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Old 09-04-2008, 11:59 PM   #26
mr_f00
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Question Conflict of instructions?

I'm confused by the quote below which contradicts the instructions (link) provided with the SPC Camber bolts (link) (you can also view their video instructions).

I recently installed these bolts (along with some springs) in the upper hole on the front struts and then had an alignment done by MachV (from whom I bought the bolts). I would have thought MachV would have said something if I had installed the bolts wrong.

Are you saying despite the vendor's instructions these bolts should only be installed in the bottom hole of the front struts (for our cars)? What is the basis (service manual, experience, etc.) for the emphatic direction that all aftermarket camber bolts should not be installed in the upper bolt of the front struts? Just looking for clarity. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Where Can Camber Bolts Be Used?
On our cars, camber bolts can be used in 3 places:

1)The lower clevis hole in the front knuckles
2)The upper clevis hole in the rear knuckles
3)The lower clevis hole in the rear knuckles

Of these, the lower hole in front and the upper hole in the rear are the preferred, and most common, locations. AFTERMARKET CAMBER BOLTS SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN THE FRONT UPPER POSITION! Doing so will almost certainly result in slippage or outright failure of the camber bolt. This will almost certainly result in loss of control of the vehicle.

Can the Upper Front Bolt Be Replaced?
The upper front bolt is already a camber bolt. However, it is a special camber bolt specifically for Subaru. If you lose or break this bolt, you should ALWAYS replace it with an OEM part, not an aftermarket part. AFTERMARKET CAMBER BOLTS SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN THE FRONT UPPER POSITION!
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Last edited by mr_f00; 09-05-2008 at 12:16 AM. Reason: editorial
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:08 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_f00 View Post
Are you saying despite the vendor's instructions these bolts should only be installed in the bottom hole of the front struts (for our cars)? What is the basis (service manual, experience, etc.) for the emphatic direction that all aftermarket camber bolts should not be installed in the upper bolt of the front struts? Just looking for clarity. Thanks.
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. ALL the aftermarket parts-lookup databases get this wrong. To top that off, ALL the instructions provided with the bolts themselves either omit important information or are outright wrong.

As far as the front upper bolt, there are two main reasons you can't replace it. First, all the parts lookup databases list the correct size of bolt for the front lower and both rear positions. The front upper position requires a different diameter of bolt. Sticking the aftermarket bolt that's listed as correct for that hole results in the aftermarket bolt not filling the hole (which is asking for trouble. Second, even if you got an aftermarket camber bolt of the correct size to fill the hole, any strut with the correct fitment for the car has the upper clevis hole machined specifically expecting the OEM bolt. The OEM bolt is different in design than a standard aftermarket camber bolt. So, an aftermarket camber bolt that would fill the hole would either not fit in or wouldn't be adjustable due to the design.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:15 AM   #28
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williaty, thanks for the info.

BTW I did try to initially install the SPC camber bolts in the lower holes on the front struts (I was following some instructions I found online). Despite much "cajoling" I couldn't get the washer tab to sit correctly. Measuring with a micrometer indicated they were ever so slightly too long to fit correctly. At that point, I opted to follow the instructions from the vendor and they seemed to fit fine on the upper hole. Final camber after alignment was a pleasant -2 deg front left/right.

So, I hear you, but remain confused. My experience wasn't consistent with what you've said. My camber bolt only seemed to fit the top hole well and I appear to have an alignment that successfully adjusted it. Also, when I compared the two (the OEM top-bolt and after market camber bolt) I thought they seemed more alike than than the bottom bolt and the after market camber bolt. Maybe, I'll have to take them off again to check them out.

Any one else running SPC bolts succesfully / correctly on the bottom bolt on the front struts? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by mr_f00; 09-05-2008 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_f00 View Post
williaty, thanks for the info.

BTW I did try to initially install the SPC camber bolts in the lower holes on the front struts (I was following some instructions I found online). Despite much "cajoling" I couldn't get the washer tab to sit correctly. Measuring with a micrometer indicated they were ever so slightly too long to fit correctly. At that point, I opted to follow the instructions from the vendor and they seemed to fit fine on the upper hole. Final camber after alignment was a pleasant -2 deg front left/right.

