Extreme caster change when in reverse

I have a 2001 e825 that has a 3" lift with no rake just up front and rear the same amount, 3".
When I am reversing there is so much suspension shift/ shift in the caster my tires drag on the body near the front fender extensions. With the wheels in a straight forward position I have approx… 2 - 3/4" clearance. With the wheels at full lock I have approx. 1/4" clearance from the body. I intend to remove some material from the body to give me more clearance but before I do so I am trying to understand the wheel shift. Lower control arms have all new bushings. Wheels are 14" with no spacers, tires are 23 - 10.00 x 14. New shocks front and rear from NEV adjusted up one click from factory stock position. Trying not to add any more spring pressure than necessary to maintain ride quality. Can anyone shed some light on why there is so much change in tire position while in reverse?

How did you do the lift?
Did you just extend the upper shock mounts down 3 inches?
or did you drop the whole front clip?

What kind of toe in are you running?

Dropped the front cradle. 1/8 toe in.

What does it do when you do a brake stand in reverse?
If you jack up the front end can you push/pull the wheel and make it do this?

I will check and let you know.

Your Toe setting is way off.Adjust to 1/8 toe in. With to much toe out the wheels will pull in when you back up.


EXCESSIVE NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE camber is a result of IMPROPER TOE SETTING. It is NOT due to worn bushings, weak springs etc, To set the toe find a level surface. HAND PUSH THE CAR 8 FEET and set the parking brake. (why) This allows the front end to stabilize and eliminates the affect of power or braking on the “at rest” alignment. Take a 24 inch piece of 2 X 6 and place it against the tire making sure it doesn’t rest against the bulge on the bottom and mark front and rear even with the edge of the tire. with a magic marker. Do the same on the other side. Measure between the marks and this will give your toe reading. Adjust to 0 to 1/8 toe in. If you were more than 1/4 inch off you need to do the 8 foot back and forth bit and measure it again. You might have to do this 3 times or more. When you can push it back and forth and the toe doesn’t change your done.


Perfect timing Rodney! I was looking at the front of my GEM just the other day and the front wheels just didn’t look like they were running straight. ie big toe out setting.

I’ve been scratching my head as to how to test against the back tires and your post straightened out my thinking. ie test only against each of the front tire, not the back. But I’m still not quite sure how you are measuring. I was thinking it would be holding the boards against the tire, at center and horizontal, and then measure distance between front ends of 2x6’s and then the back side but it’ll be tough with the car body in the way. Got a drawing?

Make the marks front and back of the tires both sides then push the car back out of the way. Measure between the marks.

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Ok, so make something to put flat against the 2x6 which will extend down to the driveway to mark the outside edge of the 2x6 at the front and rear outside corner of the board. Or a plumb-bob/string and weight to mark the position on the driveway. Just need one 2x6 then. I will probably mark a line across the top of the 2x6 to line up with the wheel lip so both sides get measured the same. Thanks!

Thanks Rodney, appreciate the help!

No place the 2x6 against the tire. It will rest at an angle due to the bulge of the tire but will rest against the straight part of the tire. Mark the out side of the 2x6 at front and back edges of the tire repeat on other side. Don not try to make it complicated.

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oh, I thought you were trying to keep the 2x6 off of the bulge in the tire. But I guess you chose a 2x6 instead of 2x4 so that the upper edge would be able to ride on the tire ABOVE the bulge and therefore influence the position. Sorry, I wasn’t picturing correctly.

I will be doing this tomorrow. Thanks for explaining it further.

Exactly, you got it guy.

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For me it was an optical illusion there was a toe-out problem. Measured 51" at front diameter edge and same at the rear tire diameter edge. 0 measurable toe-in/out.