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Mega Modding Braking, Suspension & Steering

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shootist View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shootist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2017 at 4:03pm
So how does the triangulated 4-link stack up to the watts link?
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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/23/2017 at 5:26pm
Originally posted by shootist shootist wrote:

So how does the triangulated 4-link stack up to the watts link?


Hi, well that is not a good idea... because of the angled 4 link system binding will happen as it gets side loaded.

Technically a straight 3 link with a watts will work. Yep, most suspension setups do need some help in lateral support.

I was thinking of doing a truck arm suspension. Just too heavy, and needs a lot of work to the frame. If I had a good tube frame to use as a base point. That would be my option. But I want to keep my uni body for the most part intact.

Here is a pretty good link describing each rear suspension setup, good and bad. I borrowed some pix from it to show my options in rear mods.

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/rear-suspension-guide/

Edited by 304-dude - May/23/2017 at 5:40pm
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 shootist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2017 at 12:38pm
Thank for the article it was helpful. It would seem that the weak area of the 4-link that they are referring to was more of the older stock style four links although they do mention that the race style of four link which uses Heim joints does not suffer nearly as much as the older stock with rubber bushings type. I was more interested in knowing if you have had an active comparison in driving the two different styles and if there was noticeable difference. There is of course the spend vs. return on investment. A watts link could be more costly to install and more difficult to dial in but would that benefit be significantly realized for the weekend racer? That is what I am not sure of. I am used to straight line go fast events and the dynamics of suspension setup are different.

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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/27/2017 at 8:48pm
IMO the 4 link is more work with stock frame and needs dialed in for type of driving. A Watts link is cheap to make on your own. Easy to install and does not require much to setup for particular use. You can use softer springs and vary ride height without having to modify the installation mounting.

It is the most versatile addition to stabilising a rear suspension.

As for 4 link differences in ride quality and handling. Each car has its own differences in the way it handles, to be subjective on such facts requires the same car setup to be both ways with a 4 link. Obviously one has an advantage over the other in some aspects while the other can be more advantageous over the other, in other aspects.

I could dump big money in a 4 link, but with all things done in comparison, the Watts link will provide the best lateral control and allow for other stability options to function unaffected by the Watts link's operation.

I don't know why some say a Watts link is that hard to setup. Now the same article stated a torsion bar suspension is the tricky one to setup.

Basic geometry and knowing the link's required length to meet at axle's mounting points, the full travel of the suspension, along with set load height. My springs will be with a set load by cables, so when lifted the wheels will not drop more than an inch to match my front preloaded springs.

I may build like I am track ready, but it is multi purpose build. If I go full race, it makes daily driving not so fun on Illinois roads. Being set to ride differently than most AMC cars using a minimal approach is and always will be in my intentions.

I am sure one can do just about any setup and be happy, as the setup needs to be done for their needs, with their car. All my suspension mods are to work with at least 75% of the existing design. Some change by relocation, but for the most part, minor replacements or additions within how the original system functions.




Edited by 304-dude - May/28/2017 at 5:12am
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 farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2017 at 12:48pm
A Watt's link can be difficult to mount. You need a pivot point on the rear axle, as close to the center as practical so the two arms are close to the same length. That mounting pivot point and (room for it) is the only hard part. A well done Panhard rod work just as well for most, with only a little side to side movement, and much easier to fab and install.
Frank Swygert
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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/28/2017 at 4:24pm
There are two types... frame mounted is best and is used for track.

Trucks and DIY guys mount on the back of the axle or some fabbed mount on Ford pinion by use of a plate. All of which are weak and will allow flex or twist to some degree.

Here are some pix of truck setups, which I find inadequate for my use... many have short rods or are not parallel on the axle plane.





I chose to use a frame mount construction and incorporate it into the rear roll cage for added strength and ridgitity.

Pannard rod is not good enough for my use. Both track, street and strip. As i want no lateral movement what so ever to allow springs to work as springs, So I am able to use a softer rate spring setup for the rear.

I see no issue for my wide track truck rear. Which gives the longest and identical length rod configuration.

Once I get my frame set for the additional width and slider box for rear shackle elimination. I will start on my frame mounted Watts link measurements and set ride hieght to make for adjustment of the Watts link pivot location.

