Go Back   Honda-Tech > Honda and Acura Technical Forums > Suspension & Brakes
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search


Welcome to Honda-Tech!
Welcome to Honda-Tech.com.

You are currently viewing our forums as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the Honda-Tech community today!


Reply
 
 
 
submit to reddit
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-25-2009, 05:57 AM   #1
Honda-Tech Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Nowhere and Everywhere
Posts: 29,083
iTrader Rating: (1)
Send a message via AIM to PatrickGSR94
Default No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

2 March 2010 edit: Just to be clear, I made this thread to disspell the myths perpetuated by magazines and other sources since the mid-1990's that a camber kit is REQUIRED to prevent excessive tire wear after a car is lowered. This is a flat-out LIE! Please read on to see why.

-------------------------------------------

Well I guess this thread is long overdue, as I've had several requests to make a thread like this.

Despite the myths that have been perpetuated since the mid-90's, camber kits ARE NOT required to prevent uneven tire wear after lowering a Honda. Even the very first issue of Super Street magazine in 1996 talks about installed camber kits to prevent tire wear.

Here's what really happens. When you lower your Honda, especially those with double-wishbone suspension, the camber angle goes negative, but the front tires also toe out. That toe-out condition is what is important. Toe-out will destroy the inside edge of a tire MUCH faster than negative camber ever will, because the tire scrubs on the pavement as it rolls in a toe-out condition.

So the myth has been that you need a camber kit to bring the camber angle (non-adjustable on most Hondas) back to stock specs. So you install a kit, take the car to alignment shop, and *poof* no more tire wear. However, what really happened is that along with adjusting the camber, the shop also adjusted the toe. That toe adjustment is what REALLY saved your tires.

The truth of the matter is that you have made your car handle worse with straight-up zero camber (or close to it). It is also truth you can easily run -1.5, -2, -3, even close to -4 camber up front with very little tire wear issues. You just need to be sure to keep your alignment in check and rotate your tires every 5K miles or so. You should get an alignment at least once a year, or better twice a year if possible. All you need to do is get the toe adjusted back to stock specs. If the shop tries to sell you a camber kit, tell them no, just adjust the toe. If they say they can't do the alignment until you get a camber kit, then leave immediately and go to another shop because that is 100% COMPLETELY FALSE!

So let's talk about the "cons" of camber kits:
  1. Cost, plus the extra cost of alignments every time (could be $150 or more)
  2. Usually made of sub-par materials that rust, corrode, and seize up
  3. Greatly reduces suspension travel clearance, both UCA replacements and just the bolt-type kits
  4. Bolt-type kits are nearly impossible to keep straight and adjust correctly without throwing caster off
  5. UCA-replacement kits often use POS ball joints and have even more reduced clearance under the fender
  6. Likely to slip out of adjustment, requiring another expensive alignment

What are the "pros" of camber kits? Well you can add MORE negative camber than what you get from lowered suspension geometry alone, which can be good for track use. Other than that, I can't really think of anything.

One exception: A few relatively newer Honda models, such as the 96-00 Civic, the rear suspension has a pretty steep camber curve, and could benefit from slightly reducing the negative camber in the rear from what you get from a drop alone. I would recommend the replacement rear upper arm-type camber kits. Those use a turnbuckle-type adjustment that will not slip.

And now for some personal experience. I lowered my car back in early 2002 and had about -2* camber up front. I've been on various suspension setups since then with anywhere from -1.5* to -2.8* front camber and have NEVER used a camber kit. Since then I've driven about 175K miles, and I've only been through 5 or 6 sets of tires. I've always used V or W-rated summer tires, and they always last 30K-35K miles.

Now I do get a slight bit of inner wear, but I attribute that to my worn stock bushings that aren't keeping the toe in check like they should. I have all new bushings waiting to go in and I expect tire wear to be even less than before. But my tires do usually wear down past the wear bars before the inner edge shows any belts, so at that time it's time to replace the tires anyway.

I know there are many others on this site who can relate similar personal experiences. I'll let them chime in if they want.

Well that's about all I can think of to say. Hopefully this will help to dispel some of the myths. Hopefully I can help some people keep some extra money instead of wasting it all on camber kits and expensive alignments.

*edit* something else to add - lower profile tires will tend to wear a bit more on the inside edge with negative camber, even with proper alignment. I do get a bit more inner wear on my 205/45-16's than I did on my 195/55-15's or 205/50-15's. I would imagine 40-series tires would be worse. A taller sidewall can flex more, therefore more even pressure is maintained across the tread even with negative camber.
__________________
Please do not PM me with technical questions. Create a thread in the appropriate forum.

