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Cheap Digital Camber Gauge

Update: Read on for the gauge part, but now I’ve finished off the alignment toolkit with a Ryobi self leveling laser. Put that baby in the middle of where the car will be, and use Home Depot $0.59 vinyl floor tiles to get the work area absolutely level before you use the following gauge. With that projecting a horizontal level laser and a ruler at the corners to setup the tiles, you won’t ever have to zero it against the ground anymore (every time you power it off, it goes back to default). I’m within 1/16″ at all 4 corners, with the highest corner getting 0 tiles, and the lowest corner getting 9.

A few years ago I used someone’s “Smart Camber” digital camber gauge. It was awesome! You could zero it on the ground and measure your camber on uneven ground with 0.1 accuracy. I was going to get my own, but the $250 street price kind of discouraged me. Being the DIY type, I decided to make my own.

Take:

  • (1) Digital Level from Sears with 0.1 accuracy which can be found on sale for $35
  • (1) 20in long, 1″ wide, 1/8″ thick piece of steel from Home Depot Racing
  • (2) 1″ long 1/4″ thick metal spacers from HDR
  • (2) Allen head 1.5″ bolts
  • (2) Nuts and washers

Drill a hole on one end of the sheetmetal, then 3 holes for 15, 16 and 17″ wheels on the other end. Put in the bolts into the spacers, through the sheetmetal and throw a washer/nut on the other end. The pictures at the end of the post show what I’m talking about. The level attaches to the sheetmetal and is very sturdy as it has a nice big magnet in it.

edit: This part is no longer necessary if you do the above laser/floor tile leveling of your surface. Only if you are doing this on uneven ground. To do an alignment, just set the gauge on the ground in front of your tire and level out to 0 with the “zero” button.

Then place against your wheel and do a tiny bit of math. 88 degrees on the gauge = -2 degrees camber. Easy, accurate to 0.1, and under $40 including all materials. It’s been working great the last season and between this, and stringing up the car for toe, I can do pro alignments in the garage or the pits whenever I please. After the lift, the Jeep went to the shop for an alignment, so I got to verify the accuracy of the gauge and it matched their Hunter machine.

I’ve thought about making a better mount for the level, which would allow me to zero out the gauge vertically, but this has been working so well, I never bothered. If someone comes up with something better, send me a note.

18 Responses to “Cheap Digital Camber Gauge”

  1. Alex says:

    This is a nice design. Now if we could only think of one for Caster and to Center the wheel.

    The best thing that I came up with is a piece of a string taped down to each side of the steering wheel and a string level. It should help centering the wheel real fast.

  2. dogfriend says:

    Nice to see that someone had the same idea that I did. Mine is made from a scrap piece of 1 1/2 angle and I made the standoffs adjustable so I could use a set of calipers to get them even to .001 inch. I used it to set the camber on my car. Another useful item from Home Depot Racing is a 2 inch square tube normally used for a metal fence post. I used it with a couple of spacers (large sockets of the same height) to check the level of my carport floor across 60″ spacing. The digital level says it is level to the nearest 0.1 degree across the width of the car.

  3. Jim the Pathologist says:

    I don’t know how long this sale will last, but the cost of making your own camber gauge just went way down!

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=22143&filter=digital%20level

  4. Hey there I found your website by mistake, I was browsing Bing for Honolulu flooring providers when I came upon your website, I must say your site is very cool I just love the theme, its amazing!. I’m strapped for time in this instance to completely read your site but I have bookmarked it and also signed up for your RSS feeds. I will be back when I free up some time. Thank you for a great website.

  5. [...] – JDM Universe.com SCCA Great River Region • View topic – $40 Camber Gauge Built By ME! Cheap Digital Camber Gauge Tom Hoppe I haven’t looked into a DIY toe measurement tool yet, but you can do that with a string and some [...]

  6. Cable Router says:

    Hey, I absolutely adore this blog design and then the information you have penned is astounding. Continue the good work mate.

  7. Hi, just wandered by. I have a Ryobi site. Lots of information out there. Not quite what I was looking for, but great site. Take care.

  8. Hi there, just doing some research for my Ryobi website. Lots of information out there. Wasn’t what I was looking for, but interesting page. Have a good day.

  9. [...] by these folks: SCCA Great River Region • View topic – $40 Camber Gauge Built By ME! Cheap Digital Camber Gauge Tom Hoppe So I went to Home depot racing/Sears and made my own: ZERO the level to the garage floor before [...]

  10. Excellent post I must say.. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging.. Keep up the good work!/15.01.2011 21:27:30

  11. Poxrwhqm says:

    How do I get an outside line? Nude Preteen Boys
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  12. Gwnimipo says:

    I’d like a phonecard, please Little Loli Girls 8481

  13. Tommy says:

    What is the math formula u us how did u determine 88 = -2 degrees?

  14. Joel says:

    Where do you find those parts from “Home Depot Racing”?
    I can’t find their website on Google.

  15. Dave says:

    For those looking for a simple caster check tool, visit;

    http://www.stockcarracing.com/tipstricks/camber_caster_toe_setup/

    this is the simplest caster checking tool I’ve seen and you can use your digital level to boot! No upper ball joint? Then just use the lower part and a small bungee to hold it in place on the lower ball joint stud. May need to remove the cotter pin and replace it afterwords but still way cheaper than the alignment shop.

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