Find the Centre point.
Particularly important if you have got yourself in a muddle or you just don't exactly know where the centre point of your steering really is then it is important to start from the beginning and get everything set up properly before you try to fine tune the final adjustment. Not having things properly centred can be very dangerous as a previous owner, or even you, may have unwound one side more than the other and this leaves you with less than a safe number of threads holding your steering together.
- Undo the locking nut on both steering tie rods and then undo the steering tie rod end ball joint from the steering arm.
- Carefully count each rotation of the steering end as you unwind them from the steering tie rod.
- Add the numbers from the left to the right and divide by two and this number tells you how many turns you need to wind each side back on to keep them even.
- Depending on the rack and tie rod combination you should have at least 11 or 16 turns each side and that should get you in the ball park.
- Now you can refit the steering tie rod end ball joint back into the steering arm on the hub.
- Now turn the steering wheel from full lock to full lock to determine the centre of the rack, don't worry about the steering wheel if it is not looking right. You should get approx 2 and 2/3 turns from lock to lock.
- With the steering wheel positioned at the centre of the rack and the tie rods ends evenly wound on you will now have the correct starting point to check the alignment.
Don't use your eyes to check the alignment, they will lie to you.
Begin the Adjustment
With the weight of the Moke sitting on the wheels, ie not jacked up, you need to consistently measure the distance across the front of the tyres and compare with the distance across the back.
- I use an adjustable bar between the inside edge of the tyres while another method is to mark the centre line on each tire tread and measure across there. When measuring front to back you should also use the same position, ie. 4pm and 4pm or 9am and 3am.
- Mark and measure your two points and then with a pair of multi-grips of vyse grips turn the steering rod arms an equal number of turns in or out depending on whether you you need to bring the wheels in or out at the front. I mark the tie rods with a piece of chalk so I can easily see and count the turns.
- Each time you make an adjustment by turning the steering arm on both sides, move the Moke one full rotation of the tyre and then back to the original position before you measure it again.
- It is important to turn each steering tie rod equally both sides and to keep a count of the number of turns from your starting point. Repeat the above steps until you reach the desired toe out setting.
The books says you need to have 1.6mm of toe out although I have been find anything where the front measurement is just slightly less than the rear is normally good.
If the number of turns ON for the steering tie rod end is below 10 per side and particularly if it gets down to around 3 or 4 turns then it is unsafe to continue and most likely someone has fitted the wrong tie rod ends for the steering arms on your Moke. If this is the case your will either scrub your tyres very quickly or snap of the end of your steering tie rod due to not enough threads holding the tie rod end on.
Don't forget to tighten up the locking nuts on the steering tie arms when you are finished or you will have to do it all over again in a few km's.