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#2372339 - 09/17/17 05:14 PM adjustable strut rods
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
can anyone tell me how much shorter I can go with something like a Hotchkis adjustable strut rod? there is plenty of adjustability I presume?

the strut mount on my k-member is a little caved in looking on the pass side, other sides looks ok. just went through all of my suspension and I am using an alignment gauge on the spindle and I can't get good numbers on the pass side.

Measuring from common holes in the frame rails to the grease fitting on teh LBJ, the pass side is 1/2" pushed back.

can I be confident the adjustable strut rods will get me that 1/2" back?

the k-member mount looks like it's only pushed in 1/8" at most, which is the reason I decided to put it back together and see what it looked like...

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#2372388 - 09/17/17 07:28 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
GoodysGotaCuda Offline
5.7L Hemi, 6spd

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 24355
Loc: Texas
Time for a new K.

You can adjust things pretty far with the Hotchkis parts, but it sounds like a bandaid solution. What will happen to the lower control arm pivot when you do that? It sounds like you'll eat LCA bushings very fast.
_________________________
1972 Barracuda - 5.7L Hemi, T56 Magnum 6spd - Build page -> https://www.facebook.com/GoodysGotaHemi<-
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1969 Dodge Dart Custom Sedan - Grandma Edition - 318/904
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#2372393 - 09/17/17 07:47 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
I plan to replace the K member when I pull the motor. OK with a bandaid solution for a while.

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#2372503 - 09/17/17 11:42 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
geo. Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/15
Posts: 126
Loc: n.c.
I don't think there's any reason you couldn't attempt to straighten, and then reinforce your K.
Take plenty of measurements, you should be able the press the caved in spot back where it belongs.

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#2372656 - 09/18/17 10:18 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
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Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
To give you an idea what I'm looking at, this pic shows it. Those are the Moog improved design strut rod bushings.


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#2372841 - 09/18/17 03:10 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Mopar Mitch Offline
super stock

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 1053
Loc: NW Chicago suburban area
I often wonder about the wear of the LCA bushing -- as it passes through the LCA - and the angular effect of moving the LCA forward with adjustable strut rods (to gain positive caster). With rubber LCA bushings (factory stock design), the rubber material can allow some angular flex of the LCA. However, with less forgiving material, such as POLY or Nylon/Delrin, or so far as steel) that angular motion (in other words, no longer a ~90 degree perpendicular attachment), would be causing excess and premature wear on that non-rubber LCA bushing.

I'm currently installing Firm Feel's Nylon/Delrin LCA bushings... and hope they won't prematurely wear out.

I also wonder about POLY strut bushings (from FF) -- if they will prematurely wear out, say, vs the "forgiving" rubber factory design.

Then... there is the heim-joint designs of struts... would they be "pulling" the strut forward/backward within the range of motion (up/down) of the LCA?... and ultimately wearing out the LCA bushings, especially if they are POLY or nor non-rubber?

(I think these concerns could be adjoined within the original poster's inquiry.)
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#2372893 - 09/18/17 04:42 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
I talked to Dick at Firm Feel, he said heat, a BFH and a really stout bar to hammer it out.

I think I'm going to use some 1/4" plate I have hanging around here and see if I can weld up a form that will go on the front side of the K-Member mount area and use a 5/8" bolt/washers/breaker bar to pull that area back into shape. Atleast get it close, then use some adjustable strut rods to get everything equal. Sucks to pull it apart again but it should go quick now, everything is clean.

How thick is the K-member at the strut rod mount? It's from 1967.
Is it two pieces of 3/32" metal sandwiched together??

Mopar Mitch, I was thinking about the arc that the strut rod makes the LCA follow. It can't be much change at all. How long is a strut rod, like 19" or something?
the arc of a 19" radius is pretty flat. Then think about the length of the LCA, the effect on the bushing probably isn't too extreme.


Edited by krautrock (09/18/17 05:45 PM)

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#2373022 - 09/18/17 09:03 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: Mopar Mitch]
Supercuda Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13659
Loc: up yours
Originally Posted By Mopar Mitch


Then... there is the heim-joint designs of struts... would they be "pulling" the strut forward/backward within the range of motion (up/down) of the LCA?... and ultimately wearing out the LCA bushings, especially if they are POLY or nor non-rubber?



Heim jointed strut rods that I have seen move the pivot location adding a bind to the setup.

Yet another aftermaket pos design that many fall for.
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#2373042 - 09/18/17 09:51 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: Supercuda]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
Originally Posted By Supercuda
Originally Posted By Mopar Mitch


Then... there is the heim-joint designs of struts... would they be "pulling" the strut forward/backward within the range of motion (up/down) of the LCA?... and ultimately wearing out the LCA bushings, especially if they are POLY or nor non-rubber?



Heim jointed strut rods that I have seen move the pivot location adding a bind to the setup.

Yet another aftermaket pos design that many fall for.





how much shorter is the radius from the closer pivot point and how much tighter does it make the arc?

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#2373044 - 09/18/17 09:57 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Supercuda Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13659
Loc: up yours
Who knows, I'm not about to start buying poorly thought out items to measure and satisfy someone elses curiosity.

