Front suspension - restore/upgrade & wheel position

This winter project is to redo the front suspension on my 68. The front wheel position relative to the wheel well has always been a concern for me. Is this normal or can it be corrected? My goal is to center the wheel in the well or even have it biased to the front. Will adjustments of the stock suspension parts address this if it’s abnormal? The passenger wheel is 2 5/8" (tire to front of trim) and 1 5/8" (tire to rear of trim). The driver’s wheel is 3" (tire to front of trim) and 1 1/4" (tire to rear of trim). Car is level side to side.

I don’t have the budget or knowledge to make any structuration corrects if needed. Are there any measurements points on the chassis that are better to use as I doubt pulling measurements from the fender panel is ‘correct’ even though it looks off visually. Of course, it needs to drive straight and not eat front tires.

Thankfully no sign of cracks in the shock towers. This was a late build for 68 with a FE motor so has all the reinforcements.
Also there where no shims installed with the upper control arms.

The factory shop manual has a complete set of dimensions for use by body shops to pull the car to the proper position. I would start by checking those.

There should not be any shims on any control arms. This is not a Generic Motors car.

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Thanks Royce. I will check in the manual for those details. I am curious about techniques to move the front axle line forward as a means to have more weight on the rear wheels. Any tricks out there that still use near stock/factory components?

No idea I just try to make them as close to stock as I can.

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The position of the wheel in the well is adjusted by the strut rod during the alignment process to set caster. These cars originally were equipped with bias ply tires, with a specified caster range of -3/4° to +1 1/4°. Radial tires require different caster specs due to the nature of the tire, and you want to have the alignment shop add as much positive caster as possible. This naturally will pull the tire forward in the well, and should solve the visual problem you are having. Opentracker Racing recommends a minimum of +2.5° of caster, with different specs for PS vs MS.

Be aware, that most alignment shops will simply use whatever’s in their system - insist on them using the specs you supply. If they won’t, find a shop who will.

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FYI, as you add caster to make the alignment more compatible with a radial tire, you are moving the wheels towards the front of the car and at some point depending on tire size going to have contact with the front of the fender in turns. It would be advisable to get a set of upper control arms with caster “built in” to avoid that. There are a few companies that advertise it. I’ve had good luck with Specialty Products. Summing and cj pony parts sell them.

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Didnt the original Shelby Drop move the upper control arm mounting point down and to the rear , thus moving the wheel back in the wheel well about 5/16" ?

Not much. Mostly down. The specialty products control arms have the Shelby drop built in

Progress has been slow but steady this off season. Here’s some updates. Put high temp paint and clear coat on the brake and spindle parts. Detailed all the hardware and added a black oxide coating. Not all the hardware was reusable but most has held up well.

Decided to apply POR15 in a couple spots that could benefit from it. Had some surface rust under pounds of grease/tar/sand/etc. A lot of cleaning and preparation for the next stage of undercoating. Blue tape is covering up the new holes for the Arning/Shelby drop.

This morning was a long time coming. Got the time to spray a bottle of UPOL Raptor coating on the inner fenders. Now it’s on to final assembly of the front suspension and getting this Cougar back on the road! :+1: