Before getting behind the wheels of your beloved Chevy Truck, you need to set plenty of things right, like how to adjust the camber on the Chevy truck.
I am sure you want an easy ride; you don’t want to mangle or spill the content of the load you carry on your trunk while doing the corners. You certainly want a smooth ride without fighting your steering wheel through every mile of driving.
It would help if you had plenty of ground clearance and a lot of alignments come along. Here is how to adjust the camber on a chevy truck for a smooth, even ride.
- 1 What is a Camber?
- 2 Various types of Chevy Truck Camber?
- 3 Finding the Best Camber Angle on a Chevy Truck
- 4 Materials needed to adjust the camber
- 5 What is the best way to adjust camber? Here is a step-by-step guide for Chevy Truck
- 6 How to Fix Negative Camber
- 7 How much camber should a truck have?
- 8 Camber on Chevy truck replacement cost
- 9 How do mechanics adjust camber?
- 10 FAQs for How to Adjust Camber on Chevy Truck
- 11 Our verdict
What is a Camber?
The camber is the outward or inward inclination of the front wheels measured against the wheel’s vertical axis.
The camber plays a critical role when maneuvering corners. If the camber is not aligned correctly, it can cause handling issues, excessive tire wear, and fuel consumption, unnecessarily eating up your pockets.
The critical indicators for a deviation from the correct alignment are increased gas mileage, tire wear, and, of course, you will notice significant steering wheel handling issues. Always check your camber alignment to align with the manufacturer’s default settings.
Wheel alignment is a crucial aspect of safe driving. Experts recommend checking your camber setting to ensure the wheels are correctly aligned.
Various types of Chevy Truck Camber?
Traditionally, all manufacturers set a specific camber alignment for every vehicle they produce. The alignments ensure that a significant amount of tire thread contacts the asphalt, enabling good traction. The opposite is true when one side of the tire has all its weight resting vertically against it.
Chevy Trucks come with three camber types: positive, negative, and zero camber. When the top of the wheel is tilted inwards, we have a positive deviation from the vertical axis, referred to as positive camber. We have a negative camber when the upper part of the tire is inclined inwards, creating a negative deviation from the vertical axis.
Lastly, we gave a Zero camber when the tire is vertically straight with no tilting or leaning. You can always change the alignment to suit your needs; to do so, you must master how to Adjust Camber on a Chevy Truck.
For what reasons Do You Need to Adjust the Camber on Chevy Trucks?
While most manufacturers will recommend a particular wheel alignment or camber adjustment, the Chevy truck allows you to choose from the three alignments: the neutral, positive, and negative camber adjustment, the one that suits your needs.
Terrain and nature of the road: Imagine residing in a comparatively flat locality. Most of your rides will be on straight roads with little corners to meander. Now imagine living in a hilly place. The meandering increases a simple mile covered. One will have made several corners compared to residing in a relatively flat area.
Safe driving: With three alignments to choose from, the Chevy truck gives options to choose from. For instance, for flat roads with little corners and meandering, setting the camber alignment to negative works better. However, for hilly and sloppy mountainous driving, setting the alignment to negative is the safest and most suitable.
Finding the Best Camber Angle on a Chevy Truck
The different camber alignments come for different driving needs, so the best camber angle on the Chevy truck solely depends on your needs, tests, and preferences.
For instance, the neutral or zero cumber allows excellent braking and traction if you drive on straight roads. Additionally, the alignment causes more evenly distributed tire wear than the one-sided tire in negative and positive alignments.
Conversely, neutral alignment causes many challenges while pursuing corners and meanders. The positive camber alignment works best for you if you use the truck as an agricultural vehicle.
The negative camber alignment works best for corners and meanders. It will be ideal if you do curvy roads with lots of corners. Interestingly, some Chevy trucks come with a hybrid camber, which allows tasting both the negative and positive camber alignments.
Camber angle influences performance and tire durability. We recommend changing the alignment depending on the need, that is, the purpose and the nature of the roads you drive on.
Materials needed to adjust the camber
How to Adjust Camber on a Chevy Truck? What do I need? Aligning your camber to your preferred settings is straightforward with the right tool and equipment. Here is the material needed to adjust the camber on your Chevy truck.
- You need a Wrench Set to fasten and unfasten, so this tool comes in handy.
- You need a socket Set- this is handy when taking off and fastening bolts and nuts.
- You need an Alignment Machine – of course, you will need an alignment machine to help you do the alignment properly.
- Lastly, it would help if you had an impact gun.
