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Old 11-30-2019, 05:17 PM   #1
34Pietenpol
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Default Something is not right!

1931 Mail Truck, has issue with too much toe-in. I have two 43.5 inch tie rods to use, with either screwed completely up to the end of the threads, I still have 1.25 inches of toe in instead of one sixteenth inch. What am I missing here? Any and all ideas welcome! Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
David R.
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Axle bent? My AA’s front axle is terribly bent, but I have a good one standing by.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:07 PM   #3
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The tie rods were changed from 42.75 to 43.5 when the spindle arms were changed according to the J.S. I had a similar problem, although not as bad as yours. When a steering arm ball broke off, I changed both steering arms. That fixed the problem.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:17 AM   #4
34Pietenpol
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Very interesting about the shorter tie rod. No mention in any manuals I have about different steering arms and shorter tie rods. Learning, always learning. I did not build this Mail Truck which explains my consternation. The builder has passed away. He had quite a collection of Model As and parts, enough for a huge estate sale. Many things about this build leave the impression that parts were pulled from various piles to get this truck completed. This 1931 Mail Truck has 1929 front bumper, 1929 Mail truck front doors, others.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:26 AM   #5
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My options are two. Cut and retread the right side of one tie rod so I have adjustability, running an incorrect tie rod but with correct toe in. Or I can learn how to identify and locate the correct steering arms to return this Frankenstein to stock. What year was the change over on the spindle steering arms? I wonder if some of these are 1932 parts? All I know of the gent who built her is that he had tons of Model T and A cars and parts.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:42 AM   #6
J Franklin
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You would do yourself a favor by buying a set of service bulletins for the Model A.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:36 AM   #7
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Yes! Just starting to build a manuals stack. The Andrews set is fantastic. Will get the SBs next. Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:53 AM   #8
john charlton
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Could be a bent steering arm or both ,check out another car to see if can detect any difference .

John in Suffolk County England.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
34Pietenpol
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Default Re: Something is not right!

I do have a pair of crusty arms. Will compare angles and lengths. Thanks. I did have books and manuals. They went away when I sold my 1929 Woodie and I thought I was over Model As. Then along came this odd little Mail Truck that needed rescuing. No escaping this Model A affliction.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Something is not right!

A bent axel - from towing with rope or chain - attached to center of axel will bend them. Just enough to mess up the toe in. Make sure your axel is straight.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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To check the Angle on the Steering arms you want to tie a string to the front of the steering arm at the spindle and then run the string to the centre of the rear axle. The arm should be in line with the string. If it's in or out the arm is bent. This is a problem when they build "Streched Limo's" The car is made 3 feet longer or more and the arms are left stock. Then the toe and steering angles are out. Picked this up out of Steve Smith's book. Advanced Race Car Development (or Suspension) and Design. .Hope this helps. JP
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:10 PM   #12
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackerm...ering_geometry
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Something is not right!

I have the longer tie rod and also have non bent later style steering arms if you need.

Steve Becker
Bert’s Model a Center
Modelastore.com

Email parts@modelastore.com
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Back on the jack stands today to see what is askew. SB’s are on order.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Short term solution: my machinist is removing 1” from the straight rod steering arm. That will allow me to set proper toe in at one sixteenth inch. I’ll keep the long tapered tie rod for when I do a total rebuild of the front axle. It is the expedient fix for now.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34Pietenpol View Post
Short term solution: my machinist is removing 1 from the straight rod steering arm. That will allow me to set proper toe in at one sixteenth inch. Ill keep the long tapered tie rod for when I do a total rebuild of the front axle. It is the expedient fix for now.

Sound like you have a AA tie rod.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34Pietenpol View Post
1931 Mail Truck, has issue with too much toe-in. I have two 43.5 inch tie rods to use, with either screwed completely up to the end of the threads, I still have 1.25 inches of toe in instead of one sixteenth inch. What am I missing here? Any and all ideas welcome! Thanks.
What am I not understanding here?? You have them threaded together and you have TOO MUCH (?) toe IN? According to my miscalculations you would need to spread the wheels to get to 1/16. how are you measuring?
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Too much tow-in means the fronts of the tires need to be spread apart, so since the tie rods are on the rear side of the axle, they need to be made shorter.
I'd try Bert's @ 800-321-1931 or 303-293-3673 for the correct tie rods.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:13 AM   #19
34Pietenpol
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Default Re: Something is not right!

I have solved the toe in issue short term by cutting an inch from one of my spare tie rods. The short one will fix the toe in for now. It’s too cold to roll around on the shop floor now to investigate all the underlying issues which caused this problem. Again, I bought this Mail Truck as is, the restorer has passed away. However, I am enjoying the learning experience as much as an old man can.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Something is not right!

Built a Toe-In Tool, set the correct toe in and safetied all the plugs. I found several issues while investigating the steering. First indication was when I noticed the right front tire had worn completely out in about 700 miles. Toe in turned out to be over 1.25 inches even with the tie rod screwed completely in. Also found the tie rod plugs without cotter pins and backed nearly fully out. The pitman arm was so loose on its square steering arm that I could move it a quarter inch. Fixed the safety stuff, shortened the tie rod enough to get proper toe in. Test ride was a huge difference. This may be wishful thinking but the rolling friction was much less. She ran easily up to 50 mph where before it was a push to get to 45. Not that I will run at 50 but it’s good to see that part of the speedo. Short term fix until warmer weather.
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