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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently rotated the tires on my Spider. The fronts were worn almost flat on the outside and still have good tread on the inside. Of course this lead me to look at the wheels & tires more closely & I noticed 2 problems.
Problem 1
The driver side wheel is way out of camber adjustment. After several miles, it looks better :confused:but still not right. I took a couple of measurements. Despite the crude drawing, I measured at the wheel, not the tire, for some modicum of accuracy:
Camber.gif
This tells me that:
1) My girlfriend is much lighter than I am, which is fine with me
2) I need to adjust this
I have the shop manual, but I can't find a camber adjustment. I just says to check it. What do I need to adjust here?

Problem 2
The driver side wheel is actually sticking out farther from the car than the other side (and the rears, for that matter).
WheelRecess.gif
I realize the fenders aren't a scientific reference, but that's as close as the 4' level would get. So, after I adjust the camber, how do I get this wheel to "go back in"?
I'm thinking this all is more than just bushings...Any thoughts?
 

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Camber is non-adjustable unless you've got aftermarket upper control arms. That's why the books all say 'check' as there's no real way to deal with it using factory parts.

Adjustable arm:


Up in the FAQ at the top of this subsection you'll find a post with all the specs and ranges for your front end, including how to correctly adjust everything (except camber)

After several miles, it looks better
If the tires you pulled off the front were wore out on one side, rotating the less worn rears to the front isn't going to cure the issue no matter how many miles you drive. It'll just ruin the rotated tires too.


As to the why for, yes, it certainly could be bushings and well worth at least inspecting them, or, in a more sinister fashion, it could be a result of accident damage.

Regarding your girlfriends weight: note that the chassis is supposed to be dialed in with 165lbs in each seat for static factory trim, or, with whomever drives it mostest in the drivers seat for an even more accurate dial in.

Lotta joe anyguy alignment shops out there can't grasp the concept that doing an aligment with an unladen chassis is defeatist onnaconna all the numbers change as soon as the driver plops thier butt in the seat. (I had to convince the last shop who did my alignment that, believe it or not, I was actually in the drivers seat 100% of the time the car was moving down the road, not standing 30 feet away watching it before they'd finally let me sit in the damned thing to allow for a correct setup)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the clarification on not being able to adjust the camber. I guess if everything else is right, it just falls into place. I'll take a detailed look through the various adjustments and bushings in the front end, adjusting & replacing as needed, and see where it falls when I'm done. I'd thought of the accident scenario as well, who knows what's in this car's mysterious history. I'll keep my eyes open for anything else that doesn't quite line up right.
Great story on the alignment shop, too. Their job is to get your car out of the shop as soon as possible, not to take care of it for the long haul. What would he care if you go through tires quickly?
Speaking of, I knew rotating the tires wouldn't keep the even rears from wearing unevenly on the front, but it has cut down on squealing and seemed to have chased some of the squirrels out of the front end. And most importantly, it bought me some time to work on the front end until I have to put 4 new ones on.
Any thoughts on the polyurethane bushings vs. plain old rubber? It seems like if the rubber ones lasted 25 years, they may work OK for me.
Well, I'm off to get a 165 lb girlfriend, or 33 10# bags of potatoes...French fries anyone?
 

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Camber change, IME, usually indicates failed lower ball joints. If you do end up replacing the ball joints, also plan on replacing ALL the tie rod ends. When any part of the steering linkage wears out, the rest is likely in the same shape. Just replacing one piece means the next wears out faster, resulting in a year's worth of little jobs and frequent trips to the alignment shop.
 
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