I've been on wheel alignment adjusting because of this :
.. and i was wondering : does it have to be same amount of threads visible on both sides of the track rod ends when the alignment is set up properly or not ? cos i can count 12 threads visible on LH track rod , and 3 on RH track rod ?!
There should be an equal number of threads showing providing both trackrod ends are the same type. if one is further in than the other it moves the rack out of center, this creates the effect of different length steering arms which also creates bump steer in different directions on each side. you need to make sure the rack is properly centered before setting the tracking and then make sure the front wheels are facing the same way as the rears. Most of the competition cars that i set up arrive with rack out of center and once put right people are surprised at how much better it drives. Its quite an easy problem to sort out and it surprises me that so many people ignore it.
Absolutely agree with this.
On other stuff I work on there is a plug in the rack which can be removed, and then a dowel dropped in which locates into a drilling, and centralises the rack accurately. I don't know of this feature on a 205 rack so the only way to do it that I am aware of is to measure the turns of the wheel and do it that way.
If fitting a pair of new track rod ends this is how I do it.
Screw both in an equal amount that you think will be somewhere near, then ignoring steering wheel position turn the rack so the wheels are straight and check the tracking, ignore the steering wheel position. Then adjust both track rods an equal amount, either shorten (more toe out) or lengthen (more toe in) BOTH to achieve whatever overall toe you desire. Once you've done this and locked the track rods off, then you can centre the steering wheel up by removing the nut and indexing it round on the splines.
If you are adjusting an existing pair then really the easiest thing is to remove them completely, give them a dose of grease to make them easy to adjust now and in future, and then do as above.
There is definitely no slot for a pin on a 205 unfortunately. I figured all this out for myself a while ago after several tyre fitters failed to get my pug right. I ended up blagging a couple of hours on my local garages ramp with their laser aligner and it took me ages to accurately centralise it. The people at the garage thought I was insane because they would have just set the toe to the book figure and put the steering wheel on 'straight'
Once I had got it right I found it cured some nasty bumpsteer as Eeyore describes but it also makes the steering weight load up evenly in both directions, previously it would feel light if you turned left but heavier if you turned right due to the messed up ackermann effect.
So is there any dangerous effect regarding stability/control during the driving when the alignment is setted on this basis (tweak the tie rods and reposition the steering wheel as necessary so that it's in center ..) , or is it just the matter of lock to lock turns/feel ?
Sorry i don't understand whachya mean by "bumpsteer"
Bumpsteer is when the toe changes as the suspension is compressed. To prevent it the trackrod and wishbone must move through the same arc keeping the toe consistent.
Dont measure the tracking by stringing it to the back wheels as the front is probably wider than the back, and would obviously give you lots of toe out. Dunlop tracking gages are the simplest to use and are surprisingly accurate. If you cant get hold of any of them then a trammel bar or even a tape measure between the inside of the front wheels is better than nothing, this is quite difficult to do on the ground because of the access to the rear edge of the rim. If you have centered the steering rack and got the tracking something like it then string back to the front of the rear wheels and measure the distance from the wheel to the string each side, screw the track rod ends in and out to even up these measurements with the tracking correct, it may take a while but its well worth it. Then take the steering wheel off and center it up.
I'm lucky to have a set of Dunlop gauges which I use to set tracking up, however careful use of a tape measure will do the trick.
... so true i've adjusted the tie rods equally today , ended up with 8 visible threads on both sides of the tie rods , with same amount of steering wheel turns from center to the lock left and right , then gone for a spin and i couldn't believe how much better the car drives and steering wheel feels now this was bugging me for a long time as i didn't know so much about this wheel alignment stuff before
Just need to check the tracking for fine adjustment although the car drives perfectly straight as it is now ..
Absolute legendary thread, thanks to all the contributors. I am going to have a go at this myself this week, as I have never been happy with the tracking whenever I've had it done.