2013 Hyundai Sonata - Caster at low end of Spec Range

2013 Hyundai Sonata - Caster at low end of Spec Range:
For this generation of Sonatas(YF 2011 - 14) Caster is specified as +4.4deg, + or - 0.5deg.
Mine: L = +3.8, R = +3.9
Question, since caster on my car is nearly dead equal, but is barely at the low end of specified range, #1 how did it check in that low, and #2 is there anything that can be repaired, bent, or replaced to get it up into the middle of that range?
Thanks in advance. And yes, I know in *theory* caster and camber cannot be adjusted on a unibody where they are defined by locations of control arms and built in strut tower angles. But is there any way to 'cheat' and add more caster without throwing the other angles off?
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On 8/8/2016 8:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Camber IS adjustable.
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. you are correct:
On that generation Sonata, rear camber is adjustable. I already had rear camber made less negative, from -1.4 to -0.8deg.
Now I'm trying to find out why my Sonata has barely the minimum spec caster, and what if anything needs repair or replacement to gain a half degree back.
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On 9/8/16 11:51 am, . wrote:

Anything is *adjustable*.
It just depends on how much you want to spend, dollars and/or time.
--

Xeno


Nothing astonishes Noddy so much as common sense and plain dealing.
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On Mon, 8 Aug 2016 18:42:02 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Why would you want to bother with this? There is no effect on tire wear, and even another degree of caster will have almost no effect on feel. It's a waste of time to even think about it.
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Bill Vanek wrote: "Why would you want to bother with this? There is no effect on tire wear, and even another degree of caster will have almost no effect on feel. It's a waste of time to even think about it. "
Simply because my caster is at the bottom of the specified range. And of all the alignment parameters, caster is the most important to me, and it sucks that that particular spec is at the lower end. If it was between 4.3-4.7 degrees positive, this thread would not exist. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Personally I would not bother. Caster is back and forth on the tire. The tower holes could be elongated or eccentric bolts installed on the lower control arms, or the arm retainers slotted. $500 and up. Everything that changes caster will also change camber and toe. It will be back and forth adjusting for a couple of hours. Add another $500.
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On Monday, August 8, 2016 at 3:42:06 PM UTC-10, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This is why you should never check the specs on the alignment. If the tires are wearing fine and it handles like it's supposed to, there's no need to check it out.
My front
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On Monday, August 8, 2016 at 3:42:06 PM UTC-10, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This is why you should never check the specs on the alignment. If the tires are wearing fine and it handles like it's supposed to, there's no need to check it out.
The front end of my VW needs to have the suspension parts changed. My tires are wearing on the inside and outside edges. I sure wish I had your problem. :)
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dsi1:
Look up online "2011 Hyundai Sonata wandering" and you'll understand why the concern. Although most of the issues were resolved by the third model year of the YF body Sonata, it is still good to havr alignment checked, especially on a used one with 30,000 miles.
Another contributor to the wandering was the electric power steering and what mode it was set in at the factory. Mine was set to 'Soft'(maximum boost, minimum driver effort). I had my dealer set it to 'Sport'(minimum boost, most driver effort needed to steer car). In soft, even slight changes to the road angle, or a mild cross wind, would wrest the wheel from drivers' hands! It was reminiscent of the 70s 'one fingered' steering on full size models.
Sport mode was a huge step in normalizing the handling/road feel of my Sonata, but I figured finding a way to maximize caster - within specs - would really ice the cake. :)
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On Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 1:49:28 PM UTC-10, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just tell the alignment guy your problem and he'll probably just change the toe-im. I don't know if they'll be in spec but that should improve straigh t line stability. The young alignment guy might not want to do it so find t he oldest, most ornery-looking coot in the shop and ask him. The price you pay will be increased tire wear.
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wrote:

