Tech Tip: Too Much Camber Is Not A Good Thing!

By Mike McGinnis,
Banzai Motorworks

"Mike, my 300ZX (1990-1996) is wearing the inside of my front tires - help!" I have heard this plea a lot lately but do not fret, there is a cure.

Camber, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, is the inclination of the wheel toward the car's longitudinal plane as measured in the vehicle's transverse plane. In other words, if the top of the wheel is inclined toward the center of the car, you have negative camber. If the bottom of the wheel is inclined toward the center of the car, it is positive.

In order to achieve maximum tire life, a Z32 should have almost neutral camber. Although specifications allow slightly more than one degree of negative camber, I have found that this much or more will cause premature tire wear.

Now for the meat of the matter; there are a minority of 300s that, after a proper alignment, persist in wearing out the inside edge of the tires. The problem is too much negative camber and 300ZXs do not have adjustable camber - what can we do?

In steps the after-market. Several years ago former Nissan factory driver Steve Millen began the manufacture of performance parts and accessories for 300ZXs. Among his many offerings is a kit (part number 308050) that replaces the nonadjustable factory upper link with an adjustable unit - viola - adjustable camber! As of this article I have installed three of these kits with excellent results. The installation takes me a little over an hour followed by an alignment followed by no more tire wear problems. Please note, this is not a cure for a car that has damaged and or worn front suspension or steering components.

Steve Millen Sports parts can be reached at 3176 Airway Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, or by phone at (714) 540-9154.