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charley norton
07-20-2005, 10:43 PM
My Avanti pulls to the left. I had it aligned and still had the same prob. I changed the tires around, adjusted the tire pressure and replaced the shocks but still pulled to the left.
I decided that the alignment shop did something wrong so today I took it to a good shop in another town and gave him the specs that I got from the forum and the guy said that it was dead on specs. He said that my steering box was probably off centered and I should adjust it. He showed me where the adjustment was but couldn't tell me which way to turn it or how much. Anybody know about this stuff??What should I do?? Thanks for the help

Charley

63 R2 Avanti

Roscomacaw
07-21-2005, 12:13 AM
Sorry Charley,

That feller's guess at what's wrong just doesn't make good common sense to me.
Sure, the steering sector could be "off" of center when the car's wheels are running straight and true. But to suggest that the sector is trying to center itself and thereby throwing the car to the left - sounds fishy to me.
Is your steering wheel centered when you keep the car headed straight down the road? If so, at a standstill, does the wheel turn the same amount from center to left and center to right?
You didn't say if you've checked out the brakes at all. Wheel bearings in good shape?

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

charley norton
07-21-2005, 08:16 AM
I was afraid it wouldn't be that simple, Mr. Biggs. I repacked the bearings last week and they seemed to be in good shape. On the hub adjustment, I tightened the nut tight and then backed off to the next "slot" that the cotter pin would go in. I then turned the wheel and it spun with just the least bit of resistance. Thats the way I've done it in the past. I also checked the ride height. The right side was a little bit higher, but only an 1\8th inch or so and I wouldn't think that would make a difference.
The brakes, on the other hand, may be the problem. When I got the car, it was in storage for 23 years. So one of the first things I did was replace the pads. And, of course, all the darn washers fell out. Thats when I learned they had to be shimmed. The book said to shim them to a tolerence of 8 thousands to center, but it didn't say how. As you probably know, theres a space of about a half an inch to deal with. I used a nut as a spacer to close the gap and then used my feeler guage to measure from there. I felt pretty confident that it was right. But maybe not. But the wheel did turn just like the other one when I adjusted the hub nut.
Could the pitman arm have been put on wrong or some other component didn't get shimmed or lined up? Every suspension part was replaced back in 1981 before it was put in storage, including the coil springs.
The car handles badly, even after I put new shocks on it. I had a Chevy truck that pulled even after it was aligned and it turned out to be the steering box. The clue was the steering wheel would move on its own when the engine was first started. I tried this on the Avanti and the wheel didn't move. The power steering seems to work fine but I don't have another Avanti to compare it with, nor have I ever driven a different one. I am truly clueless. I feel like the car should handle good. I may try swapping the tires around again.

63 R2 Avanti

charley norton
07-21-2005, 08:37 AM
I forgot to answer your other question. Yes, the steering wheel is centered when I'm going down the road. I haven't checked to see if the wheel turns the same in both directions. I'll try that when I get home tonight.

63 R2 Avanti

wagone
07-21-2005, 09:16 AM
Charley: When you shim the calipers to a difference of .008 maximum you are centering the caliper within the rotor (obviously) and I don't see how you could use a nut, or anything similar, to close up the gap so you are down to feeler gauge thickness. When I did mine (spacer shims fell out of my brakes when I removed the caliper too--been their, done that) I merely used the feeler gauge (numerous shims stacked together) to measure the spacing on each side, noted the difference between the two halves and then dissambled (removed) the caliper from the bracket and moved shims and then remeasured. It is a lot of monkey work and I had to file a few of my shims to get to within .008. The measurement is between the rotor face and a machined surface inside the caliper half so I don't know how you could get a nut up in there. but I guess it is possible--I just used the feeler gauge with a bunch of individual shims stacked together so I could measure the total space and to determine what the space was I merely added the thickness of all the shims used together. Please let us know what you find the problem to be--remember that some of the Avanti front suspension pieces do not interchange with other Studes and when it was rebuilt someone may have put some Lark parts on one side. For example I BELIEVE that the upper A arm and kingpins are the same but the lower A arm is unique to the Avanti. Also, from the mid-fifties to the early-sixties at some point the king pin inclination angle was changed from 5 1/4 to 6 degrees so you cannot just grab parts from the salvage yard and use them even though they look the same. Good luck. Thanks for your response to me on the strainer sock in the gas tank.
wagone and Avanti I

