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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my '14 FJ almost 10 months ago and it was a CPO car. On top of that I purchased a "platinum" bumper-to-bumper extended warranty. Fast forward to December when I put on the Toytec/Bilstein lift kit. About 2 weeks later, I had it in for an alignment at an independent shop and they couldn't get the caster due to a frozen cam bolt. I started reading more about it here on the forum and see that it is a common problem, so I went and bought the Moog Problem Solver with the zerk fitting intending to DIY.

It was then that the light bulb went off in my head that I should get this fixed under warranty. I make an appointment at a dealer. I tell them what is wrong. I go to the appt. and tell the service writer what is wrong. After 3 of the 4 hours that I spent there, they come in and tell me what I already know and have told them twice, but say that I need a new LCA at $1700! I know that I can buy an OEM for $280.

The dealer called Toyota and they said it was a maintenance item that would not be covered. My thought is, since when is a cam bolt a maintenance item? I have owned many cars in my life (as many of us have) and have never had to lubricate a single cam bolt. In my opinion, it is a poor design on Toyota's part.

This dealer told me to call the dealer where I purchased the car and see if they would do anything for me. Both service managers spoke with one another and my purchasing dealer was very nice and said he would go to bat for me and call Toyota himself. He will get back to me with the outcome.

I wanted to get your thoughts on this. I expect that I will hear at least two sides :grin
 

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I would stick with the original CAM bolt instead of the Moog. Make sure you anti-seize all four of the CAM bolts prior to alignment, so you don't run into this situation again. I always recommend to check CAM bolts if they are frozen prior to any type of lift or level treatment. I ran across a frozen CAM bolt at 165k miles on 08 FJ. I planned ahead and purchased all the parts prior to starting my level lift. Since I had 165k miles I replaced the lower control arms, 1 CAM bolt, and Bilstein Shock set at 2nd notch from the bottom. So to answer your question, I would make a deal with the dealer as best you can to get it resolved.
 
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You do not need to replace the entire LCA, just the cam bolts (unless your balljoints are shot, which I seriously doubt). OE are made of better steel (won’t strip as easily....ask me how I know), but the greaseable feature of the Moog is nice. I have some of each and am watching how they weather up here. So far just anti seize on OE is performing as well as Moog greaseable.

If you go online and find the price of OE cam bolts at discount sellers like Sparks Toyota (a Forum sponsor) you can ask your dealership to price match (mine does) or just order them and let your mechanic/dealership install (what I often do). You’ll be amazed how much $$ you can save doing it this way. Good luck!
 

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That is a tough one. While it is a feature of the vehicle (being able to align the wheels) they will probably say no. However, if your door hinge were to do the same...I bet theyd replace it lol

Also, as others said go with OEM cam bolts. The Moogs have a chintzy little key-way in the bolt that holds alignment and they like to shear off and spin if worked too hard.
 
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Did the independent shop explain how they tried to break them loose? I’ve been taking my trucks to an independent shop for many years. They are familiar w/ Toyota’s lower bolts and that they seize. My last alignment took them 2 1/2 hrs to do... but they don’t give up. I asked how it went when picking up the rig and they explained that the lowers were seized (as usual). What they have found that works is an air chisel and bit. He just hammers away at them until they move a little, readjusts and does it again. Granted, if were me, I wouldn’t have nearly the patience to see that operation through! But I know it does work as they have done it at least 4 of my Toyota’s with the same setup. They manage to get it every time and salvage my hardware, anti-seize everything afterwards and the trucks are good to go.
 

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I expect the dealer to say something like, "The cam bolt is not a maintenance item, but it is fine and would not need replaced if the control arm bushing wasn't seized. The lower control arm bushing is a maintenance item, and it has seized itself to the cam bolt, and we can not replace just the bushing (even though we sell the part separately from the control arm), you'll need to buy a new control arm and cam bolt. Now please bend over and take it, I promise, we'll be gentle"

I hope they say something like, "Don't worry, we'll cover it under warranty"


FWIW, this happens to just about everybody (frozen cam bolts and dealer sticking it to you). I had 2 of the 4 bolts frozen and was able to break one cam bolt free, but I spent hours on it, cut the other one in a few seconds, replaced them and used anti-seize. No problems since. As for the dealer sticking it to you, ask them to use a lube with no friction modifiers :grin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would stick with the original CAM bolt instead of the Moog.... So to answer your question, I would make a deal with the dealer as best you can to get it resolved.
You are not the first person that I have seen say this. Thanks.

