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camber/caster adjusting bolts

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default camber/caster adjusting bolts

Hi Gang!

I took my 96 F150 in for an alignment, and the mechanic said in order to properly adjust camber and caster, he needed to order and install these camber/caster adjusting bolts; to the tune of about 75 dollars each side, not to mention labor charges. Truck has about 150K miles. I recently replaced the radius arm bushings and I know the alignment is way off. Does this sound legitimate to any one, or should I get a second opinion? Why can't the alignment be completed with what is currently on the vehicle? (mechanic said because of the age of the vehicle, everything is wearing out) Appreciate in advance any helpful words of wisdom.

d/a

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:51 PM   #2
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Because of the I-beam set up, there isn't much for alignment adjustment. Basically you can set the toe in easily, but the rest doesn't adjust without special bushings and bolts. I forget the difference between caster and camber, but since the steering knuckle is attached to the I-beam and only has movement for steering then you can't adjust the vertical centerline without twisting the whole I-beam. I don't know if they make special bushings for this. The same with the tilt of the wheel from top to bottom, it's solidly mounted to the I-beam so you can't adjust that. That is why when these trucks are slammed to the ground the wheel is crooked with the top tilted way in. On my truck one day the wheels will be tilted in at the top and the next day they will be tilted out. It depends on the ride height where they will sit, and I guess mine settles differently from day to day.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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I am going through the same thing look a Squirllerry post will let you know
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:17 AM   #4
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Since adding the lightning suspension to my 94 I have the camber problem. Been researching, and you need to swap the bushing to adjust camber. Want to say you can get them at Advance for liek $40 ea, but you need to know which one. They come in different degree's.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just call me Sean View Post
I forget the difference between caster and camber
Camber is the outward lean of the top of the tire, caster is how for forward the tire and hub assembly is tilted forward.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin O. View Post
Camber is the outward lean of the top of the tire, caster is how far forward the tire and hub assembly is tilted forward.
Thank you.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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ya, just went through the alignment section of my auto class. Guess it came in handy at least once.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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Hey, thanks everyone. I think I finally see where this adjusting sleeve is..right on top of the upper ball joint. Some sources I've read indicate that the bushings holding the radius arm onto the I-beam axle could also be worn out, and in need of replacement, and that the alignment may be adjusted by installing adjusting bolts at that point.
40 dollars each (for the adjusting sleeve) sounds a little more reasonable though. Thanks again for your input.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Hey,
Nice Adjustable Alignment bushings are available from bronco grave yard! @ http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-33520_adjustable_alignment_bushings_pair.htm

I am about to purchase them for my f-150, and they have up to 2 3/4 Degrees of correction.

After leveling my 96 F150 4x4, 2 inches, the wheel is cambered out at the top, opposite of how it sat before with the wheel in at the top.

The alignment shop i took it to told me that they need to be replaced too! And i believe theyre right cause the stock ford adjustments are only so much, so you need aftermarket caster/camber bushings.

Anyone know how much of a pain it is to replace the upper ball joints on a 96 4x4. I will get a press if im going to do it but just trying to figure out if its worth it.

I also need to replace the radius arm bushings. Is that tough? do i need to disassemble the suspension?

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:19 PM   #10
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It's definitely worth doing it yourself - not too tough, and you'll save a ton of money. Get the parts, the press, and a Chilton or Haynes manual and you're good to go. Most shops will want close to $1000 to do the ball joints and you can do it yourself for a lot less.

Last edited by aliens8mycow; 11-17-2008 at 08:21 PM.
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adjusting bolt, alignment, camber, caster, radius arm bushings

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