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Road / Track Suspension Discussion

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 11:24AM
Originally posted by Power Surge Power Surge wrote:

Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

Originally posted by SPLUHAR SPLUHAR wrote:

Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

if i'm understanding this correctly... so more negative caster is better?
 
 more positive caster is good. 
 

Positive caster is leaning the spindle back towards the back of the car.  
 

 
so the top of the spindle leaning back is "positive" caster???? ( i thought that was negative caster)
 my specs after the alignment is... LF -0.9* RF -1.3* total caster -1.0* specified range 0.0--4.0* so this may be the problem then? i can't remember if i slotted the holes out while the a-arms were off for bushings??? i'll have to check...hmm

As I mentioned previously, more caster is more stability at speed, and less caster is more responsive low speed turning. So negative caster will make for some pretty squirrely driving on the highway. 

I don't know why....but in my years of doing alignments I have noticed that many 60s and 70s Fords have negative caster as spec. Were they trying for better handling while driving in reverse?? Makes no sense. 
I think it might have to do with bias ply versus radials, I remember my shop teacher going on about alignment and tire type, but that was a very long time ago, many, many beers ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 1:59PM
Originally posted by SPLUHAR SPLUHAR wrote:

I heard of a dirt track racer that removed the inside strut rod bushing and tightened the strut rod bolt to just clear the inside washer to gain caster.  The inside one is only used (as a cushion) when you hit a bump in reverse.  Idk if I'd remove it completely, but trimming it??? 
 
I am considering re-drilling the inner lower control arm hole, 1" higher (if the arm will clear the motor mount bolts) to modify the camber curve (same idea as adding to the top of the spindle with a taller ball joint).
 
I could cut the upper shock mount off and re-weld it on to give more caster adjustment.
genius!!! why didn't i realize this about the strut rod??? my celica has nearly the same set up and it has nuts on both sides of the bushings so the rod can be adjusted for caster!!! not trim the bushing but pull the rod and machine off the knob and relocate it back a little further Wink just need to figure out a simple but accurate measurement to find the caster CL center of the grease zerk to grease zerk???  
JOHN
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Power Surge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 2:28PM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

genius!!! why didn't i realize this about the strut rod??? my celica has nearly the same set up and it has nuts on both sides of the bushings so the rod can be adjusted for caster!!! not trim the bushing but pull the rod and machine off the knob and relocate it back a little further Wink just need to figure out a simple but accurate measurement to find the caster CL center of the grease zerk to grease zerk???  

Keep something in mind here..... you definitely can alter caster via the strut rod. Either modifying it, the bushing, or getting an adjustable one. 

However.... understand that moving the LOWER control arm from it's original location will also distort the lower control arm bushing as well. It was not designed to pivot side to side. 
Sal Mennella
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 2:54PM
yes true! FWIW i just bought a set of the upper arms from littleshopmfg a few minutes ago Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Power Surge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 2:59PM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

yes true! FWIW i just bought a set of the upper arms from littleshopmfg a few minutes ago Wink

Very nice. They must only have one set left at this point if what I was told was true. They are nice pieces. I wish I could have gotten them raw instead of coated though. Make sure you order the proper part number energy suspension bushings for them. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-January-2017 at 3:06PM
their web page states energy suspension#4.3111 i have those in red, plus new ball joints everything has less than 1,000 miles on them, so it should just be a matter of swapping the arms and realignment Wink yeah eric said he had one set ready to ship right now Big smile
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74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 CORVETTE COUPE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-January-2017 at 8:18AM

I pulled out the old Torino Handling book and this is what they recommend for alignment:

Caster:  3 to 5.5 degrees positive
Camber:  0 to -0.5 degress
Toe In:  1/16 to 1/8" toe in
 
Nominal:
 
Caster: 4 degrees positive
Camber: -1/2 degree
Toe:  1/16" with poly bushings, 1/8" with rubber.
 
