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Even at stock ride height, P1 chassis Volvos often suffer from excessive negative rear camber. Lower the car and that camber becomes even more extreme. From a performance stand point, a little negative camber helps on the twisty back roads. But from an economical standpoint, tire wear is terrible.

After just fifteen thousand miles, with proper tire pressure and a good alignment, excessive negative camber "coned" my tires. While the outer edge had decent tread remaining, the inner edge was nearly down to the threads.

The problem lay in Volvo's cambers arms; they are a solid piece with no option for adjustment. A quality solution are the Elevate forged camber arms, which provide the necessary adjustability to run extreme negative camber, extreme positive camber, or anything in between. This is an upgrade which I deem necessary for anyone considering lowering their car.

Below is an image of the Volvo camber arm next to the Elevate adjustable arm; I had mine powder coated blue for an aftermarket touch.

Removal and installation is fairly straight forward, so long as the bolts are not seized up.

The front camber arm bolt is attached to the top of the trailing arm. It is easiest to remove this bolt first:

The upper/rear camber arm bolt, pictured in relation to the coil spring and sway bar, is to be removed second:

On the side of the vehicle with the gas filler neck, you may encounter this metal bracket which hinders removal of the bolt. With a little force, the bracket can be bent far enough back to allow sufficient access; be sure to return the bracket to its original position after installing the new arms. It is definitely easiest to have the front bolt removed first, as it releases all tension from the arm and the upper rear bolt.

With the Elevate arms, the camber can easily be adjusted once they are installed. However, prior to my installation, I set the arms slightly longer than the stock arms in hopes of being closer to my ideal camber. The shorter the arm, the more negative the camber becomes, so slightly extending the arm brings it closer to 0 degrees. Necessary adjustment length will be entirely dependent upon the vehicle's ride height and your desired camber.

When installing the new arms, it is easiest to align the upper rear bolts first. Depending on how long you set the adjustable arms, you may need to tilt the trailing arm to get the front bolt lined up properly.

As with any suspension work, I highly suggest having your alignment checked before putting extensive miles on the car. Any alignment shop should be able to adjust the camber to your desired specifications. I personally run my rear camber at -1.5 degrees; a compromising balance between performance and reasonable tire wear.

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Written by :
Michael Hallock

Michael lives in Dahlonega, GA where he works full time as manager of an accounts receivable department. Despite a bachelors in New Media Arts, his true passion is in modifying and maintaining the cars that he and his wife own; Volvo for life. Many in the Volvo community might recognize his screen name, MyNameIdeasWereTaken.

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