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Camber adjustment

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Old 12-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
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Default Camber adjustment - Help!

Hi there! I was told that my car needs camber adjustment. Is this possible? Is there a way to adjust the camber of an A6 C5? How?? Thanks!
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Last edited by fmstocco; 12-14-2009 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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Front or rear?
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Front or rear?
Front (FWD). I was thinking about bending the wheel bearing housing a little. What about that?
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:12 AM   #4
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BTW, it is -1.5 degree out on each side. 1 degree more than max tolerance. Is it all that important to be fixed, or I can live with?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:24 AM   #5
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I'm intrigued with why my car is out of camber adjustment (is it realy???). It never crashed. Then, I remembered one thing: the stock wheels are R15. But they where replaced by R17 wheels. Can this be responsible for that camber misalignment? Another thing to consider is that I did my control arms last week.

Anyway, I don't know if this assumption is right. After reading for a while, I found that some "luxury" cars realy have the camber a little out to make maneuvers easy. Is it righ for the Audi A6? I don't trust these shop guys... They say crap all the time when they get a complex car like Audi. That's why I'm the only one allowed to fix my car. The only thing I can't do myself is wheel alignment and those guys are complicating things!! I don't know what to believe. He said I have to stretch the subframe with a special machine to put it back in shape!!! What??? Strange..... Why would the subframe change its shape for no reason?? Age?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:58 AM   #6
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Wheel size shouldn't matter to camber. Is the car at stock ride height? Generally, the best you can do with camber is to get it similar on both sides.

Not sure about your comment on luxury cars...are you sure you aren't thinking of caster?
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:50 AM   #7
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I was thinking about bending the wheel bearing housing a little. What about that?
No offense but attempting ghetto suspension re-alignment is a recipe for fail.

Best case: the housing cracks. You now need to replace the housing before you can drive the car.

Worst case: the housing cracks while you're barreling down the interstate and someone gets hurt. Bad.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:24 AM   #8
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Wheel size shouldn't matter to camber. Is the car at stock ride height? Generally, the best you can do with camber is to get it similar on both sides.

Not sure about your comment on luxury cars...are you sure you aren't thinking of caster?
Thanks for the replies. The car is at stock height. And the camber is out at the same proportion on each side. The guy said it is 1.5 when the limit is 0.5 degrees. But both sides are identical. BTW, isn't this strange? I mean, normaly you get one out, but both? And at the same number???
May it have something to do with the control arms replacement I did?

It is realy camber. I saw it. He attached a laser gun to the wheel and moving it up and donw I could see the opening angle. He moved the gun all way down and marked 0. Then, moving all way up, it should follow a straight line (he said), but it ended at 1.5 degree.
I'm realy thinking about leaving it the way it is. How bad is this idea?

He said it is like this:
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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One doesn't bend wheel bearing housings. OTOH, if the upright is aluminum, the steel bearing carrier can be shimmed to adjust caster.
If your tires are not wearing badly on the inner tread, why worry? Increased negative camber will help the front end bite on corners, reducing understeer.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:51 AM   #10
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Why fix what ain't broken? Why did you take it in for alignment? Bad tire wear? If not, leave it alone.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:05 AM   #11
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Why fix what ain't broken? Why did you take it in for alignment? Bad tire wear? If not, leave it alone.
I bought two new tires and went to the shop for mounting and balancing. Also, I just did my front control arms last week and needed to align it. The problem is that I don't know if that camber issue was there before I changed the arms. But I believe the arms replacement I did does not have something to do with that.(?)
But I guess I'll leave it that way. The guy put some terror on it because he is a tire guy... I give him some credit because he said he doesn't have the tools needed to do the job, so he was not trying to sell the service.
But the only implication is irregular tire wear right? If it wont damage my new suspension, I'll leave it.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:39 AM   #12
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If it is even on both sides, the car is stock and the control arms good, there isn't much you can do without going to adjustable control arms.

Drive car, monitor tire wear.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:48 AM   #13
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If it is even on both sides, the car is stock and the control arms good, there isn't much you can do without going to adjustable control arms.

