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Practical Corner Weighting: Camber

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Camber

04.44

00:00 - In this section of the course, we'll be covering some of the key terms that are important to understand before we move further into the specifics of corner weighting.
00:08 Some of these terms you will have heard of before and if you've already gone through our Motorsport Wheel Alignment Fundamentals course, then you should be familiar with most of these topics, however for the sake of completeness we'll cover them here.
00:21 Throughout this module we'll be looking closely at what changes you might be likely to make at the circuit that will directly affect the corner weights.
00:29 In essence, we'll focus on setup changes that will change the way that the car presses into the ground across the tyre contact patch which in turn will affect the measured amount of weight being applied.
00:41 Bear in mind that there are many other suspension setup changes that you can make but we'll only be concentrating on changes directly affecting the corner weights.
00:50 First up we can consider camber as one of these changes.
00:54 When looking at the car from head on, camber is simply the angle between your wheel and a vertical plane through the centre of the wheel and therefore is always shown in degrees.
01:05 Negative camber means that the top of our wheel is closer to the centre of our chassis in comparison to the bottom, while positive camber is just the opposite, where the top of our wheel is further away from the centreline compared to the bottom.
01:18 In most forms of motorsport and particularly for circuit racing, we would typically expect to use negative camber however there are some forms of motorsport such as NASCAR where static positive camber is used on the inside wheels given that the cars only need to turn left.
01:34 During hard cornering, the suspension will compress, the car will tend to body roll towards the outside of the corner and the tyre will deform on the rim.
01:43 With zero camber, these factors result in the car rolling onto the outside edge of our tyre and this will dramatically reduce the tyre footprint on the track while cornering.
01:52 If we add negative camber to the wheel, we will reduce the tyre contact in a straight line however when the car is cornering hard the body roll, suspension movement and tyre deformation or deflection mean that we'll now end up with much more of the tyre contacting the road which increases grip in most cases.
02:11 Obviously if we have less tyre contact on the road in a straight line, this can reduce our traction under acceleration and braking and balancing camber to optimise cornering without hurting our straight line performance is a big factor when it comes to optimising the alignment.
02:27 In most instances though, there's more to be gained in cornering performance than there is to be lost under acceleration and braking so we tend to focus our camber tuning on cornering.
02:37 There are some other aspects to consider here such as suspension geometry that promotes negative camber gain as the suspension compresses into bump travel or the steering wheel is turned.
02:49 This means that we can run less static negative camber but still achieve an optimal tyre contact patch when the suspension compresses in a corner.
02:57 You may also be thinking that if we're running negative camber on both sides of the car, then under hard cornering we'll actually have less tyre contacting the ground on the wheels on the inside of the corner compared to what we'd had if we ran zero camber.
03:10 While this is true, it's the tyres on the outside of the corner that are most heavily loaded during cornering and hence these are the tyres doing the majority of the work.
03:20 It stands to reason then that it's the outside wheels we want to focus on when it comes to adjusting our camber.
03:27 While too much camber can affect our straight line performance as discussed, too much negative camber can also be detrimental in cornering too.
03:35 Excessive negative camber means that we won't roll completely onto the tyre tread during cornering and we may only end up with perhaps half of the optimal tyre contact patch contacting the track surface.
03:47 Another result of this is we may overheat the inside edge of the tyre and quickly wear out an expensive set of rubber.
03:53 As you can hopefully understand, adjusting camber is a case of compromise.
03:58 It's important to understand that the correct camber for a specific car is going to depend on a variety of aspects such as the suspension design, the tyre compound, tyre construction, tyre pressure, weather conditions and track conditions.
04:13 The point here is that no two cars are the same and we need to find the optimal camber settings for our particular car, track and conditions.
04:22 With relation to corner weighting, when we adjust the camber, we are changing the amount of tyre that is pressing into the ground, and by doing so we're actually affecting the amount of downwards pressure exerted by the tyre and in turn the weight on each corner.