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Thread: Little help with suspension specs (Camber, caster and toe)

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    Little help with suspension specs (Camber, caster and toe)

    Hello,
    just bought a Fiat 500 Turbo 2013 for my daughter as her first car. It is a 2013 model, with only 35k miles.
    Just got two new tires installed and asked for alignment.
    All that they adjusted was the front toe. They claimed "The manufacturer does not specify front camber and caster adjustments".
    So my questions are:
    - I found specs for the Abarth and the non-turbo models, but not for the turbo... Does anybody have these specs, or are they the same as the Abarth or the non-turbo models?
    - Are Camber and caster adjustable in this car?

    If I can find the specs I will bring them with me next time I take it to the shop...

    Thanks!

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    500 ABARTH has specific alignment settings based on specific KONI Black Shocks.
    Only front end toe and thrust angle is adjustable on the FIAT 500.
    Front end Camber and Caster not adjustable.
    Rear end Camber and Toe can be adjusted with twist beam shim kits.
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    Thanks for the info.
    This is what I am concerned with: my VW GTI also doesn't haver caster adjustment, but this FIAT is the first car I ever saw without Camber adjustment...
    Usually I am ok with no caster adjustment, because it doesn't really cause wear on the tire. But if the camber is out, I will for sure have issues.
    Do you know what the specs are for the camber and caster, even if they are not adjustable?

    And is the camber is out, is the only option to replace the suspension?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddySRT View Post
    500 ABARTH has specific alignment settings based on specific KONI Black Shocks.
    Only front end toe and thrust angle is adjustable on the FIAT 500.
    Front end Camber and Caster not adjustable.
    Rear end Camber and Toe can be adjusted with twist beam shim kits.

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    Fiat 500 Turbo Alignment Specs

    The 500 Turbo uses the suspension from the 500 Sport.

    Fiat 500 Alignment Specs All Models (Not Abarth)

    Measurement Minimum Preferred Maximum posted on fiat500usaforum.com
    Left Front Caster () 2 2.5 3
    Right Front Caster () 2 2.5 3
    Left Front Camber () -1.1 -0.6 -0.1
    Right Front Camber () -1.1 -0.6 -0.1
    Front Toe () -0.25 0.0 0.25
    Left SAI () 0 0 0
    Right SAI () 0 0 0
    Left Rear Camber () -1.4 -0.9 -0.4
    Right Rear Camber () -1.4 -0.9 -0.4
    Rear Toe () 0.22 0.5 0.78

    Taken from the factory repair manual.

    I also published an article on alignment specs back in June 2012 (before the 500T came out). Fiat originally had the wrong alignment specs in their repair manual and I brought that to their attention. Fiat sent me the correct ones and I published them in that article. The manual was subsequently updated.

    You can read more about the differences between the 500 Turbo and Abarth in these threads tagged with: 500T vs Abarth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    The 500 Turbo uses the suspension from the 500 Sport.

    Fiat 500 Alignment Specs All Models (Not Abarth)

    Measurement Minimum Preferred Maximum posted on fiat500usaforum.com
    Left Front Caster () 2 2.5 3
    Right Front Caster () 2 2.5 3
    Left Front Camber () -1.1 -0.6 -0.1
    Right Front Camber () -1.1 -0.6 -0.1
    Front Toe () -0.25 0.0 0.25
    Left SAI () 0 0 0
    Right SAI () 0 0 0
    Left Rear Camber () -1.4 -0.9 -0.4
    Right Rear Camber () -1.4 -0.9 -0.4
    Rear Toe () 0.22 0.5 0.78

    Taken from the factory repair manual.

    I also published an article on alignment specs back in June 2012 (before the 500T came out). Fiat originally had the wrong alignment specs in their repair manual and I brought that to their attention. Fiat sent me the correct ones and I published them in that article. The manual was subsequently updated.

    You can read more about the differences between the 500 Turbo and Abarth in these threads tagged with: 500T vs Abarth

    Many cars have non-adjustable camber. The procedure in the manual is to push in on the top part of the wheel/tire assemble or knuckle while tightening the lower strut mounting bolts. This will give you the maximum built in negative camber.
    Last edited by Fiat500USA; 02-27-2021 at 09:42 PM. Reason: made clearer
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    Thanks - this is really helpful.
    Based on these specs, I can see that my right front camber is off - it is at -1.3o .
    The left front caster is at 3.2o, but then again, that doesn't worry me too much.

    I guess I will ride these new tires and check for uneven wear on the right front one. If I start to see it, I guess I will have to find a garage and ask them to follow the procedure you mentioned:
    "
    • The procedure in the manual is to push in on the top part of the wheel/tire assemble or knuckle while tightening the lower strut mounting bolts. This will give you the maximum built in negative camber."

      Again, thank you for this valuable info.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Many cars have non-adjustable camber. The procedure in the manual is to push in on the top part of the wheel/tire assemble or knuckle while tightening the lower strut mounting bolts. This will give you the maximum built in negative camber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Many cars have non-adjustable camber. The procedure in the manual is to push in on the top part of the wheel/tire assemble or knuckle while tightening the lower strut mounting bolts. This will give you the maximum built in negative camber.
    There is no such movement within the front suspension on the FIAT 500.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddySRT View Post
    There is no such movement within the front suspension on the FIAT 500.
    There are tolerances and play. You are trying to take that up.
    Last edited by Fiat500USA; 02-28-2021 at 07:33 PM. Reason: fixed sentence
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    There and tolerances and play. You are trying to take that up.
    The OEM Strut to Knuckle Bolts completely fill the holes in the strut and knuckle. There is no play or slop in that connection.
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    2013 500 ABARTH
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    2014 SCCA Solo II Texas Region, 2nd G Street
    2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 SCCA Solo II Texas Region, Champion E Prepared

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddySRT View Post
    The OEM Strut to Knuckle Bolts completely fill the holes in the strut and knuckle. There is no play or slop in that connection.

    Sure, in theory, and in a perfect world. But in reality, there could be some. Must be enough for the engineers to make this note:

    NOTE: Before tightening the bolts, press the knuckle toward the vehicle to achieve the most negative camber. If this is not done, it is possible to have positive camber which will negatively impact vehicle handling.



    In any case, I didn't write the manual. I'm just reporting back what's in there. Folks can do what they want. I've disconnected the struts 4 times and that's what I do. From what I remember from doing them there was some flex/movement in there. Where it's coming from I don't recall, but I tighten the strut bolts with the knuckle under tension like the manual says. Makes sense to me.
    Last edited by Fiat500USA; 02-28-2021 at 07:39 PM. Reason: made clearer
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