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Old 07-18-2020, 11:16 PM   #1
ursus
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Default Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

After rebuilding the spindle pins and steering arms I am struggling with getting the two wheels in alignment for setting the toe-in. Following Tom Endy's instructions for installing the tie rod, I am left with a situation where the front wheels are not tracking in concert with each other. Basically, when one wheel is straight ahead, the other is toed in by over a half-inch when measured at the edge of the rim (I haven't mounted the tires yet. Tom's instructions make it sound easy, so maybe I am missing something.

The tie rod thread pitch appears to be 24 per inch, so how many turns of the tie rod would be needed to bring the wheels into alignment or is there some other way to resolve this?
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

Do you have one side of the tie rod screwed in more than the other end? If so remove the tie rod and screw both ends the same amount of turns and reinstall, then set your toe.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:54 AM   #3
aermotor
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

I guess I don't understand the geometry of the steering system, but I can't see any way this would make a difference. The total length of the rod changes the toe in/toe out, so it doesn't matter if one rod end is screwed in more or less than the other - unless one is bottoming out on the threads of the rod. Did you roll the car back and forth between adjustments or adjust with the wheels off the ground then check with it back on the ground? - repeat either way you adjust until it is correct on the ground. IMHO

John

Last edited by aermotor; 07-19-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

I think aermotor is correct. Just finished this exercise using a home made alignment gauge by using masking tape on front of both tires (filled to 35 psi cold by accurate gauge) at tire tread center line up approx 6 to 7" from floor at both tapes . Rolled car front to back to position tape at same height. The difference set between the 2 marks was 1/16"- 3/32" more at the rear for toe in. The steering wheel must be centered 1st with the wheels straight ahead for proper tracking which can be challenging. Some people recommend a Duby or other gauge available on line.
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Old 07-19-2020, 12:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

To clarify, I started screwing in the tie rod with 2 turns on the left hand threaded end on the passenger side then screwed in the right hand threaded end into the driver side. Tom Endy says to turn the backing plates outward at the rear before starting the first end into the spindle arm ball socket and that is what I did.

I guess the key is the actual alignment of both wheels when starting. If both wheels are not pointing in the same direction at the start then the end result will be out of alignment. Turning the backing plates outward at the start seems to lack a clear reference point. I wonder if turning them inward to contact the spindle pin nut will provide a consistent reference point for each side?

This can't be all that complicated and I do need to get both wheels tracking in the same direction be fore setting the toe-in. Thanks!!
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursus View Post
To clarify, I started screwing in the tie rod with 2 turns on the left hand threaded end on the passenger side then screwed in the right hand threaded end into the driver side. Tom Endy says to turn the backing plates outward at the rear before starting the first end into the spindle arm ball socket and that is what I did.

I guess the key is the actual alignment of both wheels when starting. If both wheels are not pointing in the same direction at the start then the end result will be out of alignment. Turning the backing plates outward at the start seems to lack a clear reference point. I wonder if turning them inward to contact the spindle pin nut will provide a consistent reference point for each side?

This can't be all that complicated and I do need to get both wheels tracking in the same direction be fore setting the toe-in. Thanks!!

No you don't.
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

Bob, I'm still confused. If the tracking relationship of the wheels is cattywampus after the tie rod is installed and each rotation of the rod moves the wheels in or out equally, then how can the correct toe-in be established?

I am still left with a situation where if one wheel is pointing straight ahead the other is on some other angle. Toe-in is based on the relationship of the wheels one to the other as I understand it.
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

You are only concerned with the angle between the two wheels. If the left is pointing straight and the right wheel is way toed in, your tie rod is too long. Turn it to shorten it.
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

If you have the left wheel pointing forward and the other say, 10 degrees outwards, turn the steering wheel so that the left wheel is now pointing 5 degrees outwards. The right one will also be pointing 5 degrees outwards. The actual numbers don't matter.
Don't over think this. Just point both wheels forwardish and turn the tie rod till you get the setting you want. Roll the car between adjustments.
If you run out of adjustment, that's a whole different matter. We'll worry about that if it happens.
Jackson beat me to it - he is saying the same as I.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

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No you don't.
You need to be pretty close - considering that the turning radius on each wheel is different in a turn the toe in/toe out can not be determined other than straight ahead. Also, would someone please explain how one side can have a different toe in than the other? I say it can't be unless ground/floor friction is causing it. A solid mechanical connection (tie rod) between the spindle arms will not permit a difference in toe in from right side to left side.
John

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Old 07-19-2020, 09:56 PM   #11
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You need to be pretty close - considering that the turning radius on each wheel is different in a turn the toe in/toe out can not be determined other than straight ahead. Also, would someone please explain how one side can have a different toe in than the other? I say it can't be unless ground/floor friction is causing it. A solid mechanical connection (tie rod) between the spindle arms will not permit a difference in toe in from right side to left side.
John
Quite so. The inner wheel turns more than the outer one. It's called the Ackerman angle.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

URSUS, as has been said, I think you are over-thinking this. When you get the toe-in to specs, both will be pointed straight ahead at the same time. (actually, they will both have a fraction of an inch of pointing inward, which is what toe-in is all about. Also, the best and most accepted way to check toe-in and the way the specs are written is to check toe-in from the sides of the tires. Tom Endy's article is all about tie rods, but I didn't see where he goes on to say anything about setting toe-in, and checking from the rims will resutl in a different toe in than from the tires.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

Well, as some surmised here, I was probably overthinking this question or
conundrum. The reality is that the rebuilt front axle is sitting in a car without the engine, transmission, or steering gear. Without such loads in and locked down it is a probably a bit premature to be deciding that something is amiss with the alignment. These cars are a bit squishy until everything is bolted down so I will wait until then to set the toe-in. Thanks to all that responded with good advise and counsel.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: Steering / Tie Rod Conundrum

Get the two wheels to sit straight ahead, adj the tie rod so it fits to the steering arms, now set the toe-in. Simple.
Paul in CT
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