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Old 16-08-2019   #76
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

I would be surprised if any Pandas of this age had any true wheels


just noticed you are running the recommended 26psi at the rear. Depending on the tyre manufactures side wall construction. If you are spirited on roundabouts it could be tucking under slightly. I run 30 psi at the rear although its makes it a bit harsh.
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Old 16-08-2019   #77
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

rmj, I just can't tell you how interesting I'm finding this thread. I can see that you are "infected" with the same pursuit of perfection that also plagues a number of us on here. Can't quite make up my mind if it's a curse or not?

Interesting to hear that you noticed the lack of pre-measurement checking of the wheel rims. Was there any checking of suspension, ball joints, bushes, etc, etc? I would guess probably not and if not then the whole thing becomes a bit of a lottery doesn't it? The good thing from your point of view is that there's relatively little to wear on the rear so your rear results are probably fairly accurate. Very early on in my working life the garage at which I was employed bought a new set of Dunlop gauges (the "good old" mirror type) and the Dunlop guy (he'd be a "technician" today) who delivered then gave us a good hour of instruction as to how to get the best out of them. It's stood me in good stead all my life. Alas I've very seldom seen a "proper" 100% job done in any garage where I've worked. Time constraints and rusty/seized adjusters being the main culprits but apathy plays a big roll too. I liked the old Dunlop gauge because every time you went to use it you would put the measuring pointers together and zero the scale. This calibrated the gauge and eliminated any inaccuracy. I've never worked with modern electronic laser gear and I concede the modern electronic tools may well be even more accurate but if someone has tripped over them it may well be that the calibration is now going to be out until the next time the calibration is done? Or is calibration checked each time before using?

During the rebuilding of Becky's front suspension it gave me the chance to very closely examine all the mounting points and bodywork and I found not the slightest sign of any deformation or problems which might account for this slight pull to the left. Now with the toe correctly set there has been really no change in the way she steers so I think it highly likely that something's not quite right in the back and it does look as if, just by eye, there is just a very little bit more toe in on the N/S/R - not as much as you had though but she too pulls, just slightly, to the left.

I find all this very logical. If the rear N/S is slightly toed in then the rear of the car is trying to go towards the centre of the road all the time so with the steering wheel straight ahead you will find yourself heading for the kerb. A slight amount (in Becky's case a very slight amount) of right lock will correct this but the steering will still want to self centre so you end up holding on to that infinitesimal amount of right lock which is counteracting the right steer of the rear axle and keeping you out of the gutter but it feels to you that you've got a slight pull to the left - in fact it's just the steering trying to self centre. That also is why you feel it less at low speeds and more out on the open road at higher speeds. Now I've got the interesting problem of working out some way of measuring this. I'm determined to do it myself! (good job I'm retired with plenty of time on my hands! Oh, but I was nearly forgetting, I've got the Honda's brakes to sort out and my older boy's Punto needs a big service, a gearbox oil leak fixed, radiator fan only runs on high speed and the clutch likely needs a new master cylinder (very slight leak on the front pulley seal on the engine too). Once I've sorted all that out I'll try to find a minute to "play" with Becky".

Kindest regards
Jock
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Last edited by Pugglt Auld Jock; 16-08-2019 at 20:40.
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Old 17-08-2019   #78
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

The axle mounting brackets bolt under the car but there are no dowels or fitted bolts. A small amount of misalignment is inevitable, but they always pull left so it might be the same manufacturing issue that made the axles with a drooped spring pan.

Jock
Could you check the rear with your tracking tool and check the axles are parallel to each other? Ive looked at mine but cant see a useful datum to work from. I have a significant pull to left but tracking checks say (before and after the rear axle stripdown) say its spot on.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 17-08-2019 at 10:08.
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Old 17-08-2019   #79
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

The laser alignment tool should be adjusted for wheel runout before measurement starts. The tool is usually attached to the wheel rim at three points, so an initial reading is taken with each 'leg' at the bottom, rotating the wheel a third of a turn each time. A mid-position can then be set as a datum.
I'd hope this is done, and may well not be noticed by an observer, but may be worth watching closely, or asking how they account for an untrue rim.
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Old 18-08-2019   #80
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
The laser alignment tool should be adjusted for wheel runout before measurement starts. The tool is usually attached to the wheel rim at three points, so an initial reading is taken with each 'leg' at the bottom, rotating the wheel a third of a turn each time. A mid-position can then be set as a datum.
I'd hope this is done, and may well not be noticed by an observer, but may be worth watching closely, or asking how they account for an untrue rim.
I have watched. No account of runout taken. As with anything. Its down to the quality of the staff and time allowed for the job.

