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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My truck was pulling to the right so I went to get a front wheel alignment after purchasing new tires. The tech hooked the truck up to their Hunter system and noticed the toe was out of spec. He said this is the reason why the truck pulls right. After getting the toe back to spec and completing the alignment, I drove on the freeway and noticed the truck still pulls right, but only half as bad as before the alignment.

I called the shop and talked to the owner who asked what my cross-caster spec was at. I told him that the "before" and "after" spec didn't change at 0.4 degrees. He goes on to tell me that this is the spec that will determine pulling. I asked him, "Doesn't toe affect whether a car pulls?" He said, "No, cross caster will affect pulling."

So, I seem to get differing info. from the tech vs. the owner. One says toe determines if a car pulls to the side, the other says cross caster determines that.

Who is right? And what is cross caster? I know what caster is, but not cross caster?

Thanks for reading!
 

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Cross caster is the caster comparing the sides
/-/ is the same cross caster as \-\ when you really want \-| to cover the tilt of the road.
I think thats right.
toe in will effect pull if one side of the truck is heavier. toe will wear your tires faster.
 

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Cross caster affects alignments more than toe does. You want the cross caster to be less than .8, or it will pull guaranteed. That being said, if it is on the wrong side of zero ( I can't remember off hand if its neg or pos) then it will pull. Basically you want it between 0 and .8. I'd have to see the printout and I could tell you why its pulling. Its also possible you developed a radial pull. Cross rotate teh front tires (side to side) and see if it fixes it.
 

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My truck was pulling to the right so I went to get a front wheel alignment after purchasing new tires. The tech hooked the truck up to their Hunter system and noticed the toe was out of spec. He said this is the reason why the truck pulls right. After getting the toe back to spec and completing the alignment, I drove on the freeway and noticed the truck still pulls right, but only half as bad as before the alignment.

I called the shop and talked to the owner who asked what my cross-caster spec was at. I told him that the "before" and "after" spec didn't change at 0.4 degrees. He goes on to tell me that this is the spec that will determine pulling. I asked him, "Doesn't toe affect whether a car pulls?" He said, "No, cross caster will affect pulling."

So, I seem to get differing info. from the tech vs. the owner. One says toe determines if a car pulls to the side, the other says cross caster determines that.

Who is right? And what is cross caster? I know what caster is, but not cross caster?

Thanks for reading!
Cross caster is the difference between side to side caster settings. More than half a degree will cause a steering pull toward the side with LEAST (negative) caster. Caster on the L/F wheel is sometimes decreased to compensate for high road crown.
 

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Cross caster is the difference between side to side caster settings. More than half a degree will cause a steering pull toward the side with LEAST (negative) caster. Caster on the L/F wheel is sometimes decreased to compensate for high road crown.
^^^
What he said. When I take my truck in for alignments I always tell them to get the cross-caster as close to zero as possible and make the rest as close to stock specs without affecting that. I used to have HORRIBLE pull to the left because the first two alignment techs were idiots. I later learned how to read and understand the alignment specs and how they are adjusted on the truck. Now if only I had my own alignment rack...

Any tech that says it's supposed to pull one way or the other to account for road crown is lazy, plain and simple. On a straight and level piece of road the vehicle should drive straight.

Try rotating the tires to see if you are getting a radial pull from the tires too, and post up all your alignment #s!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I take my truck in for alignments I always tell them to get the cross-caster as close to zero as possible...
The tech told me that my cross caster (which is at 0.4) is the reason for pulling, but he also told me he cannot adjust it without my purchasing a camber kit for the truck.

Is yours a 1st gen Frontier? I ask because you say that you tell them to get the cross-caster as close to zero as possible and I'm wondering how they'd do that if it weren't adjustable to begin with?
 

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The Caster and Camber are adjusted at the same time with the eccentric cams on the upper control arms. It is a compromise. Since mine is lifted my camber is never correct and I always end up with some outside shoulder wear, but the cross-caster is almost dead-nuts so the truck drives straight. There is no such thing as a "camber kit" for your truck. Mine is a 2001, same chassis as yours.

The problem I have found is that there are a lot of "alignment techs" and far fewer people that actually understand how suspension geometry works. This may be a trial-and-error deal for you and you may need to start asking around for another shop.
 

