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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:hmm:so ive been looking around for a while now for a set of camber plates that would work out well with my KW V2's recently. and i find that Bavarian, and TMS sells them for like 300 to 500 bucks.

What makes a camber plate good quality other than the NAME on it!!
300 bucks pretty steep!!

all im look for is about -1.5 to -2 degrees of camber in the front.

so i looked around and saw that ebay has some on there for about 140 for a set! looks pretty legit from the pics.......

all i camber plate does is hold the front coilover in place with some screws anyway so im pretty sure 140 kit could do the job??

RIght or Wrong?:eeps:

not being cheap really or maybe :hmm:

just need some input!

and if i was to get one of these, would I bolt it to my strut hat or would it replace it?
 

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Camber plates couple the strut and spring to the car. Fixed plates bolt to the strut hat. Adjustable ones replace it. They take a huge beating. The cheaper ones have low quality bearings that develop free play over a short period of time and therefore make noise, clunks over bumps, noises with steering input, ect.

A well designed plate will be able to take plenty of abuse before the bearings start to wear and loosen up. The bearings will be sealed to prevent contamination, and the hardware will not strip after being adjusted regularly.

Also, a well designed plate will have a low stack height. The thinner the plate is, the more suspension travel you have. This is better for ride quality, performance, and damper longevity.

Good plates will also have replaceable parts and interchangeable parts. If the bearings fail, are you stuck buying a whole new set of plates? Or are you buying from a manufacturer that's going to be around when that happens, so you can just replace the bearings? If you switch setups and go with different diameter springs, can you just buy the correct perches from them, or do you have to buy a whole new set of plates?

Don't waste your money on cheap plates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Camber plates couple the strut and spring to the car. Fixed plates bolt to the strut hat. Adjustable ones replace it. They take a huge beating. The cheaper ones have low quality bearings that develop free play over a short period of time and therefore make noise, clunks over bumps, noises with steering input, ect.

A well designed plate will be able to take plenty of abuse before the bearings start to wear and loosen up. The bearings will be sealed to prevent contamination, and the hardware will not strip after being adjusted regularly.

Also, a well designed plate will have a low stack height. The thinner the plate is, the more suspension travel you have. This is better for ride quality, performance, and damper longevity.

Good plates will also have replaceable parts and interchangeable parts. If the bearings fail, are you stuck buying a whole new set of plates? Or are you buying from a manufacturer that's going to be around when that happens, so you can just replace the bearings? If you switch setups and go with different diameter springs, can you just buy the correct perches from them, or do you have to buy a whole new set of plates?

Don't waste your money on cheap plates.
Thanks a lot man well said and great details .......help out a lot :thumbsup:
 

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I had the BAV Auto red ones and they do the job but honestly the design sucks. It just clamps the layers together and it will bend a little to conform to the tower. Making adjustment is difficult because the top can just move in any direction when loosened up. I suggest a quality set that has slots and set bolts. BAV Auto is awesome for a lot of things,but IMO not those Camber plates.
 

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Cosmo racing plates. a friend of mine has them and recommended i get them. hes had his bimmer stanced for quite a bit of time so ill go with his word.
 

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Thanks a lot man well said and great details .......help out a lot :thumbsup:
No problem.

Some other things to keep in mind about the design:

The OEM strut hats have rubber in them to isolate shock and vibration and are kind of set at a certain angle based on the stock camber. You can lower a car, but increasing camber and/or lowering it puts stress on the bearings because it's moving outside of its intended angle. Adjustable plates have a sperical bearing or similar design so they can operate at a wide variety of angles. But they don't usually have rubber in there, so they do transmit some more noise and some more force to the strut towers. I'm not that familiar with what's out there for E46's, as i'm just getting into the game. But in the E36 world (I have an M3), we continue to run the strut tower reinforcement plates to protect the towers. These limit the range of camber adjustment on some plates...though you can modify the reinforcements by cutting the edge off in selected areas so the range is no longer limited. Just some things to keep in mind.

