When I installed KYB front struts on DARKFIRE I noticed ;
( 1 ) Yes, you DO need to turn the strut mounts almost 1/4 turn to
achieve correct orientation. ( Study / measure the bolt hole pattern
on the upper strut mount or the strut tower, and you probably
already realized they can only bolt up one way.
The outer 2 bolts are splayed wider than the 2 inner bolts. )
( 2 ) You should install one high adjustment ( 1.75 deg. )
camber bolt on each strut. Take a CAREFUL short drive then adjust
camber and toe to zero as best as you can.
To check / adjust toe.
First. use the most level surface you can find.
I then set the steering wheel dead center, and used a 48"
long straight-edge held lightly against the front tire running down the
side of the car's body / front door. and adjusted toe until the
straight-edge was parallel with the car's body. Then repeat with the other side.
If I remember correctly, the new struts did increase toe out quite a bit.
( especially the right side ).
To check / adjust camber. I used a large framing square with a level on
it and a tape measure to check camber against the wheel edges to
see how far off camber was.
But, set toe first. Then check / adjust camber with the steering wheel
dead straight. ( camber changes as the wheels are turned )
This is an EYEBALL ALIGNMENT ! And is by no means a real / perfect
alignment. But it should get you close enough to make the car
safe / stable enough to drive those 50 or so miles until the new
struts settle to normal ride height.
The other option is to get 2 alignments. one immediately after
installing the new struts, and again after 50 - 80 miles.
Reasons being are
When new, these struts will ride approx 1" - 1 1/2" higher than
normal, This will throw camber and toe off spec.
giving that outside edge of the tire looks flatter appearance you
mentioned. ( this wears the outside edge of the tires fast and makes for
a squirrely ride until the struts settle down to normal ride height.)
After about 60 - 80 miles get the actual alignment.
( So the car will most likely need those camber bolts anyways )
Remember, these adjustments are going to change as the struts settle
down to normal ride height and will need to be adjusted again during the
This is where you loom over the tech doing the work and watch him like a hawk.
Because if you don't, they will pretend there is no way to adjust camber or caster,
he will just crank in lots of toe-in and send you on your merry way. destroying
your front tires in no time. ( hey the tires in his car are perfectly fine ! )
Let us know how you make out & good luck.