Frontend settings are one of the most important adjustments in making your car handle its best. And a good quality caster/camber gauge is a must-have tool for any race team. There are many styles of gauges but they all have one thing in common: They need an adaptor to connect to your car (center mount-on hub or spindle). Magnetic adaptors are the most common and work, as long as you have a steel hub. If you have a Wide 5 hub, there are screw-on adaptors available but almost all of them require removal of the dust/mud cover (and sometimes the spindle nut-in those cases you'll have to reset the bearing preload). Just part of the job you might say.
Now there's an easier way thanks to Longacre's QuickSet, a precision CNC-machined billet aluminum adaptor that registers against the wheel at the outer rim. You don't need to remove the dust/mud cover and it works with any wheel. The two lower legs unfold and lock in place, forming a triangle (see the pictures). The gauge attaches at the center of the QuickSet. It can be adjusted for almost any size wheel and sets up in just a few seconds without removing dust/mud covers. To take a reading you simply hold the QuickSet against the rim. Caster and camber are measured the same way as with center-mount gauges.
Shown here is a QuickSet with an AccuLevel digital display that registers to 0.1 degree and is easier to read and more accurate than bubble-type gauges. The AccuLevel, which is held in place with magnets, can even be removed and used for other angle measurements such as frames, spoilers, driveshafts, and more.
Some convenient time-saving features of the QuickSet with an AccuLevel include:
• A "HOLD" button that freezes the reading. Push the button, remove the gauge, and the last reading stays until you reset it. Push HOLD again to reset.
• It's self-calibrating and self-leveling even on uneven ground. Remove the AccuLevel from the QuickSet and place it on the ground under the frontend. If the reading does not show 0.0 push the "ZERO" button (this is a temporary zero that does not affect absolute calibration accuracy). Return the AccuLevel to the QuickSet and continue. Readings will be the same as if you were on perfectly level ground. Push ZERO again to return to absolute calibration.
• Caster is measured directly to 0.1 degree using only 15 degrees of tire sweep. Some race cars can't sweep the full 20 degrees in each direction required with traditional gauges.
• There is a handy backlight for night use and QuickSet and AccuLevel come in a deluxe foam-lined Silver case.
Now we know what you're thinking. There are some pros and cons of measuring caster and camber off the wheel versus on the hub or spindle. It's true that if you have a bent wheel it may throw off your readings (measuring off the hub or spindle cures that). But if you have a bent wheel you have bigger problems than caster and camber settings.
On the other hand, measuring off the hub (magnetic adaptor) assumes that the surface you're measuring off runs true. But what if you have a nick or burr on the hub or a small piece of metal stuck to the magnet? These could affect your readings as well. And spindle-mounted adaptors (Wide 5 and others) rely on the fit of the spindle threads and the adaptor. A loose fitting adaptor could affect your readings.
Lastly, both hub and spindle mounts are on a small area so any error, even a tiny one, is magnified. By measuring off a larger surface, such as the wheel, any potential errors are minimized, giving you reliably accurate and consistent readings.
Accuracy, simplicity of use, universal coverage, speed, and a bunch of helpful features make this the ultimate caster/camber gauge for any serious race team. Cost for QuickSet and AccuLevel with the Silver case is just $269.