1962 Biscayne Front Suspension Issues
Having a bit of a rough time trying to figure out some front end suspension issues with the 62' Biscayne and I could use some help. Awhile ago I ripped off the entire front suspension on the car, down to the frame. Wanted to prep and paint the frame, as well as update the front end components. The stock control arms were looking rough, and while cruising around the net I found some low buck tubular upper and lower arms from Southwest Speed. With the new upper and lower control arms on, new small block springs, and disc brake conversion kit, I find I have some issues, which may or may not be related to one another:
1.) Excessive negative camber. Front wheels are noticeably tipped in toward the frame. With an angle finder, I have about -3 degrees camber at the wheel. GM spec in 62' I believe was 0 degrees +/- 1/2 degree. The lower control arms only go on one way, you just need the sway bar attachments to face forward and the cross shaft holes to line up. Easy. The tops had a sticker on each that said "Driver Side" and "Passenger Side" I dry fit the driver side first and noticed the lower ball joint didn't line up with the upper ball joint. Way off (to the front). Same with the passenger side. When I swapped the two, the ball joints DID line up with each other, with the uppers just slightly behind the lowers as you look down. I assumed the factory goofed and swapped them. Can anyone verify if on these cars the ball joints line up vertically (more or less) or are they offset to the front? Was the manufacturer correct? Has anyone else installed the tubular arms and had either similar issues or success and can verify how they're supposed to go on? Quick measuring shows the tubular arm dimensions are pretty much the same as the stock stamped steel arms as far as length is concerned. I overlayed the stock OEM upper control arm I pulled off and found the new ball joint location with the tubular arms is about 1-1/2" to 1-3/4" back (toward the rear) from the stock location. Would this impact camber? I attached a photo. It is the passenger side, front of car is to the right in the photo. I did a quick measurement of the frame rail to frame rail width to check for cross member sag, the number was 1/16" shorter than factory.
2.) Shock fitment issues. I could barely get the shock in on the driver's side and I could only get one bolt in for the shock on the passenger side. The shocks appear to be hitting the inside of the springs. Looks like the shock mount holes are about 1" to 1-1/2" too far to the outside of the car than the mounting holes in the lower control arms. When installing the springs, I did notice the new springs were a bit longer than the ones I pulled out, but the wire diameter was different so I assumed they had the same spring rate. Can a spring that's too tall push down the lower control arm and cause the camber issue listed above?
Sorry for the long-winded post guys. Any help is much appreciated.