    Use a curtain rod, errr toe bar, like we do on ME/BE and others
     
  15. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Thanks for all the input. The alignment was a swing and a miss. The only thing they managed to complete is bending the shifter rods so that it bearly shifts into third or reverse now. :mad:
     
  16. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Sometimes theory and reality are two different things.:D Johnny did the alignment on my GS. Not sure where he set the toe. With the amount I drive the car, not sure if wear would ever become noticeable enough before I changed the tires just because of age.
     
  17. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I have a very tight front end. The steering box, tie rods, ball joints, idler and drag link are all new. I also check the tires with an infrared thermometer to see they are evenly heated across the tread.
     
  18. 2manybuicks

    2manybuicks Platinum Level Contributor

    Glad you noted that you changed it. Otherwise if you read through the thread I would just look really stupid.:p
     
  19. Buicksky

    Buicksky Silver Level contributor

    What the heck are they messing with the shifter rods for??
     
  20. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    I hope I never make anyone look stupid, even myself.
     

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