Front Alignments

  • Thread starter Michael Echemann
  • Start date
M

Michael Echemann

Guest
I'm considering taking my car into a shop to get the front end aligned. Has
anyone done this without feeling a bit uncomfortable. Can a good shop get
it right without the specs? The car doesn't seem to need an alignment
however my right wheel wants to rub the spring so I'm wondering if an
adjustment is needed.

Also, has anyone had good experience with the Aldan shocks? I installed
some on the front (bolt on top) and they are soft, bouncy, squeak, top out
and make noise, the spring rubs the tire on the passenger side in a full
turn even with wheel spacers purchased from Gord. Gordon says there is only
one adjustment knob on each shock yet the shock looks to have two adjustment
spots one top and one on the bottom. The intructions show two also. I
can't seem to figure these out.
 
A

a_colo_native

Guest
Mike,

I did mine with a tape measure to the original specs. Took me
about 30 minutes.

- John

Here are the specs from the maint. manual;

1. TOE-IN, FIGURE 1.
Toe-in denotes the difference in the distance between the rims of
a pair of wheels when they are out of parallel ism. If the distance
between the wheels is smaller at the front "A ", than at the rear
"B", the toe-in is positive, on the contrary it is negative. The
toein
must be measured at wheel centre height/ with the wheels in
the straight-ahead position. The toe-in must be positive 1/32" to
1/8" (= 10' to 30' minutes).
The adjustment of the toe-in must be corrected on the longer
track rod, the basic measurements are as follows.
These track rod measurements are only after Chassis number
101 501 for green and red cars, and after Chassis number
100 801 for white and blue cars.
Each track rod is equipped with a right hand thread at one end
and a left hand thread at the other end. For adjusting the length
open the locking plates and loosen the outer hexagon nuts then
by turning the middle piece either clockwise or anti-clockwise the
length can be adjusted/ but if possible keeping within the limits
of the basic measurement as stated.
2. CAMBER, FIGURE 2.
The tilt of the wheel from the vertical erected at right angle to
the road plane is called camber. If the wheel is tilted outwards,
the camber is positive, and negative if tilted inwards.
The desired camber angle of the Amphicar is 1 degree +/- 45'
minutes positive.
 
W

WB6WSN

Guest
Re: Re: Front Alignments

----- Original Message -----
From: a_colo_native
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 11:04 PM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Re: Front Alignments


Mike,

I did mine with a tape measure to the original specs. Took me
about 30 minutes.

- John

Here are the specs from the maint. manual;

1. TOE-IN, FIGURE 1.
Toe-in denotes the difference in the distance between the rims of
a pair of wheels when they are out of parallel ism. If the distance
between the wheels is smaller at the front "A ", than at the rear
"B", the toe-in is positive, on the contrary it is negative. The
toein
must be measured at wheel centre height/ with the wheels in
the straight-ahead position. The toe-in must be positive 1/32" to
1/8" (= 10' to 30' minutes).
The adjustment of the toe-in must be corrected on the longer
track rod, the basic measurements are as follows.
These track rod measurements are only after Chassis number
101 501 for green and red cars, and after Chassis number
100 801 for white and blue cars.
Each track rod is equipped with a right hand thread at one end
and a left hand thread at the other end. For adjusting the length
open the locking plates and loosen the outer hexagon nuts then
by turning the middle piece either clockwise or anti-clockwise the
length can be adjusted/ but if possible keeping within the limits
of the basic measurement as stated.
2. CAMBER, FIGURE 2.
The tilt of the wheel from the vertical erected at right angle to
the road plane is called camber. If the wheel is tilted outwards,
the camber is positive, and negative if tilted inwards.
The desired camber angle of the Amphicar is 1 degree +/- 45'
minutes positive.



Everything was going good till you got to the CAMBER. Camber is the "tip of the
wheel", with the top further in or out than the bottom. If you were to get down
in front of your Amphi, you would see that the wheels are slightly outward at
the top. Camber is defined by the geometry of the front wheel hub and the drill
angle of the king-pin. It's not adjustable.

