When setting a car up for road racing, one of the most commonly overlooked yet critical steps in the process is known as corner balancing. This process seeks to ensure each wheel on the car is carrying an appropriate and even amount of load to optimize handling. Though a car’s balance can be changed by moving components of the car around, corner balancing focuses on shifting weight by adjusting spring height through adjustable coilovers.
Why Should I Corner Balance?
A car that’s been properly balanced will not only handle evenly in both left and right turns, but will be more predictable and controllable all around. Most imbalances stem from weight side-to-side weight distribution being uneven.
In a symmetric car, imbalance is most easily described as excessive amounts of weight being put on two wheels diagonal from one another, which creates a seesaw effect in extreme situations. An imbalance can be so severe that one wheel may be completely off the ground, even at rest.
Most street cars are not corner balanced from the factory, and in stock form, have no provision for adjusting ride height or corner balance. This is done to keep costs down, and because stock suspension is often very soft to maintain comfort, so the springs would have to be hugely different in length to produce a significant balance problem.
How to Corner Balance
In the real world, the goal is to have the front and rear wheels on the driver’s side bear the same amount of weight as the front and rear wheels on the passenger side. A balance with individual scales for each wheel is used to take the initial measurement. No car will have a 100% perfect corner balance, but the goal is to get it within an acceptable value.
After taking the initial measurement, corners that are too light or too heavy must be jacked up and have the wheel removed to adjust the spring length. You will then have to repeat the process as necessary until the corner balance is close enough to be negligibly different from side-to-side.
If you’re looking for every advantage possible out on the race track, corner balancing your car should be at the top of your priority list. Having a car that handles consistently and behaves well on the track not only makes for faster lap times, but it inspires driver confidence and allows your skills to grow faster than if you’re fighting an improperly set up car. Call us today at (407) 804-0892 for more information regarding our track days and driver’s education classes!