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  #1  
Old 01-16-2008, 09:12 AM
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hykerwilson hykerwilson is offline
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Default Front End Alignment Issues (maxed out)

Howdy,

I had done the ball joint spacer lift in the front of my 93runner with ome springs in the rear. I have had it aligned (2x) and the place that I have brought it to has told me that my caster adjustment is maxed out the way it sits and cannot adjust it any better. I remember reading the paperwork that came with the kit. It said something about tweaking the adjustments so that it is somewhere in the ball park when you bring it to an alignment shop. I didn't tweak.

I am wondering if you know of a shop that knows something about correcting this issue that I have. The truck drives fine as long as there are not any well worn ruts in the road. Then it is like trying to drive a car in reverse at about 60. a bit tricky. I would like to get it better at least. any suggestions on whom to speak to. and possible cost associated?

thanks,

Hyker Wilson
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:39 AM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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I came from the Nissan truck community (4 trucks over the years modded), and owned an 86 4Runner and they all have this issue when you crank up the t-bars and add BJ spacers. Unless you get aftermarket upper Control arms that have caster built in and are longer to correct camber issues, there is nothing else to do. If the encentrics are maxed out, there is no more adjustment. Your ball joints and tie rod ends will not like operating at those angles. The idler arm will also not last long, either, not to mention your CV angles as well.

Even though BJ spacers are a common item that some people claim have had no issues with wear of components or getting into alignment spec, they are in wishful thinking.

If you are going to keep the truck and use it for wheeling, either live with it at a mild TB crank of 1-1.5", or get the very reasonably-priced SAS kits that are out there, and get an 84 axle out of a junk yard. I helped with my buddies 88 runner using All-Pro and AOR parts. Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:19 PM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Bumping an old thread. I have the ball joint spacers and got the truck into Firestone for an alignment. I did a quick-n-dirty framing square and tape measure alignment after installing the spacers. It actually drove well enough, although the steering wheel was off. I actually got the toe about right, but my camber was way off. The numbers I got on the most recent work invoice (just this morning).

Left Camber:
Actual: 0.63
Before: -1.29
Range: 0 to 1.00
Left Caster:
Actual: -0.58
Before: -0.61
Range: 01.17 to 2.17
Left Toe:
Actual: 0.05
Before: -0.20
Range: 0.08 to 0.16

Right Camber:
Actual: 0.66
Before: 1.30
Range: 0 to 1.00
Right Caster:
Actual: -0.77
Before: 0.50
Range: 01.17 to 2.17
Right Toe:
Actual: 0.06
Before: -0.12
Range: 0.08 to 0.16

Cross Camber:
Actual: -0.02
Before: -2.59
Range: -0.50 to 0.50
Cross Caster:
Actual: 0.19
Before: -1.10
Range: -0.50 to 0.50
Total Toe:
Actual: 0.11
Before: -0.32
Range: 0.16 to 0.32

I have a frozen adjuster, the one on the rear of the right side control arm, so that limits how much they can do. I now have a slight pull to the right and so I'm taking it to the Firestone by me here at work tomorrow. But I'm not hopeful that they'll even bother doing anything. Between the seized adjuster, BFG tires, torsion bar crank and ball joint spacers, they always give me the song and dance that there's not much they can do, blah, blah. I know that, but it all seems to depend on who does the alignment and if they bother to drive it after. I can't seem to get the same tech each time, but I've had alignments that nailed it and some that seem worse than before.

Some of them just put it on the machine, read the numbers and don't understand that even if the front end numbers say one thing, that they have to look at the thrust numbers to tell if it's gonna pull or not. When I look back on alignments that worked, the tech seems to use the thrust number to make sure they are within the spec and let the individual adjustment move slightly out of the range. In this most recent one, the total toe-in I think is not enough and the truck will pick up any slight variation in the road. On some surfaces, the thing runs dead on, but any crown or grooves (like the concrete part of I-25 between Hampden and Belleview) I have to steer slightly to the left. I think this one is basically a pretty good alignment, but just needs a bit more toe-in.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:09 PM
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AxleIke AxleIke is offline
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That is complete baloney.

I got the same run around. Firestone SUCKS. Never use them. They are the worst alignment place on the planet.

Took it to a guy, and he got my truck is aligned perfectly.

I now do my own alignments, and my steering wheel is straight, my tires are wearing perfectly, and I only have to correct for road crown. I get some funkyness at full lock due to the caster not being perfect, but it doesn't bother me, and doesn't affect the road manners.

If you want it done to spec, I know a guy you can go see with some beer. He is a tech at Burt, and after hours he works miracles.

However, you will need to get that rear bolt fixed. That is a show stopper. The easiest way is none at all. It will require a sawzall, and be sure you've got about 10 blades, more would be better.

Also, surf the boards for someone selling off their IFS junk for a used control arm, or just get one from the junk yard. Buy 4 new cam bolts.

It will be totally worth it. I personally would do all of the tie rods, and ball joints too if they haven't been done in a while. I did all of that, and the truck was like a brand new beast. It was awesome.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
That is complete baloney.

I got the same run around. Firestone SUCKS. Never use them. They are the worst alignment place on the planet.

Took it to a guy, and he got my truck is aligned perfectly.

