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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:50 pm 
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Hello all-

Looking to do an upgrade on the Metro-Gnome to address the bad front lower control arm geometry due to lowering. If you lower past a certain amount the car starts getting camber loss under compression. This is compensated by lots of static neg camber right? No problem except the big neg camber make the tire patch too small and corner exit traction is poor. Very poor if you have a lot of power and an open diff. We have both things. The solution is to extend the stems of the lower ball joints to re-angle the control arms back to where they belong. In order not to introduce a ton of bump steer we will need to insert the steering tie rod in the top if the spindle arm by re-boring the hole.

I bet coming up with all this make me look like a smart guy right? Well I had help. Look here:

http://www.pmwltd.com/

Thing is, these are for VW Rabbits and they have a 17mm balljoint shaft, our's are 15mm. I am thinking of how to adapt this as we speak. I also don't like how much that guy is charging. I think I could have them made for a lot less.

Would there be any interest in these if I made a few? I think they could really be a big help for lowered cars.

See pix of this item in action on a VW thingy.

-Alex


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:10 pm 
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I would be interested depending on price. Problem is equipment to cut splines isn't cheap, so labor to cut splines in small swift aftermarket size quantities won't be cheap either. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:05 am 
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Thanks for the input. Perhaps I don't see something obvious here. What do I need to cut splines for? I don't think the ball joints are splined. Just to clarify, here is a pic of the VW part. Our's would be the same just 15mm instead of 17mm.

-Alex


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:24 am 
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Very interesting, from memory the balljoints on our cars are fixed to the lower arm? those extenders don't look that strong, how about finding another boltable balljoint in 15mm and weld a taller bracket onto the lower arm to accept the new balljoint? then you can replace them if they wear out or you break them, obviously not a solution for competitors who aren't allowed to modify suspension arms etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:12 am 
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The Smuggler
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One thing comes to mind with extenders is they dont extend the life of the joint for sure.

Customizing a control arm with a replaceable joint is a great idea rather than a flaky extender, also you could adjust for the neg camber almost instantly by the placement of the joint on the control arm, assuming there will be no interference with the end of the arm to the inside of the wheel or tire.
Then again the cost of machining extenders against modifying an arm may be about the same or it may be less expensive.

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"I love the whine of a turbo in the mornin" 1991 Sprint Turbo
"I also love the 7500 rpm scream of a DOHC" :razz: 2X 1989 Swift GTi's a 92 and Jr's new 93 GT

Keep your eye on the boost guage!
And I love this one!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:37 am 
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Yes, we have "permanent" ball joints. I think making them replaceable is a good idea too.

The reason the ball joint shaft has to be made longer, as opposed to just re-mounting the ball joint in the control arm, is that the distance between the centerline of the axle and the pivot of the ball joint is what needs to increase to get the control arm back to the right angle.

Unfortunately one could put the ball joint anywhere on the control arm and not stop the problem of camber loss under compression. Once we lower a car to the point where the ball joint is even or higher then the control arm pivot the car looses camber under suspension compression. What these extenders do is very similar to "drop" spindles. They allow a lowered car w/o bad front geometry.

I may try a prototype by having a talented welder I know extend the ball joint shaft and see if I realize any true gains at the track.

Please feel free to ask questions and make suggestions.

-Alex


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Oops- been a while since I have had my swift's suspension apart, forgot ours aren't splined. :oops:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:42 pm 
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The Smuggler
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Now I can understand what you are looking at, never thought about the drop spindle angle and that would be the best way to get rid of the Neg Camber I Agree.
Too bad our cars are not as popular as jimmy's and S10's, where you can buy dropped kits anywhere.
Hope you can come up with a solution.

_________________
"I love the whine of a turbo in the mornin" 1991 Sprint Turbo
"I also love the 7500 rpm scream of a DOHC" :razz: 2X 1989 Swift GTi's a 92 and Jr's new 93 GT

Keep your eye on the boost guage!
And I love this one!
"Dale Jarrett's crew chief" "Drive it like ya STOLE IT!"
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:27 pm 
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I have been making some progress on this mod and will post more about it soon. I could not find a long stem balljoint to save my life but did figure a way to do this with some large rod ends. It will require welding but should be simple otherwise.

Stay tuned.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:33 am 
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avendlerdp wrote:
The reason the ball joint shaft has to be made longer, as opposed to just re-mounting the ball joint in the control arm, is that the distance between the centerline of the axle and the pivot of the ball joint is what needs to increase to get the control arm back to the right angle.

Unfortunately one could put the ball joint anywhere on the control arm and not stop the problem of camber loss under compression. Once we lower a car to the point where the ball joint is even or higher then the control arm pivot the car looses camber under suspension compression.

Doesn't the control arm angle change if you just move the ball joint pivot higher on the arm? I don't see how moving the ball joint and extending the shaft differ. Either way you can adjust the control arm angle.

_________________
1994 Metro - MPH project (getting a DOHC G13B)
1994 Metro - MPG project (getting an XFi G10)
1992 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1991 Swift - Parts car (gone)
1990 Swift - Parts car
1997 Metro - Parts car (gone)
1993 Metro - Parts car
1989 Swift GTi - Parts car
1998 Metro - Parts car


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:11 am 
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That angle that matters is between the pivot points. Re shaping that arm won't help. You have to move the actual pivot points to affect camber gain and roll center.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:35 pm 
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OK! Progress. Here is what I cooked up. I found some cromoly steel threaded inserts that fit where the ball joints used to go on the spindle. Once I pressed them in there I welded them in for good measure. Then I will use a standard sized spherical bearing that replaces the stock ball joint in the control arm. The bonus is now my ball joints will be replaceable for under $20 each. I just cut the stock ball joints out of their housings using a hole saw and the new bearings press in the stock ball joint housings.

Note stock ball joint pin in picture and how much longer the spindle is now that I modded it.

You can see in the picture how much I moved the pivot point. This will raise the roll center a lot and also make for some nice negative camber gain under bump. If all goes well I should get less body roll and this will increase corner exit traction as well (no LSD).

More as I get to it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Location: Virginia
What progress have you made over the past 3 years? Inquiring minds want to know.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:31 am 
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Probably not much, After careful consideration I will do something like this Renault Sport Megane and use a spherical bearing at the bottom and machine up a spacer.


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