H-T OG member #8927 class of '02 ● Koni + GC InstallHID retrofit club
member #0001

Last edited by PatrickGSR94; 06-15-2010 at 05:03 PM.
PatrickGSR94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
Honda-Tech Member
 
batallic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto, ontario, canada
Posts: 1,791
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

YEEAA, good job patrick finally, a camber kit is not required
__________________
PSN : Ingram10
batallic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
Honda-Tech Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 17
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

really nice info to know
electronem1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
Honda-Tech Member
 
Chillmatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Windsor, Ct, Usa
Posts: 242
iTrader Rating: (0)
Send a message via AIM to Chillmatic
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

i tried running no camber kit on my em1.. i went through two sets of tires in about 5 months.. 2 different shops that had a good rep for alignments... the tires were fine on 90% of the tire but shot on the very inside.. both shops said they set the specs as close to factory specs as possible.. granted i am very slammed tucking tire on 195-50-15s .. so i just ordered my skunk 2 pro series plus camber kits.. going to set toe back to zero but am worried about them banging the strut tower.. and tires rubbing against fenders.. i plan to take out fender lining and rolling fenders but dont think i will be able to go as low?
Chillmatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
Honda-Tech Member
 
STOCK_SOHC_DX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 1,646
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillmatic View Post
i tried running no camber kit on my em1.. i went through two sets of tires in about 5 months.. 2 different shops that had a good rep for alignments... the tires were fine on 90% of the tire but shot on the very inside.. both shops said they set the specs as close to factory specs as possible.. granted i am very slammed tucking tire on 195-50-15s .. so i just ordered my skunk 2 pro series plus camber kits.. going to set toe back to zero but am worried about them banging the strut tower.. and tires rubbing against fenders.. i plan to take out fender lining and rolling fenders but dont think i will be able to go as low?
This sound like more than a camber issue.
STOCK_SOHC_DX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
Honda-Tech Member
 
gabebauman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: DSM, IA
Posts: 13,726
iTrader Rating: (0)
Send a message via AIM to gabebauman
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

I've been running no camber kits since 2004. Good stuff Patrick.
__________________
MY EIGHT YEAR PROJECT...now I drive a 5th gen hatch.

CLICK IT> http://gabusface.blogspot.com/
gabebauman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2009, 03:05 PM   #7
Honda-Tech Member
 
kristo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ghent, Flanders Fields, Belgium
Posts: 630
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
[*]UCA-replacement kits often use POS ball joints
What is meant here by 'POS'?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
One exception: 96-00 Civic rear suspension has a pretty steep camber curve, and could benefit from slightly reducing the negative camber in the rear from what you get from a drop alone. I would recommend the replacement rear upper arm-type camber kits. Those use a turnbuckle-type adjustment that will not slip.
...
.[*]Usually made of sub-par materials that rust, corrode, and seize up
Could you then suggest some good brands for the 96-00 Civic rear suspension.

Thanks
__________________

Come and visit us in Ghent, Belgium, Europe
kristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2009, 09:33 PM   #8
Honda-Tech Member
 
dandaman15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Allis, WI
Posts: 491
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristo View Post
What is meant here by 'POS'?



Could you then suggest some good brands for the 96-00 Civic rear suspension.

Thanks
1.) "POS" means piece of sh*t.

2.) There are many from gc/koni, pic, buddy club, tokico, H&R, Ohlins...
dandaman15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #9
Honda-Tech Member
 
SoCal EJ1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Nah man, Yemen
Posts: 4,192
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

I'm glad somebody finally posted up the truth. I have a kit on my car for the sake of increased caster and the spherical bearings, but then again it's a custom piece. Even now though, since a little clearance has been compromised, I may soon go back to a gussetted oem unit and just retain the sperical bearings. I'm still running -2.5* up front and 1/16" toe out for handling purposes, but I've learned and known that as long as toe is set to where it needs to be for whichever purpose the car serves, you'll be 100% a-okay.

great writeup patrick
__________________
Hardrace suspension stuff for sale, plus some other stuff I want to buy/trade http://hondamarketplace.com/showthread.php?t=3190481
SoCal EJ1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 05:27 AM   #10
Honda-Tech Member
 
kristo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ghent, Flanders Fields, Belgium
Posts: 630
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandaman15 View Post
1.) "POS" means piece of sh*t.
OK, thought something like that but guessed it was an abbreviation or so

