Suspension Swapping Steeda for MM caster camber plates - tip to retain alignment?

wiseguyk

Active Member
Sep 23, 2016
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Florida
Hey guys, I have a question but first a quick backstory:

I've been trying to figure out a memory steer issue I've had since I bought my 91 coupe a few years ago. I've replaced the power steering rack and lower control arms and ball joints but the memory steer problem continued.

I brought the car in for an alignment last week after finally getting it driveable again after an 8 month engine/turbo swap adventure. It hadn't been aligned since I replaced the control arms and ball joints.

The mechanic told me that he found the wheels hard to turn when it was on the rack and that there was squeaking that he thinks was coming from the upper strut mounts in my Steeda caster camber plates. These plates have bearings in them that he thinks are worn out and not spinning freely and recommended that I replace the bearings and that he thinks it should vanquish my dreaded memory steer issue.

Rather than replace the Steeda bearings, I decided to get a set of Maximum Motorsports caster camber plates since I know everything MM makes is top notch. Plus I like the look of the black powdercoating :cool:

So my question is, are there any tricks you guys can give me when removing the Steeda plates and installing the MM ones, so that maybe I can keep the alignment good enough to drive it over to the alignment shop for the final adjustments? The only thing I'm thinking of currently is to somehow mark where the struts sit currently and try to get them aligned back to that position with the new plates?

The Steeda plates were already on the car when I bought it so I don't have any experience with installing caster camber plates but I have done shocks/struts/springs on it already so I'm familiar with removing the struts. Will I be able to remove the old ones and install the MM plates without removing the struts?

Any tips you guys might have would be awesome, thanks!

Current plates:
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IkEInWa0PPhDytFr0_IkA6T1YM9YL77D_D8T7svI-GC-HvDgY9wgqlG_pbRrrXwnYGHp7n8IYvBxv4hPfrV=w477-h635-no.jpg
 
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Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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Really isn't a good way to retain exact alignment specs through swapping out the plates. Fortunately, foxes are pretty simply to align. They lack sufficient caster from the factory, so it's common to simply pull the struts all the way back to the firewall with the aftermarket C/C plates. Then, for adjusting camber, simple align the tire as close to vertical as you can eyeball it. Toe shouldn't change much at all. This can get you to the alignment shop.

Follow MM's instructions for alignment specs, not the factory one. Make sure you ask the tech if he can set the car to those specs, as some shops will do factory only and nothing else. The factory specs are rather passengercarish. The lack of adequate caster tends to contribute to the fact that these cars tend to dart over uneven surfaces and don't return to center right away.

You don't need to remove the struts off the spindle. Support under the control arm with a jack, and then zip the top nut off with an impact. Then you can remove the entire C/C plate and lift it up off the strut shaft, and then install the M/M plates

EDIT: It appears that your current plates are already set for max camber and pulled back to the firewall to max position
 
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wiseguyk

Active Member
Sep 23, 2016
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Florida
Awesome, thanks for the install info and explaining the reason for the increased caster. I'm glad to be able to swap the plates without removing the struts, that should make it a quicker job than I was originally expecting.

The alignment tech knows his stuff but I'll make sure to mention wanting to keep the caster the same just in case.

I can't wait for the MM plates to arrive so I can hopefully put this memory steer issue behind me. Thanks again!
 

Dan02gt

10 Year Member
Mar 2, 2003
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Greenville, NC
I don't see how the plates can cause your memory steer. The tubes are free to move around in the struts and the factory plates have rubber bushings with no bearing at all.
I went through this issue on my car and it was the ball joints. I installed 2 different sets of complete lower A arms from LMR and the ball joints in both of those were so tight you could hardly turn the spindle by hand. I finally sent all that junk back and bought the Ford Racing A arms and they were sooth as silk.
 

wiseguyk

Active Member
Sep 23, 2016
302
83
48
Florida
I don't see how the plates can cause your memory steer. The tubes are free to move around in the struts and the factory plates have rubber bushings with no bearing at all.
I went through this issue on my car and it was the ball joints. I installed 2 different sets of complete lower A arms from LMR and the ball joints in both of those were so tight you could hardly turn the spindle by hand. I finally sent all that junk back and bought the Ford Racing A arms and they were sooth as silk.
Oh boy, I hadn't considered that my new ball joints could be too stiff and still be he problem...

I can say that the memory steer has been happening since I bought the car though, so even with the old sloppy ball joints it was happening. The alignment tech seems to think he can hear the squeaking noise coming from the bearings in the CC plates so I'm hoping he's right about them needing replacing.

If it still doesn't resolve my issue, I would think I could try another set of ball joints without replacing the whole control arm though, right? Anybody have any advice on that?
 

Steel1

Mustang Master
Aug 18, 2017
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Just my experience but, I had bad bump steer after installing front coil-overs.
I have since installed a bump steer kit and it has basically eliminated it, still need pro alignment though.
 

wiseguyk

Active Member
Sep 23, 2016
302
83
48
Florida
Just my experience but, I had bad bump steer after installing front coil-overs.
I have since installed a bump steer kit and it has basically eliminated it, still need pro alignment though.
I don't have coilovers so I'm just looking to swap the CC plates and get it over to the alignment shop. Crossing my fingers it'll fix the memory steer issue :cautious:
 

Mustang5L5

i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
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You'll know if you unbolt the strut from spindle and try to turn it. You can test the balljoints and C/C plate that way
 
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