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Old 02-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
vision.dynamix
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Default Camber Gauge

Whats out there for a decent camber gauge that dosent cost $texas?

I will be putting on coilovers and camber bolts, and aligning and corner balancing my car in the next 2 weeks. I need a way to measure camber. Caster isnt as important as of right now, but it'd be a nice bonus.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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your going to be doing that all yourself? I would suggest just taking it somewhere. A decent camber caster gauge is around 300, then you need to be able to measure toe, which is kind of a pain in the ass. to corner balance you need scales which cost quite a bit to. You'll save yourself some aggravation and money by just getting it done somewhere else
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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I have access to platforms and scales. It will be my first time using the string method for toe and thrust, but not my first alignment. I used to have access to an alignment rack where I did my own alignments.

I would pay to have someone else do it, but the local places wont do them to my specs, and the performance place (thats 2+ hours away) charges a lot.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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in that case something like this would work well for you

http://www.saferacer.com/longacre-di...?productid=485
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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Look it's nice to be able to bring it somewhere with a 4 wheel alignment rack but for the alignment to be good you need to bring it to someone who specializes in "motorsports" alignments as they will get it really dialed to what you want.

I do most of my alignments at the track because of testing. If you are starting with a decent alignment then a set of Longacre toe plates and camber gauge can get you very far. I did this and when I found the setting I wanted to lock in I brought it to my alignment shop and it was extremely close to being perfect. This perfect setting rarely lasts as we constantly make changes so I don't bother anymore on the race car.

Just make sure when you are setting your camber your floor is level. Once at the track you can just add and subtract from your baseline. Make small and even changes from left to right. Never adjust one side only unless you make a mistake and your steering wheel isn't straight. In regards to front toe it's the total number your after as your wheels will point themselves straight even though your steering wheel may be off. If your wheel is pointed left then you need to toe out the right side.

Once you have the setting you like you can bring it somewhere to perfect it.

Good luck.
Phil
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:50 PM   #6
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I made a ghetto camber gauge for about $10.



Two bolts run through a 24" plastic level. The bottom bolt is fixed and the top one can screw in and out. They are the exact distance apart to match the top and bottom of my rims.

Set bolt heads against the top and bottom of the rim and thread the top bolt in or out until the gauge is exactly vertical.

Camber = Arctan[(difference in bolts lengths)/(distance between bolts)]

Last edited by leecea; 02-03-2009 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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I picked up a ~$70 cheapy 26+ years ago. You have to check the camber before you do anything and then roll the car back and forth after the work. I also have a wooden trammel bar for toe. You just have to be carefull with your work.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:43 PM   #8
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http://www.spcperformance.com/PROD_D...OOLFASTSM.html

You can get one on ebay for 150 shipped. (new)
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:53 PM   #9
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i have a magnetic camber gauge that i use to set camber on struts jobs at work. then set the toe on the rack. its never been more than .25* off. i picked it up off ebay for about $30
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Anyone have any feedback on this?

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalo...id=129&catid=5

I do toe with strings, so I'm not really interested in the one that does toe, too. This one seems neat and simple.

Also, another question. My floor is not level. However, it's only about 1/4" off left to right (measuring with a lazer level and a tape measure up from the floor). 1/4" over a 60" track width is only 0.24 degrees. It seems like I should just be able to set one side 0.24 degrees more than the other, and call it good. Is that small amount of slope going to cause the suspension to compress un-evenly-enough (600/500 springs) to make a difference in camber measurements? If yes, please include the napkin weight transfer math.

-Mike
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:48 PM   #11
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I got this for $35 on sale.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00948292000P

I have also used the smartcamber gage and it is great but expensive
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grippgoat View Post
Anyone have any feedback on this?

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalo...id=129&catid=5

I do toe with strings, so I'm not really interested in the one that does toe, too. This one seems neat and simple.

Also, another question. My floor is not level. However, it's only about 1/4" off left to right (measuring with a lazer level and a tape measure up from the floor). 1/4" over a 60" track width is only 0.24 degrees. It seems like I should just be able to set one side 0.24 degrees more than the other, and call it good. Is that small amount of slope going to cause the suspension to compress un-evenly-enough (600/500 springs) to make a difference in camber measurements? If yes, please include the napkin weight transfer math.

-Mike
Use floor tiles under the tires on the low side to make it level. 1/4" should only be 2-3 Vinyl tiles. Tiles are also good for making your tires "slip" better when making adjustments. Ive heard of people putting 2 tiles under each tire, smooth side facing each other, to keep the tire from binding while making adjustments.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:57 PM   #13
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i used a level and a tape mesure when i do mine. my wrx rear needed no adjustments in toe when i did it just camber to where i wanted it.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mla163 View Post


I got this for $35 on sale.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00948292000P

I have also used the smartcamber gage and it is great but expensive
How accurate is that?
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #15
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Fastrax!!!!

