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Front Camber for Cars with Clamp Attachment Struts


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Most of my cars have had front struts that attach with camber bolts. Except for my Mazda3’s. Real problem with front tire wear when autocrossed.

So, in checking around, I’m finding more and more cars these days have front strut attachments like my Mazda3’s! The front struts fit into a large metal clamp, then tightened to hold the strut to the lower control arms.

I now find many of the current top SCCA Class cars have this arrangement. VW Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Sports and SI’s 2016 and newer), and even some newer BMW’s……

So what do these guys and cars do to get front negative camber? Just suck it up and flip tires on wheels every month or two? I would think this lack of camber would diminish handling, too.

Please discuss and share. I just don’t get it. Am I missing something?



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Looks like some really aren't adjustable much in stock form. I found an article online about how to adjust a 10th-generation Civic's camber, and it seems it's only adjustable by +/- 0.32 degrees, so barely anything. The adjustments are possible by moving the position of the shock itself it seems: https://www.civicx.com/forum/threads/how-to-adjust-front-camber-on-a-tenth-gen-civic.15715/

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19 hours ago, Mach5Mk5 said:

Found on the Focus ST it's not possible at all. Seems like sizable camber adjustments are becoming a thing of the past for some reason. Seems bizarre to me for such performance-focused vehicles!

"Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong -- look what they can do to a Weber carburetor in just a few moments of stupidity with a screwdriver."  - Colin Chapman

  • Haha 1
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In the rulebook 13.8-B, the last sentence states "However, no suspension part may be modified for the purpose of adjustment unless such modification is specifically authorized by the factory shop manual.".  Now, back when I ran my Taurus in HS (and this was a long time ago) the line also said "even if the modification is specifically for crash damage." which it no longer says. So you might want to see if you can get a clarification on this line includes modification for crash damage, and check your factory shop manual for that possibility. In my instance the factory shop manual allowed the drilling out of the three spot welds that held in the factory caster/camber plate, move that plate, and then drill and rivet the plate in place.

Edited by Eric Evans
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Scott, a late reply but I think option "A" would be your only option in H Street.  I still included the other options in case I was misinterpreting the rulebook wording, which both would alter the suspension geometry.

A) According to Ford's workshop manual you might be able to gain up to -0.5 camber from available slop in the top and bottom mounts:


204-00 Suspension System; step 6: By loosening the strut rod nut and either pushing the strut inboard or pulling it outboard the camber can be adjusted by approximately 0.25 degrees.  To make a negative camber adjustment, loosen the strut rod nut and push the strut inboard.

204-00 Suspension System; step 12: To make a negative camber adjustment, push the strut inboard and loosen the wheel knuckle-to-strut bolt with the weight of the vehicle on the wheel and tire.  This allows the weight of the strut to fully lift up on the wheel knuckle-to-strut bolt.

B) Powerflex sells a camber offset bushing replacement for the front bushing on the front lower control arm to gain -0.5 camber.

C) Ground Control makes a camber adjustable top hat that fits OE diameter springs.  I was able to get -2.0 camber with just these and the springs were a hair from contacting the strut tower.


Hope that helps!  And if you do try both adjustments in option "A", please let me know how that works out as I've been curious.

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Nothing to work out, but thanks. I was all set to buy a Civic Sport, or Focus ST, or VW GTI, (or even BMW?) and luckily before doing so was very surprised to find that ALL of them had the pinch bolt front strut mounting system. Blew me away. I was interested in Street Classes.

For such great sports sedans to all not have the ability to adjust front camber is such a shame. Not just from a purist autocross perspective, but also to have to flip tires on wheels at about half the tire wear is so……expensive and even unnecessary.

Years ago (when I learned of this from my early Mazda3’s) I floated the idea to SCCA for all such cars just be allowed access in Street class to camber plates. Seemed to me to be a logical basic need.

The official answer sent back was the expense involved was just too much. That made no sense to me, as flipping two to three sets of tires each season, across a few seasons surely was an avoidable expen$e. And it would add up. Basic camber plates are not that much.

So I just decided to never again buy a car without access to simple (cam bolt) front camber, especially for local events. 

So, problem solved. Just avoid those cars. But it does limit one’s choices. You’d be surprised how many fun cars out there have gone to this cheaper alternative. And make no mistake, that is the reason. Cheaper.

Of course, if a person who wants to enjoy these cars was not involved in track days or autocrossing, this would not be an issue, right..😉🤨😎


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Ah, sorry... I misunderstood!  I thought you were asking for your Mazda3.

It does seem like many have gone for a simple single wishbone setup.  Alternatively it looks like Mercedes has gone the opposite and has a very many point suspension.

I can't remember many details of the '85 Z-28 I worked on as a kid, but I know my 2000 Ford SVT Contour had front suspension just like our C1 chassis cars.  So I didn't think much of it when I started working on my Focus.  It would be nice if manufacturers at least provided slotted top mounts for camber though!

Similar to Eric's Taurus story, I know at least 1 Contour guy had drilled out the spot welds for the strut tower cap and welded in a proper aftermarket camber/caster top from a different platform.

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