4 February 2019

What is caster | Definition | Effect

Definition : 

The caster angle is called the angle between the kingpin centre line for the steering axis and the vertical in the wheel plane. 

If the centre line of the kingpin meets the ground at a point ahead of the verticle wheel centre line is called the positive caster and if it is behind the verticle wheel centre line is called the negative caster. 

Caster Angle

Effect : 

The steering axis pulls the front tires, while the tire drag due to the weight of the vehicle is on the vertical line in the centre of the footprint. Since the positive caster steering axis would meet the ground ahead of the tire print centre, the later would always follow former, thus positive caster provides directional stability on the car wheels. 

A positive caster increases the effort required to turn the steering wheel. In the case of negative caster steering, it may be noted that it would be unstable. Example -There would be poor directional control, as in this case the centre of the tire print leads the steering axis. Extremely negative casters would cause shimmy and consequently cupped wear of the front tires. 

As the change of caster angle, the other angles of the steering geometry, the chamber, the inclination of the kingpin and the toe0in or toe-out are changed. Therefore, it is very important that this angle is adjusted first of all while doing the adjustment job. 

Approximately 3 degrees of castor gives good results. 

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