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mk2

How to set up the right camber angle (non gti)

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Ever since getting my SDI 6 months ago, I've been plagued with tramlining and tracking problems. I've changed tyres, bearings, brakes, messed with tyre pressures and have finally worked out the right way... With spirit levels and straight edges, I've managed to get the tyre wear to almost nothing over 1000 miles, and the handling is now superb.

When re assembling the lower ball joint to the lower track arm with the three bolts loose, push the hub carrier towards the centre of the car, and while keeping the pressure on, tighten up the three bolts. This keeps the lower edge of the wheel rim as close in as you can get it.

Then to get the camber right, loosen off the two 18mm strut to hub carrier bolts, and pull firmly outwards. While keeping the tension (pulling outwards), tighten them back up again. This will result in a camber angle of exactly -0.6 degrees, which is almost vertical. I read somewhere that its meant to be between -0.2 and -0.8 degrees. The '-' means that the top of the rim should be 'leaning' in towards the car, with the wheels straight ahead.

To get the tracking just right, toe in has been suggested. Nonsense. After much experimentation, I've found toe out to be best for handling and tyre wear. The angle I got to be 'perfect' is about 0.2 degrees each side. This is assuming that the rest of the running gear is ok... Decent bearings, decent rubber bushes and good strut bearings.

Hope this helps!

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Running completely standard height, although I will be lowering at some point...

Michellin energy saver plus 185/55r14 with standard 6 spoke alloy rims. I will never ever go cheap on tyres.

basically everything is factory.

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Amazingly helpful!

Just used it after doing top mount bushes and bearings. 

Is this posted in the how to section? 

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I've just had my wheel bearings replaced by some local garage. And the right front wheel camber is way off, could the above be a fix for this and are there any suggestions as to what could cause such a camber change?/anything else that might help? 

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It could be.

If they were smart they would have taken the ball joints at the 16, but they will have done all the 13 and thrown it back together with little regard.

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Yeah, I'd do both sides to be sure. Loosen off, then pull and push and retighten. You don't even need to take the wheels off ( but you'll need to jack up). Let us know how you get on...

Oh, @Samsandwich welcome to CL :)

 

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You're not serious, are you? The camber is essentially non-adjustable, the tolerances are to cover manufacturing variance. Do you think that a minute change of camber would make any difference to tyre wear? Only if you're running solid rubber tyres! I had a problem with both our 3Ls wearing tyres on the inner edge. Cured by reducing toe-out and checking for the front wheels running parallel with Gunson's Trakrite. Never had a problem since. If you set the tracking statically, you are relying on VW data which seems to be over-pessimistic.

RAB

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Yeah... most vdubs, audis, seats etc. The holes on the struts are about 2mm bigger diameter than the bolts. Lots of room to play with. I read somewhere officially that's how you adjust the camber. I'll see if i can find a link. Probably for a old mk2. It's also why the lower track arm ball joint mount has slots, not round holes.

I can't exactly remember the numbers I measured a while back when doing all the checks, but something like 4 degrees of variation on a standard Lupo. Surprising actually. Not that minute to be fair. But I have to agree- They do look like they were originally designed to be non adjustable. Enormous clearance holes for some reason though.

But there is a huge design flaw in the steering geometry on all Lupos, which is why the inner edge of the tyres wear, even when perfectly tracked. The inner radius wheel track when turning, turns in too far and scrubs. The rack track rod end should be about 85mm further out from the axis centre- basically a longer lever. But can't as you'd need 19" rims. The short wheelbase is the problem. They partly cured it on the Up, which is why it has slightly bigger wheels.

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No, the inner edges wear because the front wheels are not parallel when the car is in motion. The inner edge rubs against itself, gets warmer and the rubber gets softer, resulting in wear. You can check this yourself by touching the inner edges after driving. The only way I have found for correcting this is with the Trakrite. Take the car to a garage with fancy laser tracking and they will get it wrong because the VW data is over-pessimistic regarding the slop in their steering mechanisms. My front tyres have been on the car for four years - no sign of wear on the inner edge.

RAB

 

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What's the camber like on your's? Have you had a chance to measure it?

The steering geometry is wrong though... A lot. Measure the angle of the turned in wheel on full lock (on the inner corner radius). Then measure the outer. If you take the outer as correct, the inner always needs to be turned in more to follow the smaller circumference of the turning circle but not as much as it is. Use the centre line of the car with a perpendicular line extending towards the circle centre through the back axle axis; they don't intersect. It's about 1.2m from the centre (behind the rear axle)! Mk4 golfs are the opposite. I always wondered why my mk4 keeps squealing in dry smooth car parks when on full lock. Not enough angle.

It's like on the first BMW minis. Their track arm and rack tie rod lengths were different (wrong) resulting in awful "bump steer". Perhaps it was deliberate for track use....! Lots of cars get it wrong. Dunno why as it's basic schoolboy geometry.

IMG_1094.PNG

Edited by mk2
Typo

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Just had a thought @RAB... The 3L has completely different hub carriers and front suspension setup. Never worked on one, but from drawings they are 'odd'. I mean what's going on with those front wheel bearings?!

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