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Adjust the Crab


Well, I drove the car to work today and see there is a bit more work to do. The rear wheels are parallel, but are pointing slightly to the right - the car is crabbing. I could tell because stable steering had the steering wheel off center to the right.

But we can use one of those cheap laser levels to sight toward the front of the car. Place the level as shown, check the spot and then turn the level upside down and check the new spot. The rear tires actually point toward a point half way between the too spots. This is because the light does not come straight out the level when it is oriented as shown. At the front wheels the two spots are about an inch and a half apart. Yours will be different, but do not assume the light exits parallel with the level.

Now we can move the level to the other side of the car and check again. This confirms that adjusting just the passenger side was a bit optimistic. So, jack up the rear, remove the wheels, cut the passenger adjustment back and add some adjustment to the drivers side. Tighten everything again, drive around the block to get the suspension level and check both the toein and where the wheels are pointing. Close enough. Test drive on the highway and find stable steering has the wheel much closer to centered. We are good to go for one more trial.

And then...

After one more tweek, The wheels are pointing straight ahead according to the laser and the total toein is 1/8 in or about 8 minutes per side.
Last modified: Mon, 20 Jun 2005


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