Well, as an update on the ACE repair, I got good news on Friday, when all the parts I had ordered to replace the broken stuff, came in. Received everything in perfect condition. And thanks to Scoundrel, I had ordered the package of 40 plastic rivets from Amazon, so I saved quite a bit of money there. All parts received were packaged well and in perfect condition. Better yet, the dealer assisted me with the shipping charges, which was greatly appreciated! Thanks to Dave @ Kevin Powell Motorsports in Winston-Salem, NC.
This morning, I received a call from my Frame & Alignment fellow, and told me he had gotten the ACE back in good nick, and was very pleased with the results. If I wanted, I could come by at lunchtime and view the results. So I did. When I got there, it was still up on the rack, and the big chain and hooks were laying below it. He explained where the frame was bent, what they did to pull it back out, and how they straight-edged all the brackets, frame, and control arm hinge points. He showed me that everything checked out just perfectly when he took the straight edges and fit it across brackets and beside frame members. Everything looked parallel and true!
I explained to him how I had originally found the front toe way out of alignment, and how I followed his directions to get it set to 1/16" toe out on the front wheels. He said it checked out perfect! Man, I felt good about that!
He then proceeded to show me the camber measurements on the front wheels. The left front wheel has negative 0.75 degree (3/4 degree) camber, and the right front wheel has 1 degree negative camber angle. That means that the tire at the bottom is out just ever so slightly farther than the top of the tire on both sides, with only a quarter of one degree difference between them, and this negative camber helps in stability when cornering. He told me to get in the seat and we'll see if there is any difference, and there wasn't.
Then we went to the rear wheels. He straight-edged the rear wheels and checked them with a 6 foot straightedge towards the front wheels across the center of each rear wheel and parallel to the ground. With the steering wheel straight, front tires straight, there was an equal distance from the rear lip of both front wheels to the straight edge. The rear wheels were set perfectly straight ahead with no toe in or out, parallel to the center line of the vehicle. Measurements to the frame underneath proved that the rear wheels were equal distanced from the center line of the vehicle and are now pointed perfectly straight ahead. (No more scuffing the left rear tire!)
Next, he showed me the camber of the rear wheels. After he pulled the frame back out where all measuring points were perfect, the left rear wheel (the side which he worked on) showed to measure a 0 degree camber, which means the top and bottom are perfectly plumb vertically. When I sat in the seat, it changed less than a quarter of a degree negative. He said that is perfectly normal, and the way he would like to see it. The right rear wheel (the side which he did not have to pull or do anything to) came in with just under a +2 degree, positive camber. When I sat in the seat, it went to just over 1.5 degrees positive. He said it will be just fine, and that it would not make any difference.
All of the brackets and frame on that side was perfectly parallel and true, and did not require any adjustments. The difference in the camber from the right to the left side apparently is in the manufacturing tolerances of the control arm parts, which could be adjusted or accounted for if they had used an eccentric bolt in the top or bottom of the control arm mounts through the wheel bearing carrier. Adjustment of that eccentric bolt could have provided this adjustment, but they didn't put one in there. In his professional opinion, it won't make any real difference. I will trust his judgement since he knows all about vehicles, frames, alignment, and what it takes to make it work.
I hope to get it back tomorrow and start replacing the plastic parts. That shouldn't take too long.
After getting back to my desk, I began thinking, has anyone else ever looked at their rear wheel camber? What do you have on your ACE, positive or negative? I wonder what the factory specification is for the camber?