Sorting Wheel Alignment for Lifted Trucks
Your wheel alignment is one of the most important parts of your truck maintenance. This is especially true when you've had your truck lifted or upgraded your suspension. Without the right truck alignment, you accelerate tire wear and can negatively impact your driving experience. Instead of wasting time and money, learn how your wheel alignment impacts your truck.
Planning to have your truck lifted soon? Check out our guide on wheel alignment for your truck, and get it done right.
What goes into my wheel alignment?
Whether you have truck alignment problems, or you've recently raised your truck the alignment in your vehicle is extremely important. However, what does it mean when your local alignment shop throws around terms like camber, caster, and toe? Learn how to raise your truck properly and prepare for a wheel alignment ahead of time.
Wondering just what these truck alignment terms mean? Read below for more information.
Camber - Easily one of the most used terms when it comes to wheel alignment. If you are considering raising your truck, this term is very important. When you go to raise or lower your truck, the static camber will change. Lowering your truck will cause negative camber, while raising your truck will cause positive camber.
When looking at the front of your truck, and the angle of your tires they should be completely straight. This ensures positive tracking, good contact patch and maximum tire life.
When the top of your tire is leaning inward towards the cab, and the lower part of your tire is bowed outwards, this is negative camber.
Toe - Often confused with caster, the toe of your wheel alignment can cause serious driving issues. When you hear the term "toe in" from your alignment tech, this means that the tires on the front of your truck are pointed inwards, or towards one another.
Many owners think that their truck tires point forward in a perfect parallel. What many people don't know, is that in fact your truck has a slight toe-in. This is done on purpose from the manufacturer to ensure that your truck tracks in a straight line.
Most toe specs for a full-size pickup truck is in the range of 0.10 inches with an acceptable tolerance of +/- 0.20 inches.
Many experts will say that the toe is the most critical part of an alignment for a highway driven vehicle, and adjustments are easily made on any vehicle using the tie rod ends.
Caster - Imagine a line that's drawn through the top of your tire, and the bottom. This imaginary line will help you understand what caster is, and what it means to your vehicle. The true way to measure caster in your wheel alignment is to measure the angle of your upper and lower ball joints.
Most vehicles on the road have a spec between 3- and 8-degrees of positive caster. When you go around a corner and let go of the wheel, you’ll notice the steering wants to return to center on its own; this is caused by a positive caster angle.
The higher the positive caster setting, the force required to steer will be greater. Either way, you will want the best truck alignment after raising or lowering your vehicle.
Have questions about your wheel alignment? Wondering how you can raise your truck the right way? Drop us a line at (385) 202-7360 or subscribe to Wasatch Diesel Performance today.