A caster is a part of most automotive front suspensions and the camber and toe. These three parts offer separate adjustments to ensure that a car’s front tires are appropriately positioned.
Here are a few details on how to adjust a caster on chevy truck and align your car so that you do not have to make a trip to the garage every alternate day. With a few essential tools, you can make your own adjustments and ensure your vehicle is in the best condition.
Before we dive into the basics of how you can DIY and be your own mechanic at home, you have to know which part you intend to align and adjust. We will mainly focus on the caster, what it does, and how to adjust it. So, read on if you want to learn more about aligning your car.
What is a Caster?
The caster is identified by the forward and backward slope, which is drawn by the upper and lower steering points. So, it is measured on the steering wheels’ front wheels as an angle that checks the forward and backward tilt of the car’s steering axis while viewing the vehicle from the side.
This axis is connected to both the lower and the upper ball joint and forms the angle with the vertical line that travels through the lower ball joint.
The caster is an essential part of the vehicle because it affects the steering ease and stability of the car whilst in a straight line. This feature allows manufacturers to balance speed stability, steering effort, and front-end cornering effectiveness. There are two types of casters:
1) Positive Caster: When the line slopes towards the back of the car, then you get a positive caster. This type is required when the tires increase their lean while cornering and when the tires return to an upright position when driving ahead.
2) Negative Caster: This is when the slop is in front of the car. This type will make you steer less while turning, but drifting while driving straight is a possibility.
Ways to measure the caster angle?
The first step you must take for tuning and adjusting the angle is to measure the caster your car currently possesses. Here are the two ways to measure the its angle:
- You can use a digital or caster gauge or even turning plates.
- You can measure the wishbone mounting point’s location both top and bottom.
The first method for tuning the it is simple and is usually used the most while racing. You need to put your tires on some tuning plates once the scale is set to zero.
The wheel must be turned 20 degrees outwards, and the gauge is once again set to a 0 degrees. After which, the wheel is turned 20 degrees inward. The caster degree on the wheel is the measurement on the caster gauge. You can move on to the next wheel once this is done.
The second method is used more during the design stage while designing suspension parts or designing chassis. The top mounting point must be drawn at the axis of the upper wishbone. After which, the bottom mounting point must be found and outlined in the same way. Once these two tasks are complete, the wheel’s centreline must be drawn vertically.
You will now connect the outlined mounting points using a straight line. The caster angle is the angle that forms when connecting the two lines. These drawings must be taken down in 2D form the side view.
Read more about Chevy automobiles here.
How to adjust caster on Chevy truck?
Now that you know the purpose of a caster angle in a vehicle, here’s how you can adjust and maintain it to make sure your car is in top-notch condition. There are a few ways you can adjust the it angle, and here’s a list of the few ways that have proven to be the best.
1) You can use an adjustable arm to adjust the caster angle and adjust the screw so that the wheel can move forward or back while adjusting the caster angle.
2) Another common way to tune the caster is to insert an offset caster bush to the front and back of the wishbone below. The centre bolt offset hole should be in the forward direction; once it’s installed; the bush moves rearward and will give the car a caster which is positive. You’ll have to install it cautiously since you can’t adjust it once it’s in place.
3) To adjust your caster with the MacPherson strut, you can install an offset top mount on the suspension device. They are usually sold as camber adjustables, but some tend to have the facility to increase the angle in a car. Again, once you install the offset top mount, it cannot be readjusted, so you need to be sure where you install it.
Read also Tire Rub Fixed with High Caster Angle.