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

Davidkinton

Member
Just a thought. Are you sure it’s nothing to do with the Electronic Stability Programme. This uses the ABS sensors and a yaw and acceleration sensor to brake individual wheels when it detects a skid. Could these be at fault, but not necessarily throwing up a code?


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Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Just a thought. Are you sure it’s nothing to do with the Electronic Stability Programme. This uses the ABS sensors and a yaw and acceleration sensor to brake individual wheels when it detects a skid. Could these be at fault, but not necessarily throwing up a code?


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This has been mooted before, principally by @audifan but as I mentioned earlier in this thread, there're no codes, lights or brake dust. No sense of ABS / brakes kicking in at all. Not only that, but if you hit a hollow in the road (no steering input) it still lurches.

Graham did suggest pulling the power steering supply, just out of interest.

One thing I can say is it has had a different steering wheel fitted, thinking about it. In fact, it was off to one side by a 30mm or so. Thinking that would be within the nearest spline and as I was doing tracking anyway, I simply corrected it there.

Is there an adaption I should do to tell the gubbins where straight ahead is?
 

Welshboy

Member
This has been mooted before, principally by @audifan but as I mentioned earlier in this thread, there're no codes, lights or brake dust. No sense of ABS / brakes kicking in at all. Not only that, but if you hit a hollow in the road (no steering input) it still lurches.

Graham did suggest pulling the power steering supply, just out of interest.

One thing I can say is it has had a different steering wheel fitted, thinking about it. In fact, it was off to one side by a 30mm or so. Thinking that would be within the nearest spline and as I was doing tracking anyway, I simply corrected it there.

Is there an adaption I should do to tell the gubbins where straight ahead is?
When my steering wheel was off centre vcds did pick up a code until the tracking was solved. I had no sense that the tracking was out.
 

PlasticMac

Member
The steering wheel sensor could be getting confused, with a conflict with other sensors, and so trying to correct a condition that doesn't exist. No vcds errors would seem to make this unlikely though. But, you do seem to have covered the likely stuff!
Mac.
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
The steering wheel sensor could be getting confused, with a conflict with other sensors, and so trying to correct a condition that doesn't exist. No vcds errors would seem to make this unlikely though. But, you do seem to have covered the likely stuff!
Mac.
I think the hope is that those wishbones are roughly 4 1/2 inches out. Either that or I've missed a big switch somewhere: 'Lurch / Don't Lurch.'

Actually, that old E36 is bothering me. That had similar symptoms and I remember being 100% convinced it was the front, yet I'm sure turned out to be the rear bushes.

Ultimately though, there really are only so many things it can be, and if I do the rear bushes as a matter of course (as they're properly ugly) that really only leaves front bushes as far as actual bits are concerned.

All that's left after that is a making sure things are pointing the right way and not arguing with electronics.
 
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Andrew

A2OC Donor
.......
Is there an adaption I should do to tell the gubbins where straight ahead is?
Not sure if this is what you want, have a look at the second post.


Andy
 

spike

Well-Known Member
It's been discussed but I don't think it's happened yet so I'd be tempted to baseline the existing set-up with a full 4 wheel alignment check.
I know caster is not adjustable but it does affect straight line stability so can it be knocked out by hitting a pothole or bouncing up a curb.
Are the back wheels tracking true with the fronts - is something else the alignment check would confirm

Cheers Spike
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
It's been discussed but I don't think it's happened yet so I'd be tempted to baseline the existing set-up with a full 4 wheel alignment check.
I know caster is not adjustable but it does affect straight line stability so can it be knocked out by hitting a pothole or bouncing up a curb.
Are the back wheels tracking true with the fronts - is something else the alignment check would confirm

Cheers Spike
I agree with this in principle Spike. The issue is a 4 wheel align (as opposed to a free tracking check) is going to be £40-50+. That's both rear beam bushes and nearly, the two front A-arm bushes as well. If I do any work on the car, that alignment is gone anyway.

It's a relative doddle for me to check the tracking with my Dunlops (they do the rears just as well as the fronts, you just have to reverse the obtained readings: toe in is out and vv). It's also a moment's work to straight edge across front wheels towards the rear and rear wheels towards the front. That'll very quickly tell you if the thing's going down the road straight.

