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Old 12-10-2007, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1966 mustang alignment specs

I need an alignment on my 66 coupe and I was wondering if anyone could help in suggesting some specs that would be better for handling than the stock ones. I presently have one in drop 620 lb coils, 1 in front sway bar and the car has power steering.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

You don't mention what kind of tires you are using. If you're running radials you can throw the old published alignment specs out the window. They were for bias belted tires. I have my own caster/camber, toe gauges and turnplates so I've been able to experiment some on my radial-tired Maverick which has the same suspension as your Mustang. I'm currently running:

0* camber
+ 2* caster
1/16" toe in

With your power steering you might not need as much caster as I do. Also your wheel/tire widths and offset can make a difference. Try to take your car to a shop that really understands performance handling and not some place where the alignment tech is some kid who only knows what the computer is telling him to set things at.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

You need as much caster as you can get in the car - +2 to +3 is good.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

As much caster as possible. You should be able to get close to +3.

As for camber, that depends. Stock mustang suspension gets screwy as the suspension compresses. Instead of the getting 'negative' the camber gets 'positive' as the suspension is compressed. This is NOT good for handling, and is the reason Shelby lowered the upper control arms. With a negative wedge kit (shims the balljoint so it doesn't bind) the upper arm can be dropped even more, for a MUCH improved camber curve. With this setup, a person can run zero camber, and have great handling. Without lowering the control arms, a person is best off to set the suspension up with a little negative camber for best handling. Possibly -0.5 to -1.0.

I had the 620# springs in my car a long time ago, poly bushings everywhere, etc. I didn't lower the arms back then, but did set the suspension up with between -0.5 and -1.00 of negative camber.

Those springs are SO HARD that the car will ride like a garbage truck. I don't think they compress enough alter the camber curve that much! (might be their point) But with the negative wedge kit, a set of progressive rate springs can be used, and the car will STILL handle great.

The car with 620# fronts, stiff rears and sway bars front and back will stiff as can be, and will feel like a road racer. Handling will feel like a go-cart. I was amazed at the difference when I rebuilt all the suspension on my car and did all these upgrades years ago. I used the KYB shocks, and they are also super stiff.

Of course that was YEARS ago, and my car has since morphed into drag duty, so most of that stuff came off.

As for the alignment... Find a GOOD shop! These mustangs use shims, which are a PAIN IN THE A$$ to work with! Most shops will just get it in the 'ballpark' as far as camber and caster are concerned, then adjust the toe with the tie rods (easy part) and call it good. It's a BIG job to do it right. You might get it as close as you can at home before taking it in. You can often do a surprisingly good job in the garage if enough care is taken.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

You will want to deviate from the stock specs.... as has been mentioned.
1/2-degree negative camber (although more would be better, you will get
into tire wear issues in the 3/4 and above numbers)
I doubt you'll get three degrees positive caster, but you may luck out. That
would be the number to shoot for anyway.
Toe for a p/s car should be about 1/8-in TOTAL (or 1/16 toe in per side).

Previous post about 620#/in front coils was right on the money.
With 620's it ain't gonna move much, so you won't see too much of the
nasty geometry the car has stock. Even the 1" lower upper arm drop doesn't
do a lot...... the camber gain is still positive. It just isn't as BAD as stock.
Ideally, you want to see what you do on the car in the photo- tires flat
against the pavement. Even that one shows some lift on the right front,
but I'm going 75 at the apex of a 180-degree corner.....

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Old 12-11-2007, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

One thing... Don't forget a set of subframe connectors! I used the Global West tubular units back when I did all these mods, as they were supposed to resist chassis twist.

Subframe connenctors are an EXCELLENT upgrade for an early mustang.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

all good reply's...
Do the Shelby lowering trick.. works wonders for the car..
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

I have 620# front coils and 5 leaf reverse eye rears. I did the Shelby 1" upper control arm drop as well. Welded in a pair of custom made subframe connectors made of 1-1/2"x1-1/2" TS (tube steel, it's actually square). Matched the contours of the floorpans. If you weren't looking for them you wouldn't even notice them. In the last few weeks I welded in a full cage as well, so I probably could have forgone the connectors, but what the heck...

On my '65 I welded in the Pro Motorsports Vario-Centric kit. I can't remember the instructions off the top of my head, but I think it gives you 8 camber settings in 0.5* increments. I'm shooting for 1.5 - 2* negative camber.
Mustangs Plus*::*Suspension and Handling*::*Camber & Caster Kits*::*1965-66 Vario-Centric Camber Kit

and Global West Adjustable strut rods: Mustangs Plus*::*Suspension and Handling*::*Strut Rods*::*1965-66 Global West Adjustable Strut Rods

which will allow for the caster adjustment. (+3* sounds good)

I chose these two items to eliminate the need to use shims on the upper control arms at all. This also provides more precise settings.

As mentioned before 1/8" toe in works. I have seen some road racers go to 1/16" toe out, but you have to be careful. While it helps turning in, it can make the car wander at higher speeds on the straights.

When you take an early Mustang into an alignment shop, you'll see the veterans scurry away like roaches (because of the whole shim thing, get the camber right, go set the caster, re-check camber now it's of again, and the younger guys just tell you they don't know how to do it cause the computer doesn't go back that far....

(as mentioned by others, VERY STIFF, perfect for high speed handling)
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

Thanks for all the info , I,ll have to talk with the shop before they get going on the work. Yes they are radial tires and also 5 leaf springs on the rear. Should I get the upper control arms lowered while I am at it.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

Quote:
Originally Posted by foleysfriend View Post
Thanks for all the info , I,ll have to talk with the shop before they get going on the work. Yes they are radial tires and also 5 leaf springs on the rear. Should I get the upper control arms lowered while I am at it.
If you do, you'll have to get a template, as they also get moved back an 1/8" or so... Can't remember exactly.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 1966 mustang alignment specs

Just talked to the shop and they have done many of the control arm relocations. They do have the template and the owner has a 1965 mustang fastback with all the suspension tricks done. I had originally talked to him about a $69.00 alignment, now it's turning into a $800.00 job. Hope Santa's good to me.
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