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Camber problem in 1994 ram van ,after ball joint issue

Discussion in 'Vans' started by NeilG, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. NeilG

    NeilG New

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    on my 1994 Ram250...120,000 miles. The drivers side lower ball joint actually broke on me, thank god I was only doing a 3 point turn when it let go. I was 20 feet from my driveway, yet stuck in the middle of the road because of course the front wheel went all at a crazy angle.

    I sort of forced it into the driveway anyway.

    I replaced the tie rod link arm and a sway bar mount since they both got tweaked. And of course, put a new lower ball joint on. Ive been driving it again for a month now, but Ive noticed two things, no doubt related, and no doubt related to the ball joint breaking and subsequent carnage.

    My wheel apears to be sitting off camber, that is the bottom of the wheel seems to be sticking out further than the top. On low speed turns, expecially to the right, the tire squeals alot. The tread is also starting to feather on the outside.

    I went under there just now to see about adjusting the camber, figuring even if something bent I might be able to compensate....however it does not appear that the camber IS adjustable on this setup. The control arm is a big wide, stamped unit, and the pivot sppears to be one long bolt, with bolts coming down through the top if it into the control arm. Threre only nuts on the end of the pivot, so not like eccentric bolts that you could turn.

    So first off, am I correct, no camber adjustment here? If there is how?
    And, Im starting to think maybe the upper ball joint got bent when the front end collapsed on itself...does that seem likely? I think that would make the camber go off huh?

    Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Neil
     
  2. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    Not sure if it applies to your van, but on the 70's B vans the upper control arm has eccentric bolts which adjust the caster and camber.
    With the bottom of the wheel being further out, the tire should wear on the inside???
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    I'm sure that there is a provision for alignment. The older ones had (eccentrics) cams. The newer ones may have slots to move the upper control arm in and out after loosening the bolts. You would want a proper front end alignment.
    If the slot bolts haven't slipped or the mounting ears bent, then I suspect that something in the suspension is still bent. A tape measurer may find the difference comparing the right side to the left side.
    I purchased a magnetic degree gauge from Harbor Freight for 'ball park' driveway alignments when doing struts, etc.
    Dial Gauge Angle Finder (at https://www.harborfreight.com/dial-gauge-angle-finder-34214.html )
     
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  4. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    1978-79 was when Dodge went from the eccentrics to the sliding camber/caster adjustments. For whatever it's worth: the lower control arm bushings may be worn out, that'd def cause negative camber as well.
     
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  5. NeilG

    NeilG New

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    Just getting back to this van...havent done a thing with it since my original post. This is what Im looking at as far as the control arm:
    [​IMG]
    Of course theres not much out there about the Bvans, but I see a lot of chatter about the ram pickups of the same era not having adjustable camber, and there being offset ball joints available that are adjustable and also aftermarket control arms to give some adjustment...

    I found the whole new control arm with ball joint online...as as soon as I can convince my cheap self to buy it I can put this one to rest. Been considering a pull it yourself junk yard unit but its pretty cold here still! Yeah, I will definitely need an alignment after all is said and done....the tire on the opposite side has worn thru the outer edge in addition to the odd wear on the side that has the cambe issue.
     
  6. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    The adjustment slots are in the frame IIRC. A lot of shops wouldn't touch them for fear of breaking the bolts and subsequent aggravation.
     
  7. NeilG

    NeilG New

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    Ah, so you mean its slotted below those two bolts that come down through the control arm pivot rod? Some sort of T-slot nuts on the back side then I guess?
     
  8. NeilG

    NeilG New

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    Ahh...well I finally got myself out there..it was 35 and sunny today, so that counts as a heat wave. I loosened the bolts with no trouble, no lube or anything. There are rectangular block nuts underneath. I pulled it as far forward as it would come both sides being even...if anything it went slightly the other way, but by my eye its about the same as the other side. Went for a short drive and it even gets down the road straight. Had a pull to one side before. Im sure it needs an alignment but I also discovered the upper ball joint on the side I was working on does have some slop in it....I can drive it here and there for now at least, Ill get that ball joint and then an an alignment and go from there!

    Thanks all!!!
     
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  9. bguy

    bguy Well-Known Member

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    I have found that when replacing front end components, if the toe out is the same after you finish as when you started the the alignment shouldn't be too far of.
     

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