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Problem with trackrod ends


stephenh
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I have shortened my trackrods, and my trackrod ends, as per the instruction in the build manual. In fact, I've shortened them more than the manual indicates. However, I'm still running out of thread before I can get the stub axles to point straight ahead, rather than toeing out which they do at present.

The problem is magnified by the fact that I am going to have to fit 10mm. spacers between the uprights and the steering arms, which will bring the steering arms 20mm. closer together IYSWIM.

I think I need to take the trackrods out of the rack, and get them re-threaded, so as to extend the threaded part much further towards the inner end. I can then shorten the trackrods further, without having to shorten the trackrod ends any further. It will mean extending the threading over the part of the trackrod which has flats on it (for adjusting the tracking with a spanner) but I can get the engineering firm to cut new flats further inboard.

Before I take this drastic step, has anyone else had this problem, and if so how did you overcome it? Or am I overlooking something here?

This is what the trackrods and ends look like at the moment:

IMGP5415_zpsyz4dquma.jpg

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You shouldn't have to shorten them too much over what the manual says I'd have thought. Are you sure they're the correct ones?

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Stephen

 

Rally design used to sell the steering rack ends already made to different lengths.  Do you think a likelihood your rack was shipped with the longer rack ends?

 

Edit to add that the above is for Escort. 

 

David

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David, this is an MG Mk 3 rack.

Craig, the rack was a reconditioned one supplied by Peter May. He is the acknowledged expert on Midgets and Sprites, so I cannot think that it would be wrong. As to the trackrod ends, they are new ones supplied by Peter. They are a "standard" item. The same ones were used on all the Sprites, all the Midgets other than the MK4, as well as Morris 1000s, Austin A35s etc.

It is a mystery to me.

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Well, as you've discovered, somethings not right. Assuming everything's in the correct orientation it just sounds wrong. perhaps another builder can confirm?

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I've been in contact with Mark Walker about this. He suggests that because I'm looking at the steering geo. with the suspension on full droop I should wait until the car is on its wheels, and then look at it. I think he is quite right, although I still think there may be a problem.

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Hmm. Shouldn't be THAT much bump steer... And even if there was, that would be toe in in bump, which isn't ideal at all.

 

How much more adjustment do you need?

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Hmm. Shouldn't be THAT much bump steer... And even if there was, that would be toe in in bump, which isn't ideal at all.

 

How much more adjustment do you need?

That was my feeling, Adam. As to how much more, hard to say when as said the car is on stands, so on full droop. But allowing that I've got to add 10mm . spacers between the uprights and the steering arms, it has to be upwards of 10mm. Allowing that I don't have to use all the thread, my instinct (if I did remove the trackrods and get them machined now) would be to have an extra 15mm. cut on each trackrod.

It would be interesting to know from other XI builders/owners what the distance is between the "eyes" of their steering arms with their wheels pointing straight ahead. I'd need to know whether they had a standard front brake setup, or the optional upgrade, although the only other person I know with that is Simon Marks, whose car was on display in the club marque at Stoneleigh.

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Hi, Stephen,

 

I built the front suspension and steering up with the chassis on stands (builder's step-ups actually) in the garage.  When I finished the chassis, I fitted the wheels and set all four wheels on equal height levelled pads.  When I started to set the camber and toe, I found that there was far too much toe out.  I then trimmed the track rods and track rod ends progressively until all was aligned as per the build guide.

 

I have photographed the off-side rod/rod end this morning, including holding a ruler to give you an idea of the finished measurement.

 

My steering rack was also sourced (exchange unit) from Peter May, and the rod ends have come from Moss Europe in West London.

 

med_gallery_20322_835_9108.jpg

 

med_gallery_20322_835_150969.jpg

 

As you can see, I need to get and clean up - the car got thoroughly soaked and sprayed with road dirt on the way back from Stoneleigh on the trailer.  Rather than have flats put into the track rod, I am happily using grips and will get the Hammerite out and touch up.

 

Before I'm asked, I can't remember how much exactly I took off, or how much thread is left in the rod end!  As reported above, I trimmed away progressively and equally and once done, I moved onto something else!

 

For our non-Eleven readers, please bear in mind that we don't have a Westfield Factory Build Manual for these kits, but rely on a Build Guide ("An Independent Guide For Amateur Home Builders") that was based on the 2005 kit and is "copyrighted 2006".  Whilst it is informative, things would appear to have moved on since and any gaps or discrepancies need to be filled with information from build threads and forums.

