ZL1 aggressive alignment with stock suspension?
Weeeeeell I'm definately having a case of the Mondays. Coming back to work from lunch this afternoon, South Houston is having pretty bad rain. A driver nearly ran me off the road, no idea why they swerved but it caused me to kiss the curb and now I'm getting new driver side front and rear wheels :frusty: It's just some curb rash but very much an eye sore! Maybe I'll use the wheels for drag racing or something, I'm not sure yet.
Anyways the alignment feels slightly off now, so I'm thinking I may take this opportunity to have the ZL1's alignment set a bit more aggressive rather than OEM specs. However all of my suspension is completely stock. Are there any suggested alignment specs for a stock ZL1?
Also I've got a buddy that works at a shop that can do alignments, is there anything special about the ZL1's suspension that would not allow a non GM/Chevy place to be able to align it? Not sure if the magnetic ride may be an issue :iono:
P.S. I'm not wanting a super aggressive alignment that is going to absolutely eat my tires away. Just wondering if there is something a little better than OEM.
Here are Pfadt's recommended Alignment specs.
You'll want the alignment shop to carefully check the rear toe link and trailing arms to be sure they are not tweaked. Those arms act as a fuse to protect the sub-frame from damage when things like what you just experienced occur. Most likely the eccentric drifted from the impact, but double checking is the best policy.
Up front, if the alignment correction on the impacted wheel require more than minor adjustment, the tech should pay special attention to the strut clevis braket. We want to make sure it is not damaged. If it is bent even slightly replace it becuase the tiny little bend becomes the shear point of the future.
Use the Aggressive Street for the FE4 / FE5 / FE6 Suspension for your alignment. What follows is everything your tech could need to get you back on the road in better than new condition.
Bush Timing, Alignment and Torque Specs
Do NOT use camber adjusting offset bolts on the Camaro :paddle:
If you want to put them on your Honda or Subie it is up to you. They are not as strong as the OEM clevis bolts and are absolutely necessary on a 5th Gen Camaro. It is in the :rules:
This is the correct way to adjust front camber on the 5th Gen. One the alignment machine with the clevis bolts loose turning the camber screw tighter (Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosy) will push the knuckle away from the strut. Loosening the camber screw allows the knuckle to fall in toward the strut. It is a 10mm 1.5 pitch thread.
Your alignment shop may have a T.O.M.C.A.T. Air-Assisted Multiple Camber Adjustment Tool air bag. It fits between the wheel and the strut and works in the same way as the camber screw. Inflate (Righty Tighty) the bag to push the knuckle away from the strut or deflate (lefty Loosy) the bag to allow the knuckle to fall into the strut. If they don't, they have a guy that can push or pull on the wheel while they tighten it. Never, ever use those lame camber eccentric bolts on a Camaro. EVER!
Anyone that tells you different, have them call me :cool:
Pedders foundation as a company is more than just a range of bits, we are Suspension specialists committed to delivering a Pedders Driving Experience. A lowered vehicle should have a full range of alignment adjustments. The Camaro delivers from Chevrolet with a fixed Castor position. The radius arm bolts into round holes with no available adjustment. Front Camber is adjustable from the factory. There is a threaded hole for front Camber Adjustment Bolt / Screw, but no bolt is installed and no part number is listed by Chevrolet. The rear OEM eccentric adjusters for Toe and Camber provide approximately one degree adjustment range. For an alignment specialist, this is unacceptable. You want to get your Camaro perfectly setup. This is what Pedders is all about. Our solution is a set of cadmium plated eXtreme Alignment Bolts. While GM made the hole round for the front Castor Adjustment or lack thereof, they did weld in brackets for an eccentric to work against. Your local Pedders Dealer can create a slot to provide Castor adjustment with Pedders Camaro Alignment Bolts. The kit provides the front Camber screws that GM didn't.
For the 5th Camaro, GM decided to produce the front sub-frame with only a round hole, but they kept the 'fences' for caster adjustment with eccentric bolts just like th Pontiac G8 and Holden Commodore. The slots to allow adjustment were lost in translation. For a performance driver, a vehicle without full alignment adjustment capability feels like driving with one hand tied behind your back. Pedders made the decision to make the Camaro front suspension fully adjustable.
Stock Radius Bush Mounting area with a round hole and adjustment 'fences'.
