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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #1
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Safe to drive after installing control arm camber kit?

So it's time for me to get a camber kit up front. I'm going with the Ingalls control arm kit for extra clearance. I was quoted $250 for install+alignment on this kit, where an alignment is like $50. My question is, if I install the camber kit at home myself, will it be ok to drive to the shop (unaligned) to have it aligned?
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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yea...I installed my ingalls myself, and just got it as close as i could on each side and drove it straight for an alignment. A friend of mine said as long as you go to the alignment shop within a few days youre good
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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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did you get the control arm kit or the ball joint kit? how hard was it to install? i've been at work all day...haven't had time to look at my service manuals.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #4
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You can do two things.

1) set them all the way in(massive neg camber)
2) a bit more elegant way is the following.
a. Be on level ground
b. put the car on jackstands of equal height under both control arms
c. bolt the rotors on using your lug nuts
d. use a torpedo level on the rotor to set 0d camber
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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did you get the control arm kit or the ball joint kit? how hard was it to install? i've been at work all day...haven't had time to look at my service manuals.
I got the control arm kit. Not that hard, depends on how corroded and weathered your susp is.

We didnt set the camber all the way in or set it at 0d, we just measured and made sure it was the same on both side in the front, for the back we made sure there were the same number of threads...then i went to the shop, no probs at all..
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! I still need to look up directions on how to do it, just so I know what I'm getting myself into.

I'll also have to wait till I get the kit in to look at how adjustments are made on it. I think with the Ingalls kit, you can adjust the balljoint as well as the arm itself?
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Old May 29th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #7
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Actually...the ball joint is integrated into the a-arm, so its just the ball joint thats adjustable...you'll see when you get them..
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Old May 29th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #8
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Ah I see. In some pictures it looks like the control arm is adjustable as well...but I guess that's something else I'm seeing. That's better for me...only 1 thing to adjust.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 05:38 AM   #9
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What is the advantage of instaling this kit?
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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Your tires will wear more evenly...rather than one side of the tire wearing out faster than the other side.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #11
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Advantages and Install time

If you're looking for advantage vs. a ball joint camber kit, the control arms don't need the extra inches of clearance the ball joint does (thus, they are less likely to crash into the wheel well with large suspension movements). Downside is that they cost 2-3x more than the ball joint kits.

In terms of installation time, if you've got the right equipment (separating fork, etc.), it shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours to do. I had a big issue in that I wasn't comfortable removing my struts, so I had to work in between the spring coils to fit my hands and tools. But I already had aftermarket Eibachs in; I've heard the stock springs provide more room.

If you're OK with removing the strut/springs, then popping the joint and removing the stock control arm shouldn't add more than another 15 minutes of work. I think the control arm kit allows something like -1 to +2.5 degree adjustment total. In order to get some level of proper camber before alignment, guesstimated how much my wheels were currently bowed and tried to set the sliding ball joint at a corresponding offset amount. Per the printout after getting it aligned, I was almost spot on. The more important issue is to get both sides consistent. Probably less important on the front vs. the rears. When I did my rears, I was so out of whack that the car would almost fishtail at anything over 35 mph. Toe was horribly out of whack due to my inexperience.

All told, if you start at like 9, you should be done by lunchtime.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #12
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^ haha, you shouldve just taken out the strut, cuz its only one more bolt and takes a second to do. and you wouldve had a lot more space to work in.

pretty much after you take the strut out, all it is, is the nut on the ball joint and the two bolts holding in the uca. but of course you have to separate the ball joint from the knuckle as well. i havent done this, but i dont think itd really take long at all. maybe an hour per side id say.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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Well if it makes any difference...the side that gave me no troubles took about 30 minutes to remove the strut, upper control arm, and separate the balljoint.

The other side however...I spend pretty much half a day on it and then gave up.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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^ haha, you shouldve just taken out the strut, cuz its only one more bolt and takes a second to do. and you wouldve had a lot more space to work in.
Tell me about it. I was scared the spring would pop up in my face (not realizing that the big nut in the middle kept everything together) and I didn't have a spring compressor. That was 2 years and a multitude of experience ago. Now I'd just pull the whole sucker out without worry of decapitation.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #15
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Ive been told if im dropped on 18x7x5 with a camber kit in the rear all i really need for the front is a proper balancing and alignment? does the front camber kit apply to more serious suspension/wheel set ups? plz PM me if ne one knows im still building my privlidges . thanks!!
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Old July 25th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #16
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18x7x5?
Wheels don't matter as much as how much you're lowered when it comes to choosing a camber kit. Best thing to do is put the wheels and tires you want on, lower it to the desired height, then go get I aligned. If they can't put it back within spec, get a camber kit that will allow enough adjustment.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #17
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Ive been told if im dropped on 18x7x5 with a camber kit in the rear all i really need for the front is a proper balancing and alignment? does the front camber kit apply to more serious suspension/wheel set ups? plz PM me if ne one knows im still building my privlidges . thanks!!
dropping 2-2.5 inches will put your rear setup close to -1.5 on a sedan and your front at -0.3 so the front is no big deal and the back really isn't too bad. I have several friends running -2 all year long with only minimal wear. You just have to keep track of it and get your tires rotated now and then. The camber kits in my opinion are to go more aggressive for a slanted look or if you are really worried out being in the stock range they allow you to do that. Just know that even dropped as long as you are running 0 toe you will be able to run your tires for a long time as long as they don't have synthetic sidewalls like on the BFGoodrich Traction T/A's.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #18
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nice to hear that a camber kit isnt ABSOLUTELY necessary. i dont wanna dish out more $$$ on suspension =(
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Old August 14th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #19
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i drove 300miles on the rear before I got the camber kit. Tires look just fine. I got the camber put in and drove it back and it was all good now.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #20
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dropping 2-2.5 inches will put your rear setup close to -1.5 on a sedan and your front at -0.3 so the front is no big deal and the back really isn't too bad. I have several friends running -2 all year long with only minimal wear. You just have to keep track of it and get your tires rotated now and then. The camber kits in my opinion are to go more aggressive for a slanted look or if you are really worried out being in the stock range they allow you to do that. Just know that even dropped as long as you are running 0 toe you will be able to run your tires for a long time as long as they don't have synthetic sidewalls like on the BFGoodrich Traction T/A's.
My fronts were like -1.2 or more...and my tires were getting eaten up. Rotation wasn't possible because I have directional tires...so moving them from front to back doesn't really do anything for camber wear. You'd have to switch them side to side for that to matter.

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nice to hear that a camber kit isnt ABSOLUTELY necessary. i dont wanna dish out more $$$ on suspension =(
Just get your suspension set up the way you want to and go to an alignment shop and ask them to check it. If it's way outta whack then get it fixed. If they can't fix it with the stock equipment then get a camber kit. Unless you CAN rotate tires side to side, then you could just keep an eye on it and rotate like nixed said. If you have really bad camber and just ignore it, you'll save money on not getting a camber kit, but you'll spend more money in tires anyway. That's why I got a camber kit. I can't afford to drop $750 every year on new tires. The camber kit was like $220.

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i drove 300miles on the rear before I got the camber kit. Tires look just fine. I got the camber put in and drove it back and it was all good now.
Yea, 300mi isn't gonna do anything to your tires. I drove for a year with bad camber up front and my tires were toast. It wore through the belts on the front tires. I pulled out of my garage one day and noticed my car pulling hard to the right...got out and my tire was flat. I'm just glad it popped in the garage and not while I was doing 70mph on the highway. After that I didn't wanna risk it. Now I have 4 new tires and a camber kit up front.
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