I've had mine for maybe 15 years. It's not cheap, but it is easy to use. Caster and camber.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwyfUXsXTV4

How to use.

jack
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by vision.dynamix View Post
How accurate is that?
it's accurate to 0.1 degrees. good enough for me

and using 4-5 trashbags under the tires does the same thing as the stack of floor tiles. Put a few safeway bags inside eachother and you got a low friction mat so that the tire slips a little. this makes a big difference
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vision.dynamix View Post
How accurate is that?
The craftsman laser level can be attached to some square metal tubing. Then lay it vertically against the wheel and you get camber. To be repeatble you should lay a small torpedo level across the top to make sure the camber gauge is vertical.

I have verified this as the same reading with a couple laser alignment racks (Hunter for example).
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:07 PM   #18
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in the aircraft maintenance world, we use "grease plates" which is just two aluminum plates about a square foot in size, with some grease between them to make a grease sandwich. Our toe and camber settings are not as critical, but we like to get them close to perfect at the shop i work at and these grease plates work very well. any small change in toe/camber will not need any rolling or shaking to see how it will settle. And its cheap and could be easily done with vinyl floor tiles or any hard flat material with grease between two of them. Anyway, that's what I use for quick alignment changes.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #19
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:05 AM   #20
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that one works great, it's a little pricey though
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #21
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Good tips and also don't forget to shake your car after you jack it up and down to settle it better. The grease plates would probably negate needing to do this.

Extreme accuracy is really nice but I don't think it's all that critical. If you are really after performance from each tire you're not likely to run the same camber settings on both sides. Most of the tracks I run have more aggressive right turns so more camber is needed on that side vs. the other.

Garry Sheehan told me once, "do you want maximum tire wear or do you want maximum grip?" The two do not go hand in hand. This has stuck with me and holds so true! When I first started racing I was so wrapped up in tire temps, pressure, and getting even wear across the tire. This is not the fastest way around the track. In time attack tire wear is irrelevant and we go after maximum grip (whatever settings gets us the fastest lap). At top Time Attack car uses up 2 to 6 sets of tires an event. The tire wear across the tread is completely uneven
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
in the aircraft maintenance world, we use "grease plates" which is just two aluminum plates about a square foot in size, with some grease between them to make a grease sandwich. Our toe and camber settings are not as critical, but we like to get them close to perfect at the shop i work at and these grease plates work very well. any small change in toe/camber will not need any rolling or shaking to see how it will settle. And its cheap and could be easily done with vinyl floor tiles or any hard flat material with grease between two of them. Anyway, that's what I use for quick alignment changes.
My CSOB solution to this is to accumulate 3-4 plastic shopping bags per wheel. Then lightly spray lithium grease/cooking oil/wd40 between the layers of plastic. Now drive on to the bag/oil sandwiches. Just don't spray the side your wheels touch or that touch the ground. It's messy. I bet you could even fore go the grease if you had enough bags.

And for a camber gauge I place a flat plate against the 5 extended ARP stud tips I've installed in my hubs and read the camber with a craftsman digital level.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2superblus View Post
Image of $250 overpriced smart camber gauge
So instead of spending $250 on that. Make your own, that is just as accurate as this one (accurate to 0.1 degree)

Step 1 - http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/cli...5_00948292000P

Step 2 - Go to Home Depot Racing, and buy yourself a 1" wide, 20" long piece of 1/8-1/4" thick steel. Make sure its steel and make sure its thick enough not to flex.

Step 3 - While you are there, buy 2 1/4" thick, 1" long metal spacers.

Step 4 - Buy 2 , 1.25" long, 1/4" bolts and nuts

Step 5 - Drill holes in your steel, one towards the bottom, and then more holes towards the top for 15, 16, 17" wheels, etc, and put in your bolts and spacers in the right hole.

Step 6 - Use the magnetic bottom of your digital level to attach it to the metal and BLAM, you are done.

Grand total = $40, and you have the digital version of this


Instead of the bubble system, you use the digital level.

Place it flat on the ground and zero out the gauge in case your ground is not level. Then place it on the car and just subtract from 90. (Angle = 88, your camber = 2)

I'll post a pic of it tonight. Been using it over the last season and it has worked wonderfully.

-Tom
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 68Cadillac View Post
My CSOB solution to this is to accumulate 3-4 plastic shopping bags per wheel. Then lightly spray lithium grease/cooking oil/wd40 between the layers of plastic. Now drive on to the bag/oil sandwiches. Just don't spray the side your wheels touch or that touch the ground. It's messy. I bet you could even fore go the grease if you had enough bags.

And for a camber gauge I place a flat plate against the 5 extended ARP stud tips I've installed in my hubs and read the camber with a craftsman digital level.

me too, I've found that you can get it pretty accurate
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:55 PM   #25
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and good post trhoppe. I think I'll give that a shot

sticky material
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