how to adjust caster on a chevy truck

There are 3 large studs that hold it in place after adjustment. Although most guys will not have a set of plates, if you know someone that does and they will let you use them, they are worth getting your hands on. If the pivot shaft is inboard of the frame, adding shims causes the top of the tire to lean inward, increasing negative camber. Measure or count the amount of exposed threads and make note. This is a serious tire-wear angle that has a huge impact on vehicle handling in a corner with minimal effect on straight-line driving. Lower the truck off of the jack stands. Once you've established the camber, caster is the next angle to check. as stated earlier, any camber change is going to have a drastic change on toe in! Cars equipped with an upper control arm are generally mounted with a cross-shaft. Removing the shims causes positive camber, or an outward lean. Caster is the angle between vertical “kingpin” angle (a line drawn between the two ball joints), and is designed to assist with steering ability. If this pivot angle is leaning toward the back of the truck it is positive caster, and, of course, if the angle is rotated toward the front of the truck, it is negative caster. Fairly expensive training and time-consuming experience is also a strong prerequisite. Caster is a little less obvious. The tech probally couldn't adjust caster due to lack of Camber/Caster Bolt. On a solid axle, caster is set by rotating the whole axle assembly with eccentric bolts on a Dodge, or on a Ford, you’re stuck swapping out adjustment bushings. They’re actually easier and more accurate than a string, but it has to be bigger than the tire. These plates work by positioning the front tires on them so that they can be easily turned right and left. A 2-inch front-end rise changed the camber by almost 2 degrees on our Chevelle, which would also affect the toe and can cause tire scrub. Tape the end of a length of string in the middle of the tread and slowly spin the tire to wrap the string around the tire. Most domestic cars use left- and righthand threads with a threaded sleeve and locking nuts to prevent the adjustment from changing. Adjust as necessary to keep the string perfectly straight around the circumference of the tire. Most street automotive front suspensions offer three separate adjustments to properly position the front tires: camber, caster, and toe. Look down at your feet and point your toes inward with your heels angled outward. Don’t Make Big Adjustments. Adjust camber and caster to specifications by rotating bolt head. Install bolt (48) and nut (50). This is a steering wheel lock. On a solid axle, caster is set by rotating the whole axle assembly with eccentric bolts on a Dodge, or on a Ford, you’re stuck swapping out adjustment bushings. Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Chevy Hardcore, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE! When camber and/or toe are out of adjustment, they can do the most damage to your tires and suspension components. Is the first one for caster and the second one for camber? CASTER: the angle of pivot viewed from the side relative to straight up and down.. To do this, you must have a level that is long enough to span the tire. Where you get them is irrelevant, but they are necessary for aligning the front end of your car. Using a sleeve puller, remove the existing sleeve. Before adjusting the toe angle, we need to know if an adjustment is actually required. Rule of thumb again is to run more negative caster (suspension leaning toward the firewall) , than positive castor. The opposite situation is negative caster, where the top of the spindle is tilted forward past its vertical centerline. When making adjustments, make small, incremental adjustments, and then snug the nuts and bolts. Ugh! 2000 2500 HD Silverado regular cab 4X4 Took in for front end alignment at local shop, they adjusted the toe-in but advised they were unable adjust camber/caster due to the fact a special tool is needed to notch the frame as well as an hour and a half of labor. Both of these situations are significant tire-wearing angles, so setting toe is critical to handling and tire life. It's called your camber adjustment 2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, … When I have the front end raised and I finally get everything in the red in the green and then lower it again, do a caster sweep, everything is off and I mean way off. When tightened, bouncing helps the suspension settle. If you can’t find plates to use, two pieces of cardboard with grease slathered between them also works. Steps on How to Adjust Camber on Chevy Truck. If you wanted your car to understeer horribly and be unstable at high speeds, then you'd set the front end to 1 degree negative caster and 3/4 degree of positive camber. Torque nuts to 75---90 ft. lbs. A carpenter’s square can also be used if you have one large enough. Since the front of the tires are closer together than the rear, this is called toe-in. We've also included typical specs for a single-purpose drag car. If you slide the front bolt outwards camber goes positive and so does caster. If the tops of the tires are tilted inward, it is called negative camber. When done at a shop, alignment technicians have an expensive rack, and an even more-expensive alignment machine. Caster can be a pain in the ##### to adjust since you can run into seized ubolts or a center bolt that is too short to accept a thicker shim. Camber is easy to visualize. I think caster is adjusted using the same points, if not then it's probably not adjustable unless you adjust the t-bars to change the angle of the truck relative to the road, changing caster … Plus, you'll have another bitchin' tool to upgrade your toolbox. Since we have a live axle there is no worry about caster or camber (it's built into the axle) and toe is completely divorced from the steering arm. After you install a lift, it's important to do an alignment on your vehicle. It matters a lot as far as drivability is concerned. Install adjusting cams (49) to bracket (44). Remember, there is an adjusting collar on both sides of the car, so both collars need to be adjusted equally. Once camber is established, adding shims or reducing shims from the bolt closest to the firewall will adjust castor. If you are lucky enough to own several cars, you could easily recoup the typical $50.00 alignment charge in only three jobs. A safe starting point for caster is 2 to 3 degrees of positive caster. Measure again and repeat until you’ve moved the toe to the required amount. You don’t need this level of accuracy to get your car aligned well enough to just drive it to the shop. We've experimented in the past with digital angle finders, which work very well but require math to calculate caster angle. Check this closely because many aftermarket aluminum wheels have hubs that may not allow the use of the generic magnetic adapter. If you plan on doing any driving where you need to increase the handling capabilities of the car, a slight inward lean (negative camber) of about 1 to 1 1/2 degrees is ideal. Top Answer. Another way to check camber is to use a bubble level. Alignment issues start to show up after a couple of hundred miles. If the car still pulls with accurate alignments, try switching tires side to side to eliminate a bad tire as a possible cause. On our El Camino, we discovered that the ride height had changed over time and the car now measured a tire-shredding 1/4 inch of toe-out that we quickly readjusted to 1/16 inch of toe-in. This technology has been around almost as long as the automobile, and if you pay attention, you can do a great alignment with almost any bubble gauge. Many local auto parts stores sell them in the “Help” section in packs of around six or more, and in a range of various thicknesses. Left-Center: Use a tape measure and straight edge to measure the distance from the sidewall to the string. Anyways, On my truck there are two cams on each end where the control arm connects to the frame. Once the ride height is set, the next step is to check the camber setting. Wiki User Answered . Set it against the tire as such and check the bubble. You can buy a caster/camber gage like the one from, look under chassis setup and set everything yourself.The whole process shouldn't take much more than an hour or so if everything is new in the front of the truck.The Longarce website also does a good job of explaining caster/camber and how it works. Step 2. To accomplish this, the tire must properly inflated to eliminate the “bulge” of the tire as it rests on the ground. Shims of different thicknesses are used to adjust caster and camber. Once the the two ends of the string meet, tape the other end into place. Camber is the inward or outward lean of the tire from vertical, while toe is the inward or outward orientation of the tire in relation to the car’s front-to-rear centerline. Any good alignment tech will adjust caster during an alignment. The 20-degree figure is popular because the more degrees the wheel moves, the more accurate the measurement. Here’s how to adjust control arms that use shims: Once you have the camber set, tighten the shim packs securely. both bolts move caster + or -, (upper ball joint moves to ft of truck, or to the rear) in you only want to change camber, move both cams/bolts equal amounts, in the same direction. Step 3. For camber adjustment there is a forged plate with two slots in it that you slide in and out to adjust camber. Step #2 Putting the Chevy Truck on the Rack. Next, move to the rear of the tire, and measure to the same spot at the rear of the tire, let’s say we get 65 5/16 inches. Like another member said. You MUST adjust the cam with the bolt head as well as do both sides of the control arm at the same time keep the tension there when in the proper position so it doesn't move at all then tighten the ever loving shit out of the nut. Modern steering and suspension systems are great examples of solid geometry at work. What Tools Will You Need?Like any other job, the better the tools, the more accurate the result. We promise not to use your email address for anything but exclusive updates from the Power Automedia Network. Center: Watching someone install shims. Your information will be collected and used in accordance with our  Privacy Policy, DIY Alignment Guide - Caster Adjustments Explained. Measuring Toe Angle If you are have wear on the inside of your front tires it is probably from negative camber ( wheels are tilted in). This will be especially important the next time you're stranded on a lost Pacific island and the cannibals offer to crown you king if you can dial in the right caster and camber on their Pro Bamboo car. Free shipping on many items | … This allows you to perform the 20-degree turn-in and turn-out for measuring caster. ​. The alignment shop can also adjust the caster angle and camber angle on some vehicles but not all. If working on a car with rack-and-pinion steering, loosen the lock nut on both outer tie rods. Toe-out is the worse of the two angles, since a car with excessive toe-out will have skittish steering, often darting to either side of the road very easily. Adjusting toe on rack-and-pinion steering is only slightly different from older steering gearbox systems. Again International increased their specs from 0.5 to 1.5 degrees. If the car tends to pull to one