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Camber & Caster Questions!


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#1 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 03:13 AM

Remember the Thread about the Huge PotHole on the Road, where my Subie Almost was "Swallowed"? :-\


http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=73725


Well... I did Hit a Smaller -but Horribly Deep- PotHole last January in my White Wagon... :banghead: ...and I didn`t Notice anything Wrong on my Subie after that (I went under the Subie and Checked Everything)...

...Untill last weekend, I Checked the Tires, and I Found Something Wrong on the Passenger`s Side Front Tire...

The Inner Part of the Inside`s Corner of the Tire was "Eaten" ... the Tire was Almost about to Explode... with the Nylon Ply Revealed out! :eek: While the Rest of it was in Good Condition!

I Went to an Alignment Center, and it was Very sad for me to Discover a Camber Alignment Problem on my Subie...

The Camber Angle identifies how far the Tire Slants away from Vertical, when Viewed directly from the Front or Back of the vehicle. Camber is expressed in Degrees, and is said to be Negative when the top of the tire tilts inward toward the Center of the Vehicle, and Positive when the top leans away from the Center of the Vehicle.

So my Subie got the Front Passenger`s Side with Negative Camber :mad: and there is no Way for an Easy Fix, `cos it is Fixed Part.


Posted Image
This Image Gives the Idea... my Subie`s Wheel Sees like the Green Line.

I Remember that some months Ago, I Saw a Subaru Loyale EA82 that got Installed a Thick Bar from one Strut`s Top to the Other, right above the Engine (Between the Front`s Struts) and it got Adjustment (?) I Don`t Remember well...

I Rember that the Bar was Attached to the Strut`s Tops with a Metal Plate, that got the Three Holes for the Three Strut`s Bolts and a Center Hole for the Strut`s Top.

So, the Question is: Could that Bar, Be a Good Way to Fix the Negative Camber Issue on my Subie? it goes around -5.5º

Any Idea, Advice, or the Place where I Can obtain that Bar, etc... is Welcome!

Thank you All... Best Regards.

JesZeK :burnout:



#2 Reveeen

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 03:58 AM

Probably the best "fix", would be to determine what got bent, and replace it. Hooking the strut tops together, then pulling them together (or, pushing them apart), will likely mess with the side that isn't buggered. We did see adjustable strut mounts here a while back (basically, a replacement strut mount made out of a steel plate, with a flange mount bearing for the strut, that was attached with slotted holes, that allowed adjustment). You could slot the upper strut mounting holes (including the big center hole) and pick up some adjustment that way.

My vote is to fix what you bent.

#3 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:05 AM

Yes, Of Course I Agree... The Problem is that Anything seems to be Bent, is just like The Whole Strut`s Tower Area on the Car got Moved a Half Inch or So to the Inside from its Top...

I Didn`t Explain my Idea Well: I Was Thinking about using a Tool Called here "Spandex" or some alike, to Force the Strut`s Tower (I Don`t Know the Right Car`s Area Name) to go Out a Li`l Bit, and Then use the Said Bar, as Reinforcement.

What do you Think About?

Thank you for your Kind Reply!

#4 Reveeen

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:06 AM

The Whole Strut`s Tower Area on the Car got Moved a Half Inch or So to the Inside from its Top

I am just wondering how you came to this conclusion? Is the strut tower pulling away from the inner fender? Are you seeing distortion along the fender top? Is the gap between the fender and the hood changed?

Behind the front fender, there is a formed steel "beam" that attaches to the cowl to provide support in this area, combined with the fender, and the inner fender, this is a fairly rigid structure that is supposed to resist movement (never say never), but I feel far less likely to bend (unless rust has got at it), than the easily replaceable components. Before you can come to this conclusion (unless you see signs of physical tearing/twisting/distortion) you should disassemble the area checking the components, then if the components are OK, using a chassis manual for reference, run a simple tape measure between the defined points (you do mention 1/2 an inch), checking for mis-alignment.

I am not saying your chassis could not be bent, but feel a bent, ball joint, lower control arm, or strut, more likely (unless you see signs of physical distress in the metal of the structure). Even with a bent structure, disassembly is almost a prerequisite to any straightening.

Applying force between the strut towers will affect both sides equally. If you force one against the other both will move out, "fixing" one side, and disrupting the other. Lacking the ideal of a frame straightening machine, maybe applying force between the far side cowl (low down where it is strongest) and the strut tower area (remove the fender first) with something like a porta-power might move things, but again, this application of brute force should be avoided unless you are SURE that your car is bent!

I am going to run outside and measure the strut towers on my EA82 and post back.