Step one requires the technician to drill two holes in the bracket.
Step two requires CAREFUL GRINDING. We use the two holes to make the grinding process more accurate while the technician creates a slot. The eccentric that will be used does not reach all the way to the bracket sides so a bit of excess metal is not an issue. The technician can check the clearance with a Pedders Castor Eccentric Bolt as they grind to make sure the fit is Pedders Perfect.
When assembled the Cadmium plated eccentric allows the alignment technician to increase or decrease Castor. A fully Pedderised Camaro with good tires will not require ANY BIAS in the alignment. We can do a road course style alignment and your Camaro will not pull. This is because the Pedders component have made the suspension more stable by reducing excess motion. Should your Camaro be tweaked and develop a pull the same Pedders Castor Eccentric Bolts can be used to create a bias to correct the pull. We strongly recommend that before you alter your alignment due to a pull that you have a qualified technician, because the machine is only as good as the tech, check your tires on a road force balance machine to make certain the pull is not induced by a tire. We will adjust them on the alignment rack. Here is the installed eccentric.
Alignments are Pedders core business so we decided to make the front camber screw part of the Camaro Alignment Bolt Kit. To install the Pedders Front Camber Screw it is essential that you use LocTite Blue. The Camber screw will never bear a load while driving, but we want to make certain they never vibrate out. LocTite Blue is ideal for this.
Pedders Rear Eccentrics are virtually bullet proof with approximately 2 degrees or double the factory adjustment. With the Camaro alignment Kit installed your Camaro can be setup for the drag strip, road course, auto cross or every day flawless driving. Even better, Pedders alignment eccentric bolts carry a unique warranty feature. Should a Pedders eccentric ever fail while you own the vehicle we will replace it. You get a superior alignment, improved driving experience and a life time warranty with Pedders Camaro Alignment Bolt kits.
To get the aggressive alignment we prefer Pedders Full Camaro Alignment Kit is required. They increase the adjustment range by 1 degree or in layman's terms a lot. We achieve this result my moving the eccentric to the outer edge of the bolt. The eccentrics are cut on a water jet, assembled in a jig and welded. This is a time consuming process. To finish the bolts we have them cadmium plated.
Eccentrics have a bad habit of drifting under high loads. We address that with more material. We make our eccentrics out of stock that is much thicker than the OEM bolts. More material means more strength and improved holding power.
We use a thick 'holding' nut and a thin jam nut. Unlike quenched nuts, you can use these again and again.
Taking the performance of your 5th Gen and alignment to the next level requires the use of Pedders Dual Bearing Camber Plates. With the stock front struts or Pedders coilovers you can achieve -2.2 Degrees of front camber. Relieving the upper slot in the strut to allow it to fall in a bit more will get you to -2.5. When running high negative camber it is Mission Critical to check spacing between the inner tire sidewall and the strut or coilover. We use a standard #2 lead pencil as a gauge. If the pencil passes between the tire and the strut or coilover you are good to go. With Pedders Dual Bearing Camber Plates we suggest you run them full in, maxed out for negative camber. Positioning the stut top well in toward the engine improves SAI. Your 5th Gen will drive better. Final adjust the negative camber at the knuckle using the camber adjustment screw.
Maxed out for Negative Camber
Neutral Position i.e. The same position as the OEM Mount.
FE4 / FE5 / ZL1 / Pedderised Hardcore Track Alignment with Appropriate Tires
Caster: Max it out with Pedders Caster Eccentrics
Camber: -3.5 With Pedders Dual Bearing Camber Plates and NO Strut Tower Bar.
Camber : -4.00 With Pedders Dual Bearing Camber Plates and a Strut Tower Bar
Toe: OUT 0.50
Total Toe OUT 1.00
Toe: IN .20
Pedders Full Camaro Alignment Kit and Dual Bearing Cambers Plates are Required.
Step 1. Lift the car on a two post lift and raise it.
Step 2. Loosen the following bolts/nuts:
---Inner Control Arm Bushing
---Inner Radius Rod
---Trailing Arm Bushings (both ends)
---Toe Rod Bushings (both ends)
---Lower Control Arm Bushings (Inner)
---Upper Control Arm Bushings (Rearward)
---Lower Strut Bushings
Lower the car and drive it around the parking lot SLOWLY and on to the alignment lift.
