Lesson 1/Learning Event 2
Learning Event 2:
DESCRIBE THE PRINCIPLES OF WHEEL ALIGNMENT
It is not enough to merely place the front wheels on spindles and steering
knuckles so they can roll and so the driver can pivot them to the right or
left. The wheels must be pointed or aligned just right if the vehicle is to
Wheel alignment (steering geometry) is the positioning of the front wheels
to best control the forces of gravity, friction, momentum, and centrifugal
force. All of these forces tend to make steering difficult.
Perfectly aligned wheels do not wander, weave, shimmy, or scuff tires, yet
they are easy to pivot when making a turn. In addition, the front wheels
should straighten out if the driver releases the steering wheel after
turning a corner.
To do all this, the front wheels and their pivot points are not positioned
straight up and down or straight ahead. They are tilted at various angles.
There are five different angles involved in the alignment of the front
wheels: caster, camber, kingpin inclination, toein, and toeout.
Definitions of these angles and their effects are given in the following