Do I need a Camber kit? - Acura TSX Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Do I need a Camber kit?

Does your Honda need a camber kit? Well in short, yes absolutely. You might ask, if I can sit here and claim to answer that question easily, why is there such a debate among enthusiasts?

Marcus from Heeltoe Automotive recently wrote an article on exactly this same subject, in which he claims a camber kit in not a necessary modification. I have his article in front of me right now, its very detailed, and in the long run, probably better written than this one will be, Its also completely correct.

So why do Marcus and I disagree on this point, well in actuality, we do not. Marcus starts his piece saying that when one lowers a car, the camber will go out, and you need a camber kit to fix it. He then goes on to explain that incorrect Toe Angle and Caster will wear tires significantly faster then Camber ever will.

So far, we are in complete agreement. The only way to fix the camber is with a camber kit, and that when it comes to your cars alignment, Toe Angle and Caster are also very equal parts of the equation, and will cause to rubber to wear faster then severe negative camber alone.

Now here is where Marcus and I start to digress. Negative camber is a good thing, but it comes on a sliding scale, on one side of the scale is the performance factor, Negative camber in a double wishbone suspension actually helps you. Noel, I know is in fact is using a rear camber kit to push the tires out to a negative 2.8 degrees for performance purposes. Honda Engineers understand the benifits of negative camber as well, and for that reason TSX comes from the factory with some negative camber in the rear wheels. Honda/Acura Factory specs allow for up to a negative 1.7 degree camber, where as the average rear camber after lowering a TSX is a negative 2.3 degrees.

The other side of this equation however is Tire life, -2.3 degrees camber will chew tires, there is no doubt about this, it will not chew tires as fast as Toe or Caster can, but none the less it does do damage. Marcus states: an improper alignment will WASTE tires in a matter of months (or weeks if you drive like me). So my Question is this, if getting a proper alignment is so important, why ignore a third of the equation, why not align the camber while your getting the alignment done.

Here is why: Camber and Caster are not adjustable on Hondas. Marcus, Noel, myself and anyone else with knowledge of our automobiles know this. Toe however is fully adjustable both front and rear. In order to adjust the camber you need to purchase a camber kit.

To conclude, I will use one more example from Marcus. He states that Front tires will wear faster then the Rear tires on a FWD car, this is true because your using the same wheels to turn as you are to power the car. the rear wheels are just rotating, they are not used for traction purposes. Marcus says because of this if you only will need a front camber kit if even.

However, for the TSX there is an issue. When you lower a TSX the front camber is not pushed out to a degree that it becomes a problem, however the rear is. In an Acura TSX or Accord Euro, you only really need it for the rear. The question really is this: At what point does purchasing new tires become more expensive then having purchased a camber kit. In my mind with a good camber kit costing 150 USD for both sides, and good tires costing 120 USD a piece, It is completely worth while to spend the money on a camber kit as a preventative measure.

I hope that what I have written above will help anyone who is unsure about this kind of modification, feel free to ask any questions, we are here to help guys.

"Lotta people go through life doing things badly. Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." - Steve McQueen, LeMans 1971

Last edited by Mayuga; 01-12-2012 at 04:32 AM.
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 05:38 PM
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should be stickied ;]
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 06:18 PM
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One question I have.

When you lower the car...does it not 'pull' the driveshaft out a bit or put stress on it because the OEM drive shaft is not long enough?

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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narci
One question I have.

When you lower the car...does it not 'pull' the driveshaft out a bit or put stress on it because the OEM drive shaft is not long enough?
Cars with a FF layout (Front mounted Engine, Frontwheel-Drive) have a Constant-velocity joint, or CV joint for short. What that does is it allows for a rotating shaft to transmit power at many different angles, at a constant speed. I would assume that the CV Joints characteristics would make up for the difference in height.
(CV Joint cutaway from a Saab 9-3)

I unfortinutly have not done as much research in this area of lowering the car, so feel free to correct me if I am indeed wrong.

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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 06:46 PM
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Camber and Caster is not adjustable on the majority of Hondas/Acuras from factory. However, this isn't limited to the flagship/top sports models. Aka Legend, NSX, S2000.

In response, FF cars have a lesser concern on driveshaft distance/delivery. FR cars when lowered aggressively have a recommendation by some tuners to use extended spacers to compensate the change. However, a recommendation does not mean a blanket statement for necessity across the board.
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 08:34 PM
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Nice write up.

At what point does one need a camber kit? For example, you mentioned that after lowering TSX's, the front camber is neglectable. What about for the rear? I mean, if I lowered the rear 1", would the camber be neglectable? I think the A-Spec lowers about 3/4".. neglectable?
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLaSiiAn8
Nice write up.

At what point does one need a camber kit? For example, you mentioned that after lowering TSX's, the front camber is neglectable. What about for the rear? I mean, if I lowered the rear 1", would the camber be neglectable? I think the A-Spec lowers about 3/4".. neglectable?
The A-Spec drop is the only one I would say you can get away with without adjusting camber. The most recent alignment numbers I have seen for the A-Spec is about a -1.92 Drivers side and a -1.86 on the passenger side for the rear. These numbers are fairly close to spec (-1.7 max), so you can get away with them and not notice a significant change in tire life, however I've still heard of some people getting the Camber kit just to be on the safe side with the A-spec.

