Monday, December 23, 2013

Tie-Rod End Bumpsteer Elimination Kit

One of the negative side effects from over lowering (>30mm) your Slowtra is bumpsteer. When you over lower your car the steering tie-rods start to point more and more upwards. As the tie-rods are shorter they will run in a tigher arc out of plane with the lower control arms. This causes toe-out when the wheels deflect after hitting a bump on the road causing the car to twitch and move by itself without any steering wheel input. This phenomenon is known as bumpsteer. You can read more on this in MotoIQ. To eliminate/reduce bumpsteer the tie rod has to travel on the same arc as the suspension lower arms as the car goes through travel. This can be done by adjusting the height on the tie-rod where it bolts to the wheel hub/upright as this also adjusts the tie-rod angle. The stock tie-rod ends can only be installed one way only so one would need to get something called a Tie-Rod End Bumpsteer Elimination Kit.

Diagram below illustrates the steering tie-rod and tie-rod end in red box. If you do not know where your steering tie-rod is its behind and slightly above your driveshaft. If you do not know what a driveshaft is or where your driveshaft is then I can't help you. Sorry..

Being a Slowtra owner, one can't just order this from a speed shop as there are none made for our car. Till recently the only option was to custom fabricate a kit. However I came across a vendor in US B15U forum selling such a kit and got a set when I was in the US earlier in the year and promptly purchased a set. The vendor is called TDM Imports/Kuo's Garage and they do have a number of speed parts for the N16/B15. Cost of the kit was USD 165 shipped to a location in the US. If you have it shipped to Bolehland expect to pay around a hundred ringgit or more on top of what I paid. If my info sources are correct the bumpsteer elimination kit is made by or sourced from the same manufacturer as Hardrace in Taiwan. Picture below of the materials used for the spherical bearing. A spherical bearing will eliminate any slop from the steering tie-rods resulting in a more direct steering feel.

Primary material is SCM435 chromoly steel and total weight about 1.1kg per side. Kit includes a pair of:
  • Tapered shafts 
  • End links including spherical bearings
  • Locknuts (castellated/castle/slotted type)
  • Washers
  • Spacers
  • Cotter pins (for the locknuts)
  • Decal/stickers
  • Crappy instructions (more like disclaimer/warning only)

Picture below of the kit including one assembled tie-rod end. Only available in red colour but I've also seen blue. See what I mean by crappy instructions?

The tie-rod end disassembled. Construction and quality appears to be good. 

Assembled. Apparently the N16/B15/G10's tie-rod end is same as S13-14 but I can't vouch for this as I've never compared both. Anyone that has first hand real life fact and not reading from the internet pls let me know if this is true. 

Yellow vs Red? Comparing with an equivalent Whiteline unit for the Mitsu Evo7/8/9. The Whiteline kit also comes with another component for front roll centre correction which also needs to be fixed when you over lower your Slowtra. And after fixing the front and rear roll centres, the other problem to address are the rear axles/beam going off centre and lastly the lack of suspension travel. Simply slamming your car looks cool but to get it to actually handle better than stock takes a lot of time and money. 

You can read up more including installed pictures here as I have yet to install my kit. Apart from being the king of procrastination I have not over lowered Sharkie to the point of having bumpsteer. I would also like to settle my coilover damper problem first. 

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