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Interesting Alignment Problem After Changing Camber Hardware and LCA Bushings

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Old 10-22-2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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Interesting Alignment Problem After Changing Camber Hardware and LCA Bushings

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I have an alignment problem that I can't figure out. I just barely replaced my LCA camber bolts, sleeves, and everthing including the bushings because they seized and I couldn't get an alignment anymore. I checked all the alignment tabs and nothing is bent. I do have the Bilstein 5100 Adjustable shocks set at 0" with OME 885 coils on the front. I know that some people needed new UCA's after a lift to get a proper alignment but when I first lifted the front Firestone didn't have a problem aligning it.

My most recent numbers before the Camber Sleeve seized:

Code:
          Left    Right  Factory Range
Camber:   1.1     0.8    0.2-1.3
Caster:   1.5     1.3    1.0-2.5
Toe:     -0.01    0.03   0.0-0.11
Some time later my camber sleeves seized inside the bushing and Firestone was unable to adjust it. I tried getting it aligned again a little while later again after soaking it in PB blaster but that didn't help either. (I also got Spidertrax spacers while the sleeves were seized, but I don't think that should affect the alignment). I cut out the bushings and camber sleeves recently and had the Toyota dealership push out my old bushings and press in my new ones and I put everything back together. I then got an alignment and my numbers are:

Code:
          Left    Right  Factory Range
Camber:   0.5     -0.7   0.2-1.3  
Caster:   2.0     0.4    1.0-2.5  
Toe:      0.01    -0.01  0.0-0.11
Both the cams on my right side are maxed out with the bolt towards the center of the truck and the tab facing outwards. My front left cam is also maxed out with the bolt towards the center of the truck and the tab facing outwards. My back left cam is pretty neutral.

I didn't change my suspension in any way between the two alignments except for the camber bolts. What could be causing this problem? Could it get worse? Or should I just get new UCAs and hope that solves the problem? Will new UCAs give me too much Caster on the left side?
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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You take any real hard hits?
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:17 AM   #3
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Do you trust the alignment shop? Those numbers seem pretty screwy, almost like the tech screwed something up...
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #4
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What Pugga said, those numbers look really wacky
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXX View Post
You take any real hard hits?
I took one really hard hit once on the passenger side when the bolts were seized but they got the alignment pretty close with the bolts seized but they didn't give me the paper. Is there a part I can check to see if that screwed something up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Do you trust the alignment shop? Those numbers seem pretty screwy, almost like the tech screwed something up...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyWayne View Post
What Pugga said, those numbers look really wacky
Not really. I used my lifetime alignment at firestone. I brought it in at noon and they didn't get to it until closing time so the tech might have been in a hurry. Maybe I should take it to another one?
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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I'm not really knowledgeable about alignments. How do you know if the numbers are screwy?
I'm thinking since my cams are pushing my LCA maximally inwards, can't I just turn both of them a slight bit and get me to optimal camber?
Right now my truck goes straight when the steering wheel is straight. It doesn't seem to pull to hard either way. But the steering wheel shake gets crazy around 40 to 50 mph.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Drunknsloth;7601891]I took one really hard hit once on the passenger side when the bolts were seized but they got the alignment pretty close with the bolts seized but they didn't give me the paper. Is there a part I can check to see if that screwed something up?

^^ Looks to me like a bent control arm

OR

Try the second opinion route. Find an alignment place that has a good local reputation and see if they will put it on their machine for a check. Once I went to three different places in the same day and got three entirely different sets of numbers.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunknsloth View Post
How do you know if the numbers are screwy?
^^ I'm not that great with alignments either but there is a MASSIVE difference between left and right caster so that looks screwy to me, if both sides are mirror images of each other they should be able to get those caster numbers close, if not then I would think that something is either wacky with the tech or possibly something is bent as Taco09 said. I'm no expert but sumthin aint rite
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunknsloth View Post
I'm not really knowledgeable about alignments. How do you know if the numbers are screwy?
I'm thinking since my cams are pushing my LCA maximally inwards, can't I just turn both of them a slight bit and get me to optimal camber?
Right now my truck goes straight when the steering wheel is straight. It doesn't seem to pull to hard either way. But the steering wheel shake gets crazy around 40 to 50 mph.
You can tell the numbers are screwy because they're soo far apart side to side. I had my numbers that far off once and it was because one side was seized and the tech told me he couldn't budge anything on one side of the truck. With everything being new and free, there's no reason to have that kind of difference side to side unless something is bent.

I would take it back to Firestone first and tell them to fix it. At the very least, they should have given you an explanation as to why the numbers were that far off.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco'09 View Post
^^ Looks to me like a bent control arm

OR

Try the second opinion route. Find an alignment place that has a good local reputation and see if they will put it on their machine for a check. Once I went to three different places in the same day and got three entirely different sets of numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyWayne View Post
^^ I'm not that great with alignments either but there is a MASSIVE difference between left and right caster so that looks screwy to me, if both sides are mirror images of each other they should be able to get those caster numbers close, if not then I would think that something is either wacky with the tech or possibly something is bent as Taco09 said. I'm no expert but sumthin aint rite
Do shops usually check the numbers for free? Or should I try to use my lifetime alignment on another firestone?

