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Hot Rods Cowl Steering . . . just stop !

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pete Eastwood, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 646

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    Hate all you want.
    For a long time I have been keeping my mouth shut, but today I saw a video of a 34 hiboy roadster, and I'm not going to stay silent any longer.
    This newly built roadster has cowl steering & split wishbones.
    It drives me nuts, to see hot rods being built with steering geometry that is not good, ( dare I say bad ? )
    Cowl steering with split wishbones or hairpins is very rarely done with out some level of bump steer, & usually with a lot of bump steer!
    As a very long time chassis builder ( 47 years worth ) I have worked with some of the best, to build hot rods that are good driving cars.
    Learn a little geometry, or read the first 6 pages of the "Pete & Jake" catalog, or both !
    And Cowl Steering, ? just stop it !

    popcorn anyone ?
     
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  2. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 7,950

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If there's popcorn its food well eaten. So being chassis challenged myself are you suggesting not to run cowl steer on the street or run unsplit bones with it? What is the correct Combination? 4 Bar?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  3. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 917

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    But........... its "fashion" "fashion" is MUCH more important than any engineering thoughts right? I mean its "the look" nothing else matters does it? surely you agree.......o_O:D
     
    modified, hotrodA, jalopykid and 10 others like this.
  4. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,818

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    I told you not to watch the video of that '34 hiboy roadster. Now look what's happened...it drove you nuts.
    "Poor Pete...used to be just a normal guy..."
     
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  5. quickchangeV8
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 248

    quickchangeV8
    Member

    Doane Spencer 32 roadster has cowl steering and hairpins! What about it? One of the best roadsters of all time. It seems to drive and handle just fine!
     
  6. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,095

    trad27
    Member

    I have to agree, I’ve rode in a car some one I know spent over a year building with poorly set up cowl steering and every bump in the road the steering wheel jerked from his hands. Ended up selling it with less than a 100 miles driven. Why? If I’m going to build a car I would rather spend the time to make it all right and be able to rack up some miles and enjoy it.
    Even done correctly I don’t see the point and having to build a inner structure in the cowl to even have a hope to solidly mount a steering box when it’s so easily and common sense to mount it to the frame down low.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  7. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 646

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    Have you driven it ? I have . . .
     
  8. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 9,573

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I know your comment is tongue in cheek.....and I agree.....as indicated by my long time
    “Signature”......
     
  9. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 763

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    OK I'll bite, I have never done it, thought about it, is it because the box has to be that high, Or the Pittman arm being longer? Or both?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  10. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 917

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    Lots of good info around on how to set up steering and suspension , the one mentioned is worth a look, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you? cause bump steer is something you must consider if you want to stay out of the shrubbery.....
     

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  11. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 763

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Well the good news for me, I'm the first layout.... I feel like The"Lucky" punk ..
     
    Stogy likes this.
  12. quickchangeV8
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 248

    quickchangeV8
    Member

    No, I have never driven the Doane Spencer roadster. I'm sure you knew that. I am quite curious; how did the Doane Spencer roadster drive and handle with it's cowl steering? Great to see you starting this thread!
     
    loudbang and Stogy like this.
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,695

    tfeverfred
    Member

    So, what took so long?
     
    57 Fargo likes this.
  14. When you say cowl steering does this apply to all side steering? Frame top mount.
     
  15. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 646

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    Doane, was completely rebuilding his roadster when he installed the cowl steering, around 1954. He never finished the job. It was off the road for years. Neal East put it back on the road & was the first to drive the car with the cowl steering in 1971.
    It bump steers a lot .
     
  16. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 646

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    No, just the ones with crappy geometry . . . .
     
  17. quickchangeV8
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 248

    quickchangeV8
    Member

    Last August I picked up my completed 59A flat head engine from Eric Brown at Go Cat Speed Shop in Denver Co. and while I was there Eric and I went to a small parking lot car show not far from his shop. While I was at this show Eric introduced me to Neal East who was also at this small car gathering. Neal and I talked at length about the Doane Spencer roadster. I remember him telling me that the steering was very quick and responsive on the Spencer roadster but he didn't mention anything about bump steer. In case anyone wants to know Neal East is in good health, is now retired and living in Denver Co. and is still keenly interested in traditional hot rods. Meeting him was the highlight of my trip!
     
