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Author Topic:   Setting Caster
msnead
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted May 19, 2005 09:30 PM  
The instructions for using the Caster/Camber gauge say to turn the wheel 20 degrees, set the gauge to 0 and then turn it to 20 degrees the other way and take the reading.

I understand that part but I was told by someone that you could zero the gauge with the wheel turned to 20 degrees in either direction--and the reading should be the same when it was turned to the other 20 degrees.

When we tried this, we got different readings each time... The same person who told me that also said that if you get different readings, something is bent in the front end.

Is this true? Can someone describe the best procedure to go through when checking Caster/Camber?

Thanks...

(I tried my best to explain my situation... I hope I used the write wording.)

Rat Trap
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 129
posted May 19, 2005 09:38 PM  
we put the gauge on the left wheel, turn the wheels in (to the right) zero the gauge, turn to the left or out and take reading. Then with the wheels still turned to the left move the gauge to the right side wheel. zero and then turn the wheels to the right and take reading.
i just went through all of this same stuff a couple months ago and it was explain alot then. If you do a search you will come up with a lot of info. Good luck hope this helps

sc1 racing
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 419
posted May 19, 2005 10:22 PM  
to check you are suposed to turn wheel out you are checking. set on 0 then turn tire 20 degrees in and that is your reading..

i was having fits, running late, and i finnaly got someone to explain it to me in dummy terms..

sdracer12
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 180
posted May 19, 2005 11:01 PM  
- Turn the right wheel (out to the right) 20degrees, level the guage and center the caster bubble. Turn the wheel in(to the left) 20 degrees, re-level only the gauge, and take your reading. Then, move to the left wheel and repeat. I think it's better to return to straight ahead each time you move to the other wheel. This way you can check your camber as you do the caster, since changing one usually moves the other anyway.

If you are getting different readings each time, you may have a chassis bind, or the tires aren't rotating smoothly on the floor. This leaves some sideways pull on the tire, which could change your readings. Try the poor-man slip-plates under each tire to help the wheels turn.

And, yes, bent parts like tierods and ball joints will throw off your settings. It's best to check your balljoints before you try aligning the car.

[This message has been edited by sdracer12 (edited May 19, 2005).]

NJantz
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 755
posted May 20, 2005 09:04 AM  
This is how i do it:

To read caster first turn the wheels 20 out so that the front of the tire is farther from the car. If you don't have a set of turning plates you can use the angles machined on the corners of the gauge. Turn the wheels so that the angle near the adapter end is square with the side of the car and the angle at the other end is parallel to the side of the car. Rotate the gauge until it is level.
Turn the knurled knob in the center until the caster part of the gauge reads 0. Now turn the wheels back to 20 the opposite way. Rotate the gauge again to level and read the caster on the center vial (read to the center of the bubble). Each line is 1/2.
Source: Longacreracing.com

wfoondirt
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 505
posted May 20, 2005 09:21 AM  
quote:
Originally posted by msnead:

I understand that part but I was told by someone that you could zero the gauge with the wheel turned to 20 degrees in either direction--and the reading should be the same when it was turned to the other 20 degrees.


This will not work, you should get different reading if you work in the opposite order.


msnead
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted May 20, 2005 09:50 AM  
Thanks for the info. I saw the directions on Longacre's site.

Are there directions for building the poor man's turn plates? I was told to use some cardboard and stay-dry...

Thanks again!!!

wfoondirt
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 505
posted May 20, 2005 10:01 AM  
I've used 2 floor tiles with a dab of grease in between before. Also a few sheets of newspaper will work.

NJantz
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 755
posted May 20, 2005 11:03 AM  
For poor man's turn plates, get you two pieces of racecar plastic under each tire. Works pretty good.

Desert Mod
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 60
posted May 20, 2005 03:43 PM  
Depends on how cheap you need to get. I used to sprinkle a little fine sand on the floor, put a sheet of either racing plastic or aluminum on top of that, then the tire. Not totally accurate but it made the tires turn a little easier. A few years ago I bought a set of turn plates from Harbor Freight. I can now turn the wheels by moving the wheels, not the steering wheel. Well worth the price.

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