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I see some cars (like front wheel drive VW's) that have what appears to be a bowed rear axle, the old VW's had this too, I've always been curious as to why its designed that way, and what effect that has on tire wear?
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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Ripsnort said:
I see some cars (like front wheel drive VW's) that have what appears to be a bowed rear axle, the old VW's had this too, I've always been curious as to why its designed that way, and what effect that has on tire wear?
Unless its something like that MB Carving thing in nate's pic, excess camber is never 'designed that way.' Theoretically, you always want the tire to be perpendicular to the road surface. However, its not easy to design a suspension that will keep a tire in that state under all loading conditions since if you want to put the tire at the end of a pivoting arm, it has to travel through some sort of arc, which isn't straight up and down on the tire end. Solid axles can accomplish this at the cost of L/R independence.

So various suspension designs are engineered to minimize this as much as is practical by using things like multiple control arms and such.

However, in reality, this vertical ideal really isn't necessary. As a vehicle goes around a curve, its weight transfer and therefore loading on the suspension will change the tires' ideal contact with the road. Race cars usually are seen running negative camber (tire tops pushed in) so that in a turn, when weight is pushed towards the outside of the car, it will cause the suspension and tires on that side to 'flatten out' and therefore provide more grip.

Its a bit much to go into here but hopefully you get the idea.
 

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nate328Ci said:
Unlimited camber?

Duude, where do I get those cool looking head socks they're wearing?!
 
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