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Old 11-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
IPT

 
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Help me understand camber..

newbie, learning here. So if I understand correctly having more camber will help the car steer (or maintain front end traction better)?

I saw the camber plate from Pedders and rather than clog up that thread I figured I'd start this one. Using this camber plate device one could increase (or at least change - if not increase) the setting for track use by turning a few bolts. Then after a track run, adjust it back and be back into DD specs?

Is the amount of camber desired speed based? For example, would you want the same increase for a small parking lot based autocross that you would on a major high speed course?

Camber is what accounts for the wheel looking like it is tilted inwards, correct? So at high speeds (or with sharp turns?) as the suspension moves it will actually help the wheel get more contact area?

Last edited by IPT; 11-28-2012 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
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Your last statement about sharp turns is absolutely correct. When the top of the tire tilts in that is considered negative camber. Dialing in extra negative camber helps counteract tire roll while cornering, ensuring that the maximum amount of tread remains in contact with the roads surface. The more aggressive you drive, the more negative camber you can use. There are lots of other factors that contribute to this as well and you could write an entire book on the subject but this is the basic reason for running negative camber.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Yes, negative camber increases grip through the twists, but will decrease acceleration. For acceleration, you want 0 camber, or slightly positive to account for suspension squat during launch.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IPT View Post
newbie, learning here. So if I understand correctly having more camber will help the car steer (or maintain front end traction better)?
Yes.

Quote:
I saw the camber plate from Pedders and rather than clog up that thread I figured I'd start this one. Using this camber plate device one could increase (or at least change - if not increase) the setting for track use by turning a few bolts. Then after a track run, adjust it back and be back into DD specs?
Been there, done that (albeit with a shim-aligned suspension arrangement). Here's a little of what's involved.

Be aware that toe will also shift slightly as you adjust camber. If the car is "front-steer" (steering rack ahead of the front axle line), at least the toe change will be toward toe-out (which is good for turn-in at autocross but might get a bit twitchy at higher speeds out on a big track). Sometimes, it is possible to set your daily-drive toe a little more "in" on order to keep your competition toe from going too far "out" .or having to tweak toe as well as camber twice per event.

Come up with as dead-nuts repeatable method of setting your positions. Otherwise after a couple of back-and-forth setting swaps you might not know what you do have any more. I'd prefer some sort of "go/no-go" gaga block approach over any method that forces you to read a measuring device. This does assume that you carefully measured both your DD alignment settings and your competition alignment settings while you were coming up with your repeatable method for swapping between them.



Quote:
Is the amount of camber desired speed based? For example, would you want the same increase for a small parking lot based autocross that you would on a major high speed course?

Camber is what accounts for the wheel looking like it is tilted inwards, correct? So at high speeds (or with sharp turns?) as the suspension moves it will actually help the wheel get more contact area?
I'll say that the desired amount of camber at any given lateral g's is slightly dependent on your speed, but probably not in the way you might think. At lower speeds, the turns are by definition tighter, and as you steer the front tires further away from straight ahead, the greater the effect of your caster setting rolling into a small (and favorable) camber change.

Negative camber is used to counteract the combined effects of body roll (which is in the "wrong" direction) and something called "camber gain" (the change in camber that would occur if you moved the chassis/body of the car purely vertically up/down). Camber gain is usually in the "right" direction, but this "good" effect becomes less the more you lower your car with lowering springs.

With most tires, you want to still have just a tiny bit of negative camber on the outside front tire at your maximum cornering g's - NOT zero-point-zero degrees as is commonly assumed. About the camber on the inside front, it'll be a lot wrong, but there isn't anything you can do about that unless all of your turns are in the same direction (a la circle track and oval racing).

It's been mentioned that increasing the amount of negative camber to improve cornering adversely affects front braking. You need to balance these conflicting requirements, and this gets influenced (perhaps simplified) by installing stiffer front springs.


There's this one other thing - the rear wheel camber situation. If you improve the front camber for front tire grip in the corners enough without addressing the rear, you'll end up with a car that'll be tail-happy at the limit. Possibly beyond your ability to "catch". So you'd want to keep this in mind, and know that setting rear camber on this chassis without screwing up the toe is more involved than setting front camber.


Chassis and suspension is a complex topic. Fascinating, but there's a huge amount of it.

My advice - don't be afraid to tinker with it, but don't get carried away with a "some's good, more's better, and too much is just enough" mentality when you do.


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Old 11-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
Chassis and suspension is a complex topic. Fascinating, but there's a huge amount of it.

My advice - don't be afraid to tinker with it, but don't get carried away with a "some's good, more's better, and too much is just enough" mentality when you do.


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Well said, Norm. Always like reading your posts!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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The amount of front wheel camber that is desirable for driving will depend on how you are driving, the vehicle you re driving, tires you are using and the track you are running and more.

The easy answer for a 5the Gen Camaro is that wants an agressive front end alignment at the track, but a tire friendly alignment to get to and from the track is Pedders new Dual Bearing Camber Plate kit. Lets say we do a street alignment that looks like this.

Front Camber -1.00
Toe 0.00
Caster No Factory Adjustment

Rear Camber -0.50
Rear Toe IN 0.11 Per Wheel
Total Toe IN 0.22

The steering will feel on center and you get decent tire life. When you go to the track you use your Pedders Dual Bearing Camber Plates to add -1.5 degrees of front camber to your 5th Gen for a total of -2.5. You now have an excellant front camber spec for AC or RC use.

What about the Front Toe? The front went Toe OUT about 0.25 degrees. Your turn is is much sharper and you are now running an aggressive track alignment.

At the end of the day, slide the camber plate back to your starting marked point and drive home with a tire friendly street alignment.

Check out the V8 Supercars. They are on slicks and are race cars. Got Camber?



But you get the idea.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:51 AM   #7
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Those new camber plates are intriguing.

I can see them being entirely compatible with some gage blocks custom-made by the car owner to his individual specs if he's equipped to do that sort of thing at all.


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Old 11-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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Those new camber plates are intriguing.

I can see them being entirely compatible with some gage blocks custom-made by the car owner to his individual specs if he's equipped to do that sort of thing at all.


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Old 11-28-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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I need a set of these!!!! Next Friday i should be driving again!
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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I need a set of these!!!! Next Friday i should be driving again!
I'll add it to your list.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
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http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263119

I just posted this in this forum it tells you how all of the suspension works...toe, camber, and caster
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:22 AM   #12
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Pete can you expain to this newbie what I am seeing in that video? To me it just looks like a shaft spinning...I thought I would see the 4 bolts being loosened to allow you to slide the upper arm inwards or outwards affecting the angle of the suspension below (camber?).
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:56 AM   #13
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Look for the shaft to "wobble" slightly as it rotates, which also happens under the combination of steering plus suspension bump/rebound movement. It's a little clearer on the passenger side.


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Old 12-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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