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2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
Help...just replaced worn to a frazzle ball joints. Wanted to get front end alignedbut I'm being told there is no way to adjust camber - I am finding that pretty hard to believe. Its way off and needs adjustment bad. Any suggestions or solutions? Thanks
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it is adjustable but u have to use offset ball joints to do it. basicly normal ball joints are centered in the case of the ball joint the offset arnt so u have to turn the ball joint to get the camber adjustment dont know how much they run and i never done them at work
Check other things, you should not have to adjust the camber, unless you really wacked the heck out of it. Bad wheel barings, tie rod ends, control arm bushings and wheel joints can all through a wheel out of alighnment. Solid front axles were not made to adjust camber you can adjust toe in. I run mine out insted of in, it is a race car trick you get alot more control and less tire wear, its just odd not many shops do it because it is not spec.
98 Ram QuadCab Long Box 4X4
360 cid K&N
3" Mopar Performance Exhaust
180 deg. stat
(and service manuals I believe),
give a wide
acceptable range for front caster on the 4x4 Rams. I believe the range
is 2 degrees to 5 degrees (if that's not correct, it's pretty close).
The problem occurs when the alignment tech (independent or dealer)
tells you that the measurements "checked out fine", just because they
were in this broad range of acceptance.
Caster readings that fall on either end of the scale are subject to
caster shimmy, even though they are "acceptable". I had to align some
30 trucks and attend a 9 hour "Dodge Ram Chassis Dynamics Diagnostics"
training session (fancy name, ehh?), before finding out that 3 degrees
to 4 degrees is the optimal caster setting for 4x4 Rams that eliminates
Below I will post what specifications I set Ram trucks to. First
I want to give a little more info on correct Ram alignments so you can
see if you had a job well done,
The eccentrics on the lower control arms ARE NOT for individual
wheel caster adjustments (even though our alignment machine says they
are). The eccentric sleeves in the upper ball joints are for adjusting
individual camber and total cross caster (difference in caster between
two front wheels). This is why replacement eccentrics are positionable
in eight different ways.
Once camber and cross caster are attained with the eccentrics, the
lower control arm eccentrics are then used to swing the caster readings
into specifications. The two eccentrics must be swung in the SAME
direction in EQUAL amounts. If they are not, it will create a setback
condition (one front wheel further forward than the other).
FYI - Comparing between the two front wheels, caster will cause a
pull to the smaller value and camber will cause a pull to the larger
value. A truck set up with caster pulling in one direction and camber
pulling in the other direction, can lead to a wandering truck; even
though it is "in specifications"!!!!!!
If the eccentrics on the lower control arms of your truck are not
pointing the same direction, the alignment was done incorrectly and the
axle was "twisted" or "forced" into position to attain the acceptable
values (seen them from the factory this way, go figure).
A correct alignment will set the truck up with a slight negative
cross caster (truck has slight pull to left) to compensate for right
hand road crown. Camber will be equal side to side slightly on the
negative side. This will help maintain acceptable camber when hauling
heavy loads, as the truck tends to lift in the front when towing.
Camber will then fall slightly positive when towing.
Just because the alignment shop says "it's in specifications", that
does not mean it is set up for proper performance and handling!!!!!!!!!
Specifications (my personal settings for every Ram I align): all specs
below are in degrees.
Left Wheel Right Wheel
Caster 3.2 3.5
Cross Caster -.3
Camber -.10 -.10
Cross Camber 0.0
Toe - standard specs, (maybe a little out if you tow a lot, they will
pull in as the front end lifts up).
Gold Certified Chrysler tech"
He is 100% correct & don't let anyone tell you different. The only thing I
will add is that you will likely see the camber closer to 0 degrees on a 4X4.
That's where it's supposed to be. One other thing that most people check is
the rear axle alignment. To much of a thrust angle will also cause a pull
(push) in the front end. if it is out to far, the axle location will need to
be fixed since there are no adjustments. This is the kind of things I was
looking for with Intense's truck
I'm an auto tech that specializes in alignments and maybe I can help you out.
If the truck is pulling to the right the most probable causes are, the camber
is out, you have a tire problem or the caster is out. On the 4X4 there is only
one adjustment sleeve on the left side. This sleeve adjusts the toe in and
out. You can't have one side out and have it pull that direction. The caster
and camber are set first then the toe and then the wheel is staightened out
using an adjustment sleeve next to the pitman arm. There is no adjustment for
camber or caster on stock trucks. Moog now offers a caster-camber adjustment
sleeve the moves the stud of the upper ball joint to make corrections. Alot of
the Rams (4X4) have a tire wear problem on the outside edge of the right tire.
This is caused by to much camber and can be corrected by the Moog adjustment
sleeves. This positive caster will also cause the truck to pull to the right.
A vehicle has to be set up so that it offset roadcrown so it drives straight
in the right lane. The caster is always set to have more postive on the left
(usually 1 degree) and camber is set the same on both sides (caster won't wear
tires but camber will). Find out what the specs are and look at the camber
readings, they should be the same for left and right. Check your left tire to
see if it is wearing on the outside edge. If all the numbers seem to make
sense swap the tires from left to right and see if that help. If it pulls to
the left after the swap it's a tire problem, if continues to pull to the right
it's an alignment problem. Remember the old saying "keep it simple, stupid".
Rear axle problems are rare.
I went through the same thing about 2 months ago with mine. The control arm bushings were replaced, the tie rods were new, wheel bearings new and the ball joints were fine. Both myfront tires were wearing on the inside.
The front end on this truck is rock solid. I installed the adjustable ball joints to dial the camber in and they work great. They cost me $44/each which is only about $10 more than the standard ones. It was well worth it and now I have full control over my camber.
FWIW:Back in `98 I had an alignment problem on my 97 Ramafter about 20k miles. It was the same deal where the tires were wearing more on the inside than the outside. I took it into the dealer and they told me they actually had to bend the top ball joint mounting point back out due to some issue Chrysler was having.
I have no idea if that was actually true. I know they did not install adjustable ball joints. Right after that I rotated the front tires to the rear. Never had another tire wear problem again.
question regarding 1998 ram ball joints... I bought a truck (4x4) solid axle that had the ball joints replaced at least once before as they were tack welded in place. The lower was bad when I bought it so I put new ones in it, but the hole is "hogged" out just enough that the ball joint doesnt press in at all, it just slips in and out. I am planning on having it tacked in place again, however, I noticed that my drivers side front tire is feathering a bit on the inside tread after about 1500 miles on em. How would I fix this problem assuming that the ball joints were welded in? I dont think that there is enough play in the ball joint socket to allow me to get that much gain from it. I am just not interested in tearing up new tires, but on the same hand, I dont want to weld this ball joint in place if I really need to do something else instead.