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Old 07-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
Walter Clark
 
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Default Camber crash bolts

Has anyone swapped in "crash bolts" like these: http://www.amazon.com/Moog-K90474-Ca...ype=automotive to reduce the static camber on their front suspensions?

My '12 2500 with 3000 miles sits with about 2.5 degrees positive on the left and 1 degree positive on the right side. The left tire is beginning to show excessive outside edge wear as a result - right side not so much. Obviously I dont load my van anywhere near where MB assumed the front would be loaded - where the camber would probably be fine - so I need to get the static camber down some for the long haul - so to speak - unless I plan to go thru tires unnecessarily.

With MacPherson strut suspensions many manufacturers lock in the camber at the factory with no provision for adjustment other than replacing the stock strut bolts with reduced diameter versions. VW even has a reduced diameter bolt specified in their parts lists for some of their models, to be used by service if the correct static camber cant be set with the factory bolts in place. Anyway, I ordered a couple sets of the Moog bolts referenced above, to try to get the left side camber down.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

Walter,
If you own a 2012 Sprinter (MB or Freightliner) with only 3k miles on it, and there is no
evidence that you have been running into things like curbs, parking lot strips, things at least
4" high and unmoveable, why are you wanting to fix this rather than take it back to the dealer
where you bought it and have them fix it under their new car warranty.
Who measured the camber...using what kind of alignment machine.
Take it back and make them fix it at their expense.
If you install the Crash bolts (they look pretty scary to me) it will void your warranty
for sure.
I'm having a hard time figuring how decided that repairing this problem is your responsibility.
I had a driveshaft shake/vibration in my newest Sprinter (2011 170" 3500 Cargo) and it
took a couple of trips, but the driveshaft was replaced under warranty at their expense.
First trip the MB USA engineering guys made the dealer change both the carrier bearings,
but when they didn't fix it they said OK to replacement of the entire driveshaft.
It's a "process" yes, they have to do it one step at a time, but if you are persistent,
it will be fixed.
Roger
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:09 AM   #3
Walter Clark
 
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

The van hasnt hit anything. I plan to make an appointment with MB tomorrow but from what I have read, I wont be too surprised if they tell me "Its supposed to be that way".

I used the same tools to check camber that I use on my race car. A Smartcamber tool. Good to +/- .1 degrees depending on how careful I am. I also have tools to get to toe, caster, bump-steer and dynamic camber and toe but they are not necessary to simply check this.

I found that I decrease the left side camber by a mere .2 degrees by stepping into the van's drivers seat so it would take a LOT more mes to get it down by adding weight and I understand "loaded" is where the camber is supposed to be correct. Based on the geometry and angle of the control arms I observed when under there, it makes sense - thought I made no attempt to compress the suspension to see where it ends up when the arms are level.

The crash bolts are under $30 total so even if MB does something to correct it, that is no great $ loss to me. As for crash bolts being scary - I would estimate that a very large number of vehicles with MacPherson struts end up using them to correct camber issues.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

I'm familiar with portable race car alignment tools. Used to race Formula
B and Formula Ford way back when.
Sounds like they (MB USA) didn't get it put back together correctly in SC at the
reassembly plant.
With the amount of positive camber you are getting, and the difference
right to left, I hope they take care of it for you.
Again, I caution you against using other than MB approved and manufactured camber bolts
to adjust your camber to within normal limits.
Roger
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OM-651 I4 2.143 liter two stage turbo charged with 36.9 PSIA Waste Gate
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Suspension Seats, Active Safety Package +, Parktronic, OEM Hitch/wiring
OEM back up camera, Bi Xenon light package, fog lamps, headlight washers.
Had 2006 T1N 3500/158|2010 NCV3 519/3500/144|2011 & 2012 NCV3 519/3500 170

Last edited by sailquik; 07-31-2012 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

Not like the T1N, I thought NCV3 camber IS adjustable OEM?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...ghlight=camber
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Last edited by talkinghorse43; 07-31-2012 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

NCV3 chamber is OE adjustable. The strut mounting holes are over sized and slotted for it. The lower hole is slightly larger than the mounting bolt and the upper bolt hole is slotted for the adjustment. The crash bolts that are being described have a cam on it that theoretically makes the adjustment easier but that is only in theory. In reality, they are a pain in the butt, but they do work if you have the patience. Hope this helps.

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

In theory your van should or might drift left hands off wheel on flat road???????

There can be a tolerance stacking to create a bad camber condition ...... it can correct using several methods. These methods are commonly done at the factory. + 1 on the above posting to gett the max or best camber setting.

Other tricks if neded:

Loosing all the sub frame bolts and moving the sub frame to the right and retightening while shifted the camber could be split to about 1.5 positive on both sides.

Another common fix is lifting the front end, removing both tires and loosen all suspension parts......remove all slack in every component to the negative camber tighten every bolt with the most negative camber position. Example the strut to knuckle connection has a "slop" pull so the slop is towards the negative. It can all add up to achieve a better camber number.

Also MB has more beefy camber bolts ( than the aftermarket bolts shown) for extra camber adjustment.

If any trick and or standard adjustment to camber is done it will effect toe.....toe MUST be reset.........
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Last edited by showkey; 07-31-2012 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

sorg dodge in goshen,ind has at least 30 of the upper and lower bolts needed as well for some reason the nuts that are on back order nation wide!
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

Hi Walter,
I have a 2011 with the same problem. My front driver's side tire was feathering. After 3 wheel alignments, balancing, and 6 tire rotations I had replaced 6 tires in 20,000 miles.
Three MB dealers did the wheel alignments to specs which didn't help. Mercedes Benz of North Olmsted in Ohio tried fighting MB on my behalf after they tried to blame me for loading the van in a wrongful manner. MB told the service manager at MB of North Olmsted that my van is the only one with this problem. I have three friends that have the same problem.
Bob Neuman at MB of North Olmsted asked me to get my friends vin numbers because he wants to force MB to acknowledge that this problem is wide spread and to take responsibility to find a fix. If you would call him at 4407162700 that would help in this effort.
I found a truck alignment expert at Jerry's Tire in Wyoming,Michigan who ignored the wheel alignment specs from MB and adjusted the camber and toe using his years of experience. It has been 40,00 miles since he aligned my Sprinter and I have had even wear on all my tires.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:36 AM   #10
RMWise
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Default Re: Camber crash bolts

Those cam bolts are quite common. I sell quite a few to the shops I service. Typically used in cases with no OE adjustment or where the OE adjustment is insufficient or requires slotting the strut. They can be a pain, but they do work and I've not heard of a case where they failed.

I wouldn't advocate shifting the cradle in most cases as it can change SAI. VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda is one OE that does adjust front camber by shifting the cradle to equalize camber side to side. Unless it was designed as the adjustment you may not get a lot of bang for your buck (and effort).
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