As discussed in Part 1, front end alignments should be routine for your car, but many of us aren’t aware how their settings affect handling. Part 2 will cover the Camber and Toe settings for classic cars. Bring your vintage vehicle to a reputable independent auto service facility, where you will get better value and more personalized service.
This is the angle of wheels as seen from the front. A negative camber is an inward angle or lean of the top of the wheel. Positive camber is an outward angle or lean. A negative camber is typically preferred because it will provide counteracting forces to the suspension’s tendency to lift the contact patch off the ground as the car corners in a turn.
This setting’s most significant effect is on a vehicle’s ability to maintain front end traction as it corners. Another major effect it has is on the uneven wear of tires. This is due to the inner edges of both front tires bearing larger loads than the outer edges, causing greater wear in that area over time.
Factory settings are typically zero to positive camber to retain understeer. This will give the front end the tendency to wash out or push. Automotive manufacturer’s lawyers prefer this setting because it reduces the likelihood of new drivers spinning out the rear end with an aggressive turn. The overall effects are reduced traction and a vehicle that turns slower.
The toe setting is the angle of the front wheel when seen from above. The front tires can either point inward or outward, and this setting is influenced by a vehicle’s ride height. An automobile travelling fast can undergo significant changes in its toe settings as the front suspension is affected by the forces of aerodynamics. The majority of vehicles have a toe in setting.
Discuss your driving preferences with a technician to help determine the proper settings for the camber, caster, and toe of your car’s front suspension. These factory standards can be gradually fine tuned to attain what is optimum for your vehicle.
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Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.