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© Peter Ogden, 2011

Rear Camber Arms

Camber Arms Be careful when buying suspension components off eBay. They are not all the same!

Due to the car being lowered, the suspension geometry is severely compromised. If I don't do something about it, it will chew through the inner edge of the tyres in no time at all. My alternatives are to raise the suspension back to near stock height, install some rear camber arms, or a bit of both. I intended to take the third option. I will raise the car about 10 mm (as soon as I can free the nuts on the shocks!). This will hopefully stop the slight rub I get when I hit mid-corner bumps. I also purchased a pair of rear camber arms from eBay to remove the remaining excess negative camber.

Being the cheapskate that I am, I bought the cheapest camber arms I could find from eBay. I installed them and adjusted them to near the wanted -1.5 degrees using high school maths to calculate the angle from measurements taken from a right angle builders square. I ran them for a couple of weeks on the car, intending to get a professional wheel alignment once I was able to get the ride height raised the 10mm. A couple of weeks later I was doing some other work under the car and noticed a crack in one of the arms.

Cracked Camber Arm I hadn't had any accident or hit anything in the car during this time. I hadn't even driven it all that hard, as the wheel alignment was not yet ideal. I immediately removed the arms and replaced them with the stock items. On inspection of the cracked arm, you can see that the wall thickness on this arm is incredibly thin - dangerously so! I complained to the supplier and requested a full refund. The supplier initially denied all responsibility and told me that there are numerous suppliers selling these exact same arms all over eBay (as if this means that they are fine!). I have no doubt that there are lots of sellers selling these as there are a number of very similar looking arms in various colours being sold on eBay at any one time. I mentioned in a follow up email that I was considering taking it up with consumer affairs due to the safety issues. The supplier then went all defensive - saying he doesn't take kindly to threats. At that point I felt that I was unlikely to get any further with the supplier and sent a letter along with photos to Consumer Affairs in the suppliers state. Immediately after (and before I could let the supplier know that I had lodged a complaint with consumer affairs), the supplier emailed me to say that if I posted them back to him (at my expense), he would replace them. I emailed him back to tell him he was too late and that, in any case, I would never put these back on my car, as they are simply not safe.

I now intend to buy some adjustable bushes (like this) and fit them to the stock arms (which, of course, are quite substantial). A lesson learned...