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  18. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 4,404

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    While you gettin' after steering,, why haven't you or someone rant about the angles of the steering arms on cars with the tie rod in front of axle ?


    also?????? do you wise people pronounce DO- Ane or DOANE, seems to me Doane could be like Dwain w/ a twist ?
    Doane seems more like a pill..

    keep talking I know you have done a lot, and I am glad to soak up your knowledge. when you talk, I listen,
    I met you in the driveway where you were living, at the time, but there were to many heads to really meet you.
    I always felt you were the "behind the scene guy" while others beat their chest, and took credit for some of your works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  19. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 501

    Weedburner 40
    Member
    from California

    Pete's completely correct. Cowl steering came about with Sprint cars. It was very quick and bump steer isn't a concern on a dirt track. Do a quick question drawing of a car with cowl steering and plot the arcs formed by the drag link and the wishbone and you will see how bad the geometry is.
     
    loudbang, X38 and trollst like this.
  20. Doing things correctly, doesn't seem to be a consideration for too many.
     
    AHotRod, 117harv, loudbang and 4 others like this.
  21. Because the geniuses that do that sort of stupid crap, won't fucking listen.
    Clearly, doing shit the fucked up way is "traditional".
     
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,948

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    I blame GM for waiting until 1970 to build the Vega box
     
  23. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 627

    Used Up Junk
    Member
    from Merced, CA

    Just for the sake of argument, not that I’d argue with Pete, is there a “right” way to set up a cowl steer arrangement with split bones or hairpins? I had always heard if it is set up so if one was to drop a plumb bob off the pitman arm where the drag link bolts up and it falls inline with the pivot point of the wishbone then the drag link and the wishbone should travel in similar arcs. The drag link and the wishbone should also be at the same angle in relation to the ground, as close to parallel to the ground and each other as possible. I probably worded that poorly but I think I got the idea across? I have nothing but respect for Pete and am not trying to contradict him, just curious if what I have been told and read in the past is incorrect.
     
  24. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,818

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Wow...
     
    theHIGHLANDER likes this.
  25. Amen!
    So many times I have recommended people look at the P&J website. Usually in reference to rear ladder bars. It's all there and has been forever. Simply explained, diagrams and everything. There's really no excuse.

    (Except too many people think the world begins and ends with the Speedway catalog)

    Also, putting a "Z" shape into a drag link does not correct anything. The effective pivot points are always in a straight line.
     
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  26. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,696

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Yes there is. Consider a plane on which the two wishbone pivot points at the frame and the front pivot point of the drag link sit. The bottom end of the pitman (i.e. the rear pivot point of the drag link) should be as close as possible to this plane, if not actually on it, when the car is normally loaded. Ideally that point should stay as close as possible to that plane through suspension movement etc. – which means placing the pitman as far rearward as practical.

    On a race build that might have the steering cross-shaft running above the driver's left ankle. On a street build it might have the cross-shaft running through the driver's left calf, at which point you have to ask if you're not defeating the object of cowl steering.

    Alternatively, use a slower steering box mounted higher up and a longer pitman arm, though something tells me that might multiply slop.
     
  27. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,803

    2935ford
    Member

    I'm crushed to now discover.....such an iconic roadster has bad steering :(

    Let's get someone to tear it apart and do it the right way! :)
     
    A32Flathead likes this.
  28. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,899

    continentaljohn
    Member

  29. I built this one.
    Nobody complains about bump steering, not even a mention.
    Even me and I'm a picky asshole about stuff like that.
    If this isn't supposed to work, I'd really like to dissect it fully and figure why it does work. It is actually very nice to drive.
    Note the zip tie on the shock, that shows the suspension travel
    image.jpeg image.jpeg


    Now What it does do that I'm not happy about at all has everything to do with the super bell axle between the perch pin and the King pin while turning. I'm also not happy with the scrub radius- so my plan is a Henry axle and sucking in the brakes correcting both things I'm not happy about.
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...member-my-rotor-thread-that-got-axed.1100074/

    Here's an interesting thought - perhaps the movement in the axle between the perch and King pins that I don't like is masking a bump steer issue??


    Maybe fly Pete out to Ohio for the day to drive it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  30. Vonn Ditch
    Joined: Aug 8, 2013
    Posts: 75

    Vonn Ditch
    Member
    from LA

    So what about all those Rolling Bones cars that have been going back and forth across the country for years. I think they all have cowl steering except for maybe one?
     
    Tman and Doctorterry like this.

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