Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Wednesday June 3, 2015
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > Motorsports

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-17-2004, 12:47 PM   #1
forced4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 13304
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Answer is Miata, Z06 or CTS-V.
Vehicle:
2002 WRX WRB
De Re Metallica

At the Track Advice for a camber/caster DIY gauge

I recently added STI V7 Takeoffs to my WRX wagon. I realize the sedan vs. wagon camber issues up front....thus I added some Cusco camber plates. I went in for an alignment at NTB and was only able to get -1.1* camber on my LF while I had -2.1* camber on my RF. Both camber plates were maxed out neg. My rear specs were where I wanted them. Besides the fact I was dealing with morons, I would like to gain the experience personally and do alignments myself. I have some camber bolts to add to the front to even out the camber.

My question is this: I would like to purchase a camber/caster guage so that I can set my alignment differently depending on conditions. I know my toe will change with camber adjustments.

Anyone have experience with the DIY camber/caster bubble gauges? I would like to keep my costs below ~$140.

Thanks
Will
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
forced4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Old 05-17-2004, 01:33 PM   #2
zzyzx
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 815
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Florida
Vehicle:
2013 Boss 302 White
2008 S2000 CR ABP

Default Re: Advice for a camber/caster DIY gauge

Quote:
I went in for an alignment at NTB and was only able to get -1.1* camber on my LF while I had -2.1* camber on my RF. Both camber plates were maxed out neg.
They adjusted the plates and didn't adjust the stock eccentric bolts on the strut.

Quote:
Anyone have experience with the DIY camber/caster bubble gauges? I would like to keep my costs below ~$140.
Longacre.

- Steve
zzyzx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 01:44 PM   #3
zoomfactor
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 30440
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: slave to self-employment
Vehicle:
03 WRX
WR Blue

Default

For the Longacre do you just pop the wheel center cap and use the magnetic mount?

How does the Longacre bubble gauge compare with the Smart Camber setup.
zoomfactor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:05 PM   #4
randy zimmer
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 4560
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Buffalo, NY USA
Vehicle:
93 buy my rally
build manual

Default EZ gauge

AhHa! Finally, a smart question!
A friend designed this...
Buy a one foot adjustable square like this:
http://www.leesidetools.co.uk/F22.JPG
put a hole on one end of the ruler and cut a nice piece of aluminun stock that's long enough to sit on your rim, you'll drill a hole in this and attach the two to angle out from each other. You also need to relieve the alum for where the bubble part will go to allow it to sissor.
Figure out the distance between 1/4 degrees for the one foot length of the angle finder, put it on a piece of paper and attach it when you calibrate it to 0 degrees with tape.
Find a flat piece of pavement to do your checking.
To use this as a castor gauge, set steering one turn left, measure, turn wheel 2 turns right, measure and note difference.
Do the same with the other wheel and the two should be the same, if not? Make them equal to reduce pull under braking (by way of Castor)
I've used this tool for 15 years or more and it works as good as anything you can buy.

rz
randy zimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:23 PM   #5
makofoto
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 25243
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South Pasadena, CA
Vehicle:
2006 Legacy Outback
Blue

Default

I just bought the SmartCamber device ... already owned the SmartLevel ... I'll report on how well/easy it works.

The bigger deal is setting toe ... which changes considerable when changing camber ... see various recent post on this subject. It's toe that destroys tires much faster then camber ...
makofoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:28 PM   #6
forced4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 13304
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Answer is Miata, Z06 or CTS-V.
Vehicle:
2002 WRX WRB
De Re Metallica

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by zzyzx
They adjusted the plates and didn't adjust the stock eccentric bolts on the strut.
Thats the kicker...my plates were already maxed out before I went to NTB...and we played with the eccentric bolt but it only added postive camber.

forced4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:31 PM   #7
wrx2.0 555
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 21383
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Vehicle:
2010 Trek
EX-5

Default

My buddy found the SmartCamber digital guage on Amazon.com for $89.99, BUT I cant seem to find it now.

Anyway, to do this the cheapest, you could just pick up one of those and use it with a carpenters square or maybe a piece of wood cut to fit inside the wheel lip, something like that anyway.

You would just need to set the guage on the ground in front or behind the wheel you're measuring to see if the ground is level or not. Then you could take the square, put it against the wheel or tire, however it fits, put the guage to the square and take your reading. YOu will need to add or subtract the difference in the floor, because odds are the floor is NOT level. AND dont use the same floor number for all four, they may all be different.

