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Steering
#1
Hi I am new to this site,  I did have a Austin Swallow back in the 50s it was just an old banger then. I now have a 1931 boat tail and the steering is not good yet as I recall and my brother also owned the one back in the 50s we had no steering probs! I have fitted a 5 degree wedge however the radius arm are a control but I did have space to put a washer behind axle in effect lengthening the arms, however still not enough to allow a camber angle of 5 degrees so steering still not good. any ideas comments would be welcome.  (Gibbo) John  PS has anyone lengthened the radius arms?
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#2
Have you checked that the radius arms are correctly fitted? I have found the situation where they were upside down, giving negative castor, and on another car I found an unmatched pair, with positive castor on one side and negative on the other. You might think this is impossible but a front axle can twist quite a lot if you put plenty of welly on the big nuts at the ends of the axle.
Robert Leigh
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#3
If you put a 5deg wedge in, the angle of the radius arms will change and you will need to do something like lowering the ball joint to suit. If you don’t, all that will happen is the spring or axle will twist to absorb the angle and you won’t alter the castor angle by very much. You will also need to pack out the ball slightly as the effective length between ball and axle will change.
Alan Fairless
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#4
Hi Thanks for answer as you say no or little effect, what ball joint?  John (gibbo)

Hi Looking at raddius arms they are channels so cant be wrong way up I can only see they could be transfered let to right and converse. Will look to see if radius arms ar same or handed. Thanks John (gibbo)
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#5
There is a casting in the forward end of the radius arm which is angled to give the correct alignment relative to the axle. They could be mounted the wrong way round because they are handed, or you could have two the same, one on the wrong side (if you see what I mean)
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#6
Hi Guess mine is not as you discribe. My radius arms are at the forward end just basicly the bolt that fite though axle there is no casting other than maybe the part that that the channel radius arms fit to, so basicly radius arm with just a bolt to go through axle so no adjustment, maybe yours are dif as I see a pair on Ebay which look dif to mine !!! Thanks. I realy need about half an inch longer radius arms or find a way ti bring them forward at the chasis end. John (gibbo)
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#7
Gibbo, I seriously doubt that you need anything so drastic. Take a good look at the front of the radius arm and you will see that the part where the channel is fitted is shaped, and each side is shaped differently.
If you have yours fitted to the wrong sides, or maybe don't haved a matched pair, like you have 2 lefts for example, you'll get the kind of problems you're seeing. Whatever, don't start lengthening radius arms, it's almost surely the wrong cure.
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#8
Hi Gibbo

Ideally the walls of the radius arms should be vertical. However for the pre 1936 ones with just the single large threaded protrusion or boss the action of braking twists the axle forward and the radius rods if not very tight work their way off vertical to accommodate. Restoring the walls to vertical or a little beyond is correction / adjustment of castor. If the car is standard height and the chassis front not been bent the stock castor should be achievable. 

Castor will not turn a Seven into anything resembling a modern .
Memories fade. My father had the use of my Seven about 1969, ten years after it had been his only  car for preceeding 17 or so. Although with hydarulic s.as it was much superior to original he could not believe how bad it was!

Any stiffness in kpin bushes, track rod ends, steering box will prevent self centring after minor deflections and the car will wander endlessy.
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#9
John, you wrote- 

"Hi Guess mine is not as you describe. My radius arms are at the forward end just basically the bolt that fite though axle there is no casting other than maybe the part that that the channel radius arms fit to, so basically radius arm with just a bolt to go through axle so no adjustment," 

Yes it is- as noted before- 

"There is a casting in the forward end of the radius arm which is angled to give the correct alignment relative to the axle. They could be mounted the wrong way round because they are handed, or you could have two the same, one on the wrong side"

Continuing- 

"maybe yours are different as I see a pair on Ebay which look different to mine !!! Thanks. I really need about half an inch longer radius arms or find a way to bring them forward at the chassis end."

The ball joint is at the apex of the radius arms on the chassis cross member, not sure why the arms seem to be shorter ? 
 
All Austin Sevens are basically similar. As I often suggest- it would help if you had a copy of The Austin Seven Manual by Woodrow ! 

Sorry to keep harping on this but to work on what is a Vintage car without a manual is very challenging and quite difficult to discuss on the Forum without having good idea of the various assemblies and their names.

Tony.
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#10
The other advice, of course, is to join your local Austin 7 Club where you will get sage advice. You can see where Clubs meet on this map here [Only registered and activated users can see the links Click here to register]

There would appear to be one or two to choose from not too far from you.. The Brookland Centre of the 750MC would appear to be the closest..

hth...
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