You do not need to replace the entire LCA, just the cam bolts (unless your balljoints are shot, which I seriously doubt). OE are made of better steel (won’t strip as easily....ask me how I know), but the greaseable feature of the Moog is nice. I have some of each and am watching how they weather up here. So far just anti seize on OE is performing as well as Moog greaseable.

If you go online and find the price of OE cam bolts at discount sellers like Sparks Toyota (a Forum sponsor) you can ask your dealership to price match (mine does) or just order them and let your mechanic/dealership install (what I often do). You’ll be amazed how much $$ you can save doing it this way. Good luck!
I get that I don't have to replace the entire LCA, but that is what the dealer wanted to do. Just to cost me more money. I will take your advice on going through a forum sponsor to get my replacements should I need them.

That is a tough one. While it is a feature of the vehicle (being able to align the wheels) they will probably say no. However, if your door hinge were to do the same...I bet theyd replace it lol

Also, as others said go with OEM cam bolts. The Moogs have a chintzy little key-way in the bolt that holds alignment and they like to shear off and spin if worked too hard.
You could very well be right! Sadly. The Moogs will likely be returned. Thanks.

Did the independent shop explain how they tried to break them loose? I’ve been taking my trucks to an independent shop for many years. They are familiar w/ Toyota’s lower bolts and that they seize. My last alignment took them 2 1/2 hrs to do... but they don’t give up. I asked how it went when picking up the rig and they explained that the lowers were seized (as usual). What they have found that works is an air chisel and bit. He just hammers away at them until they move a little, readjusts and does it again. Granted, if were me, I wouldn’t have nearly the patience to see that operation through! But I know it does work as they have done it at least 4 of my Toyota’s with the same setup. They manage to get it every time and salvage my hardware, anti-seize everything afterwards and the trucks are good to go.
My indépendant has a good reputation and that is one reason they let me stand in the shop while they did the entire alignment process. The sad part is it was a young kid that did it and didn't really know what he was doing. I got a deal at nearly half price, but he really only did half of a job. He gave up. Unfortunately, I wasn't educated enough to know much about this until after it happened. If I had read about it first, he would have finished the job properly. I lived, I learned.

I expect the dealer to say something like, "The cam bolt is not a maintenance item, but it is fine and would not need replaced if the control arm bushing wasn't seized. The lower control arm bushing is a maintenance item, and it has seized itself to the cam bolt, and we can not replace just the bushing (even though we sell the part separately from the control arm), you'll need to buy a new control arm and cam bolt. Now please bend over and take it, I promise, we'll be gentle"

I hope they say something like, "Don't worry, we'll cover it under warranty"


FWIW, this happens to just about everybody (frozen cam bolts and dealer sticking it to you). I had 2 of the 4 bolts frozen and was able to break one cam bolt free, but I spent hours on it, cut the other one in a few seconds, replaced them and used anti-seize. No problems since. As for the dealer sticking it to you, ask them to use a lube with no friction modifiers :grin

You probably nailed that. I will bring my own Mobil1 synthetic lube :crying



I have an appointment next Wednesday. I will update you all when I can sit down again ;)
 

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The dealer told me the warranty on the lca cam bolts was something like a year and 20k miles... when i put a lift on all bets were off as far as the dealer was concerned... I was already over on the mileage and it turned out the bolts weren't frozen anyway. Firestone rocket wrench didn't know what he was doing....

Best of luck getting it sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE:
I took my FJ to the selling dealer today and they put her up on the lift and found that 2 cam bolts (one on either side) were frozen. Long story short, they called Toyota for the warranty work and Toyota once again said no. The cost to replace both LCA's with bolts and labor etc was going to be $1988. Way better than the ridiculous amount of $1750 for one that the other dealer quoted me but still ridiculous compared to what I could do it for myself. The dealer offered to split the difference and make it $900 to replace both LCA's and the related parts. I told them to go ahead and do it.

My thought process was that if I had to do the same job, it would be about $650-700. Sure, if I could get away with cutting the old bolts out and pressing the bushings out, replacing them and then the bolts, it would only be about $200-300, but there are a lot of "ifs" in there.

I would like to get your thoughts while in the mean time I call Toyota and complain about the non-coverage of this non-maintainance item!:frown
 

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New LCA assembly (bushing balljoint and lca) for both is $600 leaving less than $300 for labor... a fair price to get new LCA with new ball joints and bushings. It would take me well over 3 hrs to complete in my garage, double if I had to press new parts.
 

