Unless the specs are *REALLY* out of whack I don't think it's a problem. On the other hand, I think it's a good idea to mark the orientation of the strut beforehand and try to get it as close as you can, then get an alignment as soon as possible.
Shove them all the way in towards the engine (max negative camber) and all the way back to the firewall (max positive caster) and drive to the alignment shop.
Did you add springs at the same time? If not, then you should be OK for awhile with the above settings.
If you added springs, then lowering the car will change your settings. Setting the plates as stated above will make them pretty much OK... but your toe will still be out. Toe is what kills tires. Too much toe in or out will eat the edges of your tires.
You can eyeball it to get it to the shop, or you can align it yourself at home, either with a dedicated caster/camber gauge and a makeshift toe gauge, or with cheap and readily available tools, like so:
First, the caster. I have no provision for measuring this, just remember on a Fox body car you can’t get enough so set each plate as far back as it’ll go and skip to the next step because the rest is easy. If the car drifts to one side after all is said and done, remove caster from the side it’s pulling toward. Edit: Norm Petersen says "You can make a simple jig from strips of wood or metal to make steering to a specific angle easier and more accurate. I made one for 14.5 degrees (left and right) when I upgraded the homemade camber measurement apparatus to one with a pivot, two magnetic levels, and a dial indicator for easier reading and less math. For 14.5 degrees, caster = 2.0 x (camber difference)." In other words measure the camber with the wheels turned 14.5 degrees left, then 14.5 degrees right, and multiply the difference in measurements by 2 and that's your caster. I drive a fox body and I just set it all the way back. One of these days I'll measure it.
Next, the camber. Easy. You just want to measure how far out of vertical the wheels are. With the car parked on a level floor and with the wheels pointed so they’re straight ahead (regardless of steering wheel position, you can fix that later, just go where you know the car tracks straight ahead), place a construction level against the bottom lip of one front wheel. Hold it so the level indicates perfect vertical, then using a ruler or tape measure, measure the distance from the edge of the level to the top edge of the wheel. 5/16 of an inch is essentially –1.0 degrees. 7/16 is just a hair over –1.5 degrees, my preferred street setting. It gives me hard cornering capability without chewing up the outside edges of the tires, and if you set your toe properly you shouldn’t have to worry about inner edge wear. Some people (weenies, LOL) find this setting a bit aggressive but IMHO under no circumstances should you go less than 5/16. You’ll probably find yourself at the outside edge of c/c plate travel at the –1.0 range but it depends on a lot of things so you won’t know until you try.
Now, onto the Toe setting, always done last because camber has such a dramatic effect on it: You want to measure the difference in distances between reference points halfway up the front of the tires and halfway up the backs of the tires. Unless you drive a swamp buggy you can’t just measure across because the car gets in the way, so you need a “caliper” of some sort to transfer these points down to the ground level for measurement. You could do it with a plumb bob and some chalk and measure inbetween, which I’ve done with success, or you can make a tool. I got a 6 foot rail of that shelving material with the slots cut in it, that you hook thick sheet metal brackets into for putting boards on top of. I don’t know what it’s called, maybe slotted-rail shelving or something. I got one rail and two of the brackets, locked one bracket on the rail so it won’t move at all, and kept the second one as a “slider” that will be used to actually take the measurement.
I set the rail under the car so it runs side to side, align the locked bracket with a specific portion of the tire tread halfway up the back of the tire, then positioned the other end of the rail to take a measurement. Before I measure, I go back and make sure the fixed end of the rail is still in position because it’s easy to move as you position the other end. Then I place the slider bracket so it corresponds with the portion of tread I’m using and make a mark on the rail. Now bring the rail to the front of the tires and make another measurement the same way. The distance between the marks is toe. I pre-marked the rail in 1/16th increments where the slider would go but in any case that’s how you do it. If you use this bracket device you’ll have to be precise about how the “slider” bracket sits on the rail to maintain accuracy. I set mine so it’s 1/16 toed in, meaning the front side measurement is 1/16th of an inch shorter than the measurement of the back side of the tires. Adjusting the toe is easy. You probably don’t even need to raise the car. By holding the outer tie rod end with some vice grips or channel-locks, take a 7/8 wrench and loosen the jamnut. Then use pliers or a wrench on the tie rod itself to turn it inward or outward, then hold the assembly still while you tighten the jamnut. A little goes a long way, and if the wheel was crooked now’s your chance to fix it. If you need to toe the wheels in from where they are, start with the wheel opposite where the steering wheel is pointing. In other words if the wheel points to the left, take toe out of the right wheel. If you don’t need to make a toe adjustment but you do need to straighten the wheel, add a little toe to the wheel on the side it points to and take the exact same amount out of the other side until the steering wheel runs straight. I haven’t figure out how many turns of the tie rod equate to each fraction of an inch but again a little goes a long way and you’ll likely find yourself making adjustments in the range of half a turn or so.
A forum community dedicated to Ford Mustang owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, production numbers, VIN decoders, modifications, troubleshooting, power adders, DIY tutorials, and more!