New Member, Need some help!

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by azchevy, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. azchevy

    azchevy New Member

    I need some help, I got some new tires since old ones were done. Im flat broke and need an alignment, its gonna have to wait. But I can visually see my camber is off. I know the adjustment is the cams on the upper control arms. But I need to know which is camber and which is caster...I just need to get the camber roughly dialed in to avoid ruining my new kumhos. Thanks! and advice is greatly appreciated.

    tires are 285/75/16 the cams/bolts on the upper arms are all about in the middle, wondering if this is correct. Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  2. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the club AZ. Both the front & rear cams will affect both camber & caster. Positive caster (or king pin inclination) is the amount that the top ball joint, or top of the king pin is to the rear of the bottom one. If you pull one of your wheels & look at them from the side you will be able to see that the top one is more to the rear than the bottom one. The factory "builds" a lot of positive caster into vehicles (by where they place/weld the A arm attachment points) because this makes them track better.
    Since your cams are all near the middle, you should be able to adjust your camber without changing the caster as long as you use all 4 of your cams to adjust your camber & use them equally.
    You will need an absolutely flat garage floor to do this. Not out in the driveway or in the parking lot because it will be too uneven.
    Air up all your tires to the same exact pressure. Make sure your tires are pointing straight ahead. Get a torpedo level & put it on a straight edge of your wheel & see where the bubble is. A level will be a lot truer than your eye.
    I don't know if you want to adjust your camber to factory specs or if you want 0 degrees straight up, but for saving your tires, (& untill getting a factory alignment) I would recommend 0 because it's easier than trying to figure out what % of 360 degrees your bubble length is. Move both cams equally untill you get your bubble in the middle. This will take a few tries unless you have a helper to hold the level while you adjust the cams. When you have the bubble in the middle, tighten the cam nuts & do the other side.
    Setting the toe is easy & straight foreward but labor intensive. Recheck your steering wheel for straight foreward. Make a mark on the fronts & rears of both tires measuring up from the floor half the diameter of your tire diameter. 32" tires = 16" This is the height that you will be making your toe measurement from side to side. If there is interference that keeps you from running the tape straight across & level in either the front or back (exhaust pipes, frame etc) you will have to move your marks down an inch or so. This won't hurt the accuracy as long as you make all 4 marks the same exact height. Take a measurement front & rear from the exact same spot on the tires. You should have a helper who can follow directions so he can/will hold the other end of the tape exactly in the same spot every time you check the toe measurement. Write these measurements down. The measurement across the backs of the tires should be greater than the front measurement. This would mean you have toe in & it would equal the amount of difference. I would go with GMs recommendation on this. I don't know what your year, make, or model is so look it up or call GM & find out. I'm sure it's not going to be right, (it never is after a camber adjustment) so loosen both tie rods & adjust them equally untill you get the correct amount of toe in.

    If you have to jack up your truck anytime during the alignment for access to loosen the tie rods etc. you will have to roll your truck back about 8-10 feet & then back foreward to release the tire friction, because whenever you jack it up it allows the suspension to change/hang & it automatically goes positive camber & when you let it back down the tires are not free to slide sideways back to normal rest position. Rolling your vehicle back & forth will relieve this.
  3. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the club.
  4. Vincennes02261897

    Vincennes02261897 Rockstar 4 Years 1000 Posts

    Excellent post, Stephan!

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