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3/17/13 8:11pm - Original Message: 'Alignment Advice Needed'
FLA VETTE
Former Member
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ORLANDO, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1980 L82 Dark Metallic Green Coupe, Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, GM ZZ383....nice....

Joined: 12/11/2002
Posts: 459
Well my vette has recently felt loose at speeds greater than 60mph for the last few months.
 
She has 115K miles on her and I had the front end completely rebuilt a number of years ago (likley 10 years) with less than 10K miles on it since.
 
I recently replaced the rag joint with a GM version and she does feel tighter but now it pulls towards the drivers side and the steering wheel is slightly off center. Still loose at highway speed. This car used to hug the road like glue, so I know something is not right.
 
So I was planning to bring her in for an alignment.
 
Q. Can any shop perform an alignment on these cars? or is a specialty shop needed?
 
Q. Is it a two wheel alignment or 4 wheel?
 
Q. Is there any particular specs I should ask for to get her back to laying tight to the road again?
 
Q. Rough estimate of an alignment for this car?


____________________________________
 
1980 L82 (5069 made), Dark Green Metalic (844 made)
Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, Sporting a ZZ383......... 
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3/17/13 8:53pm - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I had mine aligned last year at a Hyundia dealership. Great job! However the mechanic that did mine is a member here and loves Corvettes! Yostusota (Rich) and he did a great job. I personally have never done an alignment on any car but I would think that anyone that does alignments and cares about the job going out can do a good job. We set mine up a little different then what the specs call for, but all settings were done off the gauges so again as long as the person doing it is someone who cares about their work it should be fine. If your really fortunate you'll find someone like I did that has pride in what they do. Thanks Rich!

I am sure there will be others here that will add their thoughts. I would even think Rich may offer his thoughts!
Best of Luck
Rodney


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3/17/13 10:33pm - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
you need a 4 wheel alignment, I would call around to shops that do alignments ask them if they know how to do one on a '80 vette. They need to know how to shim the trailing arms.
That's what I did and it payed off, found a great guy.
Good luck,
Dave


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Lifetime Member #116
Dave's '82


   
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3/18/13 7:23am - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1901
 A trailing arm re-build will do wonders for your car, and will give it a better track.

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3/18/13 11:56am - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19458
I'm wid Dave on this...find someone who is knowledgeable on doing Corvette rear suspensions....the front is just like any other GM vehicle for years, but the rear is a world of it's own. It can be time consuming, and aggravating for folks that know what their doing, but for someone who doesn't? Might be a bad mistake. You might check with your local Chebby dealer and ask if they have someone familiar with the older cars....I had mine done at the dealership years ago.

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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3/18/13 12:17pm - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
FLA VETTE
Former Member
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ORLANDO, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1980 L82 Dark Metallic Green Coupe, Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, GM ZZ383....nice....

Joined: 12/11/2002
Posts: 459
Thanks for the replies. I did already had Van Steel rebuild my T arms a few years back, great shop by the way.
 
I will give a call around to find a 4 wheel alignment shop and ask the questions about familiarity with an 80.
 
I noticed that previously my front tires had a slight angle out at the bottom vs now they are pretty straight up and down.
 
Any input on particular specs or cost range of 4 wheel alignment for these cars?
 
 


|UPDATED|3/18/2013 10:17:06 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


____________________________________
 
1980 L82 (5069 made), Dark Green Metalic (844 made)
Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, Sporting a ZZ383......... 
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3/26/13 6:07pm - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
FLA VETTE
Former Member
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ORLANDO, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1980 L82 Dark Metallic Green Coupe, Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, GM ZZ383....nice....

Joined: 12/11/2002
Posts: 459
Well I gott'er done...
 
I called a local corvette club with no particular references. Then I took a chance at the local Pep Boys close to the house. It turns out that the manager of the shop has a 77 shark. He knew everything about these cars and it was great to find him.
 
After inspection, I was suprised to find out that my lower front ball joints had basically what looked like no grease in them. I had them replaced about 8 years/ 8K miles ago. Hmmm. I wonder if they were ever greased when they were replaced? or can it run out that quick with such few miles?
 
Also my drivers side engine mount had basically flattened out enough that the PSteering belt looks like it is ocasionally hitting on the frame based on some belt dust accumulating. That was also changed around the same time period.
 
Anyway, the lower ball joints were showing loose so I had them replaced and the 4 wheel alignment done. WoW... tracks good now and feels much tighter even just driving down the road. Between the drivers side wheel being pretty far off and the new ball joints combined made the difference.
 
It is good to find folks that know what they are doing.


____________________________________
 
1980 L82 (5069 made), Dark Green Metalic (844 made)
Gymkhana Suspension, AM/FM/CB, Sporting a ZZ383......... 
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3/27/13 7:20am - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
Glad it worked out well for you. Now have fun with it! Thumbs Up
Dave


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Lifetime Member #116
Dave's '82


   
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3/27/13 12:23pm - Reply: 'Re: Alignment Advice Needed'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19458
Glad ya got it drivin straight again!  Thumbs Up

Most ball joints only have a small amount of assembly grease in them...they do need to be checked, and greased if they don't have the proper amount. Never hurts to put a pump or so in them, no matter what. They will tend to wear quickly with no lube....the lower ball joint do carry the weight of the vehicle, as well as the turn, and up/down forces.

____________________________________
Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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