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4x4 solid axle balljoints and front align101 crash course, i want to learn

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by R72K5, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    how does alignment adjustment work on solid axle 4x4 fronts, they adjustable ? shims ? what geometry does this change and how ? i see that the tops of my spindles are cocked inwards quite a bit with wheels on ground, looks pretty wild, same with on my stepdads 82 K10.,

    i need/want to learn- before i take my truck to alignment shop- after i get the driver side TRE and the steeering stabilizer shock deal replaced- in which i am in middle of doing haha



    what are good specs to have all these adjustments set to with a stock
    and street driven 83 K20 with even with stock 235 85 16" ? i dont have a GM truck service manual for 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 K20 humm, so i cant look it all up /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif the alignment shops here are small town ones they tend to know what they are doing only on stupid vehicles like passenger cars and junk, they dont seem to get very many RWD vehicles in there to do front alignments on, all of them around here are ruted junk beaters and no one will spend on them to hahve something like an alignment done let alone an oil change, so,., so i hope to find out info/specs ahead of time that i should have them set my truck up to/with before i go there./ i once took my 68 c-10 in there to have aligned and they looked at it and did not have much luck with even aligning it, so im afraid that the 4x4 will be big problem for them to figure out..



    good for street driveability specs for 83 K20 for:
    tie rod adjustment ?
    toe-in ?
    camber ?
    caster ?
    anything else?
    what would keep me going straight as an arrow on freeway driving and with heavy loads alot of the time ?

    any pages or sites with such info for 80s GM 4x4 ?


    thanks
     
  2. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    For toe-in they use the tierod (duh).
    For camber they put shims between the knuckles and the spindles.
    For castor they put offset sleeves in the knuckle for the balljoint.

    I recommend getting the toe-in set right then adjusting the draglink so the steering wheel is in the centered position. This makes a world of difference in how the vehicle goes down the road.

    Then you take it somewhere to get the rest done. It's a chore and a half. The camber isn't so bad but dealing with those sleeves for castor is no fun. I know CarQuest sells the camber shims. It's a waste of time to do this with old balljoints.

    I know I prefer 1/8"-1/4" toe in. Remember that 1/8" toe in on a 235x75r15 is like 1" toe in on 44s. I think stock is 4-6° of castor. I think camber is 0° stock.


    Hopefully someone else will chime in.
     
  3. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    cool thanks good info, so i should just have toe in adjustment done for now after i get this TRE stuff taken care of- until whenever i need to do balljoints ? or ?


    thanks /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  4. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well, you can do the toe-in now yourself. All you have to do is center the tires so the rig rolls straight. Measure the distance between the tread casing halves on both the front and back of the tire. The front measurement should be 1/4" closer together. It's pretty easy to do. Once you get into the 3/8" toe-in area the tires scrub pretty good and of course generate heat too.

    You need one of those hook tools for doing the sleeve on a draglink but if you can get your steering box centered it'll make a world of difference as far as handling goes. I thought my Dad was full of [darn] until I got my steering wheel 1/8 turn off because of suspension change and it wouldn't go down the road for beans. My truck just sits in the grooves now and meanders down the road with little to no operator input.

    I also recommend replacing the draglink end at the steering box. They usually wear out before anything else, including balljoints. They make a big difference in steering slop.


    The rest of the crap is worth paying someone else to do. It's such a chore. It's not bad if you've got a nice place to work in and all new parts though.
     
  5. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    interesting.

    hum..

    i dontm know how i could get wheels perfectly straight though, how are you supposed to know if they are ? how do you do it ?
    how do the shops do it ?

    i dont see any way of possibly getting the wheels perfectly straight, and knowing if they really are ?


    thanks /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  6. daleearnhardt01

    daleearnhardt01 1/2 ton status

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    To see if the tires are straight you can use a tape measure to measure from tire to tire /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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