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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Alignment issue

I just completed installing new front end bushings, inner and top, relaced 1 kingpin, one a-arm and both tie rod ends.

The steering wheel is now cocked to the left when the car is driving strait.

I ran a string around the car from rear spring to rear spring and adjusted the TR ends to neutral or a touch of toe in. I measured from inner tread to the center on both tires and its within 1/8"

I have been making the adjustments with the car on the ground and re-checking after a short drive.

What is up with the steering wheel?

Phil Burke

Phil, I suspect that when you replaced the tie rod ends you got the centering of the rack off a bit. Check the amount of thread showing inside each tie rod, I suspect that on one side you'll see quite a bit more than on the other. If not then you've probalby corrected an earlier mis alignment and just need to remove the wheel and install it clocked correctly.
When the car is driving straight ahead place a bit of masking tape on the wheel at the 12 o'clock position and then check the number of turns from center to lock in each direction, should be the same. If it's different then the tie rod end on the side with the least turns needs to be adjusted in and the one on the other side needs to be adjusted out the same amount, retry until the turns are the same.
B Young

Do you still have equal turns lock to lock on both sides? If so, the wheel just needs putting straight on the splines from wrong adjustments in the past. If you don't have equal turns, the rack isn't central and will need putting central before re-adjusting the track rod ends.
S Overy

P.S. when you get things straight don't forget to check the alignment of the cam for the directional switch as well.
B Young

Bill and S,
The rack is close to center, useing the masking tape method. I'd say one side is at 1:00 o clock and the other is 1:45. What's the best way to center the rack?, or do I just center the steering wheel and take it for granted that my turning radius is less when turning left?
Phil Burke

No Phil
Diconnect the track rod ends (Rack to steering arms)
Rotate the rack left and right until you find the mid point. (same amount of turns either direction.
Now remove the steering wheel and replace that exactly straight ahead.
With the rack in this position screw the trackrod ends onto the rack so that when connected to the steering arms on the hub the wheels will be facing forward.
This is not easy
Bob Turbo Midget England

When working on front wheel alignment or track rod end etc with the wheels still in contact with the ground roll each front wheel onto a plastic bag with WD40 sprayed inside - it allows the wheels move much more freely
P Willoughby

Here's a tip that made dialing my alignment easy and accurate--after you center the rack per the above advice:

1- Lift the front end, then slide ramps under the front wheels (car is too low to drive up with the lowered springs in my case). Block rear wheels & put in low gear.

2- Put two 5 lb. iron barbell plates in the dish of each ramp, with grease in between, and sockets with proper O.D. slipped in the holes for pivots.

3- Get some cheap aluminum L-profile extrusion from Home Depot, slice it in the middle, then cut fingers on one end of each piece, to touch the rim's edge without hitting the tire.

Wheels will pivot like a charm, so you can eliminate any binding between measurements and adjustments.
JM Young

Tubo's got it right
You have to centre the rack first of all then fit the steering wheel in the straight ahead position THEN adjust you toe in Willy
William Revit

This thread was discussed between 10/01/2011 and 14/01/2011

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