Announcement

Collapse

Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage: www.studebakerdriversclub.com/tips.asp
See more
See less

Aligned fine ,pulls to left

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Aligned fine ,pulls to left

    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

  • #2
    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
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

    Comment


    • #3
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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
                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X