OK, standing at the front of your car, hood up, the closest strut mount bolts (towards the front of the car) are 40 1/4" apart, the next inner, lower bolts are 35 1/2 apart, measurements from strut tower to strut tower across the engine compartment. I did not measure the outside bolts.

#5 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 11:56 PM

... I am just wondering how you came to this conclusion? ...


Well... after one Hour or so, analyzing things at the Wheel Alignment Center.

... Is the strut tower pulling away from the inner fender? Are you seeing distortion along the fender top? Is the gap between the fender and the hood changed? ...


No, No, and No.

... Behind the front fender, there is a formed steel "beam" that attaches to the cowl to provide support in this area, combined with the fender, and the inner fender, this is a fairly rigid structure that is supposed to resist movement (never say never), but I feel far less likely to bend (unless rust has got at it), than the easily replaceable components. ...


Those parts seems to be in Good Healthy Shape, and There`s No Rust there at All...

... (unless you see signs of physical tearing/twisting/distortion) ...


Nothing like that There.

... I am not saying your chassis could not be bent, but feel a bent, ball joint, lower control arm, or strut, more likely (unless you see signs of physical distress in the metal of the structure). Even with a bent structure, disassembly is almost a prerequisite to any straightening. ...


Due to the Negative Camber Problem, I Dissasembled Both Front Struts: Everything is AllRight There, I Checked the Spring Coils, Struts, etc... They`re Good.


Then I Found Weak Ball Joints and Tie Rods, so I used some money I Got of Selling some Wooden Speakers I Made, and -aside other Things- I Buy the Brand new Parts, See:



Posted Image

At the Dealer, they sold me the Wrong Tie Rods, `cos the 90º Little Bolt was too Thick and did not fit my Subie`s Part; so I Returned those Tie Rods to the Dealer (They gave my Money Back) and I Purchased the Right Tie Rods (brand: "555" Made in Japan) so, there Everything is New... Even some other Steering Parts where Recently Changed, see:



Posted Image

I Went Again to the Alignment Center and the Negative Camber Problem Persists... :-\ ...


... Applying force between the strut towers will affect both sides equally. If you force one against the other both will move out, "fixing" one side, and disrupting the other. Lacking the ideal of a frame straightening machine, maybe applying force between the far side cowl (low down where it is strongest) and the strut tower area (remove the fender first) with something like a porta-power might move things, but again, this application of brute force should be avoided unless you are SURE that your car is bent!. ...


Yes, I Agree... Please don`t let me be Misunderstood: I just was Thinking about to Apply some Force to the negative Strut Tower, to push it Back to the Outside a Li`l Bit, and Then (Just Then) Install the Bar Between Struts, just to Reinforce `em.

... OK, standing at the front of your car, hood up, the closest strut mount bolts (towards the front of the car) are 40 1/4" ...


Yes, it Measures 40 ¼" too...

... the next inner, lower bolts are 35 1/2 apart ...


...Mine got 35 ½" ...

So, Everything seems to be Fine, but the Negative Cambers Situation, Persists...

Any Idea?

Thank you!

#6 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:06 AM

31320GA200 and 31320GA190 was the Wrong Tie Rods that the Dealer`s Salesmand sold me, Just Curious: Are those from Legacy or Newer Loyales?

Which one is the Right Part Number for my Subie?

I Just Found a "555" Japanese Brand at an AfterMarket Store, they didn`t got Part Number Shown on the Part itself, so I Don`t Know it and the Subaru Manuals I Got are Far Away at Home (My Parents` Home)

Thank You!

#7 daeron

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:58 AM

Are those lower control arms that are pictured right there?

You replaced the lower control arms and your camber problem has not gone away?

What about the Tension/compression rod? Usually on the soob it is called a radius rod I think, but its the bar that goes back at an angle towards the rear of the car and towards the middle. If that were somehow whacked out so that the chassis mounting point were bent towards the center of the car (as it would be on an impact like this) then it would pull the bottom of the strut INwards, and show you the same camber problem you have.


Is your toe-in set correctly???? I know when the toe-in gets mis adjusted, it starts effecting the camber of the vehicle... make sure your alignment guy adjusts toe-in to spec, and that you still have your camber problem, before bending or flexing anything.

Good luck with this... its NOT an easy issue to track down. I WAS going to suggest getting the lower control arm off of another car and swapping it on to see if that helps, but it appears you've already done that.

#8 Reveeen

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:52 AM

Well...............
If the top isn't bent, then you have to look at the bottom, get it up on a hoist, or a pair of ramps, and see if you see anything out of place, or bent. Check the front sub frame for signs of shifting on the chassis. Look at the mounting point for the lower control arm for any signs of metal distress.

