When you adjust the caster, what are you supposed to be bending?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: When you adjust the caster, what are you supposed to be bending?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:18 pm:

So last year, I posted a thread about the caster angle of my 13 and how the steering was really squirrely. When you steer the car to compensate for wander as you are going down the road, it keeps wandering even after you compensated, forcing you to over-compensate. Thanks to the forum members, lots of advice was offered. Looks as though the caster angle is insufficient so I am going to start working on that.

So I've seen the big bars that were used to remedy the lack of angle, but here's my question:

- What exactly am I supposed to bend when adjusting the caster angle?

Are we actually putting the bend into the wishbone near it's attachment point with the perch? It seems to me the only logical explanation...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:26 pm:

James, Check out this past thread.

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/367499.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:29 pm:

With the early style wishbone, here is one easy thing to try before you do any bending.

Remove the wishbone, flip it over and reinstall it. Then measure the caster again. You may find there is major improvement.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Schrope - Upland, IN on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:31 pm:

The wishbone controls the caster as long as there is enough slop in the spring perches.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 03:56 pm:

James,

How well do the wishbone ends fit into the spring perch holes? (Assuming you have the early, high wishbone, that a '13 would have.)

If the the fit between the wishbone ends and the spring perch holes is worn and sloppy, no amount of bending anything will help you. Do you know if your axle is bent? Is the wishbone straight? Before you bend anything, let's first confirm what the condition of the components are.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 05:39 pm:

Guys... thanks for all the information. I don't know anything as of yet. I will pull the wishbone and check all the items that have been mentioned before I bend anything. I'll post what I find. I hope to do this tomorrow or Sunday, providing I don't freeze my keester off...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 05:52 pm:

James -- Did you replace your Pitman arm lately? Your description sounds like a couple of cars I worked on recently on which I replaced the Pitman arm with a new one. There was a bad run of those parts, and the keyway was cut too wide. A good used original Pitman arm solved the problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Saylor, Citrus Heights, Ca on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 06:37 pm:

Before you start bending things, check the caster to see if its off. Use a framing square in front of the axle and on the floor. You can see how much it tilts back should be about 5 1/2 degrees. Also check all the bushings, kingpins, spring shackles, tie rods and pitman arm for play and even wheel bearings and check for loose wheel spokes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 06:58 pm:

John... I do know for a fact that it is less than 5.5 degrees. I measured it with a square some time ago. The tie rod and spindle bolts are good but I don't know about the perches or the bushings. I also am not sure if the wishbone is in upside down. I intend to find these out.

Mike, I put a new steering bracket bushing in last year and checked the pitman arm. It's the old dodge bro's unit so I checked it to make sure it was good. It is. I know for a fact my caster angle is about 3 degrees so I'm thinking that is the problem. But I'm going to make sure it isn't the perches or the wishbone causing the angle to be minimized first. Thanks.. Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 07:16 pm:

There is no upside right or upside down for the early wishbone.

My suggestion is based on personal experience as well as the experience of others. I have half a dozen early wishbones and when you put them on a flat surface, the prongs are typically bent slightly up or down.

I had insufficient caster on my car and I flipped the wishbone over and that cured it.

The caster is in the perches. However, the wishbone keeps the perches in the proper position.

Some of the things that can affect caster:

Twisted/bent axle
Worn perch bushings
Worn spring bushings
Worn shackles
Worn perch sockets (where the wishbone prong resides)
Worn wishbone prongs
Bent wishbone
Worn wishbone ball
Worn ball socket in pan
Bent/twisted spring


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Friday, February 13, 2015 - 07:36 pm:

Erik... That's what I meant by upside down. I am pulling it out to check and make sure someone didn't put it back in with the bend in the wrong direction. Thanks for the other points to check.


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