Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum banner

41 - 60 of 124 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
Oh, I almost forgot...


Sooooo...this is my next major issue. That bar running across is the strut rod. It's mandatory lol. The steering arm is obviously going to need a bumpsteer kit to clear the frame....but it's going to cause the rack to mount very low...not to mention the next problem...


...which is that when you turn the wheel left, the steering arm raises. When you turn it right, it drops. This is a function of the camber setting, I think. Regardless though...it's raising some concern as to clearing the frame, and clearing that strut rod.

Guess I'm going to just have to get in there, hands on with the rack...and see if there's anywhere that lines up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
It looks like you might have finally met your match. Wonder how much positive caster you now have? Would be a lot as you have it mocked up in the photo.

Interestingly, it looks like if you were doing rear steer and had the spindles swapped left to right it would appear to work. Makes me wonder (in my case) about adding coil overs and loosing the factory upper control arm/spindle/coil. Then notch the shock towers for the added header clearance, which is my car's current weakness. Reuse the factory steering parts. Would love to find an easy way to throw some big high ports on mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
It looks like you might have finally met your match. Wonder how much positive caster you now have? Would be a lot as you have it mocked up in the photo.

Interestingly, it looks like if you were doing rear steer and had the spindles swapped left to right it would appear to work. Makes me wonder (in my case) about adding coil overs and loosing the factory upper control arm/spindle/coil. Then notch the shock towers for the added header clearance, which is my car's current weakness. Reuse the factory steering parts. Would love to find an easy way to throw some big high ports on mine.
I'm not sure on the caster thing...but I'm betting it's pretty close to factory to be honest. The strut is mostly sitting right where it's pointed by the spindle...and the steering arm is pretty much level as it should be. I need to take a look at a factory SN95 if I can find one, to see how much travel that arm has vertically through its range of motion on the car it was designed for. Caster is really the one setting I don't have a ton of adjustment for...at least not to reduce it. I've got about 3/4" of positive adjustment left.

On swapping the spindles...there's two problems with that. First...it would screw the ackerman up...badly. Second, the strut brackets are angled side to side. If you swapped them, it would point the strut forward, instead of backward. I don't think this solution is possible.

Now...worst case, I do have another solution. It involves shortening the lower control arms to intersect the frame, and adding a rear facing strut bar that will also mount on the frame. This would basically turn the LCA into a rear biased triangular unit (its actually a forward biased triangle from the factory with the strut rod). Here's a picture on my friend's 67 Cougar to illustrate what I mean:





His LCA mounts are installed on the frame above the bottom of the rail. Mine would be below, and as near to the inside of the frame rail as I could mount them, to maintain the right suspension geometry with my spindles (his are Strange light duty spindles...its a track only car). This would also allow the Mustang II rack to be used pretty much unaltered as far as the pivot points go. Still...this is a last ditch fix, since I'd prefer to keep this as bolt on as possible.

I'm going to go outside later today and rough mount the rack (going to take some creativity there!) to see how badly they intersect at various LCA/rack positions, with various amounts of turn etc. Ill let you know how it goes...just keep your fingers crossed for me that there's a sweet spot, lol!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,059 Posts
Chris, your a machine man. You made a SBF look like a BBF!
Awesome work, great fabrication.

Wish i had thought of the sump solution before I put mine on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #45
Chris, your a machine man. You made a SBF look like a BBF!
Awesome work, great fabrication.

Wish i had thought of the sump solution before I put mine on.
Lol, thanks brother! Not only a small block though...the smallest of the small blocks!

=p

On the sump thing...did you mean for the gas tank? I did a similar thing to the last car as well...I think it's documented here.

Man, I've seriously been wracking my brain on this steering thing. Can't wait to get out there this afternoon and at least see what things look like. My worst case solution seems like the easiest one so far...but that could all change once I'm out there taking a look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #46
Oh hey, I forgot to post this! Awhile back I found an artists rendering of a 68 Cougar online...soooo, I took his picture, and did some photoshop work to it to kind of represent what my goal look is for this car. About the only thing I can't decide, is if I want the Eliminator style chin and rear deck spoiler on it or not. I think they're going to help balance out the too large cowl hood that I'm going to need, lol...I guess we'll see though.