I run Vorshlag camber plates on my E36 M3. They're pricey. But they're fantastic plates. The bearings are high quality, have very little freeplay and make zero noise. They have a lower bearing so the spring and upper perch don't bind and make noise with steering input. The plates have adjustment marks on them, which makes it easy to reproduce camber settings if you go back and forth between street and event (I autoX) settings. The perches are available separately if you switch springs or struts. The bearings are available separately in case you ever need to replace them (you don't have to buy new plates). At $439, they're pricey. But they really are a great product, and as mentioned before...these may be features you want to pay for. Ground Control and TC Kline also make some nice plates. I ran the TC Kline ones for a while and sold them to buy the Vorshlags.

Another thing to keep in mind is the adjustment range. A lot of suspension parts are designed for track cars and are not suitable for street use (despite what some end users do with them). In that vein, some camber plates have *minimum* adjustments that are still quite aggressive. Minimum and maximum camber will depend on your ride height. But, as a for instance, with my E36 M3, -2.0º was the minimum camber I could get with the plates set all the way out. If I was lower, it might be more. I run -2.5º with zero toe and i'm loving it. But it's something to keep in mind if you don't want aggressive alignment specs. If in doubt, ask the manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As I'm just gettin in the game of camber and toe......im not s
ure what's a good range of negative or positive camber is good for street use.

Since I have kw v2 and no camber plate does that negatively impact my coilovers as far as life span goes?
Tire wear is even so I thought for a while I wouldn't need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So can you describe for me what's the difference in feel in certain camber ranges?
* wasn't really sure how to explain that question*

Like what a -3 camber vs a -2 or a +1 differences in feel

Other than aggressive inner tire wear
 

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As I'm just gettin in the game of camber and toe......im not s
ure what's a good range of negative or positive camber is good for street use.

Since I have kw v2 and no camber plate does that negatively impact my coilovers as far as life span goes?
Tire wear is even so I thought for a while I wouldn't need it.
Having camber plates vs. stock strut hats does not directly affect the longevity of your dampers.

You would not want positive camber on your car. A good range of negative will all depend on what kind of driving you do and what your preferences are. Most people will agree that -2.0º or so is good up front for a street car that doesn't see track or autoX. Any more than that, and if you have any toe, you'll get some uneven wear (inner).

At -2.0º with stock-ish toe specs, you may or may not get inner tread wear that bothers you. If you do a lot of highway driving, you likely will. If you drive a lot of back roads and corner hard in the car, it will even things out. When I was on stock alignment, I was actually getting positive camber wear from cornering so hard all the time. Driving style does make a difference.

Camber doesn't wear tires unevenly. Toe AND camber can wear them unevenly. Toe is the angle of the tire with respect to the front of the car. So, if you have toe in, the tire is pointing towards the center of the car slightly. It's sliding across the pavement a bit. So if you have a lot of camber, at static ride height, the contact patch of the wheel is reduced and you're concentrating all that wear to a small part of the tire.

If you run over -2.0º up front, I would run zero toe. This slops up the steering response off initial turn in a bit. But it makes for nice even tire wear. At -2.5º and zero toe, my tires wear completely even. I do autoX and drive very hard around corners, so that has a bit to do with it. But that's some ballpark qualitative info for you.

For a pure street car owned by someone that likes to drive, i'd say run -1.8º to -2.0º with either stock toe settings or reduce it a little. If you want to go a little more aggressive, i'd say - 2.3 to - 2.5º or so...zero toe.
So can you describe for me what's the difference in feel in certain camber ranges?
* wasn't really sure how to explain that question*

Like what a -3 camber vs a -2 or a +1 differences in feel

Other than aggressive inner tire wear
We're sticking to talking about front camber...just FYI.

