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Old 06-06-2009, 11:04 AM
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model A caster question

We'd like more caster in our hot rod, but I've adjusted the 4 bars till the spring is in a bind. A buddy mentioned a spring mount with a swivel in it? Or, he had heard you could bend the mount to tilt the axel and keep the spring end level?
Any recommendations on the two methods?
What is the mount called? I've come up blank looking for them.
Thanks guys.

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Old 06-07-2009, 07:55 AM
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A setting in the 5-7 degree range should work best for a street driven vehicle.

The adjustable spring hangers you were told about can be found at this LINK. I have posted a picture of them below as well. Left click on the picture for a larger view.

I do not recommend heating and bending because if that is done incorrectly, the forging will have cracks in it and be unsafe.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:49 AM
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Of course it depends what that car is going to be doing most of, highway or driving around town. If you plan on swinging it around corners 7 (or even 5) is going to be a bit much. If you want a roll down the highway without drifting that would be fine.

Brian
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:47 AM
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model A caster

Thanks for the link.
I'm leaning towards the adjustable. As brian pointed out, I may change my mind about how much I want, after I try it.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Of course it depends what that car is going to be doing most of, highway or driving around town. If you plan on swinging it around corners 7 (or even 5) is going to be a bit much. If you want a roll down the highway without drifting that would be fine.

Brian
I am curious as to how you came to the conclusion you posted above?

With the Model 'A' frame level, the stock front crossmember is installed at a 5 degree angle so that the spring will not bind in the crossmember and yields a caster angle of 5 degrees. When building a Hot Rod many folks opt to run a dropped axle and often will also run "Big & Little" tires. Both of these mods will cause the front of the frame to be lower than the rear on level ground. This also causes the caster angle to be less than the factory built in 5 degrees. In order to get back to the correct factory caster angle the front axle must be tilted. This is usually done by adjusting the clevis or other attachment devises on the upper and lower rods of hairpins or four bar setups. For split radius rods the rear most mounting point is often lowered to change the caster angle.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:27 PM
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Honestly, I didn't know that a Model A had 5 degrees caster stock, that is a ton by "todays standards". I should have kept my mouth shut as that is what I have experiance with, later model cars alignment.

Having it adjustable does sound like the best way to go though.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:56 PM
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caster

Thanks for the info. I'm with Brian... most 30', 40's and even early 50's cars I've had came with negative caster. I didn't think +3 degrees was used until power steering was prevalent. This is my first model A. It has about 2 degrees, and to me just feels like it needs more. I'm definetly going to change it.
Which brings me to my 54 ford, straight axel pickup. I have 4 degree shims in the front axel, but with the rake, it too is about 2 degrees. Know where I can get bigger shims?
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:00 PM
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I haven't done a Model A in years but yes, for goodness sakes the stock model A crossmember is flat, it had zero caster as far as the crossmember. The axle had a tad as it mounted to the wishbone.

Then when the TCI aftermarket frames came out they mounted the crossmember with a few degrees, ahhhh, I remember now.

When the car is lowered in the front you do need to roll the axle back to give it the proper caster.

Brian
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:44 PM
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model A caster

Bought the adjustable perches and installed them. The threads on the 4 bars limit how far I could/would go. (about 1 1/4 inch of thread in the bar, 3/4 in. exposed). Got it to +4 degrees. Handling is still very manageable, but the tracking is much improved. No more white knuckle driving. I recommend the adjustable perches - money well spent.
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