Adjusting camber measurement in your vehicle can be a daunting idea, but with the right tools and knowledge it really isn’t that difficult. Camber is the perpendicular position of the wheel and knuckle of your vehicle. Usually when talking about camber adjustment the word caster comes into the mix. Caster is the angle between the vehicles steering axis and a vertical line, when viewed from the side. The straighter both of these are, the better your tire wear.
You will first need a camber/caster bubble gauge. Camber/caster bubble gauges are easily found at any local auto parts store. A magnetic mount or rim mount camber gauges are available, both work exceptionally well. You will also need depending on your vehicle a few 1/32″ shims, two hand wrenches and an impact gun. You may also need a trusted advisor and your auto manual for extra tips and handy information.
Before attaching your Camber gauge to the vehicle make sure your wheels are positioned directly forward. If wheels are not placed forward you will get an incorrect reading. This is because the angle of the tire will affect the gauges reading to the angle of the tire on the road. The object of camber is to keep the tire tread flat on the road.
You will then have to take the dust cap off the front wheel and following the camber gauge instructions place it on. Once the camber gauge is centered on the end of the spindles dimple, camber is then measured on the top gauge and outside scale of your gauge.
If your vehicles camber needs adjusting this is usually done in one of two ways. Some vehicles need to have a shims placed behind the bolts that are attached in the upper control arm to the shock tower. This is done by loosening the upper control arm bolts and taking out the upper control arm then insert a shim. Retighten control arm. A 1/32″ shim will change castor or camber about ½ a degree.
Other Vehicles have offset bolts on the upper control arm. You will need to loosen the non-camber bolt first with an impact gun, then loosen camber bolt with two hand wrenches. Do not loosen these bolts too much. Then you will need someone to push the top of the tire in or out. Some vehicles use a slightly oblong bolt hole to allow slight positioning. Once you get the desired measurement/movement tighten the bolt securely.
After you have added shims or turned the bolts on one side of the vehicle proceed to read camber measurements on the other side. Repeat everything above, move the bolts or add shims until reading is correct. Re-read the camber measurements on both sides and adjust accordingly.