The car rolls when it goes into a corner. As the car rolls the suspension compresses. As the suspension compresses and the car rolls, the angle of the tire with respect to the road changes. Ideally, we would want the contact patch of the tire to be square to the road while driving straight, and square to the road when the car cornered and dipped into a turn. Unfortunately, that doesn't really happen.

By setting aggressive camber angles, you're making it so the tire is more square to the road under cornering. However, at a point, this does mean that it's more angled with respect to the road while you're not cornering. Camber settings (and all alignment specs really) are a compromise. You're balancing tire wear, handling feel, grip, and stability...also, predictability. All those things are affected by how you set the geometry up.

The front end will grip harder under cornering with more camber. It will also slop the initial turn in bite a little as we mentioned above. However, overall, the car is more responsive to directional changes, which outweighs any slight initial turn in slop that you may feel as a side affect.

-3º is too much for a street car. But if we're talking about the ranges you may run (-1.5º to -2.5º) you'll notice the car turn in better under hard cornering and understeer less with higher negative camber settings. You probably won't notice a huge difference in the steering feedback between -1.5 and -2.5, though these things are subjective and every car and suspension setup is different. The stiffness of your tire's sidewalls, your tire pressures, your spring rates, ride heights, etc. It all makes a difference, so at some point experience is the best teacher and the limitations of what a stranger can illustrate over the forums in text come into play.

For your situation, i'd err on the side of caution so you don't go too aggressive for your liking and limit yourself to -2.0º tops up front. Have them set the toe a little lower than factory and see what you think. If you want to go more down the road you can. But i'd say -1.8 or -2.0 will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay so a camber of -2 up front and a toe of zero is good for a street car, which enjoys turning pretty hard.

Just curious you say set toe a little below factory spec......what degree is factory exactly? So i have an idea of how much of a change were talking about.

And again the way you break it down is awesome..... Thanks a lot man
 

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Okay so a camber of -2 up front and a toe of zero is good for a street car, which enjoys turning pretty hard.

Just curious you say set toe a little below factory spec......what degree is factory exactly? So i have an idea of how much of a change were talking about.

And again the way you break it down is awesome..... Thanks a lot man
I'll let someone who knows factory E46 alignments answer that. I'd say maybe in the ballpark of half the factory toe spec, but I don't know the factory E46 alignment specs.

I have a lot suspension modifications done to my E36. But my 330ci is sitting at the seller's house right now. I pick it up this Saturday. Consequently, I don't know specifics like that about the E46 alignment setup yet.
 

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I'd just zero toe all the way around, -1.5 camber in the back and the front whatever it is (since it's non-adjustable)

Right now i'm .1 toe in all the way around and i'm getting a bit of abnormal tire wear. my front camber is -2 and rear -1.5 so it's the combination of camber and toe that's causing my wear. that's why i recommend zero toe. but then i do just normal highway commuting. i have about 20-22k miles on my current tires so they're in need of replacement anyway. not really sweating the wear
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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@ fiveightandten

Thank you for the information regarding camber adjustments and plate quality. I definitely learned something tonight that has been in the back of my mind for some time.

If I am understanding correctly; negative camber is the top of the tires pointing in / towards the center of the car whereas positive camber is the top of the tires pointing out / away. Did I get that correct?

I have a '04 330Ci Vert and I have been keeping a very close eye on my tire wear. In the last 10k miles I have noticed the inner corners of my rear tires wearing out very fast. I take it my camber is 'too negative' for my driving style (95% straight highway - 5% hard cornering). I am more concerned about my tire wear than aggressive cornering since I drive a lot of straight highway miles to get to work. How can I go about adjusting my camber so that I can maximize my tread life? Are camber plates my only option? My front tires are also wearing badly on the inner corner so I take it that I would need to adjust the front camber too.

Thanks again for the insight to camber and adjustments. Any info on preventing my uneven tire wear would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@ fiveightandten

Thank you for the information regarding camber adjustments and plate quality. I definitely learned something tonight that has been in the back of my mind for some time.

