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Dr G
06-13-2015, 05:46 PM
After getting ready to build a new frame for my 56, I decided to scale back a bit and just build new control arms first. As an experiment. Once I got into the project I decided to upgrade the brakes as well.

The chassis I have now was built by someone else. I am not very happy with it. High on my list of dislikes was the front suspension. The biggest problem was that there is less than 4 degrees of caster, which makes the truck a little darty on the freeway. Basically impossible to drive with one hand in a relaxed manner. I also have Wilwood Pro Spindles which run 11 deg KPI. Anyone who's read Ron Sutton's suspension threads realizes the problem, a large loss of negative camber on the outside wheel when cornering. Not great for a truck that was built to corner. Also the steering is extremely light. I run a KFI power steering pump and had to back down to their most restrictive port on the pump outlet to get some semblance of steering feel. I run manual brakes so the juxtaposition of heavy brake pedal and light steering is disconcerting.

The guy who built the suspension must have realized the error with caster, as the rod ends on the upper control arms (which are meant for adjusting camber) had been tweaked as far as possible to move the upper balljoints back, to get more caster. As a consequence though, the jam nut on the rear rod end on each control arm was rubbing the mounting tab on the frame. Not good. Add to that the upper control arms were mounted upside down, or mixed up left to right, since the ball joint cup, which should angle upwards to match the KPI angle of the spindle, were instead angled down. This limits the range of motion of the balljoints.

The lower control arms use some type of poly-urethane bushings, which is horrible for friction. Also the front leg of each control arm was rubbing on the subframe. Add it all up and the front suspension had a ton of friction.

The answer is new control arms, designed to move the upper and lower ball joints to better positions, and with reduced friction via better design.

Step one in building control arms is building a fixture, use the old control arms as a template. That's how far I am at this point.

This pic shows the old control are mocked up in the fixture:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/fixture203-1.jpg

I built the fixture out of some machined aluminum plates that I used for mass loading audio equipment about 10 years ago. You need a good flat surface to start with.
Here is the fixture with the ball joint and cup positioned 1 inch further forward and 1/2 inch further out (to increase track). The rod ends are positioned so that they will fit the frame, and I have the threaded adapters screwed onto them. All that is left is to connect the dots with 1 inch OD DOM tubing and weld.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/fixture202-1.jpg

The same fixture is partially ready to do the lower control arms, you just flip it 180 degrees. Also the brass bar that has a tapered hole for the balljoint can be flipped to build the left and right control arms.

I'll keep updating the thread as I bumble along. I'm having to do a lot of work with the brakes most of which is my own fault (I prefer black anodized calipers over black power coat for the look I'm after).

Here is a pic of the 15" rotor inside my 19" x 10" wheel. I've painted them dark bronze which looks much better.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/rotor20in20wheel20backside201-1.jpg

Here is also a picture showing how I measured the distance between the center of the upper and lower balljoints on the spindle, which you need to know to calculate how to change the caster. In this case the distance is 11.25 inches:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/ball20joint20separation201-1.jpg

Jetfixr320
06-14-2015, 07:57 AM
What paint are you using on the wheels?

Dr G
06-14-2015, 03:35 PM
What paint are you using on the wheels?I think it's just Rustoleum or Krylon Dark Bronze. I bought it off Amazon.

Sickcustoms a
06-14-2015, 11:01 PM
definetly gonna watch this progress
being based in South Africa importing part etc is basically out off the question due to costs
will pm you a little later

chevelletiger
06-15-2015, 08:20 AM
You need tall ball joints or tall spindles to change the height of where the ball joint center lines are now ive from what i have been told.
How many degrees are you going to get moving the uca bj forward?i maybe wrong,but i thought you need to move the uca bj cl back,lca forward to get more positive caster,and shorten the uca,or lengthen the lower,which you probably have done to get more neg camber?not sure what you have in your picture.hit ron sutton up hes the master on this stuff.

chevelletiger
06-15-2015, 08:25 AM
Btw,im really digging you making your own parts,in a hobby now known for just picking up the phone or clicking a mouse to get a better performace part,its really cool to see this!
I too try to make as much of my own stuff as possible.machinist by trade,welder.painted my car etc. We need more giys like you.
Phil

Twentyover
06-15-2015, 08:48 AM
So are you deciding to live with the 11 degree KPIA? I was thinking of using the Wilwood spindle in my European Capri (Currently Mac Strut), didn't like the KPIA, but short of fabbing a one off spindle or going with a Coleman custom (still on the table for me), i'm kind of at a loss.

I need to sit doen and layout the wheel/tire/hub-brake vs KPIA to figure out what scrub radius will be, that's what will drive my KPIA




Editted for spelling, mostly

Dr G
06-15-2015, 09:30 AM
You need tall ball joints or tall spindles to change the height of where the ball joint center lines are now ive from what i have been told.
How many degrees are you going to get moving the uca bj forward?i maybe wrong,but i thought you need to move the uca bj cl back,lca forward to get more positive caster,and shorten the uca,or lengthen the lower,which you probably have done to get more neg camber?not sure what you have in your picture.hit ron sutton up hes the master on this stuff.

Hey Tiger. Good catch on the forward direction of the upper ball joints! Yes, that is the wrong direction in terms of adding caster. But...I will move the lower ball joints forward 2.4 inches. So 1.00" for the upper balljoints and 2.40" for the lower ball joints. This will move both ball joints (and the front wheels) forward 1" (which I want) and then, since the spindle is roughly centered half way vertically between the lower and upper ball joints, another 1.4/2 = 0.7 inches forward for the front wheels. So a total forward movement of the wheels of 1.7 inches, which is planned.

