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my frame is resting on my tie rod, do i bend tie rod arms down?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scott 351 wins, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. TraderJack
    Joined: Apr 10, 2008
    Posts: 330


    Actually , because the tie rod is between the wish bones, you can only drop the arms a couple of inches.
    However, the problem is not that. I want to caution you that is what we used to call a suicide front end. If the spring breaks the frame drops on the tie rod and locks the front end so the car is undrivable, unless a catch is provide to catch the spring on the front axle!

    But, I could be wrong, couldn't I

  2. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    My last post for the evening .Hows your turning radius,If the arms hit your axle ,Dropped spindle arms are the way to go ,I have the same problem you do .I was just gonna bend the arms down ,Till I noticed I didnt have full turning radius ,If your radius is ok ,Bend them down ....You dont need much ,But have the motor installed to determine this.....
  3. scott 351 wins
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 434

    scott 351 wins

    i have yet to install the steering box, i wanted to get the spindles, rotors and tires so i can figure out my motor and trans mounts and this problem reared its head. working on getting pics of steering arms loaded hang on.........
  4. scott 351 wins
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 434

    scott 351 wins


    Attached Files:

  5. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    I'm convinced. It's not a new idea.

    tierod in front..jpg
  6. HOT40ROD
    Joined: Jun 16, 2006
    Posts: 962

    from Easton, Pa

    I would go with front steer. Even if you drop it down to the bottom of your hairpins I think after the motor in you still will have problem with it hitting the frame.

    With spring behind the axle you would have to drop the steering arms below the hairpins in your case.
  7. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    from Garner, NC

    and just because it's not a new idea, doesn't make it a good one.

    Ackerman matters if you actually drive your car.
  8. As an engineer, I have to say that everything about switching to a front steer is wrong!!! It bitches up your Ackerman, as people have pointed out. However, I am a hotrodder as well as an engineer, and 10,000 T-bucket owners can't all be wrong. If you do switch to a front steer application, you won't be able to use the cross steer set-up. Again, however, there are thousands of well behaved hotrods running around the world with the drag link attached to the drivers side spindle instead of the passenger side as you would have in a cross steer. I think the secret to building a driveable car with the drag link out front is to run skinny front tires, and bend the steering arms as close to the tires as common sense will allow. This won't restore proper Ackerman, but it will keep it closer. In my experience, T-buckets get away with improper Ackerman because they are a very light vehicle.---Brian
  9. metal bender
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 177

    metal bender
    from texas

    Swap the spindals and put the ty rod in front , dont take a chance with geting the armes red hot if you dont know what your doing , may crack ! :eek: That rod doesnt know what side its on and doesnt change a thing !!!!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  10. Too bad some of the younger guys dont want to understand "Ackerman"..sounds like my son when he was 18.Knew more than anybody
  11. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,592


    Hey brian could you bring your chassis thread up again for this poster and everyone else, thanks.
  12. I see in the pic you have bolt-one steering arms, just get the arms with the most drop. Take the arms off & weight the front & run it through up and down limits, see how much drop you will need.
  13. spiffy1937
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 729

    from Florida

    Right now, without the engine/transmission, it looks like the frame is sitting on the tie rod. Can the steering arms be bolted onto the spindles using the top holes in the spindle? This MIGHT put the tie rod above the frame so there would be no interference and you could still have the proper ackerman. I don't know what you would do about the draglink except go to a different steering style where the drag link attaches to the left spindle as others have mentioned. Just a thought.:confused: Some have mentioned about going back to the drawing board---might be best. We've all done it!
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,085


    I think it would be a whole lot simpler and better on that rig to just cut the front cross member off, Z the front of the frame and build a new crossmember with the spring mount on the bottom. The frame isn't at the stage where you can't make changes and that change would solve several issues. Or put a Model A style cross member under the front, knock the suicide perch off and actually build a truck that you can drive down real roads and not just end up with another fairgrounds poser that can't be driven on real roads and past real cops who have a big thing about scrub lines.
  15. Mat Thrasher
    Joined: Nov 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,080

    Mat Thrasher

    I would think dropped arms would be fine. Also the idea of putting the tie rod on top of the frame seems like it would work. Here's a shot of my dropped arms.