That SmartCamber guage is awesome. The display rotates 180* and reads to 90*, so you can use it for a variety of task, not just alignments.
When I showed it to my dad, he made me use it to get his refrigerator tilted right.

I actually made a bracket for ours out of aluminum stock I found at Home Depot.

Below is a "rough" drawing of it.
The main issue with something like this is getting it square and making sure the guage is exactly 90* to the 3 bolts that will be touching the wheel.
ONce the guage is 90* to the bolts, you can use the entire bracket to set on the ground, 3 bolts down, to see if its level or not.
Anyway, if you or anyone else is interested, I'll try and get actual pics of this thing and post them.
It cost me about $30 in parts to make and a couple of hours.

Scott

wrx2.0 555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:38 PM   #8
jmott
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 6713
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston TX USA
Vehicle:
2007 Prius
brown

Default

you can also just look at your wheel and eyeball it.

and no I'm not kidding.

its pretty easy to learn what -3, -2, -1.5 look like on your own car.
jmott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 02:52 PM   #9
makofoto
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 25243
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South Pasadena, CA
Vehicle:
2006 Legacy Outback
Blue

Default

jmott ... what do you do about your toe settings after eyeballing your camber ?

These photos show the effect on toe going through three degrees of camber change with my NRX camber plates. With those plates ... toe changed approx. 3/8th of an inch per degree of camber. I guess that is a large enough change for you to eyeball ...

makofoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 03:15 PM   #10
Jack
Add Lightness
Moderator
 
Member#: 13699
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Hopkinton, MA
Vehicle:
2007 Lotus Elise
(From General)

Default

I use an RD motorsport caster/camber gauge and love it!

It has a 3 point wheel surface that's adjustable and can be zero'd out to adjust for surfaces. It was $200, but may be cheaper now. I've used it on a number of cars with great results. I use a simple carpenter square, level and an aluminum bar to locate the front and rear of the wheels to get toe numbers and set my toe at zero, so don't care about angles there.

I agree with your comment about some alignment guys. One of my cars has a fully adjustable camber/caster and the monkeys try telling me that the caster isn't adjustable. If you want it done right, do it yourself!

jack
Jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #11
zzyzx
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 815
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Florida
Vehicle:
2013 Boss 302 White
2008 S2000 CR ABP

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by forced4
Thats the kicker...my plates were already maxed out before I went to NTB...and we played with the eccentric bolt but it only added postive camber.

The allen head studs that go into the bottom half of the CUSCO plates are probably in different holes on each side of the car. There are a series of holes specifcally to allow you to relocate the bolts to get the adjustability you need.

Neither of your numbers are anywhere near as negative as you can get with those plates. -3.5 is the bare minimum you should be able to get with that setup.

If this isn't the case, then you have either overlooked something or your car should have come with a salvage title.

- Steve
zzyzx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 05:22 PM   #12
D_REX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 8945
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston, TX
Vehicle:
MY02 WRX
Blue

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by zzyzx
The allen head studs that go into the bottom half of the CUSCO plates are probably in different holes on each side of the car. There are a series of holes specifcally to allow you to relocate the bolts to get the adjustability you need.

Neither of your numbers are anywhere near as negative as you can get with those plates. -3.5 is the bare minimum you should be able to get with that setup.

If this isn't the case, then you have either overlooked something or your car should have come with a salvage title.

- Steve
He has a sedan with wagon struts, that's why his camber is not as far negative as it should be. I don't know why the two sides are different though
D_REX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 05:49 PM   #13
zzyzx
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 815
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Florida
Vehicle:
2013 Boss 302 White
2008 S2000 CR ABP

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by D_REX
He has a sedan with wagon struts, that's why his camber is not as far negative as it should be. I don't know why the two sides are different though
And why exactly would this make a differance?

- Steve
zzyzx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 10:37 PM   #14
abaxter34
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 34723
Join Date: Apr 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bellingham, WA
Vehicle:
fwd FTL!

Default

i also bet the sedan struts are the culprit. my right front also has more camber than the left front, granted its only .4 degrees difference. maybe the sedan struts exagerate the stock cross camber difference.

thread with info and links to sedan/ wagon strut differences
abaxter34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2004, 10:39 PM   #15
forced4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 13304
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Answer is Miata, Z06 or CTS-V.
Vehicle:
2002 WRX WRB
De Re Metallica

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by D_REX
He has a sedan with wagon struts, that's why his camber is not as far negative as it should be. I don't know why the two sides are different though
EDIT for D_REX: I have a wagon with sedan struts.
forced4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 11:06 AM   #16
forced4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 13304
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Answer is Miata, Z06 or CTS-V.
Vehicle:
2002 WRX WRB
De Re Metallica

At the Track Anyone ever used this?

