DIY Alignment: The Basic Version

Eons ago the factory lip was removed to facilitate the installation of the camber plates. As I was having some challenges, in the heat of the moment I chose to take a bit of material off of the collar. In hindsight it wasn’t needed, now I can get enough camber to match my drift buddies!

With this adjustment made, then it is time to focus on the camber plate for the adjustment of camber and caster. Once again, this is not the initial installation as the camber plates have been on the car for years. From the factory the GC camber plate holes are slotted for movement and flexibility. When first installed, the lip around the strut opening was removed and the opening enlarged to provide greater lean in room. Similar to the corner balance process, this involves checking the camber, taking the weight off the corner being adjusted then making the small adjustment (okay, I’m going to be honest and tell you that sometime I made huge adjustments. But don’t follow my lead; small adjustments are better),tightening everything back up and then lowering the car and rechecking the new settings. My shock housings also have been slotted for years. In the near future I plan on getting a fixed hole plate welded into place so that there’s no risk of movement – mind you in the 10 years I’ve been running them that only happened once.

The Ground Control Plates combined with the Whiteline Caster bushings provide the opportunity to get vastly more caster than a stock setting allowed. And I wanted all of it.
We used 1/8″ ABS as our toe sliding unit. The bottom layer is screwed down to the platform with the screws counter sunk in the ABS to avoid any friction. The two shiny sides go together. We thought we might need to use some dish soap or olive oil to enhance the slipability (that isn’t really a word) but we found they worked fine as is.

This is where the 1/8″ of ABS that was installed on the top of our wood platforms comes into play. The piece screwed onto the platform has the shiny side up. A second piece that’s also 1′ square is placed shiny side down on the platform – it is not attached to anything. Initially we planned to put a bit of dishwashing soap (easier to clean up than grease or cooking oil) in the middle of this ABS sandwich but it didn’t seem necessary. This ‘sandwich’ allows the wheel/tire to slip. Absolutely needed for adjusting toe but also helpful in allowing the car to settle while making these adjustments. Cost was minimal and it surprisingly works better than we anticipated.

This is a retro pic, going back to when the TurboFX rear control arms were newly installed. These are incredible plug and play units that greatly enhance the car. Not only do they look good, but the amount of adjustability to change camber and toe is fantastic. If you’re from the rust belt, you’ll recognize the still liberal coating of rust protection on the underside of the NX.

At the rear of the car the factory adjustment of camber is meagre. On the NX the factory top hats were replaced years ago by Shigspeed Pillowball mounts which are a great improvement but which do not allow for adjustability. The factory control arms (with ES bushings) have been sitting on my shelf for 3 or 4 years and will likely never see use again. They were replaced by TurboFX plug and play rear control arms. These arms arms are absolutely amazing. The construction is beefy, the adjustment allowed is as much or more than ever required on a road race car, and they look fantastic. Stripping Technologies in Ontario powder coated these for me before installation and years later they still look great. Rear camber was adjusted in minutes. With the camber adjusted around the car, but nothing torqued down yet, it was time to work on the toe.


  1. Great write-up. As always Mr. Ewald, your articles are informative and entertaining. I do have a question regarding the digital camber/caster tool: Is there a way to zero the measurement? You can zero a scale with nothing on it (or zero it with an empty container on it). How do you ensure that the -3.25 degrees of negative camber as measured by the tool is actually -3.25 degrees?

    1. Banfstc, thank you. I appreciate your kind words.
      Great question about the Longacre unit. It is supposed to hold it’s zero, even when shut off. According to AES, running my car on the Mustang dyno was like running one of his drift client cars – it didn’t want to run nicely for him. So I’m pretty sure the -ve camber is there. More details about the Longacre calibration can be found here:

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I read Erik’s article when it first came out and dreamed about something like that, but unfortunately, his set up is out of my price range. This on the other hand is right up my alley. Thanks

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