Quote:
2.) There are many from gc/koni, pic, buddy club, tokico, H&R, Ohlins...
So these are all quality kits then.
__________________

Come and visit us in Ghent, Belgium, Europe

Last edited by kristo; 07-28-2009 at 05:32 AM.
kristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 07:16 AM   #11
Honda-Tech Member
 
dandaman15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Allis, WI
Posts: 491
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristo View Post
OK, thought something like that but guessed it was an abbreviation or so



So these are all quality kits then.
Definitely
dandaman15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 07:26 AM   #12
Honda-Tech Member
 
Garage 808 Hatch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CRESWELL, Oregon, 97426
Posts: 5,433
iTrader Rating: (0)
http://www.facebook.com/graig.osborne WindowLiquor TM
Send a message via AIM to Garage 808 Hatch
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

You say it may not be necessary, but with 225's up front, my car drove like complete ***. after 3 alignments. put in a camber kit, aligned it to the same toe specs as before, drives 100x better. excessive camber will cause the tires to "grab" rutts, bumps, etc making the car feel "darty" and also gives you less of a contact patch with the road in straight line driving. It WILL still cause uneven tread wear. regardless of what you say
__________________
Fat Jesus to those of you in the know
89 CRX HOTROD 8.85@167 on STOCK GEARS Garage 808 built
XBL : WindowLiquor TM
Garage 808 Hatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #13
Honda-Tech Member
 
kristo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ghent, Flanders Fields, Belgium
Posts: 630
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garage 808 Hatch View Post
with 225's up front, my car drove like complete ***.
195 is the widest you should go on a Civic <01. It is plenty for grip and if you go wider you get handling problems.

These cars were not designed for wider tires. Also stick to the right offset.
__________________

Come and visit us in Ghent, Belgium, Europe
kristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #14
Honda-Tech Member
 
Ya Digg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: College Park, Md, U.S.
Posts: 1,350
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

I have said this a few times in camber kit threads and people say im wrong. but i have been driving lowered 3 inches for a year with just an alignment and perfect tires still.
__________________
┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐
Ya Digg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2009, 01:34 PM   #15
Honda-Tech Member
 
Garage 808 Hatch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CRESWELL, Oregon, 97426
Posts: 5,433
iTrader Rating: (0)
http://www.facebook.com/graig.osborne WindowLiquor TM
Send a message via AIM to Garage 808 Hatch
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristo View Post
195 is the widest you should go on a Civic <01. It is plenty for grip and if you go wider you get handling problems.

These cars were not designed for wider tires. Also stick to the right offset.
195 is the widest you should go if you're a ***** with no power. and my car hadles just fine with the 225's now that the camber is corrected.
__________________
Fat Jesus to those of you in the know
89 CRX HOTROD 8.85@167 on STOCK GEARS Garage 808 built
XBL : WindowLiquor TM
Garage 808 Hatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2009, 12:47 PM   #16
Honda-Tech Member
 
lolumad?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,053
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

i wish i would've known this before i blew all the money away.
__________________
92 vx-sold! 89 crx si-sold! 93 EH3-DD
FS THREAD
lolumad? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 01:00 AM   #17
Honda-Tech Member
 
techchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Olathe,Kansas
Posts: 751
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garage 808 Hatch View Post
195 is the widest you should go if you're a ***** with no power. and my car hadles just fine with the 225's now that the camber is corrected.
x2 Hell I have 205/40/16's on a stock d16y7 wider the better in some cases imo
__________________
Crazy valve cover crew: Member #1
http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php...7#post39696807
techchild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 03:47 AM   #18
Honda-Tech Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Nowhere and Everywhere
Posts: 29,083
iTrader Rating: (1)
Send a message via AIM to PatrickGSR94
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

more info added above - shorter sidewall tires will experience more inner shoulder wear with negative camber, even with proper alignment.
__________________
Please do not PM me with technical questions. Create a thread in the appropriate forum.

H-T OG member #8927 class of '02 ● Koni + GC InstallHID retrofit club
member #0001
PatrickGSR94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 10:37 AM   #19
Honda-Tech Member
 
kristo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ghent, Flanders Fields, Belgium
Posts: 630
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
shorter sidewall tires will experience more inner shoulder wear with negative camber, even with proper alignment.
Is and when is this a problem?
__________________

Come and visit us in Ghent, Belgium, Europe
kristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #20
Honda-Tech Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Nowhere and Everywhere
Posts: 29,083
iTrader Rating: (1)
Send a message via AIM to PatrickGSR94
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

um I dunno, depends on how short and stiff the sidewall is. My 45-series tires get a bit more inner wear than my 55-series tires (pretty much even wear). 40-series will most likely wear more on the inside than 45 series if there is more than -1.5* camber or so.
__________________
Please do not PM me with technical questions. Create a thread in the appropriate forum.

