If you've installed an aftermarket suspension kit on your car, you've probably noticed that your wheel alignment looks a bit off. Aftermarket springs lower the body of your car closer to the wheels and axles. A side effect of lowering your car is that the suspension geometry changes:
Obviously, you want to take advantage of your aftermarket suspension's full handling potential. However, improper wheel alignment reduces the contact patch of your tires and causes them to lose grip easier. That means it's counterproductive to upgrade your suspension without also realigning your wheels. In fact, your car may handle worse until you get your wheels properly aligned.
Camber Angles Explained
Camber alignment is very important when it comes to the amount of grip your tires have. Essentially, the camber angle of your wheels is the amount that they tilt in or out vertically relative to your suspension. Lowering your car tends to excessively increase the amount of negative camber — the top of your wheels will tilt inward and cause your tires to ride on the inside edges. That reduces the contact patch of your tires and gives you less grip. Too much negative camber will also cause the inside edge of your tires to wear out extremely fast.
The Benefit of Aftermarket Camber Kits
Camber kits allow you to significantly modify the alignment of your wheels. Your stock alignment components are designed to work with your stock suspension, and therefore they offer limited customization. To properly realign your wheels with your modified suspension geometry, install an aftermarket camber kit. Aftermarket kits bolt on directly in place of your stock units. They give you a greater range of camber settings to choose from so you can properly realign your wheels with your lowering springs installed.
Getting Your Wheels Back in Line
Sadly, it's almost impossible to properly align your wheels at home — perfect wheel alignment requires high-tech laser systems to measure the exact angle of your wheels. Once you have your camber kit installed, take your car to a professional alignment shop. They'll be able to use your aftermarket camber kit to realign your wheels back to factory specifications.
When you roll out of the shop, your wheels will no longer be improperly aligned due to your aftermarket suspension, and your car will handle better than ever. To find out more, speak with a business like Yearwood Performance Center.