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How to do an Alignment at Home

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by jberry813, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Aug 27, 2016 at 5:46 AM
    #161
    J4m3z420

    J4m3z420 Active Member

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    OP, can you tell me how adding caster via the LCA will affect camber? Trying to decide the best position for the LR UCA top nut ( in or out) to make the most caster adjustability through the LCA. I will be bringing in for alignment and don't want to deal with the tech touching the UCA. Trying to maximize clearance.

    Will adding caster via the LCA cams move overall camber to negative or positive. Thank you.
     
  2. Aug 27, 2016 at 7:04 AM
    #162
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] Making TW Great Again Moderator

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    Depends on which eccentric you adjust. If you adjust them for maximum caster, one eccentric will increase camber and one will decrease camber.
     
  3. Aug 27, 2016 at 7:16 AM
    #163
    J4m3z420

    J4m3z420 Active Member

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    Ok. So then there isn't a big change in camber when adjusted for max caster?

    What about the other way around. If I set the top nut all the way out for positive camber, then they go to adjust caster back to 0 with the LCA cams, will that lower caster back down, or really no effect?

    Just trying to wrap my head around the relationship between camber and caster and how one changes when you change another.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2016 at 7:15 PM
    #164
    Vol4life

    Vol4life Member

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    Is there a point to which you can't move the caster at all? Just lifted my Tacoma about 1.5 inches and when they did the alignment they told me they couldn't get the caster bolts to budge. Could this be because they are in a bind because of the camber? Just trying to wrap my head around the issue and how to fix it. Truck pulls to the right now.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2016 at 7:59 PM
    #165
    stairgod

    stairgod Ignored Member

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    Sounds like your bolts are seized.
     
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  6. Aug 31, 2016 at 3:54 PM
    #166
    1stgenyota2014

    1stgenyota2014 Well-Known Member

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    If your outer tie rods aren't let out evenly (like by quite a bit), would that be a reason for my stock tire size of 265/70or75(can't remember)/16r to be rubbing on frame at full lock? Also have 2.5 inch spacer lift. Rebuilt front end this summer and had it aligned at a shop. All balljoints, control arm bushings, cvs, steering rack bush. and tie rods. I didn't notice this rubbing for a full yr&1/2 after lift installed. Only after i got it back from being aligned. Its only rubbing on pass. side
     
  7. Aug 31, 2016 at 5:21 PM
    #167
    RobertHyatt

    RobertHyatt You just can't fix stupid...

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    It is possible. The rack has a definite travel that should be equal from side to side. IF the tie rod ends are equally adjusted so that both have about the same amount of exposed thread. Shift both ends a couple of turns and you will immediately notice that the steering wheel is not centered any more, and also that the wheels will move a bit further to one side than the other, possibly causing a rub.
     
  8. Sep 26, 2016 at 4:39 PM
    #168
    quetzal

    quetzal Well-Known Member

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  9. Oct 27, 2016 at 8:53 PM
    #169
    Blender

    Blender Well-Known Member

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    Less length, more girth
    Seriously debating giving this a shot. I see good results can be had with simple tools, but is there any benefit to dedicated tools? Time savings or improved accuracy? Specifically Longacre caster/camber gauge and maybe a set of toeplates. I'd like to avoid repeated lifting/settling if possible. Tools will pay for themselves after three uses

    Turn plates seem unnecessary to me, but who knows
     
  10. Oct 31, 2016 at 12:55 PM
    #170
    mpm

    mpm Well-Known Member

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    It really comes down to personal preference. Some folks obsess over perfection, while others (myself included) simply want to correct serious issues that are causing undue wear. We aligned my truck the other weekend with homemade wheel braces, 2 tape measurers, and a magnetic Longacre caster/camber gauge. I was correcting a shift in my alignment after installed adjustable upper control arms.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2016 at 4:13 AM
    #171
    LiphtedOne

    LiphtedOne Member

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    It's been a year since I read this thread in it's entirety (a bunch of others too). I used this write up to align my truck after a suspension overhaul. Awesome Jason. Thanks.

    One of the posters wrote about how an alignment is a type of process by which an adjustment to one factor also changes the other two factors of the work.

    He mentioned a word for this type of process.

    A process that naturally requires multiple passes, drafts, attempts to get the job done.

    Can anyone help me find this word? I can't locate the post!
     
  12. Jan 14, 2017 at 7:28 PM
    #172
    TurnLeft

    TurnLeft Well-Known Member

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    Well after 2 alignments with stock suspension, and 3 after lift, these dealer techs suck major balls - steering wheel never straight, positive camber at stock suspension... The laziest group of people I've ever seen. I say seen cause I have a dash cam and saw it all... pathetic whiners.

    Anyway. @jberry813 awesome write up. Very clear. Just to make sure, for a 3rd gen, the longer and shorter turn of the cam bolts similar to the 2nd gen?
     
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  13. Jan 22, 2017 at 8:32 PM
    #173
    magnetic4x4

    magnetic4x4 Well-Known Member

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    A couple things I've noticed. I've had issues with getting the steering wheel straight in some Toyotas (4runner and Tacoma), where as it's usually not an issue with most other cars and trucks I align. They usually drift to the right which causes you to tilt the wheel to the left a little to keep it straight, despite setting all the angles correctly. Also, the ideal spec for camber on the Tacoma is +.6 on the hunter machine. It wasn't until I installed UCAs, which were adjusted to give me an additional degree of caster over factory spec, along with 0 camber, that I was able to get the truck to track straight most of the time, and finally get the wheel straight.
     
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  14. Jan 23, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    #174
    erok81

    erok81 Well-Known Member

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    So if one was to adjust both cams evenly to get max caster, the camber might not change? I got my truck aligned recently but want to go back for more caster. If I can do that and save 70 bucks that would be nice. I'd do the whole thing but it's too cold!

    I've aligned plenty of straight axle vehicles but never ifs (as in I'm not some greenhorn that's going to twiddle a couple cams and hope it's close).

    Lastly, is the 3rd gen the same as 2nd gen as far as cams go?
     
  15. Jan 23, 2017 at 1:29 PM
    #175
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] Making TW Great Again Moderator

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    No. The camber will change any time you mess with the eccentrics, even if done evenly. It's a balancing act.

    3rd gen is same as second gen. The eccentrics are the larger t4r/FJ, but they work the same way.
     
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  16. Jan 23, 2017 at 1:30 PM
    #176
    Crom

    Crom Outside

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    jberry813 [OP] likes this.
  17. Jan 23, 2017 at 1:39 PM
    #177
    erok81

    erok81 Well-Known Member

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    Cool thanks! Maybe I'll give it a try and see what happens. Worst case I'll just have to get it aligned anyway. :)
     
  18. Jan 23, 2017 at 7:39 PM
    #178
    TurnLeft

    TurnLeft Well-Known Member

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    Same here. I was able to get toe and camber good, but definitely caster more than 0.8 with stock UCA won't happen. Ordering LR UCA this week.
     
  19. Feb 8, 2017 at 2:24 PM
    #179
    stumble

    stumble Active Member

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    Thanks for putting this thread together.
     
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  20. Feb 8, 2017 at 3:42 PM
    #180
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] Making TW Great Again Moderator

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