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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I have a 2002 Rodeo. Recently, during a snow storm, I hit a curb and bent my inner and outer tie rod end on the driver side.

I had the tie rods replaced and everything is great with the steering except the castor alignment is now negitive. The side effect of this is that after making a right turn, the wheel doesn't automatically center itself again, the truck will actually just keep going around in a circle unless I turn the wheel back myself. Turning to the left s fine.

I am told that the castor alignment on a Rodeo isn't adjustable. Is this correct? Has anyone had this problem before?

Thanks
 

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I'm pretty sure you can adjust caster/camber by tightening or loosening the torsen bar adjusters, or by adding shims to the control arm mounts.

G/luck
Joel
 

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Ya raising or lowering the front end in relation to the back would affect caster but you don't want to do that.

The upper control arm is bolted to the frame with two bolts, you put shims on both bolts to adjust camber or a shim on only one of the bolts to adjust caster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I haven't had the wheel off myself yet so I am trying to remember what exactly it looks like. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow.

I can see how adding shims to both bolts on top would change the camber, but I am not sure which one to shim to change the castor. I assume which one to shim depends on if I am trying to gain negative or positive castor. In this case I am trying to gain positive castor, so which one would I shim?

Also, I have no experience with shims, are they similar to washers, just thicker?

Thanks
 

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Shims are "U" shaped and usually 1/8" thick.

I forget which way is negative and which is positive. But if you put shims on the rear most bolt that would pull the rear of the control arm in some throwing the upper ball join to the rear more (I think increasing positive caster) if you put a shim on the front most bolt it would do the opposite, throwing the upper ball joint forward.

Hm thinking here....If you hit a curb and now have negative caster, I think that means instead of the centerline of the ball joints sloping to the rear like this / but less it now slopes to the front like \ but less. If that is correct it sounds like something with your lower control arms mounting or the arm it self have been bent backwards.

Have you had an alignment shop look at it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are correct. Postive castor is "/", and negitive castor is "\".

When I had the tie rods replaced there was not visiable damage to the lower control arm or the mounts. Either could have been bent but it must be a very tiny amount because it isn't noticiable visually or in the handling of the truck. The other thing that isn't right is the fact that it won't self center after a turn.

The shop that replaced the tie rods for me also did an alignment. They remarked on the fact that the driver's side now has a slightly negative castor but also said that it wasn't adjustable on a Rodeo. This wasn't the dealer, but I have had plenty of work done there before and they are quite good.

The mechanic also said that if I wanted to have the castor corrected, it would involve shims. At the time, I thought I could live with it, but I have now decided that I can't.

I am going to try and find a shop that specializes in front end work and take it there to have it corrected. I just really want to know what I am talking about first, so that I will be able to tell if they know what they are talking about.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok. I had the wheel off today to take a look myself. There is no visable damage to the upper or lower control arm. Everything looks fine. It also doesn't look like there was very much castor to begin with.

Since the two bolt that attach the upper control arm to the frame run from front to back, I can see how putting a couple of shims in can be used to push the upper control arm back a bit. Is this correct?

I also noticed that the upper ball joint is mounted to the upper control arm with three bolts. Could this be shimmed to but the upper ball joint at a slight angle?

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Ok drew an a picture here to show you.

The Bolts circled in green are the ones that you were saying ran front to back attaching the control arm to the frame. What they really do is bolt the fulcrum pin into the upper control arm, that pin allows the control arm to pivot. The two bolts I was referring to to adjust camber/caster are the ones that bolt the upper control arm and fulcrum pin assembly to the frame and those are circled in red. Now the yellow arrows point to were there shims are, on the left one you can barely see one of the shims. Those shims go between the fulcrum pin and the mount that the bolts in red are going through.

 

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Good pic and info ProB!! Doesn't that dog bone/wrench shaped spacer behind the brake line/red circles shim for castor/camber as well?

Thanks
Joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am having a very difficult time finding anywhere that will use shims to correct the alignment. The dealer won't touch it and neither will a few other shops I have called.

Does anyone know the alignment specs for a 2002 Rodeo 4x4? I would like to have an idea of just how much castor it is supposed to have.

Thanks again
 

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I Have the specs in my truck but it's not here right now, but I'll check it later.

Any way +1.6 or 2.2 come to mind as the minimum and I think the max may of been in the low teens.
 

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HAHA was close on my minimum guess but quite a bit off on my max guess.

Ok, Specs:
Camber: -0.5 to 0.5
Caster: 1.8 to 3.3
Toe: -0.08 to 0.08 (from my knowledge, going to college to be a tech myself, you want a little toe in on a RWD car. RWD cars have the front tires being pushed so they will toe out a little when under load so toeing in a little will result in zero toe when under load.)
 

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wheat said:
I am having a very difficult time finding anywhere that will use shims to correct the alignment. The dealer won't touch it and neither will a few other shops I have called.
The only place I've ever gone that messed with shims was a Firestone shop. I dont know if they all do it but that was the only place that ever bothered with them on my mitsu. I had had the alignment done a few times before but none of the other shops had bothered to do it. Plus they used to have coupons in the junk mail so it was cheaper :D
 

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That's kinda dumb, the only way to align these is with shims. I've had mine aligned at 3 different places and they all used shims and had no problem with it

Funny story. The only time I took mine to a Firestone I had about 3 degrees of camber and the removed all my shims to try and fix it but your supposed to add shims to bring the camber down. Once they figured out they had to add shims they just gave it back to me. So I brought it back because it now had 5 degrees of camber and they wanted to charge me shop rate and extra for shims to fix it and that was on top of me already paying for a life time alignment. So I ended up calling there headquarters and got a full refund and left them some real nasty feedback when there headquarters called me to do a survey on my recent visit to one of there shops. So no lifetime alignments for me :cry: . But I think that experience was just because the shops was run by illegal immigrants, so don't fear your local Firestone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took my Rodeo to a friend's body shop this morning. He put it on the hoist and checked and measured everything on both sides for me. Both the upper and lower control arms are fine.

I have also found a shop that is willing to use shims to fix the alignment. I am going there in the morning.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well the castor allignment wasn't off on the driver's side after all. It was also only a little off on the passenger side. I decided to have them spend the time and shim the passenger side to correct it. However, it didn't fix the problem, the truck will still go around and around in circles if you let it.

At this point I am out of ideas on what the problem could be.

Thank you to everyone for the suggestions and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There is an update. Last week a seal in the steering rack went and all the fluid drained out in a matter of minutes.

I had the rack replaced (OUCH!) and now the steering is back to normal.

Thanks for the help
 
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