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Alignment/camber kit question.

JoeMahma

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So I noticed the other day that one of my front tires has feathering or scalloping on the inside tread. I took it in for alignment (Firestone) and was told that yes, it was out of alignment and it was put back to specs. All is well in Mountyland...so now I'm browsing the forum (I absolutely love this place) and I start reading about camber kits. I ran across this question and post...

Question:
If I am going to have a professional align my X do I need to buy the camber kit and bring it with me?

Just heard about it briefly when I had an alignment about six months back and the tech wrote in the comments section "need camber kit".

Some say it is not necessary but if I wanted to use it, what is the basic method? Apparently the tire shops don't stock the kit for the Explorers.

Can someone please shed some light on this? (by Lazzman)

Answer:
Hi Lazz!

The answer to your question depends on the type of control arm you have. If you have the one-piece control arms, then you need to check and see what type of large washers are on the mounting bolts. If the washers on the mounting bolts are oblong circles with a square hole for a 3/8" ratchet to fit into and turn, then they can be adjusted.

If, however, the mounting bolts are sort of rectangular, only with angled top corners, then they are not adjustable and need to be replaced with a camber kit. The only reason this type of washer would be there is if the vehicle originally had a two-piece control arm where the adjustment was made within the body of the control arm itself.

And then, of course, if you have the two-piece control arm, then you do not need a camber kit as the adjustments are made on the arm itself. (answer by ncc)


...I look at my truck and I have the ones with the square holes on the passengers side and the angled top ones with no square hole on the drivers side. I had my upper control arms replaced and both are now the one piece design. Do I need to get the ones with the hole on the drivers side as well? I was told the truck is aligned but I do not see how the drivers side could be set to specs with no way of adjustment. Sorry for the long post but I'm confused as hell. LOL! :confused: Any info would be highly appreciated.
 



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Turdle

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And then, of course, if you have the two-piece control arm, then you do not need a camber kit as the adjustments are made on the arm itself. (answer by ncc)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That part of the answer is incorrect-
the adjustment holes on the passenger side are for "CASTER ANGLE" adjustment.

yes, you need 2 camber shim kits. One for each side.
With the one piece arms-the "CASTER ANGLE" can be adjusted by manipulating the "CAMBER" shims.
 






JoeMahma

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And then, of course, if you have the two-piece control arm, then you do not need a camber kit as the adjustments are made on the arm itself. (answer by ncc)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That part of the answer is incorrect-
the adjustment holes on the passenger side are for "CASTER ANGLE" adjustment.

yes, you need 2 camber shim kits. One for each side.
With the one piece arms-the "CASTER ANGLE" can be adjusted by manipulating the "CAMBER" shims.
Thanks for the reply. So let me get this right. I already have the adjustable shims on the passengers side because they have the hole them to in them to insert a ratchet and turn therefore adjusting camber angle and I need to have the same style on the drivers side as well? In other words, I only need to replace the drivers side shims? Was it possible for the alignment shop to adjust the drivers side with the non adjustable shims in any other way?
 






Turdle

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Thanks for the reply. So let me get this right. I already have the adjustable shims on the passengers side because they have the hole them to in them to insert a ratchet and turn therefore adjusting camber angle and I need to have the same style on the drivers side as well? In other words, I only need to replace the drivers side shims? Was it possible for the alignment shop to adjust the drivers side with the non adjustable shims in any other way?

No, it isn't
 












JoeMahma

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So can I buy these and use them to replace the camber shims on the drivers side using the original bolts?
 

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Turdle

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So can I buy these and use them to replace the camber shims on the drivers side using the original bolts?
Yes. there are some kits which include the bolts also--
 






btexpress

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UGH...so my truck is probably out of whack as far as alignment goes?

Not necessarily........if the drivers side alignment checked ok, then the kits were not needed, perhaps the right side had bumped a curb or something and knocked that side out of camber.

All the places I have worked, if you put camber kits in one side, you do both sides, thus allowing further adjustments down the road. Caster and camber are adjusted to a spec for best tire wear and going straight down the road. It is possible to adjust only one side, but most of the time we do both sides to reach the optimum alignment readings.

Have the washers changed when the ball joints are done, if you loosen those bolts at all the alignment will have to be rechecked.
 






JoeMahma

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Not necessarily........if the drivers side alignment checked ok, then the kits were not needed, perhaps the right side had bumped a curb or something and knocked that side out of camber.

All the places I have worked, if you put camber kits in one side, you do both sides, thus allowing further adjustments down the road. Caster and camber are adjusted to a spec for best tire wear and going straight down the road. It is possible to adjust only one side, but most of the time we do both sides to reach the optimum alignment readings.

Have the washers changed when the ball joints are done, if you loosen those bolts at all the alignment will have to be rechecked.
Thanks for that BT. That makes me feel a little better. I only have 7000 mi. on these tires and I want them to last as long as possible. I had the joints and control arms replaced at the same time as the tires by Firestone under a warranty contract I had with the truck and I wish I would have known about this at that time. I would have had them put the kit in then. As far as bumping something and knocking the camber out...have you ever been on Pennsylvania roads? LOL! Not hard to do. Thanks for all the info. You guys rock!!!
 






Bronco Guy

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I just got done with a TT lift on my 97 Explorer and want to see if I can get a cheaper price for a camber kit than through the alignment shop. Does anyone know where you can buy them and then install them yourself to save some money?
 






patrick112390

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Bronco Guy

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patrick112390

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you need 2... at least if you go with napa.. so about 50 bucks

oh yea! now that i look at it, 77 bucks? youd save 27 bucks if you went with napa.. not even to mention shipping!
 






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Question

I recently purchased new tires, and I also requested an alignment on my 92' Explorer. I was told by the technician that my current camber could only be adjusted to a certain point unless I installed an aftermarket kit. If this is the case, I would like to install a kit myself and then immediately have the alignment done. With so many choices on Rockauto, I am unsure as to what kit to get. It seems the maximum degree adjustment is 4 degrees (ACDELCO Part # 45K6525), which is also the most expensive. It is also just a pinch bolt stud. About 50% of what I know about alignments I have learned from reading this thread right now.

Question:

Should I get the part that allows maximum degree adjustment?

Thanks!
 






btexpress

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1992 Explorer uses an eccentric on the upper ball joint, not the bolt/washer setup. You will save time, money and hassle by letting the alignment tech do this, since you need to know the alignment angles to determine which eccentric is needed to correct the camber/caster. Someone who has experience with this job will know which part to use to get the aligment right the first time. And once those parts are installed, the alignment can be adjusted in the future easily.
 






Francisco7791

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I just got done with a TT lift on my 97 Explorer and want to see if I can get a cheaper price for a camber kit than through the alignment shop. Does anyone know where you can buy them and then install them yourself to save some money?
I'm currently going thru the same thing just replace upper and lower ball joints and both tie rods the camber kits were
cheaper thru the alignment shop than at napa they wanted 43.00 and I got them for 34.00 CDN
 






blacksunbird4211

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I'm currently going thru the same thing just replace upper and lower ball joints and both tie rods the camber kits were
cheaper thru the alignment shop than at napa they wanted 43.00 and I got them for 34.00 CDN
I got the entire Northstar kit (part # 44-768) from Pep Boys here in MD for a little over $20USD a side and does 0-3.25 degrees of adjustment. Check them out.
 



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DirtJunky

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I have camber kit. Throw it on there before you go in or theyll charge you for putting it on. Just tell em you have it on there and need to be adjusted to alignment corrections
 






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