Steering / Suspension

TIRESWhat:  Tires, are the most visible components of a vehicle’s suspension system, and their wear patterns can be valuable clues to the condition of other suspension system components.  Tire wear is a particularly good indicator of alignment problems.
CAMBERWhat: Camber is the inward or outward tilt of the wheels, as seen from the front. Camber is positive when the top of the wheel tilts outward and negative when the top of the wheel tilts inward. Camber is zero when the wheel is perfectly vertical.
CASTER What: Caster is the backward or forward tilt of the wheel spindle support. On a conventional suspension system, the upper and lower ball joints form the wheel spindle support. A line drawn through the centers of the two ball joints, as seen from the side of the vehicle, illustrates the tilt of the wheel spindle support—the wheel caster.
WHEEL ALIGNMENT What: An important part of vehicle ride control is directional control. Will the vehicle travel straight down a highway? Will it steer easily? Will the tires be subject to minimum wear? Will the steering wheel return to the straight-ahead position after turning a corner? For the answer to be YES to all these questions, the vehicle must be properly aligned.
LEAF SPRING SUSPENSION Control arms are not required on leaf spring suspensions. The leaf spring is connected to the axle housing with U-bolts and to the frame by bolts in the front and by a shackle assembly in the rear. The shackle assembly allows spring movement.
COIL SPRING SUSPENSION On a coil spring suspension, the spring is mounted between the axle housing and frame. A lower control arm connects the axle housing to the frame. Some vehicles use an upper control arm for added stability.