wagone
07-21-2005, 09:42 AM
Charley: Another thought: did the shop or shops give you a printout of the alignment? This is the only way to know whether the job is "dead on the specs"--some shops will tell you anything, but you gotta see for yourself by looking at the printout. How bad does it pull? More on some road surfaces than others? And I assume that you don't mean when you are braking. I'm not the expert I would like to be, but it is hard for me to believe that the problem is inside the box unless it steers awfully hard or steering action is different in a left as opposed to a right turn. I believe that if it were the box you would have other symptoms as well. And if the alignment is correct and everything is tight I don't see that it should pull--so again do you have a copy of what the alignment now reads and is it in fact within specs? Compare everything including the king pin inclination angle sometimes called the steering angle inclination (SAI). And the ride height on your car is within an 1/8"? That is amazing close, but I don't know what that spec is. My front springs sag a significant amount (also R2, 4-speed)--let me say a LARGE amount (the springs need to be repaced) and mine cannot be aligned perfectly, but it drives very well (if I had a working fuel pump it would!) and hence I am reluctant to put in new springs for fear that it will act like yours. Anyway you need to see a printout, in my opinion. Let's hear from you again on this issue, and what should the ride height be?
wagone and Avanti I

wagone
07-21-2005, 09:52 AM
Charley: I keep going back and rereading your comments and I now understand your ride height--you are comparing right side to left side and the difference is 1/8"--that is very close and will definitely not cause your problem. As to the shims on the brakes--the gap you want to measure is, in my opinion, not nearly 1/2", probably more like .100 to the inner machined surface of the caliper. If you are getting as much as 1/2" I'm wondering if you are not measuring to a raw cast surface which may not be a good idea. So you may want to check that--but I'm not sure that the caliper not being centered would cause the car to pull. Under braking maybe--but you don't say that this is the condition when the problem occurs. Do you have the front to rear mounting of the caliper within .002"--that may be more important than the .008"? Come back!
wagone and Avanti I

hank63
07-21-2005, 11:48 AM
Lots of things to consider when aligning your car. In some cases the sideways tracking can come from the rear axle. I'm not saying that's common, but worth checking if the front seems ok.
Imagine the rear axle tracking to one side by say 2mm per metre. That becomes 2 metres sideways per kilometer of driving.
The rear axle will have toe-in or toe-out as well. If uneven (side to side), the ideal would be to shift the axle to "split the difference". That can be a pain, as you'd have to do it where the axle fits to the springs.
/ H

wagone
07-21-2005, 12:29 PM
Charley: Hank63 brought up rear axle tracking and I don't know if what he is referring to is the same as thrust angle or not; however, check your printout and note what your thrust angle measures (I believe this is defined as the difference in angular displacement between the centers of the front and rear axle as the car moves down the road). Mine measures .01 degrees from zero and my car (when it is driveable--which lately is RARE) does not pull and tracks fine down the road. What is your thrust angle--close to zero? It should be zero, of course--but then nothing 40 years old is perfect and I have to keep reminding myself of that. Also the rear axle (if the front alignment is not the culprit) needs to be centered side to side and fore and aft--I believe Stan Gundry says in his book that he found his Avanti to be off a significant amount in this regard, might be worth checking. As Hank63 says "could be a lot of things". Even, horror of horrors, a bent frame--but then the car couldn't be aligned properly, which you say it supposedly is!
wagone and Avanti I

Roscomacaw
07-21-2005, 12:59 PM
The king pins were different with the intro of the '62 models. And as wagone says - really tough to tell just by eyeballing them.
The upper and lower A-arms ARE the same as those used on cars. There was the use of threaded, metal bushed upper inner A-arms on R3 & R4 Avanits and taxi and Marshall versions of cars, from 62 thru 64. These were a throwback to the upper inner shafts and bushings used on '51-'52 model cars.

Worth considering - the theories about rear end misalignment. ;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

