FRONT WHEEL ALIGNMENT The toe setting of the front wheels is the amount by which the wheels point in or out at the front, in relation to the vehicle centre-line, and is normally given as a dimensional difference measured at the wheel rims; it may also be given as an angular measurement. When the wheels point inwards they are said to have toe-in or negative toe, and toe-out or positive toe when they point outwards.
The front wheels in this case should have a toe setting of 1/16 in (1.6 mm) toe-out with the car in an unladen condition, and the track rods should be of equal length.
Specialist equipment, preferably that of the optical measuring type, is necessary to accurately check the wheel alignment. It is therefore recommended that this operation be entrusted to an Authorised Dealer or other specialist such as a Tyre Centre who will have the necessary equipment.
Adjustment of the toe setting is achieved by altering the effective length of the track rods. This involves slackening the track rod end locknut and the steering rack gaiter clip at each track rod, and turning one or both track rods until the correct setting is obtained. However, it is important that the steering rack be set and maintained in the central, straight-ahead position and both front wheels have the same dimensional setting in relation to the vehicle centreline. Both track rods should also be exactly the same length after adjustment. When retightening the gaiter clips, ensure that the gaiters are not under stress from twist.
Amodified steering rack, giving a smaller turning circle, is used on later models (Mk II models, onwards October 1967 approximately) and with this unit the rack can be set in the straight-ahead position by inserting a locator pin into a hole in the unit housing . Access to the hole is gained from inside the car, on the opposite side to the steering column. Remove the grommet adjacent to the 'U' bolt nuts in the floor panel and unscrew the plastic plug. On late models, a suitable size of Allen key will be required to unscrew the plug. Insert a Y4 in (6 mm) diameter dowel or drill shank into the hole in the rack housing and traverse the rack slightly until the pin fully engages with the rack to lock it in the central position. Do not forget to remove the pin and refit the plug afterwards.
It should be noted that this hole must not be used for topping up the rack with lubricant.
With this later type of rack it is vitally important that correct wheel alignment is maintained, as an incorrect setting could result in excess articulation of the drive shaft constant velocity joints, and subsequent fouling of the suspension tie-rods by the front wheels when on full lock. The clearance between the front wheels and the tie-rods should be checked with the vehicle resting on its wheels. Turn the steering onto each lock in turn. The clearance should be not less than 3/4 in (20 mm), or 1/4in (6.4 mm) with the suspension at full rebound. Correct adjustment of each track rod will be indicated by the clearance figure being approximately the same on each side of the vehicle.