Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been to a couple of local shops to try and get a 4 wheel alignment done on my 68 XR7. Most shops have turned me away either because they are nervous about working on an older car or say that they don't have the specs to do the alignment. Is this information something that anyone out there might have? Right now the car drifts all over the road at speeds over 50mph and I was told by my mechanic that he felt that a 4 wheel alignment along with a check of all the attachment bolts that relate to the suspension would fix the problem. Has anyone else had problems with the chain stores like "Midas" or others that perform this service willingly on my newer cars but are leary of doing the Cougar.
Thanks in advance for any help or tips you might have to offer.
Charlie
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
Believe it or not, our Ford dealer in town got a new alignment machine, and it goes back to 1966 for all Ford-Mecrury models. They did mine.

Jean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
I have a small local garage do all of my alignments. Check with Mark at Berkshire Transmissions in North Adams. He probably knows someone local.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
If it drifts all over the road, you have more than an alignment problem. Your best bet may be to find a suspension/steering shop that has been around for a while. They may still have the old manuals. Either that or someone here with a '68 shop manual may chime in. I have the specs for '69 but they may be different.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,577 Posts
Generally, a "4-wheel alignment" refers to 4-wheel independent suspension car which usually have some adjustment (only camber usually) in the rear. That is not to say that perhaps some alignment systems could check the relationship of the front wheels to the rear wheels, I am not sure about that possibility but it seems reasonable.

Is the frame of the car intact or has there been previous, serious unibody damage that has been repaired? If yes to unibody damage, you need a body shop to check the sricital dimensions of the unibody, straightening if required and then a good suspension shop to repair and align the front suspension.

Otherwise, as the other poster has said, wandering, etc... is not a 4 wheel alignment problem, it is a loose/worn parts problem.

Regards,

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for responses. It appears that everything is new underneath the car. I have pictures of it during the restoration and it looks like they had it on a rotisserie or some type for a lot of the work. I can't imagine that they would have gone through all that trouble if the frame was bent. It does not look like there is any previous damage from what I have seen when it is up on the lift. I got this advice from a local mechanic that has done some work for me on the car. He felt that the car was "all over the road" It does not feel real planted at speeds over 50mph, I thought it might be the power assist for the steering. My local mechanic thought that it needed a 4 wheel alignment and have the shop check and make sure everything is tight. He felt that is was behaving more like it had bias ply tires on it then the radials. I am hoping that it is just an alignment issue.
Never thought of the dealer... that just might be the ticket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
i've had two cougars done at areally good alignment shop one with stock suspension and one with a rack and large sway bar---here whathe did----caster , straight up to a little neg---caster2 to 3 pos with both side within 1/2 deg or she'll pull---toe out---yes i said toe out . abouta 1/16 or so--alot of new hp cars are comming out with toe out--and i believe this is the reason . toe in or out is there to load the suspension while going down the road but with toe in , the second you slightly turn the wheel ,you are heading toward toe out(the ackerman effect says you reallt have toe out during a turn)--this transition point is when most cars get darty , cuz the suspension is not loaded.by starting out with toe out , the sus is allways loaded.
on the stock 68 cougar(v-8 ,p/s,a/c) you could feel the differance in the car before i got ot of the lot--even my passenger noticed it---on the 67 gt car with the cavileer rack/ford p/s pump--well all i can say that the car is a joy to drive---very quick but cuz of the low pres from the stock ford p/s pump , the car is not darty
i'd try to find a high performance independant allignment shop that will work with you
doctordesoto
 

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
1,881 Posts
Do you still have a two piece export brace on your cat? If you do you can eliminate much of the road drift just by installing a one piece export brace. There’s allot of flex in the front end and radial tires will exaggerate it. It also wouldn’t hurt to install a set of frame rail connectors. Both of those mods are a fairly inexpensive to do and you will definitely notice an improvement at speeds over fifty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
Do you have bias ply tires? If you do this could cause the car to wonder over the road.
Randy Feuillerat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
Remember these cars were built for bias ply and radials do change things a bit. Also, don't compare it to a new car. There is 40 years difference in suspension technology. A '68 will feel 'loose' compared to a 2008 at highway speeds. I'm not saying there are not things you can do to tighten it up but it does not have struts and rack and pinion. Check your idler arm bushings, they can cause the car to wander.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It has radials on it now. I plan to change the wheels to the stock looking mags and new tires. I'm not sure what the "export brace" is on the car. Unfortunatly I am not much the maechanic and have to depend on others and my wallet to get her where I want her to be. The suggestion of eliminating the 2 pice export brace and installing a one piece along with the "frame rail connectors" sounds like it can only help. Do you have a link to where you were able to find these parts? Would love to be able to feel more comfortable at speed in the car. I had one back in High School in the 70's and loved it, driving this one brings back lots of memories. Would be great to be able to run it down the highway with confidence...
 

