78 coupe tracking sideways while driving - Nova Tech
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  #1  
Old Jan 30th, 20, 12:23 PM
78_nova 78_nova is offline
 
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Default 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

My sons first nova, we are working on getting it back on the road. I noticed while following him to the gas station the rear tires are riding about 2 inches to the right or passenger side of the front tires. I wasn't sure if this was something anyone has seen, or if I just need to shift the axle to see if I can straighten it out.
any help is appreciated.
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Jan 30th, 20, 01:16 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

Welcome to the Team!

Sounds like the car was involved in a previous collision and it wasn't repaired correctly. What you describe is called crabbing.

Big Dave
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Old Jan 30th, 20, 01:41 PM
78_nova 78_nova is offline
 
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

Thanks Big Dave,
and that is entirely possible, I am just trying to figure out how to correct it, it does look like the rear leaf spring shackles are tweaked, I am wondering if I can try to shift them to get rid of it. I am also repairing an El Camino and a welder is in my near future so worst case I figure I will just shift the mounts by a half inch and see where I am at. I am not looking for perfection my son is only 17 and I am sure he will run this thing into sometime by the time he is done with it lol.
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Old Feb 6th, 20, 07:33 PM
cottonwood green cottonwood green is offline
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

Check the rear leaf springs and leaf spring mounting points.
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Old Feb 7th, 20, 11:15 AM
NovaRon NovaRon is offline
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

It's unlikely you will be able to move things enough to matter. Best bet is to take it to a frame shop to see what you are dealing with first. It could be that the front half-frame has shifted relative to the body mounts too. Measure between the center front and center rear of the wheels on both the left and right to see if they are the same. If they are not then you have bigger issues and recommend the frame shop for an inspection to make sure the car is safe for your son to drive.
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Old Feb 7th, 20, 11:34 AM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

You can get all of the dimensions from the Fisher Body service manual. That is the book that was published for use by the collision shop at the dealership to repair cars involved in wrecks. It is useful to people wanting to restore a car for where to drill the holes for trim and body panel placement.

Unfortunately these cars do not have a frame and depend upon the shape of the metal for it's structural strength (monocoque construction). When metal is bent out of shape it stretches and it is economically impossible to shrink and form it back into it's original shape; so you have to rebuild a car using portions of other cars found in the junk yard. It was expensive to repair back when these economy (low priced) were new, and today, since there are fewer used cars around in junk yards to become a donor for repair, repair becomes even more expensive.

Big Dave
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Old Feb 14th, 20, 11:40 AM
78_nova 78_nova is offline
 
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

Good info guys, I will say the guy I got the car from replaced the body bolts in the front with new bolts and bushings is it possible that he didn't align the front properly when he put the new bolts in?
also the rear leaf shackle has 3 verticle holes roughly 3/4 of an inch apart it is currently bolted to the lowest hole and all the bushing are completely trashed. I am planning on replacing the shackle with a new one and new bushings I am hoping that will solve some of the issue.
I also recently found out the floor pan under the drivers pedals is rusted through pretty good so we are now working on getting new floor pan for at least the drivers side of the vehicle and possible passenger side too depending on how it looks once we get the carpet out of the way.
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Old Feb 14th, 20, 04:30 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 78 coupe tracking sideways while driving

Bologna slicers (rear spring shackles) are that way to raise the rear end to make it look like a funny car from the seventies (or to raise the back of the car enough to run L60-14 tires without carving off the raised white letters on the tire side wall). The fact that the springs are raised to the max, and you think the car sits level, tells me the springs are sagging more than usual.

All springs sag with age. Springs that are stressed more by shifting the weight from front to back will sag more. Your car with the original springs is sitting an inch and a half to two inches below the factory ride height. Something to keep in mind if ordering replacement springs in the future to lower the car's stance as a fashion statement.

If the front sub frame was not located properly in the four bolts under the main body it would result in horrible misalignment of body panels, to the point that the doors might not open or close without damaging the fenders.

Big Dave
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