Just wanted to get some feedback on if any autoxer has used one of these before to set camber & caster.



Looks pretty slick.
forced4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 11:15 AM   #17
trhoppe
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 7492
Join Date: Jun 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Hotlanta, GA
Vehicle:
No race cars
www.tomhoppe.com

Default

MNbiker has that gauge and it rocks. I've borrowed it a few times, but have yet to get my own

-Tom
trhoppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 11:16 AM   #18
D_REX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 8945
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston, TX
Vehicle:
MY02 WRX
Blue

Default

see wrx2.0 555 post above. Very similar concept, just a DIY version
D_REX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 02:25 PM   #19
ConeMasher
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2135
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Chicagoland, IL, USA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
Silver

Default

I've got the SmartCamber (w/ HandsFree kit) as well. I like it, it's really quick to use and quite accurate. I'll state however, that it's a bit tricky to use on non-level surfaces... I get inconsistent side-to-side readings. However, there are workarounds.

-- Gary
ConeMasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 05:22 PM   #20
BriDrive
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 21801
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: 90 Degrees North
Vehicle:
2013 Jacked Up T4R

Default

I am the guy wrx2.0 555 was referring to. With our guage, we designed it so the smart camber device can actually pivot on the bracket. This allows us to solve the problem of measuring camber on an unlevel surface (within reason). We actually lay the camber device @ 90 degrees on the bracket in front of and behind the wheel and adjust/calibrate to zero at that wheel. This way effectively averages the degree of "Unlevel". With our modified camber device, we can reasonably expect variances no greater than .2 degrees. That's pretty darn good enough for us.

Either way, a smart level module runs about 90~100 bucks. Make your own bracket for it...its well worth it if you are doing alot of camber measures. Or get a couple of local Subie owners to chip in so you all can use it.

We also have a fully customized alignment method we developed by mocking expensive off the shelf components. They consist of a 90 degree laser device, some dayglo orange string, 2 3" diameter PVC's(foam filled) and some jack stands, a steering wheel lock, 4 home-made sandwich plates for toe....total investment: less than $100, and we have done over a dozen alignments for local guys in 3 months. Result: they save a ton of money and actually get exactly what they want from a performance alignment. (Almost sounds like a GEICO commercial...sorry 'bout that)

Accuracy is at 1/32" for combined toe and .2 degrees for camber.

BriDrive
BriDrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 05:26 PM   #21
forced4
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 13304
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Answer is Miata, Z06 or CTS-V.
Vehicle:
2002 WRX WRB
De Re Metallica

Default

Excellent BriDrive. I will bring this up at our next "autox" happy hour. I don't need any special tools when working with the aluminum stock do I? Just a hacksaw?
forced4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 05:29 PM   #22
BriDrive
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 21801
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: 90 Degrees North
Vehicle:
2013 Jacked Up T4R

Default

Hacksaw is fine....
I'll try and take some pics of some of our gear this weekend and I can e-mail 'em to you to give you a better idea of how to copy our rig.
Brian
BriDrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2004, 06:17 PM   #23
kfoote
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39180
Join Date: Jul 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trying to get :unamused: on TV
Vehicle:
2004 WRB STi
Slash Ten - FBHIC

Default

The Smart Camber stuff is all top-notch quality. I've used them extensively, and if you take a stroll through a pro race paddock (World Challenge, ALMS, Grand-Am), that is what you'll see everyone using. The "Watkins" of the Watkins Smart Camber gauge also currently is an engineer for the Flying Lizard Motorsports ALMS team, and has been heavily involved in racing for a long time.
kfoote is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FasTrax Camber/Caster Alignment Gauge triguy Suspension/Brakes/Handling 1 08-10-2009 11:48 PM
Recommend a cheap, decent Camber/Caster Gauge REX8 Motorsports 1 09-13-2006 10:40 PM
gauging interest: pde camber/caster plates abaxter34 Private 'For Sale' Classifieds 2 06-15-2005 02:26 AM
Longacre Camber/Caster Gauge question lightbringer Brakes, Steering & Suspension 3 12-23-2002 04:38 PM
Alignment/camber/caster advice scooter2 North West Impreza Club Forum -- NWIC 3 03-15-2002 12:08 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2015 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2015, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.