Caster is the angle on inclination of the king-pin, with positive caster meaning
that the top of the king-pin is slightly to the rear of its bottom end. Think of
a motorcycle, where the forks are angled backward. This provides a force that
tries to keep the wheel centered when you go forward. (And it works against you,
as you can easily see by letting go of your steering wheel when you back up.)

In the Maintenance Manual, Figures 5/14 and 5/16 show the geometry. Caster
should be 6 degrees, plus or minus 1/2 degree (or +/- 30 minutes). Camber is
fixed. Toe-in should be positive, 1/32" to 1/8".

Since the manual doesn't define any order of alignment, now would be a good time
to define the exact steps that an alignment shop should take. Allow me to
speculate.

1. First, the Amphi should be sitting level.
2. Center the pitman arm at the bottom of the steering box, straight fore and
aft.
3. Verify that the steering wheel is level, that is, straight ahead. If not,
then you may want to check the following. (This isn't necessary to do a wheel
alignment, but it's the right thing to do, especially since so many Amphis have
been taken apart and re-assembled.)
3a. Is the steering wheel aligned to the steering column shaft?
3b. There is a little cam, built into the steering column, that cancels your
turn signal switch after a turn.
3c. The cam rise (or boss) should be centered on the turn signal lever hole.
3d. Rotate your steering wheel till it's correct, then pull the wheel and put it
back on correctly.
3e. If the steering wheel is still not "straight ahead", then you need to loosen
and pull the U-joint apart at the base of the steering column, where it meets
the steering box.
3f. You will need to remove the locking bolt, on either the steering column side
or the steering box side, of the U-joint.
3g. (Remember, you MUST remove the bolt to slip the collar off of the splined
shaft.)
3h. Now just rotate the steering wheel to "straight ahead" and re-mate the
splined shaft to the splined U-joint collar. Put in the locking bolt and
tighten.
4. Now here I'm a little fuzzy, but the next step should be to ensure that the
left tracking rod is adjusted about right. An alignment shop would likely use a
laser sight to ensure that the left rear and left front wheels were parallel. I
suppose you could get a cheap laser level, put it on a stand, and shine it from
behind your Amphi toward the front. You would want to aim it so that it would
pass about an inch to the left of the left rear wheel rim. You could take a
short steel scale (ruler), and move the laser until the beam was a constant 1"
away from the rear edge of the wheel rim and also the front edge of the wheel
rim. Now go up to your left front wheel. The laser beam should also pass 1" away
from the rear and front wheel rim edges. (If it doesn't, then you may have a
warped Amphi body or some other damage to the suspension arms.) I would adjust
the left tracking rod until the front wheel was parallel with the rear wheel.
5. OK, you now have the left front wheel parallel to the left rear wheel, and
it's also in agreement with the "straight ahead" position of the steering wheel
and the directional signal canceller.
6. Adjust the Caster for the left and right front wheels. This is done by
adjusting the length of the two short tubes that connect between the wheel hubs
and the hard point just below the swing arm axle. (As an aside, the Amphi hull,
the extension of the hard point, the adjuster tube, and the length of the wheel
hub form a classic mechanical arrangement called a "4-bar linkage". This unique
concept allows the wheel to go up and down, pivoting on the swing-arm axle,
without changing the inclination of the king-pin! Amazing.) Anyway, you want to
adjust till you get 6 degrees. I suppose it's possible to do this with a steel
rule, a protractor and a spirit level, but this is really a job for an alignment
rack.
7. Now adjust the right tracking rod until you get the correct toe-in (1/32" to
1/8", or, in minutes, 10' to 30', or, in degrees, 1/6 to 1/2). Again, this is an
alignment rack job.
8. Finish up by checking the full left and right travel of the steering. Adjust
the stop screws to prevent the tires from hitting the wheel wells.


I request any corrections, should I be suggesting something stupid. Steps 1
through 3 probably should be done by you (at a much lower labor rate) before you
take your Amphi to an alignment shop. Perhaps anyone with some alignment
experience can expand or clarify some of my steps, as we want this to be
understandable to the typical mechanic.

Ed
El Cajon
67 Rust Guppy


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
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