If I am understanding correctly; negative camber is the top of the tires pointing in / towards the center of the car whereas positive camber is the top of the tires pointing out / away. Did I get that correct?

I have a '04 330Ci Vert and I have been keeping a very close eye on my tire wear. In the last 10k miles I have noticed the inner corners of my rear tires wearing out very fast. I take it my camber is 'too negative' for my driving style (95% straight highway - 5% hard cornering). I am more concerned about my tire wear than aggressive cornering since I drive a lot of straight highway miles to get to work. How can I go about adjusting my camber so that I can maximize my tread life? Are camber plates my only option? My front tires are also wearing badly on the inner corner so I take it that I would need to adjust the front camber too.

Thanks again for the insight to camber and adjustments. Any info on preventing my uneven tire wear would be helpful.


Actually bud best way to fix the wear would be an alignment .
If you lowered your car out of factory specs.....then your gonna need a camer plate to even
out wear
 

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Hey cyberlando,

Thanks for the reply. The 330Ci is not lowered and everything is stock on it. When I bought the car last Nov 2011 with 64k miles I had decent tread on the Toyo's. Since then I have put 8k miles and the tread is headed south fast.

I am catching the car up on all it's maintenance since the previous owner just drove the car and that was about it. Got a 4 wheel alignment at a local independent shop in Jan (67k miles) and the specs were within factory limits. I believe the front right 'caster' was the closest one to being out of spec but all the other were correct.

I have gone over the suspension and all the bushings, ball joints and control arms look fine especially for 72k miles. No separation at any of the bushings in the rear. I can tell the FCAB's are a little off center and plan to replace those within the next month.

I am currently running Toyo 225/45 Z R17's up front and 245/40 Z R17's in the rear and with these tires being unidirectional I am unable to rotate any tire. These tires came with the car so for sure my next set will be swappable at least from left to right.

So with nothing changed in the suspension and the bushings / ball joints holding up I am left with few options to fix my negative camber. I might just go with the adjustable lower arms for the rear to get the camber in a spec that helps the tread go farther.

Thanks again for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey cyberlando,

Thanks for the reply. The 330Ci is not lowered and everything is stock on it. When I bought the car last Nov 2011 with 64k miles I had decent tread on the Toyo's. Since then I have put 8k miles and the tread is headed south fast.

I am catching the car up on all it's maintenance since the previous owner just drove the car and that was about it. Got a 4 wheel alignment at a local independent shop in Jan (67k miles) and the specs were within factory limits. I believe the front right 'caster' was the closest one to being out of spec but all the other were correct.

I have gone over the suspension and all the bushings, ball joints and control arms look fine especially for 72k miles. No separation at any of the bushings in the rear. I can tell the FCAB's are a little off center and plan to replace those within the next month.

I am currently running Toyo 225/45 Z R17's up front and 245/40 Z R17's in the rear and with these tires being unidirectional I am unable to rotate any tire. These tires came with the car so for sure my next set will be swappable at least from left to right.

So with nothing changed in the suspension and the bushings / ball joints holding up I am left with few options to fix my negative camber. I might just go with the adjustable lower arms for the rear to get the camber in a spec that helps the tread go farther.

Thanks again for the reply.
If i was to tell you how much maintenance ive been catching up on since i got my car......i'd have to start a trilogy......im like :tsk: everytime i look at my car

but when im driving it its like :evil: so it makes up for itself lol

within the past MONTH yess MONTH:eeps:

i replaced every bushing in the rear, swapped stock rear camber arms to uuc....lowered my car a little more.....front camber plates(also uuc) because my strut hats were shot!!

ordered reinforcement plates for the strut tower...as mine mushroomed a little and i had to fix it!

New Meyle sway bar end links and control arms.
New UUC Tranny mounts with enforcer cup!

power steering fluid flush.....theres more just cant remember at the moment......330ci is :drool:

but when im not working on it like i said!! :excited:

tire wear for me tho hasnt reall
 
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