Camber adjustment, Camber gauges U trust em? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-04-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Camber adjustment, Camber gauges U trust em?

Anybody here adjust their own camber or toe on their vehicles??? Anybody know anything about the camber and toe gauges on the market (good and bad)??? All replies will be appreciated.. Thanks
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:57 PM   #2
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Have but would not recommend to anyone. Is a good thing radials are so tolerant.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default camber

I adjust my camber and toe on all my cars with a back woods method.
My tires always wear evenly and usually dry rot before they wear out.
I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself unless your a gage nut like myself.
I have found that commercial machines require the car to be lifted up off the ground
to install the wheel sensors. upon letting it down the wheel is not in its true operating position until it goes down the road and hits a few bumps. I have gotten my car back from the shop once, put my gages on and the camber was way off.
Brought it back put it on the machine and it read ok. Turns out upon lifting my right rear air shock it was not settling in to its true operating position until you drove the car around the block.
Thats why I put the gage on as the car sits. Lift the car up make the adjustment,
drive around the block then re-check it. This takes a couple of times to do but is well worth it in my mind.
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Old 01-05-2005, 04:00 PM   #4
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SSE
What brand gauge are you usiing for toe and camber? I am trying to find the best deal on a toeand camber gauges. Harbor Freight has a toe gauge for 9.99 and a camber gauge for 9.99 also. I am afraid of such a good deal on these, will probably have to spend a little more to get something that works correctly. Thanks
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quesion is the resolution. I try to set toe as close to zero as possible so need resolution to 1/32" at least. Camber should be marked in at leats 1/4 degree and preferably 1/8 degree increments.

Since toe is essentially measuring the distance between the front and the back of the front tires, where you do it does not matter too much. To set camber properly you must have a level surface (fortunately my garage floor on the left side is almost perfect), so just a camber guage is not enough.

Note a good one will allow you to set both caster and camber.

All of that said our 90 has almost 2 degrees of negative camber in the rear but the radials wear evenly (and after 40,000 miles on this set, I'd know). I set the 88 as close to 0 as possible with shims but probably should not have bothered.
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:21 AM   #6
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Padgett:
Is that 2 deg. neg. camber the book spec?
I always set mine as close to 0 as possible and get excellent tire wear.
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #7
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OK we have two similar platforms, an 88 Reatta and a 90 Bonne. Both are the same weight. Have had the Bonne since new and the Reatta for about three years.

With the Bonne, tires always wore evenly so never checked the rear camber. Rears do not do much more than hold the back up anyway and both cars have Michelin X-1s in 225/60/16 on 16x7" rims.

When I bought the Reatta I checked everything and found that the rear camber was about 2 degrees negative on a spec of 0. However nothing in the service manual referenced adjustment. Finally I found some spacers at Napa and was able to get the rear camber down to about a quarter degree negative.

Shortly afterwards I happened to check the Bonneville since I had the gauge out. Two degrees negative. Now this was a car that gets over 50,000 miles from a set of Michelins (is on its second set) with the rears wearing hardly at all and all wear being even (I rotate the tires fairly often but almost all wear is on the front). At that point I decided that the rear camber really did not matter and just left it as it was. Apparently the radials compensate.
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Old 01-09-2005, 01:25 AM   #8
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Luckily for me the shop I get all my work done at has a drive on hoist they use for the alignment so you drive up they set it up for the alignment and do what they have to. no need to lift it off the ground. Well they still lift it but no tires ever lift off the hoist.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:20 AM   #9
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Default rear

You can adjust the rear camber by loosening the two rear pich bolts the same way you do the front.
To get more pos. I just wedge a chisle to pry out behind the top bolt section then tighten up.
There usually is just enough play in them to get what you need.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:09 PM   #10
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Can I get away with not having to buy the J tool 29862 ( Camber adjusting tool) as mentioned in the factory manual?
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