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Thread: Camber guage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    redondo beach, ca
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    492

    Default Camber guage

    Can anyone recommend a cheap camber guage? RPW seems to have varying levels of manufacturers from $39-$150. Is the $39 piece worthwhile?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2001
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    hampden,ma.usa
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    3,083

    Default

    when i got started I paid the long money for a longacre camber tool. it works well, but it was expensine. In the harbor frieght catalog i got this week they have a "strut alignment level" listed for $9.99. it is a round magnet with a level mounted on it. camber settings fro +3 to -3 degrees. i can not tell from the picture if the magnet is a large enough diameter to fit over the bearing. item # 42496-OAXA
    dick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kansas City
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    Default

    I use the SmartCamber digital tool. It comes in the big sort of triangle metal frame. It cost about $119 I think, but it was money very well spent.

    It gives very quick and accurate measurements.

    Now that I have camber plates, I do not need to adjust things as aften, but several of my racing friends do not have the plates, and this tool is a must have.

    ------------------
    JJ
    #62 ITC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    redondo beach, ca
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    492

    Default

    yeah, i thought of that magnetic camber guage, but youre supposed to attach it to rotors which makes it pointless to me since it needs to have the wheels on and i dont have steel wheels. although, i could just hold it on the wheel flat and take a quick reading... hmm...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    SoCal
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    26

    Default

    Originally posted by fiestadude:
    I use the SmartCamber digital tool. It comes in the big sort of triangle metal frame. It cost about $119 I think, but it was money very well spent.
    FiestaDude, where did you get the SmartCamber for $119? Everybody lists it for around $200...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Central Florida
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    1,225

    Default

    I will likely use the bubble gauge from Longacre.

    I have a hard time justifying the $200 for the SmartCamber unit. I sell the Smart Levels every day for $89, which means they are charging $110 for that less-than-substantial aluminum frame piece, which seems a bit much.

    I have considered making my own triangle-shaped frame using 1" angle, and slotting some holes to make some wheel mounts. If I get around to it, I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

    ------------------
    Chris Wire
    Team Wire Racing
    ITS Mazda RX7 #35
    [email protected]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Black Rock, Ct
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    Default



    A simple way...

    Get some flat stock about 6 inches wide, and the diameter of your wheel long. Grind the ends so the plate fits flat on your inner rim lip. A couple small bungees will hold it in place nicely while you use Chris's $89.00 Smart level.

    OK, you have to think and do a little math if you want your camber readings to be "2.43" instead of "87.6"...but it is very repeatable and cheap. I use my plates with a laser pointer and a couple tape measures to do fast, easy, one man toe measurements too.

    ------------------
    Jake Gulick
    ITA 57 RX-7
    Northeast Region
    [email protected]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kansas City
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    Default

    I am pretty sure I got mine from IO Port, but that was about 2-3 years ago. It looks like the prices have gone up since then.

    Even at $200, I think it is still a pretty good deal.

    I used another friends "bubble" type guage before I purchased the SmartCamber, and it seemed hard to get repeatable accurate measurements.

    The SmartCamber gives me the same reading multiple times. It just seems a bit more accurate.



    ------------------
    JJ
    #62 ITC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    451

    Default

    I picked up the $9.99 gauge at Harbor Freight a couple weeks ago. Played with it a bit, found that it's not the most accurate piece in the world. (Imagine that!)

    Indicated camber with HF piece: 1 degree
    Measured camber with "real" level and a ruler (and a calculator): 1.47 degrees

    Anything above 1 degree seems to just be a case of wherever the bubble decides to stop - VERY slight movements (on the order of 1/16th of an inch using a piece of steel stock to bridge the wheel) would move the bubble all the way from just under 1 to pegged beyond the indicated 3 degrees.

    I'm sure there's some manufacturing tolerance at work here; perhaps some of the units will be more accurate than mine, but I'll let mine go for $5.

    By the way, they've got an OK toe bar there as well - at least, they do at the store here in Des Moines. (Can't seem to find it on their website.) $13 for an aluminum bar that spans the car; spring-loaded arm on an adjustable plate on the "operator" end of it. Zero it out on the rear of the tire, then put it on the front. The arm has a pointer and tells you how many 16ths toe you've got, in or out. Of course, this IS just total toe, good for a basic indicator - whether they're even in teh same time zone as the rear end is for the user to determine.

    Jarrod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    253

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    I have the $39 model from Racers Wholesale and it has worked great for me, quick and easy to use and durable too.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    redondo beach, ca
    Posts
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    Default

    ahh, thats what i wanted to hear. how does it measure the camber, bubble guage? thoughts on accuracy? anyone else have a dissent?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    vernon,CT. U.S.
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    152

    Default

    I have the $39 version from RPW and have been using it for about 5 years. Works well for me. The little sticker on top of the knob fell off about 4 1/2 years ago and we had to make our own. Other than that, I think its well worth the $$$ and it is easy to use and bring to the track.It uses the outer part of the rim, so its a good idea to measure and then spin the wheel and measure again, you could have a slightly bent rim or some bubbling clear coat. The advantage of the smart camber is the leveling compensation capability, you won't be getting that feature for $39.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Black Rock, Ct
    Posts
    9,594

    Default


    I like the smart level, as when it says "0.0" it IS 0 degrees. No trying to figure out if the bubble is in the middle. And bubble levels come in different accuracies, the easiest to center are, naturally, less accurate.

    Making jigs to use the Smart level for all sorts of things is easy, and it's soooooo useful around the house....fixing doors, checking anything that needs to be level, doing roof pitches etc. And if you attach a laser pointer to it (and you can pick those up cheap!) you can transfer measurements all over the place. Easy to check suspension components from side to side....I find that useful to do tons of things in the shop and on the car.

    ------------------
    Jake Gulick
    ITA 57 RX-7
    Northeast Region
    [email protected]

    [This message has been edited by lateapex911 (edited August 10, 2002).]

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