The current caster is less than 4 deg and I want 11 deg to match the KPI for camber considerations when turning. The distance between the ball joints is 11.25". To get an additional 7 deg of caster the lower balljoint has to move forward 11.25*tan(7) = 1.38". Hence the 1.4 inches mentioned above.

Now I realize that 11 is a ton of caster. That's what I consider this an experiment. I will have to change out the restricter on the power steering pump to change the assist level. I'll play around with it and see how it feels. Then decided whether to us a new spindle with less KPI when I go to build my new frame (with new suspension all around). The assumption being that less KPI will allow less caster and still maintain good camber when turning.

Since the wheels I am running now are 19" x 10" with ET45 (45mm of offset), the 11 KPI helps keep the scrub radius reasonable. Adding 1.5 static negative camber yields 1.36" of scrub radius. Not great but not horrible. Hope all this makes sense...

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/Screen20Shot202015061520at2010270820AM-1.png

Dr G
06-15-2015, 09:35 AM
So are you deciding to live with the 11 degree KPIA? I was thinking of using the Wilwood spindle in my European Capri (Currently Mac Strut), didn't like the KPIA, but short of fabbing a one off spindle or going with a Coleman custom (still on the table for me), i'm kind of at a loss.

For now I do plan to keep the Wilwood Pro Spindles. Mostly because that's what I have already. But also because it helps with scrub radius in light of the offset of my current wheels. If I get new spindles down the road I'd be eyeing the Ron Sutton versions. But that would require new wheels with more offset to keep scrub radius reasonable. I've thought about making my own spindles, the tough part is getting pins, bearings and hubs. The ideal would be a bolt-on pin, that way you can machine the spindles out of aluminum and do whatever you want. I've not yet found the right pin though. Offroad guys make nice ones, but I'm not sure they'd work with my style of wheel. If anyone has any info, I'm all ears.

Dr G
06-15-2015, 10:37 AM
Just finished up the first leg of one upper control arm. I actually started on this a couple of years ago, so the tubes were part way bent, but not enough. It's always a bit finicky to stick a bent tube in the tube bender, so there are two bends separated by a short distance. Perfectly workable but if I did it over I'd should be able to achieve the same goal with a single bend.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/first20control20arm20leg-1.jpg

The bender is from JD-Squared and works great, though I always have to read the directions to figure out how it works! Once you get it sorted it is real easy.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/tube20bender-1.jpg

Dr G
06-16-2015, 11:21 AM
First control arm done, three to go. Just waiting on the ball joint cups. I assumed the bottom ball joints for the Wilwood Pro Spindle would be the Chrysler large 727 size, but those did not fit. So I am using the smaller 772 size top and bottom. Using QA1 low friction ball joints.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/control20arm20complete201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/control20arm20complete202-1.jpg

Dr G
06-16-2015, 03:06 PM
So as I mentioned earlier, at the same time that I am redoing the front suspension, I am also redoing the brakes.

Up until now I've been running Wilwood Superlight calipers up front, 6-piston, with 14" x 1.1" rotors. The rear brakes are Dynalite calipers with 12.19" x 0.81" rotors. I have dual Tilton master cylinders and a Wilwood pedal assembly with balance bar. This is a manual setup, which I love for the feel you get when braking.

The problem with manual brakes, on the street at least, is brake effort. In an effort to improve this, I lengthened the brake pedal arm about an inch, added some Hawk Blue pads up front, and played around with master cylinder sizes until I got an acceptable balance between brake effort and pedal travel. But I knew it could be better.

Then, while perusing around the internet, I noticed that Wilwood came out with a new caliper design, the Aero6. The Aero4 appears to be the same caliper body, with the center pistons omitted. I further noticed that the Aero6 would work with 15" rotors. Hmm, that got me thinking. The beauty of bigger rotor diameter is that you get more brake torque with no change to pedal travel. The downside is extra weight, unsprung and rotational. Of course the extra mass is beneficial at the track in terms of absorbing heat, but otherwise it is no helpful. I rationalized that the 5-6 lbs saved with my new wheel and tire combo (per corner) would even out the extra 4-5 lbs of rotor mass. I was sold.

Now the extra brake torque will translate directly to less pedal effort. Or if I increase the front master cylinder size I can get the same brake effort as I have now but with a stiffer pedal. Both are attractive options. Anyone who states (and many do) that all you need from your brakes is to be able to lock up the tires, the rest is unneeded, is missing the point. The point of good braking is to be able to decelerate as rapidly as possible without locking the tires. And to do that repeatedly requires good modulation. A stiff brake pedal translates directly to improved modulation. This has been borne out by decades of F1, Rally, and Endurance racing. Top end drivers want a rock hard pedal, with zero system flex. That is the goal. And to combine that with acceptable pedal effort.

Ok, having established why I wanted 15" rotors, the next trick was to make it work with my Wilwood Pro spindles. Wilwood does not make a kit for this spindle with 15" rotors, only for 14" rotors. So I did a little R&D (rip-off and duplicate). The brake kit I had on the truck is made for two rotor diameters, 13" or 14". To accommodate the 14" rotors, Wilwood simply adds spacers on the caliper bracket to move the caliper out further. So I figured I would try to do the same in going from 14" to 15" rotors with the new caliper bracket that comes with the Aero6 kit. And after playing with some spacer sizing, this worked out perfectly.

