We honestly love reading tech articles just as much as we do writing them. Learning is an important part of hot rodding - after all it was the sharing of what we have learned with each other that has gotten us here today. We were surfing over on the Spohn Performance Blog and found out about a series of tech articles they are putting together on suspension technology. The first one covers suspension alignment settings, and it is a great topic that many don’t understand. If you don’t know what caster is, or how thrust angle effects handling, you need to read this.



We went ahead and included the first part of the article below. While this one might be a little basic for some, look for the next segments to increase in tech. To make sure you get the rest of the series, you can follow their blog here via RSS.



From Spohn Performance Blog:



In our new series of technical articles we will address some of the most common questions our technical support group receives on a regular basis. Please leave your comments below this post with any suggestions you’d like to see us cover in future technical articles. These articles are being written to benefit you, so your input is greatly appreciated. Remember that you can always find our technical resources in the future very easily through our searchable online FAQ/Knowledgebase located at http://www.spohn.net/support.



Tech Article: Suspension Alignment Settings Explained



Camber:







Camber is the tilting of the wheels from the vertical when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When the wheels tilt outward at the top, the caster is positive (+). When the wheels tilt inward at the top, the camber is negative (-). The amount of tilt is measured in degrees from the vertical. Camber settings influence the directional control and the tire wear.



Too much positive camber will result in premature wear on the outside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts. Too much negative camber will result in premature wear on the inside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.



Unequal side-to-side camber of 1 degree or more will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the most positive camber.



Caster:







Caster is the tilting of the uppermost point of the steering axis either forward or backward, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. A backward tilt is positive (+) and a forward tilt is negative (-). Caster influences directional control of the steering but does not affect the tire wear. Caster is affected by the vehicle height, therefore it is important to keep the body at its designed height, or correct the caster setting when altering the vehicle’s height. Overloading a vehicle or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster. When the rear of the vehicle is lower than it’s factory ride height, the front suspension moves to a more positive caster. If the rear of the vehicle is higher than it’s factory ride height, the front suspension moves to a less positive caster.



With too little positive caster, steering may be touchy at high speed and wheel returnability may be diminished when coming out of a turn. If one wheel has more positive caster than the other, that wheel will pull toward the center of the vehicle. This condition will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the least amount of positive caster.



Lead / Pull:



At a constant highway speed on a typical straight road, lead/pull is the amount of effort required at the steering wheel to maintain the vehicle’s straight path. Vehicles will tend to lead/pull in the direction of the road slope as part of normal operation. Lead/pull is usually caused by the following factors...




To read the rest of the article, visit the Spohn Blog.

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