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Castor? Camber? Alignment?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TwistedSkipper, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. TwistedSkipper

    TwistedSkipper Registered Member

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    OK, my front tires are not sitting exactly flat on the ground. They sorta point inwards, causing my tires to wear unevenly on the outside edge. Does this suggest that I need upper ball joints? Wheel bearings? I just put on a set of 33's and dont want them to wear the same way. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
     
  2. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    I think you are describing camber. Unfortunately I do not know the specs. Someone else here might be able to give some better advice.

    Can you feel any play or movent within the hubs or knuckle? If not, I would say take it to an alignment shop and see if it is within spec. Soemthing sounds like its bent or worn.
     
  3. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    your best bet is to first check the front end, by jacking up the axle one side at a time, by the tube... and grab the tire at the top and bottom first and push and pull and feel for looseness, then do the same side to side at the 3 and 9 areas on the tire... both sides... report back...
     
  4. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Caster and camber are not adjustable. If yours is out enough for it to be visible, then you have worn/bent/broken parts.

    Check ball joints, wheel bearings and tie rod ends. Something is probably loose. Check it as Confedneck says but don't just feel for looseness, stick your head in there and see if anything is moving that shouldn't be.

    If you don't feel confident checking it out yourself, have a competent (and honest) shop check it out for you.

    If none of those parts are bad, then there's a good chance the axle is bent. It's rare, but it happens.

    I'd be willing to bet it's just worn parts, though.
     
  5. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    caster and camber are adjustable on most vehicles, usually only requiring cam eccentrics around a balljoint or etc, but ive never tried on one of these trucks...
     
  6. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    caster is adjustable with a common angled shim under the spring on top of the rear axle.
     
  7. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Confused yet?
    Let's get the terms straight first, for everyone.
    http://www.ozebiz.com.au/racetech/theory/align.html

    Ok, from the factory, these trucks only allowed for toe adjustment thats it.
    Now there are a couple of things you can do to adjust castor and camber.

    Castor:
    If you buy, say, the extra 1/2" long rear shackles for the front springs, your changing the castor slightly. Just slightly though.
    beater_k20 mentions a shim, but that is highly not recommended, and downright dangerous. I've seen some welded shims, those are ok, but that places some goofy loads on the axle that it was not designed for.

    Castor & Camber:
    It's rumored, although I've never seen them, it was written in the Moog instructions on a ball joint I bought once that it was available, but I looked and coulnt' find them. There is supposedly an eccentric sleeve you can buy for the upper ball joint. That sleeve screws in (with the special tool) and new ball joints usally come with new one (a regular one). An eccentric sleeve could change both castor and camber in theory. Here's why I don't think these really exist. It seems it would be a major pain in the a$$, especially for a DIYer, to get it right. It would require that you install the sleeve, assemble the rest of the knuckle, put it back on the rack and see where it is. It would be a total trial and error thing with dissambly and assembly of the entire spindle and knuckle required to get it to the specification.

    Camber:
    You can install a shim between the knuckle housing and the spindle. It's a graduated device so take it to a shop before you dissamble and see where your numbers are at, install the shim per the instructions to correct the camber from the numbers you got from the alignment place and re-assemble. Take it back to an align shop if you want to check, but it should be right. Readjust toe and your all set. I've done a couple of these and these work well for camber adjustment.
    This is the one I used:
    http://www.ingallseng.com/parts/26126.htm


    Here's the speicifications for our trucks straight from the GM ervice manual:

    Look at the KA10-20-30 specs. C is 2wd, G is van, P is forward control chassis
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
  8. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Geez... talk about nit-picking.

    Ok... castEr and camber are not made to be "adjustable" on a factory-equipped straight-axle 4x4 Chevrolet/GMC truck and not easily changeable, in any event. To do so would require additional specialized parts which may or may not be readily available and/or safe.

    And I still stand by my statement that if your alignment is out enough for it to be visible, then you have worn/bent/broken parts.
     
  9. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    That's a given. But if you replace the parts (Ball joints, bearings) etc and it's still out, but only by a little, then correcting it, properly (I like the spindle shim), is ok. If it's out by a lot, (like visibly), then yeah, it's probably bent to much to be corrected.
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Agreed. But honestly, if it's only out a little bit, I wouldn't even worry about it.

    (fwiw, I was referring to the other two 'nit-pickers' before you :D )
     
  11. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I didn't either, until it chewed up my brand new $150 tire. It was out 1.75 degrees, over double the 'service check' spec, unnoticlble to the eye, and it chewed up my tires within 5k miles. I've only done the camber one with the spindle shim, because the outer edge of the tire was wearing. Friend had the same problem, so we did his the same way.
     
  12. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    I wouldn't consider 1.75 degrees to be a little bit. That's pretty substantial when it comes to alignment angles.
     
  13. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Yes it is. But not visible to the eye. I used the max adjustment range on the shim and it worked great. No more tire wear, truck handled better, and I was very pleased with the results.
     
  14. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Are you talking about camber or caster?
    Personally, I would definitely notice 1.75 degrees of camber.
    And caster doesn't cause tire wear.
     
  15. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Camber. It was noticible when you drove the truck. But not to the eye.
     
  16. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    I have a professional eye. :D
     
  17. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Well, I found the ball joint sleeves. Same company as the link I posted above, www.ingalsell.com, page 108 of their full catalog.
    I'd like to see the install instructions though, not sure how you would know how much to spin it to get desired results. There's no reference marks on the axle.

    BallJointSleeves.jpg

    BallJointSleeves.jpg
     

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