I just discovered you tonight along with the wealth of
information you have posted on the web about C3’s and GM steering
systems. I am also an engineer and find the historical GM engineering
info you have written about very fascinating. I have a ’76 Corvette; I
study my AIM for it quite frequently with interest! Thank you for sharing
so much of your knowledge and GM experience with us.
I am currently rebuilding the front suspension on my car so
it is very timely that I discovered some of the articles you have posted.
The one I am writing to you about is this one:
I am curious about this statement:
“By convention, when the tie rod
assemblies are assembled to the relay rod, the inner tie rod ends should have
the RH threads, outer tie rod ends should have LH threads.”
When I was buying parts, I came to a
different conclusion about this. Refer to Zip’s standard rebuild kit
With this kit, Zip intends that only the outer ends will be
replaced, yet they provide one LH end and RH end. Is this
incorrect? With this kit put together as intended, one adjuster tube
would have the LH threads outboard, with the other having them inboard, not
both outboard as you state they should be. I studied the AIM sheet you
refer to very closely before putting everything together and I could not
determine a correct orientation. I’m assuming your statement comes from
your GM experience rather than what can be gleaned from the AIM? Are
there any consequences for having the setup installed as I do with one LH
thread out and the other in?
And here's his answer:
for your question as to RH and LH threads on the tie rod ends.
assembly came into the assembly plant with the tie rod ends already screwed
into the adjuster tubes.
St.Louis and/or Bowling Green assembly plants were not involved with orienting
the RH or LH threads. As you know the C2/C3 tie rod ends are
identical except for the thread. So the AIM does not address RH or LH
threads because it was covered in the linkage assembly blueprint as supplied by
functional standpoint it really makes no difference what threads are inboard or
what threads are outboard. However, it is common knowledge that if you
are centering your steering wheel, you can rotate your driver side and
passenger side adjuster tubes THE SAME DIRECTION to change the steering wheel
centering without changing your toe setting. From Figure 1 in my paper
you can see that you must have both outboard tie rod ends with the same
direction thread in order for this to be true. This would also mean that
the adjuster tubes on both sides would have the groove on the outboard end
(from the Bair's ad).
car assembly plant the workers performing the toe set operation needed the
linkage parts to be consistent in order for them to perform their jobs.
They had to rely on the fact that turning the adjuster tubes a
certain direction would change the front wheel toe by + or by -
inches. It would drive them crazy if different jobs each required
them to turn the adjuster tubes only certain directions.
ask, if your front end parts were original, did the adjuster tubes
have the grooves grooves outboard that indicated LH threads?
I corresponded with him a few times more, answering his question that yes, my adjuster sleeves have the groove he is referring to and indeed one has the groove out and the other one is in. He wrote back to me that there are no serious consequences with it set up this way -- just the fact that the tubes will have to be turned in opposite directions to adjust toe-in. I will probably want to mention this fact to the alignment shop when I bring it in next spring. (hopefully). Sorry for the long post!
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: firstname.lastname@example.org, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.