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Tracking by Peter Gibb

Tracking by Peter Gibb


Setting up the tracking on a buggy is pretty straightforward, and need not end up with a visit to the local tyre fitters…. Not least for the saving of more than just a few quid.

I made my NOT patented “Pole/Bolt Tracking Measurer” after a dire, mind boggling display at my local tyre fitters that just rammed home the total lack of any mechanical knowledge that’s prevalent these days.

First you will need a stiff bit of wood, I use a 20 x 20 bit of planed got from Home Base years ago…

Cut it so its about 50mm short of the distance between the two front tyres
and drill a 6mm hole in one end, into this screw an M8 x 100 ish hex head bolt,
it should be a tight fit, allowing adjustment without needing locking up…

image_1Now align the front wheels by eye, its best to roll the buggy back and forth to allow things to just sit where they stop so to speak. They should be in a straight ahead position….

While you are at it, its a good idea to have the track rods off, and balance the joints each end so that they are evenly set before you start. Its quite surprising how one can be almost bottomed out and right in the track rod, when the other end is almost falling out.
When you have set the evenness of the track rod ball joints in the tubes, refit and start the adjustments.

imageOffer the bolt/pole up and between the front faces of the tyres, at a 3 oclock position half way up the front of the tyres….

Unwind the tight fitting bolt until the head just kisses the tyre wall, now roll the buggy forward so the tyres have rotated 180 degrees and the points measured are now on the other side.
Go to the backside of the tyres and measure the same points again, there should be a larger distance at the back of the tyres indicating ‘toe IN’, VW state that the difference in measurement should be between 1.8 to 5.4mm, this is huge, and very ‘visible’ enabling a simple rod and bolt to be used as a gauge…..

One nice thing about the VW track rods themselves is that the threads are left and right handed on each rod, so its just a case of ‘rotate’ the tube in either direction to push both ends out or in….. Adjust the tubes with both the track rod ball joints fully tightened home.

Once you have the measurement showing a difference that falls somewhere in between this tolerance of  1.8 to 5.4mm, lock up the tie rod joints at both ends if the tie rod, and away you go….