It's raining out in my garage today (God's garage), so you won't get any measurements out of me today, but tomorrow afternoon I will go out, and look, to see if I can pull some quick measurements.

I have some camber "issues" here of my own, but they are of my own making.

Aftermarket parts here are Chinese, and junk.

#9 DaveT

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:06 PM

Here are a couple of things I've had happen:

One of my older Subes was in an accident. I discovered a bent strut - that the collision repair shop missed. I didn't know it was bent until I was installing a new cartridge. They were the rebuildable struts on my 76. The cartridge slid in but stopped a few inches before it hit bottom. The bend was not visible with the strut on the car. It handled better after replacing the bent strut.

EA82 alignment experience: One morning I ran the left front wheel into a golf cart battery. Low speed, just moving in the driveway. After a few days, I discovered that my front tires were wearing badly, on the outside. They even bubbled the tread off the steel belts. I looked & looked for bent parts, etc. Put on another pair of (used but good) tires, killed them in about a week, also. For lack of any other ideas, I got out the manual, and checked the toe in. It was way off. Adjusted it, even centered the steering wheel. The car steered better than it did before the incident. Tires lasted longer also, so it was out a bit before my oops.

Toe in is easy to check. I use a pair of straight bars, setting on blocks near the wheels. Push the bars against the tires. Use a tape measure from on side to the other, just in front & just behind the tires. If the measurement is different by more than 1/8" I'd start looking at adjusting. (get out the FSM & check the official specs)

#10 Caboobaroo

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:42 PM

So I'm an alignment guy and so I'll see about popping in here for some opinions.

Really what the alignment center needs to do is determine WHAT is bent in there. You can determine this by using the Steering Axis Inclination Angle (I will refer to it as SAI) and the Included Angle (or IA). SAI is a measurement taken from an imaginary line from the center of the top of the strut to the lower ball joint and a perpendicular line from the center of the tire where it meets the ground. IA is the measurement between the first line I described (the top of the strut and lower ball joint) and the camber of the wheel. SAI + Camber = IA. These are the two angles I use to figure out what is bent under a car after an accident, wheather its with a curb or a pothole.

With using these 2 measurments, you can figure out what is bent. Using SAI, you can determine if its bent either at the top of the strut, or down at the bottom such as the ball joint. The IA will help determine if its somewhere inbetween such as a bent strut itself or knuckle. With the way the setup is on these cars, I'm willing to bet its probably bent where the strut inserts into the knuckle, either the end of the strut itself or the knuckle.

It would also help to have the specifications where everything is currently. I have a book in front of me with the factory specs in it so I can help you from there. At the very least, I'd need to know the SAI angle on both the left and right side. Really at this point in the game and what you've replaced, I'm leaning to a bent knuckle but also check the strut where it goes into the knuckle as well. If the upper strut tower got bent, you'd see where the paint would be flaking off of it where a crease would be or where the damage is. Its very unlikely thats the case though.

#11 daeron

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 06:07 AM

Caboob, make with the info!!

That was one of the best posts I've seen come up here in a LONG time, and I am going to go nominate this whole thread for USMB right now, because it seems like a great example of the "pothole incident" and if you can just come a LITTLE bit farther with your data, and maybe if we could get some good simple descriptions of homebrew toe-in adjustment methods (my landlord wants to use his Transit and I am all for it :grin:) and photos.. why then, we'd have us a whole front alignment and repair chapter!:banana:

#12 DaveT

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:00 PM

Here is a pic of my Toe in adjustment check.Attached File  EA82ToeIns.jpg   26.43K   12 downloads

The 2 blocks are about 3-1/2" tall. The metal bar is actually 10' of Unistrut. It doesn't need to be 10' long. I used it because I have a bunch. What you need is a straight bar. Heavy helps, as you want it to stay touching the tire. Be sure it is not touching the hubcap.

Set up a duplicate of this on the opposite side.

Measure at the front & rear of the tire. I use 2 tape measures to save time.

#13 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:32 PM

Thank you for your Kind Replies, Great Ideas & Pics! :)

... Good luck with this... its NOT an easy issue to track down. I WAS going to suggest getting the lower control arm off of another car and swapping it on to see if that helps, but it appears you've already done that.


Yes, I`ve Changed almost everything Steering & Front Suspension Related. Even more Parts that the Pictured ones (Like the Long Bars that going to the Rear of the Car, I Don`t know their Name, but in other brand cars -like Datsun Pick Up`s- I`ve seen similar bars going to the oposite direction: To the Front)

... ...Aftermarket parts here are Chinese, and junk.


