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Vert sits lower on driver side


wrshog
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MY '71 vert sits lower on the drivers side. I have gone through and suspension and all parts are basically new. New lower control arms, new upper control arm shafts, new coil spring isolators, new 5 leaf leaf springs and shackles any ideas on how I can remove this lean? I have thought of adjusting shackle lengths, in the back and I will be leveling out the lean before I weld in the subframe connectors. I can not find any information other than going to a frame shop. The engine and trans are currently out of the car along with the interior but it leaned with it in and now with it out.

Any help would be appreciated.

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MY '71 vert sits lower on the drivers side. I have gone through and suspension and all parts are basically new. New lower control arms, new upper control arm shafts, new coil spring isolators, new 5 leaf leaf springs and shackles any ideas on how I can remove this lean? I have thought of adjusting shackle lengths, in the back and I will be leveling out the lean before I weld in the subframe connectors. I can not find any information other than going to a frame shop. The engine and trans are currently out of the car along with the interior but it leaned with it in and now with it out.

Any help would be appreciated.

Frame issue..The car needs to go on a frame machine and be measured out..Theres a good chance the inner rockers are shot which on a vert would make the chassis sag..Or some previous work could have been done which wasn't done properly forget about changing shackle lengths it will change the geometry of the suspension..what ever you do don't install the subframe connectors TILL YOU FIX the frame..

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART

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Q is dead on, and respectfully, not suggesting that anything be assumed, but one side sitting lower leads one to think that is is highly possible that the something is either broken, or was broken and "fixed" incorrectly. Putting it on a rack, and checking it would be the best way to know without the guess work.

1972 H-code Mach1

2010 GT Premium

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

1995 F150- The "home depot" machine

2012 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra

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What if it isn't a frame issue? Could it be that the chasis is mounted crooked? Maybe a failed/worn bushing. I don't want to just assume that the frame is not straight. Anything else I can do or check?

Thanks

Well you need to start some where..You said you replaced basically everything suspension wise & that it had the lean before you replaced everything..& then after..Yes it is possible someone installed a new frame rail or rocker improperly..But the chassis/frame/unibody is your foundation just like a house..build on crooked foundation you end up with a tilted house..same thing with a unibody..You need to rule out the frame..A competent shop with a bench style frame machine & a measuring system usually gets around $250.00 to put the car up measure & diagnose (thats what I charged in my shop) Unless you have a perfectly flat floor & a way to level jig the car to take measurements side to side corner to corner along the length of the unibody You really need to know what your doing.

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART

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Guest Kit Sullivan

No "frame" on a Mustang...all unibody ( unitized) construction. Getting on a body alignment rack ("frame machine") will surely point you directly at the source of the problem. Almost all high-mileage unibody cars of this era will be significantly out of spec due to sloppy manufacturing along with accumulated mileage, even if never in an accident.

Our cars are the epitome of the "close enough is good enough" standards used in auto manufacturing from back then.

A full rotisserie restoration with meticulous attention to detail will invariably produce a car that rides and handles far better than any well-kept low-mileage original.

Not an insult to our cars...its just the way it was back then.

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No "frame" on a Mustang...all unibody ( unitized) construction. Getting on a body alignment rack ("frame machine") will surely point you directly at the source of the problem. Almost all high-mileage unibody cars of this era will be significantly out of spec due to sloppy manufacturing along with accumulated mileage, even if never in an accident.

Our cars are the epitome of the "close enough is good enough" standards used in auto manufacturing from back then.

A full rotisserie restoration with meticulous attention to detail will invariably produce a car that rides and handles far better than any well-kept low-mileage original.

Not an insult to our cars...its just the way it was back then.

+1 :)

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART

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Wrshog, keep us up to date on this one please. I have the same issue except I already have the sub-frame connectors welded on. I replaced absolutely everything on the suspension, uppers, lowers, leafs, coils, shocks, ends you name it and it's new even prothane motor and transmission mounts.

 

If needed I wll take it to the frame shop and have the sub-frame connectors cut off then re-welded after everything's straight. I have no signs of any damage or rust and like you I figured it would straighten out with new leaf springs and other work.

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Mine has the same issue... not terrible, though. Hell, I just figured it was because I'm fat.

Mine is not too bad either, but I know it's there and I won't be happy until it's right. I've put too much into it not to make it as perfect as I can. :D

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I had the same issue when I bought my 73 from Ford. I took it back to the dealer and was told they do that deliberty to compinsate for the roads that slope for rain runoff. I belived them back then.:dodgy:

Mike

72 Mach 1

1979 Ranchero GT

1979 Corvette (yes... the "C" word)

2003 Pro-Street American Motorcycle

Which was the mid-life crisis???? :D

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If one of your door jambs has a smaller gap than the other at the quarter-to-door joint - and it's not the fault of the door - you have rotted inner rockers, and the source of your sagging. Subframe connectors will NOT compensate for rotted inner rockers.

