AfterMarketNews Auto Care Pro AutoCareCareerHub Auto-Video.com Brake&Frontend BodyShopBusiness Counterman EngineBuilder Fleet Equipment ImportCar Motorcycle & Powersports News Servicio Automotriz Shop Owner Tire Review Tech Shop Tomorrow's Tech Underhood Service Speedville

A/C Oil Service: Avoid Compressor Failure With Proper Maintenance

HVAC systems often fail because the air conditioning compressor fails. Not following the proper service procedures or compressor oil recommendations could be factors that contribute to premature compressor failure. Refrigerant Since the mid-‘90s,...

Read more...

How Ford's New Grille Shutters Control Airflow

Some new Ford vehicles feature active grille shutters — a new system that optimizes aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment. If air is required to cool the engine, the vents...

Read more...

How Engine Coolant Temperature Sensors Influence The Modern Powertrain

  Considering that roughly 1,500 or more ­different vehicle models are introduced into our domestic market each year, it’s becoming more difficult to predict how a powertrain control module (PCM) will utilize data from a particular sensor or...

Read more...

Work Smarter With Procedures, Measurement And Accountability

You’re working harder and faster today to stay ahead of the competition and boost profitability in a challenging business environment. You’re providing the highest quality repairs and top-notch customer service so that your shop’s car count...

Read more...

Are You Ready For Some Auto Repair?

A game is being played every day that doesn’t have many fans filling the bleachers. It’s a battle between man and machine. Yes, on playing fields across the country — whether it be one-bay garages, 12-bay shops or maybe just some far-off...

Read more...

Radiator Specialty Shop Hits 100 Years In The Business

One hundred years is a long time for anything. Think of all the innovations and changes to society in the past 100 years – heck, the past 10 years. That’s what’s great about this feature on the Radiator Hospital in Detroit. This small, independent...

Read more...

Nissan Maxima Brake Job Tips

Called the four-door sports car by Nissan, the 2004-2008 Maxima brake system is easy to service with very few complaints of brake noise or pulsation. The system used the same brake pads, rotors and calipers on all models. There were some changes in...

Read more...

Get Inside the Mind of a Modern Transmission

The transmission game has changed. Solenoids, sensors and computers have replaced vacuum lines, governors and kick down cables on modern automatic transmissions. The tools have also changed: Scan tools, scopes and meters have replaced pressure and...

Read more...

Saturn: Hesitation Between 35-50 mph

Condition Some customers may comment on a flat spot or hesitation between 35-50 mph (56-80 km/h) speed range. Cause The existing transmission calibration is programmed to maximize fuel economy and requires a greater throttle input than some customers...

Read more...

Midtronics Launches Informational Microsite

  Midtronics, Inc. has launched an informational microsite — or mini website — to provide customers with detailed information about the company’s newest diagnostic platform — the DSS-7000 Battery Service Diagnostic System. The microsite...

Read more...

German Tool Specialist KC Tool Announces Addition of Gedore Tools

As of August 1 KC Tool became the first certified reseller of Gedore Tools in the United States already adding more than 2,500 Gedore tools to its selection of German made tools. KC Tool plans to add an additional 6,000 Gedore Tools over the next few...

Read more...

United Stationers Expands Into Auto Aftermarket

United Stationers announced Sept. 11 that its wholly owned subsidiary, United Stationers Supply Co., signed an agreement to acquire MEDCO, a U.S. wholesaler of automotive aftermarket tools and supplies, and its affiliates including G2S Equipment de Fabrication...

Read more...

Home European When To Replace Steering Knuckles and Arms

Print Print Email Email

ight passenger side because the right wheel is more apt to hit a curb than the left wheel.

CAMBER CLUES
Tire wear can also be affected by camber. Excessive camber loads one side of the tread more heavily than the other, resulting in uneven wear. Camber wear typically produces uneven wear on one side of the tire tread. If the inside of the tread is worn off, the wheel has too much negative camber. A worn outer tread indicates too much positive camber.

Camber can also affect directional stability. A vehicle will lead toward the side with the most camber. So always compare camber readings on both sides. More than half a degree difference can cause a steering pull.

If camber is off on one side only, a close encounter with a pothole or curb may have bent a spindle, control arm or strut. A shift in the position of a strut tower can cause the same thing. A shift in the position of a crossmember, on the other hand, will usually change camber on both sides. In MacPherson strut suspensions, the position of the upper strut tower is critical. Too far in and the wheel will have too much negative camber. Too far out and it will have too much positive camber. A bent strut or spindle can affect camber as can a bent control arm, a mislocated crossmember or an off-center engine cradle in a FWD car.