Anyhow, here's the picture, and the original for comparison:



I don't think it looks too bad...and the Centerline Warriors look better than I thought they were going to. I did one up with Billet Specialties Street Lites too, and they look really sweet. With the layers on Photoshop...I've kind of made my own interactive wheel previewer, lol...only with my own car, instead of some goofy representative vehicle like Discount does. Fun stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
Well, it's not quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. As long as the rack arms are about 1/2" below the strut rod at ride height they shouldn't contact at all. This rack has a roughly 2.25" travel from center to full lock. At 2.5" from true (imagine a full left turn), the steering arm raises about 3/4". The inner tie rod on this rack is approximately 10" long (from end of threads to the pivot ball)...and if you add what will be the outer tie rod...the length goes to about 14". The strut intersects the inner tie rod about 6.5" out from the pivot. So, if you can imagine the arm raising even 1" clear out at 14"...at 6.5" it's going to raise less than 1/2". Now add to that fact, that the pivot of the tie rod is extending also as you're making a turn...so that distance becomes only 4.5" from the pivot at full lock. I'm sure the tie rod is only raising by like .25" at that distance.

Here's some pictures:


So, this is the rough placement of the rack. It's centered end to end (and internally as well). I'll probably be able to lift it about another half inch or so. The main problem visible in this pictures, is that the pivot points on the rack are 25" apart, and the pivot points for the lower control arms are 21" apart. This means the rack pivot points are 2" narrower per side...which would induce some serious bump steer. My solution initially was going to be to narrow the rack...but it turns out, that the steering input shaft is just barely going to clear my headers as/is. What this means is that I'm going to have to narrow my lower control arms the necessary amount (I'll give myself 2" of total adjustment allowance also), and widen the pick up points. I will also adjust the pickup point for the strut rod an equal amount, and give myself the same amount of adjustment. I've been researching to try to find out exactly how the shorter control arms, with the wider mounting points...are going to affect the overall geometry...but I haven't found anything yet. If anyone has any ideas for a resource...I'm all ears.


This picture is interesting. The tie rod is approximately 1.25" below the strut rod...and the center of the tie rod is approximately 2.75" below the steering arm. IF I raise the rack .75", this puts the tie rod 2" below the steering arm...which is where this next picture comes into play.



http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Adjustable-Tie-Rod-Adapter-Stud-to-Heim,3333.html
There's 3" of additional shank below the taper. That's just enough to put me right where I want to be with a 5/8" rod end used as an outer tie rod.

I actually think this is gonna work, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
Looks like a neat piece, and an easy fix...If it works.. I see it's IMCA approved, but is it safe? There's potentially a HE!! of a lot of stress when it's adjusted down towards the extreme end of the threads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
Looks like a neat piece, and an easy fix...If it works.. I see it's IMCA approved, but is it safe? There's potentially a HE!! of a lot of stress when it's adjusted down towards the extreme end of the threads.
That my friend, is an understatement, lol. I know they work on our dirt cars, which take a hell of a lot of abuse in the corners...but daily driven on asphalt, and run for 50 laps on dirt aren't the same. Sooo...I'll also be stiffening up the shank with this setup as insurance:


Bump Steer Spacer for Pinto Spindle - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop
Basically it slides over the 5/8" shank on the other piece for support. I know some guys who just use these with a bolt through them...but I'd feel substantially more secure using both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Great writeup!. Your strut setup is close to what I built for my Fairlane a bunch of years back. Have you put weight on the wheels yet? I originally was going to use the Strange struts, but they were noisey as could be. They clicked and clacked for some unknown reason. Drove me crazy finding what was making the noise. I stole the Monroe formula GP's that I had in my 85 T-bird and they were dead quiet. Funny enough I put the Strange struts in the T-bird and they were quiet. I just figured they didn't like to have a coil wrapped around them. I used 12" 250 lb Carrera springs. I built my own caster camber plates and spring height adjusters. I went rear steer like the Fatman setup with the bolt on adapter. I also went with 05 Mustang GT rotors which are 12.3" and 99 Crown Vic calipers. A bit of a Frankenstein I guess. To figure out the bump steer thing, I had the car set a ride height with no springs and bolts a laser line thing I had to the spindle and moved the suspension up and down using a mocked up adjustable tie rod end mount. Once I had the laser line staying straight through the suspension travel I then made a permanent tie rod end mount. A stock lower ball joint will work if you are confident that it is strong enough. You just need a tapered spacer that takes up the difference in diameter between the original and fox mustang size. I am currently using it this way but would like to go with a larger screw in ball joint in a custom lower control arm. Did you find a screw in joint that would work? Also, my first car was a 68 Cougar XR-7 that I restored when I was a teenager. Also had a XR7-G that was sold before I finished it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #52
Great writeup!. Your strut setup is close to what I built for my Fairlane a bunch of years back. Have you put weight on the wheels yet? I originally was going to use the Strange struts, but they were noisey as could be. They clicked and clacked for some unknown reason. Drove me crazy finding what was making the noise. I stole the Monroe formula GP's that I had in my 85 T-bird and they were dead quiet. Funny enough I put the Strange struts in the T-bird and they were quiet. I just figured they didn't like to have a coil wrapped around them. I used 12" 250 lb Carrera springs. I built my own caster camber plates and spring height adjusters. I went rear steer like the Fatman setup with the bolt on adapter. I also went with 05 Mustang GT rotors which are 12.3" and 99 Crown Vic calipers. A bit of a Frankenstein I guess. To figure out the bump steer thing, I had the car set a ride height with no springs and bolts a laser line thing I had to the spindle and moved the suspension up and down using a mocked up adjustable tie rod end mount. Once I had the laser line staying straight through the suspension travel I then made a permanent tie rod end mount. A stock lower ball joint will work if you are confident that it is strong enough. You just need a tapered spacer that takes up the difference in diameter between the original and fox mustang size. I am currently using it this way but would like to go with a larger screw in ball joint in a custom lower control arm. Did you find a screw in joint that would work? Also, my first car was a 68 Cougar XR-7 that I restored when I was a teenager. Also had a XR7-G that was sold before I finished it.
Hey Steve!! Thanks a ton for the information! I was unaware that there were rear steer brackets available for purchase...I thought they were only available in the Fatman kit? I'll have to look into that for sure. I don't know if it'll be a solution, considering I'm using the M2/Pinto rack (which rack did you use?), but its a direction to look in, surely.

On the ball joint thing, I'm using press fit units since that's what the LCA's I already had accept. The taper of the ball joints in them are actually right for the 96-04 SN95 spindles, but I'm hoping to find a part number with a slightly longer shank to help improve my roll center. One problem I'm seeing even with the stock lowers installed, is that there doesn't seem to be enough travel in the ball joint to allow for full droop. At ride height the ball joint is pointed inward almost to the maximum angle...and it binds when I let the suspension down. Now, this probably wouldn't be a problem on most cars...but this car has the potential to be tripping the 60' lights with the rear tires. That kind of violent upwards shock can't be good when the ball joint is the suspension travel limiter...and the last thing I want is to unknowingly snap it on the way up. That'd be a pretty crappy surprise coming down on that under power. The solution though, may be to modify my control arms to tip the ball joint housing up at an angle...which will allow the ball joint to be centered at ride height. The procedure would be pretty simple I think...a V shaped cut that doesn't completely intersect the bottom of the tube...heat...bend until the sides of the V touch, then weld. Seems pretty basic.

On these Strange struts...I haven't set it down on the ground yet, but...when raising the suspension with a spring installed, I've noticed a really loud bang from the spring jumping back onto the coilover seats...but only when I've got the 10-450 spring installed (since that's what the springs I'm going to be using compress to...I put it in there as a sort of gauge for ride height measurements etc). I think the other problem is that the Strange coilover kit is very loose on the body of their shock. As long as there's weight on it it seems fine, but when the weight is let off things go out of alignment, and when the weight returns...it has to 'adjust', and that makes some noise.

The main issues that I'm dealing with right now are:
-my understanding of how to place a rack doesn't encompass a Macpherson strut setup. Every diagram I see requires that you use a line through the upper and lower control arm mounting locations to determine the pivot points on the rack...but I don't know what you would use to determine that line on a Macpherson strut setup...since there's no upper control arm. I've been guessing at it being roughly the same width, but am still researching.
- assuming the above is correct, the rack pivot points are too wide for the stock LCA mounting locations, but narrowing the rack isn't an option because it will pull the steering input shaft inward, causing it to conflict with the headers.
- the solution to the above is to shorten the LCA's, which will allow moving the LCA mounting points outward (plenty of room for this utilizing the stock LCA mount bracket). This will also require shortening of the strut rods and an equal widening of the strut rod mounting points (plenty of room for that too). While these things aren't a problem as far as the work goes, I'm still unsure of the effect the shorter LCA's mounted further outboard will have on overall handling/driving.

