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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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  #1  
Old 08-31-2004, 04:12 PM
Cor Cor is offline
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specification caster / camber required

In the appropriate section of this forum I put the question what the specs are for caster and camber on an E150 (1993), but haven't got any response; perhaps out there you only find the F-truck fans.

Anyone here who would have these spec's, or tell me where I could find them?
The Chilton manual only explains what caster and camber is, without ginving the specifications,

Thanks,
Cor
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:05 PM
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IT is best to take it an alignment shop, and watch the technician closely, as the parts where more tow in is needed to keep it driving in a straight line. If you get in it and it doesn't drive right take it back and make them fix it. You paid them to fix it right, and it drives worse, so make them fix it... (Can you tell I've had my share of problems with the front ends?) This is really not something you can do in your garage.
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:33 AM
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These are for a 1996 but I believe they are the same on a 1993.
Camber 0.25° ± 0.5°, split 0° ± 0.5°
Caster 2-7.5°, split -1.0° ± 0.5°
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racerguy
These are for a 1996 but I believe they are the same on a 1993.
Camber 0.25° ± 0.5°, split 0° ± 0.5°
Caster 2-7.5°, split -1.0° ± 0.5°
Thanks Dave that helps, but I do not understand everything you say; the first figures are clear, but what do you mean by 'split'...??
The camber is positive by 1/4 degree, but split 0*, what is meant here?
Same for caster, quite a larger range from 2 to 7.5 degrees, but split 0???

I have measured the camber of my van in unloaded state, because the camber is visually on the left wheel negative, with only a very small amount of play on the upper ball joint.
I measured RHside --0.83*
and on the LH side --1.83*
Both are well out of your given range.
To correct I would need bushings in the range of at least 1.5 resp. 2 degrees, right? Those fitted now are marked " +0 -0 "
I put it this way, as I am sure that even if I would not do the cambersetting myself, I would at least have to provide the bushings (via friends in the US). I know Napa have them.
As I would have to do at least one upper baljoint, I might as well put in the bushing at the same time.
I noticed the is no flat or something on this bushing; how to turn and hold? Plumbers pliers? Not very technical.......
(see my original message here: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=274655 )
Oh yeah and in case you have this for me too, what is the toe-in?
My van wanders a bit, and though all US vehicles do this, it should be better than it is.
Thanks for any imput.
Cor
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Last edited by Cor; 09-01-2004 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:08 PM
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Toe in is when the front of the tires are closer together than the rear of the tires, you need just a bit to keep the econoline going straight.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:52 PM
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The split is when the caster or camber is different on one side to compensate for road crown.
With the camber readings you have I believe that your van should pull slightly to the right when driving straight down a level road. There are other things that influence that but usually it will pull the to side with the least negative camber.
I'm not sure which bushings you need as I haven't done wheel alignments in a long time, except on my race car. Hopefully NAPA or whoever you order bushings from can tell you which you'll need.
The toe-in should be 0.06° ± 0.25° which is close to straight ahead, maybe 1/16" toe in.
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Old 09-03-2004, 11:59 AM
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There is so much more to alignment than what can be explained here. I was an alignment specialist for 10 years and I still don't kinow how to explain it! But I do know that Ford vans are notorius for front end troubles. Don't get me wrong I love my Fords and drive a 93 E150 myself. The problem is with alignment technicians and the way the industry standards allow for vast differences in alignment specs. A vehicle with -.5 degree camber on one side and+.5 camber on the other is considered exceptable but would more than likely pull to the side with the higher camber. Same goes for caster but it would pull to the side with less caster. I pretty much put aside specs and went by instincts. When it came to Ford vans I usually kept the caster to about +3* max. more caster than that doesn't seem to do too much more for handling and it will just cause faster tire wear by scrubbing in corners. Camber settings I would keep in the +.25* I know it says that up too -.5* is exceptable but I found that negative camber leads to a little unstabillity at hiway speeds. Too much camber and again the tires will scrub when cornering and wear faster. Now for the split (or difference from sid to side) idealy it should be 0 both sides the same except that roads are built higher in the center so the vehicle is always getting pushed towards the ditch. To compensate I always used caster settings. I would set the left side at+2* and the right at +3* this would in theory make the vehicle pull to the left on a perfectly flat surface. As to explaining how to get these readings using the offset bushings is a method I tried to teach a hundred greenhorns. It is a simple idea of moving the upper balljoint forwad or back and in and out to acheive the desired change. You said you have -.83 on the right. you need a 1* offset to get you to +.2 the left side needs a 2* offset to get you to +.2 (which isn't made) I think the highest offset you can get is 1.5*. Replacing the balljoints might get you closer to the desired specs and help with the wandering. Caster can be adjusted the same way but you need to turn the offest bushing 1/4 turn to go back and forth. You can adjust both camber and caster with one offset bushing by turning it by 1/8 inch increments to get the propper caster and camber but that takes a little bit of know how that just can't be taught. I do believe there is an offset bushing that mounts on the radius arm now to adjust caster. Those weren't around in my day. You just have to go with the trial and error method to find your magic number. Last but not least toe in. That's an easy one. Anywhere from +.10 to +.25 is fine. the more toe the more stable (to a point) but the more tire wear. Well, I hope this helps and I wasn't just rambling. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2004, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papadace
As to explaining how to get these readings using the offset bushings is a method I tried to teach a hundred greenhorns. It is a simple idea of moving the upper balljoint forwad or back and in and out to acheive the desired change. You said you have -.83 on the right. you need a 1* offset to get you to +.2 the left side needs a 2* offset to get you to +.2 (which isn't made) I think the highest offset you can get is 1.5*. Replacing the balljoints might get you closer to the desired specs and help with the wandering. Caster can be adjusted the same way but you need to turn the offest bushing 1/4 turn to go back and forth. You can adjust both camber and caster with one offset bushing by turning it by 1/8 inch increments to get the propper caster and camber but that takes a little bit of know how that just can't be taught. I do believe there is an offset bushing that mounts on the radius arm now to adjust caster. ......... Well, I hope this helps and I wasn't just rambling. Good luck!
That is certainlyhelpful, Papadace! you also indicated that there would not be a 2* bushing, but according to the napa site , they have them in 1/4 * incrementts up to 2 degrees, look at this:
NAPA Chassis Parts Camber / Caster Bushing - Front Susp

