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There was only one auto shop that would align my car a couple of years ago. If it wasn't in their computer...they didn't want to bother. I used the alignment specs I got on this forum (thanks guys) and they supposedly followed them to do a 4 wheel alignment.

The car always tugged to the right on the highway a little, but I chalked that up to wide-ass tires and the crowning of the road. Well, it is clear to me that the inside edge of the driver side front tire is wearing much faster than it should. No unusual wear on any of the other 3.

What might cause this? I don't know whether they did a bad job in general, or ran out of adjustment and did a bad job on purpose! I called them and warned them that I would be bringing it back. After 2 years you could tell that they will accept no responsibility, but they are willing to do the job and that's what counts. I want to walk in with enough knowledge to discuss it intellegently with them. Especially if there is an inherent adjustability issue. I've seen Johnny Woods' Sitcky on rebuilding front upper A-arms and it made me wonder if this could be something I need.

The car has adjustable shocks and is sitting very low. The front tire is a 245 35 17, so it is very low profile as well.

Any help you can give me is appreciated.
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Sounds like the LF upper A-Arm ball joint slipped and needs to be reset. A good jolt on the front wheels can easily knock the alignment off because of the design. You may want to consider getting a front camberlock kit before taking it in for alignment so they can lock setting in once the camber's reset. You can weld a tab for a lock bolt like Johnny Woods did but that would mean pulling the upper arms off. Or, you can buy a front camberlock kit in Colorado from
Last edited by liv1s
Start with the easiest options first... Take it to any Wheel Works shop and they'll check your alignment for free! If it needs adjustment, then you pay the $89 (or whatever it costs now) to get it corrected. If the alignment is good, then you start inspecting ball joints, bushings, etc.
As George says your camber is out. This is really easy to adjust if you have a camber lock kit or weld one on like I do. If you dont have a camber lock kit you can still do it but it takes longer and is very hit and miss. I hate the original set up because it's so crude and can get knocked out when you hit a bump. I use an old Dunlop camber gauge like this one
It's as old as the hills but I still see them being used on the latest cars in the pits at Le Mans.

I agree with Mikael, investing in some alignment equipment is a great idea. Most of it is actually quite simple. I bought an old pair of Tecalemit tracking gauges and updated them with a £2 laser pen. I mounted the pen on an adjustable platform to calibrate the gauges and now get super accurate results.

I also use a spirit level with a laser in the end of it to do 4 wheel alignment. With the advent of cheap laser stuff and digital spirit levels anyone can make there own alignment equipment and often completely change the way their car drives. My car drives the best it's ever driven since I took an interest in alignment.

Thanks guys, this is just what I needed.

David, the tire is a Goodyear F1 Eagle. You're right, they've stopped making them that size. I had to get my replacement off E-Bay, so I want to get the alignment right before I put it on!

John, the car is a '72.
Camber 1/8 degrees neg to 1/8 pos.
Caster 2 3/4 degrees pos.
Toe in 1/8"

Camber 3/8 to 5/8 degrees neg.
Toe in 1/8 to 3/16"

I'll look into the Summit setup. I'm a do it yourself guy (too poor to be anything else) but alignment has always seemed like voodoo to me. Time to learn something new!

When you ask, "what is the correct" alignment spec", that is relative to what you want.
Street cars are not necessarily set to a "performance" setting. More times then not, they are set for even tire wear. That is not normally a setting that takes advantage of the tires cornering capabilities.
If you want your car to "handle" like a race car,or performance car, those specs can be mutually exclusive. For that try something like -1 degree... and yes you will see the inside edge of the tire wearing noticeably faster.
Also, with a tire like you have, there is going to normally be A LOT of front steering jittering you will feel in the steering wheel. Some might call it bump steer?
Remember the front stock tire these things first came with? (185-70-15) That was to reduce customer complaints as much as anything. Street cars didn't corner like race cars in 1971.
Just going to a 235-50-15 on the front makes a entire new ball game here.
Caster setting is the most controversial number, second is the camber. In my opinion, NO CAR is going to handle for a crap with a 0 degree front camber. It provides for NO tire leaning in the turns at all and if you drive the car aggressively will wear the outside edge.
You just need to find the setting that works best for you, the way YOU drive the car, feels the best, and gives you the most reasonable wear. However, IN MY OPINION, if you get more then about 4,000 miles out of a set of tires with an "aggressive" tread pattern (aka as a "performance tire") you are more then what is expected. Doesn't matter who made them or what they cost, $100 or $1,000, they'll be done by 3,500 miles. Anything else you search for pilgrim is going to be the same as alchemy, and that only existed in fairy tales. Big Grin

From my alignment shop's data base:

Camber: -0.1* to 0.1*
Caster: 2.3* to 3.3*
Toe in: 0.19* to 0.31*

Camber: -0.6* to -0.4*
Toe in: 0.19* to 0.31*

My settings after alignment:

Front: Left Right
Camber: L 0.1* R -0.1*
Caster: L 3.0* R 2.2*
Toe in: L 0.11* R 0.11* Total toe in: 0.23*

Camber: L -0.5* R -0.5*
Toe in: L 0.12* R 0.14* Total toe in: 0.26*

The reason that my right front caster is below specs is that my car is a '71, and there is no adjustment for caster. I would have to modify the a-arm or mill and shim the upper ball joint. I have 7,000 miles on these settings, with no sign of tire wear.

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