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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! Just got an alignment after new tires (gforce) for my 2014. The specs on the printout did not wind up all in the green at the end.
Right front camber is in the red at -1.4 , while the left front is -0.3 . Is this an issue or in the range of normal?
I'm kinda surprised the tech didn't say anything because we had a friendly chat about the car being in an accident (right front - it was a salvage find my mom and I rebuilt ourselves) and I mentioned my curiosity over whether anything was seriously off. He said he only had to work on the left front and rear.
If this difference is not within the normal range, I guess my next question is if it was a bad alignment job or possible unseen suspension damage? (it rides really nice though)
Thanks for any feedback!

Alignment 2021.png
 

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Front end damage......front camber is set by the strut assembly and is not adjustable by normal means. Something is bent or otherwise not as it should be. Its possible that the upper mount point where it attaches to the fender is not straight. You may be able use camber bolts but getting that back to a normal setting might not be a easy as you think.
 

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Having fixed many a salvage car, what you're seeing isn't uncommon. The upper strut mount and/or the subframe could be tweaked a bit, leading to the camber being out of spec. It's worth a try to see if camber bolts will get you back in spec.

I'm curious, how was the car hit? Straight from the front, or from the side? What repairs did you have to make? Excess negative camber implies that either the upper strut mount is pushed in, the strut itself is bent, the subframe control arm mounts are pulled outwards, or a control arm or steering knuckle is bent.

Had a car once that had the brackets on the subframe that the lower control arm bolts to get tweaked inwards, resulting in positive camber. It wasn't obvious damage to the naked eye, but it pulled the bottom of the wheel in enough that the CV shaft was bottomed out at it's shortest length (putting a lot of force against the transmission and the wheel bearing), the tie rods were too long to set toe, and you couldn't correct the camber even with camber bolts. Had to replace the subframe to put it right. PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! That's good to know about. I'm going to try those Camber bolts for sure. I appreciate your help!


I'm curious, how was the car hit? Straight from the front, or from the side? What repairs did you have to make? Excess negative camber implies that either the upper strut mount is pushed in, the strut itself is bent, the subframe control arm mounts are pulled outwards, or a control arm or steering knuckle is bent.
From what I could guess, it was an outer edge front clip around the headlight - the right fender crumpled in it's thinnest section at the tip that meets the headlight, but was fine throughout the body 4-5 inches or so in. I actually managed to bang it back into shape (but wasn't satisfied with my amateur finish work so just bought a new one, lol).
The busted headlight they threw in the trunk was cracked at the back but not the front lense. The upper tie bar was slightly off (actually more on the left, suppose that was the transfer of force?) so replaced that, but we had trouble installing the new one as we figured out the very end of the apron was bent in (subtly). So we widened the bolt hole in the new tie bar and were able to bolt it down like that.
The hood was dog eared in about a three inch area right at the pointy corner.
The bumper cover had white paint transfer right on the bend under the headlight, so I can't figure out if it was a straight-on edge clip or sideways smack. A little clean up and heated bending returned the plastic bumper to working order.
The radiator shroud cracked around the right side bolts, so we replaced that (damn it was hard to install). The lower front frame including impact bar was totally fine.
It doesn't seem like any lower wheel related components were damaged, as we were down there quite a bit replacing rotors and the plastic under cover which was ripped at the front just enough to be unworkable. I did take some pics to analyze as the dust boot on the shock absorber was riding up, but I eventually dismissed that as an issue as the shock functionality seems normal. (?)
In the rear left, we had to replace the lower lateral arm because the outer claw like end was distorted so the bolt through the bushing wasn't sitting well. We assumed that was another transfer of force thing?

So, we guessed the hit happened with the car parked because there was no lockup of the seatbelts or airbag deployment. We've put 400 miles on it since passing the inspection last month and find the ride and handling quite nice... but then, my previous cars were a falling apart Civic and a Jeep, so... lol.

So with the apron issue, it sounds like you guys suggestion of the upper strut mount makes the most sense. I'm going to try those camber bolts once I make sure I know all the steps correctly and see if that works. Although how we're going to tell if it changed anything is a big question.
Sorry if this was more of an explanation than you were looking for ;)
 

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I would like to play devil's advocate and ask, what's the big deal having 1 degree of negative camber on one wheel?
Buying a salvage vehicle tells me you understand nothing is perfect but can still provide great service and value.

The car drives great as you said. 1 degree of camber will not cause a large amount of camber wear. Furthermore it is only out of spec by 0.2 according to the image posted.

If it were me, sure I'd buy the camber bolts but I wouldn't install them until my next alignment. The cost of another alignment (and installation of bolts if you don't do it yourself) will probably be higher than any increased wear from the "off" camber.

Personally I bought camber bolts to get negative camber and run -1.5 on my daily without issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
what's the big deal having 1 degree of negative camber on one wheel?
Buying a salvage vehicle tells me you understand nothing is perfect but can still provide great service and value.

The car drives great as you said. 1 degree of camber will not cause a large amount of camber wear. Furthermore it is only out of spec by 0.2 according to the image posted.

I agree with you for the most part... Just I think that I'll always be fiddling with this car to get things "better" no matter that "perfect" was never a goal. She's a good girl and deserves the attention.
I have the bolts now thanks to Hatch-its generosity but I'm holding off installing them for a little while as suggested.
 

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That degree of camber is not going to make a huge difference in daily driving performance and toe tends to have more of a negative affect on uneven tire wear than camber (unless, of course, you are running mad camber with ridiculous "hella flush" stance). As long as your toe numbers are within spec then I wouldn't worry too much about it. Try the camber bolts to even things out, but your toe seems good so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
 
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