Bump Steer: What is it? How to fix it. (FM Live with Keith Tanner 12-7-23)

Bump Steer: What is it? How to fix it. (FM Live with Keith Tanner 12-7-23)

Chances are you’ve experienced bump steer at some point in your life, even if you didn’t know it. This week on FM Live, our suspension guru, Keith Tanner, tackles what you need to know about bump steer for your Miata. What is it? How do you change it? Why should you care?
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Understanding Bump Steer: A Technical Deep Dive

Car enthusiasts often dive into technicalities that can seem daunting to the uninitiated. Keith Tanner, a familiar face in the Miata world, takes viewers through a comprehensive exploration of bump steer in a recent video from Flying Miata, aiming to demystify this often misunderstood facet of car suspension.

Tanner kicks off the discussion by defining bump steer, distinguishing it from the misleading notion of steering kickback. He delves into the crux of the matter: the change in toe during suspension travel, emphasizing its impact on both front and rear wheels.

The technical jargon starts pouring in as Tanner intricately breaks down the geometry involved in controlling bump steer. From the knuckle and upper control arm to the tie rod and subframe, each component's role in dictating bump steer behavior is elucidated.

What becomes clear is the complexity of adjustments. Tanner narrows down the adjustable components, primarily focusing on the tie rod—a key player in controlling bump steer. He showcases idealized models and diagrams, stressing the importance of aligning the tie rod with the lower control arm for optimal performance.

However, Tanner highlights limitations in adjustments. Certain fixed parts like the knuckle and subframe restrict extensive modifications, urging a concentrated focus on the elements within adjustability.

An interesting tangent leads to the R-package lower tie rod introduced by Mazda, offering a subtle yet impactful adjustment to address bump steer issues in slightly lower cars. These work great with FM springs, making them an easily replaceable part for those concerned about bump steer.

The discussion takes a practical turn as Tanner explores the creation of a DIY bump steer gauge. He delves into the meticulous process involving dial indicators and wooden boards, which help measure toe changes through suspension travel.

With Tanner's intricate breakdown of bump steer, viewers gain insight into the complexity underlying seemingly subtle handling characteristics. His technical expertise and practical advice provide a deeper appreciation for the nuances in vehicle dynamics, empowering enthusiasts to optimize their car's performance.

 (AI generated video summary)

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