Lotus Elan

Bum Steer

PostPost by: slowsprinter » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:35 pm

Andy, Steve

I am away from my project for a week or so therefore unable to make measurements. I definitely have the correct lock limiting spacers. I think my problem actually is my new track rod ends being 1/4 ins too long. Such that when I screwed them onto the tie rods fully (about 28 turns) they still give slightly too much toe out. My solution is going to be to cut 1/4 ins of each new tie rod as there is enough thread on them to still allow the track rod ends to be fully screwed on. I think that will give me enough adjustment to get the wheels alligned.

As you point out Steve and others who have kindly offered advice the critical measurement is from the centre of the ball joint on the tie rod to the centre of the track rod end when both are joined together to be 7.49ins as Brians book specifies.

In a week or so when I do the job I hope to report a successful outcome. Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer. As our cars are old and there are different sources of replacement parts I am learning that I have to be prepared to make modifications to make things work. As long as they are still safe all should be ok.

Ian.
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PostPost by: patrics » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:38 pm

Hi Ian,

I meant from the center of the front left track rod end to center of front right track rod end.

I wouldn?t cut the tie rod if it is the correct length as they always used to be hard to get, if the error is in the rod end then sort that out. All being well you should never need another tie rod but you might have to change a worn track rod end.

but it is your car so you can fix it anyway you like.

Regards
Steve
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:16 am

Golden rule of making modifications to fit:

"Always choose to modify, the least expensive part"
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:08 am

billwill wrote:Golden rule of making modifications to fit:

"Always choose to modify, the least expensive part"

We can't argue with that. :)
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:39 pm

slowsprinter wrote: I think my problem actually is my new track rod ends being 1/4 ins too long. Such that when I screwed them onto the tie rods fully (about 28 turns) they still give slightly too much toe out. My solution is going to be to cut 1/4 ins of each new tie rod as there is enough thread on them to still allow the track rod ends to be fully screwed on. I think that will give me enough adjustment to get the wheels alligned.



Ian.



Did the tie rods bottom-out in the thread of the track rod end ball joints? If not it would probably be better to cut a quarter inch off the ball joint.
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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:00 am

Bill

Yes the track rod ends did bottom out when I screwed them 28 turns onto the tie rods. That's why I figure one solution is to cut 1/4 ins off the tie rods. The other solution is to get new ends that are 1/4 ins shorter. I will probably go with option A because I don't need to spend more money!!

Is that what you meant in your post?

Ian
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:17 am

I don't know if the tie rod bottomed out - I just ran out of thread length.

I shall just have to take them off and have another look.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:42 pm

slowsprinter wrote:Bill

Yes the track rod ends did bottom out when I screwed them 28 turns onto the tie rods. That's why I figure one solution is to cut 1/4 ins off the tie rods. The other solution is to get new ends that are 1/4 ins shorter. I will probably go with option A because I don't need to spend more money!!

Is that what you meant in your post?

Ian


Yes.
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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:44 pm

Progress report!

Its been a long time coming but I finally have my steering sorted. I reckon a combination of slightly long track rod ends and very slightly longer new tie rods conspired to confuse me and I ended up with my wheels having slight toe out and no more adjustment possible.

Thanks for your help, chaps, my solution ended up being to cut 5-6 mm off each new tie rod enabling each track rod end to be screwed on more reducing the toe out to be about right. I have only eyeballed it at the moment. I need my car on the road before I can check it is correct, could be some time yet! I have learned a valuable lesson. New parts are not necessarily correct. Note to self. Never assume - check!!

Next job is to get my brake callipers back on the car and plumbed in. Hoses and pads on order.
My photos updated.

Ian
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:09 am

Read this thread a while ago, and had the same symptoms, thread bottoming out. However, did get 2mm toe in, JUST.

Can I ask from where the shorter rods were sourced?

Many thanks

Mark
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:04 pm

And the correct length track rods came from????

Any answers gratefully accepted... :)

cheers

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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:42 pm

Sorry Mark

I don't have an answer for you after this saga. I bought my tie rods from Paul Matty but I reckon they are too long. I made them good with a hacksaw! I never did find a source for the correct ones.

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