SAFETY WARNING FOR TRACTION by Rob Little

I have had reports over the last few years of erratic steering involving tractions, the first was described to me like this “the car steers fine until I hit a bump, then it pulls to the left, I hit another bump and it is fine again”, what do you think is wrong with it?

The second case was a newly restored car that had not long passed a roadworthy but described similar symptoms. In both cases the problem was traced to a loose steering arm where it passes through the front wheel hub.

These arms which connect to the steering rods and are fitted to the hubs with a taper and woodruff key are secured with a cassellated nut and split pin and had over the years worked loose to the extent the woodruff key had worn very badly and the arms could move in their tapers. In both instances removal, cleaning and refitting with a new key cured the problem.

I am issuing this warning because none of these arms appeared loose on inspection and were not noticeably loose on removal, as these arms move it affects the wheel alignment causing the erratic steering symptoms, so if you are restoring or just servicing your traction these arms should be included on your checklist.

Neither of these cars had been fitted with a power steering modification but highlights the need to carry out checks on all steering components before doing so. I have highlighted the need for this in the fitting instructions but have not specifically mentioned these steering arms as it is only recently the second case came to my attention.

NOTE:   THIS WARNING APPLIES TO BOTH 4 & 6 CYLINDER TRACTION

In the parts diagram below the steering arm part numbers are 427189 RH & 427190 LH, the woodruff key and retaining nut are clearly visible. 
  
steering-arm-traction