Got some done on the rack conversion.
First step was to make these little brackets. They match the diameter of the beam and the outside of the rack and are the right size to hold my rack in the right place for no bumpsteer, as far as I have worked out at least.
They got tacked in place on the top beam tube, perpendicular to the front edge of the tubes.
You can see I have a bit of trimming to get the rack in there.
Cut some holes and moved some metal out of the way. Once I got the rack fitting in under there I centred it and set the angle of the input shaft then tacked it into place on the brackets.
Seemed to be all going well until a major setback. Turns out the angle of the racks ends won't allow them to angle back far enough to go in the steering arms for some of the steering angle. It's ok when turned away from the side cause the angle decreases. But turn towards a side and it binds up just past centre. I took a few more measurements and worked out that I had to move that rack back about 10mm to stop the binding, so I made the decision to more it back 15mm just to be sure.
It was at this point I was thinking the bumpsteer would end up being horrible now and that the rack conversion wasn't going to be the success that I had hoped for. I remade the little brackets 15mm longer and tacked everything back into place again. Moving the rack back made half of the holes that I had cut and clearanced into the framehead redundant but that's how it goes I guess.
This time the tie rods fit and the rack ends weren't binding. I could cycle the suspension up and down and full lock on the steering left to right. Then I tried to measure the bumpsteer and came to an unusual conclusion, there wasn't any!
This can't be right I thought to myself. The rack is 15mm from where it is supposed to be, I should have some discernible bumpsteer. I decided that I was trying to measure on too fine a scale on the spindles. So I dug the front discs and bearings out and fitted them up. And then fitted the front wheels. Did a rough wheel alignment and cycled the front suspension up and down and took more measurements.
I ended up with about 2mm of toe variation at the outer edge of the wheel in 12 inches of travel, except right at full droop it goes a bit funny right in the last half inch and gets about 6mm toe out. But I don't foresee this as a problem cause the stops will limit travel before this point.
I couldn't believe it and obviously was very happy with this result!!
Full droop to full bump is around 300mm (12") of travel. It will probably be limited to around 250mm (10") once I set the stops up. Ground clearance will be awesome once again, it will still easily clear a milk crate at ride height. It clears one and a half at full droop!!
I can't wait to take her for a drive and see how she steers!!
Thanks for reading.
If you said I was a Volkswagen man, you'd be right.