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How to: Replacing Camber/Caster Bolts

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 2000StreetRod, August 21, 2009.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Any significant change in ride height by adjusting the torsion bars changes the camber. To facilitate alignment after lowering my Sport 0.75 inches I decided to replace the stock pivot bolts with adjustable camber/castor bolts. I purchased the Moog castor/camber cam bolt kit with a range of +1 5/8 to -1 5/8 degree range from RockAuto. Below is a photo of one of the bolt sets. There are two bolt sets in a kit for one side. Two kits are needed if you're going to replace the passenger and driver sides.
    CamKit.jpg
    I suggest that if you plan to replace both sides that you begin with the passenger side since it is considerably easier than the driver side. Also, if you have worn upper control arm bushings or upper ball joints, you can save time and alignment costs by replacing them in conjunction with the castor/camber adjusters.

    1. Slightly loosen the right front wheel lug nuts.
    RFWheel.jpg
    2. Raise the right front of the vehicle. I used the original equipment bottle jack placed under the protrusion on the lower control arm.
    3. Place a jack stand under the frame for safety and greater stability (the camber bolts are torqued very tight). Lower the bottle jack until the jack stand is supporting the weight of the vehicle. Leave the bottle jack in place to support the weight of the upper and lower control arms.
    4. Remove the wheel.
    JACKS.JPG
    5. Remove the wheel well inner mud flap.
    FLAP.JPG
    You can see that mine is in bad shape and needs replacement! If your spark plugs need to be changed, now would be a good time.

    You now have access to the camber bolts.
     
    Last edited: August 21, 2009
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  3. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The arrows in the photo below indicate the locations of the heads and nuts of the camber bolts.
    RUCARM.JPG
    You can see that my upper ball joint boot is torn. The ball joint is considerably worn and I decided to replace the original two piece upper control arm with a weight saving single piece unit. The single piece unit has less range than the two piece but the difference is exceeded with the expanded range of the new Moog adjusters.

    6. Loosen and remove the stock adjusters.

    The bolts are longer than necessary so you will need a moderately deep socket to reach the nuts. However, because work space is limited, you may have to switch to a standard depth socket as the nut is loosened. Once the nuts are removed the bolts can be extracted. As you can see in the photo below the adjustment cams are welded to the bolts which makes it a little difficult to extract the bolts. Just rotate the cams to clear any obstacles as the bolts are removed.
    SBOLTS.JPG

    7. Insert the new adjuster bolts with washers and cams. Make sure that the washers are between the cams as shown below.
    CamKit.jpg
    Also make sure that both bolt heads are next to the shock absorber mount as shown in the first photo of this post.

    8. Screw on the nuts but do not tighten.

    9. Raise the bottle jack until the chassis is no longer resting on the jack stand. Lower the jack stand.

    10. Lower the bottle jack until the front bumper is level.

    11. Hold a level vertically against the disk rotor and adjust the camber cams with a socket drive until the level indicates vertical.

    12. Tighten the camber nuts while making sure the cam does not rotate. My Hayes Repair Manual specifies a torque of 83 to 112 ft-lbs.

    Below is a photo of the newly installed adjusters and upper control arm.
    NBOLTS.JPG

    13. Install mud flap.

    14. Raise bottle jack.

    15. Install wheel and lug nuts.

    16. Lower vehicle making sure that jack stand has been removed.

    17. Torque wheel lug nuts.

    18. Have wheels aligned unless you are going to replace the driver side adjusters! While I was able to get the camber within alignment specs using a level, the castor was considerably out of spec.
     
  4. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Replacing Driver Side Camber Adjusters

    If you're reading this because you intend to replace the upper conrol arm and you want to reuse the original rear camber adjuster on the driver side then my description is incomplete. There are numerous items that must be disconnected and pushed aside in order to extract the stock adjuster in one piece. Since I was replacing the unit, I decided to use a simpler and easier method.

    The process to replace the driver side camber adjusters with the Moog castor/camber cam bolt kit (shown below) is very similar to the one for the passenger side.
    CamKit.jpg
    I remind you that if you have worn upper control arm bushings or upper ball joints, you can save time and alignment costs by replacing them in conjunction with the castor/camber adjusters.

    1. Slightly loosen the left front wheel lug nuts.
    2. Raise the left front of the vehicle. I used the original equipment bottle jack placed under the protrusion on the lower control arm.
    3. Place a jack stand under the frame for safety and greater stability (the camber bolts are torqued very tight). Lower the bottle jack until the jack stand is supporting the weight of the vehicle. Leave the bottle jack in place to support the weight of the upper and lower control arms.
    4. Remove the wheel.
    LUCarm.jpg
    You can see in the above photo that the upper ball joint dust boot is cracked. Since there is no detectable play in the ball joint I decided not to replace it or the upper control arm.
    5. Remove the wheel well inner mud flap.
    LFLAP.JPG
    Some people remove the mud flaps to change the spark plugs.
    You now have access to the camber bolt heads and nuts marked with red arrows in the photo below.
    LSBOLTS.JPG
     
  5. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    6. Loosen and remove the stock adjuster nuts.

    The bolts are longer than necessary so you will need a moderately deep socket to reach the nuts. However, because work space is limited, you may have to switch to a standard depth socket as the nut is loosened.

    7. Once the nuts are removed the front bolt can be extracted. The adjustment cam is welded to the bolt which makes it difficult to extract the bolt. Keep rotating the cam to clear any obstacles as the bolt is removed.

    The rear adjuster is almost impossible to remove. The cam interferes with numerous lines that are very difficult to move out of the way. Apparently the lines were installed in the vehicle after the adjusters and ease of replacement was not a high priority. After reading the problems encountered and documented on this forum by others, and having made little, if any, progress after more than 20 minutes of frustration, I decided to implement the "hack saw method".

