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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Alignment questions, '88 Wagon

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3 replies to this topic

#1 TomRhere


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Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:37 PM

Took the Wagon in for an inspection/alignment yesterday. Happy to say I was really close in setting things by eye for the front end. But,,, it's still not totally right, so I has questions for those what know.

Wagon has the XT6 5-lug conversion done to it.

Here are the readings when I left the shop,

Left Front:
Camber = 1.8*
Caster = 2.1*
Toe = -0.28*

Right Front:
Camber = 1.9*
Caster = 2.5*
Toe = -.22*

Total toe = -0.50*
Steer ahead = -0.03*

Left Rear:
Camber = -1.2*
Toe = 0.34*

Right Rear:
Camber = 0.0*
Toe = -0.47*

Total toe = -0.12*
Thrust Angle = 0.40*

Questions follow now;

For the Right front caster being out of range, would loosening the radius rod bolts, both on the LCA and it's rear mount bracket allow me to shift things more towards the proper setting?
I'm thinking that way..

Also contemplating slotting the holes in the LCA to allow movement between it and the radius rod. Thoughts on that are welcomed.

For the rear settings;

Tech doing the work couldn't really improve on what initial readings were, he even called their other shop to talk with their tech. 2 brains are better than 1 most times.

Left rear needs to move rearwards 1/8".
Right rear needs to move forwards 1/8".
At least according to his knowledge of how all of the geometry works out. And that's just to get the rear toe close, camber may fall into to place then.

So,,, question there is, what about slotting the holes where the outer/inner arms attach to each other? That would, allow for more adjustment.

Every suspension component under this Wagon came from various vehicles, nothing is original to it.

Terry, the guy working this alignment was really impressed with the Wagon. When he called the other shop his words were, "I have a gorgeous 1988 Subaru Wagon on the rack right now". Terry was also impressed with the mods I've done to it, and the story line of how it came to be.
His Aunt used to drive a Justy.

#2 coxy


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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:19 PM

Years ago I redid a Fiat Regatta for a customer it had 1 degree positive camber on the front because of insane headlight height laws in Australia that meant higher ride height to pass hence the positive camber like you have.

Going to 1/2 of a degree negative did not impact greatly on Tire wear but the transformation in steering and I do not mean just turn in but actual lightness of the steering it was like adding power steer to the car.Like a Subaru Fiats are front wheel drive in  real world road driving conditions, So it should work as well on a subaru.


Rear toe alignment is very critical as to how stable the car feels in corners also get it wrong and the car feels like it wants to tip, Very obvious when only one side is out as it handles normally around say RH corners but woefully around the opposite corners


Very slight Toe out is the norm on most front wheel drives as under power they pull themselves square when bushes flex and so forth, That way they turn into corners better, At the back just try and keep things as close to zero in all aspects as possible and it will work fine.

There is usually some allowance for realigning the rear end somewhat by loosening and preloading slightly before tightening as there is some slack in the mounting holes etc so try that first.

#3 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

There is actually an AC Delco branded adjustable radius rod on Rockauto which allows for +/- 2.25 degrees. I think it's a better solution rather than slotting/spacing... However, keep in mind the extra stress it will induce on the LCA bushing and upper strut mount.


Even with the 5-Lug swap, he couldn't pull the front camber closer to 0? Granted, he was probably going off the factory specs for a 4WD wagon (which has the most positive camber "range" because that's just how it sat due to the higher spring base on the 4WD struts and it being a wagon. It's not really the "ideal" setting for neutral handling and response..)


I'd investigate why you have such a crazy difference between LR and RR camber. Print out the pages from the FSM about "tweaking" the rear settings. While they aren't adjustable (as I'm sure you know), they can be massaged so they fall on better settings or fall within range to make both sides equal.


Be warned though: some shops are apprehensive about doing "custom" alignments or just won't do it down-right because of the liability on their end, especially if you have a tire warranty through them (Like Goodyear/Firestone/NTB/Terry's Tire Town, ect).

Edited by 86 Wonder Wedge, 31 August 2013 - 08:41 PM.

#4 TomRhere


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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:09 AM

Interesting replies. Thanks.


It was obvious that Terry hadn't seen a Subaru of this year/Model on the rack as he didn't know what to choose from the list of vehicles on the screen. There was a choice of XT, but no XT6. I told him to go with the GL/GL10 Model, Wagon as the body type.


I've been digging around here and other places trying to get an idea or two on just what the proper settings should be for all four corners. I've found info regarding the rear settings/adjustments, but those are for the "stock" setup, same as the machine gives. Still digging around.


One more question;


Should the Wagon sit level, or should there be a slight forward rake to it.?


I really can't tell by looking at pics of others on here, mine seems to be level.




Never mind that last question. Found ride height info...

Edited by TomRhere, 01 September 2013 - 07:36 AM.

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