Why did we fit camber plates? | Project E46-chassis BMW M3

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Update by David S. Wallens to the BMW M3 project car
Apr 28, 2022 | BMW M3, vorshlag

Why camber plates? Because they’re plates that allow for more camber. Why is more camber good? Well, it can help better align the tire’s entire tread with the road surface.

End result? More grip.

You can read this article–How To Get Faster Lap Times by Adding Negative Camberto dive deeper into camber plates and why you might want them.

Back in the day, installing camber plates often required some fabrication. Today, though, track-ready, turn-key solutions exist.

Not only does Vorshlag offer camber plates for our E46-chassis BMW M3, for example, but they can be configured for our Bilstein B16 coil-overs. That’s about as tailor-made as you can get.

For durability, these plates feature a larger spherical bearing plus plated and anodized finishes. Vorshlag also says that its plates offer more strut travel than its competitors.

But do those Vorshlag camber/caster really fit as promised? Yeah, they do.

Pull struts, insert camber plates, and then bolt everything back together. It really is that simple: no fab, no fiddling, no nothing.

Once assembled, the Vorshlag camber/caster plates feature a built-in scale for tracking camber. 

After we fit the camber plates, we headed back to Alignment Shop, Inc., for an alignment. Vorshlag says that these camber plates can offer up to about 3.5 degrees of negative camber, but we kept our alignment at 2 degrees since the car is still primarily used on the street.

The plates allowed more caster than stock, though, as we set 4.25 degrees. More caster can help stabilize the chassis while also helping cornering. You can read more about that here: What Is Camber, Caster and Toe?

The big question: Did the camber/caster plates negative impact ride quality? More on that after we put a few miles on them.

 

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/22 2:59 p.m.

Just a bump on this since we'll have an update on them shortly.

TL;DR: no runs, no drips, no errors.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
9/28/22 5:56 p.m.

Good choice on Vorschlag. I had them for years and loved them. No popping either.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/22 6:15 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

Yup. Totally silent. (I just gave it all away, huh?)

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/28/22 6:57 p.m.

I had NVH issues with the Ground Control camber plates I had on my GTI. One thought I had is that maybe there was something on the strut tower that didn't let the camber plate sit perfectly flat. I never did dig that far into it. I put the stock strut mounts back on the car before I sold it and it was like drving a new car again. It almost convinced me to keep it. 

 

One of the reasons I picked a Cayman for my next car is that you can install adjustable lower control arms that allow you to add lots of camber (up to 2 degrees) but still have rubber bushings so they ride like stock.

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