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Camber adjustment, shop confused

bobbywalter

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bobbywalter

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The retainer is removable and much more indexable.

But. Only to a point. Caster can suffer to gain camber and vice versa...

With your pivot bracket and this bushing you have 2 ways to adjust camber....and not zero. This needs to be demonstrated to the idiot that said your aftermarket suspension has zero.... adjustment.


Idiot being the kindest thing I have.....as I too...am often an idiot.
 

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Thing to do of course is jack the wheel up off the ground (removing the wheel also makes access easier), then (once the bushing is freed), you should be able to rotate it around by hand (maybe with wiggling the knuckle back & forth a bit). No, it has no threads, it's wedged into place by tightening the nut (yellow).

The ball joint stud goes through the bushing at a fixed angle (the amount of angle is what makes the "2-degree", etc. specification). When you rotate the bushing, it moves the ball joint stud either in & out (camber) or forward & backward (caster), and any combination between the two. It should become obvious what happens when you adjust it (and also the limitation of it being a "fixed-degree" bushing, as opposed to the 2-piece adjustable ones that allow you to also change the angle that the ball joint stud goes thru at).

Nearly any time I mess with aligning these suspensions, my first investment is the 2-piece bushings (if not already present).
For a D28 application, you're looking at Moog pt# K8736, or Mevotech MS40076. Both allow maybe just short of infinite number of adjustments for camber & caster going up to about 2.75° or so.
 

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The shop I use told me that they do not use adjustable bushings because often they sort of lock together when you tighten everything down so it makes adjustments impossible if you don't hit your target number the first try.

I don't know if they were pulling my leg or just have a preference or what, just passing along what I was told. I trust what they said, they have aligned a bunch of TTB trucks for me and they always come out perfect.
 

bobbywalter

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The shop I use told me that they do not use adjustable bushings because often they sort of lock together when you tighten everything down so it makes adjustments impossible if you don't hit your target number the first try.

I don't know if they were pulling my leg or just have a preference or what, just passing along what I was told. I trust what they said, they have aligned a bunch of TTB trucks for me and they always come out perfect.

Well.....I do not agree.
 

rumblecloud

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Agree with 4x4jumkie, the two piece bushings are a must. Anti-seize everything when you put it back together.The ones I used allowed me to easily experiment until I got my alignment nearly perfect. No left/right pull, steering wheel centered and return to center is perfect - to the point where I may not get it professionally done. Just put new tires on so I have a little time to decide.

Placing the protective nut on the top and then pounding down will give you the good results - and is way more satisfying.
 

eightynine4x4

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Alrighty, thanks for all the help everyone. First i will take the wheel off and give myself a fighting chance to just loosen the bushing and if lucky will use it to adjust camber to something acceptable seeming. If that fails, i'll have to dive in and get new parts. I guess I should/could take on all 4 ball joints at the same time, uppers and lowers, but that sounds a bit too masochistic.
 

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Well.....I do not agree.
They may have been mechanicsplaining things to me. I don't know. It sounded kinda weird to me but it was plausible I guess. TTB alignments are one of a very small number of things I farm out to a shop so I took their word for it.
 

ericbphoto

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When you have adjustment bushings with a large degree of adjustability, it is pretty easy to sit there with the wheel off and watch how the knuckle moves in relation to the axle beam as you rotate the bushing. That gives you a fair idea of what is going on so you can put it where it needs to be.
 

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Yeah, I'm with Eric, with the fully adjustable bushings on the D35 you can watch the outer parts move, even to the point of binding on the axle beam... which is part of my problem... I think most of my problem is I'm using most of the capability of the bushing just shy of binding and the extreme angle gives it enough offset to have enough leverage to get out of wack... One of these days I'll get the extended radius arms built and probably get new coils to get back where it needs to be and be more in range of things... should probably do that before I completely reinvent the wheel putting a Jana 54 and 10.25" in the '00 Explorer...

TTB alignment isn't rocket surgery, I just jack up one side as close to the lower balljoint as possible (way easier to turn the adjusters with the balljoints unloaded), if possible loosen stuff and adjust till the camber looks good or maybe a litle positive (I think that's the top of the tire outward...) since the suspension is somewhat unloaded then if there's room left dial in some caster. Then if needed do the same to the other side. After that I set the tires on my tire dollies, bounce the suspension a little then get underneath with a tape measure, measure the back at the bottom of the radius arms at the lip of the wheel (loop the tape measure so it does a 180, watch where the measurement hits the wheel, it's accurate and much easier than other ways I came up with...) then do the same at a similar spot in the front and adjust the tierod adjusters until you have about 1/16" to 1/8" of toe in.
 
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eightynine4x4

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Alrighty, finally ready to reopen this thread because I have the truck at a good shop that I trust and they took a look.

To refresh memories... I got the truck a couple years ago and it has Rancho suspension lift and one day i hit a pot hole at around 40mph and the passenger wheel went a little wild. I eventually figured out that the drop bracket for that side was cracked for a long time (by finally noticing in photos from when i got the truck) and that it finally gave out. Note, the truck had been cheap-shop aligned to this half cracked bracket right after i got the truck. So to replace the bracket, y'all helped me zero in on this one by Tuff Country, which i installed myself. I only did the passenger/broken one though. Then, the passenger wheel resulted in being pretty off-camber... upper part of wheel is tilted in. I thought to myself, "well i guess because it was aligned to a bent/cracked drop bracket". So I brought it to the same cheap shop to have alignment corrected and they said "there is no alignment for camber on your truck" much to my confusion and amusement, which is when i decided to never go back there. The turnover rate there has been so bad that once every six months it's a totally new staff, so i wasn't even able to ask what they did before when they aligned it.