My previous car had alloy wheels with between .5-1mm runout on all four wheels.

words case all the errors add up. Best case they cancel each other out. Most of the time it will be somewhere in between.
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Old 18-08-2019   #81
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
The laser alignment tool should be adjusted for wheel runout before measurement starts. The tool is usually attached to the wheel rim at three points, so an initial reading is taken with each 'leg' at the bottom, rotating the wheel a third of a turn each time. A mid-position can then be set as a datum.
I'd hope this is done, and may well not be noticed by an observer, but may be worth watching closely, or asking how they account for an untrue rim.
I have watched. No account of runout taken. As with anything. Its down to the quality of the staff and time allowed for the job.

My previous car had alloy wheels with between .5-1mm runout on all four wheels.

worse case all the errors add up. Best case they cancel each other out. Most of the time it will be somewhere in between.
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Last edited by koalar; 18-08-2019 at 00:38.
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Old 18-08-2019   #82
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
A small amount of misalignment is inevitable, but they always pull left so it might be the same manufacturing issue that made the axles with a drooped spring pan.
Was it jrkitching said there are hardly any reports of rear tyre wear on the 500 section of this forum, whereas it's all too common on Pandas, and that perhaps the 500 rear axle is both better designed and manufactured? A 500 axle is getting rather tempting...

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
I would be surprised if any Pandas of this age had any true wheels
just noticed you are running the recommended 26psi at the rear. Depending on the tyre manufactures side wall construction. If you are spirited on roundabouts it could be tucking under slightly. I run 30 psi at the rear although its makes it a bit harsh.
Err, yes, I'm afraid I'm guilty of spirited driving on almost all twisty bits. As a result the outside shoulders of my front tyres take a hammering:
Click image for larger version

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I feel my rears are wearing the outside tread, but it's not the shoulders, it's across the tread width if that make sense?

Click image for larger version

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The tread depth at the grooves reduces from about 5mm inside, 3-4mm centre to 2mm outside on my rears, but is pretty uniform at 4mm across all grooves on my fronts (despite my suffering outer shoulders). Still, raising the pressure a bit on the rear sounds like a good idea, I do this with a heavy load anyway.

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
I can see that you are "infected" with the same pursuit of perfection that also plagues a number of us on here.
Are you sure you're retired, Jock? Sound pretty busy to me It's more the case that I would be seething at shelling out 40-50 every two years for a new tyre, but 'pursuit of perfection' sounds much better, I'll claim that from now on!

I do believe, however, in doing a job once and doing it right. Again, mostly because it means less effort and expense in the long run. Soon we'll all have Pandas better than when they left the factory at this rate!

No there was no checking of suspension, steering connections or wheels before the alignment check, so as koalar, Jock and portland_bill say, a laser 4 wheel alignment carried out this way doesn't necessarily give accurate results either.

Your analysis of too much toe-in causing the pull to the left makes sense to me, although I understand a small amount of toe-in should aid straight-line stability. With marginal toe-out on my near side rear it does seem like the pull to the left has gone. (Still not met any dual carriageway yet though).

So in the interests of science, and unless I find any better advice, I think I should persevere with my proposed taking 0.1mm shim off N/S, adding 0.1mm to O/S, get tracking checked again to see if it shows within tolerance, and see if the left pull really has disappeared. It might not be for a little while, in the meantime, any insight or advice would be very welcome.
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Old 18-08-2019   #83
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

what age is the rear tyre left side of the two photos. Looks like some deep cracks. Bet the rubber has gone quit hard ?
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Old 18-08-2019   #84
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Hi Koalar, yes I noticed that. Surprisingly, that's the newest of the tyres on my car! DOT marking is 3717, so that would make it just under 2 years old. It's an Arrowspeed. Not very impressive. It was fitted after the previous near side rear tyre failed an MOT in Jan '18, before I got the car (also worn down on the outside tread).

The 2018 MOT came with a tyre condition report which shows all tyres as Continental CEC3s, so I'm guessing the previous owner got sick of shredding decent tyres on the left rear. Might have something to do with why they got rid of her...
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Old 18-08-2019   #85
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by rmjbn1 View Post
A 500 axle is getting rather tempting...

Are you sure you're retired, Jock? Sound pretty busy to me 'pursuit of perfection' sounds much better, I'll claim that from now on!

No there was no checking of suspension, steering connections or wheels before the alignment check, so as koalar, Jock and portland_bill say, a laser 4 wheel alignment carried out this way doesn't necessarily give accurate results either.

Your analysis of too much toe-in causing the pull to the left makes sense to me, although I understand a small amount of toe-in should aid straight-line stability.
As there's no urgent need I've got plenty of time to consider the merits of going with a 500 axle. It's an interesting prospect.

