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Author Topic: 1969 Control Arm Alignment Shims  (Read 3595 times)
Edgemontvillage
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« on: April 02, 2013, 11:24:12 AM »

Working on a few engine compartment and suspension details and I've not been able to locate a reference for the correct, factory installed, control arm alignment shims used on Norwood built '69 Camaros.  The parts houses sell the style of shim in the first photo below in bright zinc with a hole in the top and the size ( 1/32" or 1/16" ) stamped on one side, as correct for all 1967-1969 Camaros. The second photo is of a shim that I pulled out of a '69 that I can't say was original to the car however it shows significant age. It has the same general shape however lacks the hole and has no size stamping.  Would appreciate some help to identify the factory correct version(s).    




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Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
BillOhio
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 09:12:20 PM »

Mine look like the bottom one. If you clean it up, it should have a stamp on it that looks like arocket. I didn't look close enough but there might be something in the middle of the rocket
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1969 Z28, Burgandy, numbers matching, 12,900 miles
1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi, 4 speed, dana
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 11:12:07 PM »

Mine also were of the type shown in your bottom photo (the old rusty one).. Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
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ZLP955
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 04:27:58 AM »

My VN car also has the same shims as the bottom picture. I recently stripped an original '67 Firebird, and it too had the bottom type of shims on the control arm shafts.
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Tim - New South Wales, Australia
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 06:55:31 AM »

Your first set of shims are body shims. The hole in top was to keep them on a wire so they don't separate when you are putting them in a blind spot or hard to get to place. I'd find an old front end shop stuffed off in a corner somewhere and get shims from them.
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Daniel  
'69 SS 350/4 speed  Fathom Green--POP
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 08:15:48 PM »

I found an exact set on eBay....changed-out my rusty ones. 
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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 10:30:23 AM »

I found an exact set on eBay....changed-out my rusty ones. 

I like rusty ones!
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Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 12:30:49 PM »

Your first set of shims are body shims. The hole in top was to keep them on a wire so they don't separate when you are putting them in a blind spot or hard to get to place. I'd find an old front end shop stuffed off in a corner somewhere and get shims from them.

I'll disagree - they're just aftermarket alignment shims, identifiable by the zinc plating and the hole in the tab; the factory shims were either natural or phosphated, with no hole in the tab area.
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 12:35:22 PM »

I agree with John.  I have never seen any originals that were zinc plated.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 01:15:00 PM »

I didn't mean these were factory body shims. These are aftermarket body shims is what I meant or at least that's what I used in the shop for years. No the original shims were not zinc. Sorry for the confusion but he did say he bought them at a parts house so I took it for granted he understood they sold him body shims instead of front end alignment shims. Maybe these are alignment shims that they use now. I've been out of the business 20 years.
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Daniel  
'69 SS 350/4 speed  Fathom Green--POP
Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 05:13:56 PM »

I didn't mean these were factory body shims. These are aftermarket body shims is what I meant or at least that's what I used in the shop for years. No the original shims were not zinc. Sorry for the confusion but he did say he bought them at a parts house so I took it for granted he understood they sold him body shims instead of front end alignment shims. Maybe these are alignment shims that they use now. I've been out of the business 20 years.

For clarity the bright zinc shims in the photo at the top of this thread are currently being marketed by the parts houses as factory correct control arm alignment shims for 67/8/9 Camaros...I didn't purchase them.  
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 06:09:36 PM by Edgemontvillage » Logged

Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 12:41:49 AM »

Rusty goodness!
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Mike 1969 Grandma Camaro
KevinW
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 06:20:31 AM »

I just went and checked my stash of shims.  A repro shim set I got from Ricks many years ago was actually pretty accurate, same shape as originals, stamped x-116, same as originals (but zinc plated).  But they were only the thinner versions.  and that part number RC-416, shows lloyds picture (not the same as what I got originally) and said they are discontinued.  The thicker shims with the rocket ship on them have a slightly taller top than the x-116 shims.  I have to be on the look out for these at the next swap meet Smiley Kevin

Here is an ebay auction of the repro set that looks like what I have

http://www.ebay.com/itm/55-77-CHEVY-IMPALA-CHEVELLE-UPPER-CONTROL-ARM-SUSPENSION-ALIGNMENT-SHIM-KIT-/370644531922?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item564c22bad2&vxp=mtr#ht_800wt_932

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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 09:33:27 AM »

Very helpful, thanks Kevin.  
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Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2013, 10:27:34 AM »

lloyd, do you need pics?
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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2013, 12:18:00 AM »

lloyd, do you need pics?

