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Technical Steering drag link question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by dave83, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. dave83
    Joined: Oct 10, 2017
    Posts: 4

    dave83
    Member

    I was looking for some guidance on my cowl steering setup. I am using a shortened '36 ford tie rod for my steering drag link and I heated and bent it to clearance the lakes pipes. My question is do you think this is going to be safe? Or am I running a big risk of having it fold up on me? The tie rod is 1/4" rolled steel. I have seen pictures of hot rods where they bent the drag link, but I wanted to see if anyone out there has done it before, and if its reasonably safe? IMG_2840.jpg IMG_2838.jpg
     
  2. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,221

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Your steering box mounting position is way too high to make this work out with correct mechanics and appearance. With the body not channeled or a front frame sweep, the steering box should be lower. Just my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  3. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 473

    KenC
    Member

  4. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,065

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    I suggest you search for this thread, "Cowl Steering.... Just Stop". The information there could prove to be invaluable to you!
     
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  5. dave83
    Joined: Oct 10, 2017
    Posts: 4

    dave83
    Member

    Thank you for the link. Now I will set out to see if I can make it safe and work. Or pivot to a traditional steering box!
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  6. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,056

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Ever try and push/pull a bent rope???
    In order to even get that to remotely work is to increase the diameter of the link itself where the size/dia overcomes the weakness of the bends. Adding wall thickness to the rod adds a little strength but no where near what diameter will give you. When you turn the steering the link will rock as it finds the input force so now the steering wheel will hunt driving straight
     
  7. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,219

    goldmountain

  8. captain scarlet
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,403

    captain scarlet
    Member
    from Detroit

    Omg

    As said “STOP”. That’s nowhere close to safe.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  9. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,868

    alchemy
    Member

    Some of the original tie rods were just a rolled tube, not welded. If that's one of those, you are asking for it to fold up.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  10. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 143

    TCTND
    Member

    Agree with all the above. the drag link needs to be roughly the same length and parallel to the radius rod to avoid serious bump steer. That's the geometry problem. The structural problem is the bend which will cause the link to flex like a noodle under stress and possibly break. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Country Joe likes this.
  11. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,924

    19Fordy
    Member

    If it's still allowed, better make sure a St. Christopher Medal is on your dash.
     
  12. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,150

    Marty Strode
    Member

    With that much angle, under acceleration the car will pull to the right, under braking it will dart to the left.
     
    HemiDeuce likes this.
  13. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,065

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    No. Check out the recommended post.
     
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  14. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 962

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

  15. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,629

    thirtytwo
    Member

    I get the allure to cowl steering because it does kinda look cool , but with bent drag links , and aesthetic lines going every which way... doesn't that kinda kill the look?

    The closer you can get the tie rod end to the pivot point of the wishbone the better you will be .... that’s a long way off ... looks like bumpsteer city to me
     
  16. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,656

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sorry you had to see that, Pete.
     
    pitman, Greg Stokes, clem and 3 others like this.
  17. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 823

    jimvette59
    Member

    You WILL get a serious case of bump steering !!!!!!
     
  18. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,199

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    See... even Pete Eastwood is impressed:D
     
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  19. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Actually, the 4x4 crowd does this quite a lot on cross steer setups where shit has to be cleared. Just gusset the bends and that takes care of the possible fold up. Gotta say tho, it would look a bit bulky on your setup.
     
  20. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,065

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    You just can't get there from here!
     
  21. it actually looks like the original steering box location would work with those headers. use the later box, convert the mount....
     
  22. 1. That's as scary as hell.
    2. Thank god you asked!
     
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  23. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,656

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No.
     
    57 Fargo likes this.
  24. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 644

    Mimilan
    Member

    Dave! what is the motive behind this?
    Do you want a cowl steer in particular? or do you want a steering system that fits in with your headers.

    If you want cowl steer....I wouldn't offer any advice here

    But if you want a workable steering system, why not reposition the steering box inside the cowl but down by the floor.
    Clock the steering box so the steering column is Vertical [up the inside of the firewall]

    Then to get the steering wheel at a decent angle , use a 90 degree steering box under the dash,
    These are common on Toyota Hiace and Liteace vans with forward mounted controls

    Toyota-hiace-2010-steering-box-rack.jpg

    It will have builders scratching there heads because you will have a cowl type steering down by the clutch pedal and have a decent steering column angle.
     
    pitman likes this.
  25. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,506

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From a design/geometry standpoint cowl steering is not good but guys use it anyway because it adds a certain competition flavor to car. I’m guessing that they just deal with the bump steer. But we’re talking steering here not just your safety but the safety of those around you. If you plan to drive it I would do a little more studying and basically make the steering right and build the exhaust around it.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  26. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 644

    Mimilan
    Member

    Most competition cars [including sprint cars] have a 4 link set-up so cowl steering can be designed with zero bump steer. [think of it as a "5-link"]
    On a 2-link design the axle moves back in an arc , so the only way to eliminate bump steer is to have the pitman arm /drag link ball joint level with the suspension pivot.

    Even then in both situations it is a compromise [usually for straight ahead position] because the pitman arm rotates on a vertical plane and the spindles/steering arm rotates on a horizontal plane.

    Cross steer is a better idea!!
     
  27. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,217

    mgtstumpy
    Member

  28. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,506

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sure cowl steering can be engineered to work properly but in the context of this post (and this site with mostly split ‘bones, hairpins and the occasional full wishbone) I didn’t think he should go that way. But if he insists, he should learn more so he can reposition his parts to make it the best it can be and be prepared for some drivability issues. His bent drag link, while it does connect A to B is not the best solution.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  29. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,980

    pitman

    MGTS's model displays issues well!
     
    mgtstumpy likes this.

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