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Thread: Changing solid axle camber w/o bending
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Dorsey's Avatar
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    Changing solid axle camber w/o bending

     



    I have a camber problem with my round tube solid front axle, evidenced by chronic wear on the outside tread of the front tires. Toe-in is less than 1/4", and caster is 6 degrees. A friend of mine with 20 years of experience building all manner of cars, and with a repair shop that still has a Bear alignment tool for adjusting solid axles offered to bend the axle into alignment. That is, until I mentioned that the axle is chromed. He then suggested that there might be an alternative of some sort, but I can't find such a thing, even at Speedway Motors. Frankly, I can't imagine what kind of shims or adjuster can alter the kingpin angle.

    Unless someone knows of an alternative to either bending or replacing the axle, please let me know before Spring 2010. I need another set of tires now and don't want to prematurely wear out the 2nd set in 15,000 miles because of a bad axle.
    Dorsey

  2. #2
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    maybe you have the wrong spindles---I know ther are some different angle spindles that the sprint car guys use--maybe off an IHC or something---how much camber do you have noe and why are you using 1/4 in toe???

    If it isn't mixed up spindles, I'd replace the axle or bend and rechrome it if necessary

  3. #3
    Dorsey's Avatar
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    I don't recall the actual toe-in, but I believe that it is less than 1/4". I know the camber because I had to modify the front cross-member to get it.

    This tire wear pattern has been chronic since 1992 when I bought the car, which originally had zero toe-in and 10 degrees caster. You can imagine how that drove! Since then, I did what the alignment shops call a "thrust alignment" after upgrading the rear suspension to triangulated link and coil-overs, and even with the bad camber, the car handles well and goes straight as an arrow.
    Dorsey

  4. #4
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    I have heard the old saying "wear on inside edge, camber is off,
    wear on outside edge, toe is off"

    Thinking thru this, if the camber is off to move the loading to the outside of the tire, you should be able to measure the amount of positive camber....

    Have you tried changing the toe? If you move the toe in closer to zero, you should feel the difference in the steering...

    mike in tucson

  5. #5
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    with that much caster I'm sure it would go straight---probably take quite a bit to turn it which could cause your tire wear---how much camber does it have????by any chance does the rear have a spool???

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    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    I've corrected a few camber issues by making some offset spindle bushings... Kind of a bear to get things correct, though. Also seen some of the old spindles that have been reworked using an offset grind where the actual spindle goes into the spindle casting.... Neither method is cheap or easy, however.... Knowing the actual camber figure off the alignment rack would help coming up with a reasonable solution...
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
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  7. #7
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    we not only need to have the camber numbers but the wheel offset fiqures as well

  8. #8
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    Something like offset spindle bushings would work, but a simpler solution would be to alter the toe-in. When the weather breaks in the spring or if we get a nice day in January (as if), I'll take the car to my friend's shop and let him apply the Bear equipment to take some accurate readings. If the only solution is to bend the axle, I'll probably just go that way and live with the damage. I have zero interest in replacing the axle at this time, but that could change if the damage is severe.
    Dorsey

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    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    Dorsey

    don't get all down all winter because you might have to bend the axle----unless the wheels are really cocked in at the top it won't take much bending to straighten

    and the chrome is going to just all fall off---besides if it did, it is a poor chrome job

    your friend is probably just prepareing you for the worst, however a properly setup and aligned set of wheels will make your car a more pleasent driver

    you can always use the toy dog and a ice cube setting by the front wheel to draw peoples attenion at shows and at speed no one will be able to see it

  10. #10
    Dorsey's Avatar
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    There are plenty of scrapes on the axle already due to speed bumps and rocky roads, but those were all accidental (and on the bottom) and I try to avoid purposely damaging the car any more than 26 years on the road has already done.

    I don't go to the shows because the ones in NJ are crappy. Actually, the shows are good, it's the people that are crappy. I'll start another thread if anyone wants details on that, or you can search back issues of R&C for my letter to the editor. What I really like are the reactions the car gets at the supermarket or hardware store, and have had people take pictures of the car - got to love cell phone cameras. I also like to let well-behaved kids sit in the car because I know from personal experience that they'll remember that for the rest of their lives.
    Dorsey

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    Yep I knew what you mean by letting kids set in cars---recently I showed some one how to do a search for my old cars and a bio showed up from someone who I let set in car at the races when he was 3 yrs old--don't know what it is that hes doing now but he mentioned that early trip to the drags and sitting in the car

  12. #12
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    Can I throw out a long shot? If there is inclination (camber) built into the spindles and some spindles can be installed upside down...then the upside down installation would create a situation where the outside edge of the tire is taking the bulk of the load. Installing spindles upside down can occur when the steering arm is a bolt on model (not one piece with the spindle). I have put spindles on upside down (beer made me do it) but caught the error.

    Maybe??

    mike in tucson
    Last edited by robot; 12-18-2009 at 02:21 PM.

  13. #13
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    that is a very good/bad possibility

    and sometimes side to side reversal

  14. #14
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    if you use a off set bushing your going to have to spot face the spindles were the thurst bearing sit s to the new angle ?????
    Irish Diplomacy ..the ability to tell someone to go to Hell ,,So that they will look forward to to the trip

  15. #15
    R Pope is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    If the camber is out enough to wear the tires that fast, it must be visibly obvious. Like a tractor front end! Some of them have the tires 2" out of vertical, with no wear issues. How wide are your front tires? Some pics would help.

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