Suspension Alignment-Caster Camber Plate Question

hello_newman

Member
Jun 21, 2018
30
7
18
50
Madera, CA
Have a 93 LX 5.0 convertible 178,000 miles. The car sits lower than stock, not sure if it has drop springs or the OEM springs are just old and sagging, but I like the ride height. A year ago, I added a set of the 17" Saleen SSC replica wheels, 17x8 front on 245 Sumitomos, and 17x9 rear on 275 Sumitomos. When I was getting them mounted/balanced/aligned, the tech called me over and said he could not get the right alignment spec, and that I could "get a kit" that would allow him to do it, or as an alternative, he could just completely remove the stock top plate, giving him room to get an extra turn or two on the three bolts. I went that route, so the top plates are now removed, and the three bolts are just screwed directly into the painted portion of the strut tower (no top plate). It was aligned to the OEM spec, the wheels look pretty straight, the ride is fine, I haven't noticed any handling issues. The car is just a weekend cruiser, never driven hard, maybe a couple thousand miles a year.

Now, a year later, after reading here and learning all about the alignment problems with lowered fox bodies, caster/camber plates, etc, I am re-thinking this. I know the set-up I have now is not the best case scenario, but am I damaging anything by not having a top plate? I am wondering if those three bolts on each side torqued directly onto the thinner metal on the strut tower could cause me a big problem later. What do you guys think? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
  • Sponsors(?)


Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
33,087
9,223
224
Massachusetts
its probably ok as most Caster Camber kits don't use a top plate the touches the tower. My maximum motorsports plates contact the tower by three small spacers and the top plate hovers.

But...I want to see a pic before say it's fine. I personally wouldn't do it this way
 

hello_newman

Member
Jun 21, 2018
30
7
18
50
Madera, CA
See pics. My alignment specs were Front Left: -1.3 Degrees Camber, +1.5 Degrees Caster......Front Right: -0.9 Degrees Camber, +1.3 Degrees Caster. 500 Miles since alignment, tires seem to be wearing fine, no complaints with ride/handling outside of the normal lowered Fox Body issue.
 

Attachments

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
876
453
83
53
Cuba, AL
I thought you said "no top plate." Those are the factory top plates but they are spaced up.
 

hello_newman

Member
Jun 21, 2018
30
7
18
50
Madera, CA
My bad. I ran it for a year with no top plates. Just last night. I grabbed some bolts and put the original top plates on the top. Sorry for the confusion.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
33,087
9,223
224
Massachusetts
Top plate not really doing much there if they are just sitting on tightened nuts.

Not sure how safe that really is, but I don't think it's a huge risk of catastrophic failure. It's a little bit hack though.

You probably should change to proper Caster Camber plates at some point.


LMR has a 10% code through the 31st. Of course you'll need an alignment as well
 
Apr 30, 2019
3
1
13
66
Midwest, USA
Years ago, local alignment shops weren't able to correct the way the tires kept wearing out quickly on the insides. I wanted to set camber to nearly zero but there wasn't enough adjustment. I ended up slotting one hole in the steering knuckles with a big, coarse, rat-tail file where the struts mount. Yes, it was a total hack, but it was zero cost and I was able to get the wheels straightened up. I made sure the bolts were torqued to spec (300 ft-lbs, if memory is correct). I was concerned about whether it would slip over time, so after everything was tightened up I put JB Weld around all the edges to serve as witness references. It solved the tire issues and the bolted joints have never budged.
 

hello_newman

Member
Jun 21, 2018
30
7
18
50
Madera, CA
Ok, ordered the SVE caster/camber plates, had them installed and the car aligned. See the pictures attached, the threads on the top of the strut seem to stick up way higher than any other ones I have seen. Could this mean something is installed wrong? The hood clears them, but its pretty close.

Besides that issue, couldn’t be much happier with them. The ride is way better, I hadn’t realized how much bump steer there was with the old set up.
 

Attachments

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
876
453
83
53
Cuba, AL
If they clear the hood then they are fine. You space them down with the spacers that should come with the plates. I've never had SVE plates so someone correct me if I'm wrong. My MM plates had different thickness spacers for that reason.
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
33,087
9,223
224
Massachusetts
I would concur. If it's not pushing the hood up, you are fine. You want them as high as possible to maximize strut travel.

C/C plates don't really do anything for bumpsteer though. You probably are just seeing the benefit of added caster in how it reduces the car's tendency to follow ruts.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
wiseguyk Suspension Swapping Steeda for MM caster camber plates - tip to retain alignment? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 7
B Front end alignment w/caster camber plates? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 3
DocG Caster/Camber - Alignment? SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 6
T Alignment without caster/camber plates... grind the stock bracket? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 1
bhuff30 DIY alignment, how to make a camber/caster gauge 2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech 5
MineralG2k2GT What caster Camber settings should I have the car aligned to?? SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 1
B alignment without caster camber plates? SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 13
wms004 Caster Camber Plates and alignment SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 4
S Roush alignment probs/caster non adj??? Special Production 0
jerry S Front end alignment difficulties: shop cannot correct caster Classic Mustang Specific Tech 11
T Rear hood adjustment/alignment? 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 1
R Alignment specs for daily driver - Shelby drop, 1" springs all around 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 6
J Paint and Body GT front bumper cover alignment 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 3
billison Poor alignment cause tire rub?? 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 15
D Suspension Car pulls hard to either side after upgrades and alignment 2010 - 2014 Specific Tech 0
G Paint and Body Fender/door alignment help Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 3
S 1990-Camshaft alignment 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 7
9 Paint and Body Door hinge alignment Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 10
A Timing Chain Alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 3
candphall steering wheel alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 1
M Ball Joint Alignment Question 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 1
M Brake caliper won't align 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
J Fender, Hood, Light Trim Alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 1
mpcv2000 Looking for alignment shop for a 2005 GT in Hallandale Beach area 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 0
T SVE hood struts cause hood to not align. 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 4
jdy2kgt Exhaust 2000 Gt proper alignment for new borla cat back SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech 1
W Tailpipe alignment problems 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 10
S New bumper doesn't align with fender 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 2
65-Fstbk Paint and Body Exhaust is in. Paint next but I need help with door alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 2
M Alignment 2015 Mustang 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 4
candphall Front end alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 8
fredfifty Fox Coupe Trunk Lid Aligning 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 5
Edbert Question about alignment 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 2
M Side Widow Glass Alignment Issues 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 1
D 89 5.0 Power Steering Pump/ Pulley Too Far Foward 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 5
sab24711 Foxbody Irs Alignment 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 49
F Alignment Issue 1996 - 2004 SN95 Mustang -General/Talk- 5
sen2two Alignment Specs 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 1
Alpine615 How To Align Rear Lsd Side Gears Without Disassembly 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 3
wgreenlee4 Paint and Body How Do You Align Doors? Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 10
Mustang5L5 Suspension Self Alignments Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 23
91BlckGT Crank -> Cam Timing Chain Alignment Question. Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 6
D New Tires, Alignment. Car Pulls Right 2015+ (S550) Mustang -General/Talk 5
P Alignment 1994 - 1995 Specific Tech 11
Loaded510 Hood Alignment 1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk- 17
A Aligning A Convertible Soft Top 2005 - 2009 Specific Tech 0
5.0 Nostalgia Toe Alignment And Steering Issues Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech 6
Coyote Stipes Fitment 2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk- 5
K 66 Mustang Rebuild. 1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk- 1
88mustang on a budget 88 Gt Hatch The Welcome Wagon 10
Similar threads