So, I hear you, but remain confused. My experience wasn't consistent with what you've said. My camber bolt only seemed to fit the top hole well and I appear to have an alignment that successfully adjusted it. Also, when I compared the two (the OEM top-bolt and after market camber bolt) I thought they seemed more alike than than the bottom bolt and the after market camber bolt. Maybe, I'll have to take them off again to check them out.
I am 99% confident that you have the wrong bolts in the upper hole. The OEM bolt already provides the maximum possible camber adjustment considering the design constraints. To increase the amount of camber adjustability, you have to make the hole larger or the bolt smaller. So, by sticking an overly-small camber bolt in the top hole, you were able to artificially move the knuckle too far relative to the strut. This means you've got a void on one side of the bolt now and the only thing holding it in place is the friction between the head/nut and the strut (which is technically how a joint is supposed to work but it provides no safety margin). The difference between the lower and upper bolts is pretty significant, IIRC, it's pushing 2mm. So if something almost fit the lower hole, it's definitely too small for the upper hole. My guess is that you simply got a bad batch and it was a little over tolerance and therefore wouldn't fit in the lower hole.

Now, I'm only 99% sure. There's a 1% chance SPC did something freaking awesome and came up with a new design that got around the limitations and they never bothered to advertise it. However, that's the sort of advance they would have been singing from the mountaintops, so I doubt it. Especially since I just looked at those links and they're bog-standard aftermarket camber bolts. Nothing special there.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:55 AM   #30
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Ok, got it. I'll pull them off and take a second look. Thanks for the detailed info and helpful discussion.

It's pretty displeasing that not only are the instructions that came with my camber bolts wrong, but the actual hardware would have to be modified some to fit correctly in the lower bolts. Sigh ...
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:13 AM   #31
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The one that really gets me is that none of the included instructions are right.

BTW, are you sure you actually ended up with the right part numbers? It would be pretty easy to get the next size up of bolt and not really be able to tell visually. Also, if the lobe of the bolt will pass into the strut/knuckle, the washer WILL fit in too if you work it right. The tab on the washer is sized to be the same thickness as the difference between the deepest part of the lobe and the shaft.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:52 AM   #32
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The very first sentence of the instructions would appear to indicate the 'intended hole', albeit indirectly.

"EZ Cam(tm) XRs are designed for non-slotted struts."

http://www.spcalignment.com/PROD_DIR...d2=81260&cmd3=

Non-slotted may (probably?) indicates that they intend the bolts to be used in a 'round' hole, not the factory eccentric one.

This doesn't excuse their diagram showing the top-hole being used, however.
I have seen cars with no slotting for camber adjustment at the strut clevis ( fwd VW's are like this, or at least ones from the early 90's are)... so maybe that's why they show it that way?


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Old 09-11-2008, 04:38 PM   #33
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You say not to replace the forn upper bolts but, why do you show in this pic that thats the bolt that your replacing? Im not correcting you, im just trying to understand how to do this....
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:59 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasper52 View Post
You say not to replace the forn upper bolts but, why do you show in this pic that thats the bolt that your replacing?
That's a picture of a rear strut. You should use the upper hole in the rear strut. In the front strut, you need to leave the upper bolt alone.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:47 AM   #35
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I've read that these types of bolts should only be installed in the maximum amount of camber adjustment. can this be confirmed or denied? In looking for bolts I see the ads for +/- 1 degree;+/- 1.75 degrees; +/- 2 degrees. Are there actual variations in lobe designs or are they just saying you have to install bolts (rear) in the upper and lower with 1 degree bolts to get the 2 degrees or change. I've mostly been looking at Ingalls bolts btw. thanks.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:12 AM   #36
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Yeah wondering about this also.. Whiteline advertise they give +/- 1.75 whereas H&R advertise they give +/- 3.0
Thats quite a bit of camber from bolts alone, is it possible and has anyone used H&R camber bolts etc?
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:28 PM   #37
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About 1.5* change is the real truth. The manufacturers distort the real specs as much as possible to make it sound like they do more than they do.

Additionally, aftermarket camber bolts are the least likely to slip if set to maximum adjustment (lobe pointing directly at handle). In the lower front hole, this is the only position you should use. Ideally, you'd like to do this in the rear too, but since the rear has only the aftermarket bolt for adjustment, you have to compromise and set it to some intermediate position.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:11 PM   #38
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So if you install sedan struts on a wagon you generally need camber bolts. Do you need them front and rear?

I would like to get my camber at -1.5 in front and -1.0 in the back. Given that I just installed sedan struts, should I install the rear camber bolts as per these instructions? (I have the fronts taken care of) I am not sure if I need to have more or less camber to compensate for the sedan struts or if it matters at all for the rears.

also, when you are saying "add negative camber" i am assuming that you mean going more negative say from -0.5 to -1.0 correct?
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:28 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbu View Post
So if you install sedan struts on a wagon you generally need camber bolts. Do you need them front and rear?