What is the best way to adjust camber? Here is a step-by-step guide for Chevy Truck
Chevy trucks are DIY-friendly thanks to their purpose-built products that allow for adjustability. But while you can change the camber on your Chevy truck alone, it can be challenging if you have never done it before. Here is a guide to help you get things done.
Step 1: Set up your garage and car
First, before anything, you need to ensure everything is in its rightful place and that you have everything needed. Besides assembling the necessary tools, you need to set up your car and garage. Make sure that your car is loaded and seats on level ground. If some garages are perfectly leveled, you can fabricate one using wooden planks and a laser leveling gauge if it isn’t—more on this in the following article.
Step 2: Measure the existing number
It’s time to start once your truck is set on level ground. Remember to take all precautionary safety measures. The most basic one is don’t forget to lock both your parking and main brakes. Next, establish the current camber situation, determine a cambered alignment, and act accordingly. Please take out the inclinometer and measure your Chevy truck’s camber alignment as it stands now.
To do so, you need to ensure your truck tires are pointed straight. Regulate the wheel pressure to the truck producer’s provisions. Have you forgotten the specifications? You can find them easily on your user manual or the tire placard usually mounted on the driver’s side door.
After adjusting the pressure, attach the camber gauge either to the wheel or spindle. This depends on the user’s instructions. Next, turn the gauge until the bubble shows that it is level. The caliper’s central component should align perfectly with the center of the hub. For more details, check the video.
You need to get everything correct at this stage because any crooked readings will screw measurements and hinder the results. So, the tire should all be straight, and the camber reading must align perfectly.
Step 3: Remove the tires
Next, we will work on the control arms of the front wheels. At the bare minimum, you need a wrench set car jack; these two are necessary. Additionally, you might need gloves to protect your hands. You might also need a mat for kneeling on. Start by loosening the hub cap if your truck wheels have a cover. Use a flat tip to pry and unfasten the cover and remove it.
Security tip: don’t forget to secure the chassis with the jack stands, then choke the rear wheels.
Using the jack to rift the truck off the ground, jack the vehicle at the appropriate jacking point. Now that the truck is safe and above the ground, you can remove the tire. Start by unscrewing the lug nuts and placing them in a secure location. Once the nuts are out, detach the tire to expose the control arms.
Step 4: Next go for the arm mounting bolts
The camber mounting bolt helps you adjust the camber reading for your truck. Besides adjusting, they restore vehicle wheel alignment after suspension components are damaged or bent. So, how do you locate the bolts? Survey the control arm for the mounting bolts. They are located on the knuckle clevises on both sides of the frame.
After finding the mounting bolts, look for the camber alignment pins. They are usually an elongation of the frame. The camber alignment pin alongside the arm control bolts will help you adjust the camber to your preferences.
Step 5: Loosen the upper control arm
Unlike in other vehicles where camber alignment is done by inserting shims in the control arm, the Chevy truck camber alignment is done via offsetting mounting bolts on the upper control arm. To do this, unfasten the non-camber mounting bolts on the upper control arm.
To do this, you require a wrench and sockets. Turn and bolts anti-clockwise while keeping an eye on the alignment pin. You can use an inclinometer and continue loosening the bolts until a favorable angle alignment slope is achieved to get the proper adjustment. After you have the required adjustment, fasten the bolts. Do not over-loosen the bolts or over-tighten them.
Step 6: mounting back the tire
After adjusting, it’s time to return the tire to its position and lower the truck. At this stage, you may need a second person to help you ensure everything moves smoothly. Remove the jack and lower the chevy slowly. If you used an inclinometer to do the alignment, the result would be ok, but if you are not satisfied, you can always start the process again to your satisfaction.
How to Fix Negative Camber
To fix negative camber, you typically need to adjust your vehicle’s suspension components. This may involve aligning the wheels, replacing or adjusting parts such as control arms, camber bolts, or bushings, or installing camber kits designed for your specific vehicle model. It’s important to have a professional technician or a skilled mechanic perform these adjustments to ensure accurate alignment and avoid further issues.
A negative camber is when the top of the tire leans inward towards the vehicle’s chassis. While a slight negative camber can improve handling and cornering performance in sports cars, excessive negative camber can lead to uneven tire wear and compromise the vehicle’s stability. Here’s how you can address it:
The first step in fixing negative camber is to get a professional wheel alignment. This process involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the car manufacturer’s specifications. An alignment will ensure that the camber, toe, and caster are correctly adjusted.
Inspect Suspension Components:
Over time, wear and tear on suspension parts can change the camber. Inspecting and replacing worn-out components such as control arms, bushings, and ball joints can help restore proper alignment.