I now do my own alignments, and my steering wheel is straight, my tires are wearing perfectly, and I only have to correct for road crown. I get some funkyness at full lock due to the caster not being perfect, but it doesn't bother me, and doesn't affect the road manners.

If you want it done to spec, I know a guy you can go see with some beer. He is a tech at Burt, and after hours he works miracles.

However, you will need to get that rear bolt fixed. That is a show stopper. The easiest way is none at all. It will require a sawzall, and be sure you've got about 10 blades, more would be better.

Also, surf the boards for someone selling off their IFS junk for a used control arm, or just get one from the junk yard. Buy 4 new cam bolts.

It will be totally worth it. I personally would do all of the tie rods, and ball joints too if they haven't been done in a while. I did all of that, and the truck was like a brand new beast. It was awesome.
In a perfect world...

The TRE and BJ are a couple of years old, probably ready for R&R. I know the right thing to do is replace the cams and bolts. I really do. But I'm so friggin' far behind in Rubithon prep that I'm just trying to get things good enough and not open too many additional cans of worms. Not to mention I've completely blown our budget all to heck. I'm definitely testing my lovely bride's patience and another $100 might mean I sleep in the truck permanently. :-/

Prior to putting the SDORI spacers in, my Firestone alignment seemed fine. The tires wore evenly, no problems in the last 2 years. But the spacers threw things out of whack, so I was forced to realign it. If the Firestone guy can get the right pull out tomorrow, I'll be happy. I already paid for the lifetime alignment, so no money out of my pocket.

There's a couple of IFS parts on Craigslist that would be nice to have if I only had the cash. I need to prioritize what spare parts I really need for the Rubicon. The more and more I think about it, I have no business trying it anyway, so I'll probably do the easy route in to Rubicon Springs with the bikes and tool around that way.

I should talk to, you know, that Burt guy. See what he wants to cut the bolt off and give it an alignment. I tried to do my own alignment, just not smart enough to get it right.

Edit: Yeah, it's gotta be the frozen adjuster. My driver's side has positive camber and the passenger's side is pretty much perpendicular to the ground. The FSM wants slightly positive camber, which will be tough to get with a rusted adjuster. Dang it! So since only one is frozen, will I screw things up by just replacing the single bushing and bolt? Looks like I can cut the bolt and press out the bushing, seems pretty straight forward.
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Last edited by DaveInDenver; 05-14-2008 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:36 PM
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RockRunner RockRunner is offline
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Dave, if you buy the new/used part and are able to put it on You are more than welcome to come over to my house and use my plasma cutter. It will take a few runs across it but it will work, i cut my steering arm off last year in about 3 minutes or less. LMK if you want/need to use it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRunner View Post
Dave, if you buy the new/used part and are able to put it on You are more than welcome to come over to my house and use my plasma cutter. It will take a few runs across it but it will work, i cut my steering arm off last year in about 3 minutes or less. LMK if you want/need to use it.
Cool, thanks!

So you can get that precise to cut out the alignment bolt with a plasma? That's so awesome. I'd have thought a Sawz-All and a ton of blades to get in there.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:44 AM
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AxleIke AxleIke is offline
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Plasma is almost impossible.

We tried it on Troy's truck, and, because we had replacement arms, ended up just cutting the arm to shreds and beating the rest out with a hammer.

You cannot get it to stay lit and not cut into the arm/bushing/subframe.

If you are looking to save cash, I'd take it over to burt and give it a shot without replacing anything. As I said in my PM, those bushings are over 100 bucks per, and they are a toyota part, not available from NAPA or others.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:59 AM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Whoops, got your PM, too. NAPA does list the lower control arm bushings, $37/each. List at Toyota is $60 (Bob Bridges, 1sttoyotaparts.com, quoted $43/each before shipping). Have not called to check availability on either yet. I will have to see Jerry for the bolt and washer, though. Think I'm just going to try the Sawz-All route, only one of them is frozen, the other 3 turn fine. Although I might at least replace the other bushing in the LCA with the frozen bolt, I'm thinking that having an old and a new bushing in the same arm might not be ideal.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:12 AM
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I got the rusted bolt out and ended up putting in another lower control arm (yeah, I have collected a whole spare front end, hub-to-hub). Two cuts, 3 blades and a whole bunch of words inappropriate for a Sunday morning later... The other three popped out, no problem. Reassembled with loads of anti-seize and went back in for an alignment. Better this time, still a pull to the right a little.

So I started wailing on parts, since I could not figure out when I replaced the ball joints and TREs (I keep a database of work done, but I miss a lot of entries). My best guess based on other work done is that they are probably about 3 to 4 years old, probably about 20~30,000 miles. When I stick a big pry bar between the spindle and control arm I can get visible extension when I really torque on the BJ (not enough that I think they are unsafe yet, but they are certainly worn).

I would normally just R&R them, but wondering about Rubithon and breakage. Is it worth spending $200 or more for 4 new Toyota parts or maybe I should consider going with something cheaper for the summer. I was hoping to put off the front end rebuild until this winter, when I was planning to do the whole thing. It looks like TRW, Spicer and Moog parts through NAPA or Carquest tend to be about the same as Toyota, so there's really no good magic $25 option to get me through. It's either Japanese or USA parts for $50 or Chinese junk for $20. Yeah, I'll probably do 4 new OEM parts and cry if one breaks out in California...
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