Why induce a problem, however small, into your front suspension when you do not have to.
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#2374932 - 09/22/17 09:14 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: Supercuda]
68rrunner Offline
member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Mountain View, CA
Originally Posted By Supercuda
Who knows, I'm not about to start buying poorly thought out items to measure and satisfy someone elses curiosity.

Why induce a problem, however small, into your front suspension when you do not have to.


What math or real world data do you have to back that up?
Generally speaking, the cars that are set up with an adjustable strut rod have tighter suspension with stiffer springs and shocks, using less suspension travel; and requiring less of an ark. Moving the origin point of the arc rearward 1-2 inches over that amount of run probably doesn't make as big of a difference in handling as a properly located lower ball joint, which directly effects KPA and handling while cornering.

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#2374940 - 09/22/17 09:24 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Supercuda Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13659
Loc: up yours
It's called geometry and an understanding of how the suspension is supposed to work.

Both the LCA inner pivot and the strut rod pivot points need to be in a line, said line defined by the LCA pin. When you use a heim jointed (get it right) strut rod you relocate that pivot by several inches. Which moves it out of line and induces a bind.

How much bind is irrelevant, it is there. how much the LCA may move is irrelevant, the bind is there.

Why would you put a part in your suspension that will induce a bind?

If you really wanted a strut rod without the bushing compliance some dislike then fab up one with a ball joint and center that joint in the line we talked about earlier. Then you get a solid, no bind connection. Probably cost less than the heim joint junk too.


Once again, I am talking about a strut rod that uses a heim joint as the front pivot point. It may or may not be adjustable, but that is irrelevant.
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#2374948 - 09/22/17 09:46 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: Supercuda]
68rrunner Offline
member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Mountain View, CA
Again, where is your data? The factory racers in the day with Upper ball joints mounted on the front of the strut rod and the current setups with heims use the devices for the same reason, to drag the LCA forward and get a desired KPA that is advantageous to a properly handling car. We've prototyped a couple variations of a properly designed LCA that would eliminate the bind in the LCA pin bushing while providing a better LBJ position; but it was determined that the market wouldn't support the cost.

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#2374954 - 09/22/17 10:06 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: 68rrunner]
jcc Online   content
No politics

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 17099
Loc: Trumussia
You are asking for numbers/data to back up the conflicting Arcs/bind issue. Tell us what numbers would make you have a different outlook. The reasoning shared here, IMO is correct. whether it matters to anyone, is personal choice. We repeatedly for example discuss 9/16" vs 11/16" TR stiffness differences, and for over a decade, no one has shared any supporting data to make their case. Why start now? work
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#2374962 - 09/22/17 10:12 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13659
Loc: up yours
Where's my DATA? Go read what you posted. Your words right here:

We've prototyped a couple variations of a properly designed LCA that would eliminate the bind in the LCA pin bushing while providing a better LBJ position

You've stated the exact same thing I did. THE EXACT SAME THING.

Using your strut rod to get a "desired KPA" is the assbackwards way of doing it. Relocate the UBJ.



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#2375309 - 09/22/17 11:38 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
68rrunner Offline
member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Mountain View, CA
I am personally willing to accept the insignificant bind that I put the LCA bushing under because I understand the fact that performing that adjustment makes a better handling car.
However, if I can design a component to make the best of both situations; I will, and I did.
Unfortunately for this community, there are a lot of bench racers and folks working on theory and not real world data. We've been racing these cars for a lot of years and we've got quite a few trophies on our walls to prove we know what we are doing.

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#2375326 - 09/23/17 12:41 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: 68rrunner]
jcc Online   content
No politics

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 17099
Loc: Trumussia
And you should. The conflicting arcs/bind issue is I guess resolvable be re-configuring the LCA original constraints (1 degree of freedom), but only by making, I suppose the strut a non compliant member. That is quickly approaching and exceeding the scope of most of the suspension mods here in this forum.
So what is your LCA pivot solution?
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#2375539 - 09/23/17 02:06 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
68rrunner Offline
member

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Mountain View, CA
I don't think there is a problem with the pivot. A Heim with an adjustable shaft is the best solution to make a car handle confidently.

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#2382927 - 10/06/17 10:57 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
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Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
Well, I have the Hotchkis strut rods now. Was in France for a while so didn't have a chance to mess with it.

Noticed something else, I boxed the lower control arms so they are nice and stiff.
Well, with the front K-member strut mount hole being a little deformed, and the stiff (metal reinforced) "improved design" moog strut rod bushings, there is not much give.
The lower control arm pin actually pulled out of the bushing a slight amount as I tightened everything up.

Going to pull both arms off and replace the bushings.
Going to weld up a stiff plate/bolt/washer type press and see if that will flatten out the strut mount area in the K-member.
Then the Hotchkis strut rods should allow me to get arms in so that the are in their natural position, and from there I should be able to get some decent alignment specs on both sides. I'm not planning on trying to pull the arms forward to try to get huge caster specs...

