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Discussion Starter #81
Annnd for another reply!

I shamelessly edited one of your pictures Dennis, to show what I plan on doing with the 4" square tube. Basically I'll leave 4-5" uncut at the bottom and top, and draw a diagonal between them. I'll then split that lower part, and heat/bend them out straight to make the lower ears you see in my edited version of your photo. Overall that will give me about 4" total adjustment if I space them evenly over the roughly 6" surface (I just drew circles in there for bolt holes so you could visualize the spring mounting points). In addition, I can simply butt the subframe connector up to the back side of it, which braces both the spring eye, and ties the rear subframe to the front very solidly.



Having messed with this kind of thing before, do you guys see anything I might be missing?
 

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As far as strength and adjustability goes, that looks good. It will be well supported on the lower end when connected to the subframe connector. I doubt if you need the whole thing to be 1/4" if you are concerned about weight. Perhaps just a few inches of the adjustable uprights and the rest of the perch could be 1/8".

Something to think about. Since the leaf spring acts like the upper bar of a 4 link and the Caltrac bar is the bottom bar, I doubt if you will ever need to drop the front down much more than an inch lower than stock or else the IC will be in the ground--especially with shorter shackles or sliders. I have experimented with this by drilling a hole about an inch higher in the Caltrac Ubolt shackle's uprights. Now even with my extended shackles, my Caltrac bar is level-to-being slightly downward at the front. Having it there has helped me on unprepped tracks by further softening the hit. Much more and it will be much too soft and more preload will be needed for a stronger hit. (Ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh--I got that tip from an accomplished hardcore Caltrac stick car racer who works at a full on race chassis shop. Even better, I proved that it works. ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter #83
As far as strength and adjustability goes, that looks good.

If you think of the leaf spring as the upper bar of a 4 link and the Caltrac is the bottom bar, I doubt if you will ever need to drop the front down much more than an inch lower than stock or else the IC will be in the ground--especially with shorter shackles or sliders. I have experimented with this by drilling a hole about an inch higher in the Caltrac Ubolt shackle. Now even with my extended shackles, my Caltrac bar is level-to-being slightly downward at the front. Having it there has helped me on unprepped tracks by further softening the hit. Much more and it will be much too soft and more preload will be needed for a stronger hit. (Ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh--I got that tip from an accomplished hardcore Caltrac stick car racer who works at a full on race chassis shop, and it works for me.)
Good deal, lol. And I'll be sure to note the tip. To be honest, this will likely be the most powerful street/strip car Ive owned/run myself, and being a stick...it's going to be a rough learning curve. Mid/high 10's in a fox body is a pretty simple deal. Getting the dirt track tires to move it right was fun, but again...bolt ons and a home made adjustable clutch made all the difference. Leaf spring cars, particularly nearly 50yr old ones...are a whole other world when you put even 500hp to them, as you know. Add another 150-200hp to the mix, and things get sort of silly. That's why I'm building in as much stiffness and adjustability as I can from the start. Well, that, and I actually want the thing to go forward instead of making a ton of noise while delivering time slips worthy of a Nissan Sentra.
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Finally picked up some gas for my welder today...I think I've got a ground issue as my welds aren't laying down very cleanly. Still, I got enough penetration to get my control arms welded up. When my strut rod tabs get here tomorrow I'll weld those on also. Going to try to straighten out whatever's causing the thing to weld all wonky first though.

Anyhow, here's a couple pictures.



The arms were originally straight if you recall. I basically just cut a wedge shaped piece out of the top, bent it up, and welded it back closed. Hopefully I got enough angle on it. My static measurements look pretty decent though...so I'm confident it'll work.

Anyhow, I'm going to go ahead and paint up the axle tomorrow also, since I've pretty much committed to relocating the springs, which means I won't have to cut anything up. I'll also weld the strut locating tab to the LCA's as I mentioned, and hopefully I'll have the LCA's mocked up so I can start getting some measurements on the tubing lengths I'll need for the steering, and the strut rods. I'm going with pre-made chromoly swedged tubing...with 1/2" rod ends for the strut rods, and 5/8" for the outer tie rods. I should be able to thread the inner portion of the Mustang II rack to screw right into the swedged tube.