I would like to get my camber at -1.5 in front and -1.0 in the back. Given that I just installed sedan struts, should I install the rear camber bolts as per these instructions? (I have the fronts taken care of) I am not sure if I need to have more or less camber to compensate for the sedan struts or if it matters at all for the rears.

also, when you are saying "add negative camber" i am assuming that you mean going more negative say from -0.5 to -1.0 correct?
sedan struts on wagon makes you "lose neg camber" (ie go more positive) in the front, but for some reason not significant in the rear (even though the axels are of different lengths). For this reason, you only need a camber solution in the front, unless you also want additional adjustibility in the rear.

If you want -1.5, you will need some kind of solution to give you "more negative camber" (the thought convention is that "more" means "going away from 0; thus you get "more neg" or "more positive"). To give you -1.5 FRONT with sedan struts on a wagon, you must choose one or more:

- camber plates
- 2nd set of aftermarket camber bolts in lower hole
- swap to sedan arms and axels (although it's not guaranteed you will achieve -1.5)
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:14 PM   #40
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If you truly want to hit -1.0 in the rear, you're probably going to need camber bolts back there. However, I would drive it for a while first to see how you like it. Mine came out to -0.7 in the rear and it works pretty well for me.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:42 PM   #41
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Good stuff nice write up.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:31 PM   #42
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very nice write-up!

glad you pointed out that the aftermarket camber bolts are smaller than oe- I get a lot of folks trying to tell me they are the same size as they got "M14" camber bolts- what they got is a M12 eccentric bolt that fits into a 14mm hole hence the great disparity in torque specs- ~ 75 ft lbs for the aftermarket bolts, 129-160 ft lbs for the oe bolts
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:48 PM   #43
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Crap. thanks for the great write-up! The instructions that came with my bolts indicated that the washers with the tab/handle only needed to be used in strut holes that usually take an eccentric bolt...meaning I am glad I got a lifetime alignment since I will be going back to have the washers put on.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:09 AM   #44
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thx for the nice write up, williaty. im having my shop install my h&r camber bolts tomorrow and im sending them a link to your write up so they get it right. after i get them on, ill def report my experience with the bolts and ill ask my tech if he finds any issues or problems with them.

i will say that he tried putting the front h/r bolts in the upper hole and removing the factory ones. after we talked about it, he told me that he questioned the integrity of the h/r bolts cuz they were much smaller than the oem ones. when i told him about leaving the oem bolts and putting the h/r ones in the lower hole, it made total sense to him. we should have everything just right with ur write up as a reference.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:50 PM   #45
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Very nice write up. Bigsky pointed me over here.

I'm having some camber issues with my car that I'll elaborate on in the wagon thread when I get everything figured out.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:40 AM   #46
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Some friends of mine went to ptuning and were told they needed these before alignment but only in rear. Is it wise to use only in the rear and not in the front?
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:48 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrx KidD View Post
Is it wise to use only in the rear and not in the front?
Depends what alignment you're trying to achieve - depends on your friends' setup
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #48
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Could be the sleep deprivation from the recent arrival of baby #2, but I'm a little confused on the handle and arrow orientation. I added it to the upper rear hole, and it seemed as if the handle facing the tire/away from the engine (with the arrow the opposite), gave me the most negative camber in the rear. Is that correct?

Both Step 6s from above state the same orientation, but one is supposed to be adding negative camber and the other is supposed to correct it. Typo?
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:15 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JawKnee View Post
Could be the sleep deprivation from the recent arrival of baby #2, but I'm a little confused on the handle and arrow orientation. I added it to the upper rear hole, and it seemed as if the handle facing the tire/away from the engine (with the arrow the opposite), gave me the most negative camber in the rear. Is that correct?

Both Step 6s from above state the same orientation, but one is supposed to be adding negative camber and the other is supposed to correct it. Typo?
No, the way it's written is correct. If you'll notice, one set of instructions deals with adding camber via the lower hole and the other set deals with taking away camber via the upper hole. That's why the handle faces the same direction in both sets of instructions.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:16 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
No, the way it's written is correct. If you'll notice, one set of instructions deals with adding camber via the lower hole and the other set deals with taking away camber via the upper hole. That's why the handle faces the same direction in both sets of instructions.
So...

If I wanted to add negative camber in the rear via the upper hole, how should the orientation be?

Thanks!
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