After toe, camber is the second most important suspension geometry angle affecting tire wear and fuel economy. If the camber is set incorrectly, the tire will lean too far in or out, and wear unevenly on one side of the tread. The tire will also plough while cornering, causing a feathery edge to be worn into the tread. With the right tools, you can check and properly set the camber on your Nissan D21 truck.
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Things you need
- 2 Alignment pads
- Hubcap claw or tire iron
- Camber gauge
- Alignment shim assortment
- Torque wrench
Raise the bonnet. Lift the front end of the truck by placing the jack under the front cross member until there is sufficient clearance under the front tires to place the alignment pads under the wheels. Lower the truck onto the alignment pads, remove the jack and pull the locking pins on the alignment pads.
Insert the thin edge of the hub cap tool or lug iron between the hub cap and wheel and twist, if the wheel has a hub cap. Repeat this process around the edge of the wheel until the hubcap can be removed. Place the camber gauge on the hub and read the camber angle. If the reading is too far positive, move the upper control arm inward. If it is too far negative, move the control arm outward.
Loosen the two bolts securing the upper control arm to the frame. To move the control arm outward (add positive camber), insert an equal number of shims on both bolts between the frame and control arm. To move the control arm inward (add negative camber), remove an equal number of and thickness of shims from both bolts. These bolts can most easily be accessed from the engine compartment.
Tighten the bolts. Check the camber reading and adjust as necessary until the reading falls within specifications for your year truck. Torque the control arm bolts to between 80 and 100 foot-pounds.
Remove the gauge, reinstall the hubcap and repeat Steps Two through Four for the other side.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the truck is relatively empty. However, to compensate for the weight of the driver, put a comparable amount of weight, if possible, on the driver's seat.
- Alignment pads are heavy metal plates that have discs secured to them that can move in every axis to allow for adjustment of alignment angles. Lock the pins in place before moving them or you can damage them.
- Gently pushing down on the bumper after removing or installing shims allows the wheel to move inward and outward more easily so that the gauge will more accurately reflect the change in camber caused by the addition or removal of shims.
- The camber gauge is a graduated bubble level on a magnet. The magnet secures the gauge to the hub in such a way as to ensure a reading accurate to within 5 and 10 per cent.
- Alignment pads are not required to perform this repair, but they make the job easier.
- Make sure the control arm bolts are torqued to between 80 and 100 foot-pounds.
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