More to come tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #86
What welder are you using Chris? Using a extension cord?
It's a Blue-Point 110 mig, plugged into the wall. This house was built privately though (believe me…I've considered rewirung the thing a hundred times), so it could very well be something in the power being supplied. I hadn't thought of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Well, I got my rotors and pads, strut rod brackets, and all of my rod ends from Speedway as well (fastest shipping EVER) today. I'm still having some trouble with my welder...it's intermittently shorting the arc, then catches up. The inconsistency made it really difficult to get a clean bead, but I'm still positive I got good penetration and that it'll hold.

Anyhow, here's a few pictures of what I got done:






First I welded the strut rod brackets to the LCA's. They're actually lower coilover mounts (much like the ones I ground off the top). They work nicely for my purposes though. You can see better the angle that I fabbed into the LCA as well.


I'm not really one for bling lol, but they ARE a bit lighter than stock, came with good ceramic pads, and they actually cost me less than stock replacement rotors and pads would have.



This is the drop steering adapter from Speedway. It's a VERY nice piece, and even without the extra aluminum piece I ordered, it probably would have been fine. That support piece gives me a substantial comfort cushion though, which is nice. For those of you that didn't know, it seems that a Mustang II/Pinto tie rod (that's the application for these drop adapters) is the same shank size, taper, and length as a SN95. I thought that was interesting.


And this is the result of all the hard work. This is the LCA at full droop, with the LCA rod end mounted in what's very nearly the position they will be when I'm done (remember those little holes next to my white locate marks in my previous pictures?). My cross bolts for the LCA mount fit through them perfectly. Here you see the reason for the huge angle on the end of the LCA. Without it the ball joint would bind before the strut hit full extension. Too much of that and I'm positive it would snap.


All in all, I'm pretty confident that this setup will work well. All of my measurements have worked out as I hoped they would, which is a good sign lol. Tomorrow I hope to get my passenger side caught up to the driver's side. At that point I'll get some measurements for my swedged tubes...5/8" for the steering arms, and 1/2" for the strut rods. I may end up ordering some 5/8" rod ends with 1/2" swivels though, to replace the strut rods. I'm pretty sure the 1/2" swedged tube is strong enough (it's actually 5/8" tube with 1/2" ends), but I kind of don't like the look of the shank on the 1/2" rod end.

Anyhow, that's that for today. It's nice to finally see this front end starting to come together!
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Just looking at your picture, won't the shorter lower control arm cause a lot more camber change through it's motion?

Roger
Yes, but I'm starting with a downward sloping control arm at ride height...and full bump is right at the point where the ball joint is at the level point in the arc. It will never go into positive camber...so I'm not hugely worried about camber changes. Additionally, from my understanding a Macpherson strut doesn't experience a ton of camber change anyhow, as the 'upper' control arm is basically the strut top.
 

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Like the way you moved the rear springs for tire clearence. I would recommend bracing to the shackles in the rear. The weld spot might have weaken the metal at that middle point and brace it to prevent bending.
Also could you post pics of your fuel pump/filter setup? I'm building a 68 Cougar for the Silver State Classic out here and Nevada. I have to start a the 95 MPH class and work up to the 150MPH class.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
Like the way you moved the rear springs for tire clearence. I would recommend bracing to the shackles in the rear. The weld spot might have weaken the metal at that middle point and brace it to prevent bending.
Also could you post pics of your fuel pump/filter setup? I'm building a 68 Cougar for the Silver State Classic out here and Nevada. I have to start a the 95 MPH class and work up to the 150MPH class.
Very nice!! I've always wanted to run that race. Maybe my Cougar will see it one day :).

On the leaf springs...that's actually Dennis' car. Mine's not done yet. I added a 3d sketch to one of Dennis' pictures though, to show my intended setup. On the shackles, I'm actually going to box in the back with 12ga sheetmetal as well.

On the pump, mine is a Weldon 2025, with a 2040 regulator. I haven't bought the filters yet, but one will run right before the pump, and the other in the engine compartment right before the fuel rails. I'm not installing the fuel system until the rear end is in how I want it, but basically it's -12 to the inner fender, with a -12 to -10 bulkhead. The -10 runs only a few feet to the filter, and then everything switches to -8 for the rails and the return to the tank. Both of the -12 rear pulls in my sumped tank are feed pulls. The -8 return will enter the tank at the stock supply point.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Got just a little bit more done today.


