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Alignment Cam Eccentrics Help

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by angrysam, May 21, 2011.

  1. May 21, 2011 at 8:17 PM
    #1
    angrysam

    angrysam [OP] Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    I'm struggling with figuring out what cam does what. I'm so lost and so tired.

    Stock suspension, 4x4, DCSB.

    Does the front cam change camber more than caster or vice versa? Does it matter if I adjust it by turning the front or rear eccentric on the bolt? The bolt looks slotted so I assume both eccentrics are connected.

    What about the rear cam? Effect caster or camber more than the front? Does it matter if adjust it with the front or rear eccentric on the bolt?

    It looks like the front cam has a major effect on toe, too. Is this correct?

    Here's one example I'm fighting:

    I had +2.7* caster on the right. I wanted to bump my camber + a little.Had plenty of caster to spare so I adjusted the rear cam (from the rear, large hex eccentric) 2 notches to push the rear of the arm out and did my caster swing. Now it shows -1.7* caster and I can't get positive caster by moving it or the front at all now. WTF?

    The tabs are nice and straight and the eccentrics are fully seated between them.

    I don't know if it's because I'm tired or what but I can not get this figured out. I've done a ton of GM and Chrysler alignments but this thing is killing me. They were all adjusted from the upper arm, though, so I don't know. Taking a chase vehicle home to sleep on it for the night.

    Huge thanks for any help provided.
     
  2. May 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM
    #2
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    I can't help much - but I can tell you from experience that the eccentrics are connected. So, yeah, they turn together. If they don't that LCA nut is probably loosened too far allowing them to disengage, or something is broken.

    You probably already know that if you're lifted and if you're running stock upper control arms, you won't be able to get both caster and camber in spec. You'll be playing one off against the other until your eyes are crossed. This is why so many folks go to aftermarket upper-control-arms.

    I replace my own components - but have a pro do my alignment.
     
  3. May 22, 2011 at 1:13 AM
    #3
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    So lost, so tired of dicking with your alignment. I know the sentiment. I got a 5 lugger, but this should help.

    The front cam is Camber adjust.
    The rear cam is Caster adjust.

    You used the wrong cam to adjust the wrong setting and now you're all fucked up.

    Camber effects caster. If you change camber, you will change caster. This does not work vice versa. Caster will not effect camber.

    This all in turn changes the toe, but lets not worry about that yet.

    After some issues with my alignment with stock suspension, I learned a very hard, odd lesson about my truck.

    The camber adjustmest is normal. What the screen tells you, is what is happening.

    The caster adjustment...is backwards...sorta...(this is where/why you're having problems)

    To increase the caster, you have to move the cam so that on the alignment screen it actually looks like your decreasing the caster...like this...

    The optimum caster for the 5 lug is 3.9. (And yes, the 5 lugger rides a bit like a donkey b/c of this)

    If I wanted to INCREASE that caster, with my tools and looking at the screen, I would acutally want to decrease the numbers. I would adjust so that it would go from 3.9, 3.8, 3.7, 3.6. etc...

    Then caster sweep again....and the caster will have increased.

    To DECREASE caster, I would do the opposite. I would want the screen to appear to be increasing my caster. I.E. 3.9, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2. Re-sweep after and the caster will have decreased.

    So, when you get back to messing with it, this is what you'll want to do.

    -Get everything set up, make compensations and get to your M&A screen.
    -Go through the different graphs to get to the bar graphs for the front.
    -Set your camber wherever you want it using the front cam and then lock it down.
    -Resweep.
    -Go back to your caster cam (rear cam)
    -To increase: Move eccentric so that the numbers on the screen decrease. If you're at 1.7 caster and want to increase that, you'll move from 1.7, 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, etc..lock it down. (I'm sure you'll be looking to do this step and not the next to get back to 2.7)
    OR
    -To Decrease: Move eccentric so that the numbers on the screen increase. If you're at 1.7 caster and want to decrease that, you'll move from 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, etc...lock it down.
    -Resweep after either step, no matter what.
    -Set toe as needed if everything else is in spec, might also suggest resweeping and checking toe after your 1st toe adjustment.

    When messing with the cams, go in very stict order.

    Camber 1st.
    Caster 2nd. (since camber effects it but it does not effect camber.)
    Toe last.

    That should get you straightened out...pun intended.

    Like your avatar BTW!
     
