[DeTomaso] Alignment Specs.....revisited

JDeRyke at aol.com JDeRyke at aol.com
Thu Aug 4 14:37:09 EDT 2011

Your preferred alignment spec's really DO depend on what tires you have 
now, your finances and what you intend to do with the car. Those who said to 
increase the CASTER setback towards the cabin are correct: this will cure the 
wandering tendency, assuming that the rack bushing is in good shape and your 
wheel bearings are not loose. For example, the stock '71 Pantera can be 
adjusted with its stock shim package to give a maximum of -2.6 degrees of 
caster; a '71 Corvette runs a maximum of -6 degrees, and its suspension is not 
radically different. 
Second, NEVER run positive CAMBER (tilting the wheel tops outboard) as that 
radically reduces cornering power and contributes to understeer. -1 degree 
camber is fine; more than -3 degrees will rapidly wear the inside edges of 
the front tires.
If they object to custom alignment specs, tell your alignment shop the 
factory specs were for a car with 185-70x 15" belted bias front tires. 
An adjustable front suspension can start cheaply with removing the spring 
spacers and max-ing out the stock caster adjustment. A set of offset upper 
a-arm bushings are not expensive and might be added before your next alignment 
session. Then you can go on from from there.
FWIW, your upcoming Sept Newsletter has a 4-pg article on this very 
subject. Cheers- J Deryke

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