Camber Plates 101
You can only go so far with stock camber settings. Try fitting some camber plates to unlock the potential of your track/drift car.
Car manufacturers are some of the best compromisers in the history of time, it's a good and a bad thing.
They'll take a car and make it work across a broad range of conditions and environments. The end result is a car that'll work fine just about every person. But to make a car work great for you, on track or whilst drifting, we need to deviate from the automakers work.
Changing Camber - What does it do?
Camber is the angle your wheels lean in or out when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Negative camber sees the wheels leaning in towards the engine at the top. Postive camber means the wheels lean outwards at the top. A tire with neutral camber sits at 90 degrees to the road surface, offering the most grip and often drag cars run 0 camber for maximum traction with minimum wheel-spin.
As you can imagine, changing the camber of your wheels alters the shape of the contact patch with the road, which in turn affects the amount of grip generated and steering feel.
Negative camber will improve your cornering grip. This happens as forces transmit through the vertical axis of the rim rather than directly across it. Camber also compensates for tire rubber shifting during hard turns. This is in part due to camber gain. As you enter a turn, your outside wheel with negative camber with then gradually edge back towards 0 degrees. This creates the ideal contact patch and is the reason why most performance oriented setups will run 1-2 degrees of negative camber. Anything more than that and you end up in the world of stance.
Positive camber lightens up the steering wheel, you'll often see it on vintage cars lacking power steering. Not really ideal for performance driving as the camber gain you experience will further push the tires outward and decrease your contact patch.
Most stock road cars will run negative camber, at least on the rear. This gives excellent stability, but the camber is set through the physical positioning of the dampers and shape of the mounts.
Factory shocks are non-adjustable.
For track use, the amount of factory negative camber will probably not be enough, also, we can't change factory camber settings. So we need to install a camber plate.
What is a camber plate?
Camber plates are basically an adjustable adapter for your shocks. They install usually on top of the strut and allow for fine camber adjustments. Camber plates are available for most car/suspension set-ups.
When buying a camber plate, choose the best quality product you can afford. Make sure the plates have graduations for matching both sides. The best ones use corrosion-resistant yet light aluminium. Some, like these WRP adjustable camber plates, feature Teflon-coated, spherical top-mount bearings that help reduce the effects of radial forces on your suspension. Some high-end shocks like the ones from Fortune Auto feature built-in camber plates.
How to adjust a camber plate
Camber plate adjustment is quick and easy. You'll need an Allen key of the appropriate size. Of course you've got to make these adjustments with some idea of what you're doing so dig around on the rest of our site, research on forums and mold that around what type of handling characteristics you want your car to have.
- Then, loosen the four adjusting screws.
- Move the shock in or out, using the markers on top of the plate.
- Then tighten and torque the adjusting screws.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Remember, when adjusting any setting on your car that will affect handling, make one change at once. This helps when dialling in the right set-up and helps the driver experience what each change is doing to the handling.
All renders done by Ben Gribbin