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Toe-In

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by CruisinGA, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    I like to flat tow my 40, I recently lifted it, and I am going to 12.5" wide tires. All three of these necessitate additional toe-in. How do I do it? PS: Does it matter than when the PO did the undercoating, he included TR's and TRE's in his definition of undercoating? :-\
    Thanks guys.
     
  2. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    CrusinGA,

    Good news - this is an easy adjustment. You loosen the hold-down clamps on either end of the tie-rod, and twist it to adj toe-in. One end of the tie-rod has reverse threads - this way as the tie-rod is turned both wheels either move in or out (depending on which way you turn the tie-rod). It turns stiff - I use a pipe wrench.

    Measuring is easy too - I just use a tape measure on the front and back of the tires. Front should be shorter than the back. Ideal is to jack up the truck, and measure multiple times, turning the tire. This will compensate for variations in the tire.

    I have a friend who uses thumbtacks in the tire, and he compares the width between tires when the tacks are in front to when they are in the back. I'll give this a shot next time I do it.

    Bad news is that larger tires and a lift make the factory spec less useful. I think you need more toe-in as you go with a bigger tire and a lift (I did). Since this is such an easy adjustment, I suggest that you experiment to find the optimum for your rig/setup. You can tell if you don't have enough toe-in as the truck will not track well (assuming that all tie-rod ends are good, wheel bearings are well adjusted, etc.) Try setting it for 0 toe-in so you can get a feel for what this is like. You won't need to drive far! Too much toe-in does not improve tracking, but does cause excellerated wear on the tires - and perhaps reduced milage (but would we really notice on a cruiser!?) I ended up at 1/4" toe-in. This is on an fj60 with 3" lift and 31 tires. 3/8" toe-in was causing scalloping of the tires around the outside.

    HTH.

    Doug Graham
    1987 fj60, 265,000 miles
     
  3. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    Great!
    Only problem is that my tie rods and clamps and all that jazz are undercoated :-\ so I guess I'll chip it off first. Thanks a ton, hopefully I'll be back to flat towing and no more annoying 3 hour drives w/o AC, PS or radio. :D
     
  4. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    My '74 FJ40 likes a little over 1/8" with SOA and 35s. Any less and she wanders, any more and she scrubs.
     
  5. 73lndcrsr

    73lndcrsr SILVER Star

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    I adjusted the toe in (3/16") on mine when I was flat towing and still had issues. I am sure mine were from the caster being way off. 2.5" longer shackles without shims on the springs.
     
  6. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    Would my caster be off? I have stock length shackles but 4" lift springs. What exactly is caster?
     
  7. 73lndcrsr

    73lndcrsr SILVER Star

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    I think as long as you have stock length shackles you will have stock caster. As I understand it, caster is the angle of the steering knuckle in relation to the ground?. I think stock is about 1.5 deg. I know that with jeeps you have to have about 5deg to make them stop wandering.
     
  8. theo

    theo

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    [quote author=CruisinGA link=board=1;threadid=4552;start=msg34772#msg34772 date=1061819471]
    Would my caster be off? I have stock length shackles but 4" lift springs. What exactly is caster?
    [/quote]

    Cruisen, try this site for the basics:
    http://www.tpub.com/basae/238.htm

    In a nutshell, caster tilts your steering knuckles forward or backward (negative or positive) so as you turn the wheel the whole front of the vehicle moves upwards a fraction. As the front end tries to settle back to the lowest point (gravity) the wheels tend to return to straight ahead.

    I always wondered why I couldn't ride my mountain bike with no hands without a lot of effort. My young Dutch friend that I used to ride with never failed to point out what a fool I looked. Finally figured out that my bike has almost no caster. And I thought it was old age. Pshaw!
     
  9. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    So I guess toe-in it is. I'll reset it and try a flat tow test run.
    BTW-theo, I think you are just old, my mtbike has very little caster and I can still ride it indefinatly with no hands, on and off road. :D :flipoff2:
    Thanks once again!
     
  10. toyotarules

    toyotarules

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    I put a tow bar on the front of my 40 to tow it out to east texas for hunting last year, and it wouldnt tow for sheit. I couldnt go 20 feet without the wheels going one way or the other. I was told that was due to improper caster. I also have 4" arch springs w/ stock shackle length, and 2 degree shims for driveshaft angle. I figured this was pretty close to stock setup but still wouldnt tow around the block. any advice? I have since broke down and just drive the damn thing everywhere.
     
  11. Rice

    Rice SILVER Star

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    A common mistake for installing shims is putting them in backwards. Theos mountain bike description (or "casters" on a dollie) should give the right picture. Lean the top of the steering knuckles back by putting the fat part of the shim forward (i.e. pumpkin down) unless you have a SOA.

    Aftermarket springs do have the ability to change caster even if using stock shackles. NAPA and others sell shims (plus you can get them online).

    I ended up putting in 2 degrees before getting to a good point as far as road manners go. If flat towing I might consider more to help increase "wheel centering".
     
  12. theo

    theo

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    [quote author=CruisinGA link=board=1;threadid=4552;start=msg34985#msg34985 date=1061860691]
    So I guess toe-in it is. I'll reset it and try a flat tow test run.
    BTW-theo, I think you are just old, my mtbike has very little caster and I can still ride it indefinatly with no hands, on and off road. :D :flipoff2:
    Thanks once again!
    [/quote]

    For sure, for sure. Hey, I found this photo of you on your mountain bike in between rides. Are those 33s? :D
     
  13. theo

    theo

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    OK, I'm a dope. Where's the pic I attached? :-[
     
  14. theo

    theo

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  15. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    Hey now those are my high-flotation tires for this GA mud :flipoff2: :D