Adjust or Bust: Is Camber the Answer?

So the SCCA season is back. I attended the first event in my war torn Focus. I placed 4th in my class, so now it’s back to work. I’ve made all the nessecary excuses (The other guys have more horsepower, more parts on their cars, their bald tires make them go faster, etc) and now I just need to focus on the real roots of the problem. 1st major problem- I’m not as good at racing as they are. I really don’t want to address that problem because it stifles my ego, plus I can’t get more seat time if there are no races. So the second problem- my car is slow. But that is an intrinsic problem of the Ford Focus and throwing even more money at the car for a few horsepower is not the route I’m gonna go. So the last issue that I’ve decided is the root of my woes is the alignment. I have every part I could get my hands on to run a racing suspension- lowered stiffer springs, stronger shorter shocks, front and rear anti-roll bars and poli bushings all around. I even have front and rear camber adjustment equipment. All this and I’m running stock camber numbers! What the hell man? Performance parts without the performance, time to put an end to all that…

But before that, maybe I should explain what the hell I’m talking about. Camber? Huh? Camber is one of the changeable suspension specifications on every car. Camber is the amount of tilt a wheel has in perpendicular relation to the ground. As you’re facing the car, if the top of the wheels tilt toward each other, there is negative camber. If the top of the wheels point out and away from each other, there is positive camber. Camber is important to keep at manufacturer’s specifications for vehicles intended for daily driving. If the camber on a car is where it’s supposed to be, tires will wear evenly. In racing, tire wear comes second to lap times.

I’ve kept my camber at a stock setting because I was worried about prematurely wearing out my tires on the streets. But now, fuck it. The tires on the rear are the ones that came with the car (in 2001) and are as hard as rocks and the fronts are some worthless cheap Kumhos. So if I destroy those I won’t be heartbroken. Plus, it’s all about the handling. This weekend is open shop day, so I’ll do the alignment myself and it’ll be free. Can’t beat that!

Auto-X Focus


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