Edited by 304-dude - May/28/2017 at 4:34pm
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: May/30/2017 at 5:50pm
After some searching... I found a nice option to use on my v8 Mountaineer power steering pump flange. It cost me $10 and was easy peasy to remove from any VW with one. Yep it is a VW pulley. Ha!

There is one catch, it is not a perfect fit. Though the easiest to mod and fit without much trouble.

The center hole diameter is about 1 mm over bore to the Ford diameter. The bolt pattern is about 1 mm farther apart on the 3 bolt point pattern.

With a little filing to lightly elongate each of the 3 mounting holes will allow proper fitment. To make sure the pulley is centered, a thin wrap of aluminum can should keep things in place as I bolt it down.

This mod will allow for a 25% underdrive that will do just fine for a close Cobra pulley equivalent, without further mods or high priced originals.
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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304-dude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/01/2017 at 4:01am
Updated my Modding Ford Power Steering section, which can be found on my index and will directly place you at the page when clicked.

The updated info starts midway down all the way to the end.
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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304-dude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/27/2017 at 7:20am
Installing 69 GM Camaro and Nova clutch pedal assemby

I know this does not fit Into my thread, but some have noticed my clutch pedal assembly in earlier suspension and steering images. So I added this for reference because a few other requests for more info has come up.

This was started long ago when I was frequenting theamxperience.com. I had some interest by a few on it, but never got around to fully implement the pedal assembly, once I was able to setup the mounting. As long a I got the brake pedal connected the rest would need to be adjusted for the customisation.

Note, the 69 GM Camaro and Nova clutch assembly is held by a clip at the end of the shaft, not by the bolt to hold the collar of the AMC pedal assembly. Shown by unpainted outline.

I am using a nylon washer from an AMC electric washer pump kit. Had it as an extra. I shifted the clutch so it is as far left as possible, for my needs. If you want the arm closer to stock, move the nylon washer so it is on the brake side.





Since I am aligning the arms to best serve my needs, everything is fitted before a final change is made. That critical change requires grinding the welds to the brake foot and shifting the foot over 1 Inch to the center before welding into place. It places the brake pad near stock location for foot clearance to the gas pedal.



Because I am not cutting anything to align the brake arm to properly locate with the master cylinder apply rod. The clutch pin to apply rod will mount facing the brake and may need extending, by using a 1/2" longer thread hardened shoulder bolt with same shoulder length as stock. A nut and washer will be installed to allow the extending out from the clutch arm. The remaining threaded end is to be mounted as normal using a nut.





Though the bolt that holds the OEM brake assembly collar and brake switch is not installed, when pictured. I did install the switch to check that the arm does align to the switch pin perfectly. Any other brake pedal alignment, outside of what I have posted, for personal reasons, will require modification to the brake switch mounting to allow it to function.





To see how I shifted the pedals with a minor relocation of the brake pedal pad and trimming the brake side bushing nearly flush to the mounting frame, see my notes further down.

This was going to be my setup, shown further down. As you can see it places the brake foot closer without welding. It's pedal placement I find more suitable for my tastes. Some may like wider spaces between the pedals.

Also the clutch pivot pin is left as OEM equivalent. The draw back is metal on metal contact with outer diameter of brake and frame, as the brake arm pivot end is the same diameter as the hole. Though you will need to use a longer threaded pin, as explained earlier to allow connection to the apply rod for the brake. So the only good part of this is no cutting or welding is required.



With two bushings and how they are mounted can allow for various alignment strategies. Depending on ones needs, the options are not as closed as one may think. Just make the best option to allow less modification. For my case it may be more modification than most would want.

As for brake rod, it has two locations and places the pedal about stock height. Though for my body, the lower hole cannot be used. It is possible other bodies can use the lower hole.

Since I am replacing with a dual Ford Hydroboost units, I can use a custom rod sizes to lower the pedals a wee bit more to my taste.

The bronze bushings are not available locally anymore. The 5/8" ID x 7/8" OD x 3/4" will have to be ordered online. The odd thing is that the new bushing's fitment is way too snug, so be aware some bushings are not properly clearanced, like my old stock pieces.

Alignment Notes

If wanting the least amount of modification, and don't mind it being a bit dirty. My bottom image of pedal alignment with how the bushings are placed, can work with a welded extension pad on the brake arm to actuate the brake switch, and a longer pivot (shoulder bolt) for the brake actuating rod.