Usually ships in 24 hours.
Click the image to open in full size.NCP

2641537
Click the image to open in full size.$ 11.69


Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.Plus or Minus 2 Degree, Bushing Kit, Camber/Caster, Hardware Not Included, Indexing Template Must Be Used, w/ Ball Joints & Stamped Arms, Stock Style Bushings, w/ Pinch Bolt Axle


So that would be enough for my purpose; as I now understand it from earlier replies and yours, is that if I would use the 1* and 2* bushings and set straight ahead, then I would bring the camber within spec, without changing the caster.
That would be fine for me for now; I can pretty well measure the camber, but would now know how to measure the caster on a vehicle that sits on its wheels.

What I do not understand so far is, how did the camber get out of spec; I own the van only a few months and it is 11 years old, but close inspection reveals no collision damage at all! Only I noticed that the vehicle seems to sit a bit low, could the coil springs be a bit tired? In that case, the axle beam lies a bit flatter, leading towards negative camber.
I dont think the van has been lowered, but there is not all that much space between the front bumpstoprubbers and the metal. I will meaure that soon and get back.
Thanks again.
Cor
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Last edited by Cor; 09-03-2004 at 03:29 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2004, 07:20 PM
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Fords are famous for springs sagging which causes the camber to change. You might want to replace the springs or add some spring spacers to bring the front end up a bit and then see what your camber reads.
And papadace thanks for the good reply
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Old 09-03-2004, 08:32 PM
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Question

Papadace, what about the settings below? I just had mine aligned and had to take it back again. The toe was way off. It still seems to pull to the right (steering wheel always cocked to the left) and now it seems to pull to the right even worse when braking I always have to compensate by turning the steering wheel to the left. Before it was pulling to the left (steering wheel always cocked to the right)

CAMBER:
Left -0.0* Right -0.1*
CASTER:
Left 4.0* Right 4.5*
TOE:
Left0.01* Right 0.04
CROSS CAMBER:
0.1*
CROSS CASTER:
-0.5*
TOTAL TOE:
0.05*

REAR CAMBER:
Left -0.2* Right -0.3*
TOE:
Left 0.14* Right-0.02*

TOTAL TOE REAR:
0.12*
THRUST ANGLE:
0.08*
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Old 09-04-2004, 03:26 PM
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Dave, I will check the clearence between the rubber bumpstops andd the metal, ad get back asap.

