Suspension Custom Alignment

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by 90GTFIVO, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. I'm taking my car in on Wednesday to get it aligned. I installed my caster camber plates, upper and lower control arms (adjustable) and stiffer sway bars, now need the alignment done. The shop I'm taking it to has experience with Foxbodys and specialize in autocross.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what kind of setup I should go with? This is not my daily driver, it's my toy. When all's done, should kick out a fair amount of HP. Right now, I'm thinking about going with a street setup that leans slightly in favor of road course application. I have more interest in taking it to a road course than the drag strip when I decide to give it some track time.

    Also, are there any good websites I could look at that provide different specs? I have the Mustang Performance Handbook 2 by William Mathis, so I plan on starting there.
  2. Before I make a reco, understand that people who don't know :poo: about alignment will try to scare you out of aggressive camber settings, claiming they wear out the inside edges of the tires. That's crap. Maybe over the course of 50,000 miles, wear will tend to show more to the inside, but in reality the thing that kills tires the fastest on the street is an improper toe setting. Negative camber will then concentrate that wear on the inside edge, and boom..."negative camber wears out inside edges".

    Now, with that in mind, understand that on the track, the quickest way to kill tires is by not running enough negative camber. This will wear out the outside edges of the tires. If that's where you want to have your fun, then set the car up with a healthy dose of camber. It's good for cornering power too.

    So with all that said, here's what I recommend:

    4 degrees of positive caster. Any more than that and you'll want to get a bumpsteer kit and properly adjust it.
    2.25 degrees of negative camber.
    0 toe, or if your lower control arms still have rubber bushings in them, 1/16th to 1/8th inch of total toe-in, to allow them to deflect out to zero when rolling.
    tca7291 and 90GTFIVO like this.
  3. Appreciate the reco MFE92. I've seen you on here before and hoped that you would find my thread. The car was lowered when I bought it but the previous owner had not put caster camber plates on. The inside of the front tires were worn terribly. I say that not knowing what the toe is, so hopefully we'll find out on Wednesday and I'll use the info you've provided when talking with my tech. Thanks!
  4. There's two things about toe: Setting it is one thing. Keeping it there is another. If your control arms are stock, the toe is probably fairly..."dynamic".
    Boydster likes this.
  5. Back from the shop. For anyone in Columbus, OH area, I highly recommend Performance Control Center, which is a sister to Auto Body Specialists. PCC will focus primarily on suspensions for performance and racing applications. They do an excellent job, have experience with different racing applications (particularly Auto Cross) and are very nice guys!

    Anyway, they set me up with a Performance/Sport alignment:

    Caster is around +3.4-3.7 (I don't have the sheet with me so can't remember exact). They said that's as far back as they could get it.
    Camber is -1.35
    and it's toed out a total of 1/16"

    They also centered my rear axle, which was off due to my installation of adjustable upper and lowers. They were able to knock that out in no time at all.



    For those of you that might be near Columbus and have not heard, there is a project underway to convert an old triple-A baseball stadium into a race track. It's called Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex (SPARC). It looks like it will be pretty cool and Performance Control Center will have their suspension shop located in one of the out buildings where you can have your car worked on and then be able to go out and test it, then give them your feedback. Pretty cool concept if you ask me!

    For more info on SPARC, check out this website:
  6. Nice write up! I've been playing with my alignment quite a bit after lowering my '87. (The best I can with stock CCs) I was curious on how you like the new characteristics of general/spirited driving with this new setup?
    Beautiful GT BTW!
  7. with all due respect to MFE, i think the settings you got are about right for a street centered car. one thing, i hope that 1/16" is actually toe in not toe out.
  8. Thought he said toe-out, which I thought was weird. Whatever he meant, he did to make it easier going into turns.
  9. I haven't driven it other than from the shop back home, but it seemed to do really well turning into turns at highway speeds.
  10. It really needs to be toed in or you're going to wear the inner edges of the tires. But to be clear, you got yourself a nice street alignment, which is fine, if the car is mostly street driven. It's not even close to enough camber for road course duty though.
  11. It will be almost all street driven, but wanted him to put a little road course flavor in there, to help it handle a little better in and out of turns. I was assuming this setup was a little more aggressive than the stock specs, but I could be wrong. If I choose to get into the High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) that are available here int the Midwest Region of NASA then I'm sure he'd let me come back in to adjust the camber for me.