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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I completely rebuilt the front end of the wagon, reused the springs, and it needs an alignment.

It's needed an alignment since we got the car, but the suspension was pretty worn so we didn't bother... It has worn the inside edges of the tires pretty badly. New tires also going on the car before the alignment.

Now that I got it all back together are there different specs from the factory settings we should tell the alignment people?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Thanks, I did a search and saw that thread, wasn't sure if that applied to the wagons as well. Is the first set of specs the factory numbers and then the second set the recommended setup?
 

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Personally I'd run 1 degree of negative camber. I run this on my minivans and it dramatically improved the handling AND minimized outside tire wear (they have really soft MacPherson Strut suspensions and they roll the outside edges of the front tire harder than your pothead neighbor rolls his blunts). If the shop balks, ask for -0.75, and if they still balk, your final offer is -0.5 degree. It's just adding shims to both upper bolts so whatever. If the bolts are rusty, make sure they get socket on the upper control arm bolt heads so they don't spin. If they aren't warrantying the tires, then the only reason they'd fuss is because they have to mess with the UCA bolts. Personally I get my B-bodies aligned at a truck repair shop whose techs knew exactly how to get caster, then camber, then toe, perfectly. (That order is important).

It's worth noting that these suspensions are old school relative to modern stuff. On my minivans, you physically CAN'T adjust caster, and can only adjust camber with custom aftermarket bolts you have to buy. So most younger techs will just try to do a "toe and go" - make sure you're very clear that you expect them to adjust the UCA bolts per my method above, and if they spin the bolts, THEY are paying to fix them.

Last note - a lot of B-body owners I know increase caster. The shim packs on the UCAs look way off (all front and little to no rear, I think), but it works. I haven't tried that myself so I have no opinion.
 

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Every B-car I ever owned used
at least +4.0 degrees of Caster, preferably +5.0
about -1.0 degree of Camber
1/8" Toe IN

Believe these are Dave Scribner's specs. Don't think Ed Runnion would mind these …
Caster Left & Right at least 4.00° +/- 0.50°
Cross Caster …… N/A° +/- 0.50°
Has anyone ever had any issues with 'too much' positive caster?

Camber ……………… -0.25 +/- 0.25°
Cross Camber …… N/A° +/- 0.25°
The more aggressive your cornering, the more negative camber.

Individual Toe …… 0.00° +/- 0.00°
Total Toe ………… 0.00° +/- 0.06°
For street driving, Toe IN. If AutoCrossing, then a hair or two of Toe OUT.
 
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While 3/4 neg might be great for a caravan with a no camber gain strut front end, might be more than a daily B body needs.

Super , off the end, high caster you might be wanting to avoid as at some point you will be affecting bump steer as the outer tie rods move up with caster.

Balanced caster , never more left, slightly more right ok

Some camber spread for road crown.
Something like 5/8 neg right 3/8 neg left.

If the car is quite softly sprung with not a lot of sway bar , you might want to actualy check the camber with the car loaded the way you are going to drive it.
Some cars , some drivers , big effect on camber
 

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next alignment im having them match my weight or some of it. I'm 6'2" and currently 330lbs. i know that has to have an effect
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She had the new tires put on and the car aligned today



might have to go somewhere else...
 

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Yeah they didn’t mess with the shims. You may have to buy a few different sizes of shims and bring them with you. Looks like they only moved the toe setting
 

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Ken, the front toe on before and after changed so much the would be a small difference in the camber caster readings could be related.
Also the numbers are in degrees and minutes so the change is not as great as it looks at a glance.
RF camber changed 7 minutes
That is just over a 10th of a degree
Caster changed 15 minutes.
Not saying positively they didn't change a shim but reading comparisons with toe different will be different.

Steer ahead , look at the individual front toes. If you nudge the steering wheel till the individual toes were equal the steer ahead would show 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As far as I know they did not touch the shims. They also did not have any in stock and asked if I had any... Not really surprised that they didn't have shims, it's a VW dealer.
The wife says car drives decently, I have ridden in it and it feels OK from the passenger seat but not driven it since the alignment, but I found a local old school type shop and we will be bringing the car there in the next few weeks.
 

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Here are some specs. worth shooting for.

Water Organism Font Mesh Pattern
 
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