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MG TD TF 1500 - Setting the track

Last week I changed the rack and pinion unit against a new one offered by Moss for cheep money.
To install them it is needed to remove the radiator and some other stuff.
Anyway, I measured the old setting from one tie rod end to the other. Even the distance from the attachment holes to the Tie rod end was recorded.
The new assemble was adjust exactly the same way and installed to the car. Everything wends good and the car runs fine but the steering seems to be somewhat stiffer then before.
My issue now is that the steering wheel center Position. It is about 60 out of the previous position. My idea was to open the adjusting shaft and set the wheel position some degrees back on the fine serration between the inner column and adjusting shaft.
In the archive I found a discussion concerning removing the key to get the adjusting shaft out of the spline. In this discussion Bud Krueger make a point concerning safety and I will follow his arguments.
Anyway, what can I do? How can I easily adjust the Steering wheel position?
I cant do it with re-adjustment of the Tie Rod Ends, because they are screwed in 100% I believe the Moss rebuild is not exact as it should be.
Track setting is also an issue. How did you do that? I used a rope and aligned the rear wheels with the front wheel; but Im not sure this is the right way.
GK Guenter

Rotate the tie/track rod, in the tie/track ends equal amounts, moving the WHEELS in the same direction.

Lets say you loosen the check nuts, then rotate the left rod so the ROD end MOVES IN, 1/2 turn. Snug the check nut Then go to the right side of the car. Loosen the check nut. Loosen the right check nut and rotate the rod so the end MOVES OUT 1/2 turn. Snug the check nut.
Now drive the car and find straight ahead. Did the position of the wheel improve, overcompensate, or get worse?

Make similar adjustments until the wheel is where you want.

Jim B.
JA Benjamin

Hi Guenter,
Front and rear axle widths are different so you cannot use rope to track your car. As the rear track is greater than the front a rope would probably toe in your wheels which will effect steering load. This would explain why you ran out of adjustment. I have been involved with 2 cars with new Moss racks and both fitted OK.
Any local garage should be able to set your tracking for a few Euros.
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

I made this alignment jig,, I hope it will show up well enough to read here,,
if you have a string parallel to the rear tire, 0 toe in would be a reading of 1 5/16 at the front and rear of the front tire

Steve Wincze

that worked here is a pic of the rear wheel

Steve Wincze

and the front showing the 1 5/16 distance.

Steve Wincze

Thank you all for your ideas.
@ Ray: I will go to a Garage for a final check. This will cost 79€ w/o adjustment.

@ Steve: This is what I did but your set-up is much more professional.

One of my major issue is how can I find the Center position or how can I adjust the system that the steering wheel will be in a position as it should.

GK Guenter

Guenter, there is a mark in the pinion shaft that should line up with the mark on the steering column to align the steering wheel. At least that is the method on the stock steering gear.

This is the procedure from Moss. It is what Jim B was describing:
"If your steering wheel is not perfectly centered, you can correct it without too much effort. First, you need to make sure all your tire pressures are set correctly, then find a wide, flat, traffic-free area (such as a deserted parking lot). When you drive “hands-off”, the front wheels will assume their most centered position because of the caster that is built into the steering. On a cambered road there will be a slight pull from the road’s camber, so you need a flat road for best results.

When you have determined the exact position of the steering wheel with the car going straight ahead, you can begin the centering procedure. If it is more than an inch or so off at the rim, start by checking whether your wheel is mounted on splines or a taper with keyway. If it has splines, try getting it closer to center by moving it on the splines. If it is the keyway type, check whether any of the other connections in the steering column can be repositioned to center the wheel better.

Final centering can now be done by adjusting the lengths of the tie rods. If the wheel is off to the right, you can move it counterclockwise by shortening the left tie rod and lengthening the right one. If it is off to the left, shorten the right tie rod and lengthen the left one? Count the number of turns so that you move each tie rod the same amount, to preserve your toe-in setting. Small increments move the steering wheel rim a surprising amount, so make your adjustments little by little. Drive the car after each adjustment to see where the wheel now centers itself. When it is dead-center, make sure you remember to tighten the lock nuts on the tie-rods."
TW Burchfield

I have had over 35 years of service involving MG/Jag etc. On your MG there is absolutely no need to pay andbody to straighten out the front steerins.
All that is needed is a 6' piece of wood and two pieces around 12" long along with two clamps and a tape measure you can do it all in short order.
If you wish contact me off line using my email adress and i will help you further.
Hudson florida.

To find the center of the steering rack, jack up the front and steer left to full lock, then steer right to full lock counting the steeringwheel revolutions.
From the full lock on the right, steer back by half of the revolutions and then you are very near to the middle. It helps to mark the wheel with some tape.

That said, a garage with a professional alignment rig will do this too, and much better in much shorter time.
Willem van der Veer

thank you all for your response on this issue.
That some of the tie rods can be to long as Sandy mentioned is the most important information for me. That is definitive the case on the rods I have.
What I did is to align the steering wheel center position with the rack & Pinion unit. Therefore I remove the Flange from the pinion shaft. For the re-assembly I found a new position on the fine spline. The result is that the track and steering wheel is centered.
Next step was the exactly as described using a rope from the rear wheels to the front. Mesuring the 1 5/16 distance and everything runs good now.
Thank you for your help.
GK Guenter

This thread was discussed between 08/09/2015 and 11/09/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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