31 March, 2009

Relocating the Steering Box

One of the items I've been wanting to fix on the FV, was the slow steering. My car used a stock steering box (per the rules) but with no extender on the pitman arm. It had a short extender (like 2 inches) when I bought it, but the brake pedal hit it when I braked hard, so I took it off. I guess I got used to having to shuffle my hands on the wheel making the big sweeping esses from turn 3 to 6.

Relocating the box wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It needed to forward enough to clear the upper beam it mounted too originally, yet too far forward and it would interfere with the body work. After much measuring and test fitting, I got to work.

Me at Work

I made a mount that consisted of a short section of vw beam, that protruded off the stock beam about 6 inches. It it located a tad lower too, to clear the nose cone. I got this done on Sunday, and then spent yesterday evening making a new pitman arm extender. The extender is what quickens up the steering. The stock pitman arm has a length of 6.5 inches from the pivot to the where the tie-rods mount. As the pitman arm rotates, it pushes or pulls the tie rods. Making the pitman arm longer, means the same amount of turn on the steering box, will equate to more movement at the end of the pitman arm extender, which will move the ite rods more.

Forward Location of Box

Log story short, I made a beefy extender with an extra 5.5" of length. Which is a very healthy increase in movement. Hopefully not soo much it makes the steer too heavy. The steering has alays been relatively light, so if it gets heavier from this mod, it might be nice.

Anyways, here is the finished product. A basic extender cut from 1/4" thick steel plate with a rib welded on the bottom length wise. It does not flex even when I jump on it. I beefed up the main bolts to a full 1/2" diameter, with full nyloc nuts, so things should stay together during battle.

Extender, doing Extender Things

As it happens, I've also managed to get rid of most of the bump steer the car had. The tie rods are dead nuts level with the earth when the car is loaded in a turn. So no funky tow changes during hard corning, or bumps mid corner. It wasn't bad before, but it wasn't perfect.

Chris H.

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