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camber, caster, toe... what is it?

 
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:45 PM
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camber, caster, toe... what is it?

here's a copy and paste from michelin's site (http://www.michelinman.com/tire-care...alignment-tips)... in case they ever take it down.


Why Alignment Is Important
Proper alignment helps ensure that your vehicle handles correctly and will help increase the life and performance of your tires.


When to Check Alignment
Daily impacts such as potholes and railroad crossings, as well as more severe circumstances, e.g. accidents, can knock your vehicle out of alignment. You should have the alignment checked if:
  • You’ve hit something
  • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders of the tires
  • You notice a difference in your vehicle’s handling

How Wheels Are Aligned
Alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they have the proper toe in and camber. The three main adjustments made in alignment are camber, caster, and toe.


Camber
Camber is the angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the wheel leans too far, uneven wear will occur.
  • Positive camber is when the top of the wheel is leaning away from the car. Too much positive camber wears tires on the outside.
  • Negative camber is when the top of the wheel is leaning in toward the car. Too much negative camber will wear tires on the inside.
The camber angle is designed and adjusted for each vehicle to keep the tires flat on the ground during a turn. If there is too much difference between the camber settings on the front wheels, the vehicle will tend to pull sharply to one side.


Caster
Picture a caster wheel found on furniture or a shopping cart. When you push a shopping cart equipped with caster wheels, it tends to roll in a straight line because the wheels line up.

On a vehicle, caster is the forward or rearward tilt of the steering axis, measured from the top of the tire, as viewed from the side. The axis is formed by extending an imaginary line through the upper and lower steering knuckles. The line extends through the upper and lower ball joints on vehicles with front control arms, and through the lower ball joint to the center of the strut mount on cars with struts.
  • Positive caster occurs when the angle is toward the rear of the vehicle. Positive caster has the effect of making your front wheels act as if your car was being pulled from the front so that they will line up behind the point of pull, like a child’s pull toy.
  • Negative caster occurs when the angle is to the front of the vehicle.
Caster is set so that your vehicle will tend to go straight ahead. Caster affects your vehicle’s low-speed steering and high-speed stability as well as how well your vehicle drives in a straight line (on-center feel). Negative caster will cause your car to "wander" and make it feel unstable at high speeds. Positive caster causes hard steering and can also result in excessive road shock and shimmy. Caster does not affect tire wear.


Toe
Toe is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. Toe settings affect the handling characteristics of a vehicle while turning.
  • Toe-in is when the front ends of the tires are closer. Toe-in introduces understeer going into a curve. If the tires are toed-in too much, the tread will be "worn" off, starting from the outside edges.
  • Toe-out is when the rear ends of the tires are closer. Toe-out can introduce oversteer in a curve and makes the vehicle feel like it is "diving" into the turn sharply. If tires are toed-out, the wear will start from the inside. This type of wear is called "feathering" and can be felt by running your hands across the tread of the tire.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:53 PM
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very good write up
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:39 AM
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Well put and nice find. rep to joo.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:47 AM
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i need a camber kit real bad.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:54 PM
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Re: camber, caster, toe... what is it?

Nice find . Camber was easy to understand. Caster and toe WTF! Pictures would help. Im off to google to figure this shat out. Im sure once I see a picture it will all come together. haha
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lol pfft. 3rd gen ludes are lighter then 3rd or forth. therefore. less weight. faster accel. especially if i take out the vtec and turbo that. and in my opinion 3rd gens look better then 4th gens. 5th gens are alright but 4th gens are preeetty lame
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:06 PM
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Re: camber, caster, toe... what is it?

Okay I got it now. I found this video on youtube. With the write up and video it all makes sence.
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Originally Posted by itsrhett View Post
lol pfft. 3rd gen ludes are lighter then 3rd or forth. therefore. less weight. faster accel. especially if i take out the vtec and turbo that. and in my opinion 3rd gens look better then 4th gens. 5th gens are alright but 4th gens are preeetty lame
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: camber, caster, toe... what is it?

awesome writeup
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:33 PM
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Re: camber, caster, toe... what is it?

Looking at the car from the front.

/ \ Negative Camber

\ / Positve Camber

**When you lower your car without using a camber kit, go get an aligment. The alignment fixes the toe which is the leading cause of tire wear.

**When you lower your car and use a camber kit, go get an alignment. The alignment will fix the toe, camber, and caster.

I would always go with a little bit of negative camber for better handling.

There are tires out there made specifcally for lowered cars to reduce camber wear.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:32 PM
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Re: camber, caster, toe... what is it?

i am amazed that i did not kno the difference in these before thankss!!!!
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