Cam­ber Ques­tion

RC Car Action - - TECH CENTER -

How do I know if my car’s cam­ber is set prop­erly? I set the tires so they’re per­fectly straight up and down, but I know they’re sup­posed to lean in a lit­tle.

If you’re happy with your car’s han­dling with “straight-up” tires (for the record, that’s “zero cam­ber”), then don’t sweat it. For most cars and trucks, 0–3 de­grees of neg­a­tive cam­ber is typ­i­cal. “Neg­a­tive” means the tires lean in, to­ward the chas­sis. “Pos­i­tive” cam­ber is when the tires lean out, which is never used. So what’s the right amount of cam­ber? If you’re rac­ing, it’s what­ever an­gle gives you the han­dling you’re com­fort­able with—and the low­est lap times. Cam­ber will also af­fect tire wear, which will likely mat­ter less to rac­ers but is im­por­tant if you’re look­ing for max­i­mum tire life for fun run­ning. If you no­tice your tires aren’t wear­ing evenly, try in­creas­ing neg­a­tive cam­ber to cure wear to­ward the out­side side­wall, and vice versa; in­creas­ing one de­gree at a time is plenty. To mea­sure ac­cu­rately, get a cam­ber gauge. RPM makes the all-time clas­sic ver­sion of this must-have tool; it’s item no. 70992.

A cam­ber gauge is a pit-box es­sen­tial. Here, 5 de­grees of neg­a­tive cam­ber is shown, which is a lot. More com­mon is 0–3 de­grees.

Tires with fine-tread de­tails (like the thin “sipes” in this Bf­goodrich de­sign) are use­ful as wear in­di­ca­tors. If your tires aren’t wear­ing evenly across the tread, ad­just cam­ber to suit.

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