 

Q, is there any way for a convertible owner to non-destructively access the inner rocker, or is it entirely sealed? I'm thinking that any pair of small holes would allow one to blow compressed air into the rocker to see what comes out the other end.

 

-Kurt

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How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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My doors don't look bad and when I pull the carpet out the metal is solid along the length of the doors. I assume it's the driver side that is low and not that the passenger side is high. The driver side shackles are at an angle (slightly) not vertical and the passenger side is vertical.

Here were my thoughts now for the home fix. Bottle jack between the axle and the "frame" go slow see what happens??? Jack up the driver side before I tighten the leaf spring front or rear connecting bolts and put a bit of bind/preload on the bushings? See what happens. I just assumed the leaf springs would solve it and spent the rest of my money on the 9" posi rear end, the rebuilt c6 and the new engine.......... which will probably twist the car into a figure eight.

No to mention all the other parts I have in it so I can get it on the road. Long ugly story...... The $80 solution is air shocks... No you don't have to tell me what a bad idea that is I have done that search numerous times :)


Couple more thoughts... Have the drivers side leaf spring re-arched to add the needed lift. The suspension geometry is wrong as it is if the shackles are not both vertical right? Would a rear sway bar help to level the load in the rear.

Again just spit balling here.......

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My doors don't look bad and when I pull the carpet out the metal is solid along the length of the doors.

 

I saw a half-arsed, half-restored '71 convertible recently. All new trunk floor, floorpans, and the cowl had been patched up nicely. No rust as hard as the eye could make out, and the inner rockers appeared solid from the outside.

 

Right side door was scraping the right side quarter panel. No door sag, perfect gaps everywhere BUT there.

 

I'll bet that inside those solid-looking rockers is a rust party.

 

Here were my thoughts now for the home fix. Bottle jack between the axle and the "frame" go slow see what happens???

 

I'd wager that the driver's door gap will expand if you jack it at the rear framerail, driver's side. Worth a try.

 

The $80 solution is air shocks... No you don't have to tell me what a bad idea that is I have done that search numerous times :)

 

That works, but if you try to sell the car in the future, rest assured I'll offer you all of $500 and nag about how the unibody is trash because the inner rockers weren't replaced like they should have ::blah::

 

;)

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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The driver side shackles are at an angle (slightly) not vertical and the passenger side is vertical.

 

Theres the problem..The shackles do sit at a angle..THEY SHOULD BOTH HAVE THE SAME ANGLE..So that means that the frame rail OR the bushing hole on the shackle that sits straight is damaged..a rear frame rail on that side was installed prior & done incorrectly..or the car was hit in the rear on that side & not repaired correctly..You can take a piece of string or tape measure..measure from the bolt head at the front of the leaf spring to the rear bolt head at the upper shackle mount..It should be the same on both sides of the car..see what you get..DO NOT BOTTLE JACK the frame rail between the axle..Your going to do nothing but screw your self even more..I know this is your problem because I had a customer with the same problem..when i took the measurement from leaf spring bolt to leaf spring bolt it was off..whats happening is the shorter measurement is compressing the leaf spring a bit which makes it sit higher on that side..So if the car has been painted already..or you can't afford to have it repaired correctly the easiest cheapest fix is this: You need to know how much it's off..on the particular car I did it was off by 1 inch..I fabricated a set of custom shackles where I off set THE HOLE AT THE TOP (WHERE IT BOLTS TO THE FRAME RAIL) by 1 inch..see picture It worked perfect & allows the springs to retain the same geometry compression

101_0780.thumb.JPG.38ce2c71ed62f4d37c5c5116438aa279.JPG

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART

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I'd wager that the driver's door gap will expand if you jack it at the rear framerail, driver's side. Worth a try.

 

Nope did this this morning. No change in the gaps on the driver side or passenger side. But i didn't jack it up that much. I did notice that the gaps on the passenger side are wider than those on the driver side

 

That works, but if you try to sell the car in the future, rest assured I'll offer you all of $500 and nag about how the unibody is trash because the inner rockers weren't replaced like they should have ::blah::

 

;)

 

-Kurt

 

;) Ok Kurt, and thank you for your insights on this. It really is appreciated. I'll make the measurements and see what I come up with. New paint and/or frame work has to wait a year and I have no intention of letting it sit in the garage until that point. I am going to be driving it as soon as we get rid of old man winter here in MN. That''s why I bought it.

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Nope did this this morning. No change in the gaps on the driver side or passenger side. But i didn't jack it up that much. I did notice that the gaps on the passenger side are wider than those on the driver side

 

Good to know that it didn't flex much, but the varying gaps are more than telling.

 

Follow Q's advice. Have it put on a frame table, and find out where it's been screwed up. If it's the rear framerails (and it cannot be quickly aligned), go for a shackle mod as Q showed in his most recent post.

