I was one of the lucky few to be given the opportunity to test and trial the new Gktech billet knuckles for the S Chassis. Greg and his team have done well to come up with a product that is affordable and interchangeable to suit individuals needs, the best part about it is if you change something such as brakes or decide to go a little more aggressive on the steering arm side of things then its easy as to swap parts over and be on your way again with minimum down time!
I chose to go with the Zero Ackerman arms but with a twist.. I installed them back to front. Meaning the left arm is on the right hand side of the knuckle and vice versa. The beauty of this arm is you have two possibilities in one and can run them depending on how you like your car to respond.
What most people don’t realise is that with the more extreme knuckle designs out there the more extreme wheel alignment settings that are required. It’s not unusual at all for me to run between 20-30mm toe out on a medium to high speed track with very aggressive knuckles.
Anyway back to running the zero Ackerman arms backwards. The angle of the tie rod mount is also important and can also affect Ackerman so by running the same arm in a different position it then changes the tie rod position different to what it would be normally, hard to explain but at the end of the day both arms will work!
I never got the chance to do a proper wheel alignment, only a tape measure and string line job so I cannot tell you how much castor I had and toe was approx 20mm out, possibly a tad less. On race day I went out for the first few laps and experienced wheel shake and slight bind at full lock, I then came into the pits and backed the castor off a bit and put some more toe out in. this solved the issue all together and was a lot better to drive.
I found that there was a huge amount of turn in when compared to the drift works knuckles and with a measured 66 degrees of lock there was plenty of usable angle. I haven’t really done enough testing at this stage to really push the limits of the knuckles but they would far exceed 99% of driver’s expectations in terms of a bolt in improvement! I will continue to work with Gktech to develop and tinker with my set up until I’m happy with it!
At the end of a gruelling event at South Circuit where i ran over some of the rough ripple strips, threw it in hard for big angle entries and snapped lock to lock throughout the day I checked over all the bolts for the knuckles and they were all still super tight still. I did install the bolts using medium strength loktite for further piece of mind and it seems to be working great.