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Discussion Starter #1
I need to get an alignment done on the '86, I am having to hold the wheel about 1/16-1/8 of a turn to the left. should I swap in the adjustable alignment bushings from JBGY before I bring it in, or is there another recommendation? I'd rather put them in myself before bringing it in to keep costs down, I can do the installation of parts, but getting the alignment straight is a diff story.
 

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Will do you no good to install the adjustable bushings - they install a certain way based on how much adjustment you need. Won't know that until you get a baseline reading on the alignment.

Ball joints good? How old are the tie rods / ends? Wheel bearings?

Axle pivot bushings? Radius arm bushings?

All these will effect alignment. If it drive / rides okay, but it's pulling - then just take it somewhere to get the alignment "Checked". Most places will do that for a free / minimal cost and give you a read out.

I would highly recommend you find a shop familiar with aligning TTB (Twin Traction Beam) suspensions (Bronco / F150). If the shop is not familiar with it, they will drive it on the alignment rack, jack it up to check some stuff, then let it back down and alignment. That won't be a legit alignment. With a TTB - you want it aligned "as driven" on the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will do you no good to install the adjustable bushings - they install a certain way based on how much adjustment you need. Won't know that until you get a baseline reading on the alignment.

Ball joints good? How old are the tie rods / ends? Wheel bearings?

Axle pivot bushings? Radius arm bushings?

All these will effect alignment. If it drive / rides okay, but it's pulling - then just take it somewhere to get the alignment "Checked". Most places will do that for a free / minimal cost and give you a read out.

I would highly recommend you find a shop familiar with aligning TTB (Twin Traction Beam) suspensions (Bronco / F150). If the shop is not familiar with it, they will drive it on the alignment rack, jack it up to check some stuff, then let it back down and alignment. That won't be a legit alignment. With a TTB - you want it aligned "as driven" on the rack.
everything is, or seems to be, good as far as tie rods, bushings and bearings, etc.

the reason I am asking is that if I have the adjustable MOOG bearing in there already, all that the shop needs to do is loosen it and rotate it, correct? Whereas it will cost significantly more if they have to pull stuff apart to install a bushing (basically, trying to cut out the install costs and reduce things to adjustment only).
 

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It all depends on what the baseline alignment is and how much adjustment they need to get it to spec. You won't know until they put it on the rack and get the baseline readings.
 

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Why do you think you need an alignment? Is it actually pulling to the left or is the steering wheel just slightly crooked. Abnormal tire wear? If it hasn't been done or you are unsure of your alignment it is a good idea.

If the steering wheel is just crooked you can adjust the steering linkage in equal parts to get the steering wheel centered.

Also, while not nearly as accurate, you can do alignments at home with some fairly inexpensive tools. The first time you probably won't save much but if you plan to change things you might come out ahead later. My truck has had two different lifts on it and I have always done the alignment in my garage. It is very time consuming (at least for me) so you'll have to figure out how often you think you'll be doing it and what your time is worth. You can look online, there are plenty of write ups.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why do you think you need an alignment? Is it actually pulling to the left or is the steering wheel just slightly crooked. Abnormal tire wear? If it hasn't been done or you are unsure of your alignment it is a good idea.

If the steering wheel is just crooked you can adjust the steering linkage in equal parts to get the steering wheel centered.

Also, while not nearly as accurate, you can do alignments at home with some fairly inexpensive tools. The first time you probably won't save much but if you plan to change things you might come out ahead later. My truck has had two different lifts on it and I have always done the alignment in my garage. It is very time consuming (at least for me) so you'll have to figure out how often you think you'll be doing it and what your time is worth. You can look online, there are plenty of write ups.
If I let go of the wheel I’ll go flying off the road. It is pulling to the right pretty bad.
 

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If I let go of the wheel I’ll go flying off the road. It is pulling to the right pretty bad.
Odds are you need more than an alignment. Odds are steering box and front suspension (Drag link etc) is as old as the truck. Honestly? I'd find a local shop that does 4WD stuff. If they don't do alignments, ask them who they use. Then call them, tell them what's going on. Most good alignment shops won't charge you for an alignment if you have worn suspension components. They'll usually hit you with their labor (checking the suspension / alignment) and that's it. That way you'd know what was bad etc.

I ain't rich by ANY stretch of the imagination, but if at all possible, when I don't know the history of the vehicle, I assume most components are original / worn. Hell, a couple hundred bucks and a weekend, you could rebuild the entire front suspension with QUALITY parts and be done with it.
 

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1986 Eddie Bauer 5.0EFI AOD Full length headers Y pipe into single 3"w/cat & magnaflow 3" side exit
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I had my 86 Bronco aligned 2 weeks ago & I called around specifically to see how comfortable they were with aligning (the pain in the ass) Ford TTB on these Bronco's. I told them my caster was way off, they asked specifically if the front springs were new (they were not) & they suggested I do those first, before bringing it in, which would get the front suspension lifted up & bring the caster back in the neighborhood. I told them the previous owner had recently redone most everything else in the front suspension besides the shocks & springs... new radius arm mounts & bushings, new upper & lower ball joints, as well as new tie rod ends.

So when I put those new stock height springs in, I tested their theory & stuck a piece of blue painters tape on my fender & marked a line at 35" before starting, & when I replaced those front coil springs, I was shocked that it raised the truck 1 5/8" & straightened my camber right out. Here's an image.

165290


I also put the moog adjustable camber/caster bushings in at the same time, and adjusted with a level as best I could, kind of eyeballing and mostly guessing, then I did a "string alignment" and amazingly, when they put it on the alignment rack & the caster & camber were both in the green. It was a nice cheap $59 alignment, cuz everything was good, & all they had to do was set my steering wheel straight (cuz my string alignment skills weren't so good) and they set the tow to spec & it goes nice & straight now.

If you take it in, they will tell you all the things you need to replace before they will align it, and of course offer to do the work at a nice costly fee, but you can decline and go do the work yourself before having it aligned. Check for loose ball joints, or steering by jacking the truck up & put jack stands under the frame, so the suspension is at full droop, & see if anything is loose? I'd bet your front springs have some sag going on also, just from age, which throws the camber off big time.
 
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