Author Topic: Adjustable tie bars  (Read 322 times)

Offline Mudhen

Adjustable tie bars
« on: October 14, 2021, 11:06:42 AM »
A couple years ago I got around to putting some negative camber arms and new adjustable tie bars (that I'd purchased around 2001) on my '65...now after wrecking a new set of tires in about 500 miles I'm going back to my original arms.



Question about the adjustable tie bars - is that 'caster' that they adjust?

I never even thought about it when I put them on - but just now seeing the movement of the suspension arm when I'm lengthening/shortening them has me thinking there's more to it than slapping them on and sending it.

Adjustability without knowledgeability is never good I suppose.

Thx

Online MiniDave

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2021, 11:30:04 AM »
If you're talking about the bars that go from the lower control arm to the front of the subframe, yes those adjust the caster. And no, you can't just bolt them on, they have to be set right.....

Cast and camber changes affect each other, as well as toe in/out.

You have to pretty much set them all together, after you install them you need to get an alignment.

Ol Edd China has a pretty good video in his current shop series on it.....



I like them as it gives me a chance to set my front end up the way I like it for good handling and reasonable tire wear. Factory settings are fine for factory ride heights, but I like to tailor mine to my preferences.

I use -

1/2 degree negative camber

3 degrees caster

1/16" of toe out in front across both wheels.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 11:35:07 AM by MiniDave »
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline Mudhen

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2021, 12:08:11 PM »
Thanks Dave!

I think I might just buy some stock ones (the stock ones that were on it were bent).  Long term goal is to get it restored fully back to original, anyway.  The local British shop that I called about the alignment said they can only do toe, and my regular place can't do 10" rims so I'd have to call around which is too much work.   ::)

Pat

Offline cstudep

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 12:26:43 PM »
I think I have a set of stock ones still that Dave gave me. I wouldn't mind having a set of adjustable ones if you want to make a deal.

I am sure the adjustable ones are worth more than the fixed ones (especially since the ones I have were free) so I could kick in some money or whatever perhaps.

If you want to keep the adjustable ones, then I would be glad to just send you the fixed ones I have for shipping cost.

Online MiniDave

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 12:28:18 PM »
They CAN do 10" rims, they just don't want to....

I did 10" rims on our modern Hunter machines at school all the time, so does the tire shop I take my stuff to now that I'm not up at the school anymore.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Online 94touring

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 02:17:09 PM »
One thing effects the others.  Toe, camber, and caster.  Measure a stock tie rod and adjust what you have to get stock. That's what I do. Then check toe.  1/16 to 1/8 inch total toe out on the front. Negative camber can be as much as 1.5 degrees on the front without issue.  Also what I run.

Offline Mudhen

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 02:48:53 PM »
One thing effects the others.  Toe, camber, and caster.  Measure a stock tie rod and adjust what you have to get stock. That's what I do. Then check toe.  1/16 to 1/8 inch total toe out on the front. Negative camber can be as much as 1.5 degrees on the front without issue.  Also what I run.

Interesting about 1.5 degrees...I think that's what my non adjustable lower arms are and it shredded my tires.  Of course, my caster and toe are WAY out, too.  I started calling my car Marty Feldman since the front wheels look just like him.



Great idea about measuring some stock ones - think I probably still have them on my '80's front subframe - going to go check - that would save me!

Otherwise cstudep, I wouldn't mind swapping.  I drive the car less than a hundred miles/yr and probably top out around 50mph.  I'm a mad man.

Pat

Offline John Gervais

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 04:20:49 PM »
I'll add that a nice benefit of the adjustable tie rods is that they're much larger diameter and stronger than the standard ones.

I actually bent a MiniSpares heavy-duty adjustable one today when I took a shortcut and my jack slipped out from under the front subframe and landed on the tie rod.  I managed to straighten it out quite nicely (can't see that it'd been bent) by bending it between some pins in a vice, but I'll probably be replacing it just to be sure.  One thing that'll be interesting to see is if the little 'ear' at the bushings and pin end bent out of position and will require adjustment - and how does one realistically do that? 

I'd lifted the left front tire about an inch off the floor to do a quick valve adjustment prior to starting the engine after fitting a new head gasket.  Well, I figured heck, this will only take a few minutes, and I guess I didn't have the jack sufficiently under the frame and the car slid off and landed on the tie rod.  Lucky that I didn't sheer the brake hose off. 
- Pave the Bay -

Online 94touring

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2021, 10:11:14 PM »
One thing effects the others.  Toe, camber, and caster.  Measure a stock tie rod and adjust what you have to get stock. That's what I do. Then check toe.  1/16 to 1/8 inch total toe out on the front. Negative camber can be as much as 1.5 degrees on the front without issue.  Also what I run.

Interesting about 1.5 degrees...I think that's what my non adjustable lower arms are and it shredded my tires.  Of course, my caster and toe are WAY out, too.  I started calling my car Marty Feldman since the front wheels look just like him.



Great idea about measuring some stock ones - think I probably still have them on my '80's front subframe - going to go check - that would save me!

Otherwise cstudep, I wouldn't mind swapping.  I drive the car less than a hundred miles/yr and probably top out around 50mph.  I'm a mad man.

Pat

Your tires got worn due to toe. 

Offline Mudhen

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2021, 08:58:59 AM »
I guess I didn't have the jack sufficiently under the frame and the car slid off and landed on the tie rod.  Lucky that I didn't sheer the brake hose off.

 :-\

Scary stuff!

Well...I took a quick measurement off the '80 - and as long as that's the same length bar as a Mk1 hydrolastic setup is, it was a full inch too long!!!  I believe it, too - that right wheel had to have been pointing 30deg off to the right - but man would it dive into right hand corners.   :D

So now I guess I go back to the negative camber arms?  If those weren't the issue why not, right?


Online 94touring

Re: Adjustable tie bars
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2021, 09:15:16 AM »
Your neg arms are definitely not the problem.  Just set those tie rods to the proper length and reset toe to the specs above and you'll be good to go.

And fyi those fixed degree lower arms are unlikely to be 1.5 degrees.  It will vary based on ride height and other geometry components of the suspension. If you check actual camber it may be well under the 1.5.  Either way plenty safe for tires and will drive better than stock positive.