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Old 03-27-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
Cobrafeet
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Negative Camber?

Hey guys, this is my first post here.

A few weeks ago my girlfriend backed into a low curb while trying to park or something (so I imagine her front wheels were not straight). The back passenger tire struck the curb and now has significant negative camber. Since then her steering wheel is also badly misaligned clockwise about 30 degrees. The steering is kinda squirrely now as well

We got new tires yesterday (needed 'em anyway), my girlfriend took the car to Sears this morning for an alignment diagnostic and they told her that wasn't the issue. They said it could be a bent frame or something, but apparently they were very vague and I am skeptical as to how much they know what they're talking about.

I really have no idea where to even begin, any suggestions are welcome.

Edit: I feel like I should add there's been no issues with the brakes, no stuttering or anything.
Edit2: Apologies, the wheel has POSITIVE camber.

Thanks,
Cody



Last edited by Cobrafeet; 03-31-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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While its possible its not likely you bent the sub frame from hitting a curb at low speed.

What I would do it take the car to an alingment shop, meaning that all they do. The problem with tire shops is they do what the computer tells tham and have no idea what their looking at.

Also have you gotten under the car to see if anything is broke? Again not likely but possible.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Rear camber is not an adjustable perimeter from the factory. In order for her to have "modified" it someway, she would have had to hit the curb REALLY hard to bend something (possibly the wheel as well). Things to look at: the lower control arm, the upper control arm, the dog bone shaped link and all the attachment points for each. Those are more or less, the items that control the mounting position of the hub. Rather than Sears, go to a frame shop or an alignment only specialty shop as mentioned above.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys. She took it to Sears without my knowledge, I definitely wouldn't have taken it there. I suppose I'll post in my local forum to find a good alignment shop, thanks. I have not gotten under the car and looked, thanks.

I feel I should note that I had no idea that anything was wrong when I got in the car the next morning, but I could immediately tell something was wrong, not only from the steering wheel being misaligned but also the dramatic over/understeering (I'm probably using wrong terms here).

The negative camber is quite apparent when compared to the other tires which seem to be slightly positive. I can post some pictures in the morning.

I'll do my best to check for the things you listed, Geezer. Does anyone know where I could find a diagram of the wheel section with the wheel off? Preferably labeled? Or perhaps I could take some detailed photos of it and you guys could point out the parts to me or see if you can tell if anything is apparently broken. Most guides I've seen online for determining if something is bent normally are dealing with the front tires so I'm kind of lost.

Really, thanks a lot guys. I'm really not knowledgeable with cars and this has my girlfriend greatly upset as she recently paid off the car.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
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First off welcome to the forum and second I have no idea of any shops around you that you could go too.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:02 AM   #6
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First off - welcome, good luck with this issue, & we'll all try to help...
Geezer is the alignment expert & his specs. (stickied or in a thread) are more accurate than the wide range posted in most "official" manuals.
To get terms consistent, as you mention being new to this, Negative camber is when the bottom of the wheel is further out than the top, with positive being the top "sticks out" further.
Slight negative camber would be normal.
If the bottom got "jammed in" , so it looks "tucked under", that would be a positive camber and something is bent for sure.
For a shop to say that the alignment isn't a problem, and that you "might have a bent frame" is an obvious contradiction, so I wouldn't trust that info..
I can imagine some "turkey" looking at toe-in alone, and saying that's OK, but it's a poor (minimal) check on a car that needs 4 wheel alignment and has an issue you can see by eye.
A flat piece of pavement is required to do any measurements on the alignment yourself, or even to eyeball dependably, so think about a good place for this.
Any straightedge, (like a yardstick) can help with the initial "eyeballing" too, as you can make easier comparisons side to side yourself, or have someone hold it as you look at it from a distance.
A total alignment CAN be done with minimal tools, but let's leave that 'till after the "obvious" is checked out. (the fine work is prob. not for the uninitiated...)
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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Wow, I can't believe I made this mistake. Yes, the wheel has POSITIVE camber, not negative, sorry.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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Bent for sure then, check out thoroughly, replace damaged parts, get good alignment...
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