Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB Technical - A Simple Desparate Plea for Steering Help

Hey Ho!

A while back I posted about front tire squeal after replacing the rack boots.

There were some major distractions and a bad attitude on my part regarding not paying attention to what I was doing.

As the car sits now, the tie rods are removed from the steering arms and I have lost track of the number of threads from the tie rod lock nut inwards.

In other words, I have no idea of how to set the tie rods.

If any of you folks would be kind enough to count the number of threads from the inward face of the lock nut inwards to the end of threading I would greatly appreciate that info.

It will give me, at least a starting point, or, point of reference, to reassemble my steering mechanism. Please just note left number and right number of threads.

Any assistence with this problem of my own making will be greatly recieved.

thanks --- glg


GLG, I don't know the number of threads, anyway it might well vary between cars as the steering arms aren't all itentical. What you want to get close is the toe in setting. I'd begin by getting the two front wheels as near to straight ahead as possible and then screw the tie rod ends on an equal number of turns on each side until they drop in the steering arms on the spindles. (the equal number of turns per side will keep the steering wheel centered) This should get you pretty close. Measure from side to side both on the front edge of the tire and the rear edge at equal heights and get them equal front to rear, this should be zero toe. IIRC the toe setting for a B is 1/8" toe in, that is the front measurment should be 1/8" shorter than the rear. This needs to be measured at the center of tire height, and because of the body is usually impossible unless you make some sort of gauge. You can make a rough gauge fairly easily from some scrap wood, just form a long "U" shape wide enough to just clear the outside edge of the tires. Pull one side up to the front edge of the right or left tire and measure the distance from the other side tire to the gauge, then repeat on the rear edge. This should get you close enough for a test drive at least as far as an alignment shop.
Bill Young

Or use 2 carpenter's squares, a tape measure and an assistant. Bentley's gives the toe-in @ 1/16" - 3/32" (1.5 - 2.3mm)(Unladen).

Derek Nicholson

Here's a low-tech method that will get you close (spot on as it turned out for me):

Tie long pieces of fine wire (best) or nylon string to the suspension behind each rear wheel. Run each forward to a couple of feet ahead of the front wheels and find something heavy and movable to tie each to so that you can keep the strings under tension. Now set the strings so that they just touch the tyre at the forward edge of the rear wheel. In other words, the strings are exactly parallel with the rear wheels. Now adjust the tie-rods on the front to give you the stated toe-in; the string should just touch the tyre at the back of the front wheel, with 1/2 the stated gap between string and tyre at the front of each wheel. Once you are done, check at the steering wheel that you have an equal number of turns lock to lock and centralise by turning both tie-rods in unison. Recheck the toe-in for good measure.

Steve Postins

Sounds like the same way Siggi's doing it:-

A picture's worth a 1000 words.

Derek Nicholson

Thanks so much for the fast replys. I've got a "bit" of arthritis in the spine, which will keep me from running out to reassemble -- the sort of thing that makes an hours job takes two or three.

We're looking for some nice weather here early in the week, so I'll be out sometime then. Getting old is not for sissies.

Again, your speedy responses are very much appreciated.


That photo explains the setup pretty good. One question though: Can I use the tire sidewall as the measurement point (center of the width)? I cannot get to the wheel edge since the tire bulges from the lip.


My Toyota manual shows a bar with two pointers. You mark a point on the middle of each tread which is directly behind the centre-line of the hub, and use the bar and pointers to measure the distance between the two marks. Then roll the car forward (or back) one half revolution of the wheels on a flat and level surface until the marks are now *in front* of the centre-line of the hub. The difference between the two distances is the toe.
Paul Hunt 2

Paul, any point along the tread at the same level as the axle will work as long as you use the same relative point both front and rear so the measurements can be compared precisely. Here's the rub, you need some method to move that reference down below the body/chassis lines accurately. As Derek said, a couple of carpenter's squares will do if you have an assistant. If you're working alone then I like the "I_____I" shaped tool which you can manuver and measure easily by yourself.
Bill Young


Would be suprised if they are the same, but I just took the tie rod end off my 67. 14 thread depressions from outer edge to nut on both sides is what I counted.

After reading what others have posed, I am going to set it to 14 and then try the string method.
Bruce Cunha

It's a bit expensive, but the gunsons Trackrite gauge is truly excellent. You just drive gently over it and it tells you straight away whether you are toeing in or out. Adjust equally on both sides until it tracks dead true. Great gadget - and no, I don't work for them!
Mike Howlett

This thread was discussed between 06/10/2006 and 11/10/2006

MG MGB Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB Technical BBS is active now.