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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2011 ram 3500 dually with 56k miles. I pulling a trailer back from South Dakota my truck ended up with horrible death wobble. Babied it home and tore it apart and found that my ball joints had failed. Looks like when I had my alignment done last they had one cam bolt to the fron and one to the rear.
I then decided to order and install
Carli ball joints
Carli track bar
Carli steering stabilizer
Bilsteen shocks
Carli leveling coils
The death wobble was so bad it took out my two font tires so I then decided I would upgrade to 19.5 American forces
I then took the truck to get an alignment asked them to reset the cam bolts. I picked up the truck and drove it it seemed ok.
fast foreword a week and I pulled a trailer with my side by side on the highway the road got a bit rough and the truck seemed to have a verylight feeling front end and wanted to wander. When I got to the camp site an hour away I looked they had the drivers side cam bolt all the way back the passenger was two notches from theback. I decided to move the passenger side to one notch ahead of center and the drivers side to straight up. This made the feel better. not perfect but better it seems to have a bit of a hum so I think I’m a bit to far foreword now
My question now is what alignment specs should I tell the alignment shop to set the truck at? I will attach where they set it at. With the cam bolts all the way to the back. Also is there something I missing
Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle Vehicle

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2011 Ram 2500 4x4 6.7 68RFE 4 inch lift
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Thuren specs 0.0-0.5 on the toe, if I remember right. However, the cam bolts should be pointed towards the front of the axle. I don’t have a dually. I run my cam bolts each at the second notch going towards the front of the truck. That’s the caster adjustment. Also, is your steering stabilizer is good condition? Do you have a steering box stabilizer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My steering stabilizer is new it’s a carli stabilizer. From what I read if you go to far foreword the pinion can make noise which is what I thought I was hearing. So I think I’m to far foreword.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thuren specs 0.0-0.5 on the toe, if I remember right. However, the cam bolts should be pointed towards the front of the axle. I don’t have a dually. I run my cam bolts each at the second notch going towards the front of the truck. That’s the caster adjustment. Also, is your steering stabilizer is good condition? Do you have a steering box stabilizer?
My steering stabilizer is new it’s a carli stabilizer. From what I read if you go to far foreword the pinion can make noise which is what I thought I was hearing. So I think I’m to far foreword.
 

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Go on Thurens site, they have the specs for the appropriate years in PDF form. I emailed them a couple days ago because I'm doing an alignment on my truck in a couple days. At least for 2004 year, sweet spot for the cam bolt arrows are 12 o clock (according to them). Both pointing 1 notch towards the front should be ok too.

I'm going to measure my caster anyway while I'm doing it and ensure it's within their specs.
 

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Caster will make the steering wheel center quicker and more stability at speed.
More caster will also make the steering more "sluggish" if you will. Think of the way a chopper vs sport bike is. Also called "trail". So there's a fine line with these trucks. There's already caster welded into the passenger side knuckle which is why the driver and passenger side calls for different amounts.
 

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2011 Ram 2500 4x4 6.7 68RFE 4 inch lift
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I’ve heard that too much caster makes the truck “twitchy”. I had a garbage Rancho or some other 3.5” spacer lift on my 11’. Bought it that way. It got to the point where anytime the wheels were turned, it made a clicking sound. Got the Spyntec locking hub conversion, that took care of the clicking sound as the u-joints were SHOT! That was 2 years ago. This past spring, a God awful noise reared it’s ugly head. Turns out the bushing in the control arms were bad, I mean down right worn out! So I went with all Thuren stuff on the front. Got new lower control arm cam bolts cause I had to cut the old out. I set the cam bolts at the first notch after straight up. I like it, but I’m going to try the next notch. Now the Rancho lift had the cam bolts all the forward, and the alignment guy said he could adjust them anymore cause they were maxed out. I’d try setting them at the 2nd notch. It won’t wear your tires at all and you just might like it.
 

