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Allignment after Shock Absorber Change 

 

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 Post subject: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:18 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: Series 3 AU Falcon

Location: Two Wells
SA, Australia

I will soon be lowering my au falcon live axle with ebiach springs and then replacing the shock absorbers a couple months down the track with shortend ones ( undecided on brand). My question is about the wheel alignment. I understand I may need a wheel allignment and camber adjustment after lowering the car but will I then require another after I change the shock absorbers? IE the car sit even lower.

Thank you,
John :D

 

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Series 3 AU Falcon : Shift Kit, Herrod Motorsport 4499's, 100cpi Cat, Lukey 2.5 Catback,Ebiach Pro Kit, Monroe GT Short Struts, Usual P-plater crap,Alpine CDA-9856, Kicker speakers all round, Rear Speakers powered by a Kicker DX125 and SoundStream T5-12 powered by a Soundstream TX 1300.D

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:54 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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what type of shocks , as long as it doesn't make the car to much lower when replacing the shocks i dont see a point in it

Camber kit is optional its for the front if your lowering by more then a inch its not a must be can help with tyre wear
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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:02 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Camber/caster kit is needed on almost every falcon i've seen, lowered or not.
If not for the fact that the alingment is stuffed due to years of pot-holes and gutter hits but for the fact the upper bushes are stuffed.


Simply splitting a ball joint and putting it back together is enough to change the alignment.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:50 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Age: 23

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Ride: Series 3 AU Falcon

Location: Two Wells
SA, Australia

A caster/camber shim kit was the first thing I did when I got the car so thats is taken care of, will obviously need to be adjusted though. I think my safest bet will be to just get two allignments as i think the stock shocks should last quite a while as the springs are not much lower then xr height.I didnt know that the allignment was that sensitive as to be disrupted by breaking a ball joint. Thank you, John

 

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Series 3 AU Falcon : Shift Kit, Herrod Motorsport 4499's, 100cpi Cat, Lukey 2.5 Catback,Ebiach Pro Kit, Monroe GT Short Struts, Usual P-plater crap,Alpine CDA-9856, Kicker speakers all round, Rear Speakers powered by a Kicker DX125 and SoundStream T5-12 powered by a Soundstream TX 1300.D

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:42 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Sort of on a tangent - after never ever ever EVER having managed over the space of what - 28 years? - to get any alignment that made my car both feel good to drive / handle AND wear well on the front tyres, several months ago I finally out of desperation did my own "seat of pants" alignment using plumbob, spirit level and various bits and blocks of wood - and I have a car that feels lovely to drive, handles great and for the first time I've ever seen is wearing almost evenly across both front tyres - tho that wear itself is negligible (passenger tyre scrubbing slightly more on the outside shoulder - which makes sense as that side has slightly more caster to offset road camber).

A tiny smidge more negative camber and I think I might end up with almost even wear across both tyres - or more accurately - same inner / outer shoulders wear across all 4 shoulders (fronts will always scrub the shoulders more than the centre - compared to rears which will generally wear flat).

It's got me scratching my head and wondering just WTF those wheel alignment places actually ^%^$#^& do!!! :evil:

 

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:43 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ride: EF XR6 Wagon, AU2 XR6 VCT

Power: 148 rwkw

Location: Auckland
New Zealand

Hey, Greenmachine. Don't want to derail the thread, but that's a great result! Any idea what the toe, camber and caster specs are that you finally arrived at?

I love my EF XR6 wagon: KYBs on the front, Koni reds on the back, GSD3s all round. I am running factory XR6 springs and ride height (maybe a bit of sag due to age - just like me :lol: ). I don't have a camber kit, and the alignment is within spec. It handles and sticks like a dream, but is vague and a bit wandery on centre. The wheel alignment place has checked everything including steering rack and column, and there is no play. They say it is probably because of the non-factory wheels I am running. I have the FTR 17x8 wheels in the same style as the factory option EF/EL 16x7s. Being an inch wider, they stick out an inch f@rt and visually fill the wheelwells better. But this also makes the centre of the tyre half an inch f@rt outboard, potentially upsetting the geometry. Can this little bit of extra track actually cause the vagueness on centre? Or are they talking voodoo? I find it hard to believe, and suspect they just don't know how to deal with the problem. Your practical "seat of the pants" alignment might be the solution. So your final specs would be very helpful.

 

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95 EF XR6 wagon, 17" FTRs, DBA, QFM, KYB/Koni, AU block, ported EF head, SS Inductions, Territory intake, MLS gasket, milled, Franklin RH24B cam, Coby headers, no cat, Tickford 2.5", 2800rpm stall, J3 chip

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:55 am 
Getting Side Ways
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I've ended up roaming all over the full range of adjustment and arrived back at pretty much factory specs - ie. about 3 to 4 degrees caster and a small amount of negative camber and small amount of toe in (tweaked to get on centre feel as good as possible). At that it feels and handles as good as heavier, more caster and camber intensive setups without the weight variation and tyre wear tradeoffs - BUT - overall it's quite light - bordering on too light on centre at higher speeds.