 

Simon

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Hello Simon, thanks for your very comprehensive reply. And yes, for those who haven't experienced what it is like to build one of these cars, the build manual is a help, but it is very out of date, and it was written by a customer over 10 years ago, not by Mark or someone else at the factory. As for the upgraded brake kit, you don't get a single word of how it goes together!

Simon, you do seem to have shortened your 'ends a bit more than me, but not by a lot. However the threading on your trackrods goes much further inboard than mine does. I haven't extended the threading on the trackrods at all yet, just shortened them so they just bottom out in the 'ends when the 'ends and the locknuts are fully wound on to the existing threads on the trackrods.

One thing I did wonder, is whether I've fitted the steering arms the right way up, or whether mine are swapped left to right, and therefor upside down. Mine are genuine original 'arms, and I've mounted them so the "MOWOG" is on the top and the part number is on the bottom. Looking in the Moss catalogue, I see that these are "handed" and that the 2 sides have different (consecutive) part numbers. I feel sure I would have looked at this before, but I've got to take the 'arms off the uprights anyway, in order to fit the spacers which Mark has now provided me with, so I'll check that again.

I think it is so obvious that I need to extend the threading on the trackrods, that I'm inclined to get them done now, whilst the rack is still very accessible, with no discs or calipers in the way. I've never removed a trackrod before, I know there is a ball joint in there which has to be dismantled, and a shim to give the correct pre-load on the joint, but presumably if I re-assemble in the same order that I take apart it should be ok? Anyone who knows about these things any comments?  

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Hi, Again, Stephen,

                                I, too, was a virgin regarding removing track rods but needed to take them off the end of the rack to fit my spacers.  I did as you suggest - careful disassembly and replacement all in the same order and all appears fine.  As my rack came straight from Peter May with the track rods fitted, I had no reason to even consider the handing of the track rods.

 

The spacers that you have had from the factory are, I assume, relatively thin wall steel tube?  I didn't like the thought of the end of this bashing into the alloy of the steering rack housing so a friend kindly turned me out some replacement spacers in a nylon material, with a 5mm wall thickness.  I feel that this will be kinder on the alloy components.  Mark Walker seemed to like the idea when I mentioned it to him at the time.

 

My steering lock is abysmal - exceeding all my expectations!  I measured the turning circle at 18m on my shakedown day.  With 13" wheels and 165/70 tyres, there still seems to be plenty clearance between the tyres and the bodywork so one of the post IVA jobs is to progressively reduce the nylon spacers to lessen the turning circle as much as possible without the tyres snagging the bodywork.

 

Simon

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One thing I did wonder, is whether I've fitted the steering arms the right way up, or whether mine are swapped left to right, and therefor upside down. Mine are genuine original 'arms, and I've mounted them so the "MOWOG" is on the top and the part number is on the bottom. Looking in the Moss catalogue, I see that these are "handed" and that the 2 sides have different (consecutive) part numbers. I feel sure I would have looked at this before, but I've got to take the 'arms off the uprights anyway, in order to fit the spacers which Mark has now provided me with, so I'll check that again. 

 

Is the hole on the steering arm tapered (I think the generally are)?  If so, I doubt you can fit the steering arms on the wrong side of the car because the track rod end won't fit if you swap them over.  Worth checking though.

 

I know this because when I built my kit (not an XI), the steering arms were on the wrong side (I suspect they may have been put together that way by the factory for an S2000 kit where I believe the steering rack sits higher up and the track rod ends connect to the top of the steering arms rather than from underneath).

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Good point, Nick, yes they have to be the correct way round.

Simon, yes the spacers are just 2 short lengths of tube. But are we talking about the same spacers? I can't see how these would be bearing on alloy. They go between the upright casting and the steering arm. As I recall you were using a stack of washers on your car when it was on display at Stoneleigh.

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Hi, Stephen,

                    

I've got the wrong end of the stick (not for the first time in my life)!  As you were talking about taking the rack apart to release the track rods, I thought that you were meaning the tubes that are supplied to limit the steering rack travel.  These are the steel tubes that I have replaced with nylon.

 

Simon

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Ah, I still don't know how on earth those steel tubes are supposed to fit. I put large jubilee clips around the ends of my rack, as illustrated in the build manual. No way would those tubes go over the ends of the rack, so I hadn't (and still haven't) got a clue how those are supposed to work, or where they are supposed to fit!

I was talking of getting the trackrods out of the ends of the rack so that I can take them to my local precision engineers, and ask them to cut more thread on them.

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