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I’ve heard that too much caster makes the truck “twitchy”. I had a garbage Rancho or some other 3.5” spacer lift on my 11’. Bought it that way. It got to the point where anytime the wheels were turned, it made a clicking sound. Got the Spyntec locking hub conversion, that took care of the clicking sound as the u-joints were SHOT! That was 2 years ago. This past spring, a God awful noise reared it’s ugly head. Turns out the bushing in the control arms were bad, I mean down right worn out! So I went with all Thuren stuff on the front. Got new lower control arm cam bolts cause I had to cut the old out. I set the cam bolts at the first notch after straight up. I like it, but I’m going to try the next notch. Now the Rancho lift had the cam bolts all the forward, and the alignment guy said he could adjust them anymore cause they were maxed out. I’d try setting them at the 2nd notch. It won’t wear your tires at all and you just might like it.
So when thinking about caster, positive caster is basically how far forward the wheel is from straight up and down, or where the hub is in relation to the upper suspension point. You have to draw an imaginary triangle. The short leg of the triangle is the "trail". The degree associated for this value is the caster. As your caster angle decreases (gets more vertical, or closer to directly below that upper point) that's when your steering will get more "twitchy". As your trail or caster angle becomes more positive, the stability increases, it will be less "twitchy" but you get the more sluggish steering that is inherent with positive caster. It's not bad though if you keep it within the specs. I'm not sure what the 2nd notch is as far as degrees go, but I've kept it between 12 and the first notch pointing forward and never had an issue. Since I've got all new front end components on, new wheels and tires to go on as well. I've got it set at 12 right now. I'm going to check the actual caster angle in the 12 and 1st notch positions and see what those angles are and compare them to the thuren specs. Being everything is new since my last alignment, I'm doing it over for longevity of the tires.
 

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2011 Ram 2500 4x4 6.7 68RFE 4 inch lift
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Caster doesn’t affect tire wear.

Hell, I’m learning all this stuff as I go. Definitely not a pro in any sense of the word.

Now when these trucks are lifted, the cam bolts need to go forward depending on the size of lift??
 

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Caster doesn’t affect tire wear.

Hell, I’m learning all this stuff as I go. Definitely not a pro in any sense of the word.

Now when these trucks are lifted, the cam bolts need to go forward depending on the size of lift??
Caster shouldn't affect tire wear, that's correct. But with geo changes, different vehicles and setups, it sure has the potential to.

When the trucks are lifted/leveled as you know, we usually increase the control arm length to "push" the axle back forward as it wants to roll inward (towards the back of the truck). If you leave the stock control arms on, you are effectively decreasing positive caster. It would be interesting to see a before/after caster measurement with OEM control arms for a say, 3" level. But extending the control arms should get you that geometry back. So really, you shouldn't need to adjust the caster much. Tweak it a little, maybe yes.

In a nutshell, if leveled and you add extended control arms, you shouldn't need much caster adjustment at all. Reading both Carli and Thuren's recommendation for caster is between 12 and 1 notch forward. When I asked I told them I was leveled on 35's. I've read some conflicting information regarding the adjustment on what needs to be loosened to get a proper adjustment (Ie all the control arm bolts, or just the axle side control arm hardware, etc) so I'm waiting on a response about that
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Caster shouldn't affect tire wear, that's correct. But with geo changes, different vehicles and setups, it sure has the potential to.

When the trucks are lifted/leveled as you know, we usually increase the control arm length to "push" the axle back forward as it wants to roll inward (towards the back of the truck). If you leave the stock control arms on, you are effectively decreasing positive caster. It would be interesting to see a before/after caster measurement with OEM control arms for a say, 3" level. But extending the control arms should get you that geometry back. So really, you shouldn't need to adjust the caster much. Tweak it a little, maybe yes.

In a nutshell, if leveled and you add extended control arms, you shouldn't need much caster adjustment at all. Reading both Carli and Thuren's recommendation for caster is between 12 and 1 notch forward. When I asked I told them I was leveled on 35's. I've read some conflicting information regarding the adjustment on what needs to be loosened to get a proper adjustment (Ie all the control arm bolts, or just the axle side control arm hardware, etc) so I'm waiting on a response about that
So with me not changing the control arms when I leveled it what do you suggest? Do I need control arms?
 

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So with me not changing the control arms when I leveled it what do you suggest? Do I need control arms?
Yes, it's suggested when you level these rigs to go to extended control arms to push the axle forward to retain proper geometry. As well as an alignment.
 

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I’ll look at getting the carli control arms I was under the impression that when leveling it. I wouldn’t need them
I've got the Carli Backcountry kit. Solid craftsmanship, no complaints here.

It's it a requirement to get control arms when level? No. I had OEMs for a while without issues. But I knew my geometry was off.
Other front end issues though can compound the problems.
 
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