  16. Frank
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,321


    x2. Definitely need more pictures to make a real call. Take pics from the side where we can see the tie rod connecting to the arm and the spindle

    What spindles and axle are you using anyway?
  17. Had the same classic problem on our roadster project using late 40's spindles on a 4" dropped axle/cross steer. Steering arms had to go DOWN. Took the thing apart but couldn't heat up the arms with my silly gas torch - I tried! Threw them in the back of the truck and took them to a friend who drops axles - Now his torch gets HOT!
    Lucky for me he has done this many times so bending mine was no problem.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,854


    One expert opinion...

    A better opinion, actually correct...

    As usual, spot on dude.

    I see in the posted pics there are bosses up on top of the spindles. Same/same? I've built enough chassis in my day to know there's certain "rules" that must be followed. If you don't there's issues that aren't always reversible. Just because you don't get a ticket for going 120 on the interstate does that mean you weren't speeding?:D

    I like the idea of re-thinking the frame and the spring mount/location. Could solve many ills and even then a dropped steering arm may have to be employed. I also notice that the arms look like cold rolled flat stock. Are they? Kool... makes it easier to bend/correct/modify to your needs. And take heed that Ackerman angles are important. Simple really, the turning radius is different when 2 wheels are 4-5 feet apart. Some of us are here for ya dude. Don't sweat the nay-sayers.
  19. rottenleonard
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,950


    This is a good example of a front mounted tie rod that could have the ackerman corrected due to having space to do so, If chopped tudor moved the tie rod attatchment points outward(lengthen the tie rod) to where the steering pivot is in the same line as the king pin axis and the center of the rearend ackerman would work correctly, however having space to do so is rare because most wheel offsets won't give the room to do so.

    Ahh the picture didn't come with the quote, check it out on page 2
  20. Turning it around will be fine if you only plan to drive straight ahead. If your driving plans include the occasional curve in the road, it will be a problem.
  21. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    from KCMO

    who would really consider having the tie rod run OVER the frame? then run the fan and radiator hoses around it, when a properly thought out set up would be cleaner, safer, handle better?

    it is not too late to correct the problem. you don't even have the motor mounted, steering box located. don't be stubborn.
  22. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426


    Well said. Ackerman angle is very important, but you can take steps to get it nearly if not entirely spot on with a front tie rod. Skinny front tires will help to offset minor Ackerman short falls. Keep us posted!
  23. Another problem with the suicide setup with tie rod out front is that the tie rod is unprotected and can easily get bumped into and bent. Bent tie rod in front=instant increase in toe-in.
  24. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,592


    Spot on ackerman, and tie rod over the frame which is where it should be on a ride without the frame going over the axle. In this design if the spring or mounts fail the weight of the car or truck drops down onto the tierod eliminating steering.

    With the frame over the axle, tierod under is good. If the spring or mounts fail the frame will lay on the axle, not good but still drivable untill you safely stop.

    Attached Files:

  25. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,455


    Ackerman is already off with the 200 inch wheelbase

    and having the frame land on the tie rod when the spring breaks is probably a good thing

    it'd be better than having the frame hit the ground...

    personaly I don't care for the whole rat rod bobber truck style

    I prefer a more traditional aproach to building hot rods,

    but that's just me.
  26. dmw56
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 711


    You can get front steer steering arms with correct Akerman. But you will need to run skinny tires and/or negative offset wheels.
    Easiest fix in your case is dropped steering arms.
  27. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    from KCMO

    Man, That is lower than the road. Are you running super tall tires?
  28. Kramer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 908


    Try driving that with real tires up front and see how it handles in a turn.
  29. This frame needs to be z'd. How much is hard to tell but any other method is gonna get someone killed. Thats just to much drop to try to modify the arms. You just can't try to build anything that low using straight frame rails. As for correct ackerman, well it is very important ( critical on a truck that wieghs anything at all ) and anyone who says it's not is just trying to help you get into trouble. Like others have said, it is probably time to rethink things. If the frame is z'd it'll give you more room inside to by not having to channel the body that much. The good news is you can do it with the stuff you already have plus a little rectangular tube. Be safe and good luck.
  30. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke

    You may have another option that i don't think has been mentioned. Put a spacer between the perch and spring, install the engine and tranny for weight, see where you are and decide whether to Z the frame or use spacers front and rear for the stance you want. With the motor in place I suspect you will be surprised how much the stance will change. Last resort, mess with the steering. I'm always amazed how folks can suggest a total change in the geometry without a second thought.

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