Q: My front tires are kicked out at the bottom of the tires. Ball joint problem?

asked by on February 03, 2017

My front tires are kicked out at the bottom of the tires on my 1982 Ford Bronco. Is this a ball joint problem?

My car has 100000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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What you are describing is negative camber. Many vehicles have slight negative camber to promote stability on turns but the amount is minimal, perhaps 0.50 to 1 degree. If the negative camber on your vehicle exceeds the factory specification, typically adjustment is tried first although if visually the wheel(s) are clearly out of alignment then the suspension has to be inspected. Note that, on some vehicles the amount of camber is designed in and is not normally adjustable. Worn ball joints are merely one possible cause of out-of-specification camber. There could be worn or missing control arm bushings, ride height could be wrong, causing camber to be off, loose or damaged control arms and so forth. Really, the entire front end would have to be inspected carefully, prior to even thinking about trying to re-align the car to resolve the camber problem. Indeed, to align the car, the suspension cannot have any excess wear at all. If there is excess wear, all worn parts have to be replaced because alignment tolerances on modern cars are incredibly small (as little as .040 inches on toe for example). Any excess wear at all literally makes it impossible to accurately align a modern vehicle to factory specifications. If you want your vehicle’s suspension inspected by a certified Mechanic to determine if there is misalignment and/or worn suspension parts, please request a suspension inspection and the responding certified Mechanic will get your concerns addressed. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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