Visit The Dirt Forum for More Information

Author Topic:   bending front steering arms
cozmiccowboy
Member
posted September 08, 2001 12:14 AM
Anyone heard of heating and bending the front steering arms? I heard of bending the rt (Passenger Side)one out towards the wheel and the left (drivers Side) one in towards the frame to get better ackerment. Anyone tried it? Any sucess with it?


awkwardjeff
Member
posted September 10, 2001 10:24 AM
COZ, I bend the steering arms down 3/8 inch to correct the bump steer. This is the proper amount if you run stock lower ball joints, and stock tie-rods, in the stock location.
Bending the arms in or out is the WRONG way to correct ackerman. because as you turn one direction you create toe-out but as you counter steer you create toe-in, this makes the car very unstable on exit. Bend the steering arms down to correct bump-steer, running a different drag-link and tie-rods is the best way to correct ackermen.

This information can be used on any frame, but the measurements given are for the small metric frames.

c21
Member
posted September 10, 2001 03:27 PM
Just wondering why you think it's okay to bend the arms out but not in? I understand the pivot points and the timing issue of the points going over center in the arc of travle........I just don't understand why you wouldn't think bending them out would hurt the steering. But you believe bending them in does hurt.

Just your thoughts to help me understand if maybe I'm missing something........thanks


Jeff


c21
Member
posted October 03, 2001 03:03 PM
I don't bend arms in or out........only down to correct the bump steer.
By bending either on in or out you are doing the same thing..........if you bend the right one out it has the same effect as if you bent the left one in........because these steering arms are not straight in line with the ball joint....as you bend one out it gets longer......that has the SAME effect as if you were to bend the other steering arm in the same amount.......

The point I'm getting to is this......you changed the length of the steering arms. This is what creates the toe-out, then toe-in when counter steering the car.......that is the unstable condition on exit.

I agree with you for changing the box and idler location to correct bump and ackermen.

The problem I find with these types of front steer cars is the drag link not being symetrical (same side for side).......this is why I build my own drag link.

I shoot for 1/4 inch gain in toe-out while steering to the left and no change at all when steering to the right.....so if I start with a 1/8 out I want a total of 3/8 out in one direction and still only a 1/8 out in the other direction.......

I just wanted to point out to you that by bending one out has the same effect as bending the opposite arm in.......thanks for you thoughts........what do you think now?

Jeff

Pigpen
Member
posted October 05, 2001 02:09 PM
I thought that bending the arms would make them weak, if this is not the case is it ok to straighten out bent arms? Pig


awkwardjeff
Member
posted October 06, 2001 01:36 AM
cold bend or hot bend??????/ each has a draw back and a positive......
cold bend, hard to keep level while bending and also hard to control the amount of the bend......but less likely to weaken the piece.
Heating to bend makes the job much easier, but the draw back is tearing the end of the steering arm, they should be maged after heating and bending, then add a small tube welded in place from the lower ball joint area to the steering arm area.


PEDDLER
Member
posted October 08, 2001 06:59 PM
Jeff; I've bent several metric steering arms as a repair method. I have always used the cold bend method and mark each spindle that has been straightened or bent with an X so as to not repair it a second time.
How many times would you rebend ?

The Peddler

awkwardjeff
Member
posted October 09, 2001 12:00 AM
I only bend them once, and that's too much for some spindles. A lot depends on the amount they are bent......the farther the bend the more the stress.
Because I bend mine before I put them on the car I NEVER re-bend the to correct them after a crash......I just take them off and toss them.

I have straighten bent ones that were NOT bent before a crash.....if they weren't bent too far. And then I swap them out as soon as I can, keeping the fixed spindle for a spare.
Marking them is a good idea for keeping track of whats good and what's good for a night or two. People should use this for all the spare parts they keep.

I try not to keep these fixed parts around, we all know they are only good for a short time and I never have time to change them out later, so they end up breaking and costing me a night. I just keep more parts around than the average guy, because I don't have time to go scavaging in the middle of the week.

PEDDLER
Member
posted October 09, 2001 08:54 PM
Thanks Jeff; We have run a metric stock car and now a friend is running an I Mod with the same spindles. Just nosey. One time bend is enough for me.

The Peddler

snowman
Member
posted March 20, 2002 05:25 PM
You are needed on the front page


Lumpy Smith
Member
posted March 20, 2002 08:38 PM
Lots to think about in here Thanks....
I bend the right steering arm out about 1 inch....to me it puts the steering arm in a different plane than the left side. I also cut the idler I cut enough out to make the right side toe out as much as I like...dont do this unless you can weld fairly well or don't mind mating with the wall...I weld another piece from a junk steering arm to the bottom of the steering arm to lower the point the tie rod is mounted. I appreciate the help and INFO Thanks


snowman
Member
posted March 20, 2002 09:44 PM
Jeff, I am truly sorry about that.From someones original question,I thought that these two posts of yours would be appreciated,so I brought them to the front page. Apparently, I was mistaken.


[This message has been edited by snowman (edited March 20, 2002).]

awkwardjeff
Member
posted March 20, 2002 10:06 PM
snowman, I don't know what you were wrong about>>>>> maybe the appreciated part????

Lumpy did say a thanks, in appreciation for the thoughts.......

I don't have a problem with anyone bring past posts to the front page for information.

as time goes on and things are learned people may change the way they did things last year........

It sounded like lumpy knew what he wanted and knew how to get it.......I think he came here for agreement that he was doing in the right direction......

any way that works for someone is the right way.........

snowman
Member
posted March 20, 2002 10:24 PM
You're Right (as usuall).I'm sorry,I'll be good.


nw15x
Member
posted May 30, 2002 02:51 PM
Has anyone tried to drill and tap a stud onto the outer tie rod end instead of bending the spindle arms. Also what is the procedure to cold bend the arm.


awkwardjeff
Member
posted May 31, 2002 10:26 AM
I drilled out the tie-rod hole on 2 sets of spindles.........our rules stated stock outer tie-rods.......so I built a spacer out of 1 3/8 round stock........I drilled a hole 7/16 through the round stock.....then from the other end I bored a hole 3/4 inch....I went almost all the way through......then I took a 3/4 bolt and drilled the center out and tapped it........so it was a bolt with no threads on the outside.....and threaded on the inside.......this created a nut for tightening the tie-rod........then I reamed the bottom of the home made space for the tie-rod...........

the hole in the spindle was 3/4.......I slid the home made bolt/nut through that hole going into the spacer.......then the tie-rod went into the bottom of the spacer, I turned the head of the bolt/nut this pulled the tie-rod into the spacer tight sandwiching the spacer tight.........I don't remember all the details of lengths and thread size...I still have both sets in the garage.....they were outlawed..........Jeff

Back to the Archives