Front end lean and alignment on 1997 explorer | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Front end lean and alignment on 1997 explorer

marsjnj

New Member
Joined
March 1, 2015
Messages
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City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Ford Explorer XLT
I am working on my son's 1997 Explorer XLT with 4.0 OHV engine. The tires were worn down to the threads on the inside edge and the passenger side upper ball joint was shot. We replaced the ball joint and control arm and had new tires installed. The truck had a serious lean on the drivers side so I swapped the rear leaf springs thinking the drivers side was weak but it only made a difference of around 1/4". I then adjusted the drivers side torsion bar and raised the drivers side about 1" and leveled the truck out. I took the truck in for alignment and the guy told me the hub bearings needed replaced before he could do the alignment. I brought it home and adjusted the toe using the extension cord method and got the steering wheel straightened out and got it to quit pulling to the right. I then checked camber and had way too much negative angle especially on the drivers side. My son ordered new hubs for the front from Amazon which I will install next week before finishing the alignment. It already has a concentric washer system installed to adjust camber so that should be easy. I haven't figured out how to check caster yet so I may end up taking it to a shop again. My question is: If I take it to a shop, and they adjust the camber to be less negative, will that raise the front of the truck? If so, and with the drivers side being more negative than the passenger side I'm assuming that the drivers side will end up higher. Do the alignment shops adjust the torsion bars? Should I put the torsion bar back where it was originally? The reason I'm asking is because I don't have a lot of confidence in alignment shops. They don't like to answer questions and I'm somewhat picky. Also, I'm not totally convinced it needs hub bearings because he very grudgingly allowed me to watch while he worked his ass off trying to wiggle the tire to demonstrate that they were bad but I'm going to replace the hubs/bearings anyway.
 



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I call b.s. on the hub bearings being bad. If they ARE bad, you'd know it by the grinding sound they make. Besides, swapping wheel brgs does not normally affect the alignment (done it several times with no ill effect on tire wear). With that said, if your Explorer has the originals and over 100K miles, you may as well be proactive and replace them.
 






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I call b.s. on the hub bearings being bad. If they ARE bad, you'd know it by the grinding sound they make. Besides, swapping wheel brgs does not normally affect the alignment (done it several times with no ill effect on tire wear). With that said, if your Explorer has the originals and over 100K miles, you may as well be proactive and replace them.

I call b.s. on the hub bearings being bad. If they ARE bad, you'd know it by the grinding sound they make. Besides, swapping wheel brgs does not normally affect the alignment (done it several times with no ill effect on tire wear). With that said, if your Explorer has the originals and over 100K miles, you may as well be proactive and replace them.

What is "ARC? Also, apparently if you have the concentric adjustment system installed, it is possible to adjust drivers side caster by moving one concentric washer more than the other.
 






Automatic ride control. ARC
^ you may or may not have this system so check with google

You can buy a Set of camber caster cam bolts because the factory cams are not adjustable

Here is a link

Left control arm is not adjustable without the cam bolts
 






Automatic ride control. ARC
^ you may or may not have this system so check with google

You can buy a Set of camber caster cam bolts because the factory cams are not adjustable

Here is a link

Left control arm is not adjustable without the cam bolts
Oh, ok, thanks, I don't have ARC then. I do have the cam bolts, a previous owner apparently installed them. I've got the alignment all figured out, just waiting for hubs, brake pads and 2" lift shackles for the rear. The specs you provided for camber were 1 degree different than what i was going to use so I appreciate the info. Currently the camber is around 3 degrees which is wayyy off.
 






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