Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 55

Thread: Camber Bolt FAQ and Tutorial

  1. #1

    Default Camber Bolt FAQ and Tutorial

    Well, first of all, this is more of a Tutorial than a FAQ, but it does answer the questions and isn't entirely a tutorial, so don't complain about the semantics

    Second, all of the small pictures click through to large pictures.

    Third, I used a rear strut. Get over it, I was too lazy to dig any deeper in the box. It's the same theory for front and rear.




    What are camber bolts?
    Camber bolts are cleverly designed eccentric bolts that causes the two things you're bolting together to offset from each other slightly. On our cars, this means that the camber bolts offset the strut and the knuckle slightly from each other thus changing the camber.


    What are camber bolts used for?
    In the industry, camber bolts are most often used for accommodating manufacturing variances or returning the alignment to the correct specifications after a suspension component has been bent in an accident (hence the slang "Crash Bolt"). Performance enthusiasts will also often use camber bolts to achieve alignment settings not obtainable with the stock hardware.


    Why Would You Run Camber Bolts?
    90% of the time, we're using camber bolts to add negative camber in the front or reduce negative camber in the rear.


    Why Wouldn't You Run Camber Botls?
    Camber bolts, by design, must be thinner than normal bolts. This reduces the strength of the joint. A small number of people have had camber bolts shear (break) under load. Camber bolts are often also criticized for "slipping" (changing alignment settings) under load at the worst possible time. 99% of all slippage is the result of improper installation. The installer REALLY needs to know how to properly install a camber bolt to avoid failure.


    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!


    Do Camber Bolts Add or Remove Camber?
    Either. The camber change is entirely dependent on which way the bolt is installed. The instructions below will cover the two most common needs: Adding negative camber to the front and removing negative camber from the rear.

    We need to establish some terminology first. The picture below is a typical aftermarket camber bolt. The words you're going to be reading a lot throughout this are Tab, Handle, and Lobe. They're labeled, because I'm a nice guy.


    Another thing you're going to see me repeating frequently are directions for the handle. This picture shows the handle pointing outwards, towards the knuckle, or away from the engine. They all mean the same thing.


    This picture shows the handle pointing inwards, away from the knuckle, or towards the engine. They all mean the same thing.


    There are also some common things you'll have to do regardless of which hole you're going to put it in. For one, use liberal amounts of lube. Anti-sieze, preferably, grease if you can't get anti-sieze. You will some day want to get these bolts back out and anti-sieze is a godsend. Also, the bolt and washer are only going to fit into the hole when the tab on the washer and the loeb on the bolt are aligned together as in this picture:


    See how the tab on the washer is going into the hole "hiding" behind the thickest part of the lobe? That's critical. You absolutely MUST GET THE TAB OF THE WASHER SEATED IN THE HOLE WITHOUT DAMAGING THE TAB IN ANY WAY.
    If you damage the tab in any way, such as smashing it flat against the washer, ripping it off, or tearing it, THROW THE BOLT OUT AND GET A NEW ONE. A damaged washer WILL cause the camber bolt to fail under load, almost certainly resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle. I also recommend that you install the bolt and washer in the orientation shown so that you can see exactly what's going on with that little tab. Spin it around to it's final position once you're sure it's gone in properly. Finally, make sure the washer sits flush against the clevis of the strut without having to force it to stay there. The tab should seat fully into the hole and allow the washer flat against the strut. If this doesn't happen, stop and figure out why.


    OK, now that we've got the boilerplate out of the way, lets move on to specific instructions.



    To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Front Lower Position to Add Negative Camber
    Note: The arrow on the head of the bolt USUALLY points at the lobe. Sometimes, they miss. Verify they're lined up before you start.

    1) Loosen the upper camber bolt and the lower normal bolt.
    2) Remove the lower normal bolt
    3) Insert the aftermarket camber bolt into the lower hole with the washer on the bolt such that the tab faces the strut and the handle faces away from the strut.
    4) Press the aftermarket camber bolt into the knuckle until the washer can just barely move between the head of the bolt and the strut.
    5) Thread the nut onto the aftermarket camber bolt until it's against the strut, but DO NOT TIGHTEN the nut so much that you pinch the washer between the head of the bolt and the strut.
    6) Rotate the washer of the aftermarket camber bolt so that the handle on the washer points straight at the knuckle (straight away from the engine).
    7) Rotate the bolt so that the lobe of the bolt faces directly away from the handle on the washer.
    8 ) Using a flathead screwdriver, gently move the washer so that the tab on the washer slips into the hole in the strut between the strut and the shaft of the bolt. This may take some cajoling, but you HAVE to get this right.