It's hard to describe but the results whenever I try to go away from factory specs end up being ok in some respects but not in others and always end up with crook tyre wear (I run 225/60/15's) - so those guys might be right about wider tyres. I think the issue is contact patch shape / size / position putting too much weight outside the geometry of the suspension at times - might be why they changed offset for the AU?

At that mine is quite light across the board (but it has no problem self centering) and has good road feel but can seem almost too light in the centre at higher speeds (my wife wont go over 80 in it when she drives it). It's not actually vague - too sensitive is prolly a better description (that might be one of the flaws of the EF from what I've read) - but a bit more weight would be nice. I've found tho that increasing caster - which SHOULD more or less be the remedy - makes it feel crappy really quickly without improving the feel.

Yours sounds like it's front end is basically nice and straight (mine without adjusters absolutely rips the heck out of passenger side tyre shoulder - tho oddly enough it feels not too bad to drive) - so if it's feeling actually vague on centre then perhaps you could try a poofteenth more caster (does it feel a tad better with a huge load in the back?). Take a look at the stud tails of your front top hinge brackets (in the engine bay) and if it looks like there's enough length then you could chuck some shims in those front hinges and see if that helps. Because yours is nice and square initially, make sure to use the same shimming on each side equally. Shims come in thin, medium and thick - I don't think you'd be able to fit any more than a single medium at most - but that should be enough. Otherwise you can mess about with toe in and see if a little bit more will make the steering feel that little bit more positive in the centre.

 

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96 EF Auto GLi - Bilstein Shocks - Adjustable Front sway bar - JMM Cam - TI Perf J3 - TCI 2500/3000 stall converter. 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:13 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ride: EF XR6 Wagon, AU2 XR6 VCT

Power: 148 rwkw

Location: Auckland
New Zealand

Thanks for the great advice. My steering is actually quite heavy (though that could be a tired power steering pump), but still loose on centre - weird. I'll definitely try a bit more toe in, and I'll have to look into the shims - never thought of that.

Cheers.

 

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95 EF XR6 wagon, 17" FTRs, DBA, QFM, KYB/Koni, AU block, ported EF head, SS Inductions, Territory intake, MLS gasket, milled, Franklin RH24B cam, Coby headers, no cat, Tickford 2.5", 2800rpm stall, J3 chip

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:38 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Oh! - in that case actually look at putting the shims under the REAR hinges.

Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant. That business of being HEAVY in general but sort of sloppy/vague in the centre is exactly the issue that made me decide to try my own alignment - ie. the vagueness I really think is simply play in the system which is amplified at your end by the actual alignment being screwed. Once it's set up nicely and the weightyness goes, then that "sloppiness" goes as well.

Alignment shops kept telling me there was nothing wrong - I'd get printouts showing only a bit of toe in adjustment being done - even when I knew I'd been fairly indiscriminately stuffing about with the shims - which made me think either I was f&^%en good or there was some bullsh&tting going on - but when the most recent one was after I had fitted new Nolathane bolt adjustable kits which I set up entirely AND ROUGHLY by eye (but didn't mention to them) I finally had reasonably good confirmation bullsh$tting had been happening...

In frustration I grabbed a plumbob and spirit level etc. - got both sides at least ballpark similar to each other - ie. set the passenger side to match the driver side - and then put in bit more caster and negative camber for the passenger side - which made it better on the road than it had ever been but still tending heavy - so I pulled out caster until I reached a point where it came good but any less made it too floaty - and now the car drives and feels terrific. I decided to actually have a go at working out my final caster angles (by eye I thought they were ridiculously small like 1.5 degrees or something) so took measurements to draw up a triangle of the driver side centre of wheel to centre of top balljoint to intersect of wheel centre horizontal line to balljoint vertical line (ie. right angle triangle) - and I'll be buggered if it didn't come out at something like 3.5 degrees.

 

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96 EF Auto GLi - Bilstein Shocks - Adjustable Front sway bar - JMM Cam - TI Perf J3 - TCI 2500/3000 stall converter. 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:05 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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NSW, Australia

pretty sure you can't get anywhere near the accuracy of alignment with a plumb-bob my friend. The problem: incompetent operators.
I've had a few wheel alignments feel dodgey, then I found my utopia, a place so good I actually paid for an alignment every 12 months because it made THAT MUCH difference. I couldn't get anywhere close in the front yard (I did get almost as close as the dodgey aligners though) but if you want accuracy, you need a machine, and a competent operator.

Last time I went there was a new guy on, he proceeded to align, then test drive my ute on injector cutout in second gear out the driveway down the road.... needless to say I don't go there anymore and I deal with dodgey alignment again until I find someone competent again.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Allignment after Shock Absorber Change
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:10 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Oh, I'm not claiming my alignment is precise by any means - all I'm saying is that by the way it holds the road nicely, feels good, handles well and my tyres are wearing well and evenly, clearly my home made alignment is closer than any of maybe 8 machine based ones I've had over the years - not to mention I've managed to dial out the heaviness which "experts" always told me was unfixable.

Definitely operator issues - no argument there!

 

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