The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

The Number One Club for owners of Triumph's range of small saloons from the 1960s and 1970s.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:22 pm 
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I've been getting a few enquires of late asking for solid rack mounts so I have had a quantity made and am now offering them for sale on here.

I also sell them through eBay for £42 including p&p per side and £70 for a pair that will sort the rack fully. If you buy them off me here, I would ask £38 and £65 respectively, delivered.

Below is my eBay sales patter

Due to the steering rack on the Dolomite being rubber mounted at both ends, the steering rack is allowed to 'float'; that is, the rack can both move from side to side and also rotate slightly as the turning of the steering wheel is translated into linear movement.

This undesirable movement results in woolly and vague steering.

By replacing the standard rack mounts with solid ones, this movement can be vastly reduced, if not completely eliminated.

There are a number of types of solid rack mounts on the market: solid two piece mounts similar to the type I am offering here, and a U bolt type.

Both these types generally use pure clamping force on the outer rack tube to control movement and neither do anything specifically to control axial, rotational movement. An additional problem with the U bolt type of clamp is that it is very difficult to fit without having to jack up the engine on the engine mounts, something I was very uncomfortable doing.

The solid rack mounts I have designed have a number of features that help address the issues above. Firstly, these clamps do not rely upon clamp force alone: due to the position of the mounting holes in the subframe, when fitted the clamps actually locate the rack centrally and it is physically stopped from moving from side to side by the welded on tabs on the rack tube (please refer to last of the three images).

Secondly, these tabs on the rack tube have a flat edge to them which orientate the rack on to the subframe - I have designed in a tab on the bottom of the rack mount which sits against these flats which stop the rack from rotating. To my knowledge, no other rack clamp on the market has this feature.

So, to summarise, these clamps eliminate any side to side movement and eliminate rotational movement using a combination of both clamp force and positive location.

They can be fitted either singularly at one end or for complete movement isolation, in pairs and, can be fitted with the rack in situ without the need to mess about and jack the engine up etc!

Each clamp is supplied with fixings and washers and is supplied ready for fitment.

Note, on a RHD car, the nearside clamp needs to be fitted on top of the moveable shim; the offside shim is not removable as it is welded to the subframe. I have no experience of LHD cars but imagine it is the same fixing system for both variants.

Whilst I live in the CW9 area I currently work in the CV6 area and regularly travel between the two locations. I can happily arrange drop off along the route if required.

Any questions, just ask.

As tested and proven on my classic Sprint/Hill Climb car illustrated.

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


Last edited by shaunroche on Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:46 pm 
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spotted them on ebay,still in two minds, can under stand the original rubber mounts are know good but what about poly bushes ?

Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:21 am 
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spotted them on ebay,still in two minds, can under stand the original rubber mounts are know good but what about poly bushes ?

Dave
Hi Dave, hope you're well and having a good Christmas? Did you get to the bottom of the power steering issue?

The original hoop type rack mounts whether polybush or rubber only rely on downward clamping pressure to reduce movement in the the rack.

I imagine the polybush harder shore rubber reduces the amount the rack can float a bit, but I can't see it doing anything to stop the rack from rotating. Just my thoughts.... :)

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:18 am 
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hi, wish I'd seen thee last summer when I replaced my rack fitting solid mounts at the same time.

yours seem much better engineered and a vastly improved method of fitting - whoever designed the originals must have been having a bad day.

good luck selling


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:21 pm 
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You can fit at least one of Shaun's mounts on a Sprint (The n/s one) without lifting the motor off it's mounts. But to REMOVE the stock o/s one, you still need to lift it! Not that i'm slagging Shaun's efforts, far from it, they are probably the nicest solid mounts i've ever seen. Just making a point!

Steve

_________________
2 door '73 Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine OWF 797M (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine EGP 247T (The Dolomega)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
Spectrum Auto Services, Servicing, Repairs, MOT prep. Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 45 years and home of Maverick Triumph.PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
spotted them on ebay,still in two minds, can under stand the original rubber mounts are know good but what about poly bushes ?

Dave
Hi Dave, hope you're well and having a good Christmas? Did you get to the bottom of the power steering issue?

The original hoop type rack mounts whether polybush or rubber only rely on downward clamping pressure to reduce movement in the the rack.

