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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-19-2007, 06:53 PM   #1
jpr
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
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My Ride: '99 323i
DIY Camber Measurement

Here's a simple yet accurate camber gauge I put together on the cheap.
* Sears Digital Torpedo Level - Reg 34.99, On Sale for $24.99 - reads out angles to 0.1deg
* 12inch combination square - $8.99 on sale at Sears, or free if you happen to have one laying about the garage as I did
* piece of 2x6 wood, cut to about 18 1/4 inches to match the rim diameter of my wheels, also free if you happen to have it laying about already (That's for my 17inch style 119's, you may need a different length for different sized wheels)
* 3 button head screws to hold the square on the wood.

Usage is pretty quick and easy:
* hold the wood on the rim and level it out with the bubble gauge on the combination square.
* hold the digital level against the long leg of the square with your other hand and read off the camber as the difference from 90deg (although in the picture I taped the level on to the wood to free a hand for the camera)

So far I've only tested it on a level-ish driveway, but the results are close within the expected range based on the last formal alignment. Most importantly though, the results have shown themsleves to be very repeatable - I get the same thing each time each time I take a reading (for a given position of the car).

Keep in mind though that the key to true accuracy is having the surface the car is on be level. Not only will any slope affect the relative balance at each wheel, but the guage is measuring from true level.

The other important thing is to set a standard load condition for your car at which you take your measurements. I suggest stripped of loose etc's and with a full tank of gas. But it doesn't really matter what it is so much as that it is the same each time you measure it.
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:28 PM   #2
FlzRider
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Good info!
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:45 PM   #3
328iBMW
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Nice.

So then how would one (i.e. me) go about adjusting the camber?
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
jpr
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Check out post #13 in the "Alignment" thread linked in the sig below - it's got the TIS instructions attached
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:20 AM   #5
SDpnoy
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Whoa! I was just looking at getting the torpedo last night from sears and making something like this too. Great info!
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
Minnoe07
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You can use the torpedo level to measure the floor. Subtract that angle from the measurement that you get off the wheel.
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