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Alignment Help: Front Toe/Caster Adjustment?

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Old 07-07-2009, 12:47 AM
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Alignment Help: Front Toe/Caster Adjustment?

So I've been trying to do a little research on front toe/caster adjustment, but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I recently had SPC rear camber arms and toe bolts put it and aligned, but my front camber (and possibly caster) is way out of spec. I have some front camber a-arms in the works.

However, according to what I have read, only camber in the front is adjustable via aftermarket a-arms. What about toe and caster? How are these adjusted?

For reference, my alignment specs in the front are:

LEFT FRONT / RIGHT FRONT
CAMBER: -2.42 / -3.06
CASTER: 8.88 / 9.55
TOE: 0.07 / 0.06

What can you guys tell me about front toe/caster adjustment for the G35 coupe?
Old 07-07-2009, 01:05 AM
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i have no idea on the caster but the toe is decent, try for 0

but HOLY neg camber i don't remember you being that low

and uhm the front is toe is adjustable for SURE, not sure on caster but if you got front and rear camber kids + toe bolt for the rear camber and toe are adjustable, no idea how its done in the front for toe but toe for the rear im assuming its adjusting that toe bolt
Old 07-07-2009, 01:08 AM
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caster is not adjustable

toe in the front is adjusted by your tie rods on your steering rack (which every g35 has)
Old 07-07-2009, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurodre View Post
i have no idea on the caster but the toe is decent, try for 0

but HOLY neg camber i don't remember you being that low

and uhm the front is toe is adjustable for SURE, not sure on caster but if you got front and rear camber kids + toe bolt for the rear camber and toe are adjustable, no idea how its done in the front for toe but toe for the rear im assuming its adjusting that toe bolt
lol... thanks for the response, Dre. I lowered the car a bit more after the 818 meet but before I left for NorCal.
Do you run a front camber kit? Mine's coming soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gLuXuRy
caster is not adjustable

toe in the front is adjusted by your tie rods on your steering rack (which every g35 has)
Thanks for the reply. So is my caster fcuked on the passenger side front wheel?
Old 07-07-2009, 03:32 AM
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caster IS adjustable via SPL camber arms, not sure what other arms have caster adjustability
Old 07-07-2009, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
caster IS adjustable via SPL camber arms, not sure what other arms have caster adjustability
Thanks for the response, redlude. What can off-spec caster do to tires/other parts of the car?
Old 07-07-2009, 04:17 AM
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I think your toe is off.

Are you trying to actually adjust caster or just bring it back within spec?
Old 07-07-2009, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLuXuRy View Post
caster is not adjustable
And even if/when it is, that's one thing you want to leave alone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx7sephiroth7xx View Post
Thanks for the response, redlude. What can off-spec caster do to tires/other parts of the car?
Think of caster like the front wheels of a shopping cart (or the front wheel of a bike). Adjusting the caster will basically offset the steering control of the wheels. Too much caster and your steering wheel will be heavier and less responsive, as where not enough positive caster will let the wheels wander off (like those sh*tty shopping wheels with "negative caster"). Unless your car is a track car being tuned by someone who really knows what they're doing, for safety reasons, I would suggest you leave the caster at factory settings... because cars come with a fairly aggressive amount of positive caster these days, we have power steering to even things out a bit for the driver.

But because caster is not a side to side adjustment, I don't see how it would negatively impact your wheels/tires. It really only affects steering. It might drop the front a bit too...

Last edited by dofu; 07-07-2009 at 04:39 AM.
Old 07-07-2009, 04:50 AM
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Caster is usually only a problem when the difference between the two sides is excessive (cross-caster).
Old 07-07-2009, 04:58 AM
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j 4 lD, dofu, and Kurtis, thanks for the responses.

So besides my really negative camber, my toe and my caster are within spec?

According to the alignment sheet I have (also found by subtracting right side caster by left side caster ), my cross-caster for the front is is 0.66, my cross camber is 0.64, and my total toe is 0.13.
Old 07-07-2009, 05:06 AM
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With rear wheel drives, you want a little positive toe (toe in) because the front end will dip down evening out the toe under load, so the toe is pretty good. I don't know the factory recommended settings for caster...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tire Rack
Caster:
A very visual example of positive caster is a motorcycle's front steering forks. The forks point forward at the bottom and slope backward at the top. This rearward slope causes the front tire to remain stable when riding straight ahead and tilt towards the inside of the corner when turned.

Caster angle settings allow the vehicle manufacturer to balance steering effort, high speed stability and front end cornering effectiveness.

Increasing the amount of positive caster will increase steering effort and straight line tracking, as well as improve high speed stability and cornering effectiveness. Positive caster also increases tire lean when cornering (almost like having more negative camber) as the steering angle is increased.