I imagine the polybush harder shore rubber reduces the amount the rack can float a bit, but I can't see it doing anything to stop the rack from rotating. Just my thoughts.... :)
Shaun

The power steering just started looking at the column, didn't know how big the motor was :oops:
Why do you sell the rack mounts on there own ? Are they a straight fit or is there other mods that need doing as well

Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:27 pm 
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Hi Dave, not sure what you mean by on their own, what other bits are you expecting?

No, no further mods, they're a direct replacement for the std fixings, just remove the one or two 'hoops' bolted over the rack and slide the top and bottom blocks around the rack and feed the bolts up from underneath and tighten...Simples! :)

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:32 pm 
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Quote:
You can fit at least one of Shaun's mounts on a Sprint (The n/s one) without lifting the motor off it's mounts. But to REMOVE the stock o/s one, you still need to lift it! Not that i'm slagging Shaun's efforts, far from it, they are probably the nicest solid mounts i've ever seen. Just making a point!

Steve
I can't remember having to do that on mine Steve, but I trust you are right!

Mind you, there's nothing really straight forward on these cars is there, I think we relish the challenge!? :)

And thank you for the compliment btw, the chap that makes them is very talented, if not a bit eccentric....(tin hat firmly affixed!).

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Received wisdom from Jamie at Sprintspares back in the day was to fit one solid rack mount only.

If you want to fit one to the driver's side, you could always cut the old one off, but it is probably as easy to lift the engine!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Quote:
Received wisdom from Jamie at Sprintspares back in the day was to fit one solid rack mount only.

If you want to fit one to the driver's side, you could always cut the old one off, but it is probably as easy to lift the engine!
My own solid clamp was fitted with one from Sprintspares, Jamie used to recommend fitting them on the drivers side :) :)

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1977 Flamenco sprint (VGY NOW TAX AND MOT FREE :D )


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:46 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
Received wisdom from Jamie at Sprintspares back in the day was to fit one solid rack mount only.

If you want to fit one to the driver's side, you could always cut the old one off, but it is probably as easy to lift the engine!


My own solid clamp was fitted with one from Sprintspares, Jamie used to recommend fitting them on the drivers side :) :)
I remember Jamie saying that to me too in about ?1989? at a SODIT at Tatton Park, and he said nothing that convinced me that two were not needed, but each to their own.

If memory serves, the Sprintspares one relied on clamp force alone so in theory, inferior to mine....😉

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:39 pm 
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The rack itself has a D shaped plate at each end which should stop any rotation in the mounts not covered by by the clamp action of the mounts. I have used the ones sold by Jigsaw for both of my Dolomites and several customers cars as well and not run into any problems. I ALWAYS use 2, call it belt and braces if you like, but even one end of the rack wagging about is one too many for me!
Though I freely admit Shaun's are nicer and clamp the rack in the exact correct spot, rather than needing to be measured as the Jigsaw ones do, to ensure the rack is central. Now he is doing more series production, availablity is better and the price is falling a tad, any I need in the future will come from Shaun!

Steve

_________________
2 door '73 Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine OWF 797M (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine EGP 247T (The Dolomega)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
Spectrum Auto Services, Servicing, Repairs, MOT prep. Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 45 years and home of Maverick Triumph.PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:36 pm 
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I sent Jamie an e-mail earlier (I met up with him at Brands Hatch and we exchanged contact details) to see what the thinking behind his advice at the time was:
Quote:
Hi Jamie,

I trust this finds you well, having enjoyed a peaceful Christmas; searching my old e-mails for your address I'm quite shocked to find it is now well over three years since we met at Brands Hatch when Herr Bunkus brought his fine Sprint over for us to marvel at.

I hope you don't mind the further contact now, or the fact I'm going to test your 'grey matter', but for many years I've abided by advice that I 'think' came from your good self on a subject that has recently resurfaced as a discussion amongst Club members, but I cannot recall the reasoning behind your then advice!

