Hey everyone, I'm tight on time, trying to get my from suspension installed, and I don't know how to position my upper C-arm/A-arm spacers (the washers). I have a refurbished control arm and new bolts, so I don't know how to align them. There must be a good way to know. It looks like it makes a big difference in suspension geometry. Should I align it such that the steering knuckle is postioned vertically, w/ the upper and lower ball joints in line (perpendicular w/ the ground)? This makes sense to me because that would make the spring compress and extend in a stroke perpendicular to the ground. What am I looking for in this spacing alignment? These parts are a bit obnoxious to get it so I'd like to do it right the first time.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
------------------ "A guy know's he's in love when he loses interest in his car for a few days." -Tim Allen
I think I found a good thread to help me out. I knew camber, but I didn't know what castor was. After that I was able to find things on search. Thanks! Of course, any further tips would be appreciated.
Mar 11th, 2008
Posts: 662 From: Granbury, TX. Registered: Jun 2004
I tossed the factory spacers and got some hardened flat washers from Tractor Supply. Then I measured them for thickness to match right/left side. Then I placed the most washers on the front side of the upper control arm, and least amount on the backside. This gave me as much caster as I could get. It's supposed to make the car track straighter, and keep it from darting about at speed. I found the info in a thread somewhere on this forum. Maybe someone else can direct you to the thread. Ray in Texas.
So do I understand that you making the vertical axis more vertical? IE moving the top toward the front of the car?
If I understand it that is the oppisite of what you want to do. You want the top ball behind (toward rear of car) the bottom ball to make it track better. You want positive camber, the top ball back more than the bottom ball. Of course you need it balanced on both sides etc. etc etc.
[This message has been edited by Dodgerunner (edited 03-11-2008).]
I may have forgotten exactly where I installed the washers because I'm not sitting here looking at the front suspension.......or I may be having an "Old Person Moment". But, I am sure that I installed washers on the upper control arm in a manner which would move the upper arm rearward giving the spindle more angle in the direction as you described. Kinda like putting a "rake" on the front end of a motorcycle chopper. I really haven't been able to determine a difference in stability because soon after I finished this suspension mod, Grand Am front rotors, exhaust manifold porting, removing exhaust shields and wrapping exhaust, installing new clutch disc/pressure plate...........my "freaking" clutch messed up again after about 50 miles of driving. I haven't pulled the transmission again 'cause I'm mad at the car. Thanks, Ray.
I think each 84-87 Fiero would be different because it looks like the sleeve onto which the upper arm is mounted looks like it would shift a couple millimeters from crossmember to crossmember.
For actually measuring my camber: I want to do it myself so that some alignment shop isn't messing w/ my perfect suspension. The toe and camber, I don't mind them adjusting, but the castor is extensive. I want to try to get it right myself.
Here's my idea: I make a straight line from the top ball joint down and a straight line between each ball joint. I measure the angle where both lines intersect at the top ball joint (3-7 deg.+) And I believe the top ball joint should be behind the bottom one.
Fierology it sounds like you got it right on. i used to race rc cars (i know not real cars but same thing kinda) and if i had my car set up like you have sed, it will track vary well. but if i have the nuckle straght up and down ( 0deg ) it will get twichy and steer eradicly.
i used to race rc cars (i know not real cars but same thing kinda) and if i had my car set up like you have sed, it will track vary well. but if i have the nuckle straght up and down ( 0deg ) it will get twichy and steer eradicly.
Very cool. I don't think I've heard of rc racing. How big are the rc cars, and are they electric or gas? That sounds really cool. And you mean radio controlled, right?
Mar 12th, 2008
Posts: 1403 From: grand rapids MI Registered: May 2006
yes i used to run electric, with the right gears i could run about 45 mph. my friend has a big truck(tmaxx) that is gas, there pritty fun but eats your wallet like the fiero does i forgot the scale of them but mines about a foot long.
edit to add since my truck has came out the advances in rc cars has went skyword. electric cars will hit 100mph easy.
[This message has been edited by slinger (edited 03-12-2008).]
If you can't get ahold of a compressor that will work, you can try this:
Uninstall the lower control arm. Connect the balljoint in the LCA to the spindle. Position the spring onto the perch. Lift the control arm with a floor jack. The arm should pivot into place, then you can reinstall the bushing bolts.
While this isn't as safe as using the proper tool, it is much safer than having the arm bolted to the car and trying to connect the balljoint using the floor jack. When I put the front suspension on my GT back together I installed lowering springs, so I had no problems with compressing the spring.