    8. Cut the bolt in half. The bolt shank is accessible from the wheel well so I just cut it in half without taking any of the lines loose. The 2x4 shown in the photo below is being used to wedge the upper control arm in place while cutting the bolt.
    NOTCH.JPG
    The red arrow points to the bolt after being sawed half way.

    9. Insert the new adjuster bolts with washers and cams. Make sure that the washers are between the cams as shown below.
    BOTHBS.JPG
    Also make sure that both bolt heads are next to the shock absorber mount.

    10. Screw on the nuts but do not tighten.

    11. Raise the bottle jack until the chassis is no longer resting on the jack stand. Lower the jack stand.

    12. Lower the bottle jack until the front bumper is level.

    13. Hold a level vertically against the disk rotor and adjust the camber cams with a socket drive until the level indicates vertical.

    14. Tighten the camber nuts while making sure the cam does not rotate. My Hayes Repair Manual specifies a torque of 83 to 112 ft-lbs.

    Below is a photo of the newly installed adjusters and replaced ball joint boot (only thing I could find). You may notice that there's also a new Edelbrock IAS shock!
    LNBOLTS.JPG

    15. Install mud flap.
    LDONE.JPG
    16. Raise bottle jack.

    17. Install wheel and lug nuts.

    18. Lower vehicle making sure that jack stand has been removed.

    19. Torque wheel lug nuts.

    20. Have wheels aligned! I did not get the camber within alignment specs using a level and the castor was considerably out of spec.
     
  6. ThePhoenix

    ThePhoenix Guest

  7. rileyrs

    rileyrs Active Member

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    thanks!
    great writeup, and very helpful when doing this procedure.
     
  8. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    I noticed that this is the driver side. I am having a heck of a time removing the Camber/Caster bolts on the left side. I have a thick aluminum tube in the way. How were you able to remove this bolt without damaging that pipe? Please help...
     
  9. ThePhoenix

    ThePhoenix Guest

    fuel lines...be careful
     
  10. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    And how were you able to reinstall the bolts with ease? As I can see the new bolts are the same length.
     
  11. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Stock cam is welded to bolt

    If you look closely at the photos you'll notice that the stock cam is welded to the bolt. With the aftermarket adjusters the cam is not welded to the bolt. It greatly simplifies the installation.
     
  12. GRNMACHINE

    GRNMACHINE Well-Known Member

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    Dale,
    Thanks for taking the time to take pictures and create a great write up! Plan on replacing upper control arms & tie rod ends along with bolts this year. Detailed pics/info always appreciated, especially if performing this for the first time.
     
  13. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    Thanks. Great walk through by the way!
     
  14. 87LongroofCP

    87LongroofCP Member

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    Did you have a center steering after your alignment? Can you recommend a Greenville area shop through PM? Thanks
     
  15. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    Thanks for the tips

    I took all of the advice and purchased new sets of the camber bolt kit. I was able to install the upper control arm with patience. I am having a little bit of trouble installing the new upper control arm into the knuckle. I was told a pry bar or even a ratching strap will bring it down. Should I loosen the upper control arm until it is installed in the knuckle and then tighten it up? Thanks again for the help. Beer helped.
     
  16. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Assembling upper control arm to spindle

    Some members have reported difficulties fitting the upper control arm to the spindle. Apparently some upper control arm aftermarket manufacturers have a larger than stock diameter shaft. I did not experience the problem. All I did was use a second jack under the lower control arm to raise the spindle while guiding the shaft into the bore. I had to "tap" the assembly a few times with my 4 lb hand sledge hammer.
     
  17. CaptainComet

    CaptainComet Member

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    Nice write-up here ... needing to do upper ball joints, and Moog parts listing show that their ball joint won't go into the stock arm ... now I know about the one-piece arm and these upgraded adjusters.

    This board rocks!:thumbsup:
     
  18. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    Finished this job

    I have a question. I changed the upper control arms, lower ball joints, new castor assembly, sway bar bushings, and sway bar links. (All are Moog parts) I have also noticed that my front end is now higher then the rear. By changing the castor assembly do I now have to adjust the torsion bar or is the shocks in the rear bad? The guy at the alignment shop pointed it out but said it could be shocks and asked if I had lifted my vehicle which I haven't(he wasnt much help). I have a 3 year unlimited warranty so going back is not the problem to get it aligned I just would like an opinion as to what this may be. They have also aligned my vehicle and its still not perfect so I think I have to replace the tie rods now too which they failed to say anything about. Thanks. Eddie
     
  19. ThePhoenix

    ThePhoenix Guest

    they never are much help. I asked my alignment guy if he could level out the truck while it was up on the rack doing an alignment. he said no

    now if I make it level, I need a new alignment...since the front tight is about 1.5 higher and the back left is 1..5 inches lower
     
  20. strizzlow20

    strizzlow20 Member

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    So is it okay to adjust the ride height myself? How do I do that and are there any specs I should go by? Its just that the front end is higher on both side than my rear. Any help would be awesome! Thanks! Eddie
     
  21. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    lowering front

    The rear springs sag with age resulting in the front being higher than the rear. The front height can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the torsion bar adjustment bolt. Since the upper and lower control arms are different lengths raising or lowering the front changes the camber. A wheel alignment will be needed to avoid uneven tire wear. The photo below shows the rear section of the torsion bar where the adjuster is located.

    BUMPSTOP.JPG

    The torsion bar seat cover is removed in the photo below and so the adjuster bolt is clearly visible. It is not necessary to remove the cover to adjust the bolt.

    tbseat.JPG
     

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