Author Topic: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment  (Read 589 times)

Offline psyguy23

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Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« on: March 14, 2017, 03:09:07 AM »
First time posting to this forum. Not new to modding cars or forums. I get it is nearly sacrilegious to ask questions when the answers are available through the search. Well for an issue I had with my 1983 K1500 4x4 I could not find a write up on a solution, anywhere! I searched everything on the interwebs, this forum, youtube, just could not find an answer. So I thought I'd try my hand at my first thread here for the next poor soul that has a similar issue.

The Vehicle:
1983
GMC
K1500
4x4


How Did This Happen:
Well the truck pulled to the right since the day I bought it. I didn't care though. This truck is going to be a project. I put: new tires at 33", all new suspension, little 2 inch lift, shocks, leaf springs (beefed them up), new U bolts, really all new hardware throughout, new sway bar, new axles, upgraded to 30 spline, bushings - if it had to do with suspension or rolling the chasis down the road it was replaced. The beast still pulled - hard. Took it down and had the frame checked, straight as an arrow with a tiny 1/8" twist upward on the driver side at the end of the bed - negligible.

The Problem:
Caster and Camber alignment way off. This caused the truck to pull far to the right. Annoyingly far. You couldn't drive this truck without holding the steering wheel, else quickly veer across multiple lanes, crash and be sad. It was something like 8 degrees plus or minus 1 degree on each side. Factory Spec is 1  to 1 + 1/2 off the top of my head. Took this 3 ton beast to multiple alignment shops. No one could figure out how to bring this thing back to spec. Granted just about everywhere could only go off of what the alignment computer told them. Which was, non-adjustable try and squeeze cash out of the guy anyways and tell him something he already knows.

The Solution:
Finally found a shop that actually knew suspension and didn't need a computer to do it. Kevin, the only tech there, the only employee there really, the owner. He scratched his head for about five minutes and his long experience or Jedi power, something, reminded him that he had fixed this before. This truck needed alignment sleeves to pull everything back into place. Ingalls makes some. Installed them and now the truck drives straight true and is very stable on the road. Imagine that, more contact patch mean a better ride.

https://www.ingallseng.com/23000-series-gm-4x4-camber-caster-alignment-sleeve.html

Kevin's Precision Automotive
Camarillo CA

Hope this helps someone.
1983 GMC K1500 4x4 5.7L
Daily Driver, Long Term Project
SMOG is no problem.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 08:25:25 AM »
Quote
It was something like 8 degrees plus or minus 1 degree on each side

What was 8°? The caster? positive or negative?

Finding a true alignment specialist is rare, not many of us around who actually know what we are doing left especially since the industry is full of "set the toe and let it go" $30 alignment shops.

If something is bent it would be revealed in the SAI and Caster sweep. Since it is a solid axle, if your caster and camber was off on one side that drastically I would bet you have a bent steering knuckle. Again this would be revealed during the dynamic measurements. Although the offset bushing will help get you back in spec going straight ahead your toe out on turns will not be correct.
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Offline psyguy23

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 02:53:35 AM »
Vilezambonie thanks for the reply. I went back through the paperwork - memory served me wrong. The caster was off 4.2*-5* - still very off before I found someone (Kevin) that knew how to actually align a car. I posted a copy of the alignment print out before I took the truck to have the sleeves installed and everything dialed in.

I did wonder if somehow the axle tubes or something was bent. I had him measure and look for something that was bent. Did not want to add sleeves to the lower and upper ball joints if the real problem was damaged components. The tech could not find anything that appeared bent or damaged.

... Well I tried posting a photo. My forum skills leave much to be desired. Below is a link to the photo.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4u1zhq4XOfIX18xMU5FTHdrUFk
1983 GMC K1500 4x4 5.7L
Daily Driver, Long Term Project
SMOG is no problem.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 12:15:31 PM »
Your cross caster is good although you're almost 4° negative. Springs changed at all?
Your cross camber is less than 1° which generally will not cause a major pull but more of a drift on some road surfaces.
Your total toe was off which will definitely cause a pull.

It looks like the bushing gave you more caster on the left which would contribute to a right hand pull. Nevertheless I'm not sure if we are looking at before and after from your initial or just from beginning to end of the alignment so it is irrelevant. I will however state the obvious, your SAI is still showing that either the knuckle or spindle is out of whack. 
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              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
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Offline psyguy23

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 06:13:21 PM »
This was a photo of before work was done to bring the truck into alignment   
1983 GMC K1500 4x4 5.7L
Daily Driver, Long Term Project
SMOG is no problem.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 09:05:54 AM »
Did he give you the after measurements?
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              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
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Offline psyguy23

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Re: Fixed: Camber and Caster Adjustment
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 02:51:43 PM »
Interesting - he did not. Normally I'd for something like that for my records. I was probably too excited to get the truck back. He did take the time however to explain what he did to bring the track back into alignment. He installed the sleeves on the upper and lower ball joints. Once installed, and using his alignment machine, he pulled he caster and camber back into alignment, rechecked all, and done. The end result was a straight driving truck and is more more stable on the road.

I hope this post helps someone else that may have strange caster camber issues. There are sleeves that can help if your problem is similar to mine.
1983 GMC K1500 4x4 5.7L
Daily Driver, Long Term Project
SMOG is no problem.