(+)camber issue/dealer ambush!? - Dodge Durango Forum and Dodge Dakota Forums
Gen III Dakotas 1997-2004 Dakota-Specific Questions

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post #1 of Old 03-05-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
kingfam3
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(+)camber issue/dealer ambush!?

I bought my Dakota a couple weeks ago and noticed unusual tread wear on the front tires. The outside of the tread is wearing faster than the inside and center indicating to me a (+) camber problem. I really noticed it when i was rotating the tires and when I pulled those two tires and stood them up by themselves one was unable to stay standing and the other leaned outwards about 10 degrees. Called some alignment shops and eventually the dealer to try to find a camber kit for this particular suspension when I was told that they no longer make or carry the camber kit and after talking with Dodge, their service computer had a technician note saying "camber adjustments can only be made after both control arms are replaced" to the tune of $414/ea + labor.

Anyone else come across this issue? Is the camber kit really non-existant? (NAPA, advance, and dealer all say fix is new control arms)

Any help would be greatly appreciated...I don't want to drop nearly a grand into this thing already, but if it's what I gotta do it's what I gotta do. Thanks!

-Ted
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post #2 of Old 03-05-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfam3 View Post
I bought my Dakota a couple weeks ago and noticed unusual tread wear on the front tires. The outside of the tread is wearing faster than the inside and center indicating to me a (+) camber problem. I really noticed it when i was rotating the tires and when I pulled those two tires and stood them up by themselves one was unable to stay standing and the other leaned outwards about 10 degrees. Called some alignment shops and eventually the dealer to try to find a camber kit for this particular suspension when I was told that they no longer make or carry the camber kit and after talking with Dodge, their service computer had a technician note saying "camber adjustments can only be made after both control arms are replaced" to the tune of $414/ea + labor.

Anyone else come across this issue? Is the camber kit really non-existant? (NAPA, advance, and dealer all say fix is new control arms)

Any help would be greatly appreciated...I don't want to drop nearly a grand into this thing already, but if it's what I gotta do it's what I gotta do. Thanks!

-Ted
BS... they are trying to sell you un-needed parts. take it to a alignment shop (reputable that is) and see if you need any ball joints, rod ends, ect. its part of the inspection before they make any adjustments.

BTW, has it been lowered or lifted?

1999 Dakota R/T (mild to heavy mod)
2006 Magnum SRT8 (not *yet* modded)
2004 Dodge Caravan SXT.... Momy Mobile
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post #3 of Old 03-05-2011, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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It has not been lowered or lifted (that I know of) ride height appears pretty stock. Yah, seemed a little fishy to me as well. Called them back and talked to a different tech today and he said "who'd you talk to, because that's BS" I have no idea who it was, but he said there are adjustments that can be made to the camber if their are enough threads left in the upper something or other, if there isn't then we would suggest replacing ball joints first (also looked into recalls and found that there was one on my trucks ball joints in 04 and i'm not certain if it was completed or not) so worse case is replacing the entire control arms...I don't know...going to have a wheel and alignment shop do a diagnostic inspection of the suspension tuesday and we'll see what they come back with. I can live with new ball joints, especially if they end up being covered under a recall. One other thing i noticed that if I have the wheel turned all the way to the left, it looks like the wheel is going to fall off...yah, i know it's supposed to lean a little bit, but it's a lotta bit and you can see all of the weight resting on the outside of the tire.
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post #4 of Old 03-05-2011, 11:06 PM
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... why could you not just be toe'ed in? that would do pretty much what your describing. also, AFAIK, stock we have camber and even caster adjustment. it's that bar the upper control arm is connected too. it should have 2 bolts.

'93 Dak, V6 Auto RWD;
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post #5 of Old 03-06-2011, 07:51 PM
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check your wheel bearings
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post #6 of Old 03-06-2011, 11:35 PM
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Have you bothered to get the alignment checked to see where the readings are exactly? I agree that you may just have a bad toe issue as alot of people can't tell the difference between camber out of whack or toe

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post #7 of Old 03-07-2011, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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If it was a toe-in problem, wouldn't my abnormal tread wear be on the inside of the tire, not the outside? I completely agree with the fact that I am not an alignment specialist, but judging by treadwear alone, it is obvious that the top of the wheel is angled out, away from the chasis, not in, indicating to me it is a positive camber problem and not a toe-in problem.

To answer the other questions, it is going in tomorrow for a diagnosis of the alignment issues(abnormal tread wear, harder turning to the left, minor clicking on driver side). I'll let everyone know what they find out.

Let me know if I am completely off on my self-diagnosis of a positive camber vs. toe-in issue.
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post #8 of Old 03-07-2011, 11:41 PM
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toe in /\ toe out \/
as said before, AFAIK daks and durs have caster/camber adj stock. if you max that out, somethings fucked.

'93 Dak, V6 Auto RWD;
V8TB, E-fan, and a bad smoking habit.

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post #9 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:03 AM
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When I was dropped alignment shops couldn't fix my negative camber. If the ride's stock you may just need ball joints. Control arms aren't going to change anything, besides the fresh bushings. That could also be an issue.

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post #10 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad7531 View Post
Control arms aren't going to change anything, besides the fresh bushings. That could also be an issue.
as i said before, the UCA is attached to the frame with a bar. this bar has two bolts. if someone replaced the bushings, and just left the bar all the way out, that will set massive positive camber. if the bushings in the UCA go bad you get negative camber. if they go bad in the LCA you get a bit of positive camber, but also noise because the LCA is the load bearing one

'93 Dak, V6 Auto RWD;
V8TB, E-fan, and a bad smoking habit.

IN THE WORKS:
'92 318 swap, coming closer to completion every dime I can squirrel
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post #11 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:19 AM
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https://www.carpartsdiscount.com/aut...m_52106387.jpg
here you can see the bar i am talking about. if your UCA looks like this, you have caster/camber settings stock. what needs to be done to adj these is to loosen the two bolts, and then move them both in or out to adjust camber, or move them opposite (one forward one back) to adj camber
{note by forward and back i am refering to it as though you are looking at it through the wheel well

'93 Dak, V6 Auto RWD;
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IN THE WORKS:
'92 318 swap, coming closer to completion every dime I can squirrel
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post #12 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:20 AM
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I guess a 5" drop up front was too much for them to fix. You could probably do it though.

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post #13 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad7531 View Post
I guess a 5" drop up front was too much for them to fix. You could probably do it though.
not unless you do spindles like gen II's can

'93 Dak, V6 Auto RWD;
V8TB, E-fan, and a bad smoking habit.

IN THE WORKS:
'92 318 swap, coming closer to completion every dime I can squirrel
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post #14 of Old 03-08-2011, 01:52 AM
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You should have alittle bit of toe in. It keeps the truck from wandering all over the road. If your truck wanders, then it might be a good bet its toed out. Also, check your ball joints, specially the top. If they are rivited in, its factory . Pretty much everyone has had to replace them. Just make sure you replace them before you get it alligned. Otherwise, you'll never keep it alligned. The new ones will bolt in.
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post #15 of Old 03-21-2011, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Got it all squared away! You hit it on the head Shimrra, it needed to be toe'd in...all in all the shop said control arms/ball joints/etc looked good (all still factory). She tracks straight and alignment seems pretty spot on now...only issues I see at the moment is I have some vibration in the steering wheel when it's up around 75 MPH (the wife says I shouldn't be going that fast anyway, but come on, let's be realistic) guessing that's just first signs of wheel bearing fatigue? Thanks everyone, you have all been so helpful!
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