What is the easiest way to adjust rear camber (remove shims)? ACK!

I have 1 degree full negative camber on both sides. I thought I'll just loosen the nut on the A arm fork and pry it away from the frame enough to knock one of the slotted shims out. I think about half a degree of negative would be about right? Turns out they're not slotted! Now how much of the suspension do I have to take apart to pull that fork all the way through the frame to get'em off? Further, how is one suppose to make adjustments if this has to be done each time? I guess they were never meant to be messed with.

Please tell me there's an easy way.  

Original Post

So if I remove the lower bushing bolts, place a floor jack under the arm where the shock mounts and jack up the whole assembly, it will rise enough to remove the forks? If so, that would be great. But just wondering how much of a pain it will be to get the bolts reinstalled. This is the place where the bolts barely go in the bushing because the frame is in the way. very tight It has to be in perfect alignment. With all the weight pushing down, dosen't sound fun.

I think I’d disconnect the sway bar where it attaches to the LCA (on both sides), remove the shock/spring assembly then remove the two nuts and large washers that secure the LCA mounting U-bolts that pass through the frame. This way, you don’t have to deal with the bushings. Just pull the LCA towards you with the U-bolts still connected. 

IMHO, removing all the adjusting shims AND the stock washers still may not bring the lower a-arm in far enough. What's happened is, the spot-welds holding the whole rear of the Pantera monococque together have loosened/shifted/ broke, enough that the alignment has changed beyond factory adjustment limits. PLEASE DO NOT do what one owner did to get more adjustment- he lathe-cut the bracket/stud welds back to thin the part that holds the entire rear of the car up off the ground!

The stock upper brace-bar doesn't help much either because the tab-holes are oversized and slotted and the tabs are too thin to deal with the forces involved in cornering with big, modern sticky tires. So the bar & bolts shift back & forth. You cannot tighten the Grade-5 attach bolts enough to hold an adjustment without breaking them, or cracking the light metal tabs.

Two solutions: a very few Pantera-specific shops have the capability to rebuild the entire rear sheet metal monococque to factory-blueprint alignment using torches & hydraulics. Then, you should install an upper brace-bar that has long enough ends to protrude inside the stock mount tabs, reaching to the backside of the upper shock mounts, and snug it up. This bar (pioneered by Hall Pantera but now repro-ed by many others) has a large threaded clevis & jam-nuts to absolutely hold it's adjustment. So the little stock tabs now only hold the bar in position while all suspension and big-tire cornering loads are taken by the bar, the upper shock-mount weldments & the inner fender stampings.

A second possibility, if your car is not too badly distorted by age & use: jack up both rear wheels, install the heavy-duty upper brace-bar with clevis as above, and crank in "some" preload but NOT all the car needs at one time! Tighten the jam nuts and drive it around for a while, then measure what your camber is now. Repeat as required until you're satisfied. This gives the sheet metal time to 'shift back' towards blueprint specs without warping the body, inner & outer fenders etc. Major body damage can occur if you get impatient! Our '72 had slightly over 1 degree negative camber, and in three adjustments over the course of a week of adding progressively more pre-load, then driving around town, I managed to pull the rear camber back to zero with no body distortion. That was in 1990- YMMV.

To overkill the problem, I also hand-made four little oval pieces of 1/8" thick metal with a hole in them, that tightly fill the slotted mount holes in the tabs while being a snug fit on the mount bolts going thru them. Washers on both ends of the tab bolts keep the filler pieces, bolts and brace-bar from shifting around at all. You can verify this by spray-painting the tabs & bolts after assembly; spray-lacquer is quite brittle and will crack if anything moves, giving an easy visual check without needing real one-use-only torque paint.

I also made similar filler pieces for the slotted holes in the front upper a-arm mounts to hold my chosen front camber setting, without the expense or complication of fixtures, bolts & lock-nuts. Obviously, I don't readjust front camber very often as each setting would take different fillers! They have worked for decades to hold my chosen settings over thousands of road miles- even autocrossing with gumball racing tires one season.

 

Update. I removed the sway bar which allowed more play between the fork and frame. There were some slotted shims that broke loose after some derusting maneuvers, and the #31 flat washers on both sides. So I guess it's pretty stock after all. I removed all the shims and re-measured. The camber is now about 1/2 a degree neg on both sides which I am okay with. We will see if it stays there after some driving. I think I am borderline on having to do the BOSSWRENCH procedures which are helpful, and appreciated, but I hope I don't have to go there.    

If you actually drive your car as it was intended, 1/2 degree of rear camber will noticably improve the cornering of the car. The downside is, the inner edges of the rear tires will wear faster than the outer edges. You can enjoy the car more on the road and make the tires last a bit longer by picking up a tire tread depth gauge and keeping track of tread wear, while switching rear tires as the gauge will indicate. On a street Pantera, the right rear tire seems to wear the fastest. A Dremel tool and a mini-metal cutting disc- & some patience- you should be able to cut the washer(s) off once the a-arm is pulled away from the frame the max.

If you do corner 'vigorously', you really should add an aftermarket '10-qt' oil pan such as Aviaid. In fact, most Pantera shops will no longer sell you an engine without such a pan, due to warranty concerns. The capability of a Pantera with modern tires is such that a few spirited drives on curvy roads (or one afternoon track event) is about all it takes to wreck a set of rod bearings, even on a stock Pantera. With a stock pan (3 different possible), at least follow Ford's last recommendation and overfill it to 5 qts plus one in the filter. This will delay the inevitable.

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