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Old May 1st, 2001, 12:44 PM   #1
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Quote:
Newbie asks:
Will I need a camber kit if I lower my car? Some guy at a shop said I will or the car can't be aligned at all.
Every time this topic comes up (and it comes up very often - do a search!) it becomes very obvious that few people on this board have a clue what a 'camber kit' is for this car. I'm going to attempt to clear this up once and for all. I would like to see this thread become a place we can send a newbie when this question comes up again. (And we all know it will come up again!)

First of all, although it is quite rare, it's true, you may not be able to get the car back to within the factory alignment specs without some additional parts. Before we get into buying more parts, let's see what it means to have the factory spec alignment.

The factory alignment spec was selected as a tradeoff based on a number of factors. One factor is tire wear, another is stability (the car's tendency to 'wander' on the road), handling, etc. The factory spec is best for long tire life and not suited for aggressive driving. With the factory alignment and an aggressive driver (someone who really enjoys high-g turns), the outsides of the tire tread will wear out faster than the inner edge and center of the tire. More negative camber will cure this type of uneven tire wear. If you've gone to the trouble of installing aftermarket springs (and struts) in your car, odds are you're the type of aggressive driver mentioned above. A little extra negative camber beyond the factory spec will probably help your tires last longer and also improve handling. I won't even get into the dynamic camber change of the McPherson strut suspension suffice to say that a little extra neg. camber will improve cornering grip.

So you had your lowering springs installed and you've gone to get an alignment. Try as he might, the tech can't get the car even close to spec. Here's what you may need - up to four (4) eccentric bolts. Cost? Under $10 each. Use up to one per corner (you may not need one at every corner). They're commonly called crash bolts. The idea is that after a car is damaged in an accident, the suspension pickup points may move slightly even after straightening. These eccentric bolts allow you to set the camber properly on the messed up car to bring it back to factory alignment. I believe the bolts are good for +/- 1 degree of camber beyond the stock adjustment. (I have Moog part numbers at home. I hope to edit this post to include the part numbers later. My home internet service is currently offline and will be for a few more days.)

Can someone post the Ford and/or Mazda crash bolt part number?

Crash bolts are a favorite of autocrossers because they allow us to very cheaply and easily adjust the camber out of factory spec for improved handling and therefore faster lap times.

Camber plates are nice if you need to be able to quickly and repeatably adjust your camber. Outside of that, they are almost totally unnecessary and just for show. I compete with a well tuned BMW 325i with camber plates. The driver will do a run, decide he needs more or less camber, and then adjust it while in grid in the 15 minutes before his next run. If you do not need this level of adjustment, you do not need camber plates.

*exception* Camber plates allow a greater range of adjustment than crash bolts. In rare cases, a crash bolt won't provide a large enough correction. This is likely because the chassis has something else wrong with it (like bad manufacturing tolerances from the factory or even hidden crash damage) beyond your lowering springs.

For Hondas, with their double wishbone suspension (a far superior geometry to the MacPherson setup on the Probe/MX-6), it's a whole different ballgame.

Phew. Long post. I hope this clears things up.


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Old May 1st, 2001, 01:14 PM   #2
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Or we could just merely have said No like we always do.

Actually this was a great post, well thought out planned, good grammar. I commend you for your refrence. When I have my car lowered (it's in the shop now) I'll tell him that if he can't get it right on to go with a little negative camber.

I personally added this link to my favorites, knowing that it will come along again.

That'a all for now I'll be back and take the world by storm (probably not take the world by storm, but dramatic exits are great)
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Old May 1st, 2001, 03:02 PM   #3
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Beautifully done and well writen. Would you mind if I quoted you for my FAQ?
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Old May 1st, 2001, 10:15 PM   #4
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Great post Dan!

I would just like to add some additional info on where to get those A.K.A cam bolts, FastCam(TM) I have posted this in a previous tread:

Quote:
On 2001-05-02 04:02, Aristoi wrote:
go to this link and the p/n is 3541 for our cars www.ingallseng.com/cars/ford.html

Find the contact info on that site and you have to email cindy@??? .com not sure on the name but it is a womans name. Tell here where you live including zip code and she should get back to you with a local distributor. She came up with a place 3mi away from me. They retail for $14.85 a piece and you need one per wheel, these will give you +/- 1deg in addition to stock adjustability which is just taking up the slack.


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Old May 1st, 2001, 10:58 PM   #5
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Alright, good stuff. Now heres a little info on the one point that wasnt really elaborated on in the original post, just for shitz 'n' giggles...

The dynamic camber change referred to in the post is the way/amount the camber changes as the suspension is compressed. It was mentioned that the Honda/Acura double-wishbone setup is superior to our strut setup, and its absolutely true; the double wishbone setup actually gains quite a bit of camber under compression, which is why you always see Hondas with Waaaaay too much camber when camber kits are not installed. It is a great advantage for racing though; when you throw it into a corner, the car will gain camber, so you dont have to have the initial setup so aggressive, giving you the stability of less camber when traveling in a straight line. Our suspension, with struts, doesnt gain much camber under compression, making it necessary to have the initial camber setting much more aggressive to compensate...

Oh, and one other point not to be overlooked: upper mount camber kits may not be necessary for camber adjustment on a street car thats not adjusted often, but one great advantage to these is that some, like the ones from Ground Control, also allow adjustment of CASTER! and just about every production car in the world can benefit from a few extra degrees of caster. Cant do that with crashbolts!!

just thought id throw that in!!

