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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:36 pm 
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just checking to see if anyone else is interested in having a custom set of front tubular control arms.

they will have larger greaseable, bolt-on ball joints, and easily acquired generic sized poly bushes on the front lower mount. the control arm will be slotted to move the balljoint for camber. i am still going over the drawings with the machine shop so nothing is set in stone yet. i will be building at least 2 sets of these for my cars and would gladly make someone a set to be sold as "artwork" or a large paper-weight due to liability issues. they would be sold solely as an artistic rendering of a real control arm and would never be intended to actually bolt them to your car...even though i will.....and they will be much stronger than the stock junk.

i know most anyone who races scca would probably not like these because of screwing up their race class. hopefully not too many people care about that.

i need them for myself because, evidently, my car is bent enough that putting spacers on the front bushing is not enough to get my caster close enough left to right that my car doesnt pull right at hiway speeds. its annoying. im not going to pay a shop a ton of money to put my poor little geo on a rack and stretch her. there is little integrity there to begin with, so i dont think its wise to pull it after 325,000 miles.

i am using a balljoint that looks like the mazda balljoint that some members used as a balljoint mod years ago.... it unbolts, and is available by moog, but mine is the correct pin diameter so no steering knuckle drilling red. i dont want to be buying new lower control arms every year when the crap china ball joints give up. my current ones lasted about a year before the boots fell apart. luckily, i got some chevy 4x4 tie rod end boots from energy suspension that fit perfectly. also, the stock replacement control arms i have now look significantly weaker than the stock ones i threw out. the metal is not as heavy gauge, and the welds are over-penetrated. they suck.

probably made out of a combination of square 1" DOM tubing and round 1" DOM tubing.

i have no idea on price yet as i have not even mentioned that to the shop.

they would ship direct from the artists studio in nebraska is about all i know so far.

i would appreciate any suggestions or feedback on design as this is my first time doing this.

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Last edited by dethbrd on Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:23 pm 
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I may be interested for my vert build. I will be watching your progress.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:47 pm 
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I would, depending on price of course.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:03 pm 
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right now, i really have no clue other than buying tubular arms for 2 other cars and paying 400 and 500 a pair for those cars. obviously thats alot of money to shell out for these cars if it ends up being close to that. hopefully not. the ball joint is around 30 bucks a side, then theres the rod end, the spacer, the poly bushing, bending the tubes, welding, machining....etc. man i hope its not even 300 bucks....lol

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:12 am 
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300 would be reasonable :blackeye:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:51 pm 
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since i already have my caster dialed in with whiteline bushings and my camber is controlled by adjustable plate upper strut mounts, i'd be most interested in fabricated tube control arms with replaceable ball joints that replicate the factory geometry.

another point would be the continued use of my turbine tech lower 4 point brace.

raw and ready for powder coating, i'd be very interested

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:48 pm 
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rich

how much caster are you running? i have 4.6 on the left and 3.9 on the right. ive done what i can to even it out except for trying a thinner washer behind the left forward bushing mount. i dont see that getting me -.7 and fixing my issue.

i have the whiteline offset bushings installed, and added washers to the right side to shim the lower arm forward. problem is those damn threads are not long enough to add the proper stack height and keep my under car brace.

i was planning to move the balljoint forward and outward ever so slightly

i wanted to gain caster so you could have even more than what the bushings provide

i also wanted to do away with the need for adjustable strut top mounts. it would be easier and cheaper to make top mounts that are centered and non adjustable, which is my next project, and it would also allow a person to use a 2.25" race spring and effectively tuck it up inside the hat, along with moving the strut shaft top up ever so slightly towards the hood. im looking to gain some suspension travel back this way, but i havent done any of the math on that to see if its even worth the effort. all i have done so far is figure that a 10" free length 2.25" diameter race spring in the correct rate would work pretty well on the lower stock strut mount with a little cutting and bending/hammering and an adjustable lower mount would obviously be even better.

looks like i need to figure out how to make the lower balljoint mount adjustable as well without using a rod end there. that way you could keep your stock camber dimension relatively intact and one could dial in a degree or more of camber if they so desired. then they could use the cam-centric strut to knuckle mount bolts to perfectly dial it in left to right.

i dont think it will be too difficult to make the ball joint adjustable...but i will need to talk to my guy about the strength of the design i see in my head.

one more thing, do you think DOM steel tube is good enough, or should i just go with ChrMo tubing?

can you post a closeup photo of how the turbine tech brace mounts in the area of the lower control arm?

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Last edited by dethbrd on Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:06 pm 
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can anyone that has both body styles of cars confirm or deny that the only difference in the 89-94 and the 95-01 front control arm is the ball joint diameter? the part numbers differ from old to new and by looking at photos, it looks to me like the balljoint is different. any input greatly appreciated.....

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:34 pm 
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the later model cars have considerably longer control arms. unbeknownst to me, a seller shipped the later model control arms and i bolted them to my gt. wrong! the wheels were toed out about 20 degrees on each side! :-P

there was no difference in the diameters of the ball joint stems.

i'm looking for a pic of the mounted brace. :wink:

the best one i could find that shows the mounting points clearly.
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:40 pm 
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Interested depending on price.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:36 pm 
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I am also interested depending on price.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:31 am 
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chrome moly tubing would ensure that the fabricated control arm wouldn't bend. that would be my material choice.

i'm running an insane spring rate that punishes the weldments and ball joints and that has been my concern. on the bright side, though, my suspension excursion is rather small.