charley norton
07-21-2005, 08:23 PM
Man you guys are smart! I had to go out of town today so I'm sorry for the late responce. The rear leaf springs on the car were replaced back in 81 as well so it's possible that the rear of the car could be out of line. But the car doesn't "go" to the left, it steers to the left. I also had a neighbor ride behind me and he said it was tracking straight. The last (yesterday) alignment shop didn't put the car on the computer. He said the only thing that would make it pull to the left(or right for that matter) as far as suspension is concerned is the caster adjustment(or he may have said camber). With that, and being told it was lined up by computer before(which I didn't get a printout), he said he would do it the old fashioned way and got out an old hub attachment(magnitised level looking thing) and attached it to the hub with the dust cover removed. He did that and concluded that it was set right and the problem must be the steering box as he found that to be the problem with an old corvette and a truck he worked on in the past and corrected. He didn't know and I didn't think to tell him about the brake adjustment thing. I think now that I did shim the caliper using measurements from the wrong location. But I still don't know exactly where I'm suppose to measure from. Is it something I have to do with the pads removed? I'm just going to yank the wheel off in the morning and try to see where your talking about(if I have time). But I still don't see how caliper adjustment would make it pull when I'm not braking and it doesn't pull left when I brake. Would a bad set of shocks do it? There new, but it wouldn't be the first bad new part I ever bought.I wonder if it still could be my tires. I swapped them front to back but not side to side. When I had them rebalanced a while back, I took them off and carried them to the tire shop so when I put them back on, I didn't put them back exactly where they were before. Anyway, Thanks for the help!!I'll let ya'll know if I find anything and be checking for your imput. I feel like I've made a lot of new friends.
Charley

63 R2 Avanti

charley norton
07-21-2005, 08:35 PM
Just another note. I forgot to say that I noticed the lower control arm bushings weren't replaced but the uppers were. The previous owner remembered replacing king pins but wasn't sure if it was this one or another identical (5 numbers apart) Avanti he had back then. I feel like it was mine he replaced because he replaced almost everything else. It just dawned on me that the rubbers looked flat where the grease fittings are. You know, its probably never been greased. Would that do it??

63 R2 Avanti

wagone
07-21-2005, 11:01 PM
Charley: IMHO bad shocks would not cause your problem and neither would tire balancing or rotating them to a different spot than originally located unless there be a problem with the tire itself as opposed to the balancing of the wheel/tire combination. It seems strange that the lower pins and bushing were not replaced,but the uppers were as the lowers take the vast amount of the load and hence the wear. Of course, the upper pins and bushings are much easier to replace than the lowers. As to not lubing the pins and the rest of the front suspension, obviously that could lead to wear that might be contributing to your problem. I'd suggest jacking the front up and then grasp the wheel at the 12 and 6 o'clock position and rocking the wheel/tire combination in and out using as much leverage as you can--with the car supported on jack stands of course. The goal is to see how much play is in the suspension and whether you have knocks as you rock it. I believe that this checks the bushings in the spindle (where it is supported on the king pins) more than the upper and lower pins, but still it would not be a bad thing to have an idea of the overall play in all the bushings. I'm a firm believer in getting the computer printout from the alignment shop and comparing what figures they ended with. There are sites on the internet which do a fair job, at least to me, of explaining front suspension terminology and you can pick up enough to see whether in fact your job is set to factory specs. As for the brakes and the location of this machined surface to measure from, if you don't have a shop manual I would strongly encorage getting one. In lieu of that look alongside the rotor and up inside the inside of each caliper half and you will, or should, see the area of the caliper to measure from. It is not very big, but is not that hard to see and if I remember it would be about .100" from the rotor. When you are pleased that you have it shimmedto within .008" then you need to ensure that from top to bottom or front to back (whatever way you want to look at it), but in any case from the relationship of one of the bracket bolts to the other,that the difference does not exceed .002"--not much of a difference, admittedly. At first I cussed myself when I pulled my first caliper off for not knowing that shims were used here, but then I quickly realized that in the 40 years before I bought the car someone likely had this screwed up and would need to be corrected anyway. Sure enough,instead of being off .008" mine were off by about .035 or 4 times the amount should have been. (I'm almost 63 and I swear this is the last collector car I'm going to buyas I'm tired of fixing someone's crap--not that I'm a great mechanic but at least I try and do the right thing instead of.........). Please keep us informed of your progress in correcting this difficulty.
wagone and Avanti I

Dwain G.
07-22-2005, 01:13 AM
I guess you asked the second alignment shop to just check the settings, not re-adjust anything. Centering the steering box would certainly be the job of any alignment technician before he sets the toe. Did your car get a 'thrust alignment', where the front wheels are squared with the rear wheels? When you say the settings were found to be 'dead on', does that mean that caster and toe were the same on both sides? It is common practise on some cars to dial in about a half-degree more camber on the left side to compensate for a cars tendency to drift down off the road crown. Maybe this effect was over compensated for on your car.
I see you have power steering. There's a whole new can of worms. Installation and adjustment of the control valve (attached to steering pitman arm) is critical. If none of the other tips the guys have given so far help the situation, that's the next place to go!

