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TR4/4A Steering rack clearance

bammons

Jedi Hopeful
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:wink-new:Ah the simple things that cause trouble! I am trying to mount my steering rack on my TR4A and cannot seem to get the .125 clearance that the manual calls for between the flanges of the U-bolt clamp and the flange on the chassis. I seem to have enough "slot" to get it there and can get it there when I use vise grips but when I tighten and torque the nuts and release the vise grips it "spreads". I had put poly buffers on it but changed my mind and decided I would rather not risk the harshness of it and am using rubber mounts now. I thought that would fix it as I could not get it right with the poly either. Should I just get it as close as I can and go with it or what? Nothing seems to be bent.
 

TR3driver

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If the rubbers aren't compressed, you can get sloppy steering from the rack moving around while cornering.

Faced with the same problem on a buddy's TR6, I made an ad-hoc spreader from a cheap wooden carpenter's clamp from HF
https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-handscrew-clamp-60551.html

Drove out the pins holding the handles to the screws, then disassembled the whole thing and reassembled with the jaws turned backwards (flat surface outward). Sorry I didn't take a photo (and it's long since been turned back the other way).

FWIW, this is the tool shown in the TR6 manual. I'm assuming they found it worked better than the one shown in the TR4 manual.
ey0Lb29.jpg
 
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bammons

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I happen to be going by HF tomorrow so I will pick one up (I could use it anyways around here). I am able to get it pulled close using vise grips (3) but after tightening/torqueing and releasing the vise grips the flanges still separate beyond .125. Maybe the pushing parallel with the steering rack and pushing against the other will stop the separation. Thanks for the tip. Bruce
 

Sarastro

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The whole point is that you compress the rubber buffers completely against the flange on the steering rack's tube, then install the square washers underneath, so the rack is held firmly in place. I don't think you need to be slavish about that 1/8 inch; after all, new parts today are not necessarily the same as the old, factory ones. Just be sure that the buffers really are fully compressed.

I think a spreader of some kind is essential; I can't imagine doing it any other way. Be sure to put a little soap on the buffer to help the U-bolt piece move over it and the buffer to move over the rack. Any time you do something like this with a rubber piece, some appropriate type of lubrication helps enormously.
 
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bammons

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OK- what is this about square washers? I do not have square washers. The car has been extensively "messed" with (not in a good way) by the PO so me not having the right parts is very possible. I will go to the service manual and see if I can determine what it shows. Please let me know if I am in fact looking for special washers of any kind.
 

Andy Blackley

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I replaced the stock worn out rubber pads on a TR250 some years ago with the much simpler to install metal mounts. I do not recall that there was much harshness, but there was an improvement over the old set up.
 
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bammons

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Yes he is refering to the "rectangular" mounting plates which I have. I did pick up the woodworking clamp you mentioned and will re-attempt mounting tomorrow but I will also use Steve's suggestion of soap on the rubber. What bothers me is that the separation is more at the top of the flanges that at the bottom near the chassis - as if it is tilted some. The bottom flange of the clamp is pulled down to the metal evenly though. I noticed Moss has a new non-Triumph kit for this- part #667-288. (Not the solid block mounts)
 

Rut

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I have a rubber set that Jim Philips installed on Desert TR and they are installed properly, but the rack still flexes. That said I bought a couple of sets of aluminum mounts from Richard Good that I hope to install one day soon. The rubber flex joint in the steering shaft should take care of any harshness you feel.
Good luck, Rut
 
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bammons

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I just wanted to thank you guys for the advice. I used the improvised clamp Randall suggested and lubricated the rubber buffer as Steve suggested and got it looking better and I am happy with it now. I went on to install the tie rod ends and have run into another problem. The nyloc nuts have quit tightening at a certain point when I tried to torque them down (55-60ft-lbs as per manual) The stud out of the bottom of the tie rod is not turning but the nyloc nut will not tighten more nor will it screw off. I must have stripped it but I really don't believe I did as it did tighten past the nylon part of the nut. Are some of these nuts now that soft? I never did reach the required torque. I guess I will try to cut the nut off and use a higher grade.
 

glemon

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I am a little confused, it won't tighten more, won't reach required torque, and is not spinning the bolt? It seems like one of those must be true, most likely the stripped or it is turning the bolt or stud, or whatever you call the threaded end. Do you have an impact wrench? That may help get it off or the new one on.

You can drive yourself nuts (no pun intended) trying to meet specs on these cars, especially with aftermarket parts.

For something like this I personally just tighten it down with a regular wrench or ratchet to a point where I am exerting a good part of my strength in a good leverage position. When it doesn't want to go anymore I call it good, not subject to twisting force or high frequency vibration, a new nyloc should keep it on fine.

My main worry as I have gotten older and done this for many years is not meeting the torque spec, but being sure I remembered to tighten everything I loosened back down. When I think I am done I put a wrench to everything one last time to make sure it is tight.

I haven't had a problem with this method and not using a torque wrench on anything except head bolts.

But getting back to the tie rod end, if the nut is suspect at this point that should be inspected and rectified.
 