With the weight of the car on the wheels tighten all of the nuts/bolts to spec.
Align the car at the new ride height.
Front and Rear Bolt Torque Values
NOTE: Torque specifications that read XX torque value and XX degrees are usually TTY and require replacement of the bolt, nut or both. If replacement parts are not available from GM the minimum acceptable torque will be those values stated along with a liberal application of a thread locker i.e. LocTite.
Thanks for the information guys.
The good news is the car drives in a straight line with minimal or no steering input. However to do so, the steering wheel is turned ever so slightly to the right. Hopefully it is just an alignment thing, I'll find out tomorrow.
Well I just had my alignment done after work and did it to Pedders specs. My drive home was about 30 miles of highway driving, the car seemed to pull to the right when I took my hands off of the steering wheel. Could be a crappy road who knows, I'm going to try some other roads tomorrow on my way to and from work.
The alignment printout appears to be good, my buddy works at a shop and is the one that did the alignment. He is VERY meticulous when he works on cars and I'm sure the alignment was done correctly. I told him to check out the suspension to make sure nothing looked out of place, he said it all looked good.
What else could cause the car to pull to the right, if the suspension is aligned?? The car has a total of ~3,050 miles on it and only about 300-400 miles on the tires since the curb kiss. So even when it was out of alignment, I don't think 300-400 miles would be enough to cause uneven tire wear that would make my car pull, or would it??
Anyways here is a picture of the alignment sheet. As you can see it was out of alignment but it appears to be good now...
With the 0 toe setting the car will follow the crown of the road with your hands off the wheel. Looking at the spec sheet your buddy did a good job. When you hold the wheel straight it should drive straight which you said it does. Now for the fun part. Did you play in any corners?
I haven't really had the chance to carve any corners yet.
I noticed with the steering wheel perfectly centered / straight the car will wander to the right. I tried find a road that was clearly crowned to the left and it still appears to want to pull to the right.
Before the alignment, I had to have the steering wheel slightly cocked to the right if I want to go straight.
I will continue to monitor this and find different roads etc.
Given that the alignment looks good, what are the other factors at play here? Potential damage to a component? But what else if anything?
The neutral toe setting improves turn in and the on center feel for steering. It also makes the car a bit more sensitive to crowned roads. Looking at the spec sheet your Z should feel tight and responsive.
Have the tires been checked since the incident? Road Forced?
I had actually never heard of Road Forced until now, so I looked it up, isn't it only for vibrations and not so much for alignment/car not driving straight?
Put it in PTM 5 and it will hold a straight line...
Here are my observations after taking the car for a 20 mile cruise on several different roads.
Any road that had an obvious crown to the left the car would go straight. Any road that looked to have no or very minimal crown, the car would veer right.
On twisting roads, the steering wheel felt much heaver when having to hold it cocked to the left. What I mean is, it felt like there was more "resistance" and the steering wheel wanted to go back to dead center or slightly right.
When the twisting roads would require steering input to the right, the steering wheel felt much lighter and less wanting to return to the dead center position.
I check the tires and filled them with air so they were all the same prior to this little road test.
Something doesn't seem right (no pun intended!), maybe it's all in my head.. :iono:
Is it possible for something to be damaged even if the alignment appears to be perfect? Or with the alignment spec sheet that I posted can we rule that possibility out? I'm starting to run out of ideas of what it could be. I replaced the driver sides wheels (both front and rear) so the wheels should be perfectly fine, unless the didn't balance them properly.
It is possible a belt has shifted in one of your tires. The only way yo know is to Road Force balance them or swap front wheels and tires with a ZL1 friend.
The amount of effort it requires to turn side to side should be very consistent with you electric steering rack. Do you have headers installed?
It is possible to align a car with a tweaked suspension component. That is exactly why there is alignment adjustment. Normal driving wear ad tear cause alignments to shift and require adjustment. If something is bent, the alignment tech should have noticed how much more adjustment was required one side compared to the other.
My best guess is you are dealing more with tread pull (normal) than damage. It is easy for me to say, since I am not driving your ZL1 that had an incident. It is like a squeak that a passenger mentions. You never noticed it until they mentioned it. Now the squeak sounds more like a siren and drives you crazy.
Or you could be dead nuts spot on right.
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