H-T OG member #8927 class of '02 ● Koni + GC InstallHID retrofit club
member #0001
PatrickGSR94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2009, 12:20 PM   #21
Honda-Tech Member
 
Jdmsoles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Dodgin Cops all Round Ana-Crime to Orange & Sd
Posts: 569
iTrader Rating: (0)
Send a message via AIM to Jdmsoles
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristo View Post
195 is the widest you should go on a Civic <01. It is plenty for grip and if you go wider you get handling problems.

These cars were not designed for wider tires. Also stick to the right offset.

haha that's to funny/ your an idiot, no car is designed to do anything except get you from point A to point B, but that is the point of building a car to make it do what you want to do.
Jdmsoles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #22
Honda-Tech Member
 
kristo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ghent, Flanders Fields, Belgium
Posts: 630
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

You're too kind.

If you think the suspension geometry of an ordinary passenger car was designed with in mind oversized wheels/tires, slammed lowering, the likes, and if you think that all of such things have no influence on handling behavior ...

then you'r the idiot, or ignorent. Judging from the content of your post regarding vehicle design I suspect the former.
__________________

Come and visit us in Ghent, Belgium, Europe
kristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 06:16 AM   #23
Honda-Tech Member
 
NOman0608's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 239
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Running no camber kit for 5 years.

Never have any problems.

I try to tell everyone here that you do not need them. but they blow all there money on it anyways.
NOman0608 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 08:14 AM   #24
Honda-Tech Member
 
blaze the chemi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: All over ATL
Posts: 2,088
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

Thanks Patrick for posting this.

I just got rid of my squeaking/creaking front aftermarket UCA's this weekend and replaced them with used OEM units.

I still have the aftermarket rear UCA's in because they can influence how my car handles around the autox course by adjusting the camber. My camber is about 1.5* front, 2.2* rear.

I have always asked the alignment person to set the toe within specs, but as close to zero as possible because this is my DD and autox car.

I have never had any excessive tire wear and my last set of wheel/tires I had were 205/40/17. The inner looks about the same as the outside after 20K miles and 3 years of autox.
__________________
2000 EBP EM1
http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2932188 for sale thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundControlTrevor View Post
Anyhow, blaze the chemi is correct,
blaze the chemi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #25
Honda-Tech Member
 
thekza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: LA
Posts: 31
iTrader Rating: (0)
Default Re: No, you DO NOT need camber kits!!!!!!!!

I have a friend who's car (2000 EM1) doesn't have a camber kit, and his runs fine as a daily. It's lowered 1.75 inches.. all he did was get an alignment after installing the suspension.

Good thread.
thekza is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
 
submit to reddit
Reply

Tags
adjust, adjusted, ball, camber, civic, cost, honda, joint, kit, kits, lower, prelude, replace, skunk, stock, toe

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Official HPDE/Time Attack/Racing Thread DaveSi677 Honda Civic (2006 - Current) 49 10-31-2014 01:23 PM
Sticky This: Camber kit TRUTHS red96turbols Suspension & Brakes 63 03-25-2014 07:55 PM
Camber Kits slvrcvc93 Honda Civic/Del Sol (1992 - 2000) 19 04-30-2008 11:52 AM
Installed New Skunk2 Front Camber Arms for EF/DA onto Much Lowered Wagovan B18C5-EH2 Honda CRX / EF Civic (1988-1991) 14 03-07-2008 09:31 AM
Confused: Camber Kits & Alignments ALF Acura Integra 37 08-16-2001 05:47 PM



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:10 PM.



2014 Copyright, InternetBrands Inc.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 AC1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Honda and the Honda marquee are registered trademarks of the American Honda Motor Company, Inc. Neither American Honda Motor Company nor its subsidiaries or affiliates shall bear any responsibility for Honda-Tech.com content, comments, or advertising. Honda-Tech.com is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Company in any way. American Honda Motor Company does not sponsor, support, or endorse Honda-Tech.com in any way. Copyright/trademark/sales mark infringements are not intended or implied.
Emails & Contact Details