Dirt Track Racing Forum, Race Car Setup Calculators and Technical Data for Circle Track Racing

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Front End Alignment
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Caster, camber and toe out adjustment is a critical element for a proper handling race car.

Chamber is the amount the tire leans in or out at the top of the tire. The amount of camber required is determined by the suspension change during cornering and body roll. The camber is adjusted to maintain the most tire contact to the ground around the corners of the track. If you had zero camber then the top and the bottom of the tire would be straight up and down. In circle track racing with left turns the right front tire should lean in to the car and the top of the left front tire should lean in towards the inside of the track.

Caster gives a car directional stability. Positive caster is used to help the car steer straight ahead. A good example of the effect of caster can be seen on caster wheels used for carts and tool boxes. When you push a cart the wheels pivot on bearings until the wheel is following behind the pivot. This makes them roll easily and in a straight line. The reason is because the projected centerline of the castors pivot strikes the floor in front of the contact patch of the wheel. By tilting the upper ball joint behind the lower balljoint positive caster is induced and the tire contact patch is dragged behind the projected centerline. This makes the car steer straight ahead. A bicycle has positive caster built in the forks. That is what makes it possible to ride a bike with no hands. If you turn the forks around the bicycle becomes unstable and over sensitive to steering.

Toe out is the difference in distance between the front of the tire and the rear of the tire. A slight amount of toe out is desired on a race car. Toe out is adjusted by changing the length of the tie rods. If you desire 1/8 inch toe out , the measured distance of the front of the tires and the rear of the tires would be 1/4 inch. Measure the front and rear distance between the tires and divide by 2 to get the amount of toe out.