Brakes:

Because of brake arm offset, from bends and the pedal foot placement, the foot must be moved 1" to the center, by cutting the back welds and rewelding, for proper fit and function.

As long as the flanges on both bushings, are mounted from the inside of the frame, the brake arm will be properly centered for the brake switch, and the top hole will function with proper geometry, though user preference may require adjusted of the brake apply rod for pedal hieght.

Clutch:

Since this is not a factory setup It's function is limited to aftermarket hydraulic clutch components.

Here is what I am working on now for a hydraulic clutch master cylinder setup.

Since the GM master cylinder has a standard horizontal 3.4" bolt center for mounting, and being angled, finding one with a remote reservoir is needed. Mostly because of clearances and adjusting the angled mounting face, by rotation.

I am able to mount near a 45 degree rotation to the right, what is about the 10 o'clock position when facing it at the front of the engine. The upper mounting hole will share the mounting location for the steering column bracket to the firewall, used in 70 on up large bodies. The lower mounting hole will be down next to the firewall seem for body and frame.

A new hole will need to be drilled into the clutch pedal. Its location will be further down from the existing holes, about 1/4" above the start of the angled bend, used to offset the pedal away from the brake pedal.

The nice thing so far is no major mods, as if 70 GM clutch pedal and 95 hydraulic clutch master cylinder setups are practically bolt in and go.

Here is the specs on my GM clutch master cylinder.

95 Corsica/Beretta V6
USA/Canada made aluminum body, rebuildable



3.4" horizontal flange with 15 degree tilt
7/8" bore
5.5" to 7.25" adjustable rod
1.5" stroke (maybe even deeper) 2" bottomed
3/8" O-ringed line fitting with roll pin hold down

To make it work with clearances I chose to clock it's mounting position and fit in alignment with my GM clutch pedal location. Below is a template of the clutch master cylinder's foot print.



Note that the original un-punched clutch hole is offset about a 1.4" distance around 45 degrees below the new 1.4" clutch master cylinder hole, shown . The built in tilt angle and clocking will compensate for the odd offset, and keep proper clearances without need of spacers, rod lever, or brackets.

For manual clutch, you may be able to modify and use a 69 to 72 Camaro / Nova clutch linkage kit, which has Z arm and other components for an almost complete setup, depending on your skill level and transmission being used.

Or, if like me in mixing parts, you may be able to use a direct rod setup to function with an existing AMC clutch assembly. Seems AMC has some sort of canterlever setup on the pedal arm. GM cleans things up with a direct rod out the firewall. Though you need to know your AMC clutch setups and look Into 69 to 72 Camaro / Nova setups to see how things go in relation.

If using factory clutch location at the firewall, simple trimming of the clutch side bushing until rod placement fits without an angled bind through the fire wall seal. Assuming 1/2" to 9/16" roughly. I am guessing, as as I have no clutch to verify against how the clutch arm is in relation.

Also the pedal foot must be removed like the brake, to the far right and reinforced with a wedge of metal along the arm and foot, like the brake arm's existing feature.

Tweaking for a cleaner look:

Once the above is set, to make a cleaner look at the brake bushing end, you can trim the bushing to protrude 1/16" to 1/8" and have the clutch mounting shaft shortened and machined for the retaining clip.

My setup shown below, is to orient the brake pedal pad in proper location, for accelerator and clutch pedal clearance. All without modifing the clutch pad location (described earlier), or off-setting the pedal arm (already aligned to brake apply rod). All that's needed, is to trim the bushing so the clutch pedal arm can be offset further away and create necessary space for optional bracketry, and pedal pad placement.



Here is the shifted brake pedal location (located left in the image). Will temporarily set with JB Weld to keep alignment when welding.



Here is my setup partially installed but properly functioning as intended. Yes, It barely fits as if I knew what I was doing from the get go. HA!







If going for a sharper look, you will end up moving the pedals closer, so be careful as you may depress both pedals unknowingly. One option is to raise the clutch position so it is more obvious to feel in its location. Both bushings may be of equal depth after all the adjustments have been done. Plus no need for my nylon washer to take up the extra length of the shaft.

Edited by 304-dude - Oct/08/2017 at 6:31am
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 farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/28/2017 at 6:54am
It's a bronze bushing, so a small round file or sandpaper drum on a Dremel or drill will loosen it up instead of splitting. What year range Camaro/Firebird pedals are you using?
Frank Swygert
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