    NOTE: If at any point the tab on the washer becomes damaged (torn off, smashed flat, etc), throw the bolt out and get a new one. If the tab on the washer isn't properly fitted into the hole, the bolt WILL fail on the street.

    9) Verify that the handle on the washer is still pointed straight at the knuckle (away from the engine) and that the tab is still properly seated into the hole.
    10) Tighten the nut just enough that you can still turn the bolt, but the washer can't move enough for the tab to pop out of the hole.
    11) Rotate the upper OEM camber bolt so the tick marks on the head face directly towards the engine. There's a stray tick 90* off from the rest, this should line up with the tick mark on the strut.
    12) Rotate the aftermarket bolt so that the lobe faces straight at the handle.
    13) Have a friend slam the top of the brake rotor towards the engine as hard as they can
    14) While the friend pins the brake rotor towards the engine, tighten the nut on the OEM camber bolt as tight as you can get it with a standard ratcheting socket handle while using a box wrench to make sure the bolt itself doesn't spin AT ALL.
    15) Move the friend out of the way and tighten the OEM bolt to spec while making sure the bolt itself doesn't spin AT ALL.
    16) Tighten the aftermarket bolt to spec while making sure the bolt and the washer don't spin AT ALL.

    NOTE: If you end up with more than the desired camber, reduce camber by adjusting the OEM bolt only! You ALWAYS want the aftermarket bolt set to its maximum position to reduce the chance of slipping. To adjust the OEM bolt for slightly less camber, loosen both the OEM bolt and the aftermarket bolt slightly. Then, replace step #11 with "Rotate the OEM camber bolt to the necessary adjustment position" and follow the rest of the steps as given.






    To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Rear Upper Position to Reduce Negative Camber

    Note: The arrow on the head of the bolt USUALLY points at the lobe. Sometimes, they miss. Verify they're lined up before you start.


    1) Loosen the upper and lower normal bolts.
    2) Remove the upper normal bolt
    3) Insert the aftermarket camber bolt into the upper hole with the washer on the bolt such that the tab faces the strut and the handle faces away from the strut.
    4) Press the aftermarket camber bolt into the knuckle until the washer can just barely move between the head of the bolt and the strut.
    5) Thread the nut onto the aftermarket camber bolt until it's against the strut, but DO NOT TIGHTEN the nut so much that you pinch the washer between the head of the bolt and the strut.
    6) Rotate the washer of the aftermarket camber bolt so that the handle on the washer points straight at the knuckle (straight away from the engine).
    7) Rotate the bolt so that the lobe of the bolt faces directly away from the handle on the washer.
    8 ) Using a flathead screwdriver, gently move the washer so that the tab on the washer slips into the hole in the strut between the strut and the shaft of the bolt. This may take some cajoling, but you HAVE to get this right.

    NOTE: If at any point the tab on the washer becomes damaged (torn off, smashed flat, etc), throw the bolt out and get a new one. If the tab on the washer isn't properly fitted into the hole, the bolt WILL fail on the street.

    9) Verify that the handle on the washer is still pointed straight at the knuckle (away from the engine) and that the tab is still properly seated into the hole.
    10) Tighten the nut just enough that you can still turn the bolt, but the washer can't move enough for the tab to pop out of the hole.
    11) Rotate the aftermarket bolt so that the lobe faces straight at the handle.
    12) Have a friend slam the top of the brake rotor towards the center of the car as hard as they can
    14) While the friend pins the brake rotor towards the center of the car, tighten the nut on the OEM lower bolt as tight as you can get it with a standard ratcheting socket handle while using a box wrench to make sure the bolt itself doesn't spin.
    15) Move the friend out of the way and tighten the OEM bolt to spec.
    16) Tighten the aftermarket bolt to spec while making sure the bolt and the washer don't spin AT ALL.
    Last edited by williaty; 09-03-2008 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    WI-MI Border near watersmeet and eagle river
    Posts
    3,242

    Default

    wow nice write up!

  3. #3
    DirtyImpreza Badass WRXCMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orange county
    Posts
    2,790

    Default

    To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Rear Lower Position to Reduce Negative Camber

    just an observation while reading but shouldn't this be

    To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Rear Upper Position to Reduce Negative Camber

    non the less bitchin write up and thank you i'll be using this soon.

