Front alignment - is sweep important? Or is there an issue

I was doing a front alignment on my OTK to increase some negative camber and noticed that the total distance of each tie rod was off by a bit, ~32cm vs ~31.5cm… this lead me to check the sweep and its off as I would expect with the tie rod difference.

Went straight back to the drawing board to reset everything…
Did a runout test on the kingpins, tie-rods and they are true (visually steering rod is straight). Set the steering wheel straight by measuring bar stock level on setting column. Set toe, set camber, adjusted toe, double check steering wheel is in straight, and still there is a tie rod distance/sweep difference. I have noticed on all karts I’ve had the the camber adjustment is not the symmetrical which I was always thought to be the norm as the chassis is asymmetric because of the engine. But now I’m challenging my self on this…

So can anyone confirm that I followed the right process to set the front end, and is it normal for each spindle to have different camber settings (2 dots vs 3 dots) but show the same on the snipers? Does sweep have much impact and should it be the same?

Any comments or suggestions welcome.

New chassis are almost never dead nuts straight and true out of the box. Then, if you get everything straightened and tweaked on a table, even up camber, etc., its gonna go out after a couple times on track. They seem to want to just settle in to where they want to settle.


Get the toe close, but then set sweep before finalizing toe. Then set camber, double check toe, and as long as everything measures correctly it should be good to go. By setting the sweep first you ensure that the steering geometry is centered and equal from side to side, and you can then adjust each side equally to maintain even sweep (measure as many times as needed). Camber differences from side to side will happen with time, as well front-end sag.

I should also add that the tie rods will not necessarily measure the same length from spindle to steering shaft. I never bother to measure, as sweep is more important.


Worth noting that many steering columns are slightly offset.

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