FWIW, this guy also made some brackets up and was able to use a front sway bar on the rear of his car.  But he was of the opinion that these cars need more roll stiffness in the rear to help get rid of the understeer.  Although the end result isn't a factory look, it might be a solution for those looking to use a bar larger than 7/8" on the rear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 2:48AM
Ya, I have that book. It's pretty useless now that I've done so much work on my own. I don't remember there being any real data in that book either. No track times, logger data, or even direct back to back comparisons. I set my car a those specs way back when I first put it together and it was an ok setup for cruising on Sundays or daily driving but for true performance its not nearly aggressive enough enough. The torino has so much front end weight and no camber gain from travel. I just maxed out the caster and I'm somewhere in ballpark of 3 degrees of camber at this point. I used my lower radius rods to help dial in as much caster as I could get. It help gives a completely numb steering feel a little bit of feedback. The caster also helps with camber gain when the wheel turns so it's a win win.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 4:29AM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

Originally posted by SPLUHAR SPLUHAR wrote:

I heard of a dirt track racer that removed the inside strut rod bushing and tightened the strut rod bolt to just clear the inside washer to gain caster.  The inside one is only used (as a cushion) when you hit a bump in reverse.  Idk if I'd remove it completely, but trimming it??? 
 
I am considering re-drilling the inner lower control arm hole, 1" higher (if the arm will clear the motor mount bolts) to modify the camber curve (same idea as adding to the top of the spindle with a taller ball joint).
 
I could cut the upper shock mount off and re-weld it on to give more caster adjustment.
genius!!! why didn't i realize this about the strut rod??? my celica has nearly the same set up and it has nuts on both sides of the bushings so the rod can be adjusted for caster!!! not trim the bushing but pull the rod and machine off the knob and relocate it back a little further Wink just need to figure out a simple but accurate measurement to find the caster CL center of the grease zerk to grease zerk???  
After machining the rear seat, you could then shim the bushings behind the washer as needed for more adjustment.
Some where on here, there are pictures of MTBurger's build thread. in it he has pictures of an adjustable strut rod. I had found the picture sometime back and posted it with pictures of NASCAR Holman/Moody Banjo Matthews front clips. They have a big sleeve like a tie rod in the middle.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 5:44AM
 yeah i remember those pics! i got a set of those littleshop modified a arms IIRC they moved the ball joint back 4 or 5* so i'll try them. i just want to get rid of that "twitchy" feeling at cruising speeds.
 now if i was going to build a canyon burner... i'd go with vette C-4 or C-5 front suspension grafted on and C-4 rear suspension and differential set up Wink (i know most of you guys are badmouthing those chevys, but go out there and mess with a vette...let me know how that works out for ya LOL or better yet go drive one!!! you'll seeWinkBig smile)
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74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 CORVETTE COUPE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 6:04AM

Originally posted by Billy C Billy C wrote:

Ya, I have that book. It's pretty useless now that I've done so much work on my own. I don't remember there being any real data in that book either. No track times, logger data, or even direct back to back comparisons. I set my car a those specs way back when I first put it together and it was an ok setup for cruising on Sundays or daily driving but for true performance its not nearly aggressive enough enough. The torino has so much front end weight and no camber gain from travel. I just maxed out the caster and I'm somewhere in ballpark of 3 degrees of camber at this point. I used my lower radius rods to help dial in as much caster as I could get. It help gives a completely numb steering feel a little bit of feedback. The caster also helps with camber gain when the wheel turns so it's a win win.

If you have better alignment settings for track work, why don't you share them?  I thought that the Torino front suspension has positive camber gain as it compresses?  That's what John found, and so did the guy who wrote the handling book.  He also talked of a similar plan to John, where he wanted to use spindle extenders to help reduce the positive camber gain.


Yes the book is dated,  the 3rd edition was written in 2000, but it still offers some useful info.  I still think his installation of a front bar in the rear might be useful to some here.  Certainly much easier than trying to custom make a larger than 7/8" rear bar bar.  I also think his alignment specs are probably good for 90% of people here, especially if they are interested in street driving. They are a big improvement over the OEM settings.  The author, Mark Reams, does have extensive credentials in the automotive world.  He may not have data loggers (were they around in the late 90's) but claims he has 50K test miles on his Ranchero he built.  That's got to be worth something.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 6:07AM
Originally posted by 72FordGTS 72FordGTS wrote:

I pulled out the old Torino Handling book and this is what they recommend for alignment:

Caster:  3 to 5.5 degrees positive
Camber:  0 to -0.5 degress
Toe In:  1/16 to 1/8" toe in
 
Nominal:
 
Caster: 4 degrees positive
Camber: -1/2 degree
Toe:  1/16" with poly bushings, 1/8" with rubber.
 