Cor
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Old 09-04-2004, 07:44 PM
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Racerguy is right about the springs tending to sag. I should have mentioned that. Good catch! When the springs sag it causes allot of negative camber and also makes caster go positive only not as drastic as camber change. O.k. the 2* offset bushing is a new one to me but I haven't been in the business now for a few years so I'm sure technology is moving forward. I gotta give ya credit, your a fast learner. You got it right to install those bushings will give you the camber you need but will not change caster. Still check your springs tho' before doing anything.
Colour your problem goes a little deeper... The alignment seems right on and shouldn't be causing any pull. The first thing I would try is to swap the front tires from side to side or if you're due for a tire rotation try that. Tires are major culprit of pull problems. That is something else I didn't mention, was that Vans don't seem to do well on cheap car tires. Cheap truck tires work a little better but I would recomend sticking with a brand name. I'm not gonna give an opinion on which because I just don't really know? All I know is that I have seen alot of people buy cheap tires and then come back complaining of the way their van handled. Enough said... Now if the tire rotation doesn't fix the problem, next I would be looking at the brake calipers and make sure there aren't dragging or sticking. Look at the brake pads and make sure they are wearing evenly. If everything is shipshape with the brakes, then I'm fearing that your steering gear is going south on you. You can try flushing the powersteering fluid out and putting some fresh stuf in. There is no real easy way of doing this, except to unhook the lines and letting it drain out. Hopefully you'll get it with the tires and it won't come to that. Good luck and I'm glad that I could help!
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:47 PM
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Actually the tires are brand new 245/75/16 load E Kumho Venture HT. I doubt if it is the tires. I did notice that I have more brake dust on the right wheel then the left. I have changed, not too long ago, both calipers, the only other thing done on that side just before the alignment was both upper and lower balljoints were replaced. Guess I need to look at that right side brake caliper and pads.
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:28 AM
Norvian Norvian is offline
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Papadace, thanks for that useful info on camber and castor. My 93 E150 suffers from high speed stability, the van crabs when it hits the slip stream of large vehicles when passing them or being passed.

I had suspected that I had a caster or camber problem but I couldn't see how they could go out of specification on a beam axel suspension setup, although I realised that the front to rear ride height can affect the castor. In fact my local US vehicle service/supplier confirmed that no adjustments could be made.

When I took a look for myself I noticed that the upper ball joint fixing looked as if it was desgned for adjustment but I thought the bush may have an offset centre allowing for some sort of eccentric adjustment. I didn't guess that you would change the bush altogether!

I had the alignment checked recently:
Camber is -.75* and -.58*
Castor +4.33* and +5.58*

So to me it looks like the negative camber is probably the cause of my problems. If I've got this right I need to up the existing bushes by +1* on one side and +0.75* on the other? Obviously we drive on the left in the UK, although I hit the European roads a lot as well, so I assmue that if I set the camber to approx +.2 on both sides it should be good enough?

I guess from Cor's comment that if I scrape all the road dirt off the top of the existing bushes they will have their size stamped on them, or do I have to take them out?

Am I on the right track?

Excuse the pun.
Cheers
Norman
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Old 09-05-2004, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norvian
I guess from Cor's comment that if I scrape all the road dirt off the top of the existing bushes they will have their size stamped on them, or do I have to take them out?

Am I on the right track?

Excuse the pun.
Cheers
Norman
Norman,
Take a wirebrush and remove the dirt; in my case the figures were very clear to read from the top, no need to take them out; also see my link in message #4 above, to my initial message in the steering allignment part of the forum, that describes my initial findings and guesswork, which turned out OK.
Cor
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Old 09-05-2004, 06:40 AM
 
 
 
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