Suspension at ride height. My control arms are right at about 13.5" long, and I have a hair over 1" of upward travel at 4" from the mounting point before the frame. By the numbers, this should give me something more than 3" at the ball joint (in line with the strut...which has about 4" of travel left), and over 4.5" at the wheel. I'd like a hair more cushion, but I think this is sufficient.


This is the camber at ride height, with no adjustment. That half bubble on the level adds up to something under 1/4" per foot of slope, or about -1° (I think this number could be FAR worse with the constraint of keeping relatively close to the factory 67/68 track width). The caster/camber plate is maxxed out for positive camber, but I still have about 5/8" positive (inboard) adjustment on the rod end. Worst case...I'll shorten the arms another 1/2", just to give myself a bit more inboard adjustment, as I'd like to have the caster/camber plates a bit more centered if possible.


Overhead shot of the strut rod setup. It looks WAY out in this picture, but if you raise the stock LCA, they actually line up almost perfectly.




A few pictures showing the clearance to the frame at ride height. I think this will work to be honest...but until I drive it, we really won't know for sure.

So that's it for now. I didn't get to any of the rear end stuff, and didn't get the other side setup either...but I still feel like I accomplished something. Tomorrow I'm going to hit the local surplus store for a couple of right and left hand 1/2" rod connectors and some all thread to replicate my strut rod so I can size it properly. I'll also grab some 5/8" if its available, to simulate my outer tie rods as well. If things work out over this week, I'll be able to get all the measurements for my swedged tubing, and get the rack mount position roughed in as well. After that's all done I'll move to the back and concentrate on getting the leafs moved inboard so I can put the rearend in.
 

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I just glanced through that thread you linked Dennis, and while my Caltracs are the newer style with the spring stop held in with c-clips, I think I'm going to leave out the two .250" thick spacers and just use washers at the spring eye. This should eliminate any binding in the 3.50" ID tubing section, and still give me the full .500" lateral adjustment of the front spring position..
Chris, its so easy I can do it. I also have the new CALTRACS and did some figuring on how to build the boxes to accomodate this and that. I wound up keeping the box fairly narrow, I did split it and open it up a 1/4 or 1/2, then stacked and welded two Grade 8 washers on each side, then built little ramps or sliders below that so the CALTRAC and spring would slide into the box and have enough clearance to clear the pins and spring clip travel room.
I copied Dennis verbatim on this, except for the part about the box build. Fun project.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Chris, its so easy I can do it. I also have the new CALTRACS and did some figuring on how to build the boxes to accomodate this and that. I wound up keeping the box fairly narrow, I did split it and open it up a 1/4 or 1/2, then stacked and welded two Grade 8 washers on each side, then built little ramps or sliders below that so the CALTRAC and spring would slide into the box and have enough clearance to clear the pins and spring clip travel room.
I copied Dennis verbatim on this, except for the part about the box build. Fun project.
Lol!! Don't sell yourself short my friend! But you're right, it does look pretty simple really. As soon as I get the majority of this front stuff done, I'll tackle that. I need to get the car rolling for a short while here within the next two weeks.
 

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I take it you're going fuel injected. I'll be using a 850 Holley system. 460 with around 475 HP. Using a C-4 with 2.75 gears for a 3000rpm at 95MPH. 150MPH is only 4800 rpms. TQ is the big factor in keeping her rolling. Alt starts at 6200 and goes down to 1700 so that could be interesting.
The wife and I are going out for the Spring race mid May to get all the good info.
I have to build for sway bars and long distance cooling. Plus running a full exhaust system.
 

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Discussion Starter #96
I take it you're going fuel injected. I'll be using a 850 Holley system. 460 with around 475 HP. Using a C-4 with 2.75 gears for a 3000rpm at 95MPH. 150MPH is only 4800 rpms. TQ is the big factor in keeping her rolling. Alt starts at 6200 and goes down to 1700 so that could be interesting.
The wife and I are going out for the Spring race mid May to get all the good info.
I have to build for sway bars and long distance cooling. Plus running a full exhaust system.
Nice!! I really would love to go myself. Just not in the cards though.../sigh!

If you go here:

http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/makin-progress/482938-67-mustang-coupe-wip.html

...and take a look about 3/4 of the way down the page, you'll see how I ran my fuel system for a 500hp+ carbed 347 on my last Mustang. Hopefully it'll help a bit!
 