side, excessive positive caster or perhaps toe-out are the usual culprits. If a gearbox steering is used, loosen both nuts on both adjuster sleeves (right and left). Virtually all vehicles employ positive caster, but excessive amounts can lead to camber problems, since these two angles directly affect each other. How to Set a Camber on a Chevy Z71. When two shims (one from each bolt) of the same thickness are installed or removed, camber is adjusted. Step 1. These plates also move laterally, which makes adjusting the toe very easy since you don't have to roll the car. Chevy Hardcore NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE! Positive caster is achieved by either adding shims to the rear bolt or removing shims from the front attachment point for the upper control arm. Left: Shims come in different shapes and sizes, but by necessity, all look similar to these. Adhere to the rack's instructions to figure out the size of your proper alignment measurements. There are plenty of sources that claim you need a set of turn plates to do an alignment correctly, but while handy, they are not essential. By the age of 14 Mike had built his first performance suspension, and by 16 he had built, and was racing cars in several sanctioned events in the San Francisco bay area. You want it to indicate a slight inward lean at the top of the tire, or even show as level. All rights reserved. Position the level vertically against the sidewall of the tire, and take note how the bubble is positioned. Now, subtract the smaller measurement from the bigger one, which in our example yields a difference of 1/8-inch. Let's say the gauge reads 1/2 degree positive camber. What is important is moving the tire the same number of degrees in and out. When tightened, bouncing helps the suspension settle. All rights reserved. We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request. Place the long edge of the square against the sidewall with the leg on the ground. This requires four alignment heads, and aligns not only the front wheels, but the rear wheels. In order to properly set camber, you’re going to need a few tools. We'll send you the most interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and videos every week. Wheel alignment integrates all the factors of steering and suspension geometry to provide safe handling, good ride quality and maximum tire life. This will probably affect camber, so you will want to check it again after modifying the caster. Positive caster creates an aligning torque by positioning a portion of vehicle weight behind the tire, which helps position the tire straight ahead. Park the car on a surface that is flat and level. Most bubble gauges are equipped with a magnetic adapter that allows you to place the gauge on the brake hub. Use the torpedo level or a protractor as in the images above to determine the inward or outward slant of the tire. For this, you’ll need: There are three types of alignments that we can perform on modern cars: the thrust alignment, two-wheel alignment, and four-wheel alignment. Front wheel alignment is described in terms of angles formed by steering and suspension components. Using the center caster adjustment knob underneath the gauge, zero the caster reading. It's not surprising that this is called toe-in. That being said, we are technically doing a partial alignment, adjusting the most important part of the steering system on the front end. Check out the caster illustration to help understand this alignment characteristic. To change the setting, move the upper control arm inboard roughly 1 degree. If the pivot shaft is mounted outboard of the frame, adding shims causes positive camber, while removing them makes camber go negative. Negative caster reduces steering effort because the weight moves forward of the spindle vertical center but also detracts from high-speed stability. Be sure the wheel is equal on the front and back sides of the wheel, on the driver side and passenger. An interesting point is that the 20-degree turn-in and turn-out figure is not critical. See Answer. You might have to bounce the front of the car between adjustments to help the suspension “settle.”. If you look at a bicycle from the side, the top of the spindle is angled rearward toward the rider. The plates remove the friction created with the tires sitting on the floor of your garage, and allow the wheels and suspension to move around more easily as you make adjustments. I wrecked this truck a few months back on the driver side and they claimed the frame had to be pulled just a tad. Front-End Alignment SpecsSince this story is not aimed at a specific vehicle, we'll fling you a set of generic alignment specs that will work for most '60s street-driven vehicles. The IFS Chevy guys are the lucky winners here, since caster and camber are easily set with adjustment bolts on the upper control arms. Torque nuts to 75---90 ft. lbs. If the shims are of different thicknesses, both caster and camber will be affected. Right: Control arm with shims installed showing how they cause caster and camber to adjust. Do whatever you have to to get the caster right. You might actually find this stuff fascinating-we do... Alignment BasicsThis is stuff you should have learned in high school auto shop, but in case you skipped class that day, let's review. However, caster should not be overlooked. After all that's done on both sides, then set steering wheel center and tow-in. Adjust camber first. The alignment shop can also adjust the caster angle and camber angle on some vehicles but not all. Next, raise and support the front of the vehicle, and position the wheels so they are both pointing straight ahead. NOTE Important Before adjusting the