How to Perform a Camber Adjustment
The camber adjustment of your wheels is an important measurement to keep an eye on. Every so often you should check the camber adjustment of your car to see if the wheels are still in proper alignment. The camber of the vehicle determines how much the wheels are tilted either inside or out. A small variation can severely affect the way the car handles and the tires wear. Here are the steps you should take to properly perform a camber adjustment on your vehicle.
Step 1 - Drive Car on Flat Surface
In order to properly perform a camber adjustment, you will need to be parked on a flat surface. Performing the adjustment in a garage would be ideal, but is not necessary as long as you can find a flat area to work. Once the car is parked, make sure that the wheels are both pointing forward. If not, then the measurements will be wrong.
Step 2 - Install Camber Gauge
The camber gauge is an easy measuring tool to use. It has three arms that are adjustable in order to attach it to the rim. If you have hubs or anything sticking out from the wheel, you will need to remove them so the camber gauge will fit correctly. Adjust each of the arms so that the middle bubble gauge on the device is situated directly in the middle of the hub.
Step 3 - Check Measurement
Once the camber gauge is attached to the rim you will look at the bubble gauge. Check the manufacturer's specifications to see how far the camber adjustment needs to be or if it is within its specifications.
Step 4 - Remove Tire for Camber Adjustment
If you do need to make some camber adjustments, you will need to remove the tire to get to the upper control arm. Jack the car up enough to remove the tire. Use an impact wrench and remove the lug nuts. Slide the tire off and set it aside. Do not loosen the camber gauge.
Step 5 - Insert Shim in Control Arm
Small metal shims are needed to do any camber adjustment. Loosen the upper control arm where it meets the shock tower. Place a 1/32 inch shim for every 1/2 degree of camber that is needed. Tighten the upper control arm and replace the tire. Lower the car and check the camber again.
Step 6 - Adjust with Offset Bolt
Some vehicles have a built-in offset bolt that will help with camber adjustment. You need to loosen the non-camber bolt on the control arm first with an impact wrench. Then loosen the control arm bolts with two wrenches. Be very careful not to loosen these bolts too much. Have someone push the tire in or out depending on the actual camber adjustment that is needed. Once you have the required adjustment tighten the bolts.
Step 7 - Repeat with Other Side
When you have one tire adjusted you will need to do the same with the tire on the other side. It is important that the vehicle has the correct camber all the way around. This will greatly improve your steering, handling, and lower the amount of wear on your tires.