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Alignment issue

Old 02-04-2019, 10:36 AM
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Alignment issue

Hello everyone, long time lurker here with some problems I was wondering if I could get some advice on.

I have a 95 ext cab pickup. A 3Ē rough country lift was installed... which long story short brought me some other issues. Drove it for a while. Just replaced a tie rod, tie rod sleeve and idler arm, tires rotated.... and my shop canít get it to align.

It is constantly pulling to the right. My mechanic says that the castor adjustment is maxed out. So he is not sure what to
do now.

Its never been wrecked and has no frame damage. Alignment specs from the shop:




Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Steering gear box. They wear out. Changing mine next week.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:18 PM
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That's a long way negative for the right side caster. Unless something is really bent or loose in your front end, I don't think it's possible to get that much negative caster. The center of the range should be +2.5 degrees, according to the FSM, with an adjustment range of about +/- 3 degrees from there. BTW, steering pulls toward the most negative caster, assuming toe and camber are correct, so your symptoms match the measurements.

You might have a completely blown bushing in your LCA allowing the outer end with the lower ball joint to swing to the rear, but your tech should have spotted that right off. The other possibility is that the lift was installed wrong on the right side. Not sure what the Rough Country lift entails, but if it's a ball joint lift something could be cockeyed there.

Whatever it is, a good front-end mechanic should be able to spot that much of a problem fairly quickly. I don't think I'd drive it far or fast until I knew why it was out of whack that far.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:24 PM
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DO check tire inflation. Having a low tire (or one that's too high) will definitely pull the steering.

A good mechanic should check tire inflation before alignment, but anyone can make a mistake.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:38 PM
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Thank you guys so much for your input. I really appreciate it!

Tire inflation is good. Also, they also after the rotation was done and the alignment was still a issue they tried swapping them as well.

steering gearbox, noted! Is there a way to check if that is bad?

Great heads up on the LCA bushings. Iíll definitely have another look at those but off the top of my head I donít remember seeing anything. I agree the alignment issue is definitely not a good scenario. Especially since he didnít know where to go next/nothing was obvious to the mechanic.

I donít think the lift was install wrong.... but will double check that as well.

Anything else I should look at the might be the cause?

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by misfit13007 View Post
Thank you guys so much for your input. I really appreciate it!

Tire inflation is good. Also, they also after the rotation was done and the alignment was still a issue they tried swapping them as well.

steering gearbox, noted! Is there a way to check if that is bad?

Great heads up on the LCA bushings. I’ll definitely have another look at those but off the top of my head I don’t remember seeing anything. I agree the alignment issue is definitely not a good scenario. Especially since he didn’t know where to go next/nothing was obvious to the mechanic.

I don’t think the lift was install wrong.... but will double check that as well.

Anything else I should look at the might be the cause?

Thanks again everyone!
Don't bother with the steering box, in some conditions they can cause a pull, but not by throwing off your alignment numbers.
I'm a past alignment tech and it sounds like you got a rooky if he doesn't know what to do.
I can't tell you much without being there, even seeing pictures probably won't help much. But the first thing I would do is to take some measurements on the frame and control arms.
find a common point on the front and rear of the frame that is the same on both sides and measure from left rear to right front and right rear to left front to check that the frame is square.
then take some measurements to see if the left upper ball joint sits farther forward than the one on the right or one sits farther out than the other. the upper control arms (pre Tacoma) are not adjustable on the IFS, the caster/camber adjustments are on the lower control arm. I don't remember what the Tacos look like. A good alignment tech would really help here, since the camber numbers are pretty good I would guess that the guy got your camber by maxing out the adjuster cams and left it at that. you may be able to sacrifice a little camber to gain some caster and you may have to adjust the other side to fight the pull. maybe one or more of the adjuster cams are seized and the tech thought they were maxed out.
the bottom line is that you shouldn't be seeing a negative caster at all and something isn't right.

Last edited by akwheeler; 02-04-2019 at 04:05 PM.
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