PDE Camber Plates – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

For the past 2 years I’ve been running RaceComp Engineering Tarmac 2 coilovers. I’ve been using Cusco camber plates out back, paired up with a set of PDE camber plates up front.

The PDE plates are an absolutely excellent product. Their build quality is incredible, and they fit perfect. Their unique design sets them apart from all other manufacturers, as they feature a unique set-interval camber adjustment system, by the use of different holes. Each hole represents .2 degrees of camber, and the plates can be adjusted accordingly. For me, this setup has worked out great as I’m able to have my daily driver camber setting for the street, and then I’m able to max out the front camber when I go to autocross events. After I’m done with my event, I simply change the plates back to my DD “hole”, and I’m back at exactly -1.7 camber with 0 toe!

Coilovers are great, don’t get me wrong, but they sometimes come attached with other variables, including added noise, vibration, and harshness, also known as NVH for short. My Tarmac 2’s have been great as a daily driver setup as well, but I’ve noticed that they have promoted a creaking sound in my front and rear windshields. To many, this is expected and is not an uncommon occurrence.

To fix the issue, I’ve decided to invest in a set of Whiteline front and rear strut braces. The rear brace installed without a hitch. The Cusco camber plates provided plenty of thread on the tophat bolts for the brace to latch onto.

Although the front was a bit more of a challenge. After loosening the 3 tophat nuts on each camber plate, I quickly discovered that the tophat bolts on the PDE camber plates simply weren’t long enough. As part of the strut brace, Whiteline provides a set of washers, and in the instructions asks that you place them under the brace at each of the 3 bolts. This is done because the strut tower area isn’t exactly level, and the washers are meant to help fix this.

So, to help visualize, the setup goes:

PDE Camber Plate > Tophat Bolt > Strut Tower (Body of the car) > Washer > Strut Brace > Tophat nut

With the supplied washers in place, I was only able to get about 3-4 full turns out of each tophat nut. This left me with a bolt that wasn’t able to fully thread through the tophat nut. A picture is really worth a thousand words, so I’ve included one below:

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As you can see, the nut definitely has some thread to latch onto, but by no means do I feel this is secure. Therefore, I’ve opted to get some longer bolts, as the original bolts are designed to be removed from the PDE camber plates.

For those readers who might run into this problem in the near future, I’ve found that I need the following bolt size:

M8 x 1.25 Metric Button Head Bolt

The length can vary, although something probably around 60mm should be sufficient. I still haven’t picked up a set of these bolts myself, but I plan to sometime this week. I will keep you updated on how it turns out, and on the final size that I end up with.

Another picture:

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Moving on, I also feel that I should point out that PDE’s customer service appears to be non-existent. I’ve emailed them about 4 days ago, and still haven’t received a response. I also noticed that their website states that the camber plates fit with most aftermarket strut braces. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Whiteline strut brace isn’t very different that any other braces on the market. Therefore, I’m not really sure how this statement can be true, but it’s still on their website.

Overall, PDE without a doubt makes an excellent product, though when it comes to customer service, they don’t shine very well. (if at all!) If your thinking about getting a set of PDE camber plates, by all means go for it, just don’t be surprised if it takes 3 weeks to get them, or if you don’t receive a reply from customer service. (they don’t even have a phone number posted!) In the end though, if you do end up getting the plates, take them and run!

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