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Alignment?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by nau81blazer, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. nau81blazer

    nau81blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if there is any way to do your own alignment. Seems like most the places I get it done at can't get it correct because of my "big lift and big tires (33's:dunno: :screwy: )". And I'm going to be installing a new front axle soon, so I was just wondering if there is a way to do it yourself. Thanks for the info guys!:D

    --Adam
     
  2. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    The only thing alignable on our trucks in the toe. Very easily done in your garage. If you want to check the caster/camber, a shop can do it on a rack, but there is no adjustment, aside from a few manufacturer unrecomended tricks.
    If caster/camber is out, you can buy the oval upper ball joint sleeve, that is one trick, but I've never seen it used successfully, it would take a PHD in mathmatics to get it right the first time. The other trick is the adjustable shim for camber only. Can't remember where I saw it, but it installs between the spindle and knuckle, and spaces the spindle out like 1-2mm, while seeminly not much, that spindle is a press fit to the knuckle (the bolts just keep it there, the press fit takes most of the load), i'd be a little paranoid giving up some of my press fit friction.
    Go for toe, it's easy, if your caster/camber is way off, the best bet is to buy a new axle, because yours would be bent.
     
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    the heads cant read past the big tires to see each other from side to side. take a tape measure and a friend and measure same spot frt and back of tires and frt shoild be 1/8-1/4 shorter than back. for the sread out of the parts when driving. and then center the wheel, and your done.
     
  4. ColAdo82K5

    ColAdo82K5 1/2 ton status

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    Alignment should be 1/8 to 1/4 toe IN...the tires should point towards the front of the vehicle. This will get you proper tire wear and the return to center feel in the steering wheel.

    Caster should only be a big issue on taller lifts or when you put longer shackles on the front. For instance, I run a homemade shackle that is about .75 inches longer then stock, and I run a 2.5 degree shim to correct for this. Remember, on your 81 with a cv shaft in front, the driveshaft and pinion angle should be really close.

    Centering your steering wheel has nothing to do with alignment. That is a draglink adjustment. And when you do it, make sure you have the same lock to lock disatances..that is more important then a center wheel. Before I got my crossover, i had a steering wheel that was way off but it gave the same distance when turned.

    Blake
     
  5. nau81blazer

    nau81blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all of the input guys!

    Ok, noob question here. But hey, yall are my only source of good information so hopefully you can understand. What are these terms you are talking about (toe in, caster, etc.)? It's always nice to learn something new from everyone! Thank again for the input!

    --Adam
     
  6. ColAdo82K5

    ColAdo82K5 1/2 ton status

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    Caster is the angle measurement from the imaginary line that runs vertically through your balljoints. If you have certain styles of lift springs or really long shackles, you can through this angle off...many people with lower lifts can solve these problems with shims at the spring pads. Crazy tall lifts need the "C's" on the angles cut off and rotated.

    Toe in or toe out can best be decribed by looking at your feet while you are standing. Point your toe towards each other....you are toe in. Point your toes outward, and you are toe out. This is the same with the front tires. Your tires could point either direction (while assuming the steering wheel isn't moving). The length between the front edge of your tires (and other solid front axle trucks) should be about 1/8 or 1/4 less then distance bewteen the back edge of the tires. Like / \ instead of \ /.

    To align...front end on jack stands.
    place a piece of tape in the center of the treads of both tires. Measure front distance....rotate tire to where the tape is in back...measure again. adjust the tie rod accordingly....repeat over and over again until you got it right.

    This is in a nut shell...so search the boards and get some more info.
    Blake
     
  7. nau81blazer

    nau81blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Awesome, thanks for the help with that. It's nice to know what all this stuff means:D . Thanks again!

    -Adam
     
  8. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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  9. nau81blazer

    nau81blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Cool thanks for the link.
     
  10. pfloydmaster

    pfloydmaster 1/2 ton status

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    I believe this is what your talking abour:

    http://www.ingallseng.com/parts/26126.htm


    :thumb:
     
  11. nau81blazer

    nau81blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, I can't believe this thread is still alive!! Thanks again for all the info guys, i love to learn!

    --Adam
     
  12. K5Chris

    K5Chris 1/2 ton status

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    i installed a set of those, and used the maximum adjustment of 1.5 degrees. the spindle still fits very tight, but the shim feels like it's made from a very light metal, and gets very thin on one side..... but.... i think it will be fine, the spindle is still very tight aginst the knuckle.

    there is another way of adjusting camber..... they make an upper balljoint adjusting nut that has the hole (for the balljoint) drilled at an angle with an angled washer. you can turn it to adjust the camber and caster slightly. i prefer the shim though.... it's ALOT easier.

    i did my alignment in my driveway with a big level.
     
  13. K5Chris

    K5Chris 1/2 ton status

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    :confused: that can be adjusted pretty easily.
     

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