Here's a few pictures of the mockup stage:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/caliper20installed201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/caliper20installed202-1.jpg

Even though my wheels are 19", the calipers are a snug fit. That's because the wheels are cast, and therefore pretty thick where the barrel meets the spokes. But it fits.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/inside20wheel201-1.jpg

Dr G
06-26-2015, 05:46 PM
A few updates on my project. I removed the front fenders and liners so that I could get better access to the suspension:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/front20sheet20metal20off202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/front20sheet20metal20off201-1.jpg


I also purchased a Tilton pedal assembly as part of my brake system overhaul. It's a real nice piece, very well made:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/tilton20pedal20cluster201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/tilton20pedal20cluster204-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/tilton20pedal20cluster203-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/tilton20pedal20cluster202-1.jpg


Since I do not need the clutch pedal, I cut the pedal cluster in two:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/cluster20cut-1.jpg

I also got some new front shocks as part of the suspension rebuild. The rear shocks are Bilsteins valved to work with the truck arms. When I build the new frame I plan to go to 3-link and at that point I'll get matching Ride Tech shocks for the rear. For now it will be a hybrid.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/ride20tech20shock201-1.jpg

Here are the new front Ride Tech shocks compared with my existing Bilstein ASN's. The ASN's are the 7" stroke version, the Ride Tech's are 6" stroke. Since the shock picks up the control arm way out by the ball joint you need more travel. I am not sure if the 14" springs will be too long, we'll see.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/06/ride20tech20to20bilstein20comparo-1.jpg

More to come...

Dr G
07-02-2015, 01:41 PM
Just a few small updates.

The following photo shows my new Tilton brake pedal compared to my old one. The old one is a Wilwood underhung. I put it upside down for the picture and lined up the two pivot points to illustrate the difference in pedal length (leverage).

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20comparison-1.jpg

The plan is that the reduced leverage from the pedal will be compensate for by the increase in stopping power from the larger front and rear brake disc diameters. For sure the new pedal will be stiffer than the old one.

This next photo bears out the saying that "necessity is the mother of invention". When the original brake system was first installed the pedal effort seemed high to me. So I played around with lengthening the brake pedal as well as master cylinder bores to get it where it felt ok. Also, the brake pedal pad was physically too high off the floor. It was easier to lengthen the pedal arm than to try to remount the pedal cluster further down (though I did try to do that). I'm glad that the pedal cluster and master cylinders will not longer be up under the dash with this new configuration as it was a real bitch to work on with all the wiring and stuff in the way.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/wilwood20pedal20mod201-1.jpg

Here just a quick picture of one of my upper control arms all finished up with nice new NHBB rod ends. I'll be starting the lower control arms soon. Just waiting on some bushing sleeves from a local machine shop.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/control20arm20complete203-1.jpg

Dr G
07-02-2015, 04:03 PM
Forgot to add a couple of pics of the new Wilwood Aero6 calipers vs the old Superlight calipers.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/aero620vs20Superlight202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/aero620vs20Superlight203-1.jpg

The mounting studs are further apart and larger in diameter. And the whole caliper is a lot bigger. Looks like it should be stiffer as well eliminating system flex.

I've always been a big fan of mono block calipers. It just makes sense to me that they would have a better stiffness to weight ratio. Some Brembo GTR's would be have been nice.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/Brembo20GTR20brakes-1.png

But there is simply not enough info on them online, they are expensive and a bit overkill for what I'm doing here.

If you keep pursuing better brakes you end up with this!

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/uprb82-1.jpg

Dr G
07-12-2015, 11:45 AM
Latest updates. Seems like I'm spending all my time taking things apart. But things are coming together on various fronts. Often stuck waiting for a part or materials so I can move on, so I jump around on the various projects. Here I cut the floorboard to make room for the Tilton brake pedal. I decided to mount it to the frame, and then extend the sheet metal around it, so it is still "inside" the cab. The master cylinders will now be in the engine compartment though, with the fluid reservoir mounted to the firewall above.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/floor20before20cut201-1.jpg

Now, with part of the floorboard cut out:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/floor20after20cut201-1.jpg

I clamped the brake pedal to the frame as a mockup:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/brake20pedal20mockup20inside201-1.jpg

You can see where I welded in a dimple for the valve cover. I found out I had to do that kind of late, and so tried to weld in the dimple with a bunch of stuff in the way. Did not clean the metal properly and just had a miserable time doing it, as the quality of the welding bears out. One day soon when I take the cab off, I can really get at it and clean it up.

Here you can see the where the pedal cluster will bolt to the frame:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/brake20pedal20mockup20outside201-1.jpg

Since the cab is still soft-mounted, I'm going to have to get tricky with how the sheet metal envelops the pedal cluster. If I make it all solid it might crack the sheet metal, I don't know. Better to be safe so I will use rubber grommets to let the sheet metal 'float' around the cluster.

One of the other things I'm doing on this go-around is building a new mounting platform for my seats. Here's a pic where I'm bending the 1.5" x 0.095" DOM tubing that will comprise the platform. More to come on this.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/bending20seat20mounting20base201-1.jpg

Lastly a pic of my KRC power steering pump flow control valve. Since the truck was built with so little caster (4 deg) I found I had to go to the most restrictive valve (least amount of boost) in order to get some semblance of steering feel. Now I'll have 11 deg caster, so will have to change out the valve to a less restrictive one. There are I believe 9 valves available to choose from. Pretty handy.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/KRC20steering20assist20valve-1.jpg

Gustave

Dr G
07-18-2015, 09:16 AM
A few more updates.

