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Caster can't be adjusted

 
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:33 PM
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Caster can't be adjusted

Brought her in for an alignment and the mechanic said that the front caster was not adjustable on this Honda? Whaaaaaa?

There were other things going on so we didn't talk about that too much but I figure I bring the question here
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:43 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Can't speak for your 3rd. But that is the case on my 97 SH. 'Taint hurting a thing. Actually shortens the wheel base ever-so-slightly.
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I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 09-13-2014, 08:46 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

(butthead laugh) you said taint.

So you don't feel it when your driving? she drives straight and true?
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:16 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Yep.
I have it aligned on a computer and it's 0.10 out each time. Both sides.
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I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 09-13-2014, 10:41 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Caster is adjustable on 3d and 3d gens by means of a threaded collar at the far end of the radius rod, where it attaches to the subframe. Caster on 4th and 5th gens adjusts via shims in the same spot, except for ATTS 5th gens, which use a different radius rod -- on those, you have to install a different length rod.

Really nice pictures and directions in the shop manual. :)
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:17 AM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
Caster is adjustable on 3d and 3d gens by means of a threaded collar at the far end of the radius rod, where it attaches to the subframe. Caster on 4th and 5th gens adjusts via shims in the same spot, except for ATTS 5th gens, which use a different radius rod -- on those, you have to install a different length rod.

Really nice pictures and directions in the shop manual. :)
I wonder why they dont know that.... Ill look it up where you said and see if I can show them.

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:14 AM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Gold Stars to Jamie……
Owned my 5th Gen SH since 2000. Slight caster stagger for years. Finally, someone came up with the radius rod answer only 2 years ago! Replaced the only side rod still available and it STILL pulled to the right until last Winter- after I replaced the polyurethane strut bushings (that came with the Mugen/Showa struts) with stock rubber ones and THEN had an(other) alignment done. After 14 years my car tracks straight ;-)
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:58 AM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

If you want actual adjustability you need to have an adjustable radius rod/traction bar setup like something from Innovative mounts.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:25 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

i have stood with the mechanics at my friends shop doing the alignments for me.(i get them for free) and we have tried and tried to get my caster into spec. it actually went further out of spec.... and i didnt know why. then i measured my frame at the body shop i worked at with my master tech, and found out my frame was shifted 15mm back on the passenger side. i talked to my master tech about the caster, and found that if your frame is not in spec, then your caster will show not in spec. however, if it does not give you drivability issues, mine doesnt, other than the occasional rub on the bumper, then it should be pretty close to spec, and the frame is the culprit.

get your frame measured at a body shop or attempt to do the best reading yourself. it may have been in a fender bender once before, and the front end might not be aligned.

easy way for anyone to tell if your preludes have been in fender benders. pop open the hood, look on the inner lip of the fenders and the underside of the hood. the most used aftermarket parts for our cars are the company tong yang or something like that. if it is original honda, you will see a Honda R-DOT printed in the metal, or a sticker saying it. and possibly your VIN plate sticker on the part somewhere. <---(toyota does that)

if the fenders or hood have been replaced, then i am almost 95% certain that your frame is shifted.

also, our cars do have adjustable caster. it shows up on the computer which is car specific at shops, and actually tells the mechanic exactly what needs to be done..... anyone can do it, thats the sad part. tells you what bolt to turn, where it is, everything. and also tells the mechanic what is and what isnt adjustable on our cars. like the only things thats adjustable from factory on the rear of our cars is toe.

hope this info helps.

Last edited by ProjectPrelude95; 09-16-2014 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:28 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by ProjectPrelude95 View Post
i have stood with the mechanics at my friends shop doing the alignments for me.(i get them for free) and we have tried and tried to get my caster into spec. it actually went further out of spec.... and i didnt know why. then i measured my frame at the body shop i worked at with my master tech, and found out my frame was shifted 15mm back on the passenger side. i talked to my master tech about the caster, and found that if your frame is not in spec, then your caster will show not in spec. however, if it does not give you drivability issues, mine doesnt, other than the occasional rub on the bumper, then it should be pretty close to spec, and the frame is the culprit.

get your frame measured at a body shop or attempt to do the best reading yourself. it may have been in a fender bender once before, and the front end might not be aligned.

easy way for anyone to tell if your preludes have been in fender benders. pop open the hood, look on the inner lip of the fenders and the underside of the hood. the most used aftermarket parts for our cars are the company tong yang or something like that. if it is original honda, you will see a Honda R-DOT printed in the metal, or a sticker saying it. and possibly your VIN plate sticker on the part somewhere. <---(toyota does that)

if the fenders or hood have been replaced, then i am almost 95% certain that your frame is shifted.

also, our cars do have adjustable caster. it shows up on the computer which is car specific at shops, and actually tells the mechanic exactly what needs to be done..... anyone can do it, thats the sad part. tells you what bolt to turn, where it is, everything. and also tells the mechanic what is and what isnt adjustable on our cars. like the only things thats adjustable from factory on the rear of our cars is toe.

hope this info helps.
Thank you sir, you are now the headmaster of this thread. But really thanks to everyone else for getting back to me on this issue as well. Presently, the rear toe is has become the focus issue in this alignment since I have come back from the mechanic today. I noticed someone else had run into this issue on the forum and tried finding out what their end result was but have not heard back, so I'll probably run a a separate thread on that, concurrent with this one.