It'll suck if it's a bent lower control arm. I just spent a bunch of money on the OEM bushings (and having them pressed in) that come with the LCA if I just bought that instead...
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
You can tell the numbers are screwy because they're soo far apart side to side. I had my numbers that far off once and it was because one side was seized and the tech told me he couldn't budge anything on one side of the truck. With everything being new and free, there's no reason to have that kind of difference side to side unless something is bent.

I would take it back to Firestone first and tell them to fix it. At the very least, they should have given you an explanation as to why the numbers were that far off.
The service manager that gave me my keys back just told me the tech said it looked like something was tweaked. I'll probably hit up another firestone and see what they say. I don't remember my LCA looking noticeably bent when I took it off... I'll check again when I get out of class.

Would just getting new UCAs if my LCA is bent fix the problem? Or is that not safe?
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunknsloth View Post
The service manager that gave me my keys back just told me the tech said it looked like something was tweaked. I'll probably hit up another firestone and see what they say. I don't remember my LCA looking noticeably bent when I took it off... I'll check again when I get out of class.

Would just getting new UCAs if my LCA is bent fix the problem? Or is that not safe?
If your LCA is bent, the best possible solution is to replace it. An adjustable UCA might help your alignment, but I'd fix the problem, not find a work around.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
If your LCA is bent, the best possible solution is to replace it. An adjustable UCA might help your alignment, but I'd fix the problem, not find a work around.
Hmmm... yeah that makes sense. I'll be able to check in about two hours.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:15 PM   #14
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Okay so the LCA doesn't look bent, the spindle doesn't look bent, and the UCA doesn't look bent. There are some pictures below, I might be missing something.

Firestone is really starting to irk me. Since I've gotten the truck I've had it aligned 5 times. The first two and the most recent one by one firestone and the third and fourth time by another firestone. It looks like they're doing a really good job of rounding off my rack ends for adjusting the toe as you can see in the first picture (nice and shiny)

Here is the right (bad alignment side) LCA and it shows the rounded rack end:


Here is the left (good alignment side) LCA:


Here is the right (bad alignment side) Spindle:


Here is the left (good alignment side) Spindle:


Here is the right (bad alignment side) UCA:


Here is the left (good alignment side) UCA:


The following pictures of the Cams are all looking from the rear to the front, so all the pictures are looking at the rear of the Cam

Here is the right (bad alignment side) rear Cam:


Here is the right (bad alignment side) front Cam:


Here is the left (good alignment side) rear Cam:


Here is the left (good alignment side) front Cam:
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:44 PM   #16
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I don't see the LCA bending before the mounts do. Once the lca is removed you can bend the paperthin mounts by hand. Check where they are welded to the frame. If you don't see cracks I guess you could of bent the lca but still find it very very hard to believe. If it is bent they are going for $350 new per side with New bj's and bushings.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXX View Post
I don't see the LCA bending before the mounts do. Once the lca is removed you can bend the paperthin mounts by hand. Check where they are welded to the frame. If you don't see cracks I guess you could of bent the lca but still find it very very hard to believe. If it is bent they are going for $350 new per side with New bj's and bushings.
I just went out and looked. This is a picture of the weld on the rear side of the front passenger LCA/Cam mount (Looking at the lower side of the weld in this picture, the lower side is the side against the actual mount and the upper side is the side against the frame):


I can't tell if it's paint flaking off or a crack in the weld. I know it's a big problem if it's a crack but it doesn't look like it would have moved enough to screw up my alignment this bad would it?
And if it's a crack how would I fix it though? I mean if I just weld it on as is then my alignment is still out of whack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahshiet View Post
Looks like everything is maxed out and in maybe take it to another shop to get it checked
I will do that before I start changing parts. I'll have to wait until this weekend though because classes are really killing me.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXX View Post
I don't see the LCA bending before the mounts do. Once the lca is removed you can bend the paperthin mounts by hand. Check where they are welded to the frame. If you don't see cracks I guess you could of bent the lca but still find it very very hard to believe. If it is bent they are going for $350 new per side with New bj's and bushings.
Camelback Toyota has LCA's for $230 if I recall correctly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunknsloth View Post
The following pictures of the Cams are all looking from the rear to the front, so all the pictures are looking at the rear of the Cam

Here is the right (bad alignment side) rear Cam:
That bad rear tab should be the other way, that would push the rear out helping your camber number and push the spindle forward helping your caster number. If your LCA isn't bent, it could just be a shitty alignment job.

Keep in mind, if your LCA is visually bent, you have serious issues. You're talking about a couple degrees of variation. A slight bend in the LCA would be tough to spot with the naked eye.

A crappy alignment job or a bent LCA could both be the culprit.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Camelback Toyota has LCA's for $230 if I recall correctly


That bad rear tab should be the other way, that would push the rear out helping your camber number and push the spindle forward helping your caster number. If your LCA isn't bent, it could just be a shitty alignment job.

Keep in mind, if your LCA is visually bent, you have serious issues. You're talking about a couple degrees of variation. A slight bend in the LCA would be tough to spot with the naked eye.

A crappy alignment job or a bent LCA could both be the culprit.
So here's what I'm thinking, I should turn the tab a slight bit like Pugga described and then try to take it to another shop for another alignment and see what they say.
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