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Old May 2nd, 2001, 12:42 AM   #6
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I researched much of this before I grinded out one of the 2 lower strut mounting holes. And here's my input:

Camber plates vs eccentric camber bolts:

Because camber plates are at the top of the strut, they stay fixed in relation to steering inputs. As soon as you turn the wheel, the wheel's relative camber to the road surface will change. Imagine a car with 3° of negative camber at the strut mounting plate, with 0 caster. Turn the wheel 90° so that the wheel is perpendicular to its original spot. You have now 0° of negative camber in relation to the road.

This is where adjusting camber at the top can really help. With a lot of positive caster, you can gain negative camber when turning the wheel in and gain positive camber when turning the wheel out.

With eccentric cam bolts in one of the lower strut mounting holes (or grinded holes like me), the wheel keeps its relative camber no matter which way you turn the wheel. In many ways this is good; but one case this is bad is that the tire on the inside still has negative camber when it could use positive camber. Once again, your double wishbone prevails here!

So, take this info as you will.

And since this is a pretty long topic, I'll explain why our front toe setting changes with ride height changes.

With stock springs, both our lower control arms and front wheel spindle tie rods (which I'll call steering rods) angle downward from their attachment points. But, since the steering rods are longer than the control arms, they circumscribe a longer radius during suspension movement. Under compression, both move closer to horizontal. Because the steering rods are longer and attach further towards the center of the car, their outward extension distance doesn't change as much relative to the control arms. The shorter radius of the control arms pushes them out farther under compression, this causes toe-out to occur.

Simple eh?

Brian
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Old May 2nd, 2001, 10:47 AM   #7
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Allow me to bow down to the Suspension Gods. :grin:
Damn, that's some good info. Just a quick question. When I had my car aligned the 2nd time after installing my GCs, they said that I had a negative caster they couldn't fix on front passenger side wheel. There was only a couple things they couldn't supposedly get to spec. I am one of those aggresive drivers, and I've noticed the outside edges of my tires are wearing faster than they did before. How much negative camber should I have them do next time I get my car aligned?
Is it true, when I lower my car lower with my GCs from factory height, do we actually get more positive camber?
just wondering
thanks
eric
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Old May 2nd, 2001, 11:37 AM   #8
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The tech talk on Ground Control's website does have a warning against having too much caster --- more is not necessarily better.

"probe this", if your outside edges are wearing, it could be because of not enough negative camber, or too much toe-in. If you drive aggressive like you say, it's OK to use more negative camber than Ford recommends. I run -1.9 degrees myself.

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Old May 2nd, 2001, 01:38 PM   #9
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ahhh, but also on Ground Controls site its mentioned, probably in the same paragraph, that typically in a stock car, going to the max allowable factory adjustment is almost always a positive thing. it takes a quite a bit to get caster to where its a negative influence on a stock car. thier camber/caster plates for example, you could probably adjust your strut all the way back and have nothing but good things to say. but of course, the only real way to find the ideal setting is to head out to the track!!
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Old May 2nd, 2001, 02:31 PM   #10
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ARe there camber plates available for Probes. (not bolts)

Also I almost crached my car having camber bolts unscrew and my wheels traveling +/-1 inch back and forth on the turn. Not safe.


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Old May 2nd, 2001, 03:16 PM   #11
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Ground Control makes plates, camber/caster adjustable.
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Old May 2nd, 2001, 06:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
On 2001-05-02 20:31, GreenBeast wrote:
Also I almost crached my car having camber bolts unscrew and my wheels traveling +/-1 inch back and forth on the turn. Not safe.
who installed them?
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Old May 3rd, 2001, 02:22 AM   #13
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I slotted the upper of the 2 front strut lower mounting holes to get more negative camber and the first time I put it back together, I used my socket wrench and was only able to get about 30lb-ft of torque on it.

A couple of days later, it was wiggling back and forth.

So, I got my torque wrench and put the max recommended 86lb-ft of torque on them and that worked. I think camber bolts are smaller and require less though... I don't like that.

Amazing to think that all 3000lbs of our cars rest on 8 bolts smaller than our fingers.

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Old June 28th, 2001, 06:40 PM   #14
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btt
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Old November 2nd, 2001, 04:29 PM   #15
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Three questions:
#1 So Ground Control is the only one who makes camber plates for our cars?
#2 Are they just "universal" fit, or were they designed specifically for us?
#3 Do they have any rubber/poly between the plate and the rest of the suspension?

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Old November 3rd, 2001, 01:53 PM   #16
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You can also order camber kits from Road Race Engineering. These are RX7 kits, I dunno who makes them but they drop right in.
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Old November 3rd, 2001, 09:12 PM   #17
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Hmm.. I might be wrong, but I'm wanting to think the plates are made by Cusco, and were made for the Rx7, they just happen to fit our cars incidentally.

For pictures... umm... let me find the url.

Ahh yes!

http://members.home.net/tekguy/
and, specifically:
http://members.home.net/tekguy/cusco...ate_bottom.jpg
http://members.home.net/tekguy/cusco..._plate_top.jpg

Don't see any poly there.

Also, it looks like they would lower the front some, or, you could run longer springs.

That guy has lots of cool images... browse through the others too.

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Old November 4th, 2001, 09:52 PM   #18
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Anyone use the Eibach Alignment Kit when they lowered their cars with Eibach Springs??


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Old November 4th, 2001, 11:04 PM   #19
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They are made by Cusco and I have a set in my first gen. They can be purchaced through Corksport, I had to wait like 2 months for mine, I don't know if this is common or not.
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Old November 13th, 2001, 04:14 PM   #20
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Thanks Mx6.

There was somebody asking about camber kits in a different topic.

Maybe they'll see this thread.
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