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
1,881 Posts
The export brace ties the shock towers to the firewall. Originals are two piece which allowed more flex. A 1 piece stiffens the front end. Your front tires will last longer too.
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD>
</TD><TD>
<!-- MC.net banner //--><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><TABLE style="WIDTH: 597px" border=2 cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=5 align=left><TBODY><TR><TD style="WIDTH: 100%">
For technical questions, questions about how a part will fit, or feedback from actual users of products, please join the conversation at MercuryCougar.Net
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- END MC.net banner //--><!-- Yahoo Mini Cart Div //--><TABLE width=650><TBODY><TR><TD>
$0.000 Item(s)View Cart



</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- END Yahoo Mini Cart Div //--><!-- Yahoo Floating cart script //--><SCRIPT id=yfc_loader type=text/javascript src="http://l.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/lib/smbiz/store/yfc/js/0.1/loader.js?q=yhst-11089400041767&ts=1270058692"></SCRIPT><!-- END Yahoo Floating cart script //-->Online Store :: Featured Items :: 1967 - 1970 Mercury Cougar / Ford Mustang / Shelby Export Brace - Repro

<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=600>Reproduction Export Brace for the 1967, 1968, 1969 & 1970 Mercury Cougar or Ford Mustang


<TABLE width=600><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=300><CENTER><TABLE align=left><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle>[URL="http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-11089400041767_2135_49581435"]</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Click to enlarge</CENTER></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>[/URL]</CENTER></TD><TD width=300><TABLE border=2 cellPadding=5><TBODY><TR><TD><FORM id=yfc_1 method=post action=https://order.store.yahoo.net/yhst-11089400041767/cgi-bin/wg-order?yhst-11089400041767+c5zz-16a052>Print This Page
Bookmark Page

Availability:
Usually ships the next business day

Orderable?


Part #: 67xprtbrc

Price:$62.85


Option(s):
Finish: <SELECT name=Finish><OPTION selected value="BK~ Black">BK~ Black</OPTION><OPTION value="SN~ Satin (+$5)">SN~ Satin (+$5)</OPTION><OPTION value="CH~ Chrome (+$15)">CH~ Chrome (+$15)</OPTION></SELECT>

</FORM></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Subframe connectors connect the front frame rails to the rear frame rails. Here's a link that will explain.
http://www.dcconline.org/features/features_garage_07.html
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I too called all over. I finally ended up at Firestone. I think the owner was the guy who finally told the tech want to do. He had to punch a bunch of extra keys to find the specs.

Since I replaced EVERYTHING suspension related, the alignment was mandatory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I also used Firestone-----Awesome----I paid for a lifetime alignment, so no matter what I change or need inthe future it is done @no further cost!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,302 Posts
How would they align the rear on a Cougar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
'How would they align the rear on a Cougar.' posted by zman.

They don't. All that is checked on the rear of these cars would be ride height (no one will check it unless it really looks like the rear is dragging), tire pressure, and tracking (making sure the rear wheels/axle is facing straight and lined up parallel with the car and with the front wheels). The front will be caster, camber, and toe. There is also SAI and toe out on turns which they may or may not check. The last two will only be affected if something is bent. This is after all steering/suspension components are checked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
708 Posts
Here are the alignment specs that Opentracker recommends for use on street cars.

0 - camber

1.5 to 2.5 Pos. caster

1/8" toe in


I second the suggestion to call around and find an alignment shop that has a mechanic that's been around for awhile. I think that adjustable strut rods similar to what Global West makes will make the alignment mechanics job MUCH easier.

See post #12 at the link below to see my fairly simple suspension mod.
http://www.mercurycougar.net/forums/showthread.php?48240-Shock-towers-ball-joints-camber&highlight=caster%20strut%20rods
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top