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camber always pushes more than caster does anyway. Yes toe can cause a drift, sometimes on 4 wheel aligned cars(ones with adjustment front and rear) I set the rear toe like a rudder to fix a jacked up front end that wont go straight cause there is not enough adjustment to do what I need it to.
I prefer to comphensate for road crown with camber(slightly more negative on the right over the left)
But as already pointed out, alignments are compromises at best, alot depends on the vehicle, the tires, and the customers expectations of the way THEY want or think the car should drive....and to clarify
Drift= slooowly moves left or right when you let go of the steering wheel
PULL=put on your turn signal cause youre getting ready to do a lane change when you let go of the wheel..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Caster and Camber are adjusted at the same time with the eccentric cams on the upper control arms.
Just so I understand, the alignment shop has told me that only front "toe" is adjustable on the truck, not caster or camber and certainly not anything in the rear. Is this incorrect information?
 

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No The Front Upper Control Arm Has Eccentrics In It To Adjust Caster And Camber. Tell Them To Scroll Through The Alignment Machine On "how To Adjust 2000 Model Frontier" It Shows Where And How.. Better Yet Why Dont You Go Get A Refund And Go Somewhere That "knows" How To Do An Alignment Instead Of Feeding You Bs
 

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Better Yet Why Dont You Go Get A Refund And Go Somewhere That "knows" How To Do An Alignment Instead Of Feeding You Bs
+1, they are feeding you some shyte. If they don't know that it even can be done i'm betting they dont know how to do it properly. Find somewhere else to go. Ask around

oh and no the back is not adjustable but it should never be off. Its a totally different set up from the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I called my local dealership and had the service advisor ask his mechanic what front-end adjustments are do-able on this truck. The mechanic said that while camber is adjustable, it can be a pain because you have to lift the truck, set it down, lift the truck, set it down, etc. before you achieve the desired settings. Is this true?

So, the mechanic did validate that more than "toe" is adjustable on the front end. However, the dealership wants $120 for it.

Off topic: called two dealerships to get quotes on timing belt change and was told $630 and $1,200. I'm surprised at such the $ gap between quotes!
 

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see thats why they said toe only, its not easy, but its an avg. some easy some hard, some do a couple times to get right, others always right first time. On your quotes, if an advisor calls me on my cell and asks for times I shoot from memory, I dont stop what im doing to look it up. That would kill me with how many times I get called. So I might not be in the ball park and dont always worry about it cause alot of times its a independant shop calling to see what they should charge,. But if you come in I get exact. Also alldata.com is what I use to see what a job pays time wise. So look it up, multiply by $/hr and parts and that your cost
 

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+1, they are feeding you some shyte. If they don't know that it even can be done i'm betting they dont know how to do it properly. Find somewhere else to go. Ask around

oh and no the back is not adjustable but it should never be off. Its a totally different set up from the front.
if the back needs adjustment, you probably need to visit a body shop with a frame jig.

Well, I called my local dealership and had the service advisor ask his mechanic what front-end adjustments are do-able on this truck. The mechanic said that while camber is adjustable, it can be a pain because you have to lift the truck, set it down, lift the truck, set it down, etc. before you achieve the desired settings. Is this true?

So, the mechanic did validate that more than "toe" is adjustable on the front end. However, the dealership wants $120 for it.

Off topic: called two dealerships to get quotes on timing belt change and was told $630 and $1,200. I'm surprised at such the $ gap between quotes!
I almost made a mechanic cry once.
I had a lowered 1971 Chevy truck. It was parked out of sight when I asked about an alignment. Something like $20 or something like that.
I pulled in the bay and he realized it was lowered using just 3" drop springs. Poor guy worked on it two hours with me standing there watching. He honored the price he quoted and got it in spec, but he was frustrated.
 

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There is no such thing as a "camber kit" for your truck. Mine is a 2001, same chassis as yours.
That statement isn't exactly 100% true. The bolts that hold the upper control arms are often referred to as a "Camber bolt kit" or "Camber alignment kit". I've just dealt with this, although those may not be technical terms, they are what they are, camber/caster/whatever alignment bolts. You can buy them from a local dealer if you're in a rush to get them. Or you can email or call AC (4x4parts.com) and they can get you a complete kit if you don't know what you need. They don't list this online, but you can contact them and they know exactly what you are talking about.
 

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if the back needs adjustment, you probably need to visit a body shop with a frame jig.
.
Not really, you can loosen the spring pearches on the alignment rack, and using a pry bar. Pry forward/back as need to shift the axle housing on the mounts slightly. Useally this is enough to correct a slight dog tracker. If not there are offset spring pin mounts available depending on setup. You can also elongate the mount to accomplish the same, but a offset is better since it wont move like alongated could.
 
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