RcTek : Information & Resources for the Model Car Racer

How Caster Angle Affects Camber Angle

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 about the affects that caster angles have on the camber angles of the front wheels of your model car.

Caster & Camber

This article assumes you have either read the articles on Caster Angle Basics and Camber Angle Basics or are familiar with what is meant by both these terms.

Caster Angle versus Camber Angle

Model Car King Pin Inclination Angles

Caster angles affect the camber angles of the wheels when they turn and the use of a cylinder & cones in the drawings below was the best way we could think of in demonstrating this effect. As King Pin Inclination (KPI) also yields similar results, but from a different plane, there is a possibility that some confusion may be caused.
Without actually producing a 3D animation to make this clear, you will have to keep in mind that the left and right hand steering axle block pivot points are parallel (the king pins are the same distance from each other top and bottom). Please refer to the diagram on the right.

Neutral Caster

Model Car Caster Angles

Model Car Caster Angles

The image to the left shows a steering axle block that is set to a neutral caster angle (it's vertical at 90°). The parallel yellow cylinder represents the turning circle that the axle block moves through when the steering is turned. As there is no difference in the radius of the turning circle at both the top and the bottom, the camber angle on the partly turned wheel on the right remains unchanged.

Negative Caster

Model Car Caster Angles

Model Car Caster Angles

The image to the left shows a steering axle block that is set to a negative caster angle. The inverted yellow cone represents the turning circle that the axle block moves through when the wheel turns. As the radius of the circle that the top pivot point travels through is greater than the radius that the bottom pivot point travels through, the top of the wheel travels further out and generates a positive camber change, which is shown in the image to the right.

Positive Caster

Model Car Caster Angles

Model Car Caster Angles

In the image to the right the steering axle block is set to a positive camber angle. The yellow cone represents the turning circle that the axle block moves through when the wheel turns. As the radius of the circle that the top pivot point travels through is smaller than the radius that the bottom pivot point travels through, the bottom of the wheel travels further out and generates a negative camber change, which is shown in the image to the right.

Related Information

Camber

Toe-In & Toe-Out

King Pin Inclination

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© 2001, 2009 by Darren Burnhill