  4. May 22, 2011 at 7:26 AM
    #4
    angrysam

    angrysam [OP] Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    Thanks guys!

    Quaker, I now see exactly what you are saying and yeah, that's gotta be what's going on. This is so opposite of what I'm used to.

    So now the phuking nut for the rear cam is STRIPPED. Been tightening them by hand but using the impact to snug them up between swings. Guess that's not happening anymore.

    I get to sit here all day stewing while I wait for to tomorrow to come and pray the dealer has a new cam sitting there.

    I've NEVER had this much trouble before and I've NEVER damaged shit doing an alignment. Maybe a day away from it will do me good.

    ->insert extremely long string of non family-friendly expletives here<-
     
  5. May 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM
    #5
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    Don't feel to bad, it took me and a Ford/Jag master tech about 3 hours to finally realize what the hell was going on. I tried to warn him though, not to just start go around moving cams cause something was weird...what did he do...hmmm..

    Keep updating! Shitty about that nut. My LF Camber cam is frozen if it makes you feel any better.
     
  6. May 23, 2011 at 8:56 AM
    #6
    angrysam

    angrysam [OP] Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    Man, that sucks. That's why I try to do all of my own alignments (and tire balancing) so much. I've never had any lucky trying to find a good shop around here to do either. I think that's why I can't walk away from this business for very long. Lol.

    I even got the dealership to let me come in after hours after I quit to do one, once.

    Maybe I should pull my bolts now and anti-seize them while I can still move them.

    Well, I got the bolt/cam, rear eccentric and nut ordered this morning. Total came to about $36 so it wasn't too painful. Hopefully be in tomorrow morning.

    In the mean time- I cut the hex off of the rear eccentric, rethreaded the bolt and put on a lock nut. It's kind of a hinky fix but I have plenty of thread with that hex cut off so I feel safe driving it.

    And I got the alignment set in about 15 minutes thanks to you guys.

    Really appreciate the help and advise.
     
  7. May 23, 2011 at 5:07 PM
    #7
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    Good, good. Glad to hear.
     
  8. May 23, 2011 at 6:30 PM
    #8
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately this is right. Some hack shops will bend tabs to get more adjustment out of it. This does not mean that he absolutely had to bend them to get your alignment right. The cam tabs are not a weakness of the truck as previously stated. If you have a bent one, it was bent because an alignment shop did it to get more alignment. if the cam bolts are properly torqued they shouldnt put any stress on the tabs.
     
  9. May 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM
    #9
    angrysam

    angrysam [OP] Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    New parts are installed and we're back to normal, America.

    I snapped a couple pics of my temp fix. Thought they might help someone if they get into a similar jam and need to get rolling again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. May 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM
    #10
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Thor

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    Yes they are, and not necessarily. If the cam seizes in the LCA bushing it'll flatten those tabs in short order.

    Hard wheeling can also provide enough force on the tabs to flatten them.
     
  11. Jul 25, 2012 at 7:23 PM
    #11
    goufcustom

    goufcustom 7.62x63mm

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    I just got finished replacing a seize one, when I installed me 5100s I found it, and it took me a month to get back in and replace it. The bushing was a complete and utter bitch to get out, took me about 2+ hrs to get it out once I cut it off the truck... :mad:

    Went back together in about 5 mins, and it and the rest of the non-seized ones have more grease than you can imagine on them. F-Toyota for not greasing these critical components.

    Also we had a 12 ton press at the ready, it was useless on these...

    Also, my alignment is so messed up right now, I am afraid to drive it to the shop, need to adjust the eccentrics tomorrow to get it close, and then take it to a professional. SO looking for some help with that, my front looks like this \-----/ which of the LCA eccentrics should I turn to reduce this so that I can drive it the 10 miles to a shop?


    ETA: WOW, sorry for resurrecting the dead here...
     
  12. Jul 30, 2012 at 4:45 PM
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    beerking

    beerking Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain man! I just installed some coilovers and removed the alignment bolts on the LCA's to get the old coilovers removed. I had no idea these were used for alignment and my alignment is completely jacked now. I figured the alignment would be kinda bad after a suspension mod but it's straight up dangerous. I was 2 hours from home and had to make the drive. Both my front tires are shredded. Hopefully I didn't kill the wheel bearings, too. Hoping to adjust it to a safer state to take it to a shop to get it aligned. *sigh* Live and learn, I guess....
     
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