Caster/camber adjuster metal fatigue

Joined
Jun 6, 2011
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911
 
I haven't been satisfied with the tracking/alignment on my 200. As I looked through the PO records I noticed that the dealer indicated they couldn't complete the alignment after a new steering rack was installed due to metal fatigue on one of the adjusters. Upon closer investigation I can now see that one side of the metal "brackets" the the adjuster rides in is gone. I believe this is the drivers side caster adjustment. The dealer suggested to the PO to take it to a body shop for repair.

I recall hearing this is a not so uncommon problem. Anyone else had this or come up with a solution?

I'm attaching a pic of the LH and RH sides to illustrate the problem.

12623D7D-F892-42C4-B948-7F5C91F9A830.jpeg


BC60CD1E-1496-4DA4-8565-89879DABCF50.jpeg
 
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You need a welded on reinforcement like Marlin crawlers sells for some of the other cruisers and Tacoma's.
 

TeCKis300

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Most any shop with a welder could fix this. Exhaust shop even. Wouldn't necessarily need any bracket added. Laying down a bead and grinding it down to a square edge enough to guide the eccentric is all that's needed.

That said, a good alignment tech could do it without the guide by moving the bolt directly. They're lazy and want the easy button. Guess I can't blame them.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
911
 
Most any shop with a welder could fix this. Exhaust shop even. Wouldn't necessarily need any bracket added. Laying down a bead and grinding it down to a square edge enough to guide the eccentric is all that's needed.

That said, a good alignment tech could do it without the guide by moving the bolt directly. They're lazy and want the easy button. Guess I can't blame them.
It was the Toyota dealer who balked at finishing the alignment. If you look closely the other side of the adjustment cam doesn't even come close to touching the tab. No wonder it doesn't track well. I'll make some calls to some shops tomorrow to get some options.
 
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Jun 6, 2011
Messages
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Just spoke to @cruiseroutfit about this issue. It sounds like this is pretty common. They said some shops will cut these off while doing an alignment and weld a new tab in place afterwards. It makes me think that if I can find the right alignment shop they'll be able to do this. I ordered a set of SPC UCAs too. Might as well kill 2 birds with one stone on the alignment.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
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I've installed the Marlin Crawler on 4Runners and Total Chaos on everything else (my 200 has TC gussets).

Go with the Total Chaos, seriously. The Marlin Crawler one isn't a good option is the tab is already damaged, because if just frames around the existing cam tab. Then there is the sheer amount of welding required. I'm not joking here, it's about the same as a solid axle swap. The mount itself will never have problems despite what marketing says, it's just the cam tabs.

Those cam tabs suck on every toyota IFS. All my trucks get replaced immediately. If you do any real off-roading, it's very common to have at least one of them sheer. They are held to the frame with two small tac welds.

My FJ had 5 of the 8 sheered off when I replaced those. Still drove great on the road, but you know you have one sheered off when light overlanding make you feel like you need an alignment afterword.
 

bloc

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Sep 19, 2008
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Central Texas
 
 
It surprises me these are even stressed during normal use if the hardware is tightened to spec.. but I guess if Taco has had to do this it really is a design issue.
And the fact that I’ve never had to mess with this means I’m too gentle with mine...
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
911
 
I've installed the Marlin Crawler on 4Runners and Total Chaos on everything else (my 200 has TC gussets).

Go with the Total Chaos, seriously. The Marlin Crawler one isn't a good option is the tab is already damaged, because if just frames around the existing cam tab. Then there is the sheer amount of welding required. I'm not joking here, it's about the same as a solid axle swap. The mount itself will never have problems despite what marketing says, it's just the cam tabs.

Those cam tabs suck on every toyota IFS. All my trucks get replaced immediately. If you do any real off-roading, it's very common to have at least one of them sheer. They are held to the frame with two small tac welds.

My FJ had 5 of the 8 sheered off when I replaced those. Still drove great on the road, but you know you have one sheered off when light overlanding make you feel like you need an alignment afterword.
So are these just the square tabs? I'm surprised that alignment shops don't have buckets of these sitting around.
 

Taco2Cruiser

Rob @ BudBuilt Off Road
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So are these just the square tabs? I'm surprised that alignment shops don't have buckets of these sitting around.
Very few alignment shops have the time, capability, or ready to accept the liability, to weld on a frame.

They get it green on their Hunter machine, and move onto the next car. Besides, you most likely never find a certified mechanic who runs the alignment rack. Even at Toyota dealerships, it’s a kid who got told “make them green.” Where he has no idea the theory behind a good alignment.

It’s very sad, and not to be a hater, but most shops make money by getting cars in and out as fast as possible. Very, very, very few shops make their money by being precise and having enough customers willing to pay those much higher premiums. Especially in the general maintenance shops.

Also, while we are on it, while you “can” weld these on without taking the lower control arm out. You need to remove the lower control arm to prime and paint in there. The welding process with remove all protective coating inside the bracket and will become heavily rusted pretty quickly.
 
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