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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, first of all, this is more of a Tutorial than a FAQ, but it does answer the questions and isn't entirely a tutorial, so don't complain about the semantics :lol:

Second, all of the small pictures click through to large pictures.

Third, I used a rear strut. Get over it, I was too lazy to dig any deeper in the box. It's the same theory for front and rear.




What are camber bolts?
Camber bolts are cleverly designed eccentric bolts that causes the two things you're bolting together to offset from each other slightly. On our cars, this means that the camber bolts offset the strut and the knuckle slightly from each other thus changing the camber.


What are camber bolts used for?
In the industry, camber bolts are most often used for accommodating manufacturing variances or returning the alignment to the correct specifications after a suspension component has been bent in an accident (hence the slang "Crash Bolt"). Performance enthusiasts will also often use camber bolts to achieve alignment settings not obtainable with the stock hardware.


Why Would You Run Camber Bolts?
90% of the time, we're using camber bolts to add negative camber in the front or reduce negative camber in the rear.


Why Wouldn't You Run Camber Botls?
Camber bolts, by design, must be thinner than normal bolts. This reduces the strength of the joint. A small number of people have had camber bolts shear (break) under load. Camber bolts are often also criticized for "slipping" (changing alignment settings) under load at the worst possible time. 99% of all slippage is the result of improper installation. The installer REALLY needs to know how to properly install a camber bolt to avoid failure.


Where Can Camber Bolts Be Used?
On our cars, camber bolts can be used in 3 places:

1)The lower clevis hole in the front knuckles
2)The upper clevis hole in the rear knuckles
3)The lower clevis hole in the rear knuckles

Of these, the lower hole in front and the upper hole in the rear are the preferred, and most common, locations. AFTERMARKET CAMBER BOLTS SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN THE FRONT UPPER POSITION! Doing so will almost certainly result in slippage or outright failure of the camber bolt. This will almost certainly result in loss of control of the vehicle.

Can the Upper Front Bolt Be Replaced?
The upper front bolt is already a camber bolt. However, it is a special camber bolt specifically for Subaru. If you lose or break this bolt, you should ALWAYS replace it with an OEM part, not an aftermarket part. AFTERMARKET CAMBER BOLTS SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN THE FRONT UPPER POSITION!


Do Camber Bolts Add or Remove Camber?
Either. The camber change is entirely dependent on which way the bolt is installed. The instructions below will cover the two most common needs: Adding negative camber to the front and removing negative camber from the rear.

We need to establish some terminology first. The picture below is a typical aftermarket camber bolt. The words you're going to be reading a lot throughout this are Tab, Handle, and Lobe. They're labeled, because I'm a nice guy.


Another thing you're going to see me repeating frequently are directions for the handle. This picture shows the handle pointing outwards, towards the knuckle, or away from the engine. They all mean the same thing.


This picture shows the handle pointing inwards, away from the knuckle, or towards the engine. They all mean the same thing.


There are also some common things you'll have to do regardless of which hole you're going to put it in. For one, use liberal amounts of lube. Anti-sieze, preferably, grease if you can't get anti-sieze. You will some day want to get these bolts back out and anti-sieze is a godsend. Also, the bolt and washer are only going to fit into the hole when the tab on the washer and the loeb on the bolt are aligned together as in this picture:


See how the tab on the washer is going into the hole "hiding" behind the thickest part of the lobe? That's critical. You absolutely MUST GET THE TAB OF THE WASHER SEATED IN THE HOLE WITHOUT DAMAGING THE TAB IN ANY WAY.
If you damage the tab in any way, such as smashing it flat against the washer, ripping it off, or tearing it, THROW THE BOLT OUT AND GET A NEW ONE. A damaged washer WILL cause the camber bolt to fail under load, almost certainly resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle. I also recommend that you install the bolt and washer in the orientation shown so that you can see exactly what's going on with that little tab. Spin it around to it's final position once you're sure it's gone in properly. Finally, make sure the washer sits flush against the clevis of the strut without having to force it to stay there. The tab should seat fully into the hole and allow the washer flat against the strut. If this doesn't happen, stop and figure out why.


OK, now that we've got the boilerplate out of the way, lets move on to specific instructions.



To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Front Lower Position to Add Negative Camber
Note: The arrow on the head of the bolt USUALLY points at the lobe. Sometimes, they miss. Verify they're lined up before you start.

1) Loosen the upper camber bolt and the lower normal bolt.
2) Remove the lower normal bolt
3) Insert the aftermarket camber bolt into the lower hole with the washer on the bolt such that the tab faces the strut and the handle faces away from the strut.
4) Press the aftermarket camber bolt into the knuckle until the washer can just barely move between the head of the bolt and the strut.
5) Thread the nut onto the aftermarket camber bolt until it's against the strut, but DO NOT TIGHTEN the nut so much that you pinch the washer between the head of the bolt and the strut.
6) Rotate the washer of the aftermarket camber bolt so that the handle on the washer points straight at the knuckle (straight away from the engine).
7) Rotate the bolt so that the lobe of the bolt faces directly away from the handle on the washer.
8 ) Using a flathead screwdriver, gently move the washer so that the tab on the washer slips into the hole in the strut between the strut and the shaft of the bolt. This may take some cajoling, but you HAVE to get this right.

NOTE: If at any point the tab on the washer becomes damaged (torn off, smashed flat, etc), throw the bolt out and get a new one. If the tab on the washer isn't properly fitted into the hole, the bolt WILL fail on the street.

