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Old 01-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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Default Last try at fixing my steering problem before I give up.

I'm going to give it one more shot and see if anyone here can help me. I think I have exhausted all options at this point and will just replace the steering rack at some time (I'll put everything back together and drive it "broken" until then).

Right now the steering shaft has been removed from the rack. The tie rod ends are adjusted within 1.5 threads of each other so nothing is funky there. I can grab the wheels and turn them to the left so far that the tires hit the a-arms. When I turn the wheels to the right they only move 0.8 rotations of the steering shaft before the wheels lock. I don't see anything bent and have no idea what is causing the problem. Any ideas before I scrap the project and just drive the car like it is?

Details with pictures can be found here:
http://www.lightweightmiata.com/v8/steering/

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Old 01-19-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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Have you tried setting the steering wheel to the 1.25 turns position and ignoring the equal-ness of the arms and setting the wheels straight by screwing with the threaded rods?

What's a normal miata's lock-to-lock # of turns?
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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Let's see a pic showing how the rack is mounted. Straight on, jacked up if possible, showing the whole thing as well as practical.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #4
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center the rack, not the arms.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
Have you tried setting the steering wheel to the 1.25 turns position and ignoring the equal-ness of the arms and setting the wheels straight by screwing with the threaded rods?

What's a normal miata's lock-to-lock # of turns?
This is what I was thinking at first, then I started asking myself if the tie rod ends were the same lengths left and right. Then I thought, what about the threaded rods? Is it possible you have the left and right side threaded rods swapped?
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Have you tried setting the steering wheel to the 1.25 turns position and ignoring the equal-ness of the arms and setting the wheels straight by screwing with the threaded rods?

What's a normal miata's lock-to-lock # of turns?
I tried to mess with the tie rod ends but they were really on there tight and I gave up. I think that is my next step (trying to adjust them) but they are almost equal so that can't possibly be the cause of the problem. My thoughts are it could only be a band-aid to correct a little of the problem but not a real solution. I am also not sure if I have enough adjustment to get them centered. As I said, I think my next step is to mess with the tie rod ends. I'll probably turn them equal (opposite) revolutions until I run out of threads on one of them and see how close that gets me.

My lock to lock is 2.5 turns and I think normal is 2.8 turns (from what I have heard).
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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center the rack, not the arms.
I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying to adjust the tie rod ends to make the wheels straight when the rack is centered half way on lock to lock?
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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yep if you are 2.5 turns lock to lock, go all the way to one side and then turn back 1.25 turns so your rack will be in the middle.

from there lock your steering wheel in place with something and adjust your tie rods until your toe is proper.

if your steering wheel is off, remove it and clock it to get it straight again.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:53 PM   #9
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Let's see a pic showing how the rack is mounted. Straight on, jacked up if possible, showing the whole thing as well as practical.
Here you go:
See how the tie rod looks extended on the left side and compressed on the right side. I don't know if that is normal but it doesn't look right to me and I don't think 3-4.5 threads will be enough to adjust that out.

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Old 01-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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you can do that by pushing the boot in.
doesnt mean the rack is off.

what subframe do you have in that picture?
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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you can do that by pushing the boot in.
doesnt mean the rack is off.

what subframe do you have in that picture?
Can do what?

It is a Boss Frog subframe (LS1).
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #12
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You working this weekend? If not give me a call and I might be able to stop by and see if I can spot anything wrong.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Can do what?

It is a Boss Frog subframe (LS1).
I think he means the small end of the boot slides on the rod
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #14
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You working this weekend? If not give me a call and I might be able to stop by and see if I can spot anything wrong.
Yep, I'm working this weekend. All this stuff would be much easier if I would just hit the lottery so I could retire and work on the car instead.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:21 PM   #15
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Wow, I was doing a search for tie rods on Google and the Google spider (bot) has already grabbed this thread. Unbelievable!
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #16
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amazing as it is, i hate that! I get all excited that someone posted almost exactly what I was wondering about and it turns out it was too exact.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #17
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Well, I just out from under the car (tried for a bit to loosen the tie rod end nuts - gorilla tight and I gave up again). Anyway, I took a closer look at how much adjustment was left and I estimate that if I ate up all the adjustment I had it would only make a 1/10th turn difference in the steering shaft. Definitely not the 1/2 turn I need so it would be a waste of time to even mess with that.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:16 PM   #18
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Hmm. Did the guy at Boss Frog let the jig slip a bit when he was welding on the rack mounts?

Edit: Yep, that's it! The mounts are centered up on your subframe but they are offset to the passenger side one to two inches on the stocker. Your subframe was welded wrong at BF!
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:20 PM   #19
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I posted a message on their forum a while ago. Will be interesting to see what they say.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:22 PM   #20
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^^
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