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Thread: Modding steering knuckles

  1. #1
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    Modding steering knuckles

    So I wanted to get your guys's input on this.

    Can someone explain to me in simple sentences/diagrams what is needed to mod your steering knuckles?
    Something about moving the hole for the tierod this way or that, .....I really have no clue what to do.
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  2. #2
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    uhhh, drill the holes closer in. There's no simple science to it other than making the arm shorter, so that the rack travels less distance for the same amount of movement for the wheels. That's it, that's all. Tierod movement is a bit annoying, but only if you adding steering rack spacers. if your not, then you just have to get an alignment done again if your new hole is not parrallel with the old one. simple. Get some low offset rims if you actually want to use the modded steering angle otherwise your wasting your time and your wrists.
    SpeedHero

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  3. #3
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    cut the knuckle at the hole at a point where there is enough material to re-weld , cut out i think 1/2- 3/4 inch is average-toward the rca.re-weld together, this is where it can get tricky. welding such a key piece in the steering system should not be done by an amateur, there is a process to welding cast, i have been told, onvolving striking the steel at a certain temp./time while hot... i'm sure jackrabbitslim can chime in. thats my 2 cents, hope it helps, clear as mud?
    -matt

  4. #4
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    Cast Iron and steel should not be welded in the case of suspension. You cannot see it but cast actually stretches on a molecular level to the point of being very brittle and ready to snap.

    Instead, try making new steering arms using regular steel. You can cut a new arm out of some 1/2-3/4" steel which will be very strong and you can make them to any length you want. But before doing so you may want to read up on the effects of ackerman angle.


    Or you could have said "sorry, my kidnap victims keep kicking my elbow, it made me drop my crack pipe and swerve"

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  5. #5
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    First off, totally Illegal.
    Next, its pure awsome.
    then, ya you want to make the leverarm that the tie rod attaches to shorter so that a given input(from the rack) makes it travel further in its arc. Creating more angle as well as faster steering imputs.
    Now it has been said that Japaneese manufacturers use a highcarbon(?) cast steel for these parts which in general most mechanics would shoot you for cutting and welding, ESPECIALLY because its in the steering system.
    BUT it has been done time and time again to achieve awsome results.

    I asume this is for your s13, and I'm sure you can find some pics of stock and modded s13 knuckles on line. Just look real close at what they do, and try to do the same.
    The ones I have seen incorporate some sort of bumpsteer spacer as well, aka they lower the outer tierod mount to put the tierod end closer to the optimal rack level.

  6. #6
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    Haha, I was typing while Chris posted his reply, HE will shoot you if you weld your arms!!!

  7. #7
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    next noob question, is there a way to mod the tie-rods to achieve the same effect?

    or does it have to be on the knuckle
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  8. #8
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    You can take out the inner tierod, and where it threads into the rack add a washer or two.
    The Inner tierod has a large OD end that hits the rack housing to keep it from going any further, you place a washer between the inner end and the rack itself, and it will allow the rack to travel further.
    BUT with power steering, I dont know how far you can go, the rack needs to be sealed.
    If you have too much travel the ps fluid will escape, and you will be corollaing ti around.

    Find some s13 knuckle pics, and post them here, modded and stock

  9. #9
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    Here is a pretty good pic of the ones I was thinking of.
    you can see the stock location, and the new location
    the new location is closer to the pivot(balljoint) so the as the rack moves the angle of the arm moves more than when it was longer.

    ?

    Ya?
    get it?

    As Chris said, Acckerman comes into play as well, and for that reason I dont realy like this way of increasing steering angle. I did a lot of theorizing and measuring before I came to my final setup. It seems to work realy well, for now But I think there is more to be had.

    Ackerman is the angle of the inside tire realative to the outside tire. Most cars are set up so that the inside tire turns a tighter radius than the outside tire. this allows the car to make nice tight turns in the parking lot, without the front tires fighting each other. Much the same as a differential works in the back allowing the inside tire to travel a shorter distance than the outside tire.

    Still there?

    Now, for max drift angle, do you want you front tires at different angles?
    Do you care about parking your car?
    I will asume no, SO you want to reduce the amount of ackerman, or the difference in angle between your front tires.

    How?
    Well thats for you to find out

  10. #10
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    http://noriyaro.com/?p=1575#more-1575


    ?

