When it comes to vehicle handling and performance, there are many factors that can impact how a car feels and performs on the road. One of these factors is the camber of the wheels. Camber refers to the angle of the wheels in relation to the road surface, and it can have a significant impact on a car’s handling characteristics.
In this post, we’ll discuss how camber affects steering, and how it can be adjusted to improve vehicle performance.
What is Camber?
Camber refers to the angle of the wheels in relation to the road surface. Specifically, it measures the tilt of the wheels, where the top of the wheel is either angled inward (negative camber) or outward (positive camber) relative to the bottom of the wheel.
Negative camber means that the tops of the wheels tilt inward, towards the center of the car. Positive camber means that the tops of the wheels tilt outward, away from the center of the car. Neutral camber means that the wheels are perfectly vertical, with no tilt.
How Camber Affects Steering
Camber can have a significant impact on a car’s handling characteristics, particularly when it comes to steering. When a car is cornering, the weight of the car shifts to the outside wheels. This causes the outside wheels to experience more lateral forces, which can cause them to roll over onto their outer edges.
Negative camber can help counteract this by tilting the tops of the wheels inward, which brings the tire’s contact patch closer to the center of the car. This helps keep the tire’s contact patch flatter on the road, which improves handling and cornering performance.
Positive camber, on the other hand, tilts the tops of the wheels outward. This can reduce the contact patch of the tire on the road, which can reduce grip and make the car feel less stable in corners.
The camber of a car’s wheels can be adjusted by changing the angle of the suspension components. This is typically done by adjusting the length of the control arms, or by installing adjustable camber plates.
Adjusting camber can be a tricky process, as it can have a significant impact on a car’s handling and performance. It’s important to get the camber within the recommended range for your specific vehicle, as too much negative or positive camber can cause uneven tire wear and poor handling.
It’s also worth noting that adjusting camber can have an impact on other suspension settings, such as toe and caster. It’s important to have a good understanding of how all of these settings work together in order to get the best performance out of your vehicle.
In conclusion, camber is an important factor when it comes to a car’s handling and performance, particularly in terms of steering. By adjusting the camber, it’s possible to improve a car’s cornering performance and stability, but it’s important to do so within the recommended range and to take into account the impact on other suspension settings.