A reader in the comment stream from my post about Longacre Racing Products’ toe gauge asked about tools for setting the other two most commonly-referenced suspension characteristics: caster and camber. Caster is non-adjustable on the vast majority of vehicles. Unless you have a full-race car or some serious modifications, it’s never something you’ll need to worry about, since it’s built right into the suspension components. Camber adjustments aren’t exactly commonplace, but a few vehicles (like the famous Dodge Neon ACR) have factory-adjustable suspensions that allow camber tweaks, and you can buy aftermarket camber adjustment plates which permit slight shifts in a car’s suspension mounting points. For the amateur racer, more or less is generally all you need to know, but if you’re looking to repeat or record settings, you’ll need something like Longacre’s camber gauge.
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It took me forty minutes to find an online answer to a very simple question: what is the wheel bolt pattern for a 2006 Chevrolet HHR? Given the simplicity of that question, I’m either the world’s worst Googler or the Internet is a Biblical flood of poorly-checked information.
A $19 set of Commercial Forms’ wheel pattern gauges would have saved me the trouble. Normally I’d call a tool like their 15-piece set a waste of money, but less than $20 is hard to argue with. That cost is well worth the definitive answer this tool can provide, and the fifteen pieces cover thirty different bolt patterns. Strictly speaking, only workers at tire shops will get a lot of use out of these gauges, but I can see them dangling from the belt during a crawl around the junkyard. They could be just what you need to find a used, cheap disc brake setup compatible with your project car.
Wheel Gauges [Commercial Forms]