Setting Toe

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Sparky Spartacus wrote:


sure they are! durability, low maintenance costs, that kinda thing. makes the beancounters that buy the fleet truck purchases feel all warm inside.
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I drove a '67 Chevy Biscayne (like a low end Impala) with unpowered 4-wheel drums down a long shallow descent in California when I was a new driver. Within a couple miles I had both feet braced on the brake pedal and was hoping for a place I could coast to a stop. The tranny was a 2-speed "Powerglide" (more glide than power) so low gear was just keeping my speed below 50 mph. I wanted my mommy!
Mike
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The worst car I ever personally drove was a 1974 Nova with manual drums all around. Now, a '74 Nova is not nearly a '38 Ford when it comes to brakes, but it was still quite a culture shock when you're used to a vacuum- assisted 1975 Japanese disc/drum setup.
So remind me again, how come the Japs got such a foothold over here in the first place?...
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TeGGeR

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TeGGeR wrote:

retrogrouch!
in reality, disks offer better cooling, therefore less fade. they also offer more linearity between pedal pressure and braking effectiveness. for a vehicle that potters about town getting groceries, this is not an issue, but for one that gets driven hard, these benefits cease to be so theoretical.
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Who, me? Nah...

Absolutely. Which is why *real* performance cars used in *actual* performance applications use them.

True again (you're on a roll here, jim...)

My point exactly. A grocery-getter (which describes 99% of road-going cars) does NOT need rear discs, and in fact is adversely affected by their presence.
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Yes, I was only talking about drums as well as thinking of the coupla sites that talk about how this new tool makes life easier. Guess they too were only thinking of drums.
I trust you are correct about the discs. I hadn't thought about it.

Yes, I'm sure you can tell I'm just tickled about it. Best $140 I've spent.
Of course, the job's not done until all is newly aligned...
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Elle wrote:

OK, thanks for clarifying the work that you did.

No, a four wheel alignment is definitely in order.
Eric
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That's what I hadn't considered - I haven't had to do four wheel alignment before. While I imagine it could be done with a similar procedure (measuring rear wear and torque steer besides the front part) it makes a lot more sense to take that to a pro.
Mike
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You can't do it yourself with any precision.
The job is properly done this way: 1) Adjust REAR *total* toe FIRST. This gives you your "thrust center line", upon which the FRONT toe depends. 2) After rear toe is adjusted, front toe is adjusted using the steering outer tie-rod ends so that two things occur: a) *Total* front toe is within spec, and b) front-end toe on either side of the thrust center line is equal.
Thrust center line (rear axle forwards): _ | |-------- | -
Front wheels pointed towards the thrust center line. Their angles must intersect the thrust line at the same point:
_ \ | |--------- | - /
The shop will often not adjust BOTH compensator arms, but only one. It's not necessary to do both, so long as the thrust center line is such that the front end can be made to conform to it within its range of adjustment. The thrust line does NOT have to parallel the car body's front-to-back centerline.
If you've guessed that the car may not travel down the road perfectly straight, but may "crab" or "dog walk" a little to one side, you're right. And it does not matter if this happens. Some cars (certain domestics come to mind) only have a single rear adjustment on ONE side.
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To clarify: If you have to rotate the steering wheel and hold it there to make the car track straight, this is an issue quite separate from the "dog walking". "Dog walking" by itself does not cause steering pull.
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TeGGeR wrote:

"dog walking" is also why you may have to adjust the toe /both/ sides of the rear, not just one. the angle each side of the center line has to be identical with their bisector passing exactly through the center line of the vehicle.
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Okay.
Okay, thanks for the elaboration.

I googled before I posted and did indeed notice discussion of certain Fords, for one, having the adjustment on only one rear side.
My dealer IIRC wants $89 for the job but I think I'll shop around a bit.
The car has no pull or any odd steering. The tie rod ends (originals) appear quite secure. The inner tire wear on the front pass side may have been due to worn bushings and a darn near totally corroded stabilizer link on that side. All have been replaced. Very smooth ride now (and I think it's more than the placebo effect; I'm feeling that cornering on rails thing), but I know after all this work an alignment (the first ever) is a very good idea.
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