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Mega Modding Braking, Suspension & Steering

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amxdreamer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amxdreamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/27/2013 at 3:28pm
Lots of work! thanks for posting up your progress.
Tony
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mean Matador 72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/27/2013 at 6:44pm
More power to you!!!!Coming out very nice and performance should be outstanding.
72MATADOR 401/727, 74 Matador Coupe 360/727
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/28/2013 at 8:44am
Thanks guys!

I'll be adding more to my sections as time goes on.

Also will be adding a Specifications section as well.

Just things are winding down. I send out materials to be welded, so until I have most everything ready, further progress will be on hold.

I still need to have my adapters for the heavy duty tie rods welded, the hood hinges need welded extensions, my camber extensions for the lower arms need cut for welding up, need $150.00 worth of custom spherical bearings ordered, and my hardened steering quick disconnect sleeve needs tapered to fit GM steering shaft.

To me that is not much compared to what has been done in the past few months. I guess it is the feeling of near completion that makes my anticipation seems more like a lack of patience with not having it done by now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/29/2013 at 8:42am
Spring Compressor DIY



OK, many here and just about everywhere else that has automotive discussions, have had DIY spring compressor topics.

Mine on the other hand is a bit different and whimsical but very effective.

Many do not know that when they look at their suspension, most all the spring compressor parts are looking right back at them.

If you have drum brakes, and don't mind upgrading to disks, then you won't mind following me along.

Here is what you need:

One hub with front bearing and tabbed washer.
Your old shock
3 lug nuts
21" section of 1/2" threaded rod.
1 thick washer that fits the 1/2" rod to cover the wheel bearing's tabbed washer.

An option that I am using, is a heavy flanged nut, instead of using the thick washer along with the bearing's tabbed washer.


Now here is what you need to do:

Remove all the studs from your hub
Cut a 1/3 wedge from your hub's flange having one lug nut hole on the uncut side at the 12 O-clock position.
Install the bearing and washer back on to the hub
Install a lug nut to the threaded bar with rounded end pointing up. Adjust it to have 4 to 5 inches of rod protruding.
Slide the threaded rod into the hub and bearing assembly.
Drill the weld from the bottom of your front shock mounting flange with a 1/2" drill bit.
Install another lug nut on the other end of the threaded rod, with the round end first.
Install the old shocks mounting flange and the remaining lug nut with the rounded end up and tighten to hold the mounting flange in place.

How to use the odd thing:

With the front lifted
Remove shock if not already removed and shock tower
Place the hub over the top of the shock hump, aligning the top wheel stud hole to fit over the stud. The remaining 2 studs should be along the cut sides of the wheel hub.
Install the shock mounting flange to the spring perch
Tighten the lug nut until you notice tension
Remove the spring perch mount fasteners to the upper control arm and let the control arm assembly drop.
Make sure there is no binding for the perch and spring, and loosen the top lug nut from the threaded rod.
Once the tension becomes loose you can remove the spring perch from the old shock mounting flange.
Your spring is free to remove.

Reverse the steps to install.


Now I wonder how many peeps are scratching their heads and thinking... "Gosh I threw away my good spring compressor!" Excuse me, drum spindles and old shocks during a brake upgrade. HA!



Edited by 304-dude - May/17/2017 at 5:57pm
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/03/2013 at 12:23pm
Adding a backbone and ribcage

Note: This is a straight forward visualization of concept. Once I start, the information may need to be edited, as I will probably find some issues to work around as I go.

There is hidden body rigidity hiding in your car... Just open the hood, inside is the foundation to strengthening the engine compartment's weak box structure since the conception of the automobile.

Super bikes and sophisticated race cars have used 4D structural integrity for some time, just we never looked at it in detail to truly understand how well it works with so very little.

Your engine is just a big lump of metal taking up space and creating a lot of force against your car's suspension structure during performance driving. To you as long as it performs well in producing power, that is all that matters.

Adding braces, shock tower struts, and what not, all help relieving body twist. But for the most part their function operates in 2D structural integrity. Some use a modified approach that spreads out the forces within a 3D structure. Even with the best 3D structure improvements, it still relies on how well the box is made.

Reinventing the box:

You can add a back bone to support and strengthen your car's body. Your engine is the best candidate, for such a limited space. To utilize it, it must be well anchored. Since it takes up a sizable space, use of light weight short length struts will be a greater benefit than longer and heavier designs.

All you have to do is think of your engine as the foundation to your bodies rigidity. It is already is quasi-part of the sub-frame, why not make it be the supporting wall of the exoskeleton of the car's body. To do so, one must use solid motor mounts first and foremost.

