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Camber adjustment on a 92 Explorer 4x4 XLT.

explorer dreams

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does anyone know how this is done? tired of getting ripped by the mechanic shop. want to try to do it myself. get it as close as possible to normal.
 



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BrooklynBay

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Carguy3J

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As far as I recall, the first gen has no easy means of camber adjustment. I think you'd have to remove the kingpins/ball joints, and replace them with offset/eccentric ones, designed to adjust the camber a set amount. I don't recall the exact process, but it is a big job.

Of course, in order to know how much adjustment is needed, it would frst need to be put on an alignment rack and checked, as to how far out it is.

Further, alignment specs are measured in 1/16ths of an inch, and it's important to get it right. You need special tools and equipment. It's one thing to try and get it close, after doing some repairs, just so you can drive it to the shop to be done right. Trying to "eyeball" your alignment, so you can skip the real thing, is a bad idea.
 






KobeJ05

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is this why our tires are slanted in the front?
 






elbow2342

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On my 94 the camber is adjusted by turning an eccentric bushing on the upper balljoint but there is much to consider about wheel alignment on a 4x4 .The front tires will wear unevenly even when the alignment is right. It just comes with the 4x4 territory. Elbow
 






Carguy3J

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On my 94 the camber is adjusted by turning an eccentric bushing on the upper balljoint but there is much to consider about wheel alignment on a 4x4 .The front tires will wear unevenly even when the alignment is right. It just comes with the 4x4 territory. Elbow

That's what I was referring to, the eccentric bushings. I don't think those are there from the factory. Unless the vehicle has been aligned previously, and had them installed, then it is a lot of work putting them in.

In any case, an alignment is pretty much beyond the home mechanic.
 






KPSquared

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The eccentric bushings are there from the factory. that's how they align the truck. Find a good alignment shop and they should help you out. I just got mine aligned. $140.00 and it's not bad. Considering the big tires and such.
 






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I have a 92 XLT 4x4, and I have been told by the alignment shop that the sleeves are not adjustable. Had I known this before I went to get an alignment, I would have attempted to change them when I replaced my ball joints. Bleh.

I see on Rockauto that several options exists, and it seems that they get more expensive as they become more adjustable (+-1 degree versus +-2 degree, etc.). Ideally, I would like to install the sleeves myself, and take it to the alignment shop and have them do the rest. Would I be safe to purchase a set of adjustable sleeves that go to say, +-1.5 degrees, and go about it this way? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 






Iron Weasel

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I have a 92 XLT 4x4, and I have been told by the alignment shop that the sleeves are not adjustable. Had I known this before I went to get an alignment, I would have attempted to change them when I replaced my ball joints. Bleh.

I see on Rockauto that several options exists, and it seems that they get more expensive as they become more adjustable (+-1 degree versus +-2 degree, etc.). Ideally, I would like to install the sleeves myself, and take it to the alignment shop and have them do the rest. Would I be safe to purchase a set of adjustable sleeves that go to say, +-1.5 degrees, and go about it this way? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

It would be better to take it to a reputable alignment shop and let them do it.

Reason for that is they can tell how many degrees the camber is off and can replace the camber bushing accordingly. Say you buy a +1.5° bushing, but your camber is off 2.25°...now you're stuck with a bushing that's essentially worthless. The exception would be if you bought a 3°+ bushing, but that's a huge bushing and you may not need that much. When my wife and I took ours in, the shop changed out the bushings as part of the alignment and didn't even charge us for the parts.
 






KPSquared

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A a home alignment is NOT out of the range of the home mechanic. I just did mine and it's way better than the idiots in town did. Find 4x4junkieS article on here or on therangerstation.com and do some reading. Get some 2 piece adjustable bushings (+/- 4 degrees) and the go at it. I just used an angle finder, a a tape measure, and a a lot of patients. Adjust, go for a a drive, adjust again. It's really simple and effective. Don't accept tire wear and bad steering as normal... It can be done. Do a a little research, buy the buushings and you're good to go.
 






Carguy3J

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A a home alignment is NOT out of the range of the home mechanic. I just did mine and it's way better than the idiots in town did. Find 4x4junkieS article on here or on therangerstation.com and do some reading. Get some 2 piece adjustable bushings (+/- 4 degrees) and the go at it. I just used an angle finder, a a tape measure, and a a lot of patients. Adjust, go for a a drive, adjust again. It's really simple and effective. Don't accept tire wear and bad steering as normal... It can be done. Do a a little research, buy the buushings and you're good to go.

