The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:31 pm
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Location: Oxfordshire
Hi all,

I need to get my Toledo aligned. It has adjustable front tie bars so castor can be adjusted, as well as tracking. camber is (still) fixed other than using the shims(?) but i haven't done this.

the problem is my steering is quite heavy at speed at the moment presumably because of the castor change from lowering - it also doesn't self correct very well either.

my question is should i just get it adjusted to match the original castor value at standard height or do people use different settings? the car isn't crazy low but probably a few inches lower than a standard Tolly with its nose pointing the sky...

PS sorry for sounding like a noob - suspension/geometry stuff hurts my brain a bit...

Cheers
Jack

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1973 2-door honeysuckle Triumph Toledo 1300 Thread here


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:12 pm
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Location: Highley, Shropshire
Lowering affects camber more than castor and castor issues are more than likely the cause of your heavy and unresponsive steering. Since castor is not normally adjustable on these cars, the factory values should give you a good starting point. My factory shop manual gives the castor angle as 2.25 degrees plus or minus 1 degree.

I've lowered my Toledo and a couple of Dolomites well below what is really practical, grounding the subframe and exhaust on every speed bump (and then raised them a bit, i'm not daft) and not run into castor issues from it whilst using stock (non adjustable) tiebars.

Toledo standard camber varies from 0.5 to 1.25 degrees POSITIVE depending on comm number. In my experience you can drop it to a couple of degrees or so negative without wrecking your tyres or grip.

HTH, Steve

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'73 2 door Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine (The Dolomega)
'72 Triumph 1500FWD in Slate Grey, Now with RWD and Carledo powertrain!

Maverick Triumph, Servicing, Repairs, Electrical, Recomissioning, MOT prep, Trackerjack brake fitting service.
Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 50 years. PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:31 pm
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Location: Oxfordshire
Quote:
Lowering affects camber more than castor and castor issues are more than likely the cause of your heavy and unresponsive steering. Since castor is not normally adjustable on these cars, the factory values should give you a good starting point. My factory shop manual gives the castor angle as 2.25 degrees plus or minus 1 degree.

I've lowered my Toledo and a couple of Dolomites well below what is really practical, grounding the subframe and exhaust on every speed bump (and then raised them a bit, i'm not daft) and not run into castor issues from it whilst using stock (non adjustable) tiebars.

Toledo standard camber varies from 0.5 to 1.25 degrees POSITIVE depending on comm number. In my experience you can drop it to a couple of degrees or so negative without wrecking your tyres or grip.

HTH, Steve
Cheers Steve. Standard castor (2.25 +/- 1 degree) it is then - even lowered? Also - last time I went for parallel toe, I think this is correct too?

Hopefully current castor will be a way off as this car just isn't handling as I'd like it to. My dolly 1300 was so much better so I know it's capable of the same. The only thing I haven't done yet are subframe bushes but I really can't see that making this much of a difference...

My car isn't that low (been there and done that with the japanese cars, got tired of seeing sparks coming ouit of the rear of my car going down the A34), but I have 70(?) profile tyres on so I guess that raises it up a bit off the floor. I don't really have any issues with speedbumps or Oxfordshire roads - my Fiesta ST is worse in that regard and that's totally standard!

Can't remember what camber values were on the last alignment - though it doesn't look too drastic by eye. Will report back after the car's been aligned.

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1973 2-door honeysuckle Triumph Toledo 1300 Thread here


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 7098
Location: Highley, Shropshire
Lowered or not, the stock castor angle works for me, never had the luxury of adjustable tie bars!

Official tracking figure is parallel to 1/16" toe in, but this was set in stone when crossply tyres were still a thing and crossplies like a bit of toe in on a RWD car (and toe out on a FWD) I set everything (not just Dolomites) to dead parallel these days and have for 30 years, again, it works for me!

There is one other value given in the manual, that being King pin inclination (yes, I know it doesn't HAVE king pins, but the datum still exists) and the most likely figure for your car (very early cars have a different figure) is 5.75 degrees +/- 1 degree. Lowering the car will increase this figure very slightly as it's inherent in the unequal length wishbone design, but lowering doesn't affect this figure as much as it does camber for the same ride height difference.

Not sure whether your alignment guy can check this, or indeed whether there's any way to adjust it. I think errors here are usually due to impact damage to upper wishbones or track control arms.

Steve

_________________
'73 2 door Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine (The Dolomega)
'72 Triumph 1500FWD in Slate Grey, Now with RWD and Carledo powertrain!

Maverick Triumph, Servicing, Repairs, Electrical, Recomissioning, MOT prep, Trackerjack brake fitting service.
Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 50 years. PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2024 11:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:31 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Oxfordshire
Just reporting back in.

Got the car tracked today. Some strange(?) things happened, but the car drives much better now.

Here's the before/after - as you can see castor was way out at 4.5 degrees. We have adjusted this as much as we can, but it's still not quite within spec. Either way a 1 degree difference. toe was also slightly out, to be expected i suppose as i've changed the track rod ends.
Oddly, we ran out of adjustment on the rack on the drivers side. We managed to get castor down to within spec but that seemed to stop us from getting toe parallel - weird. reset back to ~3.4 deg and managed to get toe parallel

The bit i'm most confused about after having lowered the car a bit is the camber - there basically isn't any negative camber. would expect there to be, but if positive from the factory maybe that's OK.

Image

On the way back, the car was centering more happily, though still not perfectly. My other half suggested that maybe i'm just not used to having the big tyres and small steering wheel, so i swapped back from the 13.5 inch mountney back to the original 16 inch wheel. The steering isn't heavy at all now, even at slow speeds. May keep the big tolly one on!

Fairly happy now, but think i may do the bulkhead bush and assess the u/j on the column as I think they may be contributing. I may also swap out the 185 tyres for some 165s as they're a tad overkill for what a little 1300 engine can put out...

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1973 2-door honeysuckle Triumph Toledo 1300 Thread here


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