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Discussions on suspension & steering repairs or upgrades.

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 #379701  by Phoenix
 July 6th, 2019, 10:40 pm
Hi All,
I just finished installing two front KYB struts (SR4060, SR4061) and noticed that the left wheel has a lot of camber. I did have to rotate the mounting bolts to orient them with the strut tower locations. Could this rotation be causing the problem? Had to do it for both struts. Bent strut or suspension components? Also had to replace both stabilizer bar links because the nuts were frozen.

With the new struts installed they also make both front tires look flatter but tire pressure was normal. Is this unusual?

Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
User avatar
 #379703  by FIREM
 July 7th, 2019, 6:07 am
Don't know about the KYB's but OEM mounts/bearings have tabs that must be properly oriented when installed.
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 #379704  by Mottman
 July 7th, 2019, 7:57 am

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
actual alignment.

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.
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 #379707  by Phoenix
 July 7th, 2019, 9:26 am
Thanks for the help guys. I took out the left strut again and compared the mount orientation with the OEM and the tabs that FIREM mention are not oriented the same as well as the tapered portion of the upper mount. Here are photos of the tops and sides of both struts.

Does this mean I need to disassemble the strut to orient the tabs properly?

In the last two photos the bottom of the strut is facing down and the first two the bottom strut mount is pointed to the right.

Mottman, can you describe the height adjustment camber bolt? Is it in the FSM?

I've never adjusted toe or camber and will most likely take it to a shop that's around the corner.
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 #379709  by Phoenix
 July 7th, 2019, 10:25 am
Also, in these photos looking front to back as they are installed, you can see the OEM top is tilted torward the right. You can also see the difference when comparing the new to old. Both struts are aligned the same along with the bolt pattern. Both notches also aligned but the tapered portion of the mount (see photo of OEM) doesn't match the new one.

I just measure the bolt pattern, outside holes are ~4.5", front/back are ~4.25" and inside is ~4" apart.

From these photos it would appear that either the strut is rotated differently or the mount is wrong.

I can't make any sense of this. If anyone have some time and could talk me thru this, please PM me. Thx.
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 #379713  by Phoenix
 July 8th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Last night I wrote a really long email to KYB tech support with a full description of my findings along with photos and surprisingly I received a phone call from David in tech support today for about 40 minutes. We discussed in detail my issues and comparisons between the KYB and OEM strut distinctive features regarding clocking. If you noticed in my previous posts the KYB strut tab or cutout on the isolator is rotated about 30 degrees clockwise from the OEM. This is the key here. He then left to pull some stock from inventory to check. Called me later and found one unit from 2015 out of three that showed this clocking. The other two matched the OEM. He sent me some detail diagrams of the top of the struts from Chrysler. They showed the correct orientation of the notch and the square hole in the bolt mount relative to the control arm and knuckle bracket.

He agreed that the one part he found along with my part was incorrectly assembled and probably the cause of the excessive camber. To fix this I could either return the part to Rockauto or compress the spring and rotate. Loosening the strut bolt was not needed. Note: He also informed me that Rockauto is not an authorized dealer of KYB products and they get their parts through a distributor.. Not sure if this matters in my case since KYB also found a defective product.

I have since removed the right strut and found it to be about 5 degrees clocked clockwise and brought them to my mechanic to fix. To be clear on the orientation. Notch should be at 12 o'clock, knuckle bracket opening should be facing 6 o'clock. The two tabs in the center by the nut, their orientation, DOES NOT MATTER, according to KYB. There is also a reference hole in the lower mount that should be at 6 o'clock. Also, KYB uses the same mount for both side and said that they found no difference between the OEM parts.

Hope this helps others. I'll post again after I reinstall struts and get an alignment. Kudos to KYB for their great tech support and thanks to David.

Just for fun, when I removed the right strut after work today it took me only 13 minutes to get the car up, tire off and strut out. Real pit crew, lol.
User avatar
 #379714  by FIREM
 July 8th, 2019, 8:51 pm
Good information and glad KYB came to your rescue.
Sorry I missed your request for help the other day.
User avatar
 #379910  by Phoenix
 July 19th, 2019, 11:07 am

I brought the struts to my mechanic last week and he compressed the springs and rotated the lower mounts so the struts tabs were correctly aligned (no charge). Installed them and brought back to mechanic for an alignment which took 4 days since he was having difficulty getting one tie rod sleeve off, waited too long to do it, was out another day and finally took advantage of the fact I was away on a business trip. Frustrating but finally got the car back. Didn't get a print out of the alignment measurements (said his printer was acting up) and the steering wheel was about 2-4 degrees off. Anyway, not the best mechanic but he was close to where I live. Since I didn't get a printout I couldn't tell if there was any camber remaining but the wheels looked good and it did pass.

The ride height is about 1" to 1.25" higher than normal (28") and is noticeable when driving but I'm hoping the struts will settle in and return the ride to normal. Rides well with no clunking noise as others have experienced with aftermarket struts. After a bit of driving I'll go someplace else for another alignment. I'll post another update in a month or so to report on ride quality.

Next is the EVAP canister so I can finally get the car inspected.