How to Adjust Camber Bolts
If you’ve been driving your car for a while, you may have noticed that its handling has become less responsive over time. It could be that your camber bolts are starting to wear out and need to be adjusted.
Camber bolts are small pieces of metal that attach your suspension system to your car’s chassis. They are responsible for ensuring that your wheels maintain proper alignment as you drive, helping you easily take corners and turns.
Fortunately, adjusting camber bolts is a relatively simple process that can be done at home with just a few basic tools. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps for how to adjust camber bolts.
Step-by-Step Processes for How to Adjust Camber Bolts
Step 1: Park Your Vehicle
You will need to be able to access the wheels of your vehicle, so park on a level surface and engage the parking brake. To adjust the camber, you will need to find the camber bolts. These are typically located near the strut assembly near the top of the wheel well.
Step 2: Check Your Camber
Before you start making any adjustments, it’s important to check your camber and ensure it’s actually out of alignment. You can do this by using a camber gauge, a ruler, and a level.
If you don’t have a camber gauge, place the level on top of the tire and measure the distance between the level and the bottom edge of the wheel. If the distance is greater than 1/4 inch, then your camber is out of alignment, and you’ll need to adjust it.
Step 3: Loosen the Bolts
Once you’ve determined that your camber is out of alignment, the next step is to loosen the bolts that hold the camber in place.
Do not remove the bolts entirely; just loosen them so that they can be moved. Now it’s time actually to adjust the camber.
If your camber is too positive (meaning the top of the tire is leaning out), then you’ll need to turn the bolts clockwise to decrease the camber. Conversely, if your camber is too negative (meaning the top of the tire is leaning in), then you’ll need to turn the bolts counterclockwise to increase the camber.
Step 4: Re-check the Camber
After making your adjustments, it’s important to check the camber again to ensure it’s within the acceptable range.
If it’s still not aligned, then you’ll need to adjust the bolts again. Once you’ve got the camber where it needs to be, you can tighten the bolts back down and enjoy your newly aligned vehicle.
Step 5: Find Your Camber Bolts
Once you’ve determined that your camber is out of alignment, you’ll need to find the camber bolts. These are typically located on the upper control arm near the wheel. Using a wrench or socket, remove the camber bolts. Be sure to track which bolt goes in which hole, as they may not be interchangeable.
Step 6: Loosen the Camber Bolt
Using a wrench, loosen the camber bolt until it is completely loose. You may need to use a breaker bar to get enough leverage. Once the bolt is loose, you can adjust the camber by moving the wheel up or down. Move the wheel down to move the top of the wheel closer to the vehicle. To make the top of the wheel further away from the vehicle, move the wheel up.
Step 7: Adjust the Camber
With the camber bolt lose, you can now adjust the camber. To do this, simply rotate the wheel until the desired amount of camber is achieved.
Once you have the camber where you want it, re-tighten the bolt. Ensure not to overtighten the bolt, as this can strip the threads. Torque the bolt to between 18-22 ft/lbs.
Step 8: Retighten the Camber Bolt
Once you’ve achieved the desired amount of camber, simply retighten the camber bolt. You may need to use a torque wrench to ensure that the bolt is tightened to the proper specification. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the proper torque specification.
Step 9: Test Drive the Vehicle
Once you’ve adjusted the camber bolts, it’s time to take the vehicle for a test drive. Pay close attention to the handling and braking characteristics. If you notice any unusual behavior, be sure to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. Remember to check and adjust the camber on both sides of the vehicle.
Safety Tips for Adjusting Camber Bolts
- Make sure the vehicle is on a level surface before you start adjusting the camber bolts.
- If your vehicle has adjustable camber bolts, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see the range of adjustment possible.
- Jack up the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands. Do not work on a vehicle that is only supported by a jack. Remove the front wheels. Locate the camber bolts. They are usually located near the wheel hub assembly on the upper control arm.
- If the camber bolts have nuts, loosen them with a wrench. If the bolts are threaded into the control arm, use a ratchet and socket to loosen them.
- Adjust the camber by turning the bolt. Each turn of the bolt will change the camber by a small amount. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how much camber you can safely adjust.
- Once you have the desired camber setting, tighten the nuts or bolts. Lower the vehicle and remove the jack stands.
- Test drive the vehicle to see how it handles the new camber setting. If you are unhappy with the new setting, repeat steps 1-11 until you are satisfied.
- Has a professional checked the vehicle’s alignment if you are not comfortable adjusting the camber bolts? Check the camber bolts periodically to ensure they are still tight and have not come loose.
- Do not drive your vehicle if the camber is excessively out of adjustment. This can cause the tires to wear prematurely and affect the vehicle’s handling.
How Can You Tell if Your Camber Bolts Are Too Loose or Too Tight?
If your camber bolts are too loose, your vehicle will drift or pull to one side while driving. You may also notice that your tires are wearing unevenly. If your camber bolts are too tight, your vehicle will be difficult to steer. You may also notice that your tires wear excessively on the inside or outside edges.
First, park your vehicle on a level surface to check your camber bolts. Then measure the distance from the ground to the center of your wheel at the top and bottom. If the distance is different, your camber bolt is too loose or too tight.
If you need to adjust your camber bolts, first loosen the bolts with a wrench. Then turn the bolts to increase or decrease the camber. You may need a wrench to hold the bolt in place while turning the nut.
Once you have the desired camber, tighten the bolts and re-check the measurements. If you are having difficulty adjusting your camber bolts, or if you notice that your vehicle is still pulling to one side or drifting, take it to a mechanic for further diagnosis.
What Are the Consequences of Not Adjusting Camber Bolts Properly?
If the camber bolts are not properly adjusted, it can lead to several problems. The most common problem is that the vehicle will pull to one side or the other. This can be extremely dangerous, making it difficult to control the vehicle.
Additionally, uneven tire wear is likely to occur if the camber bolts are not properly adjusted. This can shorten the life of your tires and increase the likelihood of having to replace them prematurely. Ultimately, not properly adjusting your camber bolts can lead to several costly problems, so it is important to do it correctly.
Is It Necessary to Call Any Professional to Adjust Camber Bolts?
Adjusting camber bolts is a simple process that anyone can do at home with the right tools. There’s no need to call a professional or take your car to a mechanic. All you need is a socket wrench and a few minutes of time.
Camber bolts are used to adjust the camber, or angle, of your wheels. If your wheels are angled inward or outward, it can cause problems with your suspension and handling. By adjusting the camber bolts, you can ensure that your wheels are parallel and pointing straight ahead.
Adjusting camber bolts is a simple process, but it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. With a few turns of a wrench, you can ensure that your car runs safely and smoothly.
If you’re looking to improve the handling of your vehicle, adjusting the camber bolts is a great place to start. Although it may seem daunting, with a little patience and the right tools, it’s actually quite simple. And best of all, you can do it yourself in your own driveway. Just be sure to take your time, and be careful not to over-tighten the bolts.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to adjust camber bolts. Always ensure you have the correct tools and follow the directions in your car’s manual. If you’re still unsure, there’s no harm in seeking professional assistance.