A mechanic can directly adjust the camber to the desired angle for vehicles with adjustable suspension components. This might involve turning camber bolts or adjusting the position of the control arm.
For cars where the standard suspension setup does not allow for camber adjustment, camber kits are available. These kits provide the additional adjustability needed to correct the camber angle. They are especially useful for vehicles that have been lowered or have custom suspension setups.
Consult a Professional:
It’s crucial to consult with a professional mechanic or a suspension specialist. They can provide advice tailored to your vehicle’s specific needs and ensure that any adjustments made will not negatively affect the handling or safety of your car.
Remember, the goal is to achieve a balance where your vehicle maintains good handling characteristics without causing premature tire wear. Each vehicle may require a different approach based on its design, usage, and the extent of the negative camber issue.
How much camber should a truck have?
The ideal truck camber setting typically ranges from 0 to 1 degree of positive camber. However, this can vary based on the specific model of the truck and its intended use.
Camber refers to the angle of the wheels in relation to the ground when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel leans out from the center of the vehicle, it’s called a positive camber. If it leans in, it’s negative camber. The right camber can significantly affect a truck’s handling and tire wear.
A slight positive camber is recommended for most trucks, especially those used for daily driving and light hauling. This range helps ensure that the truck maintains good stability and tire contact with the road during straight driving and when cornering. It also helps compensate for the road crown and the vehicle’s load, preventing excessive tire wear on the inside edge.
However, the optimal camber setting can vary depending on the truck’s load, the driving it is primarily used for, and the specific design of the vehicle’s suspension system. For example, trucks that frequently carry heavy loads or are used off-road might benefit from different camber settings to optimize handling and tire life under those conditions.
Camber on Chevy truck replacement cost
In most cases, camber alignment is a do-it-yourself-home job, but if you want the services of professional mechanics, it will cost you around $30 to $50 per wheel. So, I will pay $120 – 200 for the whole truck.
Sometimes, you may try to align the camber, but in vain. Most probably, your camber is worn out and needs replacement. The cost for camber replacement varies from one vendor to the other, but typically, the price ranges from $63- $70.
How do mechanics adjust camber?
Mechanics adjust camber by altering the angle of the wheels using suspension components like camber bolts, adjustable control arms, or strut mounts. This involves loosening these parts to shift the wheel’s tilt inward or outward to achieve the desired camber setting, then retightening them to secure the adjustment. This process often requires precise measurement tools to ensure the camber is set to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
FAQs for How to Adjust Camber on Chevy Truck
01. What is the default camber alignment for the Chevy truck?
Like most manufacturers, the Chevy truck has a slightly positive camber alignment as its default setting. That means the wheel leans a little bit at the top. To change this setting, review our Step-by-step instructions to Adjust the Camber on the Chevy Truck above.
02. What is the best camber alignment for high-speed driving?
You should align your Chevy truck camber alignment to negative for high-speed driving. Negative camber alignment allows the driver to control power more when the vehicle is at high speed, which will be impossible when doing neutral or positive alignments.
03. What are the problems or challenges caused by opposing camber alignment?
While the negative camber has its positives, it has its negatives, including the fact that it is almost a guaranteed way to run through your tires quickly. This is the case when driving on a rough road. Other negative effects include a higher risk of the wheels breaking loose and that it could potentially lock your steering wheel.
04. What are the positive effects of positive camber alignment?
Positive camber alignment increases steering wheel handling abilities and provides excellent stability, which is good for off-road driving or using the truck for agricultural purposes.
However, on the contrary, it is troublesome, especially when making turns in corners. Disproportionate positive camber alignment is also known to cause abrasion or extreme tire wear on the outer part of the wheel.
While truck repairs and servicing largely remain a preserve for trained mechanics, the sole responsibility for servicing your chevy truck solely lies on you. So, you might find camber, caster, or toe quite intimidating, but it helps get acquitted with these terms. This guide focused on how to adjust the camber on a chevy truck.
So far, we have discussed the different types of camber alignments and how to adjust them, including the different challenges caused by excessive positive and negative camber alignments. The guide is suitable for starters and nonstarters, but always leave it for a trained mechanic if you face a challenge adjusting your camber.
Hello, this is Wesley Shelton, currently working in a car restoration company for over 5 years. Before that, I was a worker at a small car repair shop. As I was a car freak from a young age and worked as a professional for over half a decade, I think I now know pretty much everything about every car and its parts. To establish my name as a professional and help others by sharing my knowledge, I’ve created this website, which I work on whenever I get free time. I hope you’ve enjoyed my informative blog!