 
Compare these specs to OEM specs.  The ones posted about would be a BIG improvement over the stock 1972-73 settings.  Maybe not the ultimate track setup, but at least it might be a good starting point.
 

1972-73

Caster:  -1 1/4 to 2 3/4    Preferred:  +3/4
Camber:  -1/4 to 1 3/4     Preferred:  +3/4
Toe-in:  1/16" to 7/16"
 
1974:
 

Caster:   1/2 to 3 1/3              Preferred:  +2
Left Camber:  -3/8 to 1 5/8     Preferred:  +1/2
Right Camber: -7/8 to 1 1/8    Preferred:  +1/8
Toe-in:  1/8"

1975-76 (power steering standard):
 
Caster:   3 1/4 to 4 3/4           Preferred:  +4
Left Camber:  -1/4 to 1 1/4     Preferred:  +1/2
Right Camber: -1/2 to 1          Preferred:  +1/4
Toe-in:  1/8"
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 6:12AM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

After machining the rear seat, you could then shim the bushings behind the washer as needed for more adjustment.
Some where on here, there are pictures of MTBurger's build thread. in it he has pictures of an adjustable strut rod. I had found the picture sometime back and posted it with pictures of NASCAR Holman/Moody Banjo Matthews front clips. They have a big sleeve like a tie rod in the middle.
If someone is going to the trouble of doing all this work, I don't think it'd be wise to stick with the stock rubber strut rod bushings.  Those bushings are not going to keep that arm in alignment under hard cornering forces. The Little Shop makes the solid spherical bushings which I installed on my car, and I think they are awesome.  No issues with the control arm moving around, it keeps it firmly mounted and the geometry correct.  If then the threaded adjustment was added to the rod, at least you could add positive caster without having to move the wheel back in the wheel well.  But since you can get 5 degrees of positive caster with the stock arms and slots, I am not sure how much more would be advantageous?


Edited by 72FordGTS - 22-January-2017 at 6:59AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 6:18AM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

 yeah i remember those pics! i got a set of those littleshop modified a arms IIRC they moved the ball joint back 4 or 5* so i'll try them. i just want to get rid of that "twitchy" feeling at cruising speeds.
 now if i was going to build a canyon burner... i'd go with vette C-4 or C-5 front suspension grafted on and C-4 rear suspension and differential set up Wink (i know most of you guys are badmouthing those chevys, but go out there and mess with a vette...let me know how that works out for ya LOL or better yet go drive one!!! you'll seeWinkBig smile)
 
Johnny, as you probably already know, rake effects the caster.  IIRC your car has pretty steep rake, so maybe your caster is too negative from the rake.  I think your car is a prime example that can really use the tubular control arms with the caster built into them.  This should allow for you to get a lot more than stock caster to help compensate for the rake.  What alignment specs are you going to use?  I posted OEM, plus the specs from the Handling book above. 
 
I know what you mean about the Vette suspensions.  The C5 and newer cars are especially awesome and actually have good geometry unlike our Torinos.  My dad has a C6, which I did some suspension upgrades on,  but even when stock that thing sticks like glue.  Pretty neat, it has the built in "g meter" too so you can see how many g's you pull on each corner. 
 
 


Edited by 72FordGTS - 22-January-2017 at 6:58AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 6:35AM
i think i'll try the +5* caster 1/2* neg camber will be fine and 1/16" toe in should be fine
 i noticed the right side is pretty far out on the slot probably due to some frame damage under there, i pulled the lower part of the cross member back forward on the right side for the lower control arm. looks like someone had jumped this car a few times Confused so with those modified upper arms it should work out better
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90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 8:46AM
Comment on the vette reference for Johnny:   I talked to a local shop owner regarding making suspension changes on my torino to make it "up to date".   I asked his opinion my approach; while talking we got distracted as he gave me  tour of the shop and the cool cars.  Part of the conversion was regarding a couple vettes he had sitting in the shop setup up for SCCA racing.  He built and maintained Porches, Ferraris, BMW, etc for guys that raced them in SCCA level racing. 

What he said about the vette was:  "When your running that vette around the track you would swear that it was shaking and rattling apart, leaving parts behind you on the track, but they hold up and BTW they go like stink on the track.  Best bang for your buck if you want to do some autocross/roadracing."

