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The Best Free Upgrade to Your INEOS Grenadier

Hey everybody, John with Owl here.

I'm sitting in one of our Grenadiers, and today I want to talk about something that I think a lot of people notice about the Grenadier. Besides all its awesomeness, there's the fact that the wheel doesn't return to straight when you go around corners(!)

What I want to talk to you about today are ways to improve the handling of the Grenadier and to enhance the steering and stability of the vehicle.

When you're on the freeway in a Grenadier, it tends to wander and requires a lot of steering input.

You get this delayed weight transfer with the rear end, so as you correct, you feel the back end settle after you. This is common if you have a softer suspension, softer springs, or an undersized sway bar.

The problem is that for off-roading, you want soft dampeners, softer springs, and no sway bars, which are the exact opposite of what you want for on-road capability.

However, I have a fix for some of the handling issues.

From the moment I drove the Grenadier, I thought it needed more caster. 

I want to talk about caster: what it is, why it matters, and how it affects handling. For those of you asking, I have a background as a racer for many years, and a racing instructor, so I have worked on the handling of vehicles for a long time.

Caster is a really simple concept to understand. It's basically the angle at which the steering input is applied to the wheel. Zero caster would be straight up and down, like a Shopping Cart, for example.

The rear wheels on casters are directly centered and don't swivel, while the wheels that swivel are offset.

That is what we're talking about, but instead of negative caster like on a shopping cart where the wheel is behind the connection, on vehicles you typically have positive caster. Zero is vertical and positive is angled back. Most production vehicles have between 3 and 5 degrees of positive caster.

Here's where I think things tend to go wrong on the Grenadier.

When I put it up on the rack, it had almost no caster in it.

It was almost straight up and down.

What does that cause the vehicle to do? It causes it not to track straight. It means that it's going to follow lines in the freeway and constantly adjust because there's nothing holding the wheels in line.

So, when you're on the freeway, that's what's causing you to constantly add steering input.

To fix that problem, you want to lean this back; you want some negative caster.

I maxed out the caster on this and was able to get almost 2 degrees, just under 2 degrees of caster.

Let me tell you, it made a huge difference. When I'm on the freeway, I was able to let go of the wheel sometimes and then make minor inputs, and the vehicle tended to track straight. I would love to add a few more degrees, but that's going to require additional parts. Right now, we're using the stock eccentrics to add more caster. For those of you saying it was designed that way, yes, but it doesn't mean that people don't drive these on the road.

Off-road, that will give you a really tight turning circle, but a couple of degrees of caster are not going to make any difference off-road. For me, drivability is crucial because many of these are driven both on the street and off-road. It makes a world of difference.

Alright, we're going to go into the abyss under the Grenadier now. We, of course, had this up on an alignment rack, but I want to show you how this works.

This is an eccentric, and as you turn it, it moves this entire arm forward and backward. To get more caster into the vehicle, you're going to want to push this bottom arm forward, which pushes everything forward and changes all of this geometry.

We maxed this out to get about 2 degrees of caster, and we're maxed out on the other side as well. This did not affect the other aspects of the alignment; we're basically at zero camber and zero toe. I have to look back at the specifics, but this adjustment seems independent of those.

For me, it made the drivability of this vehicle 10 times better. If you want to adjust those, make sure you know what you're doing because you're dealing with the steering of a vehicle.

Ensure those adjustments are super tight because if they loosen up, it can really mess up your vehicle's handling.


Remember, if you have any questions, we have our van experts standing by at all times. Give us a call at (866) 695-8267 and we'll be happy to help you.

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More soon,
John Willenborg

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