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Easy way to tell if cam bolts are seized?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by harris.greg62, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Apr 4, 2018 at 6:35 AM
    #1
    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm planning on installing some 5100's at 0.85" in the front, and also replacing the LCA bushings due to some dry rot based on my shop's recommendation. I feel confident in my mechanic abilities to use the non- spring compressor method to install 5100's, and also to replace the LCA bushings assuming nothing is seized so i can just get one alignment after. My confidence ends at sawing cam bolts out of my truck.

    Is there a way to check the cam bolts for seizing before I start taking everything apart? If they are seized, that's not something I want to do myself, but I also don't want to get a few steps into a job and find I have to put everything back together to drive to a shop. As far as I can tell I have to loosen the cam bolts for the 5100's, and I was planning on removing them at that point.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    FYI, shop wants $690 for the bushing install and $220 to install 5100's. Alignment would be free if I got both done by them. Not sure if that covers seized bolts.
     
  2. Apr 4, 2018 at 6:39 AM
    #2
    Radarninja

    Radarninja Safety 3rd

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    First you can buy LCA at autoparts stores for $200 each with bushing already installed.
    Second jack up the front end while watching your cams.
    When mine were seized the cams would move as the tires moved.
    Third if they are seized use a air hammer to push them out, way easier than sawzall.
    Good luck
     
    Orco59 likes this.
  3. Apr 4, 2018 at 6:50 AM
    #3
    Texoma

    Texoma IG: cwehlin

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    First, what's your location? Do they salt the roads where you're at? Do you drive on the beach frequently? Do you drive through muddy areas? If any of those are a yes, then I bet at least the cam bolts are heavily corroded if not seized. If no to all of those, then I don't see a need to replace them, just lube them very well. When I say lube, you're going to dip them in Lucas Red n Tacky and you're set for life. Best way and only way to tell if they are seized is to rotate them.
    First, mark the alignment cams front and back, total of 8 cams to the cam ears on the frame with a paint pen. It helps if everything is clean, some brake clean or acetone will do the job.
    Next, raise the vehicle on a lift or on to jack stands securely and loosen all four cams.
    Now, turn all the cams 180*. At first they may be hard to turn, but once freed, they should turn with ease. If they do not turn with ease, they are seized and the only way to remove them from the truck is to cut them out. They can't be pressed out, or hammered, or heated, or anything else, they must be cut. You can however cut them out in such a way that you can press the bushing out once removed, but it is cheaper and easier just to buy the Moog complete control arms from RockAuto. Any other questions or concerns on this matter, feel free to ask. I've dealt with this issue many times.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2018 at 6:57 AM
    #4
    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    So jack it up by the frame, and watch to see if the shock extending moves the cams? Also, I think I might go the route of new LCA's if I do it myself since it will be cheaper overall.

    I live in Colorado and the truck has lived here all it's life as far as I know, so no salted roads and definitely no beaches. Decent amount of snow/rain/moisture, and the occasional muddy fire road shuttling bikes, but not excessive.

    I'll try to rotate them and see if they move at all. So you're saying some dry rot in the front LCA bushings is no big deal, and to just lube rather than replace? Truck has 112k miles and as far as I know have never been replaced so I figured I'd get it out of the way while I have the front apart and save on an extra alignment down the road.
     
  5. Apr 4, 2018 at 7:08 AM
    #5
    Radarninja

    Radarninja Safety 3rd

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    This is all good info, but I must disagree with the cutting them out. I can't imagine any bushing more seized up than mine. I cut two out with a sawzall then came up with air hammer idea. The other two I had driven out in seconds. I'm mean it's worth a try as its a little cleaner.
     
    Larzzzz likes this.
  6. Apr 4, 2018 at 7:17 AM
    #6
    Texoma

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    A bunch a cool stickers, a bada ass MetalMiller Tx Longhorns grill emblem painted Hemi Orange, JBA long tube headers with o2 sims, Diff breather mod, Red LED interior lights, Fancy head unit that plays ipod n movies, Also DIY install factory stuff like, factory cruise control, factory intermittent wipers, OME nitro struts with 886x springs and toy tec top plate, JBA high caster UCA's for better alignmnet and dey beefier too, Old Man Emu Dakar leaf springs in da rear with the gear, U bolt flipper, Ivan Stewart TRD rims with 33" K Bro 2's, some bad ass weather tech floor liners so I don't muck up my interior, an ATO shackle flipper for mo travel in da rear wit the gear, also super shiny Fox 2.0 shocks back there too, all sorts of steal armor for bouncing off of the rocks like demello sliders, AP front skid, trans skid, n transfer skid, demello gas tank skid, and a tough as nails ARB bumper with warn 8k winch, I'm sure there's more
    If the cams are seized in the bushings, yes, only way to remove the LCA from the frame of the vehicle is to cut the alignment cams out. As for the bushings, there are numerous methods to remove them from the LCA. My favorite method is to use a bottle jack and Mapp gas torch. You have to take the back side washer out first though. The dry rot in the bushing is bad, and it may be cheaper parts and labor wise to get the Moog complete LCA's as you get the bushings and a new ball joint in a new LCA. You're still going to want to gloriously lube the cams to make sure that they don't seize.
     
    ChadsPride likes this.
  7. Apr 4, 2018 at 7:50 AM
    #7
    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    All good info, thanks guys!