Dwain G.

charley norton
07-22-2005, 07:01 AM
Thanks, I think I'll check the brakes first, then check the front suspension more throughly for anything that looks out of wack. I did have time this morning to count revolutions at the steering wheel from left to right. It turns 1 3\4 turns from center in either direction before it stops. The tires look new, but their vintage 1981 as well. I need to get tires, but I don't want(can't afford)to get tires that won't look right on whatever rims I end up with.

63 R2 Avanti

oldcarfart
07-22-2005, 08:47 AM
did you get a 4-wheel alignment vs. a 2 wheel or thrust alignment? a 4 wheel alignment will measure a car for a squared wheelbase, if wheelbase is shorter on one side (mechanical, accident damage) it will tend to pull to that side. also did the shop duplicate the actual drive height with ballast bags for driver (if mostly driver only) and passenger (if passenger rides majority of time)? this is the difference between a flat-rate alignment and a quality alignment, go see how a Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, etc. do theirs.

charley norton
07-23-2005, 02:55 PM
No fancy line up shops here in Alabama. But I'll try to get more info from the guy who computer lined it up

63 R2 Avanti

Dwain G.
07-23-2005, 06:25 PM
<SNIP>
The tires look new, but their vintage 1981 as well. I need to get tires,
....................
Wow! You sure do! The tires alone could be the source of the pulling. Swap them front to rear, or with another set. It might make all the difference.

Dwain G.

charley norton
07-24-2005, 09:22 PM
Just an update. We took the car to a cruise night yesterday. It was not a fun trip. Not only did I have the pull to the left thing, but a host of other problems. The steering wheel shook on right curves at highway speeds. The back end didn't take bumps and dips evenly. It felt like one side would bounce lower or easier than the other. On sharp "turn arounds" in the parking lot (to the left), there was a "rub rub rub"sound that didnnt sound like the tires. I babied it home last night and this morning put all four ends on jack stands, took the tires off and rolled under. There is oil all over the back end. Apparently the couple of drops of oil I saw under the differencial occassionally was blowing out of the seal like crazy when I drove it. I put nearly a quart of oil in the diff. before it topped out. While I was there I noticed the rear shocks where they mount at the top were positioned curiously. The top of the shock mounts into a bolt that slides through a kind of channel steel. There is about a inch or so that the shock can travel in either direction on the bolt before it hits the frame. Neither shocks are centered nor have they settled in relative positions. Shouldn't there be spacers there?? I also finally found where I am suppose to measure to get the front calipers lined up and they were WAY OUT. Both the center on the rotor and front to back were off up to over 20 thousanths!!I can also confirm that none of the new suspencion parts including the king pins have ever seen grease. Over the next few days, I'm going to grease, space and order a rear seal to install before the wheels go back on. I'm also going to cris cross the tires when they go back on.
There is also a leak developing in the front main seal on the engine, but that will have to wait. I felt like the years this car was in storage was going to produce problems, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

63 R2 Avanti

wagone
07-25-2005, 05:51 PM
Charley: I just came in from looking at my rear shocks and, yes, they appaer to have fairly thin wall spacers between the sides of the channel section cross member and the rubber insulator that the shock mounting bolt passes through. They appear to be not a lot larger in diameter than the bolt itself, but, still, yours could be missing. In my opinion (humble) this is not the source of your problem, but I would want to get it corrected. My firm belief is that there are people out there working on cars (and some of them for a living) who believe that engineers put things on cars for a whim and that it is alright to modify component parts w/o altering the integrity of the vehicle (for instance if a component is held on with three bolts and in replacing it one bolt is snapped off due to rust this "mechanic" says "oh, what the hell, two bolts are enough to hold it"). As regards the above and what "mechanics" often do, I would get the caliper shimming corrected--it mat not be the source of your problem either, but the brake engineer had a darn good reason for wanting those calipers centered and parallel to the rotor, no matter what some highschool dropout may have decided 30 years later. Keep us posted and good luck.
wagone and Avanti I