The only thing that can affect castor as far as I can see is the angle of the bottom arm relative to a line perpendicular to the centre-line of the car: i.e. if one arm is further forward / back relative to the other. Trouble there is I've measured from tyre edge to sill on each side and that appears to be fine.

As I say, I've just got this niggle about that old E36: it did the same. Felt very unstable, used to hop sideways over sunken manholes etc. The trouble is I can't remember what resolved it, but am pretty certain it turned out to be the rear despite 100% feeling like the front. The odd thing is if it was the rear, it must have been trailing arm bushes but I just can't remember doing them. Trouble is, this was nearly twenty years ago, maybe more!

No, I think I'll try to set the front as close as factory as I can once these pins arrive (e.g. start bang central). There seems to be minimal compliance in the bushes and they feel the same as the other two cars I have here which drive O.K.. Then I'll change the rear bushes and review the alignment all round. I have a camber gauge so will use that. I'll also see if I can't manually measure the castor somehow. Perhaps set the car level, wheels off but weight on the end of the wishbone (running height). Then measure the angle of the strut.

I spend much of my working life measuring and manipulating body shells back to factory tolerances so am quite used to a lot of this stuff and have a number of tools to help with this.

My big problem with using outside help, esp on alignment is that actually, these all singing and dancing machines yield no better results than the old school methods. How many times have you spent money on a posh four wheel alignment only to drive off up the road with the steering wheel off? The last one I had felt very odd. When I got home I cobbled together a welded up hoop to get to the inside of the rims with a nut welded to one end and a pointer on the other. Bolt went in the nut, under the car it went: tracking was still out! Did it myself after that.

Gratuitous pics of the day job, if nothing else because there's nothing happening at the moment and it does illustrate how my day job 'should' help with dealing with an A2. Or so I thought 😁

I built the rotating jig first. It's a March '63 3.8 btw. Not my normal thing but the client was a loyal one and I fancied a change from those 911's. Not my own paint, but carried out by my regular chap who does all of my painting.

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My goodness, that is a thing of great beauty! They never had shutlines like that when they were new, paint wasn't that great either.

Superb job.

Best of luck with "the bent one"

Best wishes

Simon
 

Joga

A2OC Donor
Did you have a chance to discuss with prevoius owner to find out if this problem started just when the wishbones were exchanged (because they were, werent they)?
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Did you have a chance to discuss with prevoius owner to find out if this problem started just when the wishbones were exchanged (because they were, werent they)?
Yes, they were, but I didn't bring it up with the PO. My view now is he sold it the way he did as to properly not get involved with ongoing issues. Not only that, but surely I 'should' be able to deal with this myself anyway.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
Even so may be worth comparing those measurements to one of your other A2s. especially if you measure across the diagonals - you know this already.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
Have you pulled the power steering fuses yet? Why not drive a "good" one onto the plates and take the reading then check the "bad" is about the same. place both cars in exactly the same spot marking the wheel vertical center lines on the good then compare to the bad.
 
My big problem with using outside help, esp on alignment is that actually, these all singing and dancing machines yield no better results than the old school methods. How many times have you spent money on a posh four wheel alignment only to drive off up the road with the steering wheel off? The last one I had felt very odd. When I got home I cobbled together a welded up hoop to get to the inside of the rims with a nut welded to one end and a pointer on the other. Bolt went in the nut, under the car it went: tracking was still out! Did it myself after that.

Gratuitous pics of the day job, if nothing else because there's nothing happening at the moment and it does illustrate how my day job 'should' help with dealing with an A2. Or so I thought 😁

I built the rotating jig first. It's a March '63 3.8 btw. Not my normal thing but the client was a loyal one and I fancied a change from those 911's. Not my own paint, but carried out by my regular chap who does all of my painting.

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I left out the other bit to your text as i can't add or help but do sympathise with the predicament this has thrown up.

I agree, these 4 wheel tracking places even with Hunter equipment leave a lot to be desired. I think round here ( NW London) , it's around £130 and could be plus vat which is ridiculous. Hence why i asked Qucikfit last year, not that i like them, and quoted £60 + vat for the front tracking on the Fsi.

Now for the real reason for posting,............i bought books on this in the late eighties, still got them, your work is just " bellissimo " 😍
 
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