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Thread: Phill's Nova Project finally begins

  1. #921
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Near Eastbourne
    I would personally leave them as is, I've seen enough cars with a greater camber, hell my old VW bug was the same and the rear tyres on that lasted for ages!

  2. #922
    I struggled getting my wheels aligned properly until I replaced stock VW trailing arms and spring plates with Porsche 944 as these have camber adjustment. Additional benefit was disc brakes and ability to convert to coilovers if desired. Early models have only 1" track width difference as compared to VW. This allowed me to use thinner wheel spacers as I like for outside wheel to be inline with fenders. I personally not a fan of negative camber look and wide tires farther exaggerate this effect.

    But as was pointed out before I do see many lowered vehicle run similar negative camber without many issues. In fact it is desirable for track cars as it improves handling during hard cornering.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  3. #923
    if you have standard engine mountings a 1cm block on top of the chassis stop will put the axle level. That's what I have, it doesn't alter the spring rate just the static position. Bump stops also cut down so the movement is between two new points. Retaining plate optional, stops arm slipping off stop in corners, so I'm told.
    rear camera.jpgrear suspension retainer sml.jpg

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

  4. #924
    Quote Originally Posted by Phill View Post
    What do you think guys - higher or stay as it is?

    Attachment 4079

    Height looks about right to me Phil - whilst more fiddling the camber can be influenced by how you adjust ride height - if you are only taking the outer spring plate off and rotating by a spline or two there the camber can be more pronounced, if you pull the torsion tube out and rotate inner splines, or domination of inner/outer more subtle adjustments can be achieved - there is lots of guidance along these lines on VW forums, and I think the James Hale chassis book covers it too.

    Have you ever thought of using a camber compensator bar?

    Something like this?

    I ran one on the first Nova and all my buggies. The central frame bolts to the gearbox and the sprung ends put upwards resistance against the trailing driveshafts. Again these are covered in James’ book as I recall, and as well as helping with body roll I always found they lower fractionally and help reduce that camber look.

    There are two types available.A lot of people prefer the cool air type that clamps around the axles. I think the VW Heritage one is still as I used - just red urethane blocks under the axle tube and upwards pressure. I was always very happy with them, and think it is still on the car.

    Just a couple of ideas :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    All the best,


    Club Nova Member, SDBC Member, GRRC Member, Southern Classics

    Read more about latest Nova developments in Complete Kit Car

  5. #925
    There is a big difference between static ride height and loaded ride height (off stops). the moment ones butt hits the seat it comes off the stops and you are onto loaded, where, if the settings have been made too soft to get a lower static height adjusting the spring plate on the splines will adjust the LOADED ride height but not necessarily the static.

    One can have the spring plates loaded hard and on the stops so it hardly moves when loaded or soft so the plate lifts off the stops by 2cm straight away when loaded.

    I have my plates splines set about 5cm (2") below the stops and then lifted onto the stops (Carefully with a bottle jack) before bolting on the retainers. (optional) so when loaded with me (97K) and 20 L of fuel I get about 5mm off stop (loaded)

    Of course, swing and IRS are different setups-

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

  6. #926
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Livingston (Scotland)
    You may recall I fitted new wheels recently but was mortified to discover the amount of wear on the inner section of the front tyres indicating that my tracking was well out. Today I decided to have a go at checking the alignment and setting it up correctly myself.

    With the car settled on the ground I carefully measured the distance between the centre of the front tyres at the leading and tailing edge. My measurements at the front were 1428mm and at the rear 1400mm giving me a toe out of 28mm (which was expected due to the wear pattern I was seeing on the tyres). The car should have a toe in of 4mm so I was 32mm out.

    I calculated that one full turn of a tie rod would alter the distance by 1.56mm by measuring thread of a track rod end. However, given that there are inner and outer track rods the true change would be 3.12mm. And given that this change would alter both wheels the true difference would be 6.14mm

    So 32 / 6.14 = 5.2 Turns

    I turned one of the tie rods exactly 5.2 turns and re-measured to see how much this had altered my toe in /out. The second set of measurments were 1372mm at the front and 1432mm at the back - a whopping 60mm of toe in and roughly double the amount of adjustment I was aiming for!!

    Then I realised my mistake. The point at which the track rods connect to the hubs is much nearer the centre of the wheels which meant I was ignoring the lever action - in other words the outer edges of the tyres move much further than the adjustment of the tie rod length. So my calculations had been meaningless.

    So I re-adjusted that tie rod 2.5 turns back and this gave me a reading of 1406mm front and 1410mm rear. Bingo. Exactly the 4mm of toe in I was aiming for.

    However, by trial and erro it's fair to say that one complete turn of a rod alters the toe in/out measurement by about 13mm which should serve as a useful starting point for anyone else trying to adjust their alignment (assuming of course you have a wheel/tyre combination that produces the same diameter as mine).

    Took the car for a test drive then re-checked my measurements which were the same at 1406mm front and 1410mm rear (i.e 4mm toe in) so I am happy the toe in is now correct. I realise of course that the camber angle is also adjustable via the ball joints, but given that I never replaced these during my build I am happy to keep them in their original setting. I'm hoping this will extend the life of my front tyres but will monitor the wear pattern carefully over the coming months
    "The most beautiful kit car in the world - Motor"

  7. #927
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    St Andrews, Scotland
    Nice work Phill

    I went through the same process with the van a few months ago, including double the adjustment I was looking for. I couldn’t work out what I’d done wrong, so just ended up getting to the right setting by trial and error

    Thanks for the explanation and the tip. I’ll definitely need to adjust the tracking front and back on the Nova, and also the camber of the front wheels

  8. #928
    Always nice to take on jobs yourself rather than having to take them to a garage to do, and we learn something along the way

  9. #929
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Hampshire, UK
    Good work Phill, hopefully you will notice the improvement in stability on the road (excessive toe-out makes the steering very lively). I would like to hope that with your tracking sorted the excessive tyre wear will stop, but that hasn't been my experience, although if your tyres are non-directional, swapping the front wheels can slow the wear down, as the feathering of the tread is going with the direction of rotation rather than against it.

    The VW camber adjusters have a very minimal adjustment range, so will not make a lot of difference to the handling - the extra grip of the fatter tyres will tend to dominate. Also, because the eccentric top ball joints adjust both camber and castor at the same time, it is not possible to get maximum camber without sacrificing castor and vice versa.

    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  10. #930
    One can fit castor shims between torsion bar tubes and frame head, I have two on each side. They certainly made a good difference.

    Daft as it seems I use an adjustable broom handle, one of the twist and lock type, to check tracking, measure from center of tyre front and rear and see what the difference is, should be about 2cm less at the front.
    Been using this for years on the 2x4 and 4x4 buggys.

    (If on your own try gluing with Bostic or similar, a match box to the center rear of one tyre as a stop while you adjust handle length for rear measurement, easier to hold across front while checking lesser measurement.
    Last edited by Peter; 30-06-2020 at 09:51 AM.

    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

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