Changing the toe will help only if it's so far off right now that the car is wandering back and forth. The only things that affect steering return to center are camber, caster, and kingpin inclination.
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Bill Vanek wrote: "Changing the toe will help only if it's so far off right now that the car is wandering back and forth. The only things that affect steering return to center are camber, caster"
Here are my last specs from the dealer:
*First sets of numbers are specs. "Mine" are what my car is at as of time of reading by technician.
FRONT: Camber: 0 to -1.0deg Mine: L= -.2deg R= -.8
Caster: -3.9 to -4.9deg Mine: L= -3.8 R= -3.9
Toe: -0.02 to +0.18deg Mine: L= +0.08 R= +0.03
REAR: Camber: -0.5 to -1.5deg Mine(reduced from -1.5): L= -.9 R= -.7
Toe: -0.02 to +0.19deg Mine: L= +0.01 R= +0.45
Total Rear Toe: -0.03 to +0.37deg Mine: +0.46deg
Thrust: -0.22deg
See anything that pops your eyeballs?
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On Wed, 10 Aug 2016 18:18:34 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Lots of cross camber in front - could make it pull to the left, and rear toe is out of spec. It's not much, but will contribute to tire wear.
If the car simply feels a little "unsure" as far as straight lines go, try fiddling with the tire pressure. Try an increase, try a decrease. It can sometimes make a substantial difference. My experience has been that the recommended pressure is almost always the best.
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Bill Vanek wrote: "On Wed, 10 Aug 2016 18:18:34 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: - show quoted text - "Lots of cross camber in front - could make it pull to the left, and rear toe is out of spec. It's not much, but will contribute to tire wear. "
Yeah, didn't think about that front camber! It's 'in spec', but cross camber is greater than half a degree.
As far as rear toe goes: The way it is now is countering *some* of the left pull due to slightly less positive left caster and significantly less negative left front camber. That's probably why the alignment tech himself told me he "wouldn't touch it".
Here's the issue: Both Hyundai dealers say there's nothing that can be done about that camber. The "camber kit" available early on in this run of Sonata is no longer available, so they say, and I should just "live with it".
I don't believe them!
"If the car simply feels a little "unsure" as far as straight lines go, try fiddling with the tire pressure. Try an increase, try a decrease. It can sometimes make a substantial difference. My experience" that the recommended pressure is almost always the best. "
Unsure?? LOL It is definitely a two-hand car, at 30 or 60mph.
We seem to agree on tire pressures. Hyundai's recommended pressure is 33psi cold, all around. I keep it 35psi, as it firms up the ride and handling a bit.
Vanek: This car is very 'busy' spec-wise: It has a lot of counter-aligning going on: Negative rear thrust angle countering the aforementioned caster and camber issues in the front. It's like driving in a 'fog'.
What it really needs is a little more left-front negative camber, and maybe a little less negative right-front camber. That is actually more of an issue than the caster, now that you pointed it out.
So my challenge is finding someone to go above and beyond, even if there are just slightly bent parts up front causing it, and nothing else.
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On Wed, 10 Aug 2016 19:07:56 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The rear end will not make the car pull. The thrust angle can make the car move to one side, but that's not pull, it's simply where the car is pointed. It's trivial to correct the rear toe, and that should correct the thrust angle. Rear caster will do nothing, but rear camber & toe will cause those tires to wear.

I don't think you should believe them. It's also possible that you could shift the engine cradle, or whatever is used for the suspension support, a little bit. Was the car ever in a collision? If not, there must be a way to adjust the camber, at least with aftermarket parts.

Are your tires overinflated, or right at the recommended pressure for the installed tires?

But do you have the original spec'd tires on the car? Are they good tires? Tires can have a serious impact on road feel.

If you don't live in a big city area, you might have a problem finding someone. Are there any racing shops, specialty shops, reputable tire shops? I have to admit that even in bigger cities, it can be a challenge finding someone. All you can do is drive around, talk to different people, and hope to find someone who sounds like he knows what he's talking about. For instance, if he tells you that toe can make it pull to one side, or caster causes tire wear, he's not that someone. And there are other commonly ignored specs that can help point to bent parts, like toe-on-turns, and kingpin inclination.
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Bill Vanek:
Tires on car all match original size, load, and speed ratings on B-pillar decal.
I'm running them at just 2psi over spec, which should not be a big deal, compared to some of my friends cars, which differ 5-10psi from one corner to the next, LOL.
The rears are moderately worn Khumo Solus KH's - what Hyundai and Kia seem to put on all of their cars at factory. The fronts are newer Nexens, an upgrade available at all Hyundai & Kia dealers for Sonata and the Optima.
I definitely plan to replace them before this winter with higher consumer-rated Continentals.
However: I have never, ever, felt a handling improvement from changing tires on any car I've owned. Alignment, and proper tire pressures have always been the biggest influence for me.
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On Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 2:31:23 PM UTC-10, Bill Vanek wrote:

te:

the toe-im. I don't know if they'll be in spec but that should improve stra ight line stability. The young alignment guy might not want to do it so fin d the oldest, most ornery-looking coot in the shop and ask him. The price y ou pay will be increased tire wear.

I believe that the OP is experiencing wandering back and forth.
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wrote:

He is, but in a subsequent post we can see that the toe is okay. He does have a thrust angle issue - it's non-zero, but I don't know how far off is too far off.
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On Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 5:06:51 PM UTC-10, Bill Vanek wrote:

wrote:

ge the toe-im. I don't know if they'll be in spec but that should improve s traight line stability. The young alignment guy might not want to do it so find the oldest, most ornery-looking coot in the shop and ask him. The pric e you pay will be increased tire wear.

If it wanders, doesn't that mean that the toe is not OK? You have to get an experienced alignment guy to adjust the toe-in based on the problem. The t oe-in might not be to spec. If this is a common problem with these cars, th en you'll have to go out of spec. Well that's my opinion anyway. If you're saying that he has to get the rear end squared away first well, yes, of cou rse.
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