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How to: Replacing Camber/Caster Bolts


GRNMACHINE

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Thanks for the pics 2000. Slightly off topic but I have been looking for pics of the difference in 95 to 96+ torsion setups. Superlift claims their lift will not work on the 95's as they torsion bar setup is welded to the frame.
 


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dstro

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I'm glad I wasn't the only one having a tough time getting the cam bolt out of it's hole. Thanks for the write-up
 




truant

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Wow. I just bought all of the parts to do this job on both sides of the truck from rockauto for ~100+shipping. Wow. That was less than the price for ONE control arm from advance, autozone and sears auto center. Definetly a bookmark to keep.
 




G-96XLT

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Just a tip to all of you doing this. You don't have to cut the bolts, for the back just bend those lines out of the way. A large ratchet and 21mm socket fits over it fine. It needs one hard break with a leverage bar and then it goes around 1/16th each ratchet because there is no room to move. Also on the front one you can break it with a bar and once its broken push the control arm all the way towards the engine and it exposes the bolt for easier unscrewing. Either way they're a bitch because there is no range to move. You just have to get that leverage bar on in the right spot and crack it a tiny bit to get it started.
 




torqlox

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Just picked up both sides of Moog kit and plan on doing this tonight. I wish there was a drawing online that described how this system works, because it's hard to tell just by pictures. I am sure I will be able to see it once I am under the truck.
 




Paul Fithian

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View attachment 55611

Also make sure that both bolt heads are next to the shock absorber mount as shown in the first photo of this post.
Why is this important? I had a very hard time removing the stock bolts on the driver side of a 2001 Sport Trac. The ABS lines and fuel return line are in the way. I'd like to install the new cam bolts with the bolt head on the outside of the shock tower to simplify installation.

The camber bolts are torqued to spec and then adjusted per this video:
by turning the bolt heads, not the nuts.

I can see where having the bolt heads on the outside of the shock tower supports would be easier to access for the alignment guy doing the work. Also, the square 3/8" hole in the cams could be accessed from either side for adjustment.
 
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2000StreetRod

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As I recall the reason was to have enough room for the torque wrench with a deep well socket to fit on the nut. If you torque the head of the bolt instead of the nut the cams will turn and alignment will not be maintained.
 




boominXplorer

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Yes you definitely want the heads towards the shock tower. You have to tighten the upper arms at ride height with the tires on the ground. It would be near impossible to do if the nuts are on the inside.
 




Turdle

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Also, to perform an alignment requires loosening the nuts and adjusting the bolt head. The nuts need to have the easiest access to do this. If the bolt head is out your alignment guy is going to get upset while working on your truck. It is doable, but very difficult and out of norm for them to encounter that.

You definitely need an alignment right after replacing these.
 




Paul Fithian

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I believe it would be no problem to torque these to spec no matter which way the bolt is oriented.

From the Specialty Products video, the bolts should be torqued to spec before an alignment adjustment is done.

With the 3/8" hole in the eccentric washers, a breaker bar or ratchet could be put on either side and rotate the washers to adjust alignment. No further torquing of the bolts/nuts should be necessary, right?

My plan would be to install these with Loctite on the bolts and advise the alignment shop to only use the 3/8" square hole on the washer to adjust them. Sound right?
 




Turdle

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I believe it would be no problem to torque these to spec no matter which way the bolt is oriented.

From the Specialty Products video, the bolts should be torqued to spec before an alignment adjustment is done.

With the 3/8" hole in the eccentric washers, a breaker bar or ratchet could be put on either side and rotate the washers to adjust alignment. No further torquing of the bolts/nuts should be necessary, right?

My plan would be to install these with Loctite on the bolts and advise the alignment shop to only use the 3/8" square hole on the washer to adjust them. Sound right?
No
No loctite is needed. Those are nylock nuts.

Unless you have seen it for yourself, the bolts should face the correct direction. I urge you to take the collective word on that. You came here for an answer, it isn't always going to be the easy one.

There is a trick to installing them right. Once you get it, you will smile. I can't actually describe it, but it involves having the washer on the bolt partially, giving yourself enough room and angle through the first hole, to rotate and finagle the bolt and washer right into place. It is only the one bolt which is a hassle, all the outer washers will slip right on once the bolts are in place.
 




Paul Fithian

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I was able to install these on both sides with the bolt heads closest to the shock tower.

But I had to cut 9/16" off of each bolt in order to get them in.
 




Turdle

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Applause, and congratulations for not cheating. It really will pay off. The only reason I think the extra thread length would ever be needed would be "if" the nuts worked loose and managed to crawl up 1/2" of thread. Even if it did that bolt is not going to just "fall out".
The alignment guy will thank you. Make sure you point it out to him, he'll know you know what you are speaking about under there and give you a great alignment.
 




Paul Fithian

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Thanks Jon.

But I will start out with a DIY alignment using some blocks, a string, and a machinist level. This will cover toe in and camber.

How critical or adjustable is caster on these vehicles?
 




Turdle

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I'm not positive about sport tracs, but explorers of the same year had an adjustable upper control arm on the passenger side. Once the caster and camber are achieved on the driver side, the passenger side can be adjusted for matching caster.

Think of the control arm as a triangle. Now, if the front camber bolt is adjusted inward, this will pull the upper ball joint forward, decreasing caster angle. However, every time this is done the camber also changes. The adjustable upper on the driver side makes it much easier for the tech to achieve matching caster angles side to side, without going from side to side making adjustments over and over again.
Matching caster is very critical if you want the truck to feel like it is tracking straight. More caster on both sides will make the steering wheel return to straight with more force on it's own, so you can imagine how it would feel if the angles were not very close side to side.





The ride height should be adjusted first, side to side using the lower control arm bolt as the reference.
Then the steering wheel should be centered, with the alignment started off a centered steering wheel.

You should be able to get it dialed in close enough for the drive to the shop, but please do drive it to the shop. IFS is very difficult to get dialed in by eyeball and plum bob.
 




swshawaii

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Paul Fithian

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Thanks!!!
 




Paul Fithian

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OK, now I am convinced of the orientation of the bolts as described earlier in this thread.

You can't torque the nuts properly to spec unless the nuts are away from the shock tower on both sides.
 




koda2000

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I just changed my upper/lower ball joints last week. I just re-installed my OE caster/camber plates/bolts exactly the way they came off. I went to the alignment shop yesterday and they didn't need to replace the OE plates/bolts to set the alignment. I'm glad I did waste the money on adjustable bolts/eccentrics.
 


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