After some looking into how my steering shaft is routed, I decided to make upper corner engine brackets. Their location is actually better to allow a 45 degree angle to the corner of the firewall near the cowl. Though master cylinder relocation will need some thought. As I will try to make all my angles 45 degrees, as it is a sweet spot to strengthen all types of movement. Also I will be including the two corner head bolts to assist in mounting the custom corner brackets, that also mount to the side of the head's accessory mounting holes. The engine brace will incorporate the upper control arm's inner (closest to firewall) strut, to make a single V-rib unit. Both sides will be that way.

As for completion, another custom bracket will be needed. The top half will bolt to the center section of the intake, and bolt over the center header / exhaust manifold flange, using existing intake and header bolts.

I could weld a strut bracket to the shock tower mount, but I'm opting into making a bracket cup to mount over the hump. It will be mounted using the upper control arm's bolts and the shock tower's fasteners. This will keep the whole area secured, and stabilized with the V-rib and strut assemblies to the engine block.


I will be modifying the suspension's strut brackets as well, to allow mounting of struts to the back of the engine at it's midway point along the bell housing. Bolting on steel plates along the bell housing should work fairly well. Depending on header design, changing to dual 2" collectors to feed 3" collector, will allow clearance for strut pass through.

Having all 4 engine struts work together will keep body flex and twist down to a minimum. As they are at key locations for best rigidity.   

It seems to be a bit of fabrication to make such a thing work. Though I am sure that, as I get further along, things may need some tweaking. Though, it will be less work than fabricating and adding frame connectors, and a sub frame to strengthen the body structure.

Well that is my plan, call it what you will, I am sticking to it.

Pictures will be added as I go... for right now being on hold, the suspension is yet to be completed.


Edited by 304-dude - Jun/18/2015 at 7:57am
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/22/2014 at 10:36am
Relocating Upper Control Arms





Above is a picturece of some sort. Any way since I am modifying and welding, these small areas will be included as part of repair work.

I will eventually post my modification to the cross member when I am done with the upper suspension mod.

I was messing around with the smaller passenger side section that will need some work after separation, as the hump was cut shallow on one side and as holes cut as does the other. I thought I would dismantle the sections  by drilling through the spot welds. Being my first time with body work and structure, I thought that would be a good start until... I realized how the hump section is fit into the rest of the sheet metal. I stopped with the drilling and started with cutting the frame from the lower section. It seems that the lower section was welded along the edges at the frame. Since I now plan on butt welding in place instead of grafting, cutting through spot welds and repositioning seems like a lot of work for a modded body. Not that it is just better, just that there is more than one way to skin a cat. If my car was a full restoration, sure I would do the spot weld cutting and replacement to be the only option. I left the bottom cut about 1/2" higher from the welds as I may have clearence issues during placement. I'll work on removing the upper troth section and the driver's side hump later on. The weather is still a bit too cold for me, hopefully March will be a good start to get them humps done for installation sometime in the summer.




Below is the frame section to show how far from the welds I chose to cut. Notice the hole pictured at the right of where the hump would be installed. It is a bit high to be a weep hole but it is there.



I think I can graft some of the left over frame sections into the driver side interior rocker panel for patching a rusted out section.

======

First, I will remove the suspension hump to be modified. Once off, I will cut along around the mounting flange (spot welded to the body at the wheel well). Instead of separating the flange from the hump, I will leave the top uncut. The cut will be a 1" tapered wedge section starting at the bottom of the hump. 1" from the cut edge and angles to the top at the freshly cut seam. Once the wedge section is removed, bending the flange outward from the top, will align the flange with the hump's new cut angle for welding.

By moving the mounting holes to the upper control arm in towards the body 1", I will be counter balancing the additional camber from lengthening the lower control arms. Thus negating any additional camber from the lengthened lower control arm.

There are more additional enhancements from relocating the upper control arm mounting points. One, better stability in the body's center of roll, by moving roll pivot out to the frame. Another enhancement is the spring perch angle will be less acute during compression, making perch pivot minimal. A hidden feature of adding 1" extra in clearance for custom headers. Since the spring and shock are tilted inboard, there will be .250" in addition to the 1" added clearance with the lengthened lower control arm, for wide tires and large rims.

OK, I just got my replacement humps from a donor 74 Javelin from one of our forum members, Derrick.
When I get some time, and weather permitting I will do a visual comparison of what I have done over OEM and start with the hump modding. Since I have my cross member installed, it will be later in the summer when I pull it for modding.




