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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. Just got my 1965 Nova with CBR upper & lower control arms and a manual rack and pinion aligned and while the steering is good it seems like it doesn't return to center as easily as I would like it to. Here are the specs from the alignment shop. How do these look? If I wanted a bit more of a return to center what would need to be adjusted?

Thanks!
Gil
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've read that adding positive caster usually results in more willingness for a car's steering to return to center. Has anyone else had experience with that? Thanks!
 

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Positive Caster is the primary ingredient that makes the steering wheel return to center.. Your print out shows a decent amount of caster with left 4.3, right 5.4.. I would like them as equal as possible at 5 or more but you are showing a decent amount as it is.. The toe-in setting might be a little high though..

What are the recommended specs from CBR for caster and toe-in with a manual rack..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Positive Caster is the primary ingredient that makes the steering wheel return to center.. Your print out shows a decent amount of caster with left 4.3, right 5.4.. I would like them as equal as possible at 5 or more but you are showing a decent amount as it is.. The toe-in setting might be a little high though..

What are the recommended specs from CBR for caster and toe-in with a manual rack..?
I believe these are the range of specs that CBR recommends:

-1 to 0 Camber
+2 to +6 Caster
1/32” TOE IN to 1/16” TOE OUT
 

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Actually, your camber is in the Positive 0.5 degree territory and it should be 0 to -1 Negative 0.5 degree. (CORRECTED)

I’d probably take some toe out of it.. I’m not sure how much the degree dimension translates to the fractional dimension but I think that looks a little bit high as well.

Toe-in makes the vehicle feel stable when going at highway speed. Too much Toe-in drags or scuffs the front tires as it moves forwards..Taking some toe-in out of the current alignment setup might help the return to center but the caster is really the primary factor in it..

And you’re sure that all the other components like the column, universal joints, and rack are all moving freely and smoothly correct..?
 

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I am using the same CBR setup with alignment specs close to yours. My steering wheel does come back after a turn. I have my caster on both sides a little over 5 degrees, camber 0 and toe in 1/32. The manual rack is only a little effort in parking but I like it. I'm using 15 inch wheels with 205 profile tires on a 6 in wide rim. That might be why mine is easier to turn.
 

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I'd go with less toe in. I'm not sure what the degree to inch conversion is, but I generally aim for 1/32” total toe when using plates and a measuring tape, and around 0.20° to 0.25° total toe in on the machine. Toe can be adjusted on a level garage floor (or driveway) using plates (or even straight lumber) and a measuring tape.

Your caster split seems high as well. The car will pull toward the side with less positive caster. Some shops will put maybe 1/2° less caster on the left to help counter "road crown" pushing the thing to the right. I personally like as little caster split as you can get. Aim for zero split, equal caster on both sides.
 

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TCI specs from 2010 want less caster on a manual rack. That would make steering with a manual rack some what easier
Both are in CBR range. but you might want to be in the lower caster spec.

TCI
Power steering:
Camber 0 degrees
Caster 4-5 degrees positive
Toe-in 1/16"

Manual steering:
Camber 0 degrees
Caster 1-2 degrees positive
Toe-in 1/16"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone. I'll take it back to the alignment shop and see if they can do some tweaking to get it to return to center a bit more easily. I'm running 14" x 6" rims with 185/70R14 tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I checked in with Chuck from CBR about the alignment specs and he recommended the following for my Nova:

Caster - equal or greater than +5.0 on both sides, make it as equal as possible
Camber - must be negative. between negative - 1/2 degree, up to negative - 1 degree on both sides
Total Toe out should be negative - 1/16th
 

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I checked in with Chuck from CBR about the alignment specs and he recommended the following for my Nova:

Caster - equal or greater than +5.0 on both sides, make it as equal as possible
Camber - must be negative. between negative - 1/2 degree, up to negative - 1 degree on both sides
Total Toe out should be negative - 1/16th
I'm about to get my 67 on the road with full cbr + power rack. I'm curious, would these specs be any different based on it being power vs manual?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I went to the alignment shop and got the specs that Chuck at CBR gave me and I'm still getting no return to center. The alignment shop seemed to think there was some stiffness in the steering. I agree that it is stiff and that there is almost a creaking sound when I turn the steering wheel. I'm going to try greasing everything up again. Are there any adjustments that can be made on the manual rack and pinion? Here are a few shots of the front end. Anyone see anything that looks out of whack?
 

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hard to tell without being there but if you were to disconnect the steering column from the u-joint and turned the steering wheel would you still get that sound? I wonder if its something inside the column since it is the original.
 
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