OK, so there's been this whole air of mystery regarding what's been happening to the Green Machine, why its off the road, why it is now briefly back on the road, and perhaps more pressingly, why I haven't been around much to explain myself!
Anyway, apologies to all who have been sitting on the edge of their seats, here, at last, is the next instalment!
(The reason I haven't been around much is just that I have been a bit busy at work in the run-up to Christmas, and what time I have had away from the workplace has been spent on the car, so there has been precious little opportunity to write up my exploits – you know the bit!)
Well, about 2 months ago now I checked the front suspension ride height on the Green Machine and it seemed a bit low – the lower wishbones weren't parallel to the ground, and neither were the steering trackrods, which don't bode well for bump-steer.
Easy job, I thought – simply wind the suspension up on the coil-overs. Ahh, if only it were that simple! To cut a long story short, I finally managed to release my OSF coilover (the upper bush sleeve had cold-welded to the bolt and had to be pressed out), wound up the ride height, which gained positive camber, so I popped off the top balljoints and wound them in, but ran out of adjustment on the NSF. Removed the entire top wishbone and wound in the inner
Rosejoints, only to run out of clearance around the coil spring at full droop. Removed the axial shims on the top wishbone to increase clearance, which ruined the caster adjustment. Result? Steering pulls strongly to the left when driving straight ahead. Just like it did after I stuffed the nose into the banking at the Devil's Punch Bowl 2 years ago.
With me so far? Good. This is where it gets more interesting. As you may have guessed by now, the cause of my woes is that bent NSF spindle, which I skilfully compensated for, but only at the expense of some adjustment. Upon realising this painful truth, many vile oaths were uttered (“fiddlesticks” and “oh, bother”), and I resolved to fix the problem once and for all.
Illustrated in full Fujicolour, this is what I did...
OK – you've not seen any decent pictures of my front suspension arrangement before, mainly because I haven't taken any, so here you go...
It was raining when I did all this, no wonder I lost my temper at the end of the day :annoyed:
Basically, the wishbones are custom Rosejointed items which Lee Noble (yes, that
Lee Noble) sold for a Lotus 23 replica that he designed in the late 80s. Like all of Lee's designs, the 23 was honed on the racetrack and shares its geometry with the legendary Ultima, which of course Lee also designed. I had the top wishbone balljoint mounting modified to take a Ford Transit steering drag link instead of using the taper pin and high angle Rosejoint specified originally. This in turn dropped the outer balljoint height down a bit, necessitating the repositioning of the inner chassis mountings.
With the geometry set, the Transit balljoint fits into a Ford Cortina suspension upright (spindle/stub axle), with a modified Cortina balljoint in the lower wishbone. The disc is standard Cortina, as is the brake caliper, which is the popular M16 (no relation to a machine gun as far as I know). The steering rack is also from the Cortina.