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Exmo caster adjustment


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I am rebuilding my Exmo, in a few weeks time I hope to reach the front end. When I put it together the first time I made sure that the wheels were squared up, in line, body in middle etc. It took a long time measuring before I bolted it all up. There were just too many measurement going on for me to consider caster, I just let things settle where the bushes seemed to take them. The result was even tyre wear, no wandering, no crabbing, BUT no self centering. I have skimmed through the 77 other topics in this forum that mention caster. I did not notice anyone making adjustments to caster on an Exmo. As I see it, I can't change the fore and aft position of the top of the strut because its trapped in the outrigger. The only way is to move the bottom by sliding the antiroll bar forward or backward. In principle a simple thing (I think) just move the two U clamps. I wonder if anyone else has tried this?. Is it worth making the mods so that it is easily adjustable, like mounting the u clamps on beefy brackets with a screw adjustment that can then be clamped firmly?. I am not confident that I can measure the caster accurately enough ? to say add x degrees of caster, so if its easily adjustable I can set it via a suck and see approach? If I over do anything then it could get dangerous and behave like a supermarket trolly.   Any insights would be gratefully recieved.

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I never managed to get much of a recentre effect on the Exmo; there was a little bit at small steering inputs but there was an "over-centre" effect where, past a certain point, there was none whatsoever. At extreme steering angles, the wheels would actually fall outward into the turn - bloody dangerous! When I put the tie bars on I tried to push the strut bottoms forward as much as seemed reasonable to do but you have to remember that the way the tops mount, anything other than perpendicular to the buttress (and the top bearing) you're loading up that bearing incorrectly and potentially bending the damper rod (although I'd bet the buttress would bend first, particularly if you haven't done the re-enforcing mod). I don't think it's probably possible to get the desired/ideal amount of caster without re-thinking the way it all mounts up top, maybe with some sort of spherical bearing that would allow the strut to angle forwards. Even then, you'd have a point at which the springs would start to interact with the buttress and put a stop to any further adjustment :).

I think maybe your best bet is to, as you suggest, push it forward as much as you're comfortable doing given the points above. If you moved to tie bars instead of the ARB, you'd have some inherent adjustability by turning the rod ends in/out of the tie bar (up to a limit obviously). And to be honest, the extra compliance you get with tie bars over the ARB is a far greater overall improvement - thoroughly recommend it.

Edited by brumster
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Thanks for sharing your experence. I'll look at tie bars if only for better handling. As well as all the challeges you mention the radius arm ends will move foward giving a twist to the inboard bushes. It all stacks up against trying, just leave the caster as it is, be happy with that. You may well have saved me undertaking some dangerous experimentation. I am glad that you reminded me about the top mounts, mine are as from factory, no bulge or crack, only a matter of time though. Better to fix that rather than worry about self center.

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