Difficulty getting caster close L and R

alcyon

Active Member
Jun 15, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur
I went for an alignment today . I got all 4 wheels -1 camber, and thrust angle at 0, with 4mm rear toe in and 2mm front toe in. However the shop couldnt get the caster close to each other. After adjustment, they got 8 degree on the left and 6 degree on the right. They showed me my lower arm bushings, and they do look "jacked"not centered, and the rubbers are cracking. Car is RHD. a few of the camber /caster tabs are bent, so its something I need to fix in the future. The good thing is the parts are not rusted, so the camber bolts are not seized and can be removed easily. Regarding the bent tabs, so do i just straigthen them out and weld behind, or do i need to place a small square bar behind the tabs then weld ? Another issue I notice is the front subframe is bent upwards slightly under the steering rack. I made the mistake of jacking the car up in the center between steering rack. The gap between L and R wheel to arch are equal on both sides. So I was wondering if the bent subframe could have contributed to my difficulty getting the L and R caster close. I am planning on buying super pro poly bushings for the LCA's but only plan to do the work perhaps early next year. So far the car drives well and the -1 camber seems to help with cornering. I am hoping I dont need to change the subframe.
 

Asterix

Lurker of Power
Mar 31, 2005
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Vienna, VA
That caster is way off. My car is slightly askew from being hit on the driver door (before I bought it). But, it can be aligned within spec: caster is 7.1deg L and 7.6deg R.

Since your toe and camber are set right, your tires should be fine long term.. The rest of your alignment looks perfect.

It does sound like your lower arm bushing are dead, which won't help any. I suggest replacing them with polyurethane and trying another alignment.

IIRC, my front subframe also has a slight arch in the middle. I seriously doubt jacking there bent the frame. It is a recommended jack point after all.
 
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Bru

Member
Feb 28, 2013
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Tampa Bay Area
Typically when the cam tabs get bent, the bolt has rusted to the center metal sleeve that goes through the rubber bushing. One way to verify this is to loosen the nut to see if the bolt will slide back and forth. I had both front lower suspension rear adjusting cam bolts and one rear No.1 control arm that needed cutting out using a very thin cut off wheel and being careful not to damage the support bracket that holds it. I replaced all the front bushings with energy suspension bushings and found a replacement OEM used No.1 control arm on eBay. One thing I can say about the energy suspension bushings is that they transfer more road noise and are a bit stiffer. A set of Toyo Versado Noir tires reduced the sound issue greatly. When I go to get an alignment now, I tell the technician to rock the cam bolts back and forth before making the final adjustment. That proves that it's not frozen, and can slide in the slot. By all means straighten out the adjusting boxes because that's the range of motion Toyota intended. I wish Toyota had just invested a few pennies worth of grease on these bolts so this issue never would've occurred for so many.
 
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alcyon

Active Member
Jun 15, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur
Typically when the cam tabs get bent, the bolt has rusted to the center metal sleeve that goes through the rubber bushing. One way to verify this is to loosen the nut to see if the bolt will slide back and forth. I had both front lower suspension rear adjusting cam bolts and one rear No.1 control arm that needed cutting out using a very thin cut off wheel and being careful not to damage the support bracket that holds it. I replaced all the front bushings with energy suspension bushings and found a replacement OEM used No.1 control arm on eBay. One thing I can say about the energy suspension bushings is that they transfer more road noise and are a bit stiffer. A set of Toyo Versado Noir tires reduced the sound issue greatly. When I go to get an alignment now, I tell the technician to rock the cam bolts back and forth before making the final adjustment. That proves that it's not frozen, and can slide in the slot. By all means straighten out the adjusting boxes because that's the range of motion Toyota intended. I wish Toyota had just invested a few pennies worth of grease on these bolts so this issue never would've occurred for so many.
I am pretty sure mine is not rusted, but I had a look a few days ago and for certain a few of the front tabs were bent outwards, I need to bend them back and reinforce them. I bought a square Steel bar 5x5mm and will weld them to the tabs after straigthening later. I also bought a set of LCA super pro bushings. I read from anther forum to also make sure the slot where the camber bolts go through is smooth end to end, as the camber bolt can dig into the slot causing some high/low points thus the bolt cant slide along the slot smoothly. I am planning to this this in 3 to 4 months time as I already spent some money on alignment.
 

Bru

Member
Feb 28, 2013
71
36
18
Tampa Bay Area
Before I put in the urethane bushings in front, and replaced the rear control arm, the alignment shop applied so much force that they blew out several cam boxes, and also tore the rubber in the bushing allowing the cams to spin but no lateral motion. Several of the cams were also out of sync on the bolt. They're supposed to move together. The alignment shop couldn't give me a passing alignment. After I made the repair, I got a passing alignment. Checking the slot is a good idea, and to grease it. Good luck.
 
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alcyon

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Jun 15, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur
Guys I am about the change out my lower arm, but I was thinking instead of welding the subframe tabs, I want to use JB weld steel stik instead.
Will it be enough to hold the tabs from bending again ?
 

Bru

Member
Feb 28, 2013
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Tampa Bay Area
With enough force, it may pop the JB weld away. Any reinforcement shouldn't be necessary, unless there is a problem causing the metal box to bend. A bolt rusted to the metal sleeve inside the rubber bushing would do that. You can try an exercise the bolt by jacking up that wheel and loosening the nut to seeing if you can partially remove the bolt. That would tell you if it's rusted in place, as it has to spin to work correctly. Both sides of the cam bolt needs to be in the same phase. The nut side can strip causing them to be out of phase.
 
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alcyon

Active Member
Jun 15, 2017
169
37
28
Kuala Lumpur
With enough force, it may pop the JB weld away. Any reinforcement shouldn't be necessary, unless there is a problem causing the metal box to bend. A bolt rusted to the metal sleeve inside the rubber bushing would do that. You can try an exercise the bolt by jacking up that wheel and loosening the bolt to seeing if you can partially remove it. That would tell you if it's rusted in place, as it has to spin to work correctly. Both sides of the cam bolt needs to be in the same phase. The nut side can strip causing them to be out of phase.
Thanks, but this is the second time it has bent, and I don't want to take any more chances. I will making a video of the lower arm swap and subframe tab bending. Funny its the front subframes tabs that bend, not the rear ones.
 

alcyon

Active Member
Jun 15, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur
Problem fixed. Got a good alignment.
Video is here.
Left caster 7.8 right 7.6
 

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Bru

Member
Feb 28, 2013
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Tampa Bay Area
The urethane bushing kit should have come with silicone grease to minimize squeaking. I didn't have to use shims with the energy suspension bushing kit. Well done that you got this taken care of. Now you can focus on the other things, which there always will be. :)
 

alcyon

Active Member
Jun 15, 2017
169
37
28
Kuala Lumpur
The urethane bushing kit should have come with silicone grease to minimize squeaking. I didn't have to use shims with the energy suspension bushing kit. Well done that you got this taken care of. Now you can focus on the other things, which there always will be. :)
Indeed it did have grease but I suspect a lot of squeaking is because the grease on the bushing faces dried out . Spacing the faces will help prevent rubbing on subframe.
Yes you are right . After the alignment something else came up. As i was driving home i heard a groan coming from the engine bay. I thought perhaps the grease ran out of the bushings. I noticed the buzzing noise increased when i rev up engine or turn the steering. As i reached my house reversing in, there was metal to metal groaning sound as i turned the steering. I knew it must be the power steering system. Shut down the engine and sure enough the p.s tank is empty. Underneath was splashes of atf fluid. Preliminary check seems to point to a leakage on high pressure hose coming from the pump. Lets hope the pump is not knackered.