charley norton
07-26-2005, 09:08 PM
HELP ME!!, it's starting to really pi** me off now. I've got the calipers absolutely perfect, now.Their centered within 5 thousands and front to back is so close, I can't measure the difference. I changed the pinion seal(and looks like it still may be leaking) and greased all the fittings. I cris crossed the tires, so that means that each hub has had three different tires on it. All wheels turn freely and have no end play(meaning the front bearings aren't too loose). I put the back end on jack stands, cranked it up and put it in gear. In final drive at upper rpms, as I bounced the throttle, I heard a faint grinding sound between forward load and decelleration load.
On the road, it's madness. It pulls as bad to the left as it did before, except the grinding sound is more pronounced when turning sharply to the left now. It also makes a similiar sound(not as bad)when first backing up.
When putting the yoke back on from changing the pinion seal, I put the nut back where it was before. I did this by counting the exposed threads before I removed it and tightening the nut until it was back in the same spot. That basically took a impact wrench. Did I do this right?
The only thing I know to do if its' not the rear end is to replace the front bearings that I think are perfectly fine and replacing the steering gear box which I think is perfectly fine.
I also did something kinda dangerous. When it was on jackstands, motor running and in gear, I put a lenght of two by four under the tire to stop the wheel and put the load on the other wheel. I did this to see if I could scare a bad differential bearing into making itself known. I did this on both sides but it made no noise.Can a differential problem cause the car to pull left? Did I put the yoke on too tight??How do I do it?
The tires aren't rubbing on anything and I checked the caliper bolts to make sure they were tight. Under this car is nothing but shiney new parts, but when you drive it, it sounds like it's falling apart. I am not a parts swapper kind of guy, but thats where I'm basically at now

63 R2 Avanti

Alan
07-26-2005, 10:05 PM
If you read page 8 of rear suspension and axle section of the Avanti manual it says. 1. Raise the rear of car. 2. Disconect the propeller shaft. 3. Use universal joint flange holding tool J-6371 and remove the companion flange nut and flat washer. 4. Center punch the companion flange and pinion shaft spline so the origional alignment can be preserved on reassembly.5. Use universal joint flange puller J-2576 and holding tool J-6371 and remove the companion flange. 6. Remove the oil seal and gasket. Instalation 1. Clean pinion bore and remove all burrs. 2.Coat lip of new oil seal with light oil and apply a sealer on the outer edge of seal housing to seal between pinion seal and differential housing.3. Install oil slinger and new gasket. 4. Use pinion shaft oil seal replacer J-2037, drive oil seal into position. 5. Align companion flange and pinion shaft according to marks made during disassembly. Use companion flange and pinion bearing pusher set J-2204, press the flange into position on the splines. 6. Install flat washer and companion flange nut. Torque nut to 140-180 ft. lbs. 7. connect propeller shaft and torque the u bolts to 10-12 ft. lbs. There are a few things that the book dosen't tell you like if the yoke has a grove worn in it you have to use a speedy sleeve or else it will just leak again.

charley norton
07-26-2005, 11:07 PM
In other words, you use a impact wrench. I remember I've done chevys that you had to check the torque that it was set at and retorque the same on installation. On some fords I've done, you basically tighten the heck out of it. This seems to be the case with this one. 180lbs would indicate a maximun torque without risking thread damage.
I have an old manual that was water damaged. This was one of the unreadable sections. Other than the tools, I pretty much got the installation right. The oil drop I saw may just be excess oil coming from the seal flange.I do admit the new seal did not come with a gasket and I left the old one out. I've never seen a gasket under a seal and felt the new seal probably compensated for that(new technogy and all)since it didn't come with one. But if it needs one, seals aren't but $3.00.
Thanks for the info. So I guess the rear is ok. Now I guess I'm down to wheel bearings and steering gear boxes again

63 R2 Avanti

charley norton
07-26-2005, 11:13 PM
Wagone, thanks for checking your your shocks for the spacers. Really good of you Hope I can return the favor.

63 R2 Avanti

JeffDeWitt
07-26-2005, 11:29 PM
You sure are having a time of it arenít you? I admire your persistence!

Couple of thoughts come to mind, have you tried either driving straight over a wet patch of pavement or across a dirt surface and looking at the tracks? Of course the track of the front and rear wheels should be the same, if they arenít then you know you really do have an alignment problem. The second thing is does the pull change at all when you step on or take you foot off the gas? It seems to me that if the differential was the problem than it should pull worse when you give it some gas.

I recently replaced the rear springs in my Champ pickup, and after a couple of days it would pull or kick to one side when I gave it gas, and then kick back when I got off of it. It turned out that one of the springs had shifted a bit so the pin on the spring no longer seated in the spring perch, so the axle would move a bit when it was under load. I guess the springs settled a bit and the bolts loosened enough to let the axle become unseated.

One other thing, if it were me I'd get rid of those old tires ASAP, even if you have to get some real cheapies. Old tires cause nothing but trouble, I learned that one the hard way.

Jeff DeWitt

charley norton
07-27-2005, 06:36 AM
Your right about the tires, jeff.
I didn't notice the rear end shifting on accelleration, but I wasn't really looking for it. I'll take the car out tonight and see.

63 R2 Avanti