caster and camber angles, jounce the front bumper three times to allow the vehicle to return to normal height. The opposite, toe-out, is where the leading edges of the front tires are angled outward. Shortening the rod (moving the lower control arm forward) increases positive caster by moving the bottom of the spindle forward. To measure caster, turn the front wheel out at a 15-degree angle, zero the FasTrax gauge, then turn the front wheel in at a 15-degree angle, in order to get the caster reading. But, you do need to at least get it at least close to specification. Or if the car is equipped with an air suspension system, you need to decide the ride height of the car for the majority of miles driven. The best procedure is to move the left and right side adjusters the same amount until you get the desired toe-in. Then tighten down the mounting bolts with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Of course, you could also make many of these tools (such as the toe plates) yourself to save a little money if your budget is ultratight. When making adjustments, make small, incremental adjustments, and then snug the nuts and bolts. if you only wanted to change caster, move 1 cam out & the other in. It's called your camber adjustment 2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, custom tuning on v2 by Rick Fletes, 33x12.5 nittos at on 20 inch American steal wheels, modded factory air box, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust, 10mm lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, … We also used a set of aluminum toe plates from Intercomp to measure toe. Step #1 Preparing Yourself. Conversely, if the tops of the tires are tilted outward, that's positive camber. On early Mustangs, for example, Ford employed a strut rod attached to the lower control arm that can be moved either in or out to adjust the caster. how to adjust camber on chevy truck, Change camber, caster or both at the same time with these sleeves. First, place the long leg of the square against the sidewall of the tire (at the top and bottom of the tire), with the shorter leg sticking straight out perpendicular to the tire. That alone is worth the price of admission. Caster is the position the wheel is inside the wheel well. Traditionally, five alignment angles are […] As far as the camber adjustment goes, that can be affected by adjusting the torsion bars as so many of us do. Tread wear patterns become irreversible after about 500 miles. Then, for setting the camber, make equal adjustments to each eccentric, so that caster is not affected during the camber adjustment. Face the front of your car and look at the front tires. Once you've done your first alignment, you'll realize how easy it is and that you've now climbed another rung on the gearhead master mechanic's ladder. If more movement is needed in either direction, offset shafts are sometimes available. If the upper ball joint is in front of the lower ball joint as in the upper ball joint is closer to the front of the truck, it has negative caster. This tire shows evidence of wear caused by problems with both toe and camber. The difference in caster between left and right is called Cross-Caster. 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Repeat on the other tire and then lower the vehicle. Toe is perhaps the easiest to understand. Simply remove the tire, cotter pin and upper ball joint stud nut and break the taper free between the stud and sleeve. Use the protractor to measure the angle of the horizontal gap formed by the small leg and the ground. Get the best deals on Caster & Camber Kits for Chevrolet C1500 Suburban when you shop the largest online selection at By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the  Terms of Use. More realistically, what if you want to test your car at the dragstrip after a suspension rebuild, but the alignment shop can only fit you in a week from Wednesday? Inserting an equal number of shims between the framerail and the cross-shaft on both mounting bolts moves the upper control arm inboard on both studs and creates the necessary negative camber. If the string is not perfectly vertical, you should adjust the camber to get it as close as possible. We found a great billet aluminum bubble gauge at Intercomp through Summit Racing for only $169.95, which sounded reasonable. Turn the bolt with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket until the alignment pin is lined up with the mark on the alignment cam that you want your camber set to. © 2017 Power Automedia. These sleeves correct camber and caster on the new 4x4 F250 and F350 Super Duty trucks FORD 2 & 4WD CAMBER/ CASTER TRUCK SLEEVES • Sleeves are widely used to adjust caster and/or camber on many Ford Toe adjustment with a steering gearbox steering is accomplished by loosening these two lock nuts and rotating the sleeve. Lift the front of the Z71 with the jack and put jack stands underneath the frame. That being said, we are technically doing a partial alignment, adjusting the most important part of the steering system on the front end. Now turn the tire 20 degrees out and the gauge will read the … Camber adjustment. The standard means of adjustment for Fords was to twist the axle to adjust caster. It keeps the steering wheel from turning while adjusting toe. Adjust ’63-’87 Chevy C10 Front Suspension Like A Pro With QA1. Keep the string centered in the tread. 41 42 43. This is done by splitting the measurement distance in half, and moving each adjuster just enough to move half of the required distance. Light Truck/SUV Camber/Caster Sets 375 23220 & 23230 SLEEVE SETS • Ford changed the axle design in 2005 on their Heavy Duty trucks.
how to adjust caster on a chevy truck 2021