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Old 10-24-2007, 11:51 AM
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caster camber toe in -how to adjust?

I have a 55 chevy truck , second series. I just boned up at Wiki what caster and camber really means. On a straight axle how are caster, camber and toe in changed? Shimming? I assume many of you do this yourself? or does it require special equipment?

TX

K

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Old 10-24-2007, 12:06 PM
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On beam axles to adjust camber the axle is bent. Caster is adjusted on semi elliptical springs by the use a shim between the axle and the springs. Toe in is adjusted by lengthening or shortening the tie rod.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:11 PM
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thank you Brew...Kind of sounds like camber really never gets adjusted.
Unless the front end gets creamed it's not likely to change is it? Also could the ave front end alaignment place handle doing that?

Keith
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:05 PM
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re: caster camber toe in -how to adjust

camber gets adjusted all the time. Many of them weren't right from the factory. No, I doubt your "average" shop could do it. Look for a truck shop. They bend those monster straight axels on the 18 wheelers.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
Kind of sounds like camber really never gets adjusted.

Keith
Actually, the camber changes as the kingpin bushings wear out,
so the first order of business is to replace them, then get the
camber corrected, then get the caster corrected. My '63 F100 now
goes straight down the road after doing all this stuff. It tracks
better than my XR4Ti...

K
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:04 PM
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When you get those axles bent find someone with the proper hydraulic equipment and don't let anyone heat that axle with a torch.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy829
camber gets adjusted all the time. Many of them weren't right from the factory. No, I doubt your "average" shop could do it. Look for a truck shop. They bend those monster straight axels on the 18 wheelers.
Yes, you will have to find a shop with the correct equipment like a truck shop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bates_k
Actually, the camber changes as the kingpin bushings wear out,
so the first order of business is to replace them, then get the
camber corrected, then get the caster corrected. My '63 F100 now
goes straight down the road after doing all this stuff. It tracks
better than my XR4Ti...

K
Replacing the king pins and bushings is always a good idea when you build a front suspension.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
When you get those axles bent find someone with the proper hydraulic equipment and don't let anyone heat that axle with a torch.
Heat is a no no when bending axles unless you allow them to cool slowly.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
Heat is a no no when bending axles unless you allow them to cool slowly.

Heat is ALWAYS a no-no! NEVER heat and I-beam axle! Most of those things are a malleable iron casting and if you heat it anywhere near hot enough to bend it the structure changes in the iron itself and it will become weak and brittle in the heated area. Malleable iron casting are almost as strong as steel until you heat them then they are changed into common Grey iron and cooling them slowly will not help this at all, once heated that hot they are for all practical purposes scrap. Even a steel casting could be weakened from heating and maintaining the structural integrity is a fairly complicated procedure that can not be duplicated by simply letting it cool slowly. NEVER allow anyone to heat an axle on your truck!

Last edited by oldred; 10-25-2007 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:33 PM
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caster, camber,tie in - how to adjust

oldred, I have learned a lot from your postings in the past. I'd like to hear your slant on running an old Mor drop axle since these were heated to reshape them. If this is hijacking a thread, i'm sorry. It's not my intension.

Youngster
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:30 PM
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Not sure about that axle and a steel axle could be heated and bent but depending on the temper it may be weakened somewhat, whether or not enough to cause a problem would just be a guess. I remember a little incident in KY some years back where an alignment shop got in a lot of hot water when a guy sued them over his Ford truck I-beam and then about everyone else that had been to that shop jumped on the wagon and made him pay for damages. The guy who sued did so after the axle broke where it had been heated but that is the only one I have heard about breaking, the others just had problems maintaining alignment. The words "do not weld or heat" are cast right into the Ford axle in plain sight but people still do it anyway. What it is made of means everything and as I said already a Malleable iron axle would be ruined by simply heating it because of the structural changes that would occur (this is why malleable iron can not be welded even though it may SEEM to weld just fine), a steel axle would fare much better but it is still a really bad idea especially when the means to do it right are readily available.

Just a note on identifying malleable iron from steel, use a grinder and identify from the sparks because some high quality malleable iron castings will cut pretty good with a torch and if you just nick it a little in an attempt to tell if it is steel it could be misidentified and I have seen this happen.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:37 PM
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Got to thinking about those Ford I beams (been under the weather the last couple of weeks and I guess I have too much time on my hands. ) and I called a buddy of mine who is into trucks and off roading. He said they are forged steel and not malleable iron and in fact he did not know of any malleable iron beams being used on highway vehicles. So I guess malleable iron would not be a problem however heating a tempered forged steel axle is still a big no-no, so we have the warning cast into the Ford axle.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:01 PM
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caster, camber,tie in - how to adjust

Thanks for your input. I've often wondered about the process of dropping an axle. When asked about welding on one, I always advise against it. But the strange thing is I've been heating and bending Ford spindles for years.Anyway thanks again for the info.

Youngster
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:12 PM
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Youngster, I guess I went a bit overboard with all that info on the Malleable iron axles (very common on off road equipment) and I truly thought that most I beam axles used on vehicles were malleable iron so when I talked to my buddy and found out otherwise I thought a correction was needed. Those spindles are steel and they are bent all the time but there would be some loss of strength, enough to matter? Apparently not.
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