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#2383562 - 10/07/17 06:24 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
was able to get some time to pull this crap apart again.

this is how much the lower pin pulled out.




a simple little plate and bolt with some washers on the other side.




not perfect, but should be good enough. the hotchkis strut rods have a nice amount of movement in the heim joint so if it is a little cocked to one side it should be fine. as long as i can get good alignment numbers on this side now i'm happy to move on to the next thing to fix on the car. but zero caster and .25* pos camber wasn't going to cut it.


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#2389291 - 10/18/17 11:16 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
Back together. My alignment numbers on the pass side still seemed weak after fixing this. Dropped marks on the ground from the rear of each torsion bar socket, made a line across that. Dropped marks at the face of each LCA real close to the lower ball joint and also dropped marks from the front ball joint bolt in the spindle. Both sides were less than 1/8" difference.

Alignment numbers for DS I was able to get -.50* camber/+4* caster.
PS I was only able to get 0* camber/+1.5 caster.
Got kinda frustrated, started thinking about camber spacers and all that.

Decided to see how much my weight in the drivers seat changed stuff around. My wife plus a puppy in the car and PS came around to -.3* camber and +2.75* caster.
DS numbers changed to -.15* camber/+3.5 caster. slight adjustments to the DS and it's also at -.3* camber/+2.75* caster.

I think I'm losing a full degree of caster from the rear of the car being higher than the front so I'm happy with 2.75* caster.

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#2389693 - 10/19/17 01:18 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Frankenduster Online   boogie
Moparts proctologist

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 15371
Loc: Granite Bay CA
If my EX wife were to sit in the drivers seat of my car, I'd need a block of wood under the frame rail to limit the compression of even my 1.15 torsion bars!

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#2424273 - 12/27/17 01:39 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
EagleDuster Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Northern Colorado
Hey guys, sorry to bring back an old thread but this is the second time I've heard of the "binding due to moved pivot point" issue and it has me confused. I have a mechanical engineering background so I understand the tech-speak with suspension stuff to some extent. The thing is I installed adjustable (heim-jointed) strut rods on my '70 Duster and they made a very noticeable improvement in turn-in response and braking feel. When installing them you are supposed to assemble the LCA and strut rod to the K-member without a torsion bar and gradually adjust the strut rod shorter while simultaneously moving the LCA up and down through its full range of motion. On mine I just went till I started to feel it tightening up and barely pulling on the LCA then tightened the lock nuts. It still moved totally smooth through the full range of motion. If that was possible to achieve then where is this "binding" supposed to be happening?
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#2424275 - 12/27/17 01:59 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
pro451bee Offline
super stock

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 767
Loc: WA
Suposedly the point of motion for the altered pivot point at the K frame for the strut rod changes the ark of the lower controll arm ball joint , and will change dynamic castor slightly more than the stock , vaque rubber biscut mounting.I feel the benifit far out weights the negative .

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#2424287 - 12/27/17 06:51 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
GoodysGotaCuda Offline
5.7L Hemi, 6spd

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 24355
Loc: Texas
What is the proper "spec" for adjusting these?

Upon initial install [no t-bar], I adjusted them to where the LCA ran smoothest through it's range of motion. Now that the car has 1,500 miles or so, I am doing an alignment after things have settled and may want to revisit that.
_________________________
1972 Barracuda - 5.7L Hemi, T56 Magnum 6spd - Build page -> https://www.facebook.com/GoodysGotaHemi<-
1976 Dodge Warlock - "Her Truck" - 360/727 2wd
1969 Dodge Dart Custom Sedan - Grandma Edition - 318/904
2016 Subaru WRX - E30 Tune ~320whp

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#2424396 - 12/27/17 11:56 AM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13659
Loc: up yours
When you use the strut rod to dial in caster you are doing it wrong. Use the UCA to relocate the UBJ. There are a number of aftermarket tubular ones that are designed to add more than the stock UCA.

When the forward pivot of your strut rod is not in line with the LCA pivot pin, you are doing it wrong. That is a design flaw, pure and simple. Easy to fix in the design stage, if you know what you are doing and not slapping some junk together to sell to the unsuspecting.
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They say there is always the exception that proves the rule.
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#2424557 - 12/27/17 04:26 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: GoodysGotaCuda]
krautrock Offline
top fuel

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1751
Loc: central texas
Originally Posted By GoodysGotaCuda
What is the proper "spec" for adjusting these?

Upon initial install [no t-bar], I adjusted them to where the LCA ran smoothest through it's range of motion. Now that the car has 1,500 miles or so, I am doing an alignment after things have settled and may want to revisit that.


that's basically what i did. with no torsion bar in the LCA there is a slight movement in the arm front to rear, i just pushed the arm forward at approximate ride height. adjusted the strut rod to that distance and then gave it an extra turn to lengthen it just a tad.

dropped marks on the ground when it was all back together and measured to make sure everything was equal.

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#2424584 - 12/27/17 05:08 PM Re: adjustable strut rods [Re: krautrock]
EagleDuster Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Northern Colorado
Looks like I'll have to plan on doing a design study on the Mopar front lower control arm/strut rod assembly one of these days when I'm really bored, lol
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1970 Plymouth Duster, 1993 Jeep Cherokee 4x4

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