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Author Topic:   caster and camber
Rat Trap
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 129
posted March 11, 2005 02:14 PM  
What is the correct way to set caster and camber? We have borrowed a gauge, and have adjustable upper a-arms this year, but aren't 100% sure we know what were doing. Also what is a good starting point. On a 3 link car, 3/8 medium bank track that goes dry slick early. Thanks.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted March 11, 2005 02:23 PM  
Caster is a big part of the way a car handles. It's a must to get it set right.

To set your caster, you'll want to turn the wheels all the way to the left, put your gauge on, level it, set the bubble to the 0 mark, and then turn all the way to the right, If I am correct, this should be your reading (It's been a while since i've done this so someone correct me if I am wrong), then take the gauge off and go right over the right front tire and put the gauge on it with the wheels still turned, level and center it, and then turn all the way to the right and this will give you the reading.


LF +2
RF +5

Camber is set just by getting the tires pointing straight, and leveling out the gauge, and reading your - and + slots for camber.

RF -2
LF +.25

This can also be done just by eye balling it. If you run a flat track all year and then go to a high banked track, you can just adjust the right front to lean the tire in towards the chassis more. The left front really doesn't to a lot but still needs to be correct.

Try setting the caster like I described, it's been since late 2002 since I last did any front end work.

Rat Trap
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 129
posted March 11, 2005 02:47 PM  
i think i follow you. except in your first paragraph you mean turn it back to the left when you go to the right tire right?
Do you set caster before camber or does that matter?

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted March 11, 2005 02:58 PM  
Nope, leave the tires as they were when you took the gauge off the left side....

I'd set the camber first, then caster, then re check both to be 100% sure.

Fastride 38
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted March 11, 2005 06:34 PM  
As a hole that way is correct in setting caster and camber. You arn't though suppose to turn the tire all the way to the left then all the way to the right to get caster. Just turn the wheel around 20% to the left then reset level and bubble then turn it back to the right 20% past straight to get correct caster for the right side. On the left side you turn the wheel to the right 20% then back to the left 20% past straight to get correct reading for the left.I personally prefer to run +1 on the left and +4 on the right. The more postive you run on the right front the tighter it will make the car on exit. Hope this helps out...I forgot,,,Check toe before and after because it greatly affects caster. If the car is toed out to far from the start you will not get a true reading.

Rattler Race Chassis's, Shaking up the Competition!

[This message has been edited by Fastride 38 (edited March 11, 2005).]

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 755
posted March 11, 2005 06:37 PM  
To adjust the RF: Turns the wheels 20 degrees to the right, zero the guage, then turn the wheels 20 degrees to the left. Do the opposite to the LF. What ever wheel you work with you always turn the wheel so the tire is pointed out to zero the guage.

like xtreme12x said, LF +2 RF +5 for caster and LF -.25 RF +2

Rat Trap
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 129
posted March 11, 2005 06:51 PM  
ok thanks guys.
Hey 2nd2noone, are you going to have your sprint out at the track sunday? We plan on being there. If you make it could you take a look at our car and tell us what you think, we made quite a few changes to it.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted March 11, 2005 06:55 PM  
With my guage, we go 20 degrees left and right

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 376
posted March 11, 2005 07:17 PM  
I was always told to set camber last, as changing caster can affect camber, but changing camber,(turning front & rear tubes the same number of turns in or out), will not affect caster. Is this wrong?

Fastride 38
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted March 12, 2005 07:23 AM  
Caster is moving the location of the upper ball joint forward or rearward of center line with the lower ball joint. So if you turn both bars an equal amount of times the upper ball joint should stay in the caster location you set it in. But if you turn the rear bar more than the front bar then you just pulled the upper ball joint to the back moving it from where caster was set. I set camber first.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 14
posted March 13, 2005 06:40 AM  

2nd, fastride, and xhubby have it right - kind of - ,but maybe they just aren't explaining it clearly.
When useing a Caster/Camber gauge , set Camber while wheels are pointed straight ahead. To set Caster, put gauge on any wheel (left or right ), and turn that wheel 20 degrees to the outside, zero gauge then turn 20 degrees in and read gauge. ( anything around + 1 on the lf and + 3 to 4 on the rf is good to start )
It's very straight forward to read Caster.
The hard part is getting every thing else right before hand.

Whether you set Caster or Camber first, the other will change. Not to mention Toe , Bump Steer , Roll Center, Camber gain and a variety of inter connected influences on your chassis.

For the majority of racers smart enough to be trying to get their front end setup right, many over look the basics.

Before you worry about how to read a Caster/Camber gauge, do this ;

- Square the rear end to the chassis
- Put rf and rr straight inline. (very important)
- Adjust track width on left so that front is 1 to 2 inches wider than rear.
- With rf locked inline with rr, adjust pitman arm on steering box to be parralel with idler arm .
Simply measure diagonally between the two.
- Adust toe
_ Do Caster /Camber
- Re do Toe
- Re do Caster/Camber
At this point you may be getting close.
We haven't done bump steer, camber gain or ride height, but we've explained how to lead up to setting Caster and Camber.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 196
posted March 13, 2005 09:05 AM  
You guys only run +.25 caster in the LF and around +2 in the RF?I have been arounf 2 on the LF and 5 on the RF.Kinda ran the same as our Late model?
Camber is about the same?Am i way off??

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted March 13, 2005 10:00 AM  
You've got it mixed up GRT thats camber I listed at that.
Secondly you do not need the rr and rf tires lined up, if anything you want the rf out an inch or two from the rr. Lining them up will aid in helping turn the car but for the most part we don't line them up. It is just a choice

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 180
posted March 13, 2005 03:03 PM  
locorace27, I am also confused why you must line up the right side tires? I don't run the car that way, so why should I align it that way?

Good point though that you have to redo all the settings, and recheck them. Moving caster, camber, and toe-in all change the other measurements to some degree. Always double check.

I run 3-4 degrees of caster split in the front of the car.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted March 13, 2005 04:49 PM  
Yes like sd racer said and just like loco said very very important to double and triple check everything when you are done. When i was racing go karts on ovals, I had a heim joint front end kart that with the twist of a wrench I could change my camber and caster, i did so much adjusting and got the kart really really fast and never checked anything else, i was winning, but still, i sold the kart and they checked toe and i was an inch out.

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