What’s negative camber & how does it help my buggy?

Frequently Asked Questions about The Edge Buggies answered here!

What’s negative camber & how does it help my buggy?

Postby Baboon » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:32 pm

Negative camber is the wheel leaning inwards at the top.

That means if you viewed a buggy from above that has negative camber, the top of the wheels would be closer together than where the tyre touches the ground.

The reason behind Negative Camber is to create more stability in corners.

If you throw your buggy into a corner at a decent speed the suspension on the outside of the buggy will compress.
That means, turning into a left hand corner the right side of the chassis will become lower to the ground.
This is because weight is being thrown outwards by centrifugal force.
This is called body roll.
The chassis, (body) is throwing weight onto the outside suspension & compressing the shocks & springs.

In a buggy with a suspension design that allowed the wheels to travel up & down parallel to the chassis it would mean the bottom of the wheel would tuck under during body roll.

This could cause the tyre to peal from the rim or the rim itself to buckle under load.
The result could be the buggy rolling over & damaged wheels.

If the suspension was designed to progressively arc the wheels into Negative camber the outside wheel in a corner would remain relatively upright in relation to the ground.
This would increase the traction available with less tyre & rim distortion.

Another practical advantage of Negative camber is a buggy landing from a jump.
It is hard to control a buggies attitude when its airborne, often one end of the buggy can drop or one corner can drop in flight.
This means the buggy will land at a very crooked angle instead of landing flat on all four wheels.
If you imagine the front right wheel landing first as the buggy contacts the ground the buggy is exerting all of its weight & forward motion onto one wheel.

Again, if the suspension is designed to travel up & down in its motion parallel to the chassis this wheel can tuck under.
This situation will certainly cause a great deal of damage to the wheel & suspension components & could result in the buggy rolling over.

At best the buggy may survive the landing but great stress could have been induced into the wheel & suspension causing it to later fail.

If in this situation the suspension was designed to again travel through its motion & progressively arc inwards into Negative Camber the wheel will remain fairly upright in relation to the ground.
With this feature the buggy is more likely to keep moving forward & safely land onto all four wheels.

How much negative camber depends on the total suspension travel available.
A good guide is 1 degree per 50mm of wheel travel.
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