I Know that, here Too... :mad: ...Very Bad Parts.

Thank you for your Good, Nice and very Intelligent Ideas, they are great Appreciated, for Now I haven`t had any time to fix that problem, but I Hope that Soon I`ll Work Just on it. Now I have Problems with my Subie`s Lights that are more Urgent... Soon I`ll fix Both Problems. (I Hope So)

Best Regards, Thank you! :burnout:


#14 Gloyale

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 10:18 AM

It strange that you are having such problems with Negative Camber.

Ussually EA82s are notorious for problems with positive Camber. Like this \ /

Espscially the 4wd ones.

#15 Caboobaroo

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:02 PM

loyale2.7 - those bars you're refering to are known as caster rods or strut rods, or radius rods. They have a few different names but for now, we'll call them the caster rods.

Anyways, when these bent, they bent and its very noticiable but this won't affect camber hardly at all. I'm still going to shoot and say its the knuckle that has to be replaced if the strut isn't bent. The same design that the EA82s have (strut to knuckle design) is also the same design on a lot of cars like Ford Taurus's, Windstars and so on. They also have a problem where the knuckle will bent where the strut slides into it and can't be seen until its compared with a new one. So see if you can find yourself another knuckle to compare them to see if it is in fact bent.

#16 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 04:25 AM

... I'm still going to shoot and say its the knuckle that has to be replaced if the strut isn't bent. ...


I Can Try Check the Knuckle, but I`m not Completely Sure which part is That... Any Pics?

Thank You! :burnout:

#17 Reveeen

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 06:52 AM

"The knuckle" he is referring to is the cast bit between the ball joint, and the strut, that the axle bearings reside in, and the tie rod attaches to.

#18 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:42 AM

Thanx for the Kind Replies! .. I just saw this Thread:

http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=47237

Do you Think that Those Camber Plates can Help me to Fix the Problem?

:confused:



#19 presslab

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:10 AM

Thanx for the Kind Replies! .. I just saw this Thread:

http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=47237

Do you Think that Those Camber Plates can Help me to Fix the Problem?

:confused:


I suppose you could rotate the plates the "wrong" way to get more positive camber. The most you would get is about +2 degrees more camber, which I think that leaves you with -3.5 degrees? That is still too much. The camber plates, mounted the "wrong" way will also push the tires further out of your wheel well which could cause rubbing

My guess is that you have a bent knuckle, and it would be better to replace that.

#20 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:29 PM

"The knuckle" he is referring to is the cast bit between the ball joint, and the strut, that the axle bearings reside in, and the tie rod attaches to.


So, that`s the Part where the Axle ends, the Wheel`s Main Bearings Are, the Strut and its Spring holds it, and it Holds the Brake`s Disc plus Everything Involved, Isn`t it?

"The Knucle" ... I Didn`t Knew its Name... Thanx! :)

...My guess is that you have a bent knuckle, and it would be better to replace that.


OK, Now I will made Plans to take it Off and inspect it Very Carefully.

Thank you for your Kind Replies! :burnout:

#21 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:57 AM

...My guess is that you have a bent knuckle, and it would be better to replace that.


Yes, You are Right! ... :eek: ... it is Hard to Explain and to Measure it Right, but After Taking it Out (I`ve Changed a Damaged CV Joint`s Boot before the Ball Bearing goes Out of Grease...) I Measured it against the Other Side`s one, and a Friend Mechanic did Help me... and Both of Us Agree that it is a Bent Knuckle! :-\

Well... imagine Driving a Subie Since 1985 in our Bad Crazy Roads Fully of Potholes & Bad Drivers... a Bent Knuckle is more Understandable...

Well, it is just a Li`l bit Bent, not too Much but Enough to bring that Alignment Trouble and the Tire Wear... I`ll Start Searchin` for another -Junk Yard- one...

Thanx! ... Kind Regards!

#22 silverhelme

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:42 AM

If the knuckle is damaged be sure and check the bottom of the strut. On the three that I have found to have this problem all three also had a small tweek in the bottom of the strut where it goes into the knuckle.
Thankk you for going badk to the yellow print. My old eyes could not hardly read the blue.

#23 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:26 PM

I Agree with you about to Check the Strut... and about the Yellow Print too! :)

(The Blue is the one I used when this Forum was Light Grey... then Changed to Dark Grey, The Blue became Almost Unreadable ...:-\... I Already asked to the Mods to Change the Blue Colour to Yellow on the Writeups -Plenty of pics- I Made to Help People, a List of `em are at my "Public Profile" Page here, just click on my avatar...)




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