Thanks Kevin, I have since located a few with the Rocket symbol.
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Lloyd
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2013, 12:35:27 AM »

pictured are the shims I removed from my upper control arm attachments.   The ones on the left are thin (1/16") and the others on the right and stacked up are 1/8" as I recall).    Are the ones without the top tab original? or were they added by alignment shops in subsequent years?
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »

pictured are the shims I removed from my upper control arm attachments.   The ones on the left are thin (1/16") and the others on the right and stacked up are 1/8" as I recall).    Are the ones without the top tab original? or were they added by alignment shops in subsequent years?

Gary, Pretty Sure they have been added, my Z28 has both thick and thin shims and they are no hole tab type. If you look at the ones in your picture they appear to have a bigger 1/2" hole where they fit over the upper control arm bolt. Camaro upper control arm bolts are 7/16"  FWIW, the Ebay ad shows the shims fitting Big Cars like Impalas , 57 Chev etc, pretty sure those cars use 1/2" upper bolts also.
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 11:14:47 AM »

Thanks rszmjt,   makes sense to me...  especially with you pointing out the larger diameter hole, which I'd ignored......  Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
lynnbilodeau
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2013, 02:29:21 PM »

I am going out on a limb here.   I was the brake and front end tech at a Buick dealership in the 70's.    Cars were routinely aligned as a maintenance, even when close to new and many aligned under warranty.

I realize I am talking 70's not 60's.   But, every new Buick I aligned had ONLY the shims without "handles"  from the factory.   When performing the first alignment (whether at the delaer or an independent shop) MANY alignment techs would discard those in favor of the handled shims simply because they were a pain to keep in place with one hand while you were tightening the bolt with the other.  The one exception would be the owner of an independent shop because he actually had to PAY for the new shims.  Most techs didn't care about the additional cost, as they were paid the same regardless of whether they used new shims or re-used old ones.

This one is going to be hard to document either way.  I can't tell you how many cars received an alignment during the warranty period.   In fact the service advisors (who were paid based on the amount of work they wrote up) would advise the client to complain about a crooked steering wheel or "pulling" in the front end, just to get a free alignment under warranty.

So... unless you bought the car new, AND never had the front end aligned, it will be hard to know what came in there.

My PERSONAL belief is the non-handled shims.  I have seen them as thick as 1/4 and as thin as 1/32 on factory cars.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2013, 10:54:01 AM »

I can't speak to Buick, but I spent 21 years in Chevrolet assembly plants from '64-'85, and I'm familiar with the "Geo-Machines" that were used on the Chassis Lines to set caster and camber AND with the front sheet metal installation, including the 8 shimmed fender-to-cowl bolts per car. The shims used at the upper control arm shaft attachment in the Geo-Machines were the "handle" type (no holes), and the shims used at the fender attachments were the plain U-shape (no handle) type.
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lynnbilodeau
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2013, 08:39:25 AM »

Very good to know John.  Learned something today.

Seems strange that the two divisions would do this differently.

Of course, I don't know what Buick was doing in 69, as it was later 70's when I started working at the Buick dealership.
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zman1969
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« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2013, 10:12:34 AM »

this would be another good example of why the enthusiasts need somone to document a low mile original - like charley did with the 70 model Z- I think that was a great service to the hobby anyone have a <10k original mi car laying around?  the black million dollar camaro comes to mind to me
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Rich

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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2013, 05:05:16 PM »

Although I can not guarantee these are originally from a Camaro, they are most likely from 60s or early 70s GM applications.  

I grabbed a handful from the parts bin of used shims.  Had 6 in my hand and 5 were unique.  Pic attached.


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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2013, 10:27:04 AM »

Good info, thanks everyone!
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Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
BillOhio
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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2013, 12:21:43 PM »

My car has 12800 on it but drag racer/first owner messed with somethings. I have found neat inspection marks . This week I had the rear axle cover off and it had a lot of blue paint markings. Springs were a greenish yellow. I think a lot of my bolts are original but some hard to read. I have wondered if my car was stored someplace damp and if the guy was on stone roads. He's around but I have only talked to his son and he doesn't have a lot of info.
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1969 Z28, Burgandy, numbers matching, 12,900 miles
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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2013, 06:12:42 PM »

Here are the shims I located, both are identical except supplier markings. They are from a very original 6cyl '69 Camaro:


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Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 09:49:17 PM »

Those are some good looking shims!
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Mike 1969 Grandma Camaro
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2013, 08:23:01 PM »

  ...ironically I was looking for these shims myself.
  Was lucky enough to find some with the 'rockets' on them.
   I believe it's "cmi" in the middle of them.

  
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Edgemontvillage
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2013, 09:42:08 AM »

Nice Kevin, this looks like the set that was offered by Wayne (Hotrodsled) from his 9,300 original mile 1969 Nova.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 10:02:24 AM by Edgemontvillage » Logged

Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 10 10 Unrestored
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