Camber and Alignment Kit Buyer’s Guide
- Although lowering the car’s suspension has benefits like better aerodynamics, it can also come with disadvantages. One of them is an excessively negative camber.
- Excessively negative camber can lead to uneven tire wear, but it can be easily fixed with a camber and alignment kit.
- A camber and alignment kit is composed of special bolts and washers that are designed to replace your stock strut bolts. By turning the bolts, you can adjust the camber.
- Once a camber and alignment kit is installed, you can expect better tire traction, braking, and acceleration.
- The lifespan of a camber and alignment kit depends on your driving habits and your vehicle’s application. If your car is used for racing, the kit generally will wear out faster.
- Look for dependability, easy installation, and warranty when buying an aftermarket camber and alignment kit.
- It will cost you anywhere between $5 and $500 to buy a camber and alignment kit.
Lowering the car’s suspension has a number of benefits. For instance, the lower center of gravity can decrease the chance of the vehicle toppling or flipping over especially during abrupt and sharp turns. It also enhances aerodynamics. A lowered car usually has less air passing underneath it, reducing the amount of drag forced on the vehicle. Lastly, it can look good on a lot of cars too.
Unfortunately, a lowered car also comes with a few disadvantages. One of them is the excessively negative wheel camber, which occurs when the top of the tire is angled toward the center of the vehicle or inward. While this can lead to premature wear, the good news is that you can easily fix it with a camber and alignment kit.
What is a camber and alignment kit?
A camber and alignment kit basically restores your vehicle’s factory camber and corrects its wheel alignment. This is to prevent your tires from prematurely wearing out, which usually happens when the wheels are misaligned and your ride has extremely negative camber.
How does a camber and alignment kit work?
A camber and alignment kit is designed to replace the factory-installed, non-adjustable bolts that keep the strut in place. It is composed of special bolts and washers that make it possible for you to adjust the camber as you turn the bolts.
Do you need an alignment camber kit?
If you are using your vehicle for high-performance applications like racing on track, a negative camber might actually be good because it can improve your ride’s cornering capabilities. However, its side effects cannot be ignored especially in the long run, so you might find a need for a camber and alignment kit at a certain point in time. Here are some of the benefits of installing a camber and alignment kit in your ride:
Tires wear out evenly
You always want your tires to wear out evenly—something that can only be achieved with proper alignment and a recommended camber. If your tires wear out faster on one side, it can make your vehicle more difficult to steer and control. It may also lead to sudden tire blowouts, which can put your safety at risk especially when you are driving on the road.
Improve tire traction
With a negative camber, a fraction of your vehicle’s tires do not come into contact with the ground. This can be dangerous since it reduces control and stability. But once you have corrected your ride’s camber with a camber and alignment kit, you won’t have any problems keeping your tires firmly on the road.
Better braking and acceleration
By adjusting a negative camber, a camber and alignment kit can ensure that your tires are always in contact with the road. This allows better tire friction, which is crucial for stopping or slowing down every time you press the brake pedal. Friction is also important for acceleration. As your wheels spin at high speeds, the tires must stick to the ground so the vehicle can propel forward.
Prevents the tires from following grooves on the road
With a negative camber, the part of the tires that come into contact with the road is narrower. It can cause the tires to follow grooves or cuts on the pavement or terrain. It can lead to a momentary loss of control or prevent your vehicle from going to the direction you steered it to.
How long does a camber and alignment kit last?
It depends on your driving habits and the purpose of your vehicle. If you only use your ride for daily driving and occasional road trips, the camber and alignment kit can potentially outlast the life of your vehicle. However, if you use your vehicle on the track or other high-performance applications, the service life of the kit would be much shorter—which is still equal to several years and tens of thousands of miles.
Things to consider when buying an aftermarket camber and toe alignment kit
How do you know which aftermarket camber and alignment kit to get? Here are some things that you need to consider before making a purchase:
Just like the other suspension components in your vehicle, the camber and alignment kit will be subjected under extreme heat and other harmful elements that come with various driving conditions. All of these can speed up its deterioration. So if you want to make sure that it can last for a long time, look into the durability and dependability of a kit.
You should be able to install the camber and alignment kit on your own. This saves you from shelling out more cash on hiring a professional mechanic to do this job for you. On top of that, the camber kit must allow you to easily adjust the camber whenever you need it. So if you are going to use your vehicle on the race track, for example, you can have a negative camber to enhance its cornering.