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bammons

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Here is what I think happened. I had trouble getting enough thread to show to start the nut at the bottom of the steering arm when trying to attach the tie rod (even trying clamps). I may have stripped the nut trying to get it to start enough to pull the tie rod down further. I finally did get enough to pull the tie rod taper in and used the torque wrench to tighten to spec. After tightening some but not at torque spec the nut just started spinning. The tie rod stud does not spin. The nut will not tighten or loosen (spin off). I do not have air so no impact available but I agree that might would do it. The tie rod ends are new from one of the big three but may be Chinese. Seems like this car is whipping me sometimes in this full restoration effort.
 

Sarastro

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Hmmmm....you really should have had plenty of thread when you started the nut. Are you sure that the taper is fully seated in the steering arm? It's possible that the part is not made right or it's not the right tie-rod end for the car. Or both. Problems like that are not unusual with modern replacement parts. Sometimes, they just don't fit right, either because they are not made right or someone, somewhere, decided that the part was right for your application, but it wasn't.

When you assemble the suspension without weight on it, the tie rod is in an extreme position, so it can be difficult to get the taper fully into the steering arm. Then, it may be hard to see, because the rubber boot covers the upper end of the taper.

The pic below shows my tie rod, and it should give you some idea of the stud length. You can also see the steering rack mount, if that's of use.
tie_rod.jpg
 

TR3driver

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Sounds to me more like you've skinned the threads off of the stud. If it was just the nut that was damaged, it would still turn down the (good) threads on the stud.

Needing that much force to pull the tapered stud into the taper in the arm is also suspicious to me. It should just fall in to within just a little bit of final position; normally the problem is that the nyloc part of the nut grabs the stud before the taper has even started to lock, causing the stud to spin.

I would be planning on a new tie rod end, preferably from a different source than the defective one. Not something you'd want to have fail at a high stress moment.

Side question: Are those really 1/2-20 threads? That's what the catalog seems to indicate.
 
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bammons

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The yard cried for leaf removal so did not get back on the tie rods today. The body is off so that is increasing the angle and is certainly made it difficult. I tried to lift under the suspension but all it did was lift everything. Steve - The force put on it did not exceed the 55-60 ft lbs that the manual called for as my torque wrench never "broke" it never even got to that level. I try to buy almost everything from two of the major suppliers so as to avoid cheap quality but they have to get parts where they can, I don't feel like I abused these parts but who knows. I'll work on it tomorrow and post back.
 

TR3driver

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That's kind of why I was asking about actual thread size. The TR6 manual says they are 7/16" and only 38 ftlb of torque; while TR4 says 3/8" and 27 ftlb of torque.
 
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bammons

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Randall - The thread is 1/2 x 20NF. Unless they sent me metric. 1/2 x 13 won't go on. Stud diameter is .49. Something did strip on both sides as when I got the nuts back off coils of thread came off too. The Haynes manual says 55-60 ft lbs which is what I went by. But now in checking the shop manual it is worded differently and says "outer tie rod to levers" 3/8 x 28 26-28ft lbs. So there may be my problem. What is the correct figure? I guess at this point I must order another set. This set came from the supplier in the NE so I think I will try another supplier.
 

Sarastro

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I just checked mine. They are 7/16. I suspect you have the wrong tie-rod ends and the taper is not fitting into the steering arm, so you don't have much thread, or they're just a lot shorter than the right ones.

I forgot to mention it, but it crossed my mind that 60 lb ft is really a lot even for a half-inch stud, unless it is hardened, which it probably isn't. That torque can't be right. About half that makes more sense.

You'll find that there are errors in the shop manual. I've found a couple so far. Generally, torque specs in manuals are sometimes wrong. In my Porsche, for example, the shop manual specifies an insane torque for the stretch-bolts that attach the axle flanges to the transmission. They will break long before you reach that torque. I've found no torque errors yet in the TR4 manual, but I wouldn't be surprised if they exist.

Not an optimistic view, I know, but it just means you have to use your own good sense and question things that don't seem right.
 

TR3driver

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I don't really know what is right; just going by what I find in the manuals. But "standard" torque for a grade 2 1/2-20 nut in "slightly lubricated" condition is listed as only 41 ftlb, so your numbers do seem kind of high.
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/us-bolts-torques-d_2055.html

OTOH, the other torque numbers (I quoted above) seem to match the grade 5 column better, so I'm guessing the original material was closer to grade 5 (which would make 55-60 more reasonable).

I checked two different copies of the TR2-4A Haynes, and can't find a torque for tie rod ends in either one. Where did you find it?
 
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bammons

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I am using the Haynes TR250 - TR6 1967-1976 manual. Page 192. On something like this procedures and specs should be the same. But I do have a TR4 -TR4A shop manual as well. It seems easier to find and easier to understand the Haynes manual so I often just go to it. I believe the angle caused by no weight on the frame caused problems but it appears I simply over-torqued and stripped the stud or nut. What do you guys think if I put on fresh nuts and if they reached proper torque (say 26-28ft lbs) without problem go ahead and use these tie rods? They look correct just like in Steve's picture above.
 
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