Retired - me? I've always been a very "busy" person either working in jobs which have "wierd" hours (the racing tyres being a good example) or working evening overtime or teaching evening classes after the day job was finished. I'm not used to just sitting back and "relaxing". When I don't have anything planned I would much prefer to go for a long walk or work in my garden. Apart from the fact I like to keep "busy" it dawned on me a while back that it seemed to be keeping me quite fit in comparison to many other retired colleagues many of whom have retired to the golf or bowling club, spend too much time in the bar and are growing big beer bellies! Before you know it I'm putting my good suit on and taking a walk up the road to the Crem for a final farewell! My 73rd birthday is rapidly approaching and I'm still mending the cars, decorating (reluctantly), gardening and generally leading an active life. I hope I can just go on like this until my allotted time is up and then, unexpectedly, go quickly.

Not surprised to have you report no pre-checks were made - I really wonder what training these operatives get?

A wee bit of toe in on rear wheels is very common as you say. Indeed I also understand it aids stability. Of course it needs to be an equal amount on both wheels!

Please do keep us updated of any future developments. I'm already having some ideas on how to check rear toe in and the rear axle relationship to the centre line of the vehicle here at home and am making paper sketches to firm up my ideas. When I construct something worthy of comment I'll post details so you can all tell me how it can't possibly work!

Kindest regards
Jock
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Old 18-08-2019   #86
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

I for one will be very interested to see what you find out regarding rear toe, Jock. I'm sure the advice on this forum regarding rear axles will help to keep Pandas providing many happy miles for years to come. It seems the rear axle might be the Achilles heel (that was also his left rear, wasn't it?) of our fine little cars.
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Old 19-08-2019   #87
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

this system seem to be as fool proof as possible



there is a system which takes into account any suspension wear.

its like a 4 wheel rolling road and measures the side thrusts.


most pulling slightly to one side are due to the power steering alignment. Been a few threads on here were its taken a few tries to get it centred properly.
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Old 19-08-2019   #88
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
this system seem to be as fool proof as possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTHN3G_DR8


there is a system which takes into account any suspension wear.

its like a 4 wheel rolling road and measures the side thrusts.


most pulling slightly to one side are due to the power steering alignment. Been a few threads on here were its taken a few tries to get it centred properly.
Good video I enjoyed watching it. Interesting to see how the importance of thoroughly checking all the running gear before setting up to take readings is emphasized - however if what is shown on the video is all they do he's never going to pick up on a worn bottom ball joint, wheel bearing, etc. A much more vigorous and energetic procedure is required with the wheels/suspension being checked in a wheel free condition - By which I mean it needs to be jacked clear of the ground/ramp for checking. Interesting to see also that the machine itself compensates for out of true wheels by that wee forward roll before the readings are taken - run out compensation he called it. I don't see any sign of a calibration check taking place though so I believe he's relying on the machine having been calibrated accurately at some time in the past and that nothing has happened to the machine to affect that. Of course I fully concede that I'm playing devils advocate here but who's to say the apprentice didn't trip over some of it in an "absent" moment and then tell no-one?

The procedure as shown here could be done and produce a "perfect" set of "green" readings but if a worn component had been missed it would be meaningless! If there were nothing wrong with the vehicle - no worn components etc - then removing the vehicle from the ramp, driving it round the block and back on the ramp should result in another "green result". If I were paying good money to have this done I'd be "bouncing" that idea off them when I was making my booking appointment and watching closely to see the reaction.
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Old 19-08-2019   #89
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
this system seem to be as fool proof as possible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTHN3G_DR8


there is a system which takes into account any suspension wear.

its like a 4 wheel rolling road and measures the side thrusts.


most pulling slightly to one side are due to the power steering alignment. Been a few threads on here were its taken a few tries to get it centred properly.
Good video I enjoyed watching it. Interesting to see how the importance of thoroughly checking all the running gear before setting up to take readings is emphasized - however if what is shown on the video is all they do he's never going to pick up on a worn bottom ball joint, wheel bearing, etc. A much more vigorous and energetic procedure is required with the wheels/suspension being checked in a wheel free condition - By which I mean it needs to be jacked clear of the ground/ramp for checking. Interesting to see also that the machine itself compensates for out of true wheels by that wee forward roll before the readings are taken - run out compensation he called it. I don't see any sign of a calibration check taking place though so I believe he's relying on the machine having been calibrated accurately at some time in the past and that nothing has happened to the machine to affect that. Of course I fully concede that I'm playing devils advocate here but who's to say the apprentice didn't trip over some of it in an "absent" moment and then tell no-one?

The procedure as shown here could be done and produce a "perfect" set of "green" readings but if a worn component had been missed it would be meaningless! If there were nothing wrong with the vehicle - no worn components etc - then removing the vehicle from the ramp, driving it round the block and back on the ramp should result in another "green result". If I were paying good money to have this done I'd be "bouncing" that idea off them when I was making my booking appointment and watching closely to see the reaction.
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Old 19-08-2019   #90
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Re: Steering tracking (again)

Wow, what happened there? two posts for the price of one click?
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