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VT Monte

One wheel has tons of negative camber suddenly

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Went out driving the other day and noticed the handling got a little squirrelly under braking and turns. Took a look when I got home and noticed the passenger side wheel has tons of negative camber now, almost an inch and a half off neutral/vertical. Driver side is still neutral.

 

My first inclination was to adjust it back to vertical with some shims on the control arm but because only one wheel went weird on me like this what else could have gone wrong/broken? If possible I'd like to replace the parts that need replacing before handing it over for a professional alignment. Everything is 1970 stock currently except the coil springs.

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Ken,

 

With a sudden shift in camber of that amount, your Monte has undoubtedly experienced complete failure of one or more suspension components.  It could be any of the upper or lower control arm bushings or ball joints, the upper control arm mounting bar or some combination of these.  I suggest you not drive the car again until you figure out and replace whatever has failed. 

 

If you jack the front passenger side up enough to get the wheel off the ground and put it on a jack stand with rear wheels blocked, you might be able to wobble the front wheel enough while observing the suspension components to see where there is excessive play.  I've completely rebuilt the front suspension on both of my '70s and found some normal wear but nothing like what you are describing.

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An inch&half from vertical is a lot! Don't drive it, I'll bet it's a wheel bearing. Jack her up and see how much slop you have in the wheel...good luck!

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Check the shims to see if any have fallen out, I had this happen on mine. Bent broken or worn is about the only reason a car will go out of alignment and to happen all of a sudden like that is strange. Look it over good as the others have said, shouldn't be to hard to find being that far off.

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Yes, that much out is a lot.  Like the others have said something has suddenly failed.  If the upper control  bolts came loose I agree with Steve that the shims could have fallen out.  A complete failure of one of the control arm bushings could have also happened since almost 50 year old rubber bushings of an original suspension (you did say it was all original except the springs) failing would not surprise me.  

 

It will be interesting to hear the final solution.

rob

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Looks like Steve wins the 10 fake internet points, he called it correctly. Found time to get in there and discovered the nuts had loosened quite a bit off the bolts and whatever shims were in there fell out. Glad I discovered it before they came out completely. Yikes.

 

Other side looks like it lost some of it's shims as well. 3 on one bolt, none on the other. Time to pick up some shims. Thanks everyone! Luckily the fix was cheap this time.

 

Picture of the affected control arm from the top here: https://imgur.com/a/kRSqu

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Check also that the studs weren't damaged by the control arm moving around. If they were make sure and replace it with the correct part. It's knurled to lightly press in to the mounting point. Don't use a bolt like the PO of my 70. If the stud is okay at least put new nuts on it they are locking type like on a rocker arm nut chances are they are worn out and that's why they loosened up. I got mine I think from Year One but any of the restoration suppliers should have the studs and nuts. David

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Other side looks like it lost some of it's shims as well. 3 on one bolt, none on the other. 

 

If the nuts are loose on the other side, you may have a similar problem, but just an unbalanced number or different thickness of shims on the two studs is not necessarily wrong or a problem if it is what your suspension requires to be aligned.

 

I was shocked to see such a difference on my '70 SS when I rebuilt the front suspension, but when I had it professionally aligned, it ended up with the same shim configuration as when I started the rebuild.

 

post-567-0-55494300-1511314179_thumb.jpg

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