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Discussion Starter #1
So in September 2014 I bought the GT Bird from Traveler. The tires were rough, worn out in the middle due to being overinflated, and I could see some scrubbing on the inside of the front tires. No worries thought I, as I knew I needed new tires, I'll just get the alignment when I get new tires.

The scrubbing on the inside is much worse than I thought. I noticed that the passenger front was worn through to the cords last week, so she's now parked till I get new tires. I haven't found anything stating that we have any caster/camber issues on a lowered car (1.5" Eibachs with KYB GR2 shocks). I do have the "aggressive" alignment specs from the technical articles, I just want to make sure that I don't need anything special to get it aligned. I know on my 1999 Mustang, it needed caster/camber plates due to lack of adjustment when lowered.
 

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So in September 2014 I bought the GT Bird from Traveler. The tires were rough, worn out in the middle due to being overinflated, and I could see some scrubbing on the inside of the front tires. No worries thought I, as I knew I needed new tires, I'll just get the alignment when I get new tires.

The scrubbing on the inside is much worse than I thought. I noticed that the passenger front was worn through to the cords last week, so she's now parked till I get new tires. I haven't found anything stating that we have any caster/camber issues on a lowered car (1.5" Eibachs with KYB GR2 shocks). I do have the "aggressive" alignment specs from the technical articles, I just want to make sure that I don't need anything special to get it aligned. I know on my 1999 Mustang, it needed caster/camber plates due to lack of adjustment when lowered.
I thought I'd seen something on improved alignment specs at one point but couldn't find it when I went looking for it. Could you point this out so I can write the specs down? I wished I could have found this before I had the car lined up Thursday. I'd like to have them for the next time.
 

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I've run the 1.5 eibachs for 6? years now and I have had my car aligned many times by Firestone (the only thing I let Firestone touch on my car) without any issues. Haven't bought anything extra. Sounds like the tires are just too big for the fronts. What size are they? Upper ball joints good?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've run the 1.5 eibachs for 6? years now and I have had my car aligned many times by Firestone (the only thing I let Firestone touch on my car) without any issues. Haven't bought anything extra. Sounds like the tires are just too big for the fronts. What size are they? Upper ball joints good?
Tires are 255/50/16, they're 1/2" smaller than stock actually. I know the alignment has been off and the tires were not properly inflated before I got it... I think all it needs is a good alignment. I suspect the toe is off.

The fact they're a 10" wide tire on a 7" wheel weren't doing them any favors, but they're being replaced with 255/40/18's on 18x9" wheels. According to my measurements, should fit just fine, but I'll roll the fenders just in case.

Just wanted clarification that there aren't any known issues with lowering the car. Ball joints are good, can yank on the wheel without it moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought I'd seen something on improved alignment specs at one point but couldn't find it when I went looking for it. Could you point this out so I can write the specs down? I wished I could have found this before I had the car lined up Thursday. I'd like to have them for the next time.
It's in the technical articles section. I have learned to look there first.
alignment
 

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It's in the technical articles section. I have learned to look there first.
alignment
Thanks! I looked there first. (Believe it or not). And even by looking at the URL in the link you posted I Still can't find it in the forums.

Your link works just fine. I copied all the info down and saved it. I'm wondering if some parts of the forum aren't displaying on a iPad or showing up in the mobile view.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Actually, I cannot find it in the technical articles either. I know that there is an "archive" of some very old unstickied posts that don't show up in the general view, but show up when you search. Perhaps it's in there, and perhaps we can ask a mod to sticky it?
 

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Actually, I cannot find it in the technical articles either. I know that there is an "archive" of some very old unstickied posts that don't show up in the general view, but show up when you search. Perhaps it's in there, and perhaps we can ask a mod to sticky it?
Not a bad idea. Any forum that's been updated tends to have some stuff fall through the cracks. I feel alittle better if you couldn't find it either. The search functions hit or miss for me.

It would be nice if the Ford Overdrive Transmisions 101 article was available in something other than Flash. Which doesn't work on the iPad. I'm trying to download it via my PC and convert it to PDF or something.

I KNEW I'd seen something. I was going to ask here on the forum but when I had the GF call around to check alignment prices my local Firestone countered with the offer of 20.00 off the regular alignment price if I brought it in that day. And they had a open spot to do it immediately. So I jumped. With stock wheels and tires I wasn't worried about getting the improved specs. But it would have been nice to have them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I find using Google to search instead of the built in search to be more effective. When I found the alignment specs, I had typed "Alignment issues lowered 1997 Thunderbird" into Google and it was one of the first to pop up.
 

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As far as recommended specs go, this is what I would suggest:

Front:
Camber: Negative 0.8-1.3 You can go further, but you'll start wearing the insides of the tires. I typically prefer mine at ~ -0.8-1.0.
Caster: Positive 5.0-6.0
Toe: Positive .05-.15 On a autocross car, you can go slightly negative, but you'll give up stability at speed. I keep mine at ~ +0.1.
Cross Camber: As close to zero as possible.
Cross Caster: 0 to -0.3 Going negative helps on crowned roads, but will cause a slight drift to the left otherwise.
Total Toe: Positive 0.1-0.3 Once again, this is for a car you'll be driving on the street. If it's an autocross car, a little negative toe will help on turn in.

Rear:
Camber: Negative 0.5-1.0 Same as the front, you can go further, but you'll start wearing the insides of the tires. Also keep in mind that as the rear squats, the camber will tend to go further negative. I like mine set at ~ -0.5.
Toe: Zero to +0.15 I'd lean toward +0.1 on both sides with Delrin LCA bushings and toward zero with the stock LCA bushings, as they'll allow an increase in toe when under power.
Cross Camber: Same as front. Keep it close to zero.
Total Toe: 0-0.3


These settings have worked well for me as an all-purpose alignment (drag racing, corner carving, and highway cruising) on this chassis without any real adverse effects on tire wear. If the intended use was autocross-type events only, drag racing only, etc., I'd set things a bit differently. These are just my recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As far as recommended specs go, this is what I would suggest:

Front:
Camber: Negative 0.8-1.3 You can go further, but you'll start wearing the insides of the tires. I typically prefer mine at ~ -0.8-1.0.
Caster: Positive 5.0-6.0
Toe: Positive .05-.15 On a autocross car, you can go slightly negative, but you'll give up stability at speed. I keep mine at ~ +0.1.
Cross Camber: As close to zero as possible.
Cross Caster: 0 to -0.3 Going negative helps on crowned roads, but will cause a slight drift to the left otherwise.
Total Toe: Positive 0.1-0.3 Once again, this is for a car you'll be driving on the street. If it's an autocross car, a little negative toe will help on turn in.

Rear:
Camber: Negative 0.5-1.0 Same as the front, you can go further, but you'll start wearing the insides of the tires. Also keep in mind that as the rear squats, the camber will tend to go further negative. I like mine set at ~ -0.5.
Toe: Zero to +0.15 I'd lean toward +0.1 on both sides with Delrin LCA bushings and toward zero with the stock LCA bushings, as they'll allow an increase in toe when under power.
Cross Camber: Same as front. Keep it close to zero.
Total Toe: 0-0.3


These settings have worked well for me as an all-purpose alignment (drag racing, corner carving, and highway cruising) on this chassis without any real adverse effects on tire wear. If the intended use was autocross-type events only, drag racing only, etc., I'd set things a bit differently. These are just my recommendations.
Thank you! My car will be 99.9% street driven. It'll go down the local 1/8th street drags once or twice in the next few years, and if I can get it out to Brainerd International Raceway, I'd love to run the road course, but I don't think that would justify going to a full autocross alignment setup.
 
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