I have not thought of the frame being an issue but will come back to that with them once I sort the potentially costly issue at hand.

Thank you again,
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:55 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Something about rear toe adjustment too. Over the years the bolts mold to the bushings with rust in the rear which could screw with the alignment process. The bushing just spins freely with the bolt, and does not allow it to loosen or tighten and in my case, I had to cut them out.
Just go with Megan racing rear toe arms. They make alignments so easy, and the fresh powder coated parts look really nice down there too lol
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:08 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by ProjectPrelude95 View Post
Something about rear toe adjustment too. Over the years the bolts mold to the bushings with rust in the rear which could screw with the alignment process. The bushing just spins freely with the bolt, and does not allow it to loosen or tighten and in my case, I had to cut them out.
Just go with Megan racing rear toe arms. They make alignments so easy, and the fresh powder coated parts look really nice down there too lol
I became excited for a Moment. Unless I'm Missing something, when I looked into this aftermarket brand, it appears they don't make anything for the third gen preludes (Which is the camp I'm in) :(

I got in touch with the makers of these bushings to See if they are the right ones for me. I have yet to hear back.
http://www.aftermarketsuspensionpart...K&Partner=Ebay

Last edited by alleywayriqashay; 09-20-2014 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:54 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

oh yea.... sorry about that, forgot this was 3rd gen. yea, make sure if you get those bushings, get new hardware from honda too. well worth it, especially since you are most likely gonna be in the same boat i was in a few months back. like i said, i had to cut both rear toe arms out at the bushing. and a few other bushings in the rear too.

good luck with everything, lmk if you need anymore help.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:03 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by ProjectPrelude95 View Post
oh yea.... sorry about that, forgot this was 3rd gen. yea, make sure if you get those bushings, get new hardware from honda too. well worth it, especially since you are most likely gonna be in the same boat i was in a few months back. like i said, i had to cut both rear toe arms out at the bushing. and a few other bushings in the rear too.

good luck with everything, lmk if you need anymore help.
By hardware, do you mean the control arms. I won't be able to get them new as I believe they have been discontinued :/. But it also means I can pick up some old ones cheaper. Why do people have to cut the control arms if they can just hack through the olt. Wouldn't that leave the control arm in tact with just the bushing and bolt spoiled?
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:29 AM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

hardware meaning, bolts, nuts, washers, etc... which should not be discontinued because they use the same hardware on multiple different cars, from multiples of years, even present years.

and you dont have to cut the control arms themselves, you will most likely need to cut the bolt to remove the old control arms.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:33 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
Caster is adjustable on 3d and 3d gens by means of a threaded collar at the far end of the radius rod, where it attaches to the subframe. Caster on 4th and 5th gens adjusts via shims in the same spot, except for ATTS 5th gens, which use a different radius rod -- on those, you have to install a different length rod.

Really nice pictures and directions in the shop manual. :)
Found it, though in the manual it only says 4ws front caster and does not mention 2ws. I imagine this may be because the front is the same on both suspension options and the difference only occurs at the rear suspension. This may be why the mechanic was unable to adjust the caster if his shop alignment software or whatever only took info from the manuals like this.
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Old 09-28-2014, 03:47 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by alleywayriqashay View Post
Found it, though in the manual it only says 4ws front caster and does not mention 2ws. I imagine this may be because the front is the same on both suspension options and the difference only occurs at the rear suspension. This may be why the mechanic was unable to adjust the caster if his shop alignment software or whatever only took info from the manuals like this.
My copy (Sept '87) separates them -- 2WS instructions start on page 12-5 with how to check and adjust caster on the front suspension.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:15 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

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Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
My copy (Sept '87) separates them -- 2WS instructions start on page 12-5 with how to check and adjust caster on the front suspension.
thanks,

yeah I just got back, it's all done. there is still some weird stuff happening on the highway when drive past 60 mph. I think that might be contributed from a combination of other things. like the unevenly worn tires from the formerly jacked alignment and maybe needing to replace some calipers, brakes, rotors. the uneven wear doesn't look too bad to my untrained eye. I think i am sure that they grow more bald to one side, eventually becoming smooth on the corner, but every thing else does not seem to far away from it as far as wear.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:16 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

Rotate the tires around to different positions, and see if that makes a difference. Depending on how they're worn, that might not eliminate the problem, but if it changes to follow the tires, that will tell you something.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:46 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

I didnt do this yet but I did notice a few milliments difference (2 or 3 I think) difference from the threads on the edge of my left tire to the threads on the edge of my right tire. Plus I am thinking the wheels need to be balanced. So I'll replace the back two and balance out the wheels. Then maybe we will be good.
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:12 PM
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Re: Caster can't be adjusted

UPDATE:

I bought new tires in the scariest part of town so you know I got a good deal lol. though I still had some wobble after 60 I noticed of all my wheels, one was missing a weight. I brought her in and she was off by about an ounce and according to the mechanic, that was a lot.

Now she glides into and passed 60, however now at 80 I don't get a wobble, but I do get a vibrating (a lot) in the steering wheel. I've only tried her on one road so far, so I'll try going the other way and see if it was maybe the feed back from the road.
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