I built a sheet metal enclosure for my brake pedal assembly. I refer to it as a "pedal box". This is so that, even though the pedal cluster will be bolted to the frame, it will still be located "inside" the cab, along with the balance bar. The master cylinders will mount just on the other side of this box, inside the engine compartment.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/building20pedal20box201-1.jpg

Here you can see the completed box, along with the grommets and steel spacers what will solidly mount the pedal cluster and master cylinders to the frame, while allowing the sheet metal box (which is part of the cab) to float around it.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20grommets202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20grommets203-1.jpg

The metal plate shown on the left will be welded to the frame, and is what the pedal cluster will bolt to:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20grommets-1.jpg

The completed box mocked up with pedal cluster and master cylinders:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20mockup201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20mockup202-1.jpg

And here is the pedal box mounted to the frame showing where it will be relative to the cab floor:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20mocked20up20in20truck202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/pedal20box20mocked20up20in20truck201-1.jpg

I have to fill in the area around the pedal box to rebuild the cab floor. The idea is to keep the flat portion of the cab floor going forward for another 4-5 inches to give more legroom. This is important because I am moving the seats down, and as you do that, your legs get scrunched up unless you provide more room forward for you feet. I'll be building a new throttle pedal, also hinged from the bottom, and mount it over on the right. The main interference is from the valve cover, which is located pretty much where my toes will want to be at full throttle. It will be a tight squeeze getting it all situated, but that's the fun of it.

I also installed a new RobbMc starter motor. With my previous starter the solenoid was stuck right up under the headers and the available adjustments could not get it out of that region. The RobbMc unit has the motor axis concentric with the pinion axis, allowing a lot more possibilities in positioning the solenoid. It really is infinitely adjustable and I was able to put the solenoid well down away from the heat of the headers. I also changed over from bolts to studs to mount the starter. These are dual thread pitch studs, 3/8-16 to go into the bell housing and 3/8-24 for the nuts that hold the starter down. Also the portion of the studs where the starter sits are unthreaded, so I won't have the aluminum starter mounting flange being ground away by steel coarse thread bolts. Just good practice.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/starter20studs201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/solenoid20position201-1.jpg

Gustave

chevelletiger
07-18-2015, 10:43 AM
Dr.G,question.
How do you keep your work bench from moving while using your bender?
It looks like you have casters on there.
Keep up the good work,im loving the fab!
Phil

Dr G
07-18-2015, 12:22 PM
Dr.G,question.
How do you keep your work bench from moving while using your bender?
It looks like you have casters on there.
PhilGood question. I used what they call "self-leveling casters". For mine you have to turn a little dial on the caster and it lowers a big rubber foot down onto the floor, taking weight off of the caster. That keeps the work bench from moving around. I have to have the thing on wheels since my garage is not big and I have to move stuff around depending on the project at hand. Gustave

Dr G
07-26-2015, 12:04 PM
I finished modifying the cab floor to accommodate the new brake pedal and provide a bit more forward leg room:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/new20floor20board20welded20in201-1.jpg

I will have to modify the tranny cover to match this new floor. And I will build a bottom hinged throttle pedal to go on the right once I get the seats back in so I can test fit everything. The C-shaped patch along the top of the new metal was a repair. I had a perfect fit for a butt joint along the top, but a previous builder had sanded the old sheet metal so thin (during a firewall reshape) that when I went to tack in the new metal, the old metal just vaporized. So I was left with a 1/4" gap to contend with. After trying to fill it with MIG I finally realized it better to just put a patch over it. When I get the cab off during my new frame construction (first half of next year hopefully) then I can get proper access to try and fix this area properly. Right now with the engine in the way it is just too difficult.


Here is the completed pedestal I built to mount the brake pedal cluster to the frame:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/brake20pedal20pedestal201-1.jpg

This should be plenty stiff and the new floor will wrap around the brake pedal, with the master cylinders outside in the engine bay. That part turned out just how I'd hoped.

Here is the start of the new seat mounting base I made:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/seat20brace20tacked20in201-1.jpg

I showed pics of me bending this tubing earlier. It's 1.5" 0.095 round with 0.065 rectangular. I have a habit of overbuilding stuff. If I did this again I'd make the whole thing out of 0.065
The seat platform bolts to aluminum adapter brackets, which pick up the original 8 threaded holes in the cab floor. The seat sliders will bolt to this platform. I welded little cylindrical tubes through the rectangular sections so that they would not crush when tightening the bolts for mounting to the cab and the seats.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/seat20base20bolt20reinforcement201-1.jpg

As you can tell I am still a total beginner TIG welder. But when I finish a weld, I look at it and ask myself it I will bet my life on it. If the answer is yes, then I move on. It's more the aesthetics and consistency of the welds I have trouble with. But I could sit there and weld practice coupons all day and not get the kind of practice I'm getting on all the various welding involved with these projects. So much variety. Different thicknesses, round to square, round to round etc...

I've also mostly finished the first lower control arm. Here is a pic of it compared to the old control arm, which was made by a previous builder.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/new20control20arm20comparo201-1.jpg

Surprisingly the new control arm weighs 6 lbs and the old one weighs 7 lbs. Though the new one still needs tabs for mounting the shock and sway bar.

The principle with this control arm design is to have a very direct path from the outer ball joint to the inner pivot point. To take up cornering loads with minimal deflection. Then the rear pivot point will be a rubber bushing. This allows the front wheels to move backwards a tad when hitting bumps, which is important for ride quality. I basically copied the principle from BMW, who used the same concept on the E30, E36 and E46 chassis 3-series cars. The only caveat is that the BMW's used McPherson struts, so as the lower out balljoint moved back, there was only a small change in caster, as in under braking. For my implementation there will be more caster wind-off during braking. We'll see how it goes, it is king of an experiment, and having to adapt it to my existing frame entailed certain compromises.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/07/new20control20arm20and20bushings201-1.jpg

The front pivot is a regular spherical bearing to help deal with camber change when cornering.

Gustave

Dr G
08-12-2015, 05:37 PM
Some progress pics...

Since I am increasing caster, it seemed reasonable that the load on the power steering would be increased. So I've added a power steering fluid cooler. Here is a pic of the steel shroud I fab'd up to direct air to the Earl's cooler:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/ps20cooler20shroud201-1.jpg

The cooler is situated behind what Ford calls the "gravel pan". I am busy now plumbing it into the pump and rack.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/ps20cooler20shroud20installed201-1.jpg

Air is directed to the cooler via holes in the gravel pan:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/air20holes20in20gravel20pan202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/air20holes20in20gravel20pan201-1.jpg

In terms of maximizing air flow to the cooler, this is not optimum, but not bad. The bumper will get in the way to some extent, and I'm not ready yet to punch holes in that like Rob did.

Because my new control arms push the front wheels forward both to increase the wheelbase 1" and some more to increase caster, I had to move the rack forward and up. This was a bitch to figure out. I think I got it close, but ultimately I will need to measure the bump steer to know for sure.

The original rack was mounted on these pylons:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/original20rack20stub-1.jpg

The easiest way I could think of to make new mounts was to enclose these pylons with new bigger pylons. Here they are welded up on the bench:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/bare20rack20blocks201-1.jpg

And here they are welded onto the (wimpy) subframe:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/rack20pedestal201-1.jpg

I've also finished the lower control arms and had the rubber bushings pressed in. I did a mock install today:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/new20control20arm20mockup202-1.jpg

More to come... Gustave

Dr G
08-24-2015, 05:46 PM
Well, a lot of work without much visible progress.

I did get the power steering hoses finalized:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/PS20hoses201-1.jpg

I take a lot of care when running hoses to make sure they do not (a) rub against another hose, especially a rubber hose, and that they do not (b) rub against any wiring, and (c) that they run as straight as possible to reduce pressure losses, and lastly (d) that they look somewhat visually appealing. It takes time to get the lengths and routing correct.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/PS20hose20bracket-1.jpg

On this truck I use almost exclusively Earl's Ultra-Flex hose and connectors. This is a crimp-on style, but has a super tight bend radius (more so for the stainless than the Kevlar). It also just looks clean without the bulky reusable hose ends. I live close to Earl's Store #1 in Hawthorne so I just go down there and they make them on the spot. The guy Tom who owns the place is pretty tight with Holley (who owns Earls) so he is a good source for advice.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/PS20hoses203-1.jpg


I also made some brackets to for the new upper front shock mounts. The old shocks were way too long (7" stroke) so the new ones are shorter. I also wanted the shock to mount to poly bushings to help absorb road noise and shock. We'll see how much that helps.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/front20suspension20upper20bushing20brack-1.jpg

I try to TIG weld whatever I can. Once it comes to welding it to the frame I resort to MIG.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/front20suspension20upper20bushing20brack-2.jpg


I also mocked up the front suspension to check the wheel travel from full droop to full bump (not including any bump stop which will limit bump travel a bit). The three pics show full droop, app. ride height, and full compression:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/front20suspension20full20droop201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/front20suspension204020ride20height201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/front20suspension20full20compression201-1.jpg


Lastly I got the new brake fluid reservoirs plumbed up. Now that the master cylinders are in the engine compartment instead of under the dash, this was necessary. I also wanted bigger volume. The previous reservoirs were mounted on the dash where the ash tray used to be. That was the only place I could find that was higher than the master cylinders in that configuration. But the reservoirs were only 1 oz each, which meant they had to be refilled frequently during bleeding. And like an idiot I had the reservoirs black anodized, which made it almost impossible to see the fluid level - resulting in a lot of brake fluid leaking down the dash onto the shifter. I did not repeat this mistake with the new Wilwood 4 oz reservoirs.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/brake20fluid20reservoirs203-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/brake20fluid20reservoirs202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/08/brake20fluid20reservoirs201-1.jpg

That is all for now, more to come. Gustave

my79f
08-29-2015, 08:23 AM
Wow!! This looks great! Can you give us anymore details on the truck? motor, trans, etc... Perhaps there is another build thread somewhere?

Dr G
09-01-2015, 12:13 PM
Wow!! This looks great! Can you give us anymore details on the truck? motor, trans, etc... Perhaps there is another build thread somewhere?
Glad you like it. I'm not sure a lot of people really 'get' the things I do to my 56. Which is ok, I march to the beat of my own drummer I guess.

I originally bought the truck in 2010 'by accident' on eBay. Ostensibly it was to haul my CBR1000RR to the track for lapping days. But I got the hot rod bug and started wanting to modify it. It had a 460 FE with a C6, solid axle up front and was horrible to drive. After some unsuccessful attempts to make it better I decided something more substantial was warranted, like IFS and truck arms. I did not have the skills to execute that at the time and was lured into shipping the truck to a shop outside my city, something I still regret to this day. It was not a good experience. But it convinced me to learn to weld so that I could take matters into my own hands.

I have a prior history of auto-crossing and tracking BMWs, and this is what I would like to do with the 56 also. But it has to still be a truck, since my wife and I use it in our business to haul stuff around. So a useable bed floor is non-negotiable, and preferably no full cage or things like that. I had my fill of driving a full cage stripped out race car as my daily driver about 20 years ago!

I have modified it in "phases". First was a complete re-wire using mil-spec parts (I just like doing that). Second phase was converting the new engine to fully programmable sequential fuel injection and ignition. Again so that I could take control of things. I'm much more comfortable tapping keys on a laptop than changing jets on a carburetor.

The engine btw is a Ford Racing 347JR. This is a sealed racing engine intended for low level oval racing. It makes 350HP and 400 ft lbs. The fact that it makes more torque than horsepower is a good indication of a mild cam, and this thing does have a real baby cam. Which makes it very drivable around town. Should be good for auto-x also, though not so much at the track. One of my planned future phases is to add dual turbos to full out the upper end of the power curve. Unless I get tempted by a V6 Ecoboost before then! If Ford comes out with a crate version of that engine that makes, say, 500 hp and 500 ft lbs, that would be pretty cool. The upcoming Raptor and GT will show the potential of the platform.

The transmission is a leaky old C4 with a bad shift kit.

My current phase is almost entirely dedicated to making the truck more livable. That is what you see in this thread. Moving the seats lower and tilting them back a bit. Changing the angle of the steering wheel so it is more upright like a car. Changing out the brake system for lower effort (manual). Increasing caster for more stability. New front suspension for better absorption of sharp impact loads. More sound and thermal proofing. Not very sexy stuff, but important to me and my wife.

The next phase will occur in about 1 year and will consist of building a new frame. Converting the rear suspension from truck arms to 3-link. Adding a real fuel cell. Solid mounting the cab and doing some rust repair on the lower front corners. Maybe add a simple roll bar. And mount the engine much further down and further back. The prior builder left a lot of meat on the table in that area. I will also install a new transmission at that time, either an AODE or a TCI 6X.

The next phase after that will be turbos. I am already planning where to mount them and the intercoolers and how to go about fabricating a new intake manifold.

Perhaps I should start a build thread so that all my activity is contained in a single place.

Gustave

Twentyover
09-01-2015, 02:27 PM
Ummmm...

This isn't your build thread?

Dr G
09-01-2015, 03:13 PM
Ummmm...

This isn't your build thread?This is just a thread about a few things I'm doing right now. I've done a lot of stuff in the past that is not documented anywhere. And if I build a new frame, then putting it in a thread called "new control arms and brakes" would not be appropriate. If I could change the name of this thread then it could just become my build thread.

Jetfixr320
09-04-2015, 10:56 AM
Please do a build thread. :)
Looks like a great build.

Dr G
09-04-2015, 05:54 PM
So the title of this thread has been changed to make it a build thread (thanks Larry!). This way I can add to it for years if necessary 8^)

Ok, a few updates. There is a small town car show coming up a week from now in Westchester (LA). I set myself a target to have the truck at the show, just to have something to shoot for. The show has a chili cook off as part of the deal, and I love chile, so that is extra motivation!

I've plumbed the front brake lines. Previously the master cylinders were under the dash, so the brake lines were no longer appropriate, as the master cylinders are now in the engine compartment. I do all my brake lines using 37 deg flare AN connections. I don't bother with bubble flares. I use a RolAir flaring tool as shown here:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/Rolair20flaring20tool201-1.jpg

Here are a couple shots of the lines I bent up for the front:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/brake20hard20line20232-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/brake20hard20line20231-1.jpg



One thing to keep in mind when making hard lines is that you can only put a bend so close to the end of a line due to space needed for the end fitting and limitations of the bending tool. For me this was as close as I could get a bend to the the end of a hard line:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/tight209020deg20bend20brake20line201-1.jpg

All the hard lines are made from annealed stainless that I buy at Earls. All the fittings are stainless as well. I've come to the point where I don't like using aluminum on the brake system, but that is a personal choice.

I made little brackets to act as the interface between the brake hard line and the flex lines going to the calipers:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/front20brake20hardline20bracket201-1.jpg

The bracket holds a stainless AN-3 bulkhead fitting to act as the transition.

Then on to the flex lines, again made out of 100% Earls parts. The next few shots show how the end fittings are installed on the flex lines:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/9020deg20brake20line20connector204-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/9020deg20brake20line20connector203-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/9020deg20brake20line20connector202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/9020deg20brake20line20connector201-1.jpg

I routed the front brake flex lines in a rather unconventional way this time, trying to get something that does not move the lines around as much as the front wheels are turned.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/front20sway20bar20drop20link201-1.jpg

I picked this idea up from a pic of some rally car, and it made sense to me. It actually does work pretty good too. Very little change in the angle of the flex lines as the wheels are turned.

