Wheel camber adjustment is a critical parameter to monitor and modify as necessary. From time to time, you should check your vehicle’s camber setting to ensure that the wheels remain properly aligned.
The degree to which the wheels tilt in or out is determined by the vehicle’s camber. Even a small difference can have a significant impact on the way the vehicle handles and the life of the tires.
The following are the steps you should follow to learn how to change the camber on a Chevrolet truck.
What is camber?
Camber is the tire camber angle or the angle of inclination of the wheel with respect to the vertical axis of the wheel.
To understand it better, consider drawing a line that is 90 degrees to the ground and passes through the center of the wheel.
We will refer to one type of camber or another depending on the angle the wheel takes with respect to this axis.
There are three types of camber:
Neutral camber or zero angle
In this case, the wheel is exactly aligned with the vertical axis, allowing the largest possible contact surface at rest.
The wheel is inclined with respect to the vertical axis, so that the lower part, which comes into contact with the ground, is tucked inside the bodywork.
The result is the opposite since the part in contact with the surface protrudes outwards.
What Is The Best Camber Angle?
To answer this question, let us consider the following scenario: a wheel runs perpendicular to the ground (called zero angles). In this scenario, its contact surface at rest is much larger and, consequently, its traction is also significantly higher, although not always.
When the vehicle takes a curve, the centrifugal force causes the tire pressure to be higher on the outside of the tire and lower on the inside due to the centrifugal force acting on it.
In other words, the counterweight of the tire is not balanced, resulting in deformation of the tire profile.
On the straights, this arrangement only succeeds in preserving the larger contact area that was previously established.
The vehicle will react differently depending on the wheel camber angle, and the tire will provide different performance and longevity.
Zero/Neutral Camber Effects
When driving in a straight line, the neutral camber allows the tire to have the largest contact surface with the ground, resulting in excellent braking and traction in these circumstances, as well as constant wear.
However, due to the car’s inertia and centrifugal force, when cornering, the wheel angle tends to be positive, reducing grip and generating more energy and wear on both the outside and inside of the tire.
Positive Camber Effects
Positive camber indicates that the tire rests primarily on the outer third of the tread while traveling in a straight line, causing more wear in that region. In addition, when turning into a curve, the positive angle is further accentuated, and grip decreases as a result, leading to increased tire wear.
Negative Camber Effects
The use of negative camber, like the use of positive camber, allows the area of contact with the ground to be reduced while traveling in a straight line, which reduces fuel consumption.
Conversely, when cornering, the negative camber is offset, which causes the tread to settle and provide increased traction, while still exhibiting regular wear in that scenario, unlike positive camber.
Consequently, negative camber is the theoretically ideal configuration for a vehicle; however, the angle chosen is critical at this point, as if it is too steep, uneven wear in straight lines will be exacerbated and the tire tread will not perform optimally in curves.
As a consequence of the higher cornering speeds and the lesser importance of irregular straight-line wear in racing, negative camber is usually more evident than in non-racing.
In a road car, it is necessary to have a considerably more balanced and cautious setup.
Manufacturers and technicians take into account the height and weight of the vehicles, as well as the type of driving for which they are designed when determining the appropriate suspension settings.
Steps To Adjust Camber On Chevy Truck
The camber or wheel camber angle is a determining parameter, as it directly influences the grip and durability of the tires.
Now comes the important part: how do I change the tilt angle? Let’s get down to work and start the tutorial.
Step 1: Measure The Camber
The first step is to find out what the current camber angle of your car is. To begin with, make sure your wheels are pointing straight ahead.
This is important to remember because if the wheels are crooked to one side, the calculation may be wrong.
The easiest approach will require the use of a camber gauge, which has three adjustable arms that can be attached to the underside of the vehicle.
The arms and gauge should be adjusted to ensure that the central component of the caliper is perfectly aligned with the center component of the hub.
Step 2: Remove The Tires
Next, go for the two front wheels of the truck with your own hands. Lift the car using a jack and remove the tire from your truck in order to expose the control arms that we are going to repair.
Step 3: Locate The Arm Mounting Bolts
The bolts that secure the upper control arm to the frame are located on both sides of the frame.
For cam alignment, check on the outside of the frame where the alignment bolt is visible as an extension of the frame.
This basically refers to the cam arrangement currently used on your car.
Step 4: Loosen Upper Control Arm
Remove the upper control arm mounting bolts with a wrench by turning them counterclockwise.
Allow the control arm to loosen until the alignment bolt appears to be in the optimum position for the required alignment slope, at which time stops.
Once the correct alignment is obtained, the mounting bolts should be retightened. The front-wheel camber adjustment is almost complete.
Step 5: Check The Camber Angle
The last step is to remove the jack stand and lower the truck to the ground. If you are not satisfied with the result, repeat the procedure until you are satisfied.
Here is everything you need to know about adjusting the camber on your Chevy truck in the simplest way imaginable.
Remember to always have an assist along with you so they can help you with the bolt and recheck that everything is in proper working order.