One way to identify hidden damage that may be affecting camber is to do a “jounce/rebound camber check.” Raise the suspension four inches and read camber on both sides. Then compress the suspension four inches and read the camber angles for both wheels again.

Different side-to-side camber readings with a jounce/rebound camber check usually indicates a bent strut that needs to be replaced or straightened. If the readings are the same, a check of the “steering axis inclination” (SAI) angle side-to-side should also be made.

SAI, THE DIAGNOSTIC ANGLE
SAI is a “built-in” angle that can help you detect all kinds of hidden damage. SAI is the angle of the steering axis and runs from the center of the upper ball joints or strut towers through the center of the lower ball joints. SAI should always be the same on both sides. A difference of more than a degree usually indicates a mispositioned strut tower, bent spindle or control arm.

It’s important to always check SAI even if no specs are provided because unequal SAI side-to-side (even if camber is within specs) can contribute to torque steer, brake pull during sudden stops and even bump steer. You can zero in on the hidden damage (a bent or mislocated strut, bent control arm and/or bent spindle) by comparing the SAI angle, camber reading and “included angle” (the angle between camber and SAI). See the above SAI diagnosis chart.

Here’s another way to check for strut problems. Loosen the two camber adjustment cam bolts on the strut (if provided), push the steering knuckles in as far as they’ll go toward negative camber and measure the distance between the strut and brake rotor on both sides. Then compare readings. If both distances are the same, you can rule out misalignment at the bottom end of the strut or a bent spindle. If they’re different, one of the struts is bent.

Bending a strut to “realign” the front end is no answer because you shouldn’t fix one problem by creating another. Bending a strut may bring camber back into range ‹ assuming the wheel isn’t off more than one and a half degrees (which is the maximum limit for bending any strut). But bending a perfectly good strut to compensate for misalignment elsewhere is going to create unequal camber changes side-to-side during jounce and rebound, which may create a bump-steer condition. There is also a risk of weakening the strut, which may lead to strut failure later.

To check for a bent strut shaft, loosen the large shaft nut at the top of each strut and rotate the shaft 360° while keeping an eye on the camber reading. If the shaft is bent, the top of the wheel will wobble in and out, and the camber reading will change as the shaft turns. No change in the camber reading means there’s nothing wrong with the strut. A strut with a bent shaft must be replaced. There’s no way to safely straighten this kind of damage because attempting to bend a hardened shaft will likely crack it.

The following two tabs change content below.
Latest articles from our other sites:

A/C Oil Service: Avoid Compressor Failure With Proper Maintenance

HVAC systems often fail because the air conditioning compressor fails. Not following the proper service procedures or compressor oil recommendations could be factors that contribute to premature compressor...More

How Ford's New Grille Shutters Control Airflow

Some new Ford vehicles feature active grille shutters — a new system that optimizes aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment. If...More

Audi sees boost in U.S. sales during first eight months of 2014

The Volkswagen Group saw another jump in deliveries in August – 2.7 percent increase year over year – with sales topping 740,500. From the start of the year through January, deliveries are up 5.6 percent...More

Federated Free Fuel Fridays For Fall

Federated Free Fuel Fridays has returned this fall. Each Friday through Oct. 24, Federated will announce four winners of free gas cards on its Federated Auto Parts and Federated Car Care Facebook pages. The...More

Nissan Maxima Brake Job Tips

Called the four-door sports car by Nissan, the 2004-2008 Maxima brake system is easy to service with very few complaints of brake noise or pulsation. The system used the same brake pads, rotors and...More

Get Inside the Mind of a Modern Transmission

The transmission game has changed. Solenoids, sensors and computers have replaced vacuum lines, governors and kick down cables on modern automatic transmissions. The tools have also changed: Scan tools,...More

ACDelco Impact Wrench Offers Five Preset Torque Settings

The ACDelco ETC (Electronic Torque Control) ARI2044B 3/8” Angle Impact Wrench with Digital Clutch is designed with a compact size of 2-3/8” for engine or tight space applications. With five preset...More

Say Goodbye To Tangled Air Hoses with RoboReel

Great Stuff Inc announces its newest arrival: The RoboReel Air Hose Reel. Say goodbye to tangled air hoses and a messy, unsafe workspace. The RoboReel Air Hose Reel features smart microprocessor technology,...More