"Lotta people go through life doing things badly. Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." - Steve McQueen, LeMans 1971
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 11:15 PM
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so in short we do need camber kit?

this is pretty long.....sorry
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 01:13 AM
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Interesting...only reason why I asked was that I saw extended drive shafts for sale one site somehwere for the S2000.

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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 10:34 AM
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I am personal friends with Marcus, and value and respect his opinion very much. I will vouch for his technical knowledge and expertise in this matter, but I must say, this "article" was misinterpreted by the vast majority who read it. It serves as a testament to the fact that so many people believe anything they read on the internet wholeheartedly, without regard to the fact that it is all personal opinion and/or open to personal interpretation by each individual. It seems that the main point of the article was missed by the vast majority, and I wonder how many people are now misinformed not because of a poorly written or poorly thought out article, but because they failed to interpret the message of that article correctly.

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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 01:42 PM
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I posted a response to Marcus' article in the last thread, but I'll briefly touch on a couple of points here.

Nowhere in the article does Marcus talk about the performance benefits of being able to adjust camber, which is by far the most important reason why people should be considering a rear camber kit when they lower their TSX.

The TSX front suspension does not change camber much upon lowering, hovering around -.7, but the multi-link rear can jump well into the -2s, which will result in a LOT of understeer. I suppose if you like that handling trait, it's fair to say you don't NEED a camber kit, but again, the whole point of suspension improvements to me is to make the car handle better, not worse. A track setup like Noel's would have added negative camber up front as well, for a but for street use, -.8 front and -1.2 rear is nice.

Brent, where did you get the -1.7 number? Has Acura revised their specs? On my car, -1.5 was it. With the trouble they had with cars being out of spec from the factory, maybe they just changed the spec to make it work as opposed to fixing the issue?
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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 03-15-2007, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Just to update this thread with some real #'s... I recently Installed the Tein Flex Coilovers in my car, im running a moderate drop of about 2.5 inches in the front, 2.2 in the rear... Got the Alignment done today...Here are the specs:

Front: Left
Actual Before Range
0.4 0.3 -0.8, 0.8 Camber
3.0 3.0 2.5, 4.0 Caster
0.02 -0.15 -0.08, 0.08 Toe

Front Right:
Actual Before Range
-1.0 -0.9 -0.8, 0.8 Camber (Remember front camber is not adjustible)
2.8 2.8 2.5, 4.0 Caster
0.01 -0.14 -0.08, 0.08 Toe

Rear Left:
Actual Before Range
-2.0 -3.3 -1.7, -0.5 Camber (Camber requested by me, for performance purposes)
0.15 0.24 0.00, 0.16 Toe

Rear Right
Actual Before Range
-2.0 -4.5 -1.7, -0.5
0.11 0.20 0.00, 0.16



As you can see from the above #'s, especially when in comparison to Acura's approved specs (Range), Rear Camber is a huge issue, Caster however is not, Moral of the Story: Get a good Alignment, with a Camber Kit

"Lotta people go through life doing things badly. Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." - Steve McQueen, LeMans 1971
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 07:31 AM
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just for completeness...The right rear link on the suspension may be out of spec. on earlier cars which puts the camber way out of spec, I am aware that Acura put out a bulletin for this, but you have to bring it up specifically with them, to get it corrected. This was also the case for UK cars.

Just as an example of how much wear camber can give on rear tyres.
After lowering, my right rear camber was at -2.5 and left rear was -1.7. Toe was toed in at 0.3mm both sides (which should in theory wear the outer edge of the tyres). After 15000miles for the right rear tyre:

inner edge (about 1inch in) - 2mm
centre - 4mm
outer edge - 4mm

I ended up buying the ingalls rear camber adjusters before they issued a fix, but i wanted adjustable camber anyway.

Now I can adjust my alignment to this: (BTW this is a recent alignment)


And believe me the difference in having a car properly aligned left and right makes for a very balanced driving experience!

If you're having trouble deciphering the readings, I've done an full explanation here

Hope this is helpful.

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Spoiler, 17" OZ, A-spec Suspension, Comptech SS and IceBox, LED lights, Mugen grill and exhaust with bonnet trim, AUX+MP3+USB input, shifter bushings, skunk2 knob, ingalls camber kit
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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:38 PM
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I went to an alignment to have mine checked after i lowered with Tein SS. Only about the same as Tein Stech Springs.

He's telling me the front's ok. But the back's with a Negative 3.00. I guess that's really bad ehh. @@
But anyway, i ordered a rear camber kit, should be here few days later.

Dunno if i m asking this at the right place, How much..roughly's the price of getting all four tires aligned!?!?

Thanks.
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 12:59 AM
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Depends where you go. There's this place in Temple City, (I don't know what part of "California" you're from) they charge about $70.. well known.
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