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New Front Spings in my 89 Excel

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In a previous post I mentioned that my front springs had sagged by 25 mm (1 inch) and I took the car through to Port Elizabeth where new springs were made to the original specification. I am pleased to say that the wheels are no longer fouling on the bodywork and the car now looks level.

One of the perks of living in South Africa is that things like this are quite cheap, £ 100 for the removal of the old springs, the manufacture of new ones and the refitting.

One disadvantage is the quality of the labour as the idiot who refitted the assembly lost the lower brake pad clip and I now have to purchase a complete kit of new ones for the Toyota Supra.

From the spring company, the car was collected by another garage, Auto Perfection, who removed the water pump and sent it down to Cape Town for new seals and bearings. Total cost for all that £ 200.

Right, last problem is the Ackerman steering geometry as close to a full lock the tyre scrubbing is awful and reversing with close to a full lock feels like the handbrake is on as the car comes to a stop.

I think I must bone up on how this works before I start having a look on the car, but any advice would be appreciated.


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The steering experience you describe is pretty much how it is at optimal settings. Both the Excel and Esprit are near 50/50 weight distribution so the engine being over the wheels shouldn't make a difference yet the Excel seems to be more noticeable in the way the car resists moving when on full/ near full lock.

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Thanks for all the information.

I have been doing a bit of research and it would appear that the Ackerman effect on most cars in non adjustable just bult in to the steering geometry.

I do have a bit of a rumble on the one side when in full lock going forward and I think that the wheel may be turning just a little to much.

Just in passing, the fellow who designed the technology was not Ackerman. Ackerman was the lawyer who patented the idea of his client.

I had a lovely drive yesterday with the car up to my daughter's farm returning quite late last night and I realised the more I drive this car, the more I love it. It is such an underrated classic.

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One other point and hoping someone can help.

When the spring company refitted the new coils they lost one of the brake pad retaining clips causing one hell of a rattle when driving.

Unfortunately nether the Celica or Supra were brought into South Africa and hence no spare parts.

The one missing is on the driver's side outer pad top clip. I wonder if anyone has a spare one knocking around or can point me in the right direction to get one.


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