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drag race wheel alignment

Shocks, Springs, Brakes, Frame, Body Work, etc

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prairiehotrodder
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drag race wheel alignment

Post by prairiehotrodder » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:46 pm

my car is an 81 malibu with a mish mash of different aftermarket front end components. Right now it has a cheap junk set of speedway upper control arms that require a ton of shims. The car is a little sketchy at 140 MPH. I just purchased a pair of Global west drag race uppers (TLC-88) that hopefully will allow me to get rid of lots of shims and align it properly. I know that for drag racing the caster setting should be changed from factory but i have no idea where to set it. Anyone have any experience with this ?
Brian
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jed
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by jed » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:00 pm

I don't really know but I grew up in my dads alignment and frame straightening shop.
Have the car in race ready condition. What is the stance of the car when the car gets into high gear.
I would set the camber at this ride height at 0 to 1/2 degree positive. Then start with the caster at + 3'.
Also be sure to check check the toe.
Hope this helps.
John

1972ho
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by 1972ho » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:25 pm

Try to get as much positive caster as you can get.

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Alan Roehrich
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by Alan Roehrich » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:23 pm

We run tall ball joints to cut down on camber change, and bump steer kits. As a rule, we run 1/8" to 1/16" toe in, and as much positive caster as possible of course, not using longer bolts or studs, or stupid amounts of shim). We align with the car raised in front around 2"-3" from ride height, with the weight of the driver in the seat. You can just about sit on your hands if you stage straight, and the track is decent.

prairiehotrodder
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by prairiehotrodder » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:25 pm

I was told to get as much negative caster by a friend. Now i need to do some research. Positive or negative. I've been a mechanic for 15 years but i've never done a wheel alignment.
Brian
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af2
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by af2 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:23 am

prairiehotrodder wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:25 pm
I was told to get as much negative caster by a friend. Now i need to do some research. Positive or negative. I've been a mechanic for 15 years but i've never done a wheel alignment.
Brian
Positive Caster is your friend at 150+ I run 8* with a straight axle and 1* negative Camber in case the car goes array.
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Adam

allencr267
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by allencr267 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:12 pm

prairiehotrodder wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:25 pm
...negative caster by a friend.
Try driving at medium to high speed in reverse in any thing but a forklift & you'll get you a scary dose of neg castor.

prairiehotrodder
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by prairiehotrodder » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:42 pm

Thanks guys, positive caster is correct. My new control arms which are on the way have extra positive caster built in so hopefully i can use far less shims for the alignment.
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pitts64
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by pitts64 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:11 am

Those TLC 88 arms have 6 degrees of caster built into them so try to get the shims even to keep the caster from shifting as the wheels cycle up and down.. If its a track only car set caster even both sides. Set camber negative .25 with toe in 1/32 each side.

I would set it up like this;
Caster Positive +5 both sides.. The more caster you add above 5 the slower the steering will be..
Camber negative -.25
Toe in 1/32 each side..

Jack the car up with the front wheels off the ground and see what they look like. You might want to use limit straps if the camber is all out of wack. .9 and .5 tall ball joints would help this..

I would change the lower control arms or at least beef them up, they are known to crack and release the lower ball joint..

Kenco
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by Kenco » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:37 pm

Back in the day we would take pictures of the car at several points as it went down the track, then one at rest. We would then figure out how high the front end was carried throughout the majority of the run and raise the car to that point when aligning the front end. That seemed to work fine. Hope that helps.

Bob Hollinshead
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Re: drag race wheel alignment

Post by Bob Hollinshead » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:22 am

rather than using taller balljoints would the old school balljoint spacers work? Upper control arms with more positive caster must be designed with the upper balljoint location set rearward?
Pro question poster.

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