Edited by 304-dude - May/17/2017 at 5:58pm
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/10/2014 at 8:12am
Upgrading sway bar

Since realizing the benefit of Penske / Donohue's relocation of the front sway bar, I had been contemplating the best way to mount a stock or aftermarket sway bar. I noticed one particular issue, that may be too small to make a fuss about... The upper control arm's ball joint not only swings up and away from from its vertical axis. If you look carefully, the control arm's mounting location points are offset, thus allows for a bind with mounting a sway bar to the upper control arm.

The easiest way to correct it properly is to offset by lengthening the sway bar arm just passed center of the ball joint. This way you can use a longer link within the short space. So when the upper arm swings away the link will become more vertical in allowing the distance to lengthen without pulling on the arm and bind. The distance of the link is determined by measuring the offset between both mounting holes for the upper control arm and dividing by 2, then add it to the distance me assured between the mounting pivots at the bracket and sway bar. The bracket can be mounted or welded directly under the control arm where it is centered with the spring perch mounting location.

After looking at a few tie rod ends, the GM tie rods seem best for what I want. They are big balled and thick shafted, yet small enough diameter to use ball joint covers to seal. I picked up two inner rack and pinion tie rods for 2008 XLR - MOOG-EV343 11.92" length 0.593" shaft diameter M14-1.5 end thread M18-1.5 male to the rack, and a couple of M18-1.5 hardened flanged nuts.

Below is the makings of a custom sway bar link, made from inner tie rods and heavy duty axle nuts.  I shortened the rods to 4 inches, and will have the flange nuts welded on a pipe segments for mounting and reinforcement on the bottom of my spring perches.  Once mounted I will measure and trim down the length for welding a 3" long 3/8"-24 bolt to mount the sway bar with existing hardware and bushings like stock.

In the images below, I have utilised a cut segment of axle tubing to be welded to the bottom end of the spring perch. Notice the flanged nut is grounded down to be welded in place for mounting the modified tie rod.







The pictures below have the tie rod segment and flanged axle nut firmly wedged into place for fitment gauging... This is with stock arm and sway bar locations. I offset the tie rod segment to be 1 inch from center, as centering it with a stock setup will make the link too skewed for the sway bar.




Note: The lower picture shows how far the stud is from the sway bar mounting hole. With a stock setup there is no good way to install this type of mod without removing  the ends from the sway bar back enough to thread a link end to allow shortening for the tie rod to fit without binding the sway bar's bushings. Also, some may notice the long fasteners to the upper ball joint. I have them in place for my 1/3" thick spacer for the ball joint if needed when everything is setup. The spacer was to keep the Mustang II spindles from rubbing the upper control arm at full extension (lift) with stock spring perches. Though a simple block installed in the upper arm pocket against the frame will keep the travel from going to far down. It would be a problem if a wheel should leave the ground, as it would lock the steering until the suspension has recovered.



Edited by 304-dude - Oct/08/2017 at 9:20am
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uncljohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2014 at 8:07pm
71 Javelin spring tower mounted in middle 60's Ambassador:



70 390 5spd Donohue
74 Hornet In restoration
76 Hornet, 5.7L Mercury Marine Power
80 Fuel Injected I6 Spirit
74 232 I-6, 4bbl, 270HL Isky Cam
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2014 at 8:16pm
Yeah, I saw that or something like it a month or so after I mentioned relocating for castor. I don't think I had pictures up when I first made the comment.

I will eventually get to having the modded humps done... Halfway there with cutting, then will have them welded for trimming. I won't cut the excess until welded, as it is going to be the measuring point to placing the mounting holes 1" closer to the body.

I got a bit behind because of winter, and a few odds and ends at home.

I guess you can convert any mid 60's to 70's suspension if you are willing to do some work.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/30/2015 at 1:56am
UCA on steroids

Since many of my mods are updated versions from other peoples mods I found through time, (a few are strictly my own) this one is an accumulation of mods already done by others, all in one nice package.

For starters, a GM truck ball joint will out perform the AMC upper ball joint, as the AMC has horizontal and vertical play, while GM does not.

Below is proper installation of the GM ball joint. So far I am the only one using it top mounted, as per installation instruction.





Due to top mounted installation, clearance for Ford spring saddle must be done by some modification to the lower spring pad sections of the saddle.

I flared out the stamped steel material to clear the ball joint body and its fasteners.





There may be need to modify the rear sections in a similar manner as my modified humps my not allow enough tilt for perch angle when spring is compressed during bump travel.

I will be using a Prothane (1-1207) upper and lower control arm bushing kit in conjuction to my light weight control strengthening arm mods. Many don't do a fully boxed radius, with an extra reinforcing ring for the other side. Below are my additional structural improvements done up with templates before cutting and welding in place.

Edited by 304-dude - Oct/11/2017 at 12:26pm
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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