The problem is; you already left out a few VERY important details.
1.) It must be done a completely flat/level surface with all 4 corners at ride height.
2.) Between any adjustment/measurement, you need to remove any "bind" from the suspension, by rolling the vehicle forward/back, and bouncing it a few times; unless you have all 4 wheels on free-floating turn plates.
3.) An angle finder is not the right tool. It will not give an accurate measure of either camber or caster. Yes, the readings may be precise, but not accurate, as you will measuring in a manner different from how the factory specs are determined. A magnetic caster/camber gauge is the way to go, as it can be placed on the hub face; and it will stay put, in the same spot while you measure
(FYI, there is a difference in precision and accuracy, just a little tidbit of trivia)
4.) Setting toe precisely generally requires 2 people, and toe plates. Tape measures will get you close, to get to the shop, but it's not precise enough for a permanent fix.
5.) This is a long, time consuming, frustrating process.

Finally, you mention patience. Many people do not have the maintenance, or the attention detail needed to do this job properly. This is also not a job to cut corners on. So....... Technically yes, it can be done at home, but it's probably best for most people to just take it to a shop.
 






KPSquared

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Ok, now that I'm not posting from my phone, I'll try to be a little more specific.

There is an article on alignments that pretty well explains all the ins and outs of a TTB suspension alignment. It covers all those things you mentioned. Yes, it would be better to have the more accurate measuring devices, but I've had my truck to 2 different alignment shops and realize that more and more places have no clue how to properly align the TTB.

I guess if you don't have a garage or a flat driveway, this is already a no go, but most guys do have a flat, level work surface somewhere.

As far as no bind goes, you can get away with just one front wheel on a steel plate with a couple of pieces of round stock underneath it to let it slide. This will release all the bind from the suspension after you jack it up.

I used a magnetic protractor, I always call it an angle finder, but maybe thats not the right term. Either way, stuck to the hub or the knuckle, made checking the numbers really easy...

Getting 2 people for doing the toe in is really not a big deal for most people with friends/wife/children... unless you live under a rock. Spin the tire, hold a piece of chalk or grease pencil to it, make a line... measure. You can get it pretty accurate this way.

It is a long, time consuming process, but I love working on my truck, I like doing things right, and I'm sick of crap alignments. My camber was so out of wack last time, I don't think the shop even adjusted it.

The 2 piece bushings make this whole process a lot easier. You can just look at the chart and and the make a small change to the castor or camber without affecting the other.

I guess I should mention that I have a 5.5" lift and 35's and use this rig off road a lot. Keeping my alignment straight is really hard to do. My suspension is still settling in so I have to adjust it after every couple trail rides... but it makes a HUGE difference on how it tracks down the highway.

The biggest thing is to be super careful, take your time, and make small adjustments. Then measure, check, measure, check... again patience is the key. If you don't have the ability to take pride in a job and learn to do it clean and proper, then yes, just take it to a shop. Then take it back when their alignment sucks.

I thought a big point of a forum like this is to help people find good info on the DIY stuff. If "take it to a shop" is always the answer, this forum wouldn't exist...
 






elbow2342

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As with every mechanical process ,having the right tools, equipment ,and knowhow,always makes the job easier and more precise. But many of us are compulsive do-it-ourselfers and need to experience the gratification of a succesful repair or disapointment of a failed attempt. Not to mention the cost of labor nowadays.when we are successful we can save our selves hundreds if not thousands of dollars in parts and labor costs,
One of the biggest influences on wheel camber is ride height. if our spings are weak it causes to much positive camber if we put in heavy or longer springs and raise the ride height we get negative camber .If one of the rear springs is weak it will cause the opposite front wheel to move towards negative, Just hauling around a load in the back of an Ex will change the camber
Worn parts or damaged suspension will also cause camber problems,but in most cases the wear or damage needs to be fairly bad to not be able to compensate with the adjustment.
I would remove the wheel,loosen the adjuster and turn it to see the effects on the spindle..on my 94 the notch in the sleeves are straight out which makes max pos. camber. ELBOW
 






elbow2342

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AMEN--KPSquared Couldnt say it better myself. great advice-- Elbow
 






Maniak

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As far as no bind goes, you can get away with just one front wheel on a steel plate with a couple of pieces of round stock underneath it to let it slide. This will release all the bind from the suspension after you jack it up.

I use 2 pieces of 12x12 1/8 steel with some bearing grease between them under each front tire.. That seems to work really well as a slip plate.


I do agree though. Its very hard to find a good alignment shop. All the ones I have found just do what the computer tells them.. They don't understand how things will wear, especially when its not a stock vehicle kept on pavement.

There is 1 person who has been able to align the X well. He knows how I drive it, knows how it wears and understands TTB suspension. I drive 150+ miles (put the X on the trailer) at < 10mpg just to have him align it.

If I can't use him, I'm doing it myself.

~Mark
 






plcrew

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Where can I purchase the camber bushings?
 






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