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If $900 includes everything, new lca's ($550), new bolts ($80), and alignment ($80), then I'd say it's a pretty fair deal for you. It shouldn't take them more than 2 hours plus alignment, if they just cut the bolts right away.
 
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@Overboost44 - you should hang on to your old LCAs with ball joints - I’m certain someone here would happily take them off your hands! Toyota does not sell ball joints separately, and they do wear out. Glad you got yours sorted!
 

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If $900 includes everything, new lca's ($550), new bolts ($80), and alignment ($80), then I'd say it's a pretty fair deal for you. It shouldn't take them more than 2 hours plus alignment, if they just cut the bolts right away.
I agree. It is not a bad deal and it does include everything. Including re-welding the tabs that keep the cam bolts in place. I just want to be there when they do it so I can see them lube the cam bolts.

@Overboost44 - you should hang on to your old LCAs with ball joints - I’m certain someone here would happily take them off your hands! Toyota does not sell ball joints separately, and they do wear out. Glad you got yours sorted!
You can bet I will hang onto them and press some new bushings in them. I am not sorted yet, but I hope to get some good news from the dealer tomorrow.
 

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I have failed to provide the follow up report, so here goes. The selling dealer (CarMax) had the car for two weeks while they waited for parts. I would have been more upset, but they did give me a Camry while it was in the shop. I asked for a TRD 4Runner, but they just laughed :frown

They never did get Toyota to take responsibility for it, but I am not sure how hard they tried. They knew they would have to eat a good bit of the repair. As an afterthought, I wondered if Toyota did take care of it. Either way, I had to make a trip up there after they got the parts because, I had taken my bag out of the FJ that had the wheel lock in it. At that time, the tech told me the suspension was too strong and they would have to remove the wheels to replace the LCA's and that he would have to cut the old LCA's. I explained to him that he could just cut the bolts because the old ones were valuable to me.

Two days later, they called me to tell me it was ready. When I went to pick it up, they told me that they would charge me cost and it would be $560! That was 2 LCA's, new bolts (with anti-seize), some welding of the bent alignment tabs, alignment and the labor. I was very happy with the outcome. It wasn't until I got home that I found the old LCA's in the back of the truck and they were in tact! I just need to press in some new bushings.

To sum it up, my first and second experiences with CarMax were excellent. That is good because until my 125k warranty runs out, I will be taking it there if I have any issues that are more than minor. The $1250 that I spent on the warranty has already paid for itself.
 

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I have failed to provide the follow up report, so here goes. The selling dealer (CarMax) had the car for two weeks while they waited for parts. I would have been more upset, but they did give me a Camry while it was in the shop. I asked for a TRD 4Runner, but they just laughed :frown



They never did get Toyota to take responsibility for it, but I am not sure how hard they tried. They knew they would have to eat a good bit of the repair. As an afterthought, I wondered if Toyota did take care of it. Either way, I had to make a trip up there after they got the parts because, I had taken my bag out of the FJ that had the wheel lock in it. At that time, the tech told me the suspension was too strong and they would have to remove the wheels to replace the LCA's and that he would have to cut the old LCA's. I explained to him that he could just cut the bolts because the old ones were valuable to me.



Two days later, they called me to tell me it was ready. When I went to pick it up, they told me that they would charge me cost and it would be $560! That was 2 LCA's, new bolts (with anti-seize), some welding of the bent alignment tabs, alignment and the labor. I was very happy with the outcome. It wasn't until I got home that I found the old LCA's in the back of the truck and they were in tact! I just need to press in some new bushings.



To sum it up, my first and second experiences with CarMax were excellent. That is good because until my 125k warranty runs out, I will be taking it there if I have any issues that are more than minor. The $1250 that I spent on the warranty has already paid for itself.


Do you have any idea of part numbers for cam bolts and bushings?
 

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Do you have any idea of part numbers for cam bolts and bushings?
You can give a Toyota parts dealer a call - I know Cool Springs or Sparks Toyota, forum sponsors, will be happy to help and give you a great price + forum discount :smile
 

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I just bought new Moog LCAs and the greaseable cam bolts. I thought the zerk was a good option. I guess I`ll find out sooner or later :)
I installed those 4 years ago and all but one have remained moveable. The one that seized last year stripped very easily - softer metal than OE, and was replaced by OE, so now have a great long term experiment happening :grin Hope yours work well!
 

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