What's the downside to positive caster? If thevehicle doesn't have power steering, a noticeable increase in steering effort will be felt as positive caster is increased. Other than that, the effects of positive caster are pretty much "positive," especially increasing the lean of the tire when the vehicle is cornering while returning it to a more upright position when driving straight ahead.

Cross Camber and Cross Caster:
Most street car alignments call for the front camber and caster settings to be adjusted to slightly different specifications on the right side of the vehicle compared to the left side. These slight side-to-side differences are called cross-camber and cross-caster.

For vehicles set up to drive on the "right" side of the road, the right side is aligned with a little more negative camber (about 1/4-degree) and a little more positive caster (again, about 1/4-degree) to help the vehicle resist the influence of crowned roads that would cause it to drift "downhill" to the right gutter. Since most roads are crowned, cross-camber and cross-caster are helpful the majority of the time, however they will cause a vehicle to drift to the left on a perfectly flat road or a road that leans to the left.

Using cross-camber and cross-caster is not necessary for track-only cars.

Toe:
A rear-wheel drive vehicle "pushes" the front axle's tires as they roll along the road. Tire rolling resistance causes a little drag resulting in rearward movement of the suspension arms against their bushings. Because of this, most rear-wheel drive vehicles use some positive toe-in to compensate for the movement, enabling the tires to run parallel to each other at speed.

Conversely, a front-wheel drive vehicle "pulls" the vehicle through the front axle, resulting in forward movement of the suspension arms against their bushings. Therefore most front-wheel drive vehicles use some negative toe-out to compensate for the movement, again enabling the tires to run parallel to each other at speed.

Toe can also be used to alter a vehicle's handling traits. Increased toe-in will typically result in reduced oversteer, help steady the car and enhance high-speed stability. Increased toe-out will typically result in reduced understeer, helping free up the car, especially during initial turn-in while entering a corner.
Old 07-07-2009, 05:22 AM
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According to my last alignment sheet, spec for front:
Camber is -1.3 0.3
Caster is 7.3 8.8
Toe is 0in. 3/64in.
Cross-caster is -0.8 0.8.

If those specified ranges are correct, you are out of spec for toe on both sides. That might be caused by your excessively negative camber (can't remember if that's the way it works). Therefore, total toe is also out of spec. Caster is slightly out of spec on both sides but the cross-caster is within spec. Excessive toe and cross-caster are absolute tire killers. I ran about 50% of the tread off a pair of Toyo T1-R's in about 200 miles with excessive toe settings.
Old 07-07-2009, 05:44 AM
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Thanks, Dofu & Kurtis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k67p67
According to my last alignment sheet, spec for front:
Camber is -1.3 0.3
Caster is 7.3 8.8
Toe is 0in. 3/64in.
Cross-caster is -0.8 0.8.

If those specified ranges are correct, you are out of spec for toe on both sides. That might be caused by your excessively negative camber (can't remember if that's the way it works). Therefore, total toe is also out of spec. Caster is slightly out of spec on both sides but the cross-caster is within spec. Excessive toe and cross-caster are absolute tire killers. I ran about 50% of the tread off a pair of Toyo T1-R's in about 200 miles with excessive toe settings.
50% tread gone in 200 miles?

Hmm... well then, as soon as I get my front camber arms, I'll definitely be getting an alignment to correct the camber, and as long as this is true:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLuXuRy View Post
caster is not adjustable

toe in the front is adjusted by your tie rods on your steering rack (which every g35 has)
then I will get the toe corrected, too.

What should I do about my slightly off-spec caster, then? I know you said my individual casters are out of spec but my cross caster is in spec, so I'm unsure what to do.

If it makes a difference, I also plan on getting the car corner weighted, since I will have all the pieces necessary to do so (coilovers, endlinks, camber arms).
Old 07-07-2009, 05:45 AM
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If you have a coupe manual, you can look up the tolerances. But if you've dropped your car, the caster should be off since you've reduced the distance between the parts (can't remember exactly off the top of my head). I honestly would not be worried about it...
Old 07-07-2009, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k67p67 View Post
According to my last alignment sheet, spec for front:
Camber is -1.3 0.3
Caster is 7.3 8.8
Toe is 0in. 3/64in.
Cross-caster is -0.8 0.8.

If those specified ranges are correct, you are out of spec for toe on both sides. That might be caused by your excessively negative camber (can't remember if that's the way it works). Therefore, total toe is also out of spec. Caster is slightly out of spec on both sides but the cross-caster is within spec. Excessive toe and cross-caster are absolute tire killers. I ran about 50% of the tread off a pair of Toyo T1-R's in about 200 miles with excessive toe settings.
Camber by itself will give you abnormal tire wear, but nothing too serious. Toe is the real killer here, and if you mix that with camber, then your tires don't stand a chance.

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