I took a break yesterday and laced up my cushy shoes to work on the axle, and cleaned out one of the chairs so I could take the load off my feet. After a couple of hours of careful work I was able to slide the kingpins carefully in and out of the axle bosses and lock them in place with the grub screws. I’m using the grub screws in place of the bolts and lock nuts in the spindle kit because that bolt does double duty as a steering stop and the grub screws don’t, letting me get all the steering lock the transplanted minivan power steering rack will deliver. Also the grub screws came with the axle. Red Loctite threadlocker will work as a replacement for the lock nut. And I just used the PDF version of the install instructions and compared my axle to the one in the instructions and the only thing I’m using is that grub screw because there is literally no place to install the lock pin from the kit. And I checked the instructions for the other kit (’49-’54 Chevrolet passenger car) and it ain’t even close to what I have for my axle. So now I be confuzzled.
I still have to install the spindle bushings and hone them to fit, but I was able to mock up the spindles on the axle well enough to get an idea of how long a tie rod I need to buy: 55.5″. That’s quite a bit larger than the longest non-custom tie rod on the site and it’s going to cost me almost twice as much as the in-stock size.
Someone IRL asked me about that zero roll stiffness suspension from the last post, and did it really exist. Yes it did but not as a beam axle, and not as a street car. There were several Formula Vee cars that went with what was called “Zero Roll” spring set ups to fight the excessive rear weight transfer and “jacking” that went with the rules-mandated swing axle rear suspension. They could still be tuned for lateral weight transfer by adjusting the ride height which changed the roll center height and changed how much weight was transferred to the outside wheel in a turn. The front roll center was at ground height no matter what happened to the ride height, so changing the ride height just changed the rear roll center. I think you can see why this was a “Race Only” setup since changing the number of people in the car would change the balance of the car. Some cars were so sensitive that moving the battery from front to rear would change the balance from mild understeer to slide off the track backwards oversteer. And a similar situation would exist for the TGS2 if I tried a zero roll suspension with it, it would be completely unusable as a street car. Well not completely unusable, because the roll center would not move nearly as much with a beam axle as it does with the swing axle early VW rear suspension, and as a single seat car the center of gravity wouldn’t change too much. So while moving the rear roll center will be a weapon in my suspension tuning arsenal, it’s not the only tool in the box. It would be a fine adjustment tool for tweaking the final balance, not my first go-to when doing the initial set-up of the car.
And I need to contemplate finishing the install on those spindles after I get some sleep.