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1929 Chrysler wheel alignment


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Hi All,

I own a 1929 Chrysler, model 75 roadster, here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now I need to do the front wheel alignment. I am strugling to find alignment data for this model. I have the original instruction book, but with no information about this. Any help on that? What is applicable for such car: camber, caster, toe-in, toe-out?

The only info I got came from Instruction Book: "The distance between the wheels when measured in front at the felloe, approximately nine inches above the floor, and in rear from the same points should be equal or not greater than 1/8 inch." Unfortunately I could not understand this sentence completely. What is the "felloe"?




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That difference in measurements, from a reference point on the front of the wheel (think "front bumper side") side to side and a corresponding reference point on the wheel (think "clutch end of the engine") side to side will determine the "toe setting" in the alignment specs. The front measurement should be smaller than the rear measurement.

Using the reference point on the wheel, rather than the tire tread, is somewhat arbitrary, but will mean that if larger diameter tires might have been installed, the setting will be constant as it would be for smaller diameter tires . . . as the diameter of the wheel will not change.

Toe-in is needed as when the vehicle moves over the road surface, this motion puts a force into the front suspension and tires which will be a "drag" of sorts, which will want to cause the wheels to widen their side-to-side distances, or "toe out" and somewhat affect the compression/expansion of the steering linkage (whether the linkage is placed in front of or behind the wheels, laterally. The "toe-in" setting is a preload of sorts on that situation, to ensure that when the vehicle is in motion, there is a minimum of toe-in in the linkage so steering control is increased, tire wear is decreased, and maximum fuel economy can be attained.

There might be some helpful information at www.imperialclub.org/Repair/Lit/Master/index.htm This page has the Chrysler Master Technician Conference factory training materials for dealership mechanics, 1947 until the early 1980s (or thereabouts). The suspension set-up on the later 1940s cars is surely different than on your '27, but the principles of front end alignment would be very similar or the same. Especially considering how the various orientations the vehicles were designed around, due to improved roadways and higher road speeds, evolved with time.

There is also another page which has front end alignment information on it, but it only goes back to 1935 . . . possibly the first year for Imperial? www.imperialclub.org/Repair/Suspension/Specifications.htm I suspect the "Wheel Pivot Ratio" would equate to what we now term "toe-in"?

In a "straight axle front suspension", the only real adjustment you have is "toe-in". There can also be a King Pin Inclination angle, which if it's out of spec, might indicate the need to re-bush the king pins in the axle. Unless the axle itself has bent or deformed, or the springs and their mounting bushings have deteriorated, these values should be pretty much as they came from the factory. These settings would include "caster", "camber", and the "king pin inclination".

On an "independent front suspension", the factory settings depend more upon the condition of the various suspension bushings to maintain the particular relationship of these "isolated pivot points" ("isolated" meaning rubber isolation from the mount and the suspension component to increase ride smoothness and impact harshness decreases) to the total suspension's geometry. Camber and Caster are adjusted separately, but can be related somewhat. Toe-in is still a separate adjustment of the lateral steering linkage between the wheels. King pins were later replaced with individual upper and lower ball joints.

Great looking car! Hope this might help you have many more miles of enjoyment!


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