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Thread: Fitted new front struts - Do I need camber adjusted?

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    Question Fitted new front struts - Do I need camber adjusted?

    Just fitted standard replacement Monroe front struts to my vectra C estate, using new, standard bolts on the strut to hub joint.

    Haynes says to mark the position of these bolts before removal so they can be put back in the same position otherwise it could change the camber.

    However the new bolts were a snug fit in the holes both of the hub and the strut so there is no possibility of adjustment of the camber by changing the position of the hub relative to the strut anyway.

    Is the camber fixed on these cars?

    A local garage wants £60 to check and adjust the camber but I can't see how they can adjust it or even how it could have changed. Is adjustment necessary?

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    Regular Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Nissan GT-R R35 Vectra XP2 CDTI

    Trim : Nissan GT-R R35

    Engine : 3.8 twin turbo 700hp

    Year : 2010

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    any replaced parts on suspension fella will need the tracking reset

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisvectra View Post
    any replaced parts on suspension fella will need the tracking reset
    Thanks for your answer, but I can't see why the tracking will need reseting as I didn't dismantle the track rod ball joint nor the hub swivel joint, so the geomentry in that dimension hasn't changed and so neither could the tracking.

    However my question was about the camber, not the tracking.

    Since the only things that can change camber are the length of the swinging arm, the position of the strut top mount on the chassis and the shape of the hub (none of which can change) and position of the hub relative to the strut where it is bolted on (which can't be adjusted anyway), I am mystified why Haynes says to have the camber adjusted or even how it could be adjusted as there is nothing to adjust.

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    Vehicle : Vauxhall Astra-J

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 2.0 CDTi

    Year : 2013

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    I've just had the top mount bearing changed by a Vx dealer. It was advised to have a wheel alignment carried out afterwards.

    As I was getting new tyres all round shortly afterwards, I got a 4 wheel alignment carried out by the tyre garage - who were cheaper than the Vx dealer.

    As changing the top bearing requires 95% of the work that changing a strut does, then why would the Vx garage advise to have the alignment carried out if it wasn't necessary? Before you say that they were probably just touting for work, the Vx garage I use don't operate like that. In fact they told me that a tyre garage would be cheaper for the alignment than themselves.

    As it was, the camber was fine, but the tracking was out on both front wheels.
    Last edited by Big Dave; 30th April 2013 at 10:51.

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    That sort of makes my point. The camber cannot be changed by fitting new struts with standard bolts as there is nothing to adjust.

    The tracking can be out if the two track rods change length or the distance between the swivel joints of your front wheels change. This can be due to ball joint wear or distortion caused by pot holes.

    I expect if you had the alignment check before replacing the bearing you would have had the same result.

    Vx suggesting you check the alignment is sensible as they are charging you and want to make sure everything is OK afterwards and you don't come back and complain.

    I'm not being argumentative, just looking at the physics of the system and seeing what could possibly change the camber (and not finding anything) instead of using the K****Fit approach and having it aligned 'because its standard practice' (as I was told when they charged me for a nitrogen fill in two of my four new tyres without me asking them to!) Also I am puzzled why Haynes says to mark the positions of the hub bolts so you can put them back in exactly the same place when in fact the holes sizes mean its impossible not to put them back in the same place
    Last edited by dochsm; 30th April 2013 at 12:11.

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    Vehicle : Vauxhall Astra-J

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    End of the day, it's up to you.

    But in a few 1000 miles your tyres might start to wear abnormally................

    But then again, they might not.

    Do you feel lucky?

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    If sombody on this forum can tell me exactly HOW the camber is adjusted on this model using the standard bolts and standard struts then I'll understand how it might become out of adjustment during a strut change and happily pay for it to be checked.

    Trouble is, most places that offer wheel 'alignment' really only mean tracking, not camber and castor as well.

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    Regular Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    You may think that there is no adustment there fella but there is.. And if you've replaced the struts then the camber will need adjusting or at least checked.. Why do you think the Haynes manual says to mark the things before you remove them?

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    I thought the camber was non adjustable? You won't throw you camber out massively unless lowering it, camber wont effect tyre wear much anyway. Toe in/out will kill your tyres in no time.

    I've never had a problem with camber issues even after lowering, however I would always get a fast road setup done at a decent alignment place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisvectra View Post
    Why do you think the Haynes manual says to mark the things before you remove them?
    @chrisvectra
    That's what I am asking! Do you know why? You can't put the bolts back in any other position. The holes in hub and strut are both round and the same size as the bolt.

    And if you know that there is adjustment of the camber, please explain how its done. Being cautious, I tried every bolt I undid during the strut change. None allowed for any relative movement of the parts they fixed together.

    Also, before I took one of the struts off I loosened the lower bolts and tried to 'adjust' the camber by putting a big screwdriver between the hub and strut to try to move the hub relative to the strut. No movement possible. Nor with the new strut and new bolts.

    @ TrackTiger
    I tend to agree with you. I don't believe the camber can be adjusted on this car -and so cannot go out of adjustment. There are only four things that could alter it. The shape of the hub, the top strut mount position, the lower swivel mounting position and the strut to hub bolts. Its not possible to change any of these using standard parts.

    Even lowering shouldn't make that much difference. As the strut is not quite vertical, lowering will tend to increase (ie less negative) the camber very slightly as the strut moves even more out of vertical. But simple geometry says you'd have to lower it a hell of a way to change the camber by even 1/2 degree.

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