Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Georgetown/Austin, TX
    Posts
    296
    Country Flag: United States

    Default Procedure For Shimming Control Arms To Add Camber?

    So I'm all set to do my first DIY front end alignment on my 67 Camaro. I have all the tools and know-how to make the adjustments, but I do have a practical question I can't seem to find the answer to.

    What's the actual procedure for adding shims to the upper control arms?

    Do I just loosen the control arm shaft nuts, pry the cross bar out, and slip the shims in? Does the suspension need to be loaded or unloaded?

    I appreciate any advice you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Georgetown/Austin, TX
    Posts
    296
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Well, that was easy.

    Here's how it went in case anyone has the same n00B question in the future.

    I left the car on the ground to keep the load on the lower control arms. I used 11/16 wrench to loosen the bolts enough to slip in the shims. I did need to use a regular size flat-head screw driver to pry on the cross bar just a bit, but it didn't take much force at all.

    I retightened the bolts, bounced the suspension several times, and rolled it back and forth across my garage before checking the angle. Adding 1/8" shims all around gave me right around 1.3 degrees of negative camber which was exactly what I wanted.

    Now it's time to check the toe....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,324
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    I'm curious how one could check caster at home.

    I got my car aligned at Firestone and they don't give printouts with actual numbers anymore.

    Just looking at the car from the side, you can see that the front wheels are at least straight up and down, but it looks like they actually have positive camber. I definitely need to add some shims for that, but I'd like to know if it's possible to check caster, too.

    Where did you get the shims?

    I think I remember seeing them at AutoZone years ago but haven't seen them in a while...
    Matt

    69 Nova - 357, TKO600, Tru Turn, some other stuff, awaiting LS1 swap
    71 Duster - all stock, slant 6, automatic. awaiting HEMI/T56 swap

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    PA.
    Posts
    933
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkoNova View Post
    I'm curious how one could check caster at home.

    I got my car aligned at Firestone and they don't give printouts with actual numbers anymore.

    Just looking at the car from the side, you can see that the front wheels are at least straight up and down, but it looks like they actually have positive camber. I definitely need to add some shims for that, but I'd like to know if it's possible to check caster, too.

    Where did you get the shims?

    I think I remember seeing them at AutoZone years ago but haven't seen them in a while...
    All you need is a handy dandy caster/camber gauge. There are many different types, my favorite is the SPC Fastrax. Shims you can get from any auto parts store. They`ll probably have to order them and some of the young counter guys may not know what you`re talking about but they are available. ;)
    Mark Savitske
    www.SCandC.com
    610-381-6100
    sales@scandc.com
    Author of:
    How to Make Your Muscle Car Handle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Central CA USA
    Posts
    5,971
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Harbor Freight sells a body shim assortment pack that works great for alignment shims. You don't want stock alignment specs.
    67 Camaro RS that will be faster than anything Mary owns.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkoNova View Post
    I'm curious how one could check caster at home. Just looking at the car from the side, you can see that the front wheels are at least straight up and down, ...
    You can't see caster from the side unless the wheels are removed. Caster is the relation of the upper ball joint to the lower ball joint. Positive caster has the upper joint further toward the rear of the car then the lower. This is what you want. To measure caster the wheels need to be turned to the left and camber measured. Then turn the wheels to the right and again measure the camber. Usually a 20 turn in each direction is required. It takes some math to the difference in the left/right readings to get the caster value. But it is worth it. I dabbled in front end alignments over the past years. But when the alignment guy used a hammer on the upper strut mounts of my 3rd gen f-body did I get serious about doing it myself. Since then none of my cars have seen an alignment shop. Got turntables and a caster/camber gauge. The caster part of the gauge was so far off I did the math myself using the camber portion of the gauge (bubble type). Yes, my cars have a good alignment, it works. The best thing I did was to get real turntables, it made all the difference in the world. Repeatable results are a good thing. Bob. {edit} P.S. This is strange, the site removed all of my formatting and paragraphing. WTF?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,324
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    I thought about turntables, but I've also read that you can just use a couple pieces of cardboard. Obviously not as smooth so probably not the best for accuracy, but sounds like it should work.

    What about measuring the height from the ground to the fender lip and from the ground to the bottom of the lower control arm, jacking the car up, removing the wheels, and then lowering the car on to blocks of wood that match the previous measurements?

    That way the car is still at ride height but the wheels aren't in the way.
    Matt

    69 Nova - 357, TKO600, Tru Turn, some other stuff, awaiting LS1 swap
    71 Duster - all stock, slant 6, automatic. awaiting HEMI/T56 swap

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hildebran, NC
    Posts
    919
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkoNova View Post
    ....I thought about turntables, but I've also read that you can just use a couple pieces of cardboard....
    Use a long piece of wax paper (Like for cooking) and fold it over about 4 or 5 times.
    Put that under the wheels, and they turn like they are on ice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    921
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Alignments seem daunting... kind of like a science for all the time you have people do it. Then you read up on suspension geometry, take some Ron Sutton seminars, and you realize it's really not difficult. Just measurements. Got myself a Quicktrick alignment system with plates, and love it. Haven't been to an alignment shop since, and the system has paid for itself by just doing the last 3-4 cars I've done. Only difficulty I've had is tweaking the system to fit my cars. Had to drill some different holes in the bars to fit my range of cars... namely my lowered 58 Edsel with low slung fenderwells that like to interfere with the system. But other than that, awesome system.
    Josh Campbell- Pushing the limits of my HOA since 2011
    71 Firebird- 455, Ridetech front suspension. https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...04#post1124504
    67 Camaro RS/SS clone, Speedtech front suspension, coilovers, soon to get LT1/T56.
    82 Z28- cheapie beater, soon to get a 406.
    66 Mustang coupe- 393, T-5, sold. https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...-Coupe-GT393-C

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Georgetown/Austin, TX
    Posts
    296
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rchaskin View Post
    Use a long piece of wax paper (Like for cooking) and fold it over about 4 or 5 times.
    Put that under the wheels, and they turn like they are on ice.
    Great tip! I will definitely be doing that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by David Pozzi View Post
    Harbor Freight sells a body shim assortment pack that works great for alignment shims. You don't want stock alignment specs.
    That's exactly what I used! They work like a charm.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •