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The outer edges of my front tires are shot; the results of daily driving on twisty mountain roads. I have two new tires ready to mount but before I do I checked my caster and camber angles. I had replaced the upper and lower control arm bushings about 8 years ago with polyurethane bushings and I found they had squashed enough to change my left and right camber angles from 0 degrees to .7 degree and 1 degree positive.

I start by checking the camber angles by using a simple 1/4" X 1" X 16" home made tool and a digital angle finder (less than $15). Then I remove the wheels and set my rotors onto a wooden block with shims to achieve the same 11-3/4" center height they had with the wheels on. I have 225X60R15 tires which gives a 11-3/4" center height so taller tires would give around 11-7/8" to 12" of center height. Then using another home made tool that hangs from the upper and lower ball joint grease zerks I check the caster angles.

To prevent the shims from getting lost I wire them together using 16 gauge mechanic's wire. If I don't have enough 1/8" shims I use home made one-piece shims and then add additional 1/16" and 1/32" shims as needed. The one-piece shims are made from 1/8" X 1-1/2" X 7-3/4" steel with 1/2" slots spaced 6-5/8" apart.

After mixing and matching shims I ended up with 0.1 degree negative camber and 2-1/2 degrees caster. As twisty mountain roads are really hard on the outer edges of tires I prefer a slight negative camber angle to even the wear. Aligning your C3 front end is pretty easy to do BUT it's much harder with the big blocks because the alternator has to be removed and the 3/4" return heater hose has to be disconnected and moved out of the way.


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