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alackofspeed 22nd September 2008 19:08

Front steering arms
At the weekend I met up with Limpabit (John) and Merlinman (Ian). We went for a short convoy drive, so Merlinman could get a seat of the pants experience of my car, and John and I could enjoy the novelty of two cars in convoy.

Anyhow, whilst driving along, as Merlinman will no doubt recall, I clobbered a fairly nasty pothole. I realised after saying farewell to John and Ian, that I'd knocked my tracking out, so this evening I had a look to see what I'd done....

Well I'd managed to add quite a bit of toe-in to the front left wheel, and given the step change it got me wondering what I'd bent / displaced. I'm pretty sure I've found the problem, and it's the nearside hub to track-rod arm (steering arm?).

Whatever it's called, it would appear that it was bent slightly by the impact... which led me to wonder about the stiffness of the I put the steering lock on, and pushed / pulled the nearside wheel at the 3 and 9 o clock positions, and noticed the track rod stayed still, but the rim / caliper / hub moved. It was possible to induce 5mm or so of movement at the rim edge, just manually, without getting a sweat on.

I've noticed that the steering feels slightly vague at "higher" speeds, so I'm wondering if the flex is the cause. I'm going to cut some stiffening plates, and weld them on..... another experiment that'll hopefully further enhance the driving experience.

alackofspeed 27th September 2008 18:04

Right.... well I've stiffened up my suspension arms, and it has made an obvious difference to the feel of the car.

The steering doesn't feel half as vague as it did previously, which makes for much more reassuring feel when driving at speed in the region of the national speed limit. A worthwhile, quick, and easy modification.

limpabit 27th September 2008 20:21

I always thought they looked a bit light weight. But thought all they would be doing is connecting rack to hub.

But over time, and pot holes, time takes it's toll.:)

bigrich 28th September 2008 06:57

Any pics of how you have modded the arms please?


alackofspeed 28th September 2008 14:32

Very crudely is the answer..... but it does seem to have worked perfectly....unsprung mass anyone? :)

sylvazx 10th May 2010 18:28

I hope you have not patented your design for the strengthening mods on the steering arms as i am about to use it in preference to my own ideas for upgrading. After adjusting the terrible bump steer i thought the steering would be better but it still feels very light and wanders on the road. there is about 5-10mm of movement at the wheel rim when steering held solid and wheel rim is pulled with force. steering arm visibly bending at the outer adjusting bolt hole on the arm.
Did your mods make any diference to the steering feel or did you go further.

The bump steer was caused by me bolting the stub axles to the suspension upright 180 degrees out of position which pushed the track rod end mounting point far too high. i bought one of the first cars and there were no instruction for the correct installation for the mounting of the stub axle and of course i got it wrong.


alackofspeed 23rd May 2010 16:12

The mod made the steering feel far more consistent. I've had the car beyond 120mph on track days, followed by jumping heavily on the brakes, and it feels quite reasonable. Although I've been nowhere near as fast on the road, and the mod was made prior to any track exposure, I suspect had I not made the modification, the car would have felt quite vague at high speed on a track, especially when making the heavy transition from full power to full braking.

sylvazx 23rd May 2010 18:51

i cut the brackets for the mod on friday and hope to be able to find time to weld them on this week. the car continues to feel very light and darts about on the road. just checked all the wheels alignment tonight with a string and found a fair bit of toe on the passenger side rear, have no idea where this came from as it was set up dead straight several months ago and has done little miles since. am slightly alarmed at what appears to be stress cracks in the paint on the front steering arms at the rear mounting bolt, this must be coming from the flexing of the arm at the bolt. will get it right eventually !!


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