Caster off - But within spec?

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Feb 19, 2009
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Hey everyone. This is on the Forte. Basically I had 4 new Hankook "Z" rated A/S performance directional tires (215/45/R17) mounted/balanced, and a full alignment (twice more on that)... The first alignment the steering wheel was like 10 degrees off center to the left, and the car pulled to the right. - I could not live with it after paying for alignment hoping to have the car track some what straight.. It was a bad pull to the right and the wheel being so far off center just showed they did not spend time on "turning" the alignment. I called the shop and they got me in within the day to "correct" the problem.

When i pick the car up they tell me "good to go". (Yes they even test drove it this time after) I asked anything bent ect, answer was a firm "no" with a "BUT" the passenger side caster is off, pushed backwards was the words, but still within factory spec and is non adjustable.

The car tracks straight as a arrow now - no pull to either side and the steering wheel is perfectly center. They spent about additional 1 1/2 hours correcting the first "bad" alignment.. But I have been thinking about this "caster" and if its an issue or not. The shop told me it wasn't a issue they have seen brand new cars with worse.

Also I forgot to grab the print out of the after alignment specs, but id say its a good as it ever going to be with the age and miles.

So my question is... Caster... Should I worry about it if its still within factory spec... but off? to me that would mean something is bent but what im not sure and again the shop said everything is tight and nothing is visually bent. Even all the bushings are still very usable and holding everything correctly.

What are your thoughts? One last note I can't visually see the passenger wheel push "backwards" it looks just like the drivers side to the eye in terms of space and location/position.. Thanks!. :whistle:
 

1 SX

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if there's a serious difference in caster, you will get pulling, so if the car tracks perfect now forget about it.
Copy that.

You guys should know me by now and my excessive worry and need to fix things.... That might not even need to be fixed haha :unsure:

But there is literally zero pull in either direction even while accelerating/stopping.... and if the shop did not mention this caster "issue" I would of never known.
 
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Also I forgot to grab the print out of the after alignment specs, but id say its a good as it ever going to be with the age and miles.

So my question is... Caster... Should I worry about it if its still within factory spec... but off? to me that would mean something is bent but what im not sure and again the shop said everything is tight and nothing is visually bent. Even all the bushings are still very usable and holding everything correctly.

Caster should be within factory spec and both sides I'd say within 0°30' (0.5° = half
a degree) max difference left/right. We'd just need to see that alignment spec print.
.
 
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Many alignment racks are out of cal. so who knows.

Caster not a big deal if she drives straight.
Most roads are off camber. and cause tire wear due to counter steering.

If it was a whole degree off then you likely have a bent LCA, shot bushing or a subframe out of position, but with NetBuild there isn't much you can do for reasonable bucks with the subframe/unitbody.

Don't worry a smidge if she drives and steers well. That's the ultimate goal along with reasonable tire wear.
 
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I have had cars that had unadjustable caster which was out of specs. Why? Who knows. It won't cause excessive tire wear UNLESS the car has the "shopping cart effect". We have all had shopping carts where a front wheel was pushed back and shaking badly.
 
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I have had cars that had unadjustable caster which was out of specs. Why? Who knows.
With modern unitbody construction and mac struts, the drivetrain is usually loaded into the car on the assembly line from below. The body shell components are clamped together then robotically welded in a jig and checked by laser and camera targeting for trueness.
The strut top goes into a precisely positioned locating hole in the formed sheet metal tower. Caster should be within 1/4 degree. If its out, "down the road" in use you, bent something or a bushing disintegrated. You don't align to fix that, you replace parts.

I think most out of spec alignment is tech error in setup or Hunter rack out of calibration.
I had my best alignments done (on perimeter frame/ULCA cars) on an old BEAR aligner

-Ken

BEAR alignment.jpg
 
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