 

FYI, wrshog: The last time I saw one of these Mustangs sitting cockeyed - as described here - it was a Sportsroof. Back end was leaning over the passenger's side. I opened the trunk and found the right rear framerail split in two. Naturally, the leaf spring on that side was under far less tension. The net result was the same effect as Q explains above, just more catastrophic.

 

;) Ok Kurt, and thank you for your insights on this. It really is appreciated. I'll make the measurements and see what I come up with. New paint and/or frame work has to wait a year and I have no intention of letting it sit in the garage until that point. I am going to be driving it as soon as we get rid of old man winter here in MN. That''s why I bought it.

 

Take it to a shop to have it measured. Unless you can jackstand the car on fixed points that are all known to be absolutely level (including the casting differences in the stands), you won't have much luck getting anything accurate (and it requires specialized point measuring tools). Q can fill you in a lot more on this.

 

Q - is there a possibility that wrshog's left framerail is sitting incorrectly because only the left inner rocker is giving way (rather than the framerail having been badly repaired)? Stands to reason that only one side would bend upwards at each end if the inner rocker is weak on said side.

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Q - is there a possibility that wrshog's left framerail is sitting incorrectly because only the left inner rocker is giving way (rather than the framerail having been badly repaired)? Stands to reason that only one side would bend upwards at each end if the inner rocker is weak on said side.

 

-Kurt

The quick measurement he can do will be leaf spring bolt to bolt..Do it with a string then go to other side...if its off then theres your problem..Just a matter of finding why it's off You can do it with the axle on jack stands & the tires off...If not then you need to go deeper..The dead give away is the fact that the shackles are sitting at different angles which means the one thats vertical is not located properly where it mounts at the top.. bending up is not going to change the distance much & even so the shackles would be relatively close in angle..He has one vertical one at an angle therefore it's a length problem..Thats the first thing to check

LOVE OF BEAUTY IS TASTE..THE CREATION OF BEAUTY IS ART

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I made the measurements this morning.... no difference hmmmmm

I think it may be the front suspension that is the cause of the lean in the back. It measures high on the passenger side in front also. When I lean on the front pass fender the rear driver side comes up. I am going to wait until I get the engine/trans installed again and work to fix it at that time. I did not replace the front springs as they looked relatively new and were very close to the same height. I may just cut the pass spring down a bit to level the front and see what happens out back. Again, waiting until I get the drive train back in the car.

I'll keep you informed.

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  • 1 month later...

Wrshog, keep us up to date on this one please. I have the same issue except I already have the sub-frame connectors welded on. I replaced absolutely everything on the suspension, uppers, lowers, leafs, coils, shocks, ends you name it and it's new even prothane motor and transmission mounts.

 

If needed I wll take it to the frame shop and have the sub-frame connectors cut off then re-welded after everything's straight. I have no signs of any damage or rust and like you I figured it would straighten out with new leaf springs and other work.

 

Finally got the drive train installed, boy this car has fought me every step of the way so far..... My car still has a lean to the driver side but it is only 3/8" or maybe a little less. Everything is tight and it has even been for its maiden voyage .... about 2 miles maybe.. (I look like goof driving with the top down in the snow.) Front has a little bit of a lean also about 1/4" I think it could be simply the height difference in the fenders?? I am thinking of taking a bit off the passenger front coil to level the front and I noticed when I put a little weight on the front passenger fender the rear driver side comes up. This may solve both issue. Any input on cutting the spring up front and will it in-fact raise the driver side?

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Wrshog, keep us up to date on this one please. I have the same issue except I already have the sub-frame connectors welded on. I replaced absolutely everything on the suspension, uppers, lowers, leafs, coils, shocks, ends you name it and it's new even prothane motor and transmission mounts.

 

If needed I wll take it to the frame shop and have the sub-frame connectors cut off then re-welded after everything's straight. I have no signs of any damage or rust and like you I figured it would straighten out with new leaf springs and other work.

 

Finally got the drive train installed, boy this car has fought me every step of the way so far..... My car still has a lean to the driver side but it is only 3/8" or maybe a little less. Everything is tight and it has even been for its maiden voyage .... about 2 miles maybe.. (I look like goof driving with the top down in the snow.) Front has a little bit of a lean also about 1/4" I think it could be simply the height difference in the fenders?? I am thinking of taking a bit off the passenger front coil to level the front and I noticed when I put a little weight on the front passenger fender the rear driver side comes up. This may solve both issue. Any input on cutting the spring up front and will it in-fact raise the driver side?

 

My only advise would be make to make a very small cut initially on the coil. It's easy to take more off if you need to but it's a lot harder to put some back.

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.

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  • 1 month later...

Here is the geometry

I did this check on my car before I started on it

It's takes a bit of time to get it levelled but will let you know if there is a frame rail issue

782e9a927f7d3b0894c31c6ed35568fe_zps975b8ac2.jpg

 

I wouldn't trust the floor to be truly flat so I would use a piano wire and good levels and squares

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