    REX - The Weimpit

  4. #4

    Default

    It should indeed be so. Let me fix that.

  5. #5
    Senior Dirty Member pigpen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    2,236

    Default

    awesome writeup. i always appreciate your thoroughness!

    Quote Originally Posted by williaty View Post
    There are also some common things you'll have to do regardless of which hole you're going to put it in. For one, use liberal amounts of lube.

  6. #6

    Default

    Sheesh, it's about time! I posted this to like 100 forums and you're the only one who caught that.

  7. #7

    Default

    To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Rear Upper Position to Increase Negative Camber


    ...how would this work?


    fixed. thanks Williaty
    Last edited by 98obster; 09-09-2008 at 10:16 PM.
    Remember, you can't have fun unless you're gettin' dirty.-Henry Rutherford Hill

  8. #8

    Default

    If you need to add negative camber to the rear, simple take the instructions for reducing negative camber and point the handle of the washer the opposite direction the instructions currently say.

    So basically, in the rear upper hole, handle towards knuckle reduces negative camber, handle towards the center of the increases negative camber. Point the lobe at the handle to maximize the movement.

  9. #9
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I found this thread and it is EXTREMELY awesome! Nice write-up.

    Does anyone know if this also holds true for an SG Forester (2004)? I know the rear is the same, but I have found conflicting information on whether the front lower holes need to be drilled out to put camber bolts in. Also, no info on size-I believe the standard bolt in it is 19mm, would that be replaced by a 14mm camber bolt?

    Sorry to intrude, just trying to figure out what I need to do. I may pick up a set of 14mm for the rear and just try them in the front to see what happens
    2004 Forester XT, springs, RSB, STi CBE

  10. #10

    Default

    Your Forrester is identical to an Impreza in this respect.

  11. #11
    Registered Member frogstar7055's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl.
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Out standing write up.

    Frogstar7055
    AWD....and not afraid to use it

  12. #12
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    6

    Default

    OK! Just got the front 14mm in. They fit just perfectly in the lower holes as expected

    Just a few notes:

    1. Williaty is right: the arrows on the bolt heads may not line up with the lobe. Mine weren't close or the same on either bolt. I marked the lobe direction by notching the top lip of the bolt head with a screwdriver and hammer so I could easily see it.

    2. For whatever reason, the left side strut dropped as I took the OE bottom bolt out, and it was almost impossible to get the new camber bolt in. I even measured with a micrometer to make sure it wasn't bigger I was having such a problem - but I could obviously see the strut/knuckle holes weren't lined up. I finally 'gently' tightened the nut enough to pull the bolt in.

    3. Getting the washer tab in was fairly easy. Left side was a piece of cake, right side I had to work on it for a while. My tabs were slightly angled outward, so I had to leave a little extra room to angle the washer while I put the tab in.

    4. I left the top OE camber bolts set where they were (after tightening them back up) since I'm scheduled for an alignment tomorrow.

    And now, I'm slammed!!!! Bwuuhahaha! I'm estimating I'm at -2.2 up front, but will have it properly aligned tomorrow to -2.0 and 0 toe for autocrossing. That's all I can think of now. I'm going to pick up a second set of bolts tomorrow morning to do the rear.

    Thanks again Williaty!
    2004 Forester XT, springs, RSB, STi CBE

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by problemcat13 View Post
    Thanks again Williaty!
    You know, there's a button for that now :P


    Does anyone else think it's weird that the Thanks button is larger than the Quote button?

  14. #14
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    6

    Default

    So here's a question/suggestion Williaty:

    With the rear, if you wanted adjustability in both directions, would you leave the tab/handle straight up and down (verticle)? Then you could swing the lobe either way for positive or negative adjustment. Would that work? I didn't really need to back off my negative camber yet (which was the point of your instructions), but I wanted it adjustable since the two sides didn't match. I will back it off during the autocross off-season.

    FYI, I am STOKED! I got the front at -2.1 and -2.0 myself with just your instructions. Took it to my shop and got exactly what I wanted, -2.0 front, -1.8 rear, 0.00 toe.
    2004 Forester XT, springs, RSB, STi CBE

  15. #15

    Default

    No, that wouldn't work. The tab is what sets the direction in which the adjustment will happen. So if you put the tab straight down, the adjustment will move the knuckle down relative to the strut.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •