Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home

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Practical advice (helpful hints & suggestions) requested from those of you
who have successfully checked camber at home (to sufficient accuracy).

If you have never checked your automotive alignment camber at home, you
probably won't be able to add much practical value to this thread; however
if you have actually measured your wheel camber with sufficient accuracy at
home, you almost certainly can add valuable pragmatic hints to this thread
(such that we'll all learn from your experience).

I am researching whether automotive alignment camber quick checks are yet
possible to a reasonable degree of accuracy using a free app on a common
mobile device (either iOS or Android, both of which I own).  

A search does find a variety of methods to check camber at home:
https://www.google.com/search?q=check+camber+at+home
where some of those articles used mobile phone apps
(e.g., XXXXXX)

Here I am just asking for advice from those of you who have successfully
checked your camber at home using your smartphone to measure the angles to
sufficient accuracy.

To find apps which measure angles to sufficient accuracy, I have already
run a variety of Google searches of the general form:
1. review best ios free app angle automotive alignment camber accurate
2. review best android free app angle automotive alignment camber accurate

Some hits from the iOS searches are as follows:
A.  Wheel Align for ALiSENSOR Wheel By Gloi AB
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wheel-align-for-alisensor/id513879710
B.  iHandy Level Free By iHandy Inc.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ihandy-level-free/id299852753
C. Clinometer + bubble level + slope finder (3 in 1) By Peter Breitling
   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clinometer-+-bubble-level/id286215117

Some hits from the Android searches are as follows:
A. Clinometer + bubble level By plaincode
   https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plaincode.clinometer
B. iHandy Level Free By iHandy Ltd.  
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ihandysoft.carpenter.level
C. Angle Meter PRO By nakhon phagdeechat  
   https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=iyok.com.anglemeterpro

The amount of useless responses to this thread can be minimized simply by
asking those who don't care to or who haven't ever successfully checked
their camber at home to NOT respond (they're not going to be able to tell
us anything we don't already know - all they're going to do is clutter up
this thread to make it harder to be useful to others).  

However, if you have ever attempted to check your camber at home using a
smart phone angle measuring tool, your insight, hints, and advice would be
greatly appreciated (and would be generally useful to many people).

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
Horatio Alger and/or one of his many clones is trolling again. Just check the source.

As to checking Camber "at home". When it comes to vehicular safety, when it comes to the lives of my wife, kids and grandkids, not to mention me, my advice is DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME - as no matter how smart the phone, the operator will be an idiot.  

Peter Wieck  
Melrose Park, PA  

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
Ooooops.
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I had forgotten to link to a descriptive photo of the desired task:
http://i.cubeupload.com/6CPUl7.jpg

I'm sure there are gotchas (e.g., is the garage floor really flat?), but it
seems doable to measure camber at home if we can answer the main obvious
questions which are (I think):

Q: What accuracy is *needed* to measure camber at home?
Q: What accuracy can be *attained* with a typical mobile device?
Q: Is the repeatability sufficient in a typical home measurement setup?
Q: How do we compensate for typical errors (e.g., ride height, flat floor)?

What other gotchas will we need to look at to successfully measure wheel
camber using a mobile device in a typical garage setup?

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
John Harmon wrote:
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.01 degree or better.

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?????????? don't use one myself

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Same way you do with the machines, Measure the floor and level the  
machine prior to use. Using an app you could check the floor span where  
you plan to do the work and zero it out.

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How to attach the device to the wheel/hub.

--  
Steve W.

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 1:32:37 PM UTC-5, Steve W. wrote:

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Not possible centered on the axle and neutral in two axis without additional (and expensive) tooling. Hence the "Idiot Operator" requirement.  

Once again, Harmon/Alger is trolling for a Darwin Award.  

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA  

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 1:32:37 PM UTC-5, Steve W. wrote:

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Not possible centered on the axle and neutral in two axis without additiona
l (and expensive) tooling. Hence the "Idiot Operator" requirement.  

Once again, Harmon/Alger is trolling for a Darwin Award.  

NOTE: Azimuth accuracy in smart-phone devices (departure from the vertical)
 is typically less than 10 degrees. OK for orienting the picture on the pho
ne, not so much for measuring tire camber. Pushing right up against the "Id
iot Operator" requirement for trusting such a device for such a purpose.  

It would be quite useful were the OP to actually make adjustments based on  
such a device - if we could only be sure when he inevitably wraps himself a
round a tree thereafter that he does so without any collateral damage. Yes,
 I am being snarky -  but if ever there was a situation for such - this is  
one.  

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com actually said:

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We really must know to what accuracy we need the measurements to be becuase
every measurement tool ever made has this as its basic issue.

Do you think it's less, or more accurate that we need for camber
measurement?

As just one reference, page 8 of this document says that camber (and toe)
measurements must be accurate to "2 angular minutes".  
http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/snitch740i/original/BMW_Wheel_Alignment_System%5B1%5D.pdf

The question then becomes how to translate 2 angular minutes into inch
measurements.

On page 10 of that document it says the camber tolerance of another vehicle
model is ? 10' (plus or minus 10 minutes).  

So what is 10 minutes in inches?

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I realize there are many ways to measure things, and I understand that
you're using the tire wear and handling to measure camber, but I would like
to try to get a bit finer in granularity (especially since lots of other
things can cause both those issues).

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I have plenty of carpenters bubble levels, one with digital output, so
that's also another option.  

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I understand what you're saying which is that the negative camber on my
rear tires can be anywhere between 0 and minus 2 degrees.  

But I would like to get a bit more accurate than 1/4 bubble! :)

One of my cars specifies the following static camber range, for example:
Front (non-adjustable) camber = -0.7? minimum, 0.3? maximum
Rear (adjustable) camber = -2.2 ?mimimum, -2.0? maximum
( http://www.bmwdiy.info/alignment/index.html )  

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Some cars compensate for that by specificying cross camber specs, but mine
are symmetric.  

The static negative camber is "supposed" to increase lateral grip. At the
same time, it certainly increases inner tire edge wear and decreases
straight-line braking traction. On uneven road surfaces, you can get camber
thrust (where the tire moves toward the camber).  

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Yup. That's a measurement and calibration issue for sure, but luckily, my
garage is extremely flat (I measured it once long ago).  

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That's excellent advice. Since the tire bulges, I wonder if it's best
to use the wheel lugs to mount a jig which is what we measure to?
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This is a good hint, which is that we can just note what the *delta* is
between the front and back, and measure that delta, over time, with a handy
instrument.

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Mine has negative camber on both front and rear, but front isn't adjustable
without adding camber plates.

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I disagree but I understand your point.
On sheer economy, there are only 3 measurements I need for my sedan:
1. toe front
2. toe rear
3. camber rear

So all I need, to do a "pragmatic" alignment check, is to check those
three.
A. If they're off, then I can get the car aligned for $100 or more.
B. If they're on target, then I save $100 each time I measure them.
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On page 14 of the document above, it tells me that the static toe and
camber accuracy needs to be:
Toe measuring accuracy ?2' in measuring range ?2? in total range ?18?
Camber measuring accuracy ?1' in measuring range ?3? in total range ?10?
http://i.cubeupload.com/cfaDWp.jpg

Does anyone here know how to convert the 1 and 2 minutes to inches?

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On 12/8/2016 2:12 PM, John Harmon wrote:
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A jig, if you can't use the actual wheel.



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   No, But 30 min is equal to 0.5 degrees.
                                  Mikek

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
amdx actually said:

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I agree that, for our purposes, we should assume I jury rig a jig of some
sort so that there is a flat completely perpendicular plate bolted onto the
axle somehow (probably placed on the outside of the wheels using the lug
bolts or lug nuts).  

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Right. And the 1 and 2 minutes are 1/60th and 1/30th of a degree
respectively.  

But what is 1/60th of a degree in inches?

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On 12/8/2016 3:13 PM, John Harmon wrote:
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  That depends on the length.
                            Mikek
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Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
amdx actually said:

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Following that statement to the logical next step, here is a
representiative track for my sedan from this thread:
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1312326-1998-BMW-528i-Complete-FRONT-Suspension-Overhaul

That photo says that the track is:
- Front Track Width = 1512 mm
- Rear Track Width = 1526 mm

So now what's 1/60th of a degree, in millimeters?

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On 12/8/2016 6:54 PM, John Harmon wrote:
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You have a misunderstanding, to figure millimeter or inches,
  you need to have two lines that are connected like a below,

l****/
l   /
l  /
l /
l/
The angle between l and /, we will call 1/60 of a degree,
the **** is the millimeters or inches, BUT, the quantity of millimeters  
or inches depends on the length of l, as you can see the longer l the  
larger **** will be. But the angle stays the same.


Use the link below
  may help you see it.



  http://www.carbidedepot.com/formulas-trigright.asp
  I put in a 1 degree angle for (angle a) and 16" for
(side B) Then hit calculate to find (side a).
  This says you need 0.279" of tilt top to bottom
on a 16" wheel.
  Note: this triangle is rotated 90* to your wheel.
So take that into account when thinking about the calculation.
Bottom line, for a 1 degree angle you need a tilt of 0.279" over 16".
  That's measurable, but you need a post 90* off the floor to measure from.
Second note: Side (a) the tilt at the top (mm or inches), Side (b) is  
perpendicular to the floor, Side (c) would be the tilt of the wheel.
Angle (a) is the degrees of the angle you set.

                                     Mikek


Don't miss, a repeat of my advice
On 12/8/2016 7:36 PM, amdx wrote:
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Just Repeating so you don't miss my post.
I would like to know if my explanation made any sense to you.
Be sure to use the trig calculator to help you understand.
Maybe even draw out a few right triangles get the idea


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Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
amdx actually said:

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Nice graphic!

To your point, I completely agree that I'm utterly confused when it comes
to "toe" angles.

It was my mistake to ever bring in the concept of "toe" to this discussion
because, while measuring toe with a tape measure at home is relatively easy
(once the mechanical overhang problem is solved), *converting* the damn
manufacturer's spec from angles to inches is the *confusion* I have.

Here is the toe spec for a similar vehicle to mine:
http://i.cubeupload.com/RubZhV.gif

Notice that the "total toe" spec is 0 degrees 14 minutes plus or minus 10
minutes.  

Also notice that the measurement accuracy for "total wheel toe" is also
given in similar units of a measuring accuracy of plus or minus two minutes
in a measuring range of plus or minus two degrees within a measuring range
of plus or minus 18 degrees.  
http://i.cubeupload.com/cfaDWp.jpg

I admit I'm confused.
My dilemma is understanding how to *measure* to that spec.

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:54:19 PM UTC-5, John Harmon wrote:

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You are now proven stupid, as well as being a true idiot.  

READ THE $%^&*()!@# TEXT in the procedure. Millimeters are not involved. Th
ey are mentioned for informational purposes so that *you* might understand  
why things do not line up front-to-rear. Degrees are involved. Hence the us
e of a level and plumb-bob. The HORIZONTAL DIMENSION is measured and marked
. This is at the axle. Then The VERTICAL AXIS is determined. If it is at th
e correct angle from true vertical (hence the need for a level) when the ve
hicle is on the ground and correctly loaded you now have the correct camber
. WHICH YOU CAN COMPARE TO THE PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED MARK. Which then GIVES
 YOU A DIMENSION FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.  

Back in the day, and at very good shops today, the mechanic will ask the ow
ner whether the car is normally driven solo or with passengers. If solo, he
 will put (usually) a 40-60 pound weight in the driver's seat to simulate "
proper loading".  

That you are a BMW owner explains a lot as well.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2390373/BMW-drivers-really-aggressi
ve-drivers-prone-road-rage-wheel.html    

That you cannot read for content is typical of the species.  

The sharpest tool you should be allowed is a rubber spoon.  

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA  

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On 12/9/2016 7:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
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Hey Peter, why all the hate?
How is the rest of your life, do you treat everyone this way?
I think I have posted a pretty good explanation to try and give him the  
understanding he is missing.
I did it without one vile word.
In fact, I enjoyed it. How joy did you have in your response?
None, you were mad. Huh! How silly. If you are not happy making
a response, why do it.
                   Mikek


Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Friday, December 9, 2016 at 10:01:12 AM UTC-5, amdx wrote:
re now proven stupid, as well as being a true idiot.
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Hatred? That is an emotion that takes effort and requires knowledge of the  
actual target beyond the initial idiocy.  

Harmon/Alger is a troll whose sole purpose in life is to spin the wheels of
 the otherwise well-intentioned by inveigling them into meaningless discuss
ions over processes that have no relevance in reality. Usually continued so
 long that the "horse" is not only dead, but skinned, flayed and flensed.
  

He cannot read for content. As the processes over which he appears to be co
nfused are rather obvious. Which means either one of two things:  

a) he is invincibly ignorant.  
b) he enjoys spinning peoples' wheels.  

Whether the former or the latter, he has no place in a reasonable discussio
n as he cannot be reasonably, nor engage in meaningful discussion.  

Again, the sharpest tool he should be allowed is a rubber spoon as he is cl
early a danger to himself or others who may be victims of his ineptitude.
  

I would have a great deal more respect for him were he to sign his real nam
e. But that he changes it as often as he (likely) changes his socks is the  
certain indication of his status as a troll.  

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Fri, 9 Dec 2016, amdx wrote:

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Come on, the original poster, whatever he's talking about, cross posted  
this to
    comp.mobile.android, rec.autos.tech, alt.home.repair,
     sci.electronics.repair

Only one seems directly applicable, maybe alt.home.repairs is valid  
(though I thought that was about repairing homes, not doing repairs at  
home), but comp.mobile.android and sci.electronics.repair have nothing to  
do with auto repair, despite a fairly regular strain of people  
crossposting between the latter and the home repair newsgroup.

Anyone so clueless to post to this bunch of newsgroups is starting out  
with a problem.

   Michael


Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home

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For small angles sin(A) = A (provided A is in radians) and d times
sin(A) (hence d times A) is the displacement at a distance d caused by
an angle a.  To convert to radians, multiply degrees by .0174532925199
(pi/180).

For example, 2 minutes = 1/30 deg = .0005817764173 radians so 8 inches
from the hub that corresponds to a displacement of 8 * .0005817764173 =
.00465 inches or 4.65 thousandths of an inch (0.118 mm).  I image that's
hard to measure.

The suggested accuracy of 0.01 degrees corresponds to a displacement of
3.5 micrometres at 8 inches.  That's less the typical width of a human
head hair.

--  
Ben.

Re: Advice requested from those of you who have successfully checked camber at home
On Thu, 8 Dec 2016 21:13:33 -0000 (UTC), John Harmon

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 That depends whether it is at 12.5 inches, 12.5 feet, or 12.5
miles.......
You REALLY need to study your high-school math.

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