Saturday, November 21, 2015


I've had a handling issue for most of this year. When accelerating and decelerating the car would pull to the right and to the left and when braking it would pull left. I got stuck with the idea it was the rear wheel not being in line with the chassis. After measuring the alignment of the rear wheel I found it was off by about .029"; not bad.

I then looked at the left front brake and found that the caliper bracket was not square to the rotor and that the caliper was not sliding well on it's mounting bolts. There is the problem; a dragging brake pad. This too would make the car pull each way when giving it gas and letting off and when braking. Sure enough, new pads, caliper seals, shims on the bracket and reaming the slide holes fixed it all. It now drives straight all the time.

Now I'll go back and play with toe out and tire pressures some more and see what happens. Probably nothing but I think it's worth a look.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Last weekend I went along with a group of motorcycles on a 200 mile drive through the twisty back roads of south Alabama. This was the first long drive and the first drive on twisty roads at speeds of up to 75 MPH. It was exhilarating  to say the least but the car handled great and took the curves at speed right along with the bikes. Temperatures were in the mid 90's but I felt no heat from the engine. The drive shaft tunnel felt warm from, I assume, transmitted engine heat and heat from the driveshaft bearings. I'm looking forward to another run like that, maybe in the fall.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I have finally gotten the handling issues sorted. With the caster now at about 7 degrees, camber at -1 degree and toe at 1/8" toe out. Front tires at 20Lbs. and rear at 40Lbs. She now drives straight up to 80 MPH. I can wiggle the steering wheel without affecting the straight line motion. Side winds will push it and require correction with the steering wheel as in any car. I've driven it through 90 deg right corners at 40 MPH and it handles them with ease.  I've put about 1200 miles on it now and it is a pleasure to drive.

One last thing to play with is scrub radius with the front wheels. The tire inner edge is offset from the kingpin line by 2". It will take a lot of work to change that so it probably won't get done.

Monday, March 9, 2015


The alternator problem is fixed. The amperage draw dropped from 23 to 18 with high beam, 16 with low beam. The light output difference is amazing and I know they are not adjusted correctly in the photo so it will get even better.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I drove the other day with the headlights on for an hour or so and that ran the battery down to the point that it wouldn't crank the engine. Not good. I put an ammeter into the circuit and found that I was drawing 23 amps and asking a 20 amp alternator to keep up with it.

So there are 2 options: get a 40 or 50 amp alternator (300 to 500 bucks) or reduce the load. I chose the 2nd option and bought these two items:

I'll report back when I get them installed and measure the amps.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


A couple of other things needed fixing. The turning radius was always not enough so I moved the rack to the right by about 3/4". This allowed the tie rod to move to the right 3/4" and decrease the turning radius a great deal. To make the left turn the same I cut 1.5" off the right end of the rack housing.

You can see from the photos that the clamping strap is now over the alum. hub. The mounts did not change just the position of the rack housing. I had to machine the area of the housing to allow the clamp to fit there.

The next issue was the rear suspension. I had removed one of the two springs inside the Honda Goldwing air shocks thinking it was too stiff and raised the rear ride height. It ended up that it was way too soft and would bottom out on the slightest bump. Today I put the springs back inside the shocks and now driving it with 2 up was really great. It never came close to bottoming out . It has however raised the back of the car and the shocks are fully extended with no passengers aboard. I drives fine so I'll leave it for now.

Here is how much turning I get. The left wheel looks like it is cambered out but it is just a camera angle. It is actually cambered in a good bit. Lots of Ackermann too!I also trimmed the alum. plates under the ball joints and they look much less noticeable.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


All that I had done on the front end and I still didn't get enough caster. Driving up to about 50 got really scary. The steering was so sensitive. I tackled the problem by adding more caster. I found that I had very little. I machined up 2 plates that would lift the lower ball joint above the lower a-arm so that I could move it forward by about 3/4".
I did this because there was so much mixed opinions about it making any difference and I could put it all back the way it was if it didn't work. What this did was to make the king pin angle change to 7 1/8 deg. as viewed from the side. This is not the proper way to measure caster from what I've read, but the result is nothing short of AMAZING. After setting the toe in to 1/4" in, I took it for a drive. Up 60 MPH it was steady as a rock!!! When it warms up next week I'll take it out on the Interstate and see how it feels at 70+. If all this proves out I'll trim off the edges like the lines show and pretty it up.

Moving the ball joint also added a lot of negative camber so I'll have to fix that too. I hope I have enough thread on the upper joint to do this. Lowering the inner pivots of the upper arm moved it inward and I had to extend the ball joint to cover that too. I'm running out of thread. As to cornering I've hit it as hard as I can with no lifting of the inside wheel, little body roll and some understeer. The outside wheel stays square to the road. Harder cornering would just mean more understeer and sliding. I'm a happy camper!!

Stay tuned; more to follow.