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  #11  
Old 06-22-2018, 11:52 AM
pbf777 pbf777 is offline
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I would have to recommend, one to follow the O.E.M.'s alignment specifications, as the real engineers set forth these specifications with the considerations of the engineering at hand, and not just some sound-good values with comparisons to other non relevant engineering and of a different period.

And, since we brought up other engineering observations; I purchased a new 1979 Ford F350 4X4, and realized that the front suspension exhibited significant positive camber, far in excess of that exhibited in my 1978 F250 4X4. As this is a straight axle front unit, the camber value is set in assembly and adjustments are not intended (although minor sums can be achieved with shims, yes). Upon inquiring, the engineering rep. for Ford stated that this was done intentionally, because the F350 4X4 received as standard equipment, the Dana 60 front axle from the previous year(s) "Snow Plow Option" from the F250 4X4, and that the positive camber sum as set by Ford, was to aid in the steering effort with the additional weight of the installed snow plow, and with the additional loading on the front suspension when in use.

As far as heavier vehicles such as trucks, particularly of old, I happen to own several military vehicles (2-1/2, 5, 10, & 22 ton 6X6's & others) ALL of which exhibit a positive camber value, for the reasons stated previously.

Again, do I feel that the numbers supplied originally as being correct for any and all instances, NO! But remember, when one chooses to deviate from the O.E.M.'s specifications, that makes you the new engineer!

So, in my previous post I mentioned one might observe the tire wear characteristics and thru such determine if the specifications match the environment. Are you, the typical driver as Ford intended, do you operate the vehicle on the roads envisioned in mid 20th century, and yes, are you riding on radials? And also, keep in mind that some of the driving characteristics as experienced by the driver are those as intended within the period, and as expected by the purchaser, then, not now.

With the alignment set at the O.E.M.'s specifications (if one can find anyone who can accomplish such properly), are there any issues, that one feels can be addressed thru alignment value deviations? Or perhaps, one feels that some of the newer understanding of suspension values can be infused into their older engineered example and improve upon that which was originally delivered? There's plenty of information available on this subject, beyond the capacity of this forum, and I would recommend one become familiar with the subject if one intends on something other than the known. Do keep in mind, if one wishes to be aggressive, there are going to limitations to what can be accomplished without major endeavours. But, with some experimentation, one may reap the reward of a system tuned to their personal tastes.

Scott.

Last edited by pbf777 : 06-22-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2018, 12:57 PM
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Controlling a bias-ply tire with all its squirm and only 32-PSI is truly a challenge. One way to help control this squirm is to actually produce squirm equally on both sides by using excessive toe-in. This is exactly what engineers did, at the expense of more tire wear. Back in the day, if we got 15,000 miles out of a tire, that was HUGE.

Truck tires are a different animal altogether. Those tires have more plies and are pumped up, sometimes to 100-PSI. That eliminates squirm, makes the tire stiff but it also creates less drag, less friction and more miles out of the tire. Tire 'ride' and 'noise' isn't considered.

Our books are clearly engineered and written for using bias-ply tires because that's all there was at the time. Conveniently, your 'personal luxury car' needs a soft ride that bias ply tires produce.

The most expensive 1960 tires were horrible by today's standard. When Sears introduced radial tires from Michelin, Dayton, Ohio wasn't having any part of it. U.S. tire makers fought the radial market for many years, even after Motor Trend and others proved positive improvements with radials. Sears was getting 25-35,000 miles from their 'Guardsman' radial tires while we were stuck in the 'fiberglas' era.

There are plenty of examples of modern Ford cars (not trucks) that have ball-screw steering and radial tires. Which ones? Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria, etc. Use those spec's for your Squarebird alignment as the suspension geometry and vehicle weight are similar. - Dave
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2018, 05:26 PM
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What year Crown Vic?
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2018, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
There are plenty of examples of modern Ford cars (not trucks) that have ball-screw steering and radial tires. Which ones? Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria, etc. Use those spec's for your Squarebird alignment as the suspension geometry and vehicle weight are similar. - Dave
Excellent idea Dave, as those right around the 90's early 00's had very similar weight, solid rear axle, full set of steering links (with even an idler arm like SQ's), and upper and lower A-arm suspension. Can't get much closer than that. Interesting
they allow positive toe with the tolerance.

And as I suspected, very close to what I would do (suspect you can not get that much caster, but still max it out) and recommend.

1991-02 Crown Victoria, LTD Sedan and Wagon, Grand Marquis, Colony Park Wagon
CASTER (degrees)
5.5 +/- 0.75

CAMBER (degrees)
-0.5 +/- 0.75

TOE (degrees)
-0.13+/- 0.25

TOE (Inches)

-1/16+/- 1/8
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2018, 07:50 PM
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Henry, because Ford has invested in great Automotive Engineers (mechanical and electrical), I always ask myself: 'What do the car manufacturers use?'

So many materials and practices have changed since Squarebirds were engineered and produced. We have two things that work to our advantage; improvements in cost & function and the time to prove these new techniques are in fact improvements (many were not).