9) Verify that the handle on the washer is still pointed straight at the knuckle (away from the engine) and that the tab is still properly seated into the hole.
10) Tighten the nut just enough that you can still turn the bolt, but the washer can't move enough for the tab to pop out of the hole.
11) Rotate the upper OEM camber bolt so the tick marks on the head face directly towards the engine. There's a stray tick 90* off from the rest, this should line up with the tick mark on the strut.
12) Rotate the aftermarket bolt so that the lobe faces straight at the handle.
13) Have a friend slam the top of the brake rotor towards the engine as hard as they can
14) While the friend pins the brake rotor towards the engine, tighten the nut on the OEM camber bolt as tight as you can get it with a standard ratcheting socket handle while using a box wrench to make sure the bolt itself doesn't spin AT ALL.
15) Move the friend out of the way and tighten the OEM bolt to spec while making sure the bolt itself doesn't spin AT ALL.
16) Tighten the aftermarket bolt to spec while making sure the bolt and the washer don't spin AT ALL.

NOTE: If you end up with more than the desired camber, reduce camber by adjusting the OEM bolt only! You ALWAYS want the aftermarket bolt set to its maximum position to reduce the chance of slipping. To adjust the OEM bolt for slightly less camber, loosen both the OEM bolt and the aftermarket bolt slightly. Then, replace step #11 with "Rotate the OEM camber bolt to the necessary adjustment position" and follow the rest of the steps as given.






To Install an Aftermarket Camber Bolt in the Rear Upper Position to Reduce Negative Camber

Note: The arrow on the head of the bolt USUALLY points at the lobe. Sometimes, they miss. Verify they're lined up before you start.


1) Loosen the upper and lower normal bolts.
2) Remove the upper normal bolt
3) Insert the aftermarket camber bolt into the upper hole with the washer on the bolt such that the tab faces the strut and the handle faces away from the strut.
4) Press the aftermarket camber bolt into the knuckle until the washer can just barely move between the head of the bolt and the strut.
5) Thread the nut onto the aftermarket camber bolt until it's against the strut, but DO NOT TIGHTEN the nut so much that you pinch the washer between the head of the bolt and the strut.
6) Rotate the washer of the aftermarket camber bolt so that the handle on the washer points straight at the knuckle (straight away from the engine).
7) Rotate the bolt so that the lobe of the bolt faces directly away from the handle on the washer.
8 ) Using a flathead screwdriver, gently move the washer so that the tab on the washer slips into the hole in the strut between the strut and the shaft of the bolt. This may take some cajoling, but you HAVE to get this right.

NOTE: If at any point the tab on the washer becomes damaged (torn off, smashed flat, etc), throw the bolt out and get a new one. If the tab on the washer isn't properly fitted into the hole, the bolt WILL fail on the street.

9) Verify that the handle on the washer is still pointed straight at the knuckle (away from the engine) and that the tab is still properly seated into the hole.
10) Tighten the nut just enough that you can still turn the bolt, but the washer can't move enough for the tab to pop out of the hole.
11) Rotate the aftermarket bolt so that the lobe faces straight at the handle.
12) Have a friend slam the top of the brake rotor towards the center of the car as hard as they can
14) While the friend pins the brake rotor towards the center of the car, tighten the nut on the OEM lower bolt as tight as you can get it with a standard ratcheting socket handle while using a box wrench to make sure the bolt itself doesn't spin.
15) Move the friend out of the way and tighten the OEM bolt to spec.
16) Tighten the aftermarket bolt to spec while making sure the bolt and the washer don't spin AT ALL.
 

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I've got the same bolts in all 4 corners on my car and I am sure most the "tabs" on my arm washers have broken off by now. Is there any place anyone knows of that just sells those washers b/c I dont really feel like buying another 2 pairs of camber bolts.
 

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With group N top hats, how much negative camber can be achieved in the front using the subaru and aftermarket bolt combo?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
About 1.5* more than whatever you're getting with only the stock bolt.

Honestly, that's about the best answer you're going to get, setups vary too much from car to car.
 

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My H&R bolts are too long to fit in the lower hole on the rear strut. They hit the boot for the axle. Also, putting the camber bolt in the upper hole in the rear only allows for positive camber adjustment?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My H&R bolts are too long to fit in the lower hole on the rear strut. They hit the boot for the axle. Also, putting the camber bolt in the upper hole in the rear only allows for positive camber adjustment?
Any hole can allow for both positive and negative adjustment.

The instructions as given are how to add positive camber to the rear as that is what most people want to do.
 

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I thought we all want negative camber?
Most want more negative camber in the front than the rear to reduce understeer. Since the rear camber isn't adjustable and usually is more than you can get up front, one way to improve the grip balance is to reduce the negative camber in the rear.
 

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I learn something new every day. But, isn't this about using camber bolts to achieve that negative camber? i understand that it is less than the front.
 

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I learn something new every day. But, isn't this about using camber bolts to achieve that negative camber? i understand that it is less than the front.
This FAQ is about using them to change your camber. Negative or Positive, getting your alignment right will go a long way to how your car handles.
 

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Ok, so I had my car aligned yesterday. I have groupN top hats in the front with RCE yellows. I have stock camber bolt in upper and Whiteline camber bolt in the lower hole in the front.

All the negative camber they could manage was -1.25º. :-(

I was under the impression that I could get at least -2º in the front with both camber bolts maxed out? Maybe the alignment guy did something wrong or did not know what he was doing? (I installed the bolts, so I know they are installed properly.) And if I remember correctly, -1.25º is achievable with stock camber adjustment only, right?

Can someone with a similar setup or experience tell me how much negative camber you were able to gain in the front with two camber bolts?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
List of possibilities:

1) You have something bent.

2) Your alignment guys suck and screwed something up

3) Something isnt installed properly
 

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well... Nothing is bent, I am 98% sure all is installed properly. I am leaning towards my alignment guy gimping and not adjusting both bolts.

In your experience, what kind of neg camber do you get with the two bolts in the front? Is -2.0 about max? I have 05 STI...
 
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