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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Since everyone doesn't read the 'vert section regularly I thought I'd post this here as well:

My big project for the day is replacing the crappy rear end links:
Image

Replacing these with tubular aluminum and heim joints is pricey, as much as $100 per side, that was out of my budget. Last year I was over at my local Tractor Supply, and I noticed the tractor top links, they go between the tractor and an accessory being run behind it. I found some in approximately the right size online for $10 each. I bought 2 reverse thread nuts since the end link only came with 1 lock nut.
Image

The inside of the fitting on these is approximately 5/8" I had some urethane end link bushings I had picked up very cheap, so I machined them to fit:
First I drilled the center to 1/2" which ends up snug on the 12mm bolts used in the suspension. Then I cut the outside down:
Image
put it back on the drill bit and used a rasp to smooth the radius:
Image
Pushed the bushings into the heim joints, and ran the 1/2" drill back through the hole to clean up the diameter:
Image
And installed the completed unit back in the car:
Image
Image
These weigh ~3lbs each, more than the original, but well worth the added rigidity.

A link was requested!
Here's where I got 'em you'll have to pick up some 3/4" left and right hand nuts for them as these just come with that little wedge thing $10.95 each:
http://www.agrisupply.com/product.asp?pn=33344&sid=&eid=
Image

You could also probably find some bushings already the right size (5/8" OD 12mm ID)for them on the internet, I was just in a hurry to get them on with what I had on hand :D

This is where I got my 3/4" jam nuts, stainless steel of course, can't have the nut rusting on that nice zinc plated surface: http://mmsacc-stainless.com/ very nice people, a locally owned shop in Georgia.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:31 am 
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Nice, as I spent the $100 for the polished aluminum adjustable ones. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Mcmancuso, nice job man. Congrats.

Just out of interest. Do you guys have a link to the $100 ally ones?

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Love this idea, ordering now. Question is are the jam nuts 5/8-11 or 5/8-18? Thanks Two left Two Right correct?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:42 pm 
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SUZUKI ROCKS wrote:
Mcmancuso, nice job man. Congrats.

Just out of interest. Do you guys have a link to the $100 ally ones?

Thanks.


the racer who had those aluminum tie bars made for a group buy sold them in two offerings as they were so popular. those who didn't jump on the deal then, now have to buy them second hand. actually, as i recall they were more than $100 per pair plus shipping from canada.

i've always regretted not picking up the massive spring sets joe had made. they were more for track use, but gee whiz! were they ever huge, solid coils!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:13 pm 
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minic6 wrote:
Love this idea, ordering now. Question is are the jam nuts 5/8-11 or 5/8-18? Thanks Two left Two Right correct?


NO! not 5/8" thread, the hole in the heim joint is 5/8", the threaded part is 3/4", don't remember which specifically (I think I just told them coarse thread 3/4" and got the right thing) 2 left and 2 right :D

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Last edited by Mcmancuso on Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Here is a small amount of info with a part number

Part# (33344) TOP LINKS (MINI) CAT 0 - 9 3/4" CENTER TUBE

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Thanks for the clarification. Bars are on the way and the bushings are already here!!! That was fast, if they work well sorta guessed at the dim. from the post, will post supplier and part #. Gotta love this idea, never liked the wimpy stock ones.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:00 pm 
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minic6 wrote:
Thanks for the clarification. Bars are on the way and the bushings are already here!!! That was fast, if they work well sorta guessed at the dim. from the post, will post supplier and part #. Gotta love this idea, never liked the wimpy stock ones.


Where did you get your bushings?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Got them from this site: http://polybushings.com
Would use him again, super fast shipment. They only come in black, at least the ones I received. Used part#2050, will let you know how they work. Arms in transit now.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:38 pm 
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http://www.midwestcontrol.com


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Hey MCMANCUSO, dumb question, which adjusters did you use to re-align the car, the twisties on the rod or the pivot bolts on the frame? I see you left the pivoting bolts on.

Actually I just ordered them as well, not really for the strength issue but always found the body bolt adjusters to be difficult and hard to align on our rack.

Thanks for the information.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:34 am 
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I have some nice grade 8 zinc coated bolts and washers to replace the old adjusters, I just hadn't put them on at the time I did the arms. I use the arms to do the adjusting and leave the bolts tight.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Received the links today, quite pleased with them. What do you think of drilling the link to add xerks, for a little lube? Also the bushing purchased will have to have the same method done as Mcmancuso did. So you might want to do some more reaserch. Purchased 6 in case of problems.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:04 pm 
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I like the idea but the weight factor puts me off plus I'm a cheap git. So I've opted for Subaru (would I choose anything else?) rear lateral links off a Legacy. They are a bit short but I plan to cut and extend the links. I'll post some photos when I've made them

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Turned down the first bushing. Used a piece of pipe to hold it at 1/2" and a bolt and nut to hold it together, made up a handle to use as a guide. Turned them down using a belt sander worked fast.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Rallyswift wrote:
I like the idea but the weight factor puts me off plus I'm a cheap git. So I've opted for Subaru (would I choose anything else?) rear lateral links off a Legacy. They are a bit short but I plan to cut and extend the links. I'll post some photos when I've made them


Did you ever finish making these rods? I picked a couple of subaru rods to do this conversion but want to see how you modified it.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Great idea!

