Removed hub to check bearings and found the axle canted at an angle. Is this normal or do I have other issues?
View from above.
That is the way it should be. That angle sets the caster.
Thanks Dennis, Just found the page in the Service manual (p.45) regarding Alignment of Front Axle and Wheels.
I measured the distance with a square and the passenger side has over 1/2" gap with regards to the upper spindle body bushing. The drivers side has a little over 1/4". Apparently, some twisting of the axle is in order to bring the passenger side back into spec. (1/4" to 5/16").
Bob, if you've had this car and been driving it a while with no noticeable "thing" that sent you to check the caster in the first place, if it were me I'd leave sleeping dogs lay. If the car pulls dramatically,(which caster shouldn't cause) or you have quick tire wear, that's a different thing. Twisting/bending the axle just might open up a new can of worms or make it even worse. My '20 has a bit more caster and not the same on both sides and it seems to run okay. Just my 2 cents.
Tim, Have not driven the car yet as it had slop in the passenger wheel bearing and the camber was opposite from what it should be. Upon removal of the outboard bearing, found it to be a threadless slip on over the threads with excess clearance. Will be ordering the proper threaded wheel bearings. In addition, the inboard bearing race is loose on the spindle with .003" clearance. As you can see, there are multiple issues to be corrected before I feel safe driving it. As you mentioned, the caster difference may not need correction.
Bob, While its not a stock setting for a Model T, someone may have actually done that to compensate for road crown. When aligning a car there's always a little more caster on the passenger side wheel to compensate for road crown. that helps the car to drive straight rather than veer towards the right when cruising down the road.
Kevin is correct. The difference between left and right side caster is known as "caster split" and modern cars have a spec for it. As Kevin stated it is intended to compensate for road crown and avoids the need to constantly tug the steering wheel to the left when going straight.
I have more than Ford spec lean on the passenger side and Ford spec on the driver side - and my car drives just fine up to 50 mph. Above that demands a very smooth road to feel safe, but that's more due to the general limitations of the standard steering and lack of shock absorbers.. So try it out before changing anything
Bob, before you wind a new threaded bearing onto the stub axle, you should try to clean up the threads which will have been damaged by the non threaded bearing being run on the threads. An easy way to do this is to run the hardened nut which goes with the standard set-up all the way down the threads before you fit the wheel and the bearings.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
And to add to Allan's comment, start that nut backwards if you can, meaning the castles first. Poor mans thread die.
I would leave the caster alone. But, I would straighten the tie rod & drag link. Either one, when under compression, may buckle if bent. You want those nice and straight.
Thanks all for the excellent tips. I am going to leave the caster as it is and concentrate on the other issues.
Thanks Jerry for pointing out the bends in the tie rod & drag link. I am new to Model T's and appreciated the help. I want to cover all the bases with the front axle and steering before I take it for a drive.