Want to guess whay my car is crooked?? (backhalf job) - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Want to guess whay my car is crooked?? (backhalf job)

I pulled the stock k-member out of my 87 Mustang today. The car is already backhalved with a 4 link and 32x14's. I've had the rolling chassis for about a year now and have just started to do some real work to it.

Anyway, before I pulled the k-member I took some measurements to make sure the car is square. I first pulled a measurement from the front 4 link bracket on the frame rail forward to the zerk fitting on the lower ball joint. I did this on each side and both measurements matched perfectly.

Next, i pulled a measurement from the front 4 link bracket on the frame to the zerk on the opposite side front (X measurement). My pass rear to driver's front measurement is 5/8" longer. I know it's correct, I measured it over 10 times to be sure.

Here's what I found. It seems that the rear frame rails are not centered in the car. They are offset to the pass side 1/2". Other than that everything looks OK.

I don't know much about the car. I bought it out of Ohio early last year. I gave it the once over at the truck stop when I picked it up from the seller. it looked OK then and still does, just looks wierd when the tape is put to it.

I do know that the Fox chassis cars have the drivetrain offset to the pass side a little. Anybody know how much? I'm curious if the chassis builder that installed the rear half offset it to match the driveshaft instead of centering it.

I haven't called my chassis guy yet. I'm sure he'll be thrilled. The car needs to be recaged anyway so if I have to move the rails around it shouldn't be too big of a deal.

I'll have to check the measurement from the tire bulge outward to the edge of the quarterpanel to verify this once the car is on the ground. I found the 1/2" offset by measuring from the factory rocker panel/floorpan seam to the C/L of the 4 link brackets.


Let me know what you guys think.

John


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 11:26 PM
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Take some more diagonal measurements using some of the factory frame and floor "landmarks", across to the 4-link brackets to double check from these other reference points.

Then measure from the assorted landmarks diagonally across to the outside edges of the main 4-link crossmember (where it welds to the rocker panels). Doing this will help tell you if the X-member is in the car straight side to side & front to back.

You can also measure from the x-member/rocker panel joints, diagonally back across over to each top shock mount.

If they did put the frame rails & brackets offset to one side, did they also offset the 4-link brackets on the rear housing to that same side?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 09:23 PM
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fox body offset

a customer brought me a 82 munstang to set up the motorplates,midplate and crossmember.i measured a stock 5.0 and found out that it is about 2" offset to the passenger side.i put this on the factory offset so headers would fit .just what i observed. ron

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S.

If they did put the frame rails & brackets offset to one side, did they also offset the 4-link brackets on the rear housing to that same side?

As of now I would say no. It appears by looking at the rear housing the brackets are equally spaced from the center. So this would mean the rear end is offset to one side as well only because of the frame rails being offset.

My chassis guy is out of town for the holidays. I'll give him a call later in the week and see what's up. Would it cause any problems to run it the way it is? Or would it be better to tear it out and redo it?

John


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 06:38 PM
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You mentioned that the housing's 4-link brackets are equal distances from the pinion. Are they also equal distances from the housing ends and/or axle flanges? I will say that some small amount of offset can be dealt with, but 1/2" offset sounds like a lot, in my opinion.

Another thing to think about is what might look (at first glance) like botched or offset backhalf frame rails, might actually be because the body could have been tweaked/crunched before the backhalf was ever installed.
On the Maverick body I got from Duane, the backhalf I installed ended up offset to one side by about 1/8" at the rear bumper. This happened because I installed the backhalf working off of the front frame section's centerline, and the Mav body was a little tweaked to one side around the door jam area.
So I had to choose between aligning the backhalf frame rails with the actual frame centerline, or the body's center line.

Depending on how old the chassis work is, and how fast you want to go, you might have to scrap everything in the back and start fresh to SFI specs.

D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S. Dave::
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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The pinion is not centered. It's the standard offset. The brackets are offset equal distances from the housing ends and housing C/L.

I found the 1/2" offset by measuring from the rocker/floor pan pinch weld to the C/L of the 4 link brackets that are welded to the crossmember.

The rear frame rails are equally spaced out from the driveshaft dip in the crossmember. Also, the crossmember is actually up inside the rockers on both sides, not butted up against the rockers like most cars.

Maybe it was bumped or accidentally moved before it was tacked. The rearmost part of the rail has a short piece of 2x3 welded to it to make it longer. This leads me to believe that possibly it is a jig welded rear half that was just installed pushed off to one side by accident.

I still need to take some more measurements and call my chassis guy. Overall the car appears straight as an arrow. No body damage anywhere that i can see. The front k-member dropped right out and the new one is going to bolt right up. I test fit it already.

I'll try and pull a C/L off the front end some where. Then I can maybe see where the screwup happened.

It's getting all of the tin stripped out of it anyway for the new cage so hopefully it won't be that big of a deal to move it over where it goes.

John


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 02:48 AM
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Running a C/L string to check things out is a good idea. The more centerline spots you drop to the shop floor, the more accurate the C/L picture will be the entire length of the car.

D.I.L.L.I.G.A.S. Dave::
460 street '66 Ranchero.......................finished someday.
460 race '70 Maverick..........................finished someday.
All 'glass Top Sportsman '69 Mustang......ummm, check back when I win big playing the Texas Lotto, or online poker.
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