It may or may not happen, but it’s hard to tell when you will unfortunately get a defective or substandard aftermarket camber and alignment kit. Make sure that your money won’t go to waste by purchasing a kit that comes with warranty. This allows you to get a refund or a replacement in case the product breaks down prematurely.
How much does a camber and alignment kit cost?
The price range of an aftermarket camber and alignment kit falls anywhere between $5 and $500. Each camber kit and its components are sold in various quantities including a set of eight, a 4-corner set, a two-arm set, and more. This guarantees that you can get a kit that will suit your needs.
Don’t worry because it can be easy to find the right camber and alignment kit for your vehicle. By using our website’s filter bar, you can limit the search results to aftermarket products that would match your vehicle’s specifications. You can also further customize your search results if you have highly specific requirements.
Getting the Perfect Camber and Alignment Kit for Your Car
Whether you want to make your car more aerodynamic for racing or you wish to give it that extra oomph, lowering it does not end with a nice set of tires and good-quality springs. The more your car's ground clearance drops, the bigger its impact on your camber alignment. So to prevent wearing out your tires because of misalignment, install a camber and alignment kit that's fit for your car.
The most standard type of camber and alignment kit is one that comes with cam bolts and poly bushings. If you're not into anything excessive and you neither need a super-fast car nor an overtly pimped-out ride, this kit can do the job for you. It is usually fitted on cars with an average drop of 1.5" and stock rims or 15-16" rims with a proper offset. It provides the best range of adjustment out of all types of kits, giving you more breathing room when it comes to camber alignment.
Extremely lowered cars
Excessive lowering can cause rubbing on the interior of your tires, making them more susceptible to damage. But if you're the type who wants his car to look as pimped out as possible, then a camber and alignment kit with eccentric washers is perfect for you. It provides the best adjustability when it comes to aligning your camber. Usually made for drivers who want to show off a customized ride, this kind of kit can help adjust the camber alignment of cars with a ground clearance lower than 3 inches or have rims over 17 inches (with a 400mm offset or lower). Its adjustable bolts allow you to move your control arm in and out according to your tire size, rim offset, and your car's height.
For drivers who are into functionality rather than looks, there are also camber and alignment kits that provide precision tuning for racing applications. Kits fitted with a moveable ball joint allows the camber alignment to be adjusted to varying degrees without having to raise your car. Although it does have a smaller range of adjustment as compared to standard kits, this type of kit allows you to save about 70% of your time in aligning your camber since the specialized joints can do all the adjusting while your car is under load. So whether you're racing on the track or parked in your garage, with a camber and alignment adjustable joints kit, you don't have to worry about aligning your car for a faster ride.
Adding a Camber and Alignment Kit to Your Newly Modified Car
You've already modified your car and you're extremely happy with how it looks. But before you show this off on the road, you have to make sure that your camber is well adjusted. Straighten out your wheels and align your tires by installing a good-quality camber and alignment kit.
Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
Tools you'll need:
- Car jack and jack stand
- Socket wrench
- Camber and alignment kit
- Torque gun
Step 1: Preparing your car
Lift your car using a jack and jack stands. Since you'll be working under your vehicle, make sure it is well secured to prevent accidents.
Step 2: Removing your ball joints
Take out the locking pin and the nut to remove your front wheels' stock ball joints. You can also remove it by using a ball joint remover. Simply put the tool between the suspension assembly and the ball joint. Separate the two parts by hammering the ball joint remover and pushing out the part completely.
Step 3: Putting your camber kit together
Join the small bracket and large C-bracket included in your camber kit. If it's too difficult to do it by hand, you can use a small rubber hammer to put pressure into the small bracket.
Step 4: Installing your camber kit
Once you've inserted the small bracket into the C-bracket, attach the assembly's studs to the upper ball joint. Secure the parts together with the supplied lock nuts. Using a torque gun, tighten the nuts onto the studs of the C-bracket with a torque of 35 to 40 foot-pounds.
Step 5: Securing your camber kit
Now that you've connected the C-bracket and the upper ball joint together, align the assembly's studs to your vehicle's control arm. Push them into the holes of the control arm to secure them all in place. Insert and tighten the lock nuts onto your studs. Once everything is in place, refasten the cotter pin.
Step 6: Finishing touches
Adjust your camber kit until your wheels are aligned. Once aligned, remove your jack stands and lower your vehicle to begin testing your new camber and alignment kit.