This article is part of a section of the RcTek site devoted to radio controlled model car handling. As car handling is an extremely complex subject, it will be quite some time before it is finished.
This article explains only the basics about camber angles and does not go into details of the effects on the handling of your model car. This will be covered in a future article.
The term camber refers to the sideways inclination of the wheels on your model car. Camber has three possible states, neutral, negative and positive and is usually measured in degrees.
Camber is always measured relative to the outside of your car.
Only one wheel/tyre is shown in the diagrams below. For simplicities sake you should assume that both sides of the car are set equally.
The image on the left shows a tyre that is set to a position that is referred to as neutral camber. This means that the top and bottom of the wheels and tyres are parallel to each other which is measured as 90 degrees to the track surface. This is the base line measurement from which the other two positions are measured from.
Shown left is a wheel/tyre where the camber angle is set negatively. This means that the top of the wheel is leaning toward the centre of the car.
The image on the left shows a tyre that is in a cambered position that is referred to as positive. This means that the tops of the wheels and tyres are leaning outwards from the centre of the car.
Possibly the easiest way to remember which is positive camber and which is negative camber is to think of a normal road, which is positively cambered so that rain and water drain away quickly. A clear road is good (positive) and vice versa.
The article that covers this may be published sometime.
Camber can be set/adjusted on a remote controlled model car by a few different methods depending on the design of the model car. Some cars are fitted with linkages that have predefined positions for camber, some are fixed, but the majority are made with some form of threaded adjusters. More will be written about this in a future article.
Although other methods do exist, camber angles are most easily measured using a tool called a camber gauge, which offers a quick, no-nonsense way of checking and setting camber angles through the use of a graduated scale. An example of a typical camber gauge is shown to the left.
Camber gauges are made by many different companies including RPM, FG Modellsport and Serpent.