Vettes has a completely different suspension setup then ours.   Less travel, roll center below ground, etc, etc.  Regarding my conversation, he thought I was on the right track with the changes for street.   I will hit him up for more advice when I get back to the suspension.   This is a 70's platform; there is only so much you can do without significant changes.   Lots of referencing NASCAR suspensions and mods, but they are not minor improvements.   Major cut and replace setups which is not where i want to go with my Torino.   

Cutting shock towers relocating suspension mounts etc is beyond what I can do nor do I have the tools for that.  I'm looking for simple mods sticking to the basics that improve the OEM setup to maximize its capabilities without cutting and replacing major parts off.  

Honestly, I think the suspension setup is pretty good overall but needs minor mods to get rid of the family car handling and get back to some muscle car roots.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-January-2017 at 3:15PM
Originally posted by 72FordGTS 72FordGTS wrote:

Originally posted by Billy C Billy C wrote:

Ya, I have that book. It's pretty useless now that I've done so much work on my own. I don't remember there being any real data in that book either. No track times, logger data, or even direct back to back comparisons. I set my car a those specs way back when I first put it together and it was an ok setup for cruising on Sundays or daily driving but for true performance its not nearly aggressive enough enough. The torino has so much front end weight and no camber gain from travel. I just maxed out the caster and I'm somewhere in ballpark of 3 degrees of camber at this point. I used my lower radius rods to help dial in as much caster as I could get. It help gives a completely numb steering feel a little bit of feedback. The caster also helps with camber gain when the wheel turns so it's a win win.

If you have better alignment settings for track work, why don't you share them?  I thought that the Torino front suspension has positive camber gain as it compresses?  That's what John found, and so did the guy who wrote the handling book.  He also talked of a similar plan to John, where he wanted to use spindle extenders to help reduce the positive camber gain.


Yes the book is dated,  the 3rd edition was written in 2000, but it still offers some useful info.  I still think his installation of a front bar in the rear might be useful to some here.  Certainly much easier than trying to custom make a larger than 7/8" rear bar bar.  I also think his alignment specs are probably good for 90% of people here, especially if they are interested in street driving. They are a big improvement over the OEM settings.  The author, Mark Reams, does have extensive credentials in the automotive world.  He may not have data loggers (were they around in the late 90's) but claims he has 50K test miles on his Ranchero he built.  That's got to be worth something.

Sorry, I didn't intend to totally bash it or offend anyone.

I though I had already posted my specs here somewhere. I forget exactly what the last setup I did on the alignment rack was but I think is was in the ballpark of..

6* pos caster

2* neg camber

zero toe or in hair

The caster and camber have to play together on the upper arm. You cant have everything. By running caster it takes up space in the slots because then there isn't any room to bring them in. Also there is the physical limit of the front wheel well. I always say max out the caster but if all you have is the upper arm adjustment then a fat tire will hit the back of the wheel well at like 8* or something.


There is a little positive camber gain when the wheel travels up but the thought is that the camber lost (neg) from caster way outdoes the slight camber gained (pos) in travel. The only time camber is necessary is when the car is seeing lateral acceleration and that's basically any time the wheels turn. I run the static camber because the tires deflect so much. All the negative camber combined from all geometry is required to keep a sticky tire from folding on it's self under high corner loads in a big car. 

I'm certainly not the average torino builder/driver/owner but if I'm building a car with 500hp I want it to be able to at least play with mustangs. Crazy setups are required for this with a car that has a less than ideal starting point in the first place. If I didn't go crazy with it I would just have a loud smelly expensive build that would get destroyed by any mustang gt. That's ok for most people I guess.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-January-2017 at 2:57PM
Originally posted by Billy C Billy C wrote:

Sorry, I didn't intend to totally bash it or offend anyone.

I though I had already posted my specs here somewhere. I forget exactly what the last setup I did on the alignment rack was but I think is was in the ballpark of..

 

 
If this was directed at me, I didn't take any offence.  I think we are all just trying to share info on this site to figure out what's best for each of our cars.  That's why I asked you to share your alignment specs since you have some track experience with your car.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mkshelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-March-2017 at 8:02AM
Any news regarding this subject? Im considering taking my boat to autocross.
"Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually UNinventing the wheel"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-March-2017 at 10:06AM
Do it! It's a great way to get to know how your car drives at the limit. I've had lots of fun with my car on course. I'm planning on doing more track stuff this summer to test a few more parts and things I've been working on. Let us know how it goes.
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