Toe In / Toe Out: A2's at front? Odd handling!

audifan

A2OC Donor
Not as daft as it sound assuming not got to hold it and drive at the same time:p The problem I could see is exactly where to securely mount it without it falling off, being caught in the suspension or having to drill fixing points. May be a bit too dark for clear video also.
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Here are the manual pages about removing and refitting the front subframe.


Hope this may help.
Ah, thank you Graham, that's fantastic! Will have a good read when I get home 🙂
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
You know me and my daft suggestions but,.............. If all is correct and bolted up with no issues, how about using a go pro to record what's going on.

Told you that it was a daft idea.
You know what, the same thought occurred to me earlier. Then I remembered my brother gave me my Go-Pro and I wondered exactly how I would explain it being squashed by an artic truck after it fell off the A2!

Even so, I love the idea as, if nothing else I'd really like to see how those bushes work compared to the shaker lane at the MOT place. They reckon, violent as it is, it's nothing compared to real world conditions.
 

Tomscar

Member
An interesting thread ... I bought a set of locating pins when I replaced my wishbones last year ... but they are really for locating the position of the sub frames before they are moved ... and if they have been moved already without the locating pins then is there a procedure for finding where the correct position is ...?
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
There is no procedure in the workshop manual as far as I can see if you had not already pined prior to removal. I think we would need input from a body shop / crash repair station if they have the raw data to install a replacement sub frame. anyone out there help with this?
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
@Rusty911 / Barry, have you measured the relative position of each wheel in its wheelarch in case something (body / suspension) is out of true / specification?

Other than this, I had the same idea as @johnyfartbox - strap a go pro or similar where it can film at close range the suspension components at each corner as you drive; I think realistically it’s the only option left that could pinpoint where the issue is originating from.

I feel for you, what a frustrating situation! I don’t agree it’s a lemon car though, once you’ve solved this problem (and I do believe you’re the man to do so out of anyone by the way), it returns to being a worthy and sound basis for a really nice car that will give many more years of service.

Stick with it, you’ve done most of the hard problem-solving!
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
@Rusty911 / Barry, have you measured the relative position of each wheel in its wheelarch in case something (body / suspension) is out of true / specification?

Other than this, I had the same idea as @johnyfartbox - strap a go pro or similar where it can film at close range the suspension components at each corner as you drive; I think realistically it’s the only option left that could pinpoint where the issue is originating from.

I feel for you, what a frustrating situation! I don’t agree it’s a lemon car though, once you’ve solved this problem (and I do believe you’re the man to do so out of anyone by the way), it returns to being a worthy and sound basis for a really nice car that will give many more years of service.

Stick with it, you’ve done most of the hard problem-solving!
Yes, two of us spent over an hour measuring relative distances to wheel arches including protrusion etc. Looks at least equal on each side.

I must admit what I didn't think to do was compare those measurements to PYXi the FSi, so I will have a very quick look later.

As for the lemon: I'm torn, it does feel as though there's a decent car in there somewhere I think. The trouble is this issue is just the first of a string of jobs, which follow an already substantial input. This would be 'O.K.' at a push if I loved the car, but so far that's not the case. Therefore as it stands it just feels as though I'm chucking valuable hours at something simply so my conscience will allow me to shift it on. The workshop is completely overwhelmed with paying work, which puts the opportunity cost of this one at £50 per hour.

For all that, I'm also the type that hates unfinished business, so I've got to see it through. It may well be that by the end of the process (wherever that may be) I do come to like it. Certainly last night I came very close to offloading all three A2's into the trade and walking away. Go back to the Panda 100hp's (or whatever) as my daily. Still, it's a new day and I've woken to some encouragement here, so off we go again!

Therefore I think first thing is to check the subframe / console alignments. Quick check against PYXi for anything obvious (which I'm sure I'd have picked up on by now). After that, I would indeed like to see what those bushes are doing. Having thought about it, we don't need to film them. All I need to do is bond (hot glue?) something in a few mm from each bush, paint it and go for a spin. If the paint gets touched, I know the arm is moving by at least that much. If not, I did wonder if I couldn't just drive some wooden wedges in to lock the whole lot off. You know within 100 yards if it's doing it, so it's not as though it takes miles to check.

As ever, will report back.
 

Joga

A2OC Donor
Oh, just want to clarify my lemon car post. It was a spontaneous comment I made in empathic mindset, in no way meant as disrespect to prevoius owners, or intended to decrease your bonding with this car Barry. I am glad that you persist , and very interested to hear the handling issue root cause as it is quite puzzling.
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Oh, just want to clarify my lemon car post. It was a spontaneous comment I made in empathic mindset, in no way meant as disrespect to prevoius owners, or intended to decrease your bonding with this car Barry. I am glad that you persist , and very interested to hear the handling issue root cause as it is quite puzzling.
Honestly, it's how it is and it was nice to hear frankly. Again, the previous owner is well in the clear: he has always had work done when needed and decided to sell (possibly for parts if it really came to it) as the car, fundamentally, is an old car that probably had more bills coming up. The underside damage was there when he bought it, and everything that he was 'in charge of' (bodywork / interior) is a credit to him. It had given excellent service for nearly a decade and it was time for a change. Both of my FSi's are in the same camp: borderline and could go either way, but both were nearly free so you've simply got more to play with to get them back into health.

Nevertheless, if you're going to do (or sell) a car that was a borderline breaker, that is likely to lead to a fair list of jobs. The background situation aside, it's just a shame this particular issue is proving so troublesome, particularly in view of the now almost brand new front end. I think it's only the top mounts and anti-roll bar bushes that aren't new. The former have been serviced, the latter look and feel fine.

