I called a few places about getting my 08 aligned and they said it may need an alignment kit and could cost $200 for the job. Has anyone heard of this? I guess you can only adjust the toe without a kit.
Well I just found this in the manual. I guess there is some truth.
Camber and Caster Adjustment - Front
CAUTION: Do not remove the stabilizer bar brackets until the stabilizer links have been disconnected or damage to the stabilizer bar links may occur.
NOTE: Air suspension vehicles must be at trim ride height prior to measuring or adjusting the caster, camber or toe.
NOTE: To allow for adjustment of the lower arm in the frame slots, the lower arm bolts and nuts must be removed and discarded. They are replaced with cam bolt kit 3C333. The vehicle should be supported by the frame to ease movement of the lower arm in the slot.
1. Using alignment equipment and the manufacturers instructions, measure the front caster and camber.
o Refer to Alignment Specifications for optimal alignment settings.
o If the caster and camber values are not within specification, go to the next step.
2. Remove and discard the lower arm front and rear nuts and bolts.
3. CAUTION: Do not hold the stabilizer link boot with any tool, as damage to the boot will occur. NOTE: Use the hex holding feature to prevent the stud from turning while removing the nuts. Remove and discard the stabilizer bar link lower nuts.
4. Remove the 4 stabilizer bar bracket nuts, 2 stabilizer bar brackets and position the stabilizer bar aside.
5. Remove the stabilizer bar bracket bolts and plate assembly.
6. Install the front cam bolt kit and loosely install the nut.
7. Install the rear cam bolt kit and loosely install the nut.
8. To adjust the caster and camber, refer to the following chart.
o Adjustments that require moving the front and the rear of the lower arm should be made equally.
9. With the weight of the vehicle resting on the wheel and tire assemblies, hold the front cam bolt and tighten the nut to 350 Nm (258 lb-ft).
10. With the weight of the vehicle resting on the wheel and tire assemblies, hold the rear cam bolt and tighten the nut to 350 Nm (258 lb-ft).
11. Install the 2 stabilizer bar bracket bolts and plate assembly.
12. Position the stabilizer bar, install the 2 stabilizer bar brackets and the 4 stabilizer bar bracket nuts.
o Tighten the nuts to 55 Nm (41 lb-ft).
13. CAUTION: Do not hold the stabilizer link boot with any tool, as damage to the boot will occur. NOTE: Use the hex holding feature to prevent the stud from turning while installing the nuts. Install the 2 stabilizer bar link lower nuts.
o Tighten the nuts to 80 Nm (59 lb-ft).
14. Check and, if necessary, adjust the front toe.
Berry--I posted about this issue a while back for my 07 EB EL. I think you got on the thread--. Yep, it happened to me! Took my "previously owned" AKA "used" 15k Expy in to check alignment.
The story was that the alignment was out of range for the OEM cam kit. It cost ~120 bux for the kit (one side only) plus installation and align. Over 200 bux, as I recall.
This begged several questions, one being "why" so far out. No record of any previous alignments, so it appears my Expy came off the line this far off. That means sloppy OEM alignment, which should have been a warranty issue. However that part is a wear part and not covered by any warranties.
Now, some 5k later, I took a trip, a month or so ago, and the truck definitely pulls slightly to the right. Cant wait to see what they plan to charge me for this alignment correction. Also have other steering issues (too stiff off-center). BTW, they need to be careful when ordering the part, apparently it is slightly different from some previous stuff. I had to wait for a re-order. Also was in short supply, had to order from main ford warehouse.
I am recalling a little more-----. Seems that Ford had to order the part from the get-go. I didnt like the sound of the whole thing, including price, so I went to NAPA. They listed the part considerably cheeper, but the dreaded "have to order" also.
I have been too busy to research this issue, I am very uncomfortable in not understanding exactly what is going on. I did my 93 bronco ball joints and am aware the alignment cams for them are in different ranges, Also a slightly different arrangement. My understanding was that these cams did cover a broader range than just 1 deg. I believe they looked similar to the bolt and eccrentric washer/cam that I ordered for my 70 stang, from Global West. I am not saying they are the same, just that they appeared to be of similar design.
Maybe someone will come forward that has researched this issue and has the complete goodies
The cam kits need tobe installed in order to adjust caster/camber by allowing the movement of the control arm. From the factory the bolts in the control arm have "fixed" cams that do not allow adjustment. I haven't done an alignment in quite a few years but I've installed at least 100 of these types of kits in Ford SUVs way back when. I haven't looked specifically at the Expys so I can't hazard a guess as to how difficult they are to install. It's a simple matter of removing the factory bolts an installing the new bolts with the cams. Nothing all that fancy but I do recall SUVs like the Explorer's being a real pain in the *** on the D/S trying to get them installed. All depends on what's around the bolt's and how much access you have. I would assume the Expy's would have enough room to make it a driveway job if you have the tools.
$200 doesn't sound all that bad if parts/labor are included. I think the NAPA kits we use to use were in the $50 a side range. If the Expy's are easy swaps, $100 may be a little much on the labor side. If the Expys are like the older Exploders.... it's a steal!
This is basically what the cam kit looks like...
Ben, your 93 had a cam that installed on the upper control arm where the upper ball joint was bolted in if I recall. The ball joint stud sat in a "collar" that went through the upper control arm. To adjust caster/camber, you had to remove and replace the collar with an aftermarket piece that allowed the control arm to be adjusted. You did that by turning the new collar, or cam, and that would give you a finite amount of adjustment. There are dozens of cams for those types of installs and you had to figure out which one would get you back in spec based on the intial measurements you got from the alignment machine. The cams for a 93 Bronco would look similar to the one on the right. The left is the stocker with a fixed position. The aftermarket adjustable ones had the stud hole typically off-center, tilted, or both in some cases. It was the position of the hole and it's tilt that allowed for adjustment. If you were lucky, the stock cam had it's measurements still visible on it so that you could input them into the computer and get a better idea of what to replace it with to get your desired alignment results. Up here in NH with our winters, that hardly ever happened. Here's a pic...
Yep, TX! I did the ball joint myself, wasnt all that difficult, but did take a little effort.
I did the ball joints then took the thing for alignment (not Ford) when they attempted, they needed a different range on the cams. I ran to a parts house and got the cams (already knew they had an assortment) and finished the alignment.
I hope the Expy cams are adjustable. I got some bolts and plates for my 70 mach that had assorted holes in them to supposedly cover almost any range. Guess I better rotate those radial tires before I go for another alignment, like berry said.
I had it aligned at a shop and it cost me $90. It was through a friends body shop. It wasn't out much. They had to adjust the left and right toe, .08", .12" and the rear left toe .20". He also adjusted the caster and camber to what he knows is best, but it was within specs as is.
Glad to hear you didnt need a bunch of cam kits. I havnt located the workticket for the Part #'s yet. I really wish I had friend or at least someone that I really trusted to check mine. I did learn on my 93 Bronco that there is a "suggested" range of alignment that they can go to (Sears) and beyond that, the tech is not supposed to go, even if he knows a different alignment might cure a specific problem. That makes me nervous--- I need a good friend in the business to give me accurate info. I havnt tried a 5th of a favorite beverage-----yet!!