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Alignment / Steering question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jms, May 19, 2003.

  1. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    '85 K5, 10-bolt front axle - where could I find specs for the front end alignment?

    I've put in a drop pitman arm a short while ago to correct for the new lift, and adjusted the draglink, got the steering wheel (almost) straight. My truck always had the tendency to wander and follow every rut in the road - all joints are tight, dunno whether it's the box itself. It also had significant toe-out. I've decided just for the heck of it to reduce the toe-out so that the wheels are almost parallel, and voila! - it drives straight down the freeway, no pull, no wandering about. I thought this was great until I came to a parking lot and tried to turn - truck doesn't like it, tires are scrubbing and squeaking. All right, so I overdid it.

    So, I'm looking for alignment specs. Every time I had the truck in for alignment it came back as 'couldn't adjust XYX because it doesn't conform to factory' etc. No more of that nonsense, might as well do it myself. Could do it by driving feel until I reach a setting that I like, but a set of numbers would be nice - camber, caster, toe. TIA, michael
     
  2. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I don't know all the specs, but a GOOD alignment shop will be able to adjust everything. There are angle shims, eccentric ball joints, etc. that will let the shop make adjustments to caster and camber. It costs a lot in labor to install any of the adjustable parts, but once done it shouldn't have to be done again unless you bend the housing. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  3. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Thanks Harry; I suppose the keyword being a "GOOD" alignment shop - don't know any of them around here. Also, I don't want to sink a hell of a lot more money into the 10-bolt front (regearing and moving the ARB from my current rear will be more than enough). I'm aware that the front is where all the braking and steering is at, but nothing is broken or worn out so I think I'll be o.k., just trying to dial it in right.
     
  4. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Boring thread, I know. Anyone know where to look up those numbers? Thanks.
     
  5. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    '77 - '78 Blazer

    Camber = .25 deg (+/- .50 deg) *viewed from the front it looks like this \ /, tops of the tires out is postitive camber.
    Caster = 8.00 deg (+/- .50 deg) *Viewd from the drivers side,<Front< /, Positive caster the balljoints are laid back
    Toe in/out = .00 inches (+/- .06 inches) *No need to explain here, Positive toe is tow in.

    '79 - '80 Blazer

    Same as above except Camber is increased to one full deg positive

    '85 - '87 (I think thats what it says, spilled something on my cheet sheet) /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    Same as above except camber is again increased to 1.5 degrees.

    * Note *
    Those figures get you "in the door", they may need to be adjusted further as needed to compenstate for road irregularitys, slight-pulls, crowns, pay-load, ect...
     
  6. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Thats what "they say", Heres what "I" say:

    Camber -
    Set it straight up, I'm not sure why thay ask for so much Positive Camber, sounds goofy to me.

    Caster -
    I like as much Positive Caster as I can get. It'll give you a good "return to center" feel (In combination with SAI), tracks straighter and increases cornering force. But you'll never get the full 8 degrees out of a lifted rig.
    You may not need the full 8 deggrees anyway. If you draw a imaginary line through the center of the ball-joints with stock-sized tires, that line will hit the ground in the front of the tire contact patch. Now, install larger then stock tires (I.E., raise the ball joint off the ground), that same imaginary line will end up further out, infront of the tire. This may increase the leverage of road irregularitys over the tire. Meaning, this may be the "trigger" that sets off the dreded "death-wobbles".

    Toe in/out -
    Set it up with a slight amount of Toe-In. Normaly, the front tires are not powered, in other words, they are dragging - pulling them Toe-out. Set a slight amount of toe-in to counter act it.
     
  7. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Thanks a lot for the numbers; I'll get to it this weekend.
    Camber and toe is what I'm concerned with. Caster should be o.k. with the longer ORD HD shackles.
     

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