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bb240z
11-22-2016, 09:32 AM
Working on replacing all my front suspension parts on my '78 Volare. I have 15" Road Wheels n it now. What is the correct procedure and specs to set ride height via the torsion bar adjustments?

77rr2x4s
11-22-2016, 12:59 PM
Do you have a Chrysler service manual? It will tell you there. You may have to drive the car a little to get it to settle some after each adjustment. For me personally, I set it to where I get the best look for clearance and ride height and set both sides the same.

aspen79
11-22-2016, 06:28 PM
You measure from the bottom of the inner pivot bushing to the floor. Factory spec is 10 1/4".

You will need to turn the anchor bolts in or out. If the car isn't sitting on turn plates (like on an alignment machine) you'll need to drive the car backwards and forward a couple feet to allow the suspension to neutralize, then check again, adjust if needed, move the car, lather, rinse, repeat.

Don't forget,,,,,,,,,,,,the left bolt adjusts the right bar and the right bolt adjusts the left bar.

bb240z
11-24-2016, 08:08 AM
Excellent. Just what I was looking for, thanks!

Rattle Trap
11-24-2016, 11:40 AM
I must be really lousy at adjusting them. It takes me forever to get them right. I also adjust for overall look and not factory specs. Turn, measure, drive, repeat. Doesn't seem to work for me to just roll back and forth and bounce the shocks. It's always different after driving. And then because of how every body is different and rear springs wear differently as well, I'm measuring all four wheel arches after driving on each adjustment. Then fine tune it a little more.

77rr2x4s
11-24-2016, 06:34 PM
I must be really lousy at adjusting them. It takes me forever to get them right. I also adjust for overall look and not factory specs. Turn, measure, drive, repeat. Doesn't seem to work for me to just roll back and forth and bounce the shocks. It's always different after driving. And then because of how every body is different and rear springs wear differently as well, I'm measuring all four wheel arches after driving on each adjustment. Then fine tune it a little more. Same issue here. Bouncing and moving the car didn`t do it for me. I had to drive it some and it was starting to get frustrating as it seemed to take a lot of fine tuning to get it right. I measured the height the same way as you.

aspen79
11-24-2016, 06:53 PM
Use the factory spec as an initial setting and then tweak from there for the best look without going nuts.

You guys are right, getting the suspension to neutralize is the biggest problem when doing it at home. An alignment rack with turn plates takes care of that problem, plus,,,,,,,,,it's perfectly level (or better be!). Kind of impractical unless you've got the car in for an alignment. I'm just lucky to be an auto tech and the shop has an alignment rack so.......................................:icon_e_b iggrin:

77rr2x4s
11-24-2016, 07:06 PM
For some reason it is hard to find a good old car alignment guy around this way. I was not happy with last two alignments on the volare and charger I had at the time.

aspen79
11-25-2016, 07:35 AM
It's called time, 77. Our suspension/steering/alignment guy retired a month ago after 45 years of doing mostly only those things. He could make a totaled car drive straight and not wear tires I think. We can, of course, do old cars just fine but younger techs aren't trained or experienced in anything built before the turn of the century. Wouldn't expect them to be.

Search around. Find a shop with an alignment rack where there's more techs with gray hair than not:smile-new:

jermo17
11-25-2016, 09:49 AM
I found just recently that my techs at work were doing the alignment perfectly but they were failing to torque the control arm bolts to the 110 ft/lbs specified by the manufacturer stated in the factory service manual. Every time they did it the factory service manual was with the car and all techs were informed it was there but still not a one opened the book. The problem arose when braking hard the control arms would move around. Not fun to drive

Rattle Trap
11-25-2016, 09:57 AM
I take everything to my cousin at the Ford dealership no matter the brand. But he has a hard time with the old Mopars. Because they're old and worn and one adjustment will change another that it shouldn't also change. He gives me a hard time about having it set close and how making one tuning move will make him start over somewhere else. And then it's all different again after that. Then when it's finally all right, it will somehow become off again. Lol! Old cars annoy him. I just tell him to slightly over adjust it and let the bushing slop take it to where it should be while driving. If it goes down the road straight and smooth and the steering wheel is clocked right I'm happy. When I might put 1,500 miles on a particular car per year I'm never going to wear the tires out before they start cracking and splitting and need replacement anyhow. I'm not going to drive it in a manner that I would abuse a modern car either. Unless it's squealing in a turn, it must be close enough.

aspen79
11-25-2016, 04:25 PM
I will admit, setting camber and caster with the slots is a pain. You have to unload the suspension, loosen the nuts and take an educated guess on how much to move each slot, tighten, load the suspension again, do a caster swing and see where you're at. Even using the "front end raised" mode on the alignment machine you'll never get it right on the first couple adjustments. After every adjustment, the caster swing has to be done or the reading on the screen means nothing really.

My Dakota is the exact same setup and did the alignment on it last weekend. PITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On most newer cars you can only check caster, no adjustments. Trucks are adjustable but most use eccentric bolts or some form of them so it's not so bad. Usually the most you can adjust on a car is front toe and if it's independent rear suspension, the camber and toe on the rear. If caster or camber is out of spec in the front, it means something is bent or worn out or,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it's got a million miles and the structure is sagged out. Add in some Wisconsin rust to weaken it a bit more and you can only do so much. :help: