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I built some adjustable strut rods

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
clittleton07
 
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Default I built some adjustable strut rods

I built some adjustable strut rods today.
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I also made a bracket so I could bolt them to the lower control arm.
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Here is everything before I bolted it in. The spacer is not cut to length yet in this picture.
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I think everything turned out alright. I just need to paint it and adjust them tomorrow. The heims are 1/2 inch and the tubing is Chromolly.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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they look really good. i was actually looking to buy a couple of these but they arnt cheap, and ive been debating if i really need them for just the street driving i do. what else have you done to your front suspension?

oh, nice welding by the way !
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thanks, Im actually a welder by trade. This was my first time welding chromolly but it was just like tigging mild steel. The only modification I have done to the front suspension besides the strut rods is the shelby drop. I have however replaced all the parts except the front springs. I am considering doing a coil over swap in the future and rack and pinion, but I just dont have the bank account for that now.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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If you wanted to weld up the brackets that attach to the hole in the front (similar to the major brands), and leave the rest to the DIY guys...those brackets would sell like hotcakes....
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #5
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James,
Im not sure I could make them at a price that would please both the consumers and myself. If i had a CNC plasma It could certainly be done at a reasonable price. I dont know if you could use these bars with a front sway bar either. I imagine that would turn off some buyers.
,Chris
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clittleton07 View Post
James,
Im not sure I could make them at a price that would please both the consumers and myself. If i had a CNC plasma It could certainly be done at a reasonable price. I dont know if you could use these bars with a front sway bar either. I imagine that would turn off some buyers.
,Chris
When you got done buying liability insurance I doubt you could make them at a cost people would be willing to pay.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mr_velocity View Post
When you got done buying liability insurance I doubt you could make them at a cost people would be willing to pay.
Well actually our business has liability insurance. We are welding contractors on the Eastern Shore. All that aside, still dont think it would be profitable. If anybody is local I would be more than willing to work something out with them though. I dont think any of you guys are from the Eastern Shore of MD area? Side note, have any of you guys heard of the Ocean City Cruisin before? Its a great time for people with muscle cars.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Does the strut bar clear the frame when the suspension is compressed to the M/M jounce position? It appears like it could hit, but it may be the angle of the photo. If it hits M/M in a hard jounce, the whole LCA geometry could go splooey.

Do you see any problem with the way the mount attaches to the LCA? The stock bolted attachment actually strengthens/stiffens the LCA and keeps it in proper alignment.

With a pivot attached an inch or so above the LCA, it may be introducing some added geometry movement (added pivot). The LCA on this car is very flexible the way it is originally, adding another pivot point may be counter-productive?

Maybe it would be better to attach your heim joint mount to the front-facing surface of the LCA?
Or keep the OEM point and mode of attachment on the LCA and keep your upgraded heim on the front mount?
Just my 2 cents.

ps: Great welding!
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Last edited by Old Mustanger; 05-11-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Thanks, Im actually a welder by trade. This was my first time welding chromolly but it was just like tigging mild steel.
Cool project! I have read that when you weld chromolly it needs to be heat treated afterwards. Is that your understanding too? I was thinking about using mild steel because of this. I believe mild steel was the original material used (please correct me if that's not true). Are you going to box in your lca? Keep up the good work.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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were you able to drive the car before and after you made the mod? i've read the solid strut rod has the biggest impact in creating a harsh ride (and i can visually understand why that could potentially be a true statement).

since everything was changed at once on mine, i'll never know what parts had a positive/negative impact.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:55 AM   #11
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I just put the Street & Track strut rods on my 1971. I have not had it on the road yet, so no guidance on how they perform. Like Buckeye above, I made lots of changes at once, so I will not have any idea how the individual mods work.

A question to the OP - I see you cross drilled your frame rail to mount the hiem joint, instead of using the factory mount location. I thought about doing this on mine, since it would make it easier to create my own strut rod design and install it. I did not go down that path because I was worried about the structural loads in the frame. Instead of the loads reacting through the plate and across the entire depth of the frame, they will now be concentrated around the hole. i do not know if that is really an issue, but it seems that you would want to at least weld in a reinforcing plate to thicken the sides of the frame rails to better distribute the loads. Do you have any concerns about deformation of the frame rail or cracks forming as a result of changing the mounting location and method?

This is not meant as a criticism, I'm just looking for some education. :-)
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #12
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The strut rod does clear everything. I do not know anything about retreating the chromolly after welding; the local raceshop I went to, to source the materials, said they just tig it and there is no extra prep. Where i drilled the hole for the front heim was doubled walled frame rail so there is plenty of strength there I dont think there will be any chance of a stress crack forming. The car still rides great, not harsh at all. I am by no means an expert on mustang suspension but this mod does work great for my car. Thanks for the feedback guys.
Chris
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:35 AM   #13
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The problem is that the Lower Control Arm on these Mustangs is pretty weak. It is stiffened significantly by the 2 attachment points of the Strut Bar and by the Strut Bar itself.

If you had kept a similar attachment method on the LCA I am sure that you would be golden. But your design adds another pivot point an inch or so above the LCA, this significantly weakens the LCA.

I am pretty certain that under hard braking and especially when braking and hitting bumps at the same time that the LCA will twist on it's axis and fail. Iv'e had one of these suspensions fail at speed and I rolled the car, I don't recommend it.

Remove the rear heim joint & replace it with a 2-bolt attachment plane and you will be stiffer & stronger than stock.
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Fondest memories: 1969 428CJ, it was stolen 60 days after complete rebuild.....
Worst memory: 1965 Notch back, rolled end over end, 2 days after rebuild, fractured Strut-bar..... Lesson learned: ALWAYS upgrade the front suspension of an early Mustang!
Worst mustang: 1974 4-cyl auto (it was cheap, I was broke...).
Favorite body style 1965/66 Fastback.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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The mounts are bolted in the stock strut rod location. I actually reused the existing holes and bolts for my mount. I more or less copied my design from a 67 mustang that has been high 7s in the quarter. The only difference is that I bolted my mount and he welded his directly to the LCA. This works fine for him and it has so far worked fine for me. Thanks again for the feed back though sir.
Chris
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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Chris, those welds looked amazing! Old stanger mentions the LCA as a weak point. Wouldn't it make sense to strengthen the LCA by boxing it with a plate across the bottom. It's common to box frames and parts to build strength, so why not the LCA?
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:16 PM   #16
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I may box the LCAs in. I just have to make sure that I leave enough room to get to the nuts on the bottom of the bolts holding on the stut rod mount.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clittleton07 View Post
The mounts are bolted in the stock strut rod location. I actually reused the existing holes and bolts for my mount. I more or less copied my design from a 67 mustang that has been high 7s in the quarter. The only difference is that I bolted my mount and he welded his directly to the LCA. This works fine for him and it has so far worked fine for me. Thanks again for the feed back though sir.
Chris
More less copied??? What was the other design and how does yours differ?

Going fast isn't the problem, it's when you step on the brakes that is the problem. When the brakes are applied the lower ball joint is forced to the rear of the vehicle. Your rear strut mount allows that to rotate about the length of the arm. It will bind the inner joint until it fails from the twist and moving rearward. It is not a question of if but when. If you changed your design to include a heim at the inner LCA, what happens? Your LCA is on 3 pivot points and nothing is solid.

I thought I was pretty smart when I came up with this on my own(see link), only to find that Cobra Automotive came up with it some time before. If I didn't care about you or those around you I wouldn't say a thing. Don't take offense to the advice.

http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/mo...trut-rods.html

This has been on the car since the date posted and thus far tolerates abuse from my 17 yr old (wilwood discs on front, with 235 tires)
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:46 PM   #18
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The only difference between mine and the one I mentioned that I copied were that his brackets were welded on and mine are bolted on. I dont see this causing extra stress on the arm. The strut rod is just intended to keep the LCA from moving foward and backwards. I can see what your saying but I do believe its irrelevant. This design has proved itself in a car that will see much worse than mine ever will. Thank you for the feedback though.
Chris
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #19
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I opened this post a while back looked it over and then closed it. I opened it back up tonight wanting to see what the "naysayers" might be mentioning about this mod.

Well funny thing is, I kind of agree with the naysayers. The design WILL cause the LCA to twist more than stock, because the strut will no longer add torsional stability to prevent the LCA from twisting, furthermore this is going to be made worse because the bolt on mount raises the mount point as to put more leverage into the twist that the strut will induce.

In short, the stock design lends support to the LCA, this design will also induce twist.

I think the basic idea is good, the workmanship is great, but the fundamental change in structure is a little too scary for me to take the risk without updating the LCA.

The question is whether this induced twist is beyond the functional limits of the LCA.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:32 AM   #20
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Many don't realize the LCA and strut rod bolted together make a rudimentary 'A' arm.

I am not saying this is OK but in theory, if you lined up(made linear) the 3 points (inner joint, outer ball joint and the rear strut heim) you could use a double heimed strut rod since the stress is in braking and would put the rod in tension without inducing twist.

With any luck Mr. Peterson may add to the thread, although I haven't seen him post here in a while.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:32 AM
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