Then recently brought it to the good shop and had them take a look. He says there is around a 3-3.5 degree need for change. We discussed the drop bracket that i put in, and the possibility of adjusting that to help bring the camber closer, and then using new ball joint bushings to adjust it the rest of the way. The concern we both have is that it still won't be enough.

So, what do you all think actually is going on here? I swear that somewhere in specs i saw that these drop brackets were applicable to 2.5" - 4" lifts, but i'm only finding 4" now. Could it be that the drop bracket to dropping to low and thus tilting the upper wheel inward? For some reason, to me that seems unlikely but I haven't done the math. 4x4junkie mentioned that there was never a 4" Rancho for the Ranger, only 2.5". I did not know this when i purchased and installed the bracket and had thought it was a 4" lift upon other people's opinion. And i really do think i saw in specs that these bracket set could be used for 2.5" - 4" lifts. Maybe what they mean is that you'll need to use the camber nut to adjust to your lift accordingly. I honestly hadn't thought of that until now.

Bobbywalter pointed out these in this thread... https://shop.broncograveyard.com/mobile/Dana-28-Adjustable-Alignment-Bushings-Pair/productinfo/93530/

That's a max 2 3/4 degree adjustment. Maybe that combined with the camber nut on the drop bracket can get to what we need? Or close enough maybe.

And lastly... Like i mentioned, I only installed this side's new drop bracket. I did not install the driver side. So, if I come up with a custom solution here for the passenger side, should i also install the driver side so drop bracket so that all is symetrical? Or does it really matter, if i get the problem side corrected and straight, should i just live with the old drop bracket on other side that's fine? Truck can still be aligned symmetrically ok? Obviously cost is the factor here. Will the height of the truck on either side be different due to having different equipment for each axle? I guess it probably wouldn't result in very much difference if it did.

As for the work itself... upon first glance he's saying that the lower ball joint of the problem side looks like it's quite likely shot and this could be a contributing factor here. But he can't really say for sure until everything is opened up. He's willing to do partial ball joint work as I request... for example if I have him replace the upper/lower on just the problem side, that could cut the cost in half and solve the problem. Then maybe i can do the good side next summer myself and install the same nice new bushing for upper, in addition to putting in the other new drop bracket.

So the max approach is this... i have them do all upper and lower ball joints and use those 2 3/4 degree brackets, and install the other new drop bracket... then do an alignment and hope that the combo of drop-camber and 2 3/4 bushings does the job to bring things straight.
The mid way is this... do just problem side upper/lower, use new 2 3/4 bushing, do full alignment and ignore the good side's ball joints and drop bracket.





Also just FYI: The Rancho kit is 2.5" lift (they never made a 4" kit for a Ranger).
 

Shran

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I am not a fan of using just one bracket unless it's an exact part replacement. Especially when you're mixing brands... unless you are really good at measuring and can confirm that the axle beam ends up in the right spot, it's better to use a pair of brackets from the same company.

That said is your camber off on both sides or just one? Worn ball joints will affect that measurement and it should be addressed, your guy should be able to tell you within 30 seconds if that is the case or not. Worn ball joints will have slop that is evident when you wiggle the top and bottom of the tire when it's off the ground but you won't see slop on the front and back of the tire.

Camber is also affected by your springs - if it is negative (top of tire pushed into wheel well, bottom further out) you can fix that with spacers under your coil springs or taller/stiffer springs. Positive camber can sometimes be fixed by drop brackets that have a pivot point further down, shorter springs, and in extreme cases, cutting a loop off the top of the springs. There are a lot of adjustments that you can make to bring your camber closer to spec if bushings alone won't fix it.
 

eightynine4x4

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It is only this side that the camber is negative. Other side, which i didn't replace the drop bracket for, is fine.
And gotcha, that's actually really good to know about spring spacers to help afterwards. Since my issue is that something is kicking it negative, i can do spacers myself in the summer and live with the slight negative camber for winter. I'd worry about too much height increase but maybe it would only be like 1/2".

I looked it up again and found that Tuffcountry makes both a 4" and 2". If this is caused by them being 4" drop in a 2.5" system, maybe the camber bolt can adjust enough to compensate along with the camber adjustment bushings itself. And if that's not enough, I can go the spring spacer route.


I am not a fan of using just one bracket unless it's an exact part replacement. Especially when you're mixing brands... unless you are really good at measuring and can confirm that the axle beam ends up in the right spot, it's better to use a pair of brackets from the same company.

That said is your camber off on both sides or just one? Worn ball joints will affect that measurement and it should be addressed, your guy should be able to tell you within 30 seconds if that is the case or not. Worn ball joints will have slop that is evident when you wiggle the top and bottom of the tire when it's off the ground but you won't see slop on the front and back of the tire.

Camber is also affected by your springs - if it is negative (top of tire pushed into wheel well, bottom further out) you can fix that with spacers under your coil springs or taller/stiffer springs. Positive camber can sometimes be fixed by drop brackets that have a pivot point further down, shorter springs, and in extreme cases, cutting a loop off the top of the springs. There are a lot of adjustments that you can make to bring your camber closer to spec if bushings alone won't fix it.
 

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