Can someone order these and send them to a Canadian, that site doesn't ship to Canada :( Seems like a money maker idea for someone handy.

I would easily pay $100 for a set of these.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Sorry chaps I forgot to post the final result. The Legacy lateral arms were a little short so I cut them in half and welded some piping from Home Depot to make up the length. One bolt hole was correct but the other to big so I found a spacer to fit. The modification works fine and cost about $25.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Mcmancuso,

What's the long term durability factor? I saw this in your build thread and it's absolutely genius. Fabricating the bushings was a pain, but I finally have them on the car and everything aligned.

I have had several skeptical comments, basically opining that the spherical bushings will get grit in them and wear down fast enough that you get play again very quickly. I am autocrossing on them tomorrow, so hopefully they help in the short term.

Is there any trick to keeping them lubed and wearing as little as possible?

The "found object" factor has some class in and of itself, but I've also been pointed towards places that sell high quality Heim joints for about the same cost--I might look and see if they have any to fit the existing tractor turnbuckles.

Great Idea :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:52 pm 
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I would run rubber boots to keep the gunk out. IF I had a set of course! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:51 am 
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Ehos,

McMancuso was admittedly using different parts that he got online--and cheaper at that, and I hope for his sake he had better results, but I am pretty sure the tractor links are a bad idea. I would love to hear from him to see if they are still on his car because...

I really wanted this to work and after much fooling with the inner bushings I had to make to get them to fit snugly on the bolts I finally got them properly installed on Saturday. Yesterday I drove about an hour and by the time I arrived at my destination (autocross) I found they had already developed enough play to feel it when pulling back and forth on the tire--I could see the spherical bushing shift a tiny amount. I also developed a scary clunking/rattling at low speed. While I did a lot of other work on my suspension, including cut springs that I thought might be loose, I am now 99% sure the noise is the wheels wobbling against the tractor links over bumps.

I got my links from the local Tractor Supply Co. rather than getting them online from the site McMancuso suggested, so maybe his are really better but I am skeptical. Mine say "forged" on the Heim joints and I think they are otherwise strong enough, but I think the spherical bushings are simply not made to tolerances suitable for automotive use. It's hard to know this when they first go on because the outer lip of the bushing is very thin and doesn't allow any play when brand new, but wears very quickly in a way that is probably not a problem for there normal intended use.

Here's how they look on the car:

Image

Maybe the small amount of play is acceptable for some as being superior to the stretch and bending of the stock pieces--they are definitely otherwise more rigid, but this just seems to me like a great idea that doesn't work out so well in practice. I also felt the handling of my car was a bit off as if the links were binding slightly through part of their travel, but I did so much work on the suspension it's hard to be sure and the noise was so distracting it was also hard to evaluate what was really going on. Like I said, I would love to hear from McMancuso to see if these are still on his car.

We did pretty well at autocross in spite of all this, but I am still looking at alternatives.

Apparently it is also possible to get very high quality Heim joints in a range of custom sized online for reasonable prices--not sure if I can find a suitable turnbuckle piece to work with them, but I am going to investigate.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:52 pm 
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http://www.speedwaymotors.com/

They are all in here..
Aluminium or steel or chrome moly.
I could give you all the part numbers but that would take half the fun out of hunting them down.
Search "Swedged" Search "Heim" and fiull your boots.....
Dattman tells us to replace the bolt rather than try and drill the hole.
and the swedged rod you need is 13.5 inches long if I recall.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:36 am 
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Do you think two of these

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Garage-Sale-Steel-Rod-Ends-Heim-Joints-with-Poly-Inserts,21289.html

(Shame they don't have LH, because this is what we need,not Heims)

Two of these--wish I knew if these counted as spherical bushings per SCCA since I can't get LH versions of the above.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Garage-Sale-5-8-Aluminum-LH-Rod-End,49377.html

Two of these:

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Swedged-6061-Aluminum-Radius-Rod-for-5-8-Inch-Heim,53184.html

That's the one I'm worried about--I am afraid 16" will be too long if you count the length of the rod ends, but 13.5" will be too short for the amount of adjustment on the rod ends.

And a couple of Jam Nuts? What does anybody think?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:58 pm 
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Oh, I see you already let me know that 13.5" was the way to go.

Rather than replace bolts (how would one do that on the knuckle, exactly?) or drill, I was going to use the 5/8" poly spacers I already made for the tractor links.


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