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SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:04 am 
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Count me in!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:53 pm 
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Ok so ChrMo tube, using the stock style bushings so they are available and any existing manufacturers braces will still fit.

I am looking for a bolt on balljoint that has the same pin diameter as stock. No luck yet. This is the cheapest route.

I am also looking at using qa1 rebuildable screw in ball joints and just lathe turning the cheapest available qa1 ball into the right size to fit our knuckles. So in effect, i could buy a new ball stud from qa1, and get any machine shop to turn it to match the shape of the stock joint, and it would be a bolt in if it ever needed repair. I guess I would probably just keep a stock of already modified ball studs on hand incas someone needed one.

What do you think about engineering in say.... a half degree of negative camber? This would give anyone who doesn't run adjustable camber top plates to get some extra neg camber with just those cam centric strut mount bolts to fine tune it. And maybe allow up to 2.5 degrees neg camber without camber plates. Anyone who has their car dialed in, like Richard, could simply back the camber plates off a half degree.

Making these strong, light, cheap, rebuildable, and adjustable, all while still fitting inside a 12" wheel is impossible. I need to get a consensus of what features are most important. I know strength, affordability, and rebuild capability are very important. Fitting all of the wheels is kinda important too, but I don't know how many people are still running 12s. I gave them up about 3 years back when Walmart quit carrying 12" tires. Seems you can't get a decent set anymore.

Please give me any and all feedback you have. Thoughts, ideas, etc.

Right now, I'm thinking of selling 2 different arms, one stock geometry, and one with added neg camber and the option to add caster with a washer stack.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:30 pm 
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For a balljoint
I think either a Mazda 323 or a Pontiac 6000 work if I recall

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Last edited by crnolic on Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:14 pm 
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i think that amer is right about those ball joints. i recall reading an old member's post about adapting control arms to accept replaceable ball joints.

i also remember the pics. the modified oem control arms were ugly and didn't look all that durable.

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SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:17 pm 
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mazda 332 balljoint and the control arm mod richard is speaking of:

http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=54850

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:40 am 
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Our stock balljoint pin diameter is 15mm.

So far, no luck finding one that bolts on.

Found 14mm and 16mm.

Is it going to be acceptable to have to drill out the knuckle to fit this new part?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:00 pm 
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I have found bolt in ball joints with the 15mm studs.
https://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,carcode,903292,parttype,10070,d,1974_VOLKSWAGEN_GOLF_1.5L_1471cc_L4_Carb._Ball_Joint.html

See if these will work with what you have in mind.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:12 am 
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind... Although I was looking for a 2 bolt inline style. Still trying to make it camber adjustable. I found one with the correct pin diam. Now I just have to finish moving and get my machinist to venture outside his house...he claims it's too cold to work on geo metros..... :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:34 pm 
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Just an update

We are on our third test arm

The arms are caster adjustable by way of thinner bushings at the pivot mount to the car...just like aftermarket bushings come with washers. It's just a little bit so you can better dial in the left and right differences and still fit your under car braces in there with a washer stack. The bushing is about 10mm undersized

The arms will not be left to right reversible at this point.... It too hard to get the balljoint angle correct with what we are working with. We will sell individual left or right pieces in the event of an accident.

The balljoint is greasable, bolts on to the arm, and is slightly adjustable for camber. It has the correct stock pin diameter, so no drilling boring on your steering knuckles. It has about a half inch of in or out adjustability right now. It's readily available at any parts store or eBay as well. 10-50 bucks depending on where you buy and what brand. It will come with the arms.

The current arm is mild steel just for the sake of time and money saved during fab work.

It looks as though I will offer the arm in ChrMo and mild steel at different prices. This arm will be so much stronger then the stock piece, I'm just not sure if the ChrMo is needed, but if someone wants it, I am going to try to make it happen. It may turn out that the ChrMo arms come tack welded in a jig so that you can TIG them yourself or pay your welder to do it properly, as we do not currently have a functioning TIG setup or the Time to hand deliver and pickup parts from our local welder and make it affordable for the end user.

Any feedback greatly appreciated

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Last edited by dethbrd on Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:31 pm 
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got any pics yet?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:49 pm 
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Pic's on here will get you more feed back than you can shake a stick at!

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Last edited by hotrodray1 on Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:40 pm 
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Prototype is in Mail on way to my parts car for its first test fitting. I will snap some pics when I mount it even tho I dont think it's going to stay as is. I'm just not sure of balljoint end design yet. I want to try something different.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:47 pm 
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I hadn't paid as much attention to this thread because I already have camber plates, but I thought I'd chime in and note that SCCA rules in the relevant non-stock classes actually do allow modified lower control arms, provided the camber plate setup you run (you are still also allowed a spherical bearing top mount) is centered in the hole.

You can gain camber at the top or the bottom of the strut, but not both. I think I will stick with what I've got for now, but I'm watching for sure :D An additional nuance is that you if you modify the control arm SCCA won't let you use camber bolts anymore due to the same either-or clause.

Best luck developing these--watching closely.

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