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TR3A Extra Light Steering


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The PO fitted a Ford Escort steering rack to my 3A. The steering is so light it can be controlled using a Little Finger. 

From my experience, on my earlier 3A, I had a Moss conversion with, I believe, a Mini Rack which worked very well giving a normal road feel.

Has anyone go any comments experiencing the Escort rack which may be helpfull in my frustration?

I'm willing to rip out the Escort and go to a Moss system but dont want to make this move in haste in case i'm experiencing somethig that can be explaind otherwise.

Thanks in advance for well recieved help.

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Could it be an escort rally quick rack?

how far does the steering wheel rotate lock to lock ?

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just a thought or two ..

Have you checked the amount of front wheel tracking, castor and camber of the car ?  ..as these will not only effect the directional stability but also the feel (lightness) of the steering.  

And are the steering lever-arms original.? ..again if the relative position of the track-rod ends has been altered then the feel of the steering will be different. 

Pete

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It's in the gearing ratio of the rack and pinion. 

So a rack with gearing ratio calculated to work with a heavier (front wheel drive ?) car, with a small steering wheel and fat tyres (lots of scrub at parking speed) and McPherson struts will feel very light on a lightweight car with a 15" steering wheel and tall skinny 15" tyres, wishbone suspension & trunnions.  Even more so when their castor angles are different, as might be anticipated with different types of suspension and when the steering-arm length has to fit within different size and offsets of road wheel.

Pete     

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2 minutes ago, Bfg said:

It's in the gearing ratio of the rack and pinion. 

So a rack with gearing ratio calculated to work with a heavier (front wheel drive ?) car, with a small steering wheel and fat tyres (lots of scrub at parking speed) and McPherson struts will feel very light on a lightweight car with a 15" steering wheel and tall skinny 15" tyres, wishbone suspension & trunnions.  Even more so when their castor angles are different, as might be anticipated with different types of suspension and when the steering-arm length has to fit within different size and offsets of road wheel.

Pete     

So basically you are saying that apart from simple physics (load and distance moved) there’s nothing special about the rack. It just means more twirling. 

Rgds Ian

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48 minutes ago, Hamish said:

Could it be an escort rally quick rack?

how far does the steering wheel rotate lock to lock ?

Surely a quick rack would make steering heavier ?

Bob.

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in short - yep, although it's likely that the robustness of build, the cut of those gears and the bearings used would effect its operational friction.

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3 minutes ago, Lebro said:

Surely a quick rack would make steering heavier ?

Bob.

..if it were used on the same car

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I seem to remember Mike Ellis saying that was the standard Aussie rack conversion, they were doing it before any were in use over here. TBH unless its a problem stick with it. Early Series 1 XJ6 used to have super light steering that got "Interesting" at very high speeds

Stuart.

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Yes that is true and the steering is a quite light.  Mine is the standard Escort rack but I have since discovered that as Escort racks are used in many kit cars there are several different ratios available. Rally Design sell them and it looks to me as though the 2.9 version would be a more suitable ratio (corroborated by a user from Australia).  It should make the steering a bit less light.  They only sell them in Mk2 Escort form which have metric threaded track rods so they would need recutting to imperial but I had to this with mine anyway.

It is something I am considering.

https://www.rallydesign.co.uk/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=1&keywords=escort+steering+rack&x=0&y=0&osCsid=kaskfug2efi96g0ahalem1lb74

Mike

 

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Thank you all for your comments.

I havent had the opportunity to get the car on a Front End Aligner as yet so that the Camber and Caster can be checked.

The toe in is 1/8".

Thre Escort Rack is 2.5 Turns L toL.

Tyre opressure is 26 F 28 R

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4 hours ago, SimmoTR said:

Thank you all for your comments.

I havent had the opportunity to get the car on a Front End Aligner as yet so that the Camber and Caster can be checked.

The toe in is 1/8".

Thre Escort Rack is 2.5 Turns L toL.

Tyre opressure is 26 F 28 R

What steering wheel do you have?. As it is already converted I assume you have lost the horn/indicator function from the centre of the wheel? I have a TR7 rack and was able to go from the standard 17 inch steering wheel down to a 15 inch. Apart from giving more room between wheel and legs, a smaller wheel will have the effect of making the steering feel slightly stiffer due to less leverage.

Ralph

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8 hours ago, SimmoTR said:

Thank you all for your comments.

I haven't had the opportunity to get the car on a Front End Aligner as yet so that the Camber and Caster can be checked.

The toe in is 1/8".

The Escort Rack is 2.5 Turns L to L.

Tyre pressure is 26 F 28 R

Toe in is fine and possibly a just little more than required to counter bump steer. Caster is probably not very adjustable anyway, and wheel camber is pretty obvious visually ..if they are leaning too far in or out. 

Likewise your tyre pressures would not be reason for too light a steering. 

2.5 turns lock to lock is the same as for the earlier TR4, with 16" steering wheel, and a 33ft turning circle. This would have been more direct (responsive) but heavier steering than later cars whose rack changed to 3-1/2 turn to turn.  As Mike says

22 hours ago, mike ellis said:

it looks to me as though the 2.9 version would be a more suitable ratio (corroborated by a user from Australia).  It should make the steering a bit less light.  

..

I presume the car's ride height is within normal-to-sensible parameters ?  Too much ground clearance / a high ride height can make the car feel awfully floaty.  

Otherwise, and just a thought ..which I hope not, but its worth getting your car onto a lift - to check the chassis and suspension & their mounts (front and rear) are not cracked and flexing. 

Pete.

 

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As standard neither castor (o°) or camber (+2°) is adjustable on a TR3A, unless someone has done some changes.

Bob

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For interest.

I fitted an Escort rack when I built my 3A in 2001. Yes, the steering was  quite light ( my wife liked it). About 4 years latter I came across an Escort fast rack at a car show trade stand and purchased one. After fitting it I found the steering still a bit heavy parking but light on the road. The standard TR steering gave about 2.25 turns lock to lock (I know that's not exact but good enough for this post). The standard Escort rack gave about 3.25 and hence the light steering. The quick Escort rack gave 2.25 hence the heavier feel. There is an even faster Escort rack but I feel that not to be suitable.

I found the fast rack great on the track and good touring. I have done about 70000miles on this rack without issues.

I should add that I run TR4 uprights and upper wishbones and a camber kit I made. 1/4" toe out, 0.0 Camber (-2.0 on track) with 195 x 65 Dunlop Sport tyres.

Brian

 

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I take it people are referring to mk1 +II escorts and not the later hatch back version ?!

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