Here's a pic of the lower front control arm just before installation. It's not the most aesthetically please piece of work, but it should do the job:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/front20lower20control20arm20ready20for20-1.jpg


Here is a shot of the front suspension fully assembled on the passenger side:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/front20suspension20assembled201-1.jpg

Then it was time to install the front wheel and tire to do some interference checks:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/front20suspension20w20tire20installed201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/tire20clearance20check202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/tire20clearance20check201-1.jpg

This is at simulated static ride height. Clearance is ok, but it may not be sufficient during an auto-x. Although even then your unlikely to go full lock when cornering.

Finally a photo of the a front upper control arm bolt and nut:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/09/upper20control20arm20bolt201-1.jpg

Certainly on the suspension I use only "grip length" fasteners. Not just grade 8 stuff with threads extending into the working zone. I size the bolts so that the threads don't start until past the working zone, just as Carol Smith explained so many years ago.

More to come... Gustave

Motown 454
09-05-2015, 07:00 PM
Front end looks great, nice work !

ProjectSideOiler
09-08-2015, 03:40 PM
Love the Truck Build!

Street-Garage
09-12-2015, 03:25 AM
Very cool. Love it. Guess you saw my 54 here in the forum. I left the guess work about the chassis and suspension to Rob at No Limit Engineering. I just had to do this after he took my for a ride in the Silver Bullet before he sold it. Wish I had the fabrication skills you have. And also the suspension geometry knowledge you have. I keep watching your stuff closely now. Thanx. Kai

Dr G
09-12-2015, 09:09 AM
Thanks guys.

Today is the Westchester car show I had set as a target completion date. No go. When I went to start the engine last Wed. the starter pinion gear and the flex plate had a little dust up. Result is I need to get the starter rebuilt and replace the flex plate. Cause? I had a single missing tooth on the flex plate which the old Powermaster starter seemed to be able to ride over, the new starter did not like it. Or maybe the adjacent teeth were on the edge of breaking off at this point. I also realized the previous builder did not install a spacer plate between the block and bell housing which could have caused excessive pinion stick out (I should have measured it as the instructions indicate).

In any case, there was no way I was going to pull out that leaky C4 and put it back in just to replace the flex plate. So this seemed like the right time to upgrade to an AODE with a PCS control module, which are on order. I am currently looking at the scope for moving the engine and tranny down to make more room for the AODE, which I know is bigger in girth, just not sure how much until I get it.

Gustave

Street-Garage
09-13-2015, 04:12 AM
What makes you stick to automatics and not go 5- or 6-speed manual ? Would that make more sense when racing / auto crossing ?

my79f
09-15-2015, 04:42 AM
Thanks for the updates! All the work looks great. Im currently trying to map a motor and tranny out for my 72. Yours makes me want a pushrod motor instead of a mod motor. haha

Dr G
09-15-2015, 09:31 AM
What makes you stick to automatics and not go 5- or 6-speed manual ? Would that make more sense when racing / auto crossing ?Two reasons: 1. I am 53 years old and just not interested in manual shifting anymore, 2. I love left foot braking.

I leased two BMW 335i's in succession from 2007 to 2013. Both as automatics. Those cars taught me that when an engine has a good wide power band, modern automatics work great. There is no need for a stick shift. Yes, you loose the visceral appeal of shifting manually, but using your left foot to brake opens up other possibilities.

Gustave

Peter Mc Mahon
09-15-2015, 05:09 PM
Gustave, I have a 4r70w in my 56. If you want pics or anything just let me know

Dr G
09-16-2015, 08:59 AM
Gustave, I have a 4r70w in my 56. If you want pics or anything just let me knowSure Peter, thanks. If you have pictures handy I would love to see them. But please don't climb under your truck to take them or anything!
Gustave

c91x
09-17-2015, 10:27 AM
Thanks guys.

Today is the Westchester car show I had set as a target completion date. No go. When I went to start the engine last Wed. the starter pinion gear and the flex plate had a little dust up. Result is I need to get the starter rebuilt and replace the flex plate. Cause? I had a single missing tooth on the flex plate which the old Powermaster starter seemed to be able to ride over, the new starter did not like it. Or maybe the adjacent teeth were on the edge of breaking off at this point. I also realized the previous builder did not install a spacer plate between the block and bell housing which could have caused excessive pinion stick out (I should have measured it as the instructions indicate).

In any case, there was no way I was going to pull out that leaky C4 and put it back in just to replace the flex plate. So this seemed like the right time to upgrade to an AODE with a PCS control module, which are on order. I am currently looking at the scope for moving the engine and tranny down to make more room for the AODE, which I know is bigger in girth, just not sure how much until I get it.

Gustave


Go with the 4R70W. Lower first gear

Dr G
09-17-2015, 05:31 PM
Go with the 4R70W. Lower first gearThanks yes, but I avoided the 4R70W for exactly that reason. I don't want a shorter 1st and 2nd gear. My engine makes enough torque off idle that I had to back off on the timing in that region of the map just to make it more drivable. I don't do burn outs nor drag race, so a short first gear does not do much for me personally.

Gustave

Dr G
09-30-2015, 05:31 PM
Well, have not been posting much since I found out I broke a few teeth off my flex plate when trying to start the truck.

But there has been progress.

To make some more room for the AODE (vs. existing C4) I lowered the front of the engine as much as I could. Eventually the limit was something of my own making, I added a rod end as a steering shaft guide in the process of relocating my steering column. Due to the existing motor mount design on the frame I had limited options. Ultimately the first interference in lowering the engine was the one of the header tubes contacting the bracket I made for the steering shaft rod end. So about 1 inch was as far as the engine could be lowered at the motor mounts. Sadly there is scope for more but I would have to yank the engine, and I'm not willing to do that for this old frame.

