camber

Camber

An alignment measurement of how much the top of a tire is tilted IN toward or OUT away from the center of the car. When you ADD Negative Camber, such as ‐1.0 to ‐2.0, the top of the tire is tilted IN toward the center of the car. Camber is an adjustment intended to optimize the tire’s contact patch as the car rolls toward the outside of the corner at maximum loads. Therefore, camber changes are most effective in tuning the car for the mid‐corner (apex) during maximum cornering loads. The temperature distribution across the tire is a prime indicator of proper, or improper, camber adjustment.

Adjustments

Camber: The camber is normally adjustable at all four corners of the car, but for cars with straight/live rear axles the rear camber is normally fixed (at ~ 0 degress).

Data

See the tire pressure section for the tire temperature / distribution data discussion.

Tuning advice

On ovals, where the car is always turning left, the left side setting will be in the positive numbers, so that as the car rolls in the turn, the tire stands up and generates maximum grip. Note that too much camber can overheat the tire’s outer edge and in the end result in loss of grip. The right side tires should be negative, so that as the car rolls in the turn, the tire stands up and produces maximum grip. Too much camber overheats the tire’s inner edge, which reduces the tire’s total grip. Use the tire temperature distribution to help determine the proper amount of camber. For the outside (right side) tires, shoot for a tire temperature distribution of approximately 10 degrees (+/- 5) from the inside edge of the tire to the outside, with the inside edge being the hottest. For the inside (left side) tires you generally want a somewhat lower spread between the inside and outside, and you want the OUTSIDE edge of the tires (which is on the inside of the corner) to be the hottest.

For road courses, the car is turning left and right, and some negative camber is normally used all around. Some variation in the left to right camber may be warranted where the track has more turns in one direction, however wide variations such as those used on an oval should be avoided as this will cause the car to behave very differently in left hand verses right hand corners. Shoot for a tire temperature distribution for all tires of approximately 10 degrees (+/- 5) from the inside edge of the tire to the outside, with the inside edge being the hottest.

Front:
If grip at mid‐corner (apex) is desired, ADDING negative camber to the front of the car should help (for the outside tire, the opposite is true for the inside tire on an oval). However the compromise is that since the tire is tilted in, less contact patch is on the road when in a straight line, and therefore less performance is available – the negative effect of ADDING negative camber is in straight‐line functions such as braking where the tire will have a tendency to lockup sooner with less pedal pressure. Too much negative camber can also cause a “snap” UNDERsteer slide, similar to hitting a patch of oil in the road. This type slide is also known as a “FLAT” slide.

Rear:
If grip at mid‐corner is desired, ADDING negative camber should help (for the outside tire, the opposite is true for the inside tire on an oval). However the compromise is that since the tire is tilted in, less contact patch is on the road when in a straight line, and therefore less performance is available – the negative effect of ADDING negative camber is in straight‐line functions such as braking or accelerating the tire will have less grip. The compromise in the rear is that too much negative camber may cause snap exit OVERsteer and excessive tire wear.

Interactions

The camber directly impacts the temperature distribution across the tire and the relative delta between the inside and outside tire temperatures. It also impact tire wear and braking and acceleration performance. Depending on the suspension design, camber changes may result in changes to the toe and/or caster settings.

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