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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a alignment done on my car yesterday while I had 4 new tires put on it, and replaced one busted up wheel (from a curb in the rain the other day). Turns out that one of the ball joints has "play" and the caster alignment needs more adjusting than the alignment they did could do. They said I would need some kind of a caster kit.

I've seen a handful of camber kits and bolts but not too many options for caster alignment. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've seen talk about the Maximum Motorsports CC plates, but what about the Steeda HD Upper Strut Mount? Does it fix caster as well?

On a side note. Sam is mailing me some Koni Yellow's and I still need to order some springs soon.

Thanks for any input you may have.
Murphy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just to update the info I have, and Sam Strano and I had a conversation about this yesterday...

Initial reason why I'm dealing with this is because I slid in the rain right into a curb with my driver side front wheel

Note: the car drives straight. It doesn't lean to the left or right.

NTB is the place where they said I needed caster/camber plates to resolve the caster and that the ball joint was loose.

The next day (yesterday), took it to a guy who's been around a long time. He didn't see anything bent and couldn't from looking under the car, didn't see any ball joint issues. He said there was nothing to worry about at this time.

The shop owner pointed out to me that the wheel I hit the curb with straight on was further back than the right wheel, noticeably closer to the rear side of the fender. To fix that, I had 2 options (didn't need both).

1. Camber/Caster plates
2. K-member/subframe adjustment. (Cost of this would include alignment)

When i was inquiring about parts to fix this online, another person in the business I emailed about this suggested that we probably missed something, like a bent control arm, tie rod, or strut.

Sam seems to think maybe the steering knuckle got bent.

Now, I'm also going to have some Koni yellows and springs on my door step in the near future.

May have it all fixed and upgraded at once, main reason being that If they do the repair, a alignment is going to be needed, and if I get the shocks/struts/springs installed after that, I'm going to need another alighment.

Note to self: Gonna have a local friend of a friend who owns a shop that deals with a lot of Mustangs take a look at it. I'll mention ball joint, steering knuckle, and to make sure they look for anything that is bent that we didn't see.

This has been stressing me out a lot the last couple days. But I'm glad that there isn't any frame damage. Even though he said it is perfectly safe to drive, I'm going to let it sit in the garage until I can get it to the shop next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Copied from another forum I posted in, but here is my current plan so far...

So, I ordered some Koni Yellows and springs as a gift for my Mustang (just hit 50,000 miles). The next day, a curb ran into my left front tire. Not hard, but enough to damage and push the wheel back, too much that a basic alignment could not fix it. The wheel was drive-able but was damaged in a way that I would think the tire could pop at any time, so I decided to have all the original tires and the 1 wheel replaced at this time.

The caster is off and per the tire shop, needed some caster plates to fix. They also said the lower ball joint had some play.

I then took it to a alignment shop, per a co-workers recommendation, to get a second opinion. The alignment shop didn't see any ball joint play. but he offered 2 different resolutions for the caster. Either use caster plates, or adjust the k-member.

I wasn't expecting to spend all this money in the last 1.5 weeks, but I've setup a plan now....

I will do the following....
1. Install Shocks/Struts/Springs. (only other time I've done this is on the front wheels of my old Ford Explorer. We will see how this goes)

Shop will...
1. Fix the alignment.

Since I'm lowering the vehicle, I'm thinking that a bumpsteer kit is in my near future. Not sure if I will install it or if I will want the alignment shop to install it.

The unknowns I have are....
1. I'm not a body/chassis/suspension expert, but would caster plates be considered a band-aid and adjusting the k-member be the way to go? Seems to me that k-member adjustment would be more solid.

2. If the shop ends up replacing the ball joint, will the Steeda X5 ball joint kit have some kind of advantage over others because the car is lowered?

3. I've seen much talk about the Steeda HD Upper Strut Mounts. Do people ever install these because they have a problem (with camber perhaps), or just because it is an upgrade from the stock mounts?

4. Instead of the Steed mounts, would another set of Caster/Camber Plates be a good alternative? It looks like it's one or the other in some cases like MM or Hypermotive, not both.

5. As far as bumpsteer goes. I'm leaning over the UPR brand instead of Steeda because of the price ($30 to $50 cheaper in other places, including Ebay)

Hopefully this is all I have to deal with. It has been suggested that any of the following could have been damaged, and the shop guys didn't see them damaged....

Steering knuckle
control arm
tie rod
strut (which is being replaced anyway)
ball joint

Thanks for any input you have. I'm looking to have all the parts by the weekend so I can do as much of the work on it myself. ie, struts/shocks/springs and mount kit or plates.
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Since you are lowering the car CC plates are a good idea anyway. What I don't understand, if the ball joint is bad why don't you replace it? If you align a car with a bad ball joint the joint is still shifting back and forth so you will never get a perfect alignment. With your friend looking at it and saying it looks fine, a bad ball joint is measured in thousandths of an inch, the only way to really tell is to get it on a lift and check for movement.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, the tire shop said the ball joint had play. The alignment shop didn't see any play. I'm going to have him take another look at it when the car is in his shop again to do the alignment.
Here is a pic of the results from the tire shop alignment. First row is camber, the second row is caster, the 3rd row is Toe
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On a side note, the right wheel caster is at 7.1 degrees.
 
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