Some things were carried over for many years then slowly replaced like, recirculating ball screw steering boxes, incandescent bulbs and the transition from SAE to metric standards.

Radial tires, electric wipers, electric coolant, fans, relays, etc., are used exclusively now.

Grounded (metal) lamp housings, floor headlight dimmer switches, vent windows (wings), sealed beams are gone.

Radial tires became popular when Ford still produced full-size models with ball screw steering. Any yes, this directly pertains to our classics. (So does retrofitting to Rack and Pinion.) - Dave
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  #16  
Old 06-25-2018, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Controlling a bias-ply tire with all its squirm and only 32-PSI is truly a challenge. One way to help control this squirm is to actually produce squirm equally on both sides by using excessive toe-in. This is exactly what engineers did, at the expense of more tire wear. Back in the day, if we got 15,000 miles out of a tire, that was HUGE.
There used to be a wonderful magazine named Invention and Technology. Back in their spring of 2001 issue (available online here) they did a very nice article on the uphill battle for bringing radials into the US. It was a battle, because when you put a radial on a car tuned for bias ply tires, it drove and rode terribly. The auto engineers, understandably, didn't see a reason to switch.

It turns out, the inherit flaws in the bias ply tire meant that engineers had been aligning their cars, as you said, with excessive toe-in to counter the imprecise handling of the bias ply tire. For a radial, however, that toe-in actually produced a large on center dead zone in the steering, and therefore a lot of wandering at speed. Take out the toe-in, things improved dramatically. That's why many cars had "Radial Tuned Suspension" back in the early 70s. It wasn't just marketing mist.

It also mentioned changes in suspension and driveshaft bushings to reduce the higher noise and vibration levels that came with radials, which we can't really take advantage of. But at least we can align our cars more appropriately for radials.

It's a fascinating article, worth your time if you love to learn the history of technology's adoption. I&T was a fantastic magazine and I still miss it after 7 years out of print. It looks like the entire publication run is available online now, if you need a way to kill some time.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2018, 02:08 AM
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Doug, yes I can appreciate a great article about the radial tires. Now, let's look at the numbers. Our Tire Room can hardly keep up with the Final Assembly Line because:

We make a car/min. Let's take round conservative numbers. That's 60 cars X 8 hrs or (480) cars per shift Let's call it 450.
So, 5 tires mounted, inflated and balanced on wheels w/stems times 450 = 2,250 tires per shift.

Most assembly plants run two shifts so, 4,500 tires per day per assembly plant.

Ford has 20 assembly plants so 20 X 4,500 =90,000 tires per day for Ford. That's ninety THOUSAND tires per day.

Chevrolet is as big as Ford and the rest of GM is as big as Chevy. So, another 90,000 for Chevy and another 90,000 for the rest of GM. I won't go farther with Chysler/Jeep, etc. I"m well over 270,000 tires per day for the industry with NO regard for replacement tires.

For many years, all these tire companies are baking bias-ply tires in molds, as fast as they can. Then, someone comes along with better but higher priced tires. Right...

Are American tire companies are going to take this sitting down? We're already tooled for and run over 270,000 tires per day just to barely keep up with new car production. To make radial tires requires new tooling and a different process. At the same time, quotas for the Big Three must be maintained with NO break in the steady flow of tire deliveries. This is nuts. The American tire producers didn't change over without a fight and car manufacturers had long-running contracts for bias-ply tires.

That's how Sears broke radial replacement tires into the American tire market. Car companies were slooooow to offer radials. Here's why CLICK HERE for the video.

I've never heard of 'driveshaft bushings'. Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria models have nearly identical steering and suspension as our Squarebirds. They also come with steel belted radial tires from Ford. - Dave
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2018, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
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I've never heard of 'driveshaft bushings'. Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria models have nearly identical steering and suspension as our Squarebirds. They also come with steel belted radial tires from Ford. - Dave
Yeah, that doesn't make much sense does it. My 1996 BMW had a rubber isolator at the front of the driveshaft called a giubo and modern Mustangs do as well. I don't think any American cars of that era had anything like that. I was going from memory that there were changes in the drive shaft and bushings in the suspension to reduce the elevated road noise the radials transmitted. There was no real info on what those changes were, however.

I haven't read the article in probably 10 years, so it stands that those details might be a bit fuzzy.

I believe that the Thunderbirds from the late 60s & early 70s were some of the first to offer radials as an option, I've often wondered if there were radial vs. bias P/Ns for suspension bushings or the driveshaft for those cars. It's possible that those design changes had no adverse effect on bias tires' performance so they were simply adopted across the board. Or the article, or my memory, is wrong.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:03 AM
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My 1966 GTO's driveshaft had a rubber 'isolator' just behind the front U-joint but that was the only car I've ever had with that feature.
My 1990 Mustang's driveshaft was solid steel tube. - Dave
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2018, 10:34 AM
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With further research one will find many vehicles, particularly those equipt with automatics, of the 1960's and up, will have the two piece slip steel tube with an elastomer sleeve joining them together forming the driveshaft unit.

Scott.
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