Drive car, monitor tire wear.
Ok! I'll do that, thanks!
I'd realy like to know why this thing is out. Any tip?
I just can't figure it out.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:28 AM   #14
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I bought two new tires and went to the shop for mounting and balancing. Also, I just did my front control arms last week and needed to align it. The problem is that I don't know if that camber issue was there before I changed the arms. But I believe the arms replacement I did does not have something to do with that.(?)
But I guess I'll leave it that way. The guy put some terror on it because he is a tire guy... I give him some credit because he said he doesn't have the tools needed to do the job, so he was not trying to sell the service.
But the only implication is irregular tire wear right? If it wont damage my new suspension, I'll leave it.
It doesn't matter if the camber was wrong before this alignment.

I just recently replaced my control arms, because of uneven tire wear on the inside edge of the driver's front. Since you have replaced your control arms and the new alignment has equal amounts of camber on both sides, which they do by shifting the subframe, your car is as good as it can be. IIRC, the range of camber goes up to -1.9 degrees so you are in the limit. Rotate tires every 5k miles and you should be able to avoid any exessive tire wear. It will not impact your new control arms in any way. Rough roads will slowly kill your new contol arms, rest assured.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:44 PM   #15
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It doesn't matter if the camber was wrong before this alignment.

I just recently replaced my control arms, because of uneven tire wear on the inside edge of the driver's front. Since you have replaced your control arms and the new alignment has equal amounts of camber on both sides, which they do by shifting the subframe, your car is as good as it can be. IIRC, the range of camber goes up to -1.9 degrees so you are in the limit. Rotate tires every 5k miles and you should be able to avoid any exessive tire wear. It will not impact your new control arms in any way. Rough roads will slowly kill your new contol arms, rest assured.
Thanks a lot!!! Very good to hear it!
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:03 PM   #16
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Stern adjustable upper control arms.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:53 PM   #17
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I have a 1999 A6 Avant Quattro. I had bad (read they would not rotate them because wear was so bad) wear on the outside edge of the passenger side. Put now tires on and had it 4W aligned. Shop said they were in spec. No explanation for dead tires. Any troubleshooting ideas on this issue? Current tires don't get very much mileage at the moment.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:29 PM   #18
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I have a 1999 A6 Avant Quattro. I had bad (read they would not rotate them because wear was so bad) wear on the outside edge of the passenger side. Put now tires on and had it 4W aligned. Shop said they were in spec. No explanation for dead tires. Any troubleshooting ideas on this issue? Current tires don't get very much mileage at the moment.
Did you check camber at the shop? What is your camber measurement now?
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:09 PM   #19
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BTW, it is -1.5 degree out on each side. 1 degree more than max tolerance. Is it all that important to be fixed, or I can live with?
1. There may be nothing wrong at all. Maybe the measured camber value is wrong because alignment equipment is off? If it really bother bothers you, get a 2nd opinion to verify if, indeed, camber is out of spec.

2. Camber seems very close to spec anyway. In the paper Bentley Service Manual, for FWD normal suspensions (1BA, 1BH, 1BP, 1BC) it says:

camber -50'+/- 25' (which is -0.83 deg +/- 0.42 deg)
max diff bet sides 30' (which is 0.5 deg)

60 minutes (') = 1 deg

Thus, an acceptable camber range is -0.41 deg to -1.25 deg. If -1.5 deg that alignment shop measured is accurate, you are only 0.25 deg out, i.e. not very much.

When you did control arms, did you tighten control arm bolts with suspension loaded (weighted)? It couldn't hurt to loosen bolts, bounce car a bit to let suspension relax, and retighten. Things may have changed a bit in a few weeks? Maybe control arms are not in a neutral position and skewed camber value?

Just throwing a few ideas out there.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:35 AM   #20
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Just throwing a few ideas out there.
Thanks, I realy believe this is nothing to worry about.
I lifted the supension with a hydraulic jack before tightening as high as I could. I believe it's all fine.
Thanks a lot!
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:35 AM
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