I’m getting ready to measure my car (‘67 Ford Falcon) for new wheels and tires, and to make sure I have room at full bump and when the wheels are turned. My plan is to get the car in the air and jerryrig something out of all-thread that mounts in place of the spring/shock and allows me to cycle the suspension and check clearances. 

At the same time, I plan to replace a few other suspension components to address bump steer, which will require me to set my alignment again. I have the tools to do this and have done a few string alignments at home, so it’s not my first rodeo. 

My question is, while the car is in the air (with the suspension locked out at ride height) can I set initial caster/camber/toe?  Everything I’ve read says you want to do this with the weight of the car on the suspension, and I plan to check everything once I have wheels on the ground to be safe of course.

With all that said, can I safely “rough in” my alignment in this way? I have searched the net and this forum but have not come up with anything but surely I’m not the first person to do this. What say you, hive?  Can this get me in the ball park or is it just a waste of time? Any gotchas I should keep in mind?

Thank you for your expertise!

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
2/5/21 5:57 p.m.

Would cribbings help? Seems like that's a genuine way to get the car in the air and have the suspension on load. You mentioned the all thread, that surely won't allow for the weighted suspension loads. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
2/5/21 6:11 p.m.

Can you do a measurement of what it is on the ground before you do the mods?   

Then check those same settings when it is in the air, note the change, then add/subtract that same change to get the settings you want after you do the mods.  It's not likely to be perfect, but it should be close.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/5/21 6:36 p.m.

^^^ This.

I've done it many a time.  It -can- be pretty accurate, depending on your measurement skills.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
2/5/21 10:07 p.m.

So long as you are locked on to ride height it will be close. The only variable left in the equation is the flex of the inner control arm bushings. On a hard bearing racecar it will be on the money. With stock Falcon rubber it will probably gain a little- camber and any associated caster & toe.

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/5/21 11:49 p.m.
aircooled said:

Can you do a measurement of what it is on the ground before you do the mods?  [...]. Then check those same settings when it is in the air, note the change, then add/subtract that same change to get the settings you want after you do the mods.

Nice, I had not thought to measure the bushing deflection, that’s a neat trick!

saulr69
saulr69
2/10/21 7:36 p.m.

In reply to jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) :

I am not an expert but I have never seen it done that way. I have only see it done on the ground. I also own a 68 Falcon wagon. Any chance you could send pictures of the spare tire cover, inside of the spare tire well, and outside of the spare tire well?  My cover is missing and spare tire well is rusted. I want to restore it to the original appearance. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!

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