FS: K-Mac adjustable rear camber kit - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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FS: K-Mac adjustable rear camber kit

I recently removed my K-Mac rear camber & toe kit from my second car. The bushings are used, but are in excellent shape.

Please note that since these are polyurethane bushings, they can squeak slightly... you only hear it with the window down, at low speeds, going over a bump (for example, a speed bump in a parking lot). The squeak cannot be heard from inside the car with the windows up. K-Mac includes a small packet of white grease for the bushings which is supposed to prevent the sqeak, this lubricant is included. I decided to try the RDMTEK rear camber correction kit, which is non-adjustable, and is more expensive ($250 for camber alone, plus an additional $240 for modified tie rods)... but it uses stock rubber bushings which are silent. I do not recommend K-Mac kit for street use due to the squeaking noise, which I found annoying... I recommend the RDM TEK items instead, and that's what I'm using on my car. The RDM TEK kit is non-adjustable, but that wasn't a concern for my intended use. The K-Mac is great for track or autox use, or if you don't mind the squeaking.

Please note that I am selling a pair of complete lower control arms (LCA's) with bushings already installed, as shown in the photos below. This will save you at least 2 hours of labor... it is a HUGE pain to remove the stock bushings from the LCA so you can install the K-Mac bushings!! The tie rod bushings are NOT installed, you will need to remove your existing tie rod bushings, but this is easily accomplished using a bench vise and appropriate-size sockets as shown here and here. More photos showing the installation process are at this link.


These will fit all 124's except wagons, as well as most 129, 170, 202, 203, 208, 209, and 210 chassis. Current MSRP on the K-Mac kit is $320, lowest price I know of is approx $300 shipped, and you'd still need to spend a few hours extracting those blasted bushings from the control arm!

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Dave M.
Boise, ID

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Last edited by gsxr; 04-26-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 02:25 AM
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so these kmac squeaked from day one? even with the grease that they provide? was looking into getting a set for my w202. but after your post, kinda hesitant. how are the rdmtek working out? was inquiring about getting a set of those after reading your post but the customer service is horrendous. wanted to know which items i needed to purchase for my w202 and they wouldn't help me. other than the rdmtek shorter lowering arms do you also have to purchase the lca covers and the hardware kit and bushings and stuff?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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**** Sale pending on the K-Mac kit****


Quote:
Originally Posted by chik View Post
so these kmac squeaked from day one? even with the grease that they provide?
Yes. As another forum member put it, "they'll squeak no matter how much lube you apply." You won't hear it while driving the car, but I still didn't like it. That's why I recommend the K-Mac more for track use instead of street use. Here is a video of the squeak noise:
http://www.w124performance.com/movie...Mac_squeak.mpg
(Note that it's louder than normal here, since the camera is right next to the squeaking bushing.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by chik View Post
was looking into getting a set for my w202. but after your post, kinda hesitant. how are the rdmtek working out?
I have the standard RDM TEK shortened LCA's (5mm shorter) on three cars now and I'm very happy with the result. If your car is really low in the rear, or if you get the 7.5mm shorter version, you may not be able to get the rear toe in spec. If it's just slightly out (like on my cars) you can just leave it; otherwise you'll need to either get the factory eccentric bushings ($$$) or try to get RDM TEK to make the shorter tie rods again (pretty sure they're out of production now).


Quote:
Originally Posted by chik View Post
was inquiring about getting a set of those after reading your post but the customer service is horrendous. wanted to know which items i needed to purchase for my w202 and they wouldn't help me.
I believe RDM TEK was a small family-run business venture and they were disappointed with the relatively low sales volume on their custom suspension items. I have a feeling that they are doing other things now and the RDM TEK items are taking a lower priority. However I'm not positive. I do know that they posted on a different forum that the adjustable front strut mounts will not be produced again, and there are only a few sets left. I asked about the shortened track rods and didn't get a reply either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chik View Post
other than the rdmtek shorter lowering arms do you also have to purchase the lca covers and the hardware kit and bushings and stuff?
All you really need are the shortened LCA's, and I believe they will continue to produce these in the future. The other parts shown are just for reference, in case you need to replace other bushings/links/etc while you're working on the subframe. Older cars usually have worn-out links and it's a good idea to replace them while you're in there, newer cars probably won't need that. For most cars you'd just need the standard 5mm shorter LCA's and nothing else.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2010, 12:22 PM
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thanks a ton for taking the time to answer all my questions!!! you're awesome. the car isn't too low. think the eibach springs used was just 1-1.5 drop. so the 5mm lca would do. thanks again for all your help!!!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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In response to a number of questions received:

The rubber bushings on the subframe links do more than just locate the wheel carrier... they are bonded rubber bushings, which snap back to the static position when pulled up or down. This is integral to the rear suspension functionality. If you replace these factory links with adjustable links (none of which have bonded rubber bushings), the suspension loses this additional "return to center" function, and it causes serious handling problems. In general, you don't want to use these adjustable arms - even the ones which have rubber bushings are NOT bonded rubber bushings like the factory items; they may not make noise but they also won't bounce back. Here is a link to a video (10MB) showing how the suspension bounces back to center, with the coil spring removed and shock disconnected:
http://www.w124performance.com/movie...on_rebound.mpg

At first, I tried installing just an adjustable camber arm, and ended up with wheel hop during a burnout. Reverting back to stock cured the problem. That's when I installed the K-Mac kit, which worked OK other than the squeaking & ride height issues. The RDM TEK solution cured the K-Mac problems, and only gave up adjustability... I still had a decent -1.40° rear camber with the car lowered.

Anyway, the K-Mac kit doesn't really offer additional stiffness (from polyurethane vs rubber), and IMO there's no need for additional stiffness anyway. If any of the rear bushings are old or worn, new factory items should bring things back to normal - the subframe bushings are usually toast after 15-20 years. I still highly recommend the RDM TEK shortened rear LCA's as first choice for rear camber correction. If you really need rear camber adjustment (for race/track use, etc) then I would recommend K-Mac as the next option. I do NOT recommend using any adjustable links, for camber or any other arm, no matter if they have Heim joints or rubber bushings.

BTW - here is a video showing the squeak noise from the K-Mac bushings. It seems quite loud in the video since the camera is right next to the bushing and there is almost no ambient noise to help mask the squeak:
http://www.w124performance.com/movie...Mac_squeak.mpg

I purchased my K-Mac kits from Shox.com, btw. Click here for photos of the K-Mac installation process. It's far more work than installing the RDM TEK LCA.

Finally - here is a link to the RDM TEK website:
RDMTEK SHOCK TOWERS FOR MERCEDES BENZ 124 AND 201 CHASSIS


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