Steering Vague

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  ricrx7 2 months ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #303852

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Above 50 mph my Chevette powered BCW get a little vague.  I feel like it might veer left or right.  60 is as fast as I’ve dared to go.  Front wheels have negative camber and without measuring, it looks like it is zero toe in.  I read somewhere that switching the upper A arms from left to right will increase caster and make steering better.  I was also told that at higher speeds, air gets under front fenders and lifts car somewhat.  Help.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303854

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    Before tearing apart the steering, are your tires more than, say, 8 years old?  Even if they look fine internal tread separation will cause the symptoms you describe.  Been there.

    😳

    #303855

    crash55
    Participant

    @crash55

    you need a little toe-in or the car will wander when going straight. I had that problem years ago in a dodge put it on the rack & dialed in a hair more toe problem solved

    #303856

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Thanks.  Agree on toe-in.  Tires are over 8 years, I think based on prior owner comments.  So I need to replace them.  Would the negative camber have any bearing at all?

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303857

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I agree with all of the above.  I think that you are possibly needing to adjust the castor (caster) angle so that it is slightly positive.  Castor is what gives the car directional stability.  Excessive Castor may make it slightly harder to turn the wheel and park but that does not seem to be your problem.  Also, excessive tire pressure may give rise to a squirrl-ey feel as will internal steel belt tread separation.  These cars will drive nicely up to (in my experience) about 80 mph, but feel most comfortable at speeds less than 65 (this is just an opinion).

    The stuff you hear about front end lift is only for speeds you should not be attempting.

    #303858

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    3-5 degrees positive caster helps highway tracking if

    tires are less than 6 years old

    not over-inflated

    toe-in is right

    ball joints, steering knuckles, etc are all good (i.e. no play in them, but move freely under load)

    Steering damper is good.

    In your case I’d begin with tires. As much as we hate t6o throw out tires with good tread, 8 years is the late end of a tire’s useful life.

    Good luck, & report back!

    #303859

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    My camber changes a lot between an empty car and with two people in car.  I know some change is possible, but mine seems to be more than normal.  Do others have this issue?  Front end is too high and I was thinking of shorter springs.  This extra stiffness might help.  I want to solve this before I get into caster/camber changes.  Thanks.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303860

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Oh, I forgot to ask.  If I get new tires, I might get new updated rims, remove adapter for VW wheels, and use the Chevette bolt pattern (4×100).  Any info on the correct offset (and ideas for rims, I believe Honda and many others fit).

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303869

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    OK – since I’ve done some research for rims/tires.  I’ll post and see what anyone has to say.  Currently BCW has Volkswagen 15 inch rims on Chevette suspension (4×100) with a 1 inch thick adapter.  The VW rims are 4 1/2 inch wide and have about a +45 mm offset.  I propose to remove adapter gaining 1 inch inboard.  I calculate that I can fit up an 8 inch wide rim (although I expect to stay at 6 or 7) with a +35-40 mm offset.  I am thinking I should stay at the 25 inch overall height, or maybe a little less.  For example that is a 205/60/15 tire.  I could do that all around or is it possible or desirable to be wider at the rear (225?) and narrower at the front (195?).  I know wheels will not look anyway stock, but I might be upping HP next and I need tires now.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303872

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    Mine is not on a VW, but I had run 205/60R15 on the front with 235/60R15 on the rear with no problem. I now keep the same size front and rear.(what do you do when you have a flat?)

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #303873

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Post at 3:30 AM – wow thanks.  Mine is not VW either, Chevette based with VW rims to look somewhat like original.  Good point that I should keep same size tire.  What is current size you are running and what offset are your rims.  Your suspension is Pinto – correct?

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303877

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    I currently have 3 sets. The Wires are 14×6. The towing wheels are 14×5. The race wheels 15×7. Offsets vary between wheels. Since I’ve installed 2″ drop spindles the towing wheels require spacers now.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #303878

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    No drop axles for Chevette.  But I can use a special longer ball joint that lowers car 1″ and then cut springs one coil for another inch.  The front end sits pretty high now.  There is no manual for front engine Chevette, but the CMC Chevette Manual says to cut one coil from the front springs.  I decided on 15×7 wheels 35 mm offset with 205/60/15 tires.  And some prayer that it all fits.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303879

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    As far as cutting the coils, each coil removed increases the spring rate apx. 10%. The Ford springs rode like a rock. Consider a spring shop if the ride is too rough.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #303898

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    OK – first step – replace tires (and rims)

    and see how high the front is.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #303912

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Next issue – front studs have been cut to 3/4 inch to allow the old spaces to be mounted.  So I need to replace all studs.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

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