Post-alignment Test Drive

The first impression of the new alignment is that the steering is lighter at low speed. This is welcome since it was heavy before and does not seem to have come at the expense of higher speed resistance.

Ferrari 308 post alignment

Ready for the test drive

On the road, the car now feels very slightly slower on turn-in. However, it now feels consistent side to side. Before the alignment, the car always turned right a little better than it did left.

Finally, the wheel is still not quite straight when going straight ahead but it is better than it was. This is just a minor niggle since it does not affect the driving at all. I’ll get around to fixing it sometime but overall, I am happy. I think it is now time to stop tinkering and spend more time driving. However, I really wanted to fix the alignment before putting on more miles this summer.

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Disclaimer: describes the restoration work I perform on my car and only my car. I am not a professional mechanic. The website content is presented for entertainment purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice, information, instruction or guidance for working on any other car. The opinions stated here are my own and no-one else’s.

1 Response

  1. BlinkRED says:

    Back in the 1970 and 80’s, I had put solid bushings in my 1970 Camaro with Dick Guldstrand urethane bushings up front and bronze bushing in the rear with his springs and re-valved Koni’s. Dick Guldstrand had recommended a maximum of 1/4 degree negative camber for the front for street use. I found that to be correct as anymore would increase wear on the inner tread. Negative camber can also hurt braking and additionally so because as the nose dips during breaking, you get more negative camber and less tire contact patch on the ground. Toe in and toe out comes into pay as well and what toe does to a tire with negative camber. You also have the play in the suspension components. Then you have the tire width, aspect ratio and tire construction that also has an effect on all this. The early 308’s used 70 series Michelin XWX’s. I used these for many years on my Camaro back in the 1970’s & ’80’s. They had such good road feel and high speed stability that I decided to cut one open. What I found was, two steel belts in each sidewall and what Michelin called a “C” fold of steel belts in the tread, basically amounting to three steel belts plus the fold. Now, compare that to today’s tires that are much wider with much shorter sidewalls and very different construction types. One other interesting tid bit. Back in the ’70’s or so, one of the car magazines tested different tires by their contact patch on the road surface. They used the same car and would put the different tires on it. They would then jack the car up, roll on black printers ink, put a piece of white paper on the ground and then lower the car and tire down onto the paper. They then raised the car and compared the contact patches with several different tires. The B.F Goodrich Comp T/A of the day was a wide tire and had a very wide contact patch but very little front to back contact while a skinny Michelin “X” of the day had a narrow contact patch but a very long contact patch front to back resulting in much more rubber on the ground than the very wide Comp T/A. If one wants to really get into it, get a tire temperature gauge, drive the car and then check temperatures across the tread. You can then play with all the adjustments to achieve the best overall consistent tire temperature. In closing, I will simply say, It’s complicated and if you don’t drive crazy all the time, IMO, I would use minimal negative camber and toe-in based on factory spec’s. Toe-out can be used as well.

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