I have had this sort of thing before though. You wade through all sorts of possibilities, finding things that aren't quite perfect, but 'might' just be the issue. You do them, nope, not that. In the end, you find whatever it was and suddenly, because you've also done everything else, you end up with something really good. Better than it would have been had you found the fault straight away. Hopefully that'll be me soon 😁
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Quick update, having read through @audifan 's subframe links (thanks again Graham), it seems that in order to move forward I need the location pin set equiv. T10096.

Have ordered those up so now in holding pattern until they arrive. Process itself looks pretty straightforward. Hopefully I'll find everything's miles off.

Failing that I'll probably do a full bush replacement on front and rear ends, so to that end I've also preempted this by ordering a universal bush extraction / insertion kit.
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
An interesting thread ... I bought a set of locating pins when I replaced my wishbones last year ... but they are really for locating the position of the sub frames before they are moved ... and if they have been moved already without the locating pins then is there a procedure for finding where the correct position is ...?
Sorry, I missed this.

I don't think it matters: the point of the pins is to allow a full subframe replacement. Looking at the manual as posted, the principle they're outlining suggests you actually want everything to float (e.g. not be dictated by previous position). I've not seen them first hand but guess the pins ease the subframe up dead central to the threads in the main body.

I imagine they do this rather than simply a tight bolt so that there is a fraction of adjustment available following an accident repair or whatever. Otherwise I can't see why you just wouldn't have locating dowels in the body to locate the subframe.

If you weren't going to move things and just trust what was there before, you'd perhaps simply spraypaint around each bolt head and make sure bolt and un-painted bit lined up on reassembly.

Of course this might turn out to be utter tosh once I've actually tried the job!
 
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Joga

A2OC Donor
Quick update, having read through @audifan 's subframe links (thanks again Graham), it seems that in order to move forward I need the location pin set equiv. T10096.

Have ordered those up so now in holding pattern until they arrive. Process itself looks pretty straightforward. Hopefully I'll find everything's miles off.

Failing that I'll probably do a full bush replacement on front and rear ends, so to that end I've also preempted this by ordering a universal bush extraction / insertion kit.
Will the location pins help in finding the correct positions from scratch, or merely help to copy the present positions before dismantling?
 

Joga

A2OC Donor
I just got a bit concerned when I saw them marketed as "Used during removal to ensure exact position is maintained when reinstalled ".
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
I'll report back when I've tried this.

Counter to the manual I'll probably start just by dropping one bolt at a time: if the pins shoot up into each hole there's no point going further.

Hopefully though they'll be out to a comical degree and that'll be a definite win.
 

Tomscar

Member
I'm assuming the former: hope so anyway!
Hi Rusty ... not sure if this will help ... the captive nut sits in a plastic tray inside the chassis and is designed to float around to allow you to tighten up the bolts in any (hopefully the correct) position ... if you drop each bolt in turn and insert the pin as in the workshop manual then all you will do is re-locate the sub frame and consoles in exactly the same position ... the conical part of the locating pin is slotted and held in place around the threaded pin with a rubber 'o' ring and fits exactly the dimensions of the console bolt hole. I'm not an expert though but only have practical experience ... I ended up using the original marks that I had drawn onto the sub frame around the consoles before removal.
As you mentioned earlier ... yes you can let the sub frame float if you undo all four bolts but because each locating pin is in two parts it won't really help you to relocate 'dead centre' ... which of course might not be in the correct position for any different car ... you can relocate 'dead centre' quite easily without the pins by looking up through the console hole and sub frame.
As 'Audifan' said ... it would be great if there was a guide for locating the sub frame from scratch


Locating Pin 1.jpg


Locating Pin 2.jpg
.
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Hi Rusty ... not sure if this will help ... the captive nut sits in a plastic tray inside the chassis and is designed to float around to allow you to tighten up the bolts in any (hopefully the correct) position ... if you drop each bolt in turn and insert the pin as in the workshop manual then all you will do is re-locate the sub frame and consoles in exactly the same position ... the conical part of the locating pin is slotted and held in place around the threaded pin with a rubber 'o' ring and fits exactly the dimensions of the console bolt hole. I'm not an expert though but only have practical experience ... I ended up using the original marks that I had drawn onto the sub frame around the consoles before removal.
As you mentioned earlier ... yes you can let the sub frame float if you undo all four bolts but because each locating pin is in two parts it won't really help you to relocate 'dead centre' ... which of course might not be in the correct position for any different car ... you can relocate 'dead centre' quite easily without the pins by looking up through the console hole and sub frame.
As 'Audifan' said ... it would be great if there was a guide for locating the sub frame from scratch


View attachment 69325

View attachment 69326.
Ah, that is interesting, thank you. Looks as though I'd misunderstood the working principle of the pins.

That being the case, I'm surprised there's not also some 'master pins' that establish the subframe starting point rather than eyeballing. Perhaps an approved bodyshop would have such a thing.

It's a shame my Celette jig isn't a modern drive-on quick-pull type: it would be a matter of minutes to establish exactly what's what.

Whatever, at £15 for a cloned set, these pins are clearly worth having.

Now, my own view, taking a step back is actually, if the front wheels are essentially pointing ahead in parallel and eyeballing side to side shows no visible differences, the symptoms are too violent for detail errors. I'm sure there's a corker hiding somewhere 😱

Regardless, I'm keen to establish some hard / known points to work out from.

To this end shopping so far today are the pins, stretch bolts, bush remove / fit kit and Febi rear beam bushes.

The next question is to whether to also replace the front bushes as well that look and feel perfect ...

One thing I didn't think to do yesterday btw was look at the rear toe which was silly but easily done next time.
 
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