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Lol!! Don't sell yourself short my friend! But you're right, it does look pretty simple really. As soon as I get the majority of this front stuff done, I'll tackle that. I need to get the car rolling for a short while here within the next two weeks.
You can sort through my making progress for the "lugs or pads" I built into my front spring mounts. Washers alone are fine, I just didnt want to be under the car dropping washers trying to feed all that crap in and cussing.
Putting the windows in were enough cussing, especially those rear stops. PITA.
 

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I wrap electrical tap around my washers, much like coins in a sleeve during the installation. The tape pretty much remain on the washers and when the spring is removed, they are still wrapped. It really isn't that difficult to do to worry about it. Some type of 1 piece metal shim would work good too and wouldn't be too hard to build/install once the desired washer stack length is determined.
 

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Discussion Starter #99 (Edited)
Well, I've temporarily (I may actually never move them in, we'll see) shelved the idea of moving the rear springs inboard. I need to get the car down on four wheels so I can move it over on the pad, and the easiest way is to cut the old perches off most of the way, and tack on new ones at the factory 43" width.

I also messed up on the design of my lower control arms, in that the strut rod setup I built doesn't locate the ball joint in a fixed position horizontally. It locates it in a fore/aft capacity, but the ball joint is free to twist about 30° in either direction. As you can imagine, this would change the caster and toe at random. In addition, the position of the strut rod bracket places the strut rod on a plane with the steering. Luckily the solution to the first problem, also seems to provide a solution to the second problem. Basically I'm going to use an aftermarket attachment (similar to the stock strut rod attachment) to attach the control arm to the strut rod in a fixed position. I am also going to place the bracket that it bolts to, on the bottom of the control arm. This should allow me clearance on the steering arm, and correct the issue of the non-fixed position of the LCA.

Unfortunately I didn't figure all of this out until I got both sides assembled and went to measure for my strut rods...along with mocking up the steering, lol.

Anyhow, here's the pictures of what I've been up to, along with a better step by step of how I put the caster/camber plates in.

First the caster/camber plates:


You can see here I've already drilled out the mounting holes, as well as the spot welds holding the spring cup to the underside of the tower (the cup had been removed also). The layout of the mounting studs on the lower support piece of the caster/camber plate requires that one stud come up in the center of the original shock tower bracket hole, two in clean sheetmetal, and one just barely outside of one of the original slots. The one outside of the slot is obviously impossible to drill, so it needs to be routed out. I used a small round file chucked up in my cordless drill.


Here you see all the holes drilled out.


This part is important. You want it to JUST fit the studs. If its perfect, there is nothing to keep the bracket in place while you're doing the rest of the work. If it's too far from a clean fit (even if you can get the studs in there with a bit of force), it will spread the studs too wide when you draw them up through the holes, and the top plates won't fit.


Here I've tapped the base plate up through the holes. A wooden 2lb hammer handle worked nicely.




I used the supplied nuts to draw it up tight...and you can see the washers I used to fill the hole on the near right. Perfect fit!...and part of why I placed it where I did. The drivers side is the same. In the second and third pictures you can see it all drawn up.


Mid plate installed.


All finished!!

I'm going to put the rest in a separate thread, since sometimes this forum starts deleting pictures after too many.
 

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Discussion Starter #100 (Edited)



This is how I chose to install my LCA. 3/4" spacer to the front, 3/4" rod end, and a nut behind it to hold it tight. I then followed up with a nut and washer on the outside. This pushes the LCA a bit rearward, allowing for a slight amount more forward triangulation.



Both sides installed at ride height (between 13 and 13.5").



Here's a quick picture of the strut rod connectors I'll be using to locate my lower control arms, as well as the swedged tubing I'll use for both the strut rods, and steering adapters. The steering adapters were HARD to source! They need to be literally 4" long, with 5/8-18 LH thread on the outside, and 9/16-18 RH thread on the inside. I finally found some 7" long, and will cut and weld them to the proper length.



I also started grinding the perches off of the 8.8. As you can see I decided to leave some of it on there, since the spring perch doubles as a brake line bracket, lol.

Anyhow, that's that for tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to finish getting the rear end ground down and the new perches tacked on. Once that's finished, I'll check wheel fitment again and see how it looks. I really think I'm going to need a wheel with 5.5" backspacing (my current wheels are 6.5"). I almost wish I hadn't bought them, but they were worth much more than what I paid, so reselling them shouldn't be too much an issue.

Oh, one last thing...


Isn't this thing a beast, lol??
 
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