    So it sounds like no matter what, if they're seized I'll have to cut them, and then get the bushings out via cutting, air hammer, or bottle jack. I would probably opt bottle jack since I have one and I can't easily get access to an air hammer. But if it comes down to cutting, then new LCA's are the best bet and i can just forget about removing the bushings completely. Just have to get new cams too. If they are seized, can you confirm the parts I'll need to put everything back together? So far I have: new LCA's with bushings and ball joints (https://www.1aauto.com/2005-15-toyota-tacoma-control-arm-with-ball-joint-pair/i/1asfk03366 or similar), and 2 of these kits: https://wheelersoffroad.com/i-25490...-2009-4runner-2007-2009-fj-cruiser-25435.html. Plus a ton of grease.

    I guess it comes down to checking the cam bolts and hoping like crazy they aren't seized. If they're good, this whole thing becomes a lot easier. I'm going to the Toyota dealer today to pick up a rear diff breather, so I'll price out new bushings. If they're close to or over $200, I'm gonna pick up new LCA's and be done with it.
     
  8. Apr 4, 2018 at 7:52 AM
    #8
    Texoma

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    Dealer is super pricey for new bushings. Your best bet is RockAuto.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM
    #9
    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    Makes sense. So 2 front lower forward and 2 front lower rearward? looks like premium's will only run me $50, but might just go with the Moog LCA's for $200 and get a new Ball Joint while I'm at it.

    Can't tell you guys how much i appreciate the help. I'll start looking at threads on Ball Joint replacement too, but just quickly is it pretty doable at home?
     
    REDdawn6 likes this.
  10. Apr 4, 2018 at 8:16 AM
    #10
    Texoma

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    Everything is doable at home with the right tools. Since the Moog arms have ball joints in them already, all you have to do is remove the spindle bracket from the old arm and put it on the new. A pitman arm puller makes quick work of this.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2018 at 8:19 AM
    #11
    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    Awesome! Should be able to find one of those. I'm going on vacation next week so waiting until I get back to do the bulk of the work, but I'll have the front wheels off this weekend to replace the pads/rotors, so I'll check the cams then and give an update.

    Again, thanks for your help, you can't imagine the amount of money I've saved with help from this site.
     
  12. Apr 4, 2018 at 8:19 AM
    #12
    Texoma

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    This is the most recent set of LCA's I cut out. Came off of a T4R from Maryland. You can see in the first pic where I cut, and in the second pic you can see where I marked the alignment cams to the frame.

    WP_20180318_19_33_38_Pro.jpg WP_20180318_15_09_24_Pro.jpg
     
    harris.greg62 [OP] likes this.
  13. Apr 4, 2018 at 8:41 AM
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    harris.greg62

    harris.greg62 [OP] Member

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    Awesome. Just talked to my friend who has a 4-runner. He said he's never had a problem with Cams out here, and he has a lift and some powerful tools, so fingers crossed the cams come off.
     
  14. Feb 10, 2019 at 5:30 PM
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    TacoYankee

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    I’ve been researching replacing my cam bolts and came upon your post. I’ve looked into just replacing the control arms and cam kit with Moog. Seems like an easier, sure thing. My truck has 274k on it, and the cams are siezed. The bushings look ok, but they are no doubt original. I’ve heard good and bad things about Moog; most saying they are not what they used to me. Have you had any issues usin Moog products on Tacomas? I have a 2004, TRD Off Road. Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  15. Feb 10, 2019 at 5:49 PM
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    Texoma

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    The moog alignment cams are shit, get OEM cams. The moog completely assembled lower control arms so far have been solid and are very affordable at about $100 a piece. OEM are closer to $250 a piece. If you have seized cams, you're gonna have to cut them out, and at that point, your bushings are trash. Let me know if U can help you in any way.
     
  16. Feb 10, 2019 at 5:55 PM
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    jboudreaux1965

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    If your doing all this work for the life of me I can't understand why you want to go with 5100's????

    Anyways, what the shop is telling you is BS, especially prices. I'd run from any shop that wants $220 just to install the 5100's

    Do the work yourself, it's not hard. Buy either some Dobinson's or OME 2" springs and extended travel struts. Not sure about OME, but last I checked, Dobinson's will put the assemblies together for you for like an extra $25 a side.

    Lifting with longer coils always gets better results than adjusting the spring plate.
     
  17. Feb 10, 2019 at 6:15 PM
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    TacoYankee

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    Thanks for the quick response. What have you used on the OEM cams to prevent them from seizing again? The red grease for ujoints or anti seize? This will be a late spring project, waiting for the road salt useage to end.
     
  18. Feb 11, 2019 at 3:40 AM
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    Lucas Red n Tacky grease, one n done. I liberally coat the cam with it and that will be for the life of the vehicle.
     
  19. Feb 11, 2019 at 4:03 AM
    #19
    abqnurse80

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    I just did a similar thing.. replaced my lcas with mevotech supreme from rock Auto. Luckily none of my cams were seized. Put some antiseize on everything when I reinstalled cams. Not a bad swap, and a world of difference in ride.. with that being said, I don't think I'm going to rebuild my old ones, but do have the energy poly bushings and old lcas if someone is interested. Also have a full set of OEM cams if someone is interested as well..
     
  20. Feb 11, 2019 at 5:14 AM
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    TacoYankee

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    Awesome bud, thanks for the info.
     

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