Once those problems are solved, Ill be able to get back to lowering the motor and all the fun challenges THAT's been giving me, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #53
A couple of pictures to illustrate what I think is my solution to the rack issue:


This first pictures shows the rough centers of where the arms are going to be moved to. About an inch higher than the center of the stock location, and 3" outboard per side. This will leave my control arms somewhere between 11.5" and 13.5" long per side from the center of the rod end mount, to the center of the ball joint. I will actually mock it up backwards (mount it to the spindle first then measure inwards) to determine the right length. If I'm right, this should help substantially with the front roll centers, but I'm not sure if there's any negative side effects I should be aware of. Hitting corners at speed isn't the main concern here of course, but I want a stable, predictable car regardless of any reasonable amount of horsepower I throw at it. A car with stable geometry is a hell of a lot easier to get back in shape, if/when it decides to get out.


A picture showing the current control arm geometry. Not horrible for a lowered Macpherson strut from all I've read.


Here I'm just showing roughly where the strut rod mount will be placed to keep things properly triangulated. The strut rod will be an adjustable roller setup.

Any input would be appreciated. I'm still not sure how this is going to affect the overall geometry, and I can't seem to find the right phrase to search to get Google to provide an answer, lol. I know on the dirt cars it would raise the instant center, which is to the good...but again, a Macpherson strut setup on a car that's daily driven on asphalt is a hell of a lot different than a SLA setup on a car run on a banked clay oval for 50 laps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
Could you fab brackets/tabs on your frame to use fox body tubular lower control arms and do away with the strut rods?

Roger
Hey there Roger. The problem with the fox body type lowers is that they are rather long and wide, and those two things together would require they be mounted past the frame inside the engine compartment…sort of like the factory style k-members do. That's why both AJE and Fatman make a k-member type crossmember…to facilitate the mounting of those kinds of arms.

As an interesting side note, what a lot of people don't realize is that the factory forward type strut rods make one half of a triangulated 'A' type control arm. It just mounts differently. Another thing, is that the strut rods are designed to direct force at the braced corners of the forward subframe. This let Ford engineers lighten things they otherwise couldn't have if they'd used a more typical for the time rear facing a-arm.

Anyhow though, I've been reading about this for days, and all I can find about it is in regards to raising the mounting location being good. I can't find anything about the effects of a shorter arm, which is kinda strange to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
The bolt on brackets for the rear steer that I have, were ones that I made myself. Currently I am not using a rack and pinion. I have a modified Saginaw 605 box so I still have power steering without the leaky slave cylinder. I have a cavalier rack that I am planning to use at some point. The car has sort of been on the back burner for a couple of years now since I bought a different place requiring extensive renovations. The noise that the strange struts made were right at the first part of the travel. Barely moving the front end up and down made the noise. I seen on some of the Fox mustangs sites that some people had the same problem, but not all. I hope yours works fine for you. If the press in ball joints are a fox mustang size, Steeda used to make a longer joint for better roll center. Ford motorsport did too at one time but I know that they are not available anymore. Not sure about the Steeda ones.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
Chris,

There are some pretty knowledgeable suspension guys over on Pro-touring.com.
They will be more then willing to give you some help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #58
Chris,

There are some pretty knowledgeable suspension guys over on Pro-touring.com.
They will be more then willing to give you some help.
I'm a member over there...have been for a hundred years, but other than one post recently I haven't been on there in a long time.

I think it's time I remedied that :).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,059 Posts
Lol, thanks brother! Not only a small block though...the smallest of the small blocks!

=p

On the sump thing...did you mean for the gas tank? I did a similar thing to the last car as well...I think it's documented here.

Man, I've seriously been wracking my brain on this steering thing. Can't wait to get out there this afternoon and at least see what things look like. My worst case solution seems like the easiest one so far...but that could all change once I'm out there taking a look.
Gas tank, that's genious. I missed the other sump (Pan?) but Im sure its just as brilliant. I got to go put my steering box back in. Got a lot of pics to update, just busy as heck with Easter, Spring Break and the kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #60
Gas tank, that's genious. I missed the other sump (Pan?) but Im sure its just as brilliant. I got to go put my steering box back in. Got a lot of pics to update, just busy as heck with Easter, Spring Break and the kids.
Thanks man :). I've seen lots of universal sumps out there though...about the only way to use them is to adapt them somehow. Plus, I wanted the larger 22gal tank, and didn't want to pay the outrageous price required for a fuel cell! I do still need to put in a steel firewall for the trunk...just because.

As for my oil pan...lol, it's going to have to be 99% fabricated unfortunately. I'm cutting down an OEM late model unit for the gasket surface and about 3" of the sides...and bolting it to a block to make sure it doesn't warp. I need to get the engine set exactly were I want it first so I can get some measurements...then I'll be going for broke on it, lol.

Going to have to pick up some gas for my mig first though!
 
41 - 60 of 124 Posts
Top