The subject is one of solid steering rack mounts; I'm fairly certain you used to advocate the use of one only, but many in the Club are using them on both sides in an attempt to make the steering as precise as possible. Do you recall the reason behind your thinking at the time? It would be useful knowledge, particularly if there is any perceived detriment to using two...

thanks in anticipation
kind regards

Alun

ps: my e-mail address has changed slightly since our previous correspondence; virgin sold out to talktalk.
His reply just came in:

Hello Alun

Pleased to help if I can but not sure if I could remember the minutiae of the engineering so I contacted Neil. Between the 2 of us we remembered more or less the same detail and the thinking behind it was this.

The problem was the rack moved sideways through it's soft mountings way too much, so we came up with a simple solution of clamping the rack tube to stop sideways movement, not up and down or front to rear. We had to experiment as the clamp had to 'just' hold the tube without distortion, so we decided to bore the clamp to the exact o/d of the tube and then remove a couple of 'Thou' from the mating surfaces of the clamp. A few experiments and it all worked as it should.

At first we used 2 clamps on the steering rack on our own road cars but the feedback and vibration from regular road surfaces wasn't really acceptable, on a race car with billiard table smoothness of the track surface it was wonderful.
The compromise was to use one clamp but neither of us can remember which side it was on, probably the RH side but that's a guess. It did reduce the road surface problems an amount so achieved what was needed with a small downside.

Today I would do it differently, but that's still in my head.

Pleased to hear the club is still active, don't suppose you have any of the larger meets at the very end of April 2018 do you?

Please don't be bothered about asking questions, not sure what help I or we are now but happy to try from time to time.

Jamie

ps: Jochen was in a major racing accident last year and spent 2 or 3 weeks in hospital, it was a severe impact and he hurt his back. I did call his workshop a couple of times but his mechanic said he wasn't home but was improving. I asked if he'd contact me once he got home but didn't hear, he was always crap at emails.


So nothing more than race or road conditions informed their advice; I just wanted to check given the reject rate of steering racks I'm experiencing from the reconditioners that using two wouldn't exacerbate the problem.

I wonder if what he'd do today is similar to what Shaun has brilliantly engineered...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:15 am 
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Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words...I had no problem with the Jigsaw ones but was mortified to find I had no idea how to locate the rack with them as I was building the subframe up off the car, as it was minus the hubs at that point.
Additionally, when I went to remove them as when the car was assembled the rack was in the wrong place, I couldn't get them off even jacking the engine up so I had to cut them off. This is when I came up with the idea of locating the rack accurately using a block.

I did originally only have one block on the steering coupling side, and an original std clamp on the o/s with a poly bush, but when someone turned the steering with me under the car, I was appalled at how much the rack was 'pivoting' or wagging as you say Steve, from the secured side onwards. Ok not much, but I know how much that movement could be translated into as a result of the forces coming from the car moving...hence the second block!

I think I can remember Jamie saying something about vibration through the steering now, but in my road Sprint I had two blocks with a subframe located on new, but std bushes and whilst I had wonderfully direct and precise steering, I can't remember any adverse feedback from the steering: in fact, since then, I've tried to get every car I've ever owned to turn in as well as that old Sprint and that includes my M3 and current AMG.

Thank you for your kind words too Alun!
I'm pleased to see you're still in touch with Jamie....what's he up to nowadays?
I hold him and Neil in high asteem as when I was an Apprentice I used to spend most of my wages on goodies from their emporium and appreciated their enthusiasm and advice no matter how silly the question!

Btw, I guess if you do isolate the rack with these clamps, they will highlight a dodgy track rod or ball joint, or tired recon rack as Alun rightly points out, so beware! ;)

And, if using two blocks, make sure you remove the little plastic bung that may or not be located on the o/s, back side of the rack that is supposedly used to keep the rack centrally in the tube...most are missing as it was in my refurbished rack from Jigsaw so it matters not, until you do happen to have one and upon fitting the second block find you can hardly turn the steering wheel!

I speak from experience!

**Edit** Found a picture to illustrate!.....get rid of the bung.....

Image

_________________
Still searching for Sprint UUW 410M....If you know it or see it, I want it back! Now known to be in the Llandudno area....
Please get in touch!


Last edited by shaunroche on Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Shaun, your description reads
Quote:
jack up the engine on the engine mounts
; you have to undo the offside mount and jack up the engine far higher than leaving the mount attached would allow, a good 4-6 inches from memory, hence you not being able to do it!


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