    Paul don't make me figure this out myself, if there is one thing I don't get on cars it is how to mess with steering geometry.

    Sidenote, kumakubo said all you need to do is add washers and make the factory knuckle hole a little larger.
    Granted that is for subaru's but I assume it would work here too?

    Wouldn't that put some slop in the steering by having a larger hole with the same size tie rod shaft?
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  11. #11
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    My guess is the larger hole thing is to run a bolt and rod end instead of the tapered balljoint.

    What is that picture of, do you have a wider shot? to me it looks the opposite of what I would do. what car is that from his gcb or what ever subies are called?
    Ackerman has a million variables, rack placement, tierod lenght, steering arm length, the angle of the tierod hole vs the balljoint stud, bump steer comes into play as the steering arm goes thru its arc and all the wierd angles start raising and lowering the outer rod end.

    ect.
    Basically, get some rack spacers/washers in the rack.
    and or make some knuckles like that dude on NoriYaro, His are just realy realy short.
    It works, but your steering will get heavy, and the short arm limits the actuall total angle.
    It sounds wierd, I have a theory, longer arm equals more angle, but still requires more work.
    Lots of indepth mods to make it work. like machining new racks ect.

  12. #12
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    Funny... I was just talking to piggity and jrs about this yestrday. Cutting and welding your steering arms is not jo blo backyard welding with a coathanger. There is a process and special filler rod you need to use to weld cast steel. Not to mention as Paulcorolla described, you can mess up a bunch of things like ackerman or,correct things like bump steer if your smart about what you modify.
    Last edited by Pressure_Ratio; 11-02-2009 at 10:24 PM.
    Lane M

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressure_Ratio View Post
    Funny... I was just talking to piggity and jrs about this yestrday. Cutting and welding your steering arms is not jo blo backyard welding with a coathanger. There is a process and special filler rod you need to use to weld cast steel. Not to mention as Paulcorolla described, you can mess up a bunch of things like ackerman or,correct things like bump steer if your smart about what you modify.
    it's a pretty delicate process, i'm in welding right now (SMAW) and i've learned about cast brazing and welding. Has to be preheated peened while welding and post heated. not to mention welding with cast iron rods look like ass as well.
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  14. #14
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    It works awesome. Your drifting skills peak to godly levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rokubes View Post
    Is 20 pounds for the weight like 30 if a guy lifts?

    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?

  15. #15
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    The picture you linked is stupid. I've seen it before, and moving you tie rod point inward will add ackerman, which you are trying to reduce. The rule of thumb is 1in shorter arm (in the X axis), and half stock "let's call this ackerman" mesurement. It's the mesurement in the Y axis between the ball joint and tie rod end . Say stock is 15mm, you want 7.5mm. I guess I could do a drawing but I don't feel like it right now. I want you to do more research on ackerman

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AhBra View Post
    it's a pretty delicate process, i'm in welding right now (SMAW) and i've learned about cast brazing and welding. Has to be preheated peened while welding and post heated. not to mention welding with cast iron rods look like ass as well.
    Yes cast iron is a involved process of pre and post heat and so on... Spindles are cast STEEL though, not iron.
    Lane M

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressure_Ratio View Post
    Yes cast iron is a involved process of pre and post heat and so on... Spindles are cast STEEL though, not iron.
    process is the same, different filler rods.
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Shooter View Post
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drader View Post
    http://noriyaro.com/?p=1575#more-1575


    ?

    Paul don't make me figure this out myself, if there is one thing I don't get on cars it is how to mess with steering geometry.

    Sidenote, kumakubo said all you need to do is add washers and make the factory knuckle hole a little larger.
    Granted that is for subaru's but I assume it would work here too?

    Wouldn't that put some slop in the steering by having a larger hole with the same size tie rod shaft?
    this obviously isnt an s13 knuckle. its probably rx7 or something where the steering rack is in front of the crossmember, making everything backwards

  19. #19
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    ya the knuckle picture is from an rx7, i just thought it was a good visual of moving the mounting point.

    So far the only thing I have learned is that the mounting point should be as short as possible and lower than stock.



    Last edited by drader; 11-03-2009 at 03:23 PM.
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  20. #20
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    The shorter the knuckle the harder it will be to turn the steering wheel. The wheels will have more leverage to fight back against you. Are you going to run power steering?
    BCWORKS

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