June 8, 2012

Bad Camber Bolts?

On the alignment rack
Since the previous few posts, I've been trying to sort out a lot of kinks in the suspension to get everything nice and balanced, especially for the upcoming SCCA National Tour. After coming up with a game plan, I decided to mess with the alignment a little. That's when I ran into a minor problem while trying to get realigned. The passenger side could easily gain a lot of camber, while the driver side was maxing out only at -2.1 degrees. Clearly, something was not right here.

What it ended up being was the lobe of the camber bolt, as it's teeth was very worn down. That being said, if you went to adjust the camber, the lobe plate would slide while the other side would keep going, causing the arm to only adjust a bit before the bolt would start to pivot. That then caused the toe to be drastically affected rather than camber. Thankfully, it wasn't the bushing binding like the passenger side did last year (we replaced the bushing anyways so that both lower control arm bushings are new now).
Old one on left, new one on the right
After changing the bolt out, we were able to max out both sides evenly at -2.5 degrees. I was hoping for more, so I'll be playing with the height a bit to get what I'm looking for. That aside, be sure to check your bolts from time to time when getting alignments. If you need replacements, below are the Mazda OEM part numbers needed for all of the alignment bolts on the RX-8.
  • Camber
    • Bolt - F151-28-66Z
    • Lobe Plate - F151-28-473
    • Nut - 9YB0-41-406A
  • Caster
    • Bolt - F151-34-66Z
    • Lobe Plate - F151-34-473
    • Nut - 9YB0-41-406A
  • Rear Toe
    • Bolt - FE01-28-66Z
    • Lobe Plate - FD16-28-473A
    • Nut - 9YB0-41-216
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