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OK guys.. I'm just looking for some web links here and not asking anybody to type a book but here it goes...

I have my 1993 Foxbody Mustang. I have UPR KMember, A-arms and caster camber plates up top connected to QA1 front coil overs with 175# front springs. It also has a 9 inch rear end with UPR upper & lower control arms. 5 lug conversion with disc brakes at all 4 corners.

My question is how do I align this thing? Do I just get the tape measure out and make sure that the front rotors are set equal distance apart front to back & top to bottom? Do people just get it close that way and then take them to an alignment shop and have them do it with the computer setup? I'm willing to work to get it done but I really have no idea what the measurements should be to get it close besides the obvious of setting everything equal distance apart. I'm familiar with caster, camber, toe in and toe out so I don't think equal distances for everything is the way to go. Any help, insight or web links that you can provide to get me headed down the right path with this will be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
 

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Measuring diagonally from front to back will get you close. Front left to right rear, and front right to left rear.

Not sure if it is the "correct" way but, I dropped plum bob lines from different spots on the car. Put some tape on the floor and measured the distances between the marks. My problem was that my sub-frame connectors covered up several of the measuring points under my mustang. You can use places like the ball joint in the front, and axle flange in the rear. closer you can get it at home the cheaper the trip to the alignment shop will be.

Jess
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Measuring diagonally from front to back will get you close. Front left to right rear, and front right to left rear.

Not sure if it is the "correct" way but, I dropped plum bob lines from different spots on the car. Put some tape on the floor and measured the distances between the marks. My problem was that my sub-frame connectors covered up several of the measuring points under my mustang. You can use places like the ball joint in the front, and axle flange in the rear. closer you can get it at home the cheaper the trip to the alignment shop will be.

Jess
That helps and I love the plumb bob idea. I had not thought about that.

Did you do anything to try to get the front wheels in alignment? You know... caster, camber & toe?
 

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Chris, in all reality just bolt the front end together and get it to the alignment shop. If you have to drive it any distance to get there you can string it. By that I mean, with a set of the same size tires all around wrap a length of good heavy grade line around the car (all 4 tires) right at the center of the rims and set the toe to 0" (so the string just touches the front and rear sidewalls of the front tire equally) and drive it there. That will keep from scrubbing out the front tires if you have any distance to go. As far as alignment specs go, because it's a track only car, get the alignment shop to put as much caster as they can get (evenly side to side) in it and zero camber and zero toe (if they are radials or about 1/32" or so toe in if they are bias plys). Easy peasy. Stager in a front end is commonly put in in order to 'get a run at the lights' before the tires break the beams. Most sanctioning groups allow 1". As long as the rear diff is square in the car (a 4 wheel alignment can do this) it doesn't really make a hell of a lot of difference where the front wheels sit (as far as wheelbase goes) if they are both pointed in the same direction with the correct toe the car will go in a straight line. Just make sure that you take it to a shop that understands that it's a race only car and they know what they are doing. It's not a 4 link car right? Is there any adjustments to the rear suspension arms? If not then it'll be an easy alignment. Oh, be sure that the car is in race ready weight with your weight in the drivers seat when they align it......How's that for a shortened version of "alignment 101" lol?
Rob
 

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If you haven't already checked for any bump-steer (unwanted toe change) happening, doing a "final" alignment now might end up being a waste of time/money. I think you should get an angle finder and at ride height just do an inital setting of the caster/camber, set the toe, then check for bump-steer. If the bump-steer numbers are within an acceptable range throughout the entire total suspension travel (zero of course being ideal, but hard to get full compression to full extension) then worry about the final alignment.

Doing a "Drag car only" (no street use) alignment is kinda simple for a door car. Positive caster makes the race car want to drive straighter at speed. More & more positive caster on a faster & faster car is usually better & better, but can be hard to achieve depending on the front suspension design/layout. For example +10* to +12* p/caster (at ride height) is about the max for a really, really fast full chassis door car. But that much can be hard to achieve on cars with stock front suspensions. Set the camber as close to zero as possible at ride height. Toe-in is always better than toe-out on a drag car. "Zero" toe might sound ideal, but suspension flex and/or slack might allow a static zero toe setting to become toed-out under load. Set the toe-in to around 1/32" to 1/16", again at ride height. then check the suspension/steering full travel geomitry for any unwanted bump-steer (toe change).
 

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Thanks a lot guys!! That info is MOST helpful. Now I know what to do. And I also learned that I do need to take it to an alignment shop to have the final alignment put on it. I have a truck and a trailer so I will tow it to the alignment shop so no worries there. I also now know how to tell them to align it. I really wasn't sure if this was something that was performed at home or if an alignment shop would even know what to do with all the fancy parts I have on the car. I'm going to ask the local speed shop guy if there is a good hot rod alignment shop in town and take it there rather than just taking it up to Firestone to let all the monkeys with wrenches bang on it. Again thanks a lot. The info really helped!!
 

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In my opinion if an alignment shop tries to talk you into a 4 wheel alignment tell then no thanks. Tell them you just want the front suspension done (based on it's self, or based off the car's nose/tail centerline).

If you allready have your desired rear suspension preload settings done the last thing you want is some alignment shop messing with the rear control arms/bar lengths or the anti-roll links.
 

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Thanks a lot guys!! That info is MOST helpful. Now I know what to do. And I also learned that I do need to take it to an alignment shop to have the final alignment put on it. I have a truck and a trailer so I will tow it to the alignment shop so no worries there. I also now know how to tell them to align it. I really wasn't sure if this was something that was performed at home or if an alignment shop would even know what to do with all the fancy parts I have on the car. I'm going to ask the local speed shop guy if there is a good hot rod alignment shop in town and take it there rather than just taking it up to Firestone to let all the monkeys with wrenches bang on it. Again thanks a lot. The info really helped!!
I wish you were closer Chris! I would give ya the hook up on the alignment!

Derrick
 

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Best of luck with this. When I finished my A, couldnt get a shop to touch it. Did it all in the garage with a level, angle gauge and 2 4'lengths of tube ( was 2x4, clamped to discs then to outer of tires at heigth ) to get all the numbers right. Handles pretty good, wear is even, minimal bump steer ( straight axle ) There has got to be someone down here who will do this kind of stuff, I just dont know who.
 
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