Here is a photo of the new mounts I made for the engine side of the motor mount to allow lowering the engine:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/motor20mount20comparo201-1.jpg

The new motor mount is on the left. The one on the right was made by a previous builder. It's design had allowed the 1/4" flat plate to deform quite a bit already. I tried to avoid that with improved design on my own mounts.

Here is a photo that shows the 1 inch lowering that was achieved with the new mounts:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/new20motor20mount20height201-1.jpg


I bought a rebuilt AODE from TCI. It's their street fighter series which should be plenty for me. I plan to use a Lokar cable actuated shifter. So it was necessary to replace the actuator rod with Lockar's unit:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/new20selector20rod20installed201-1.jpg


The previous builder had installed a cheap tube and fin heat exchanger for the transmission, and then mounted it flat against the bottom of the cab, getting pretty much zero airflow. I got this Setrab cooler, and plan to mount it into the leading edge of the rear fender, a natural high pressure zone:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/setrab20transmission20cooler201-1.jpg


I just today received my PCS transmission controller and harness. Here is a shot of the harness, it will need some cleaning up to meet my goals. I hate the corrugated plastic loom stuff they used and will replace it with proper Mil Spec heat shrink:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/PCS20harness201-1.jpg


I was forced to trim the firewall a tad at the top of the tranny cover, there was just now way around it. I cannot lower the rear of the transmission hardly at all because of the way the previous builder constructed one of the cross member, causing the driveshaft to contact it at full droop (I cannot wait to build my own frame!).

You can see the backside of the (new style) Boss 302 block.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trimmed20firewall201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trimmed20firewall202-1.jpg


Everything about this AODE is bigger when compared to the C4. It is wider, longer, taller, heavier etc... Even the torque converted is bigger:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/torque20converter20comparo201-1.jpg


More to come as I peck along here in my garage.

Gustave

P.S. Oh by the way, here is what you do not want to see when you look up inside your bell housing:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/flex20plate20missing20teeth201-1.jpg

When you see this you know you're in for a fair bit of work!

c91x
10-02-2015, 05:38 AM
Thanks yes, but I avoided the 4R70W for exactly that reason. I don't want a shorter 1st and 2nd gear. My engine makes enough torque off idle that I had to back off on the timing in that region of the map just to make it more drivable. I don't do burn outs nor drag race, so a short first gear does not do much for me personally.

Gustave


Cool. Build is looking really good

Dr G
10-13-2015, 05:10 PM
A few quick update pics...

During the upgrade from C4 to AODE I decided to install the Jones Racing pulleys I had lying around. Since this is kind of a home brew, using my alternator and my power steering pump (not theirs) I had to figure out how to configure things. I decided to add an idler pulley so that the alternator would pulley would have enough 'belt wrap'. I made a little bracket for the idler which you can see here:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/idler20pulley201-1.jpg

Since the AODE is bigger than the C4 I bought a new trans cover plate from Mid 50's. It's the one they have for aftermarket transmissions, but I still had to modify it further to get enough clearance. I also had to add a little hump to accommodate the vent line for the trans. I wanted to vent it to a catch can. I once had a trans overfilled and the extra fluid dripped down on to the exhaust create a ton of smoke. Of course this happened as a tuner friend and I were cruising around trying to tune for drivability. Like flooring it up the Sepulveda Pass on the 405 at 80 mph, smoke billowing out the back all the while. It was quite a spectacle and I decided right there I would never let it happen again.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cover20plate201-1.jpg

Because of the large pan on the new trans, the exhaust would not clear, so I had to rework it. I sort of half-assed it, as I did not want to get into modifying the rear portion, only the front which I had removed already. I'll do a more proper job when I build the new frame later on:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/reworked20exhaust201-1.jpg

New longer transmission means new driveshaft. As I was measuring driveline angles I discovered some alarming things the last builder left me with. Like a rear U-joint operating at three times its max allowable angle! I tried to correct things as best I could with shims, but there's only so much I can do without rebuilding the whole rear axle assembly. Again, that will have to wait for the new frame build. Here's a pic of the shims. I have truck arms btw, hence the shims. With a 3-link I would just be adjusting rod ends.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/pinion20angle20shims201-1.jpg

Lastly, I am installing a proper trans cooler which I showed before. I am mounting it in the rear passenger fender. Here is the opening I cut and the screen mesh I installed to stop debris from damaging the cooler. The mesh is stainless painted black.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cooler20opening201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cooler20mesh20screen201-1.jpg

Here are some pics of the cooler all mocked up with mounting brackets, rubber mounts, shrouding and one cooler line:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cooler202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cooler201-1.jpg

And here you can see it mounted inside the fender:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20cooler20inside20fender201-1.jpg

More to come... Gustave

Dr G
10-26-2015, 01:11 PM
A few more pics...

Here is a another shot of the serpentine belt system I cooked up using some parts from Jones racing:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/serpentine20belts20systems201-1.jpg

I did not try to do a true one-piece serpentine belt. That was not really my goal. But I did want to use ribbed belts because they reportedly require less tension than V-belts. And I've always disliked how tight V-belts have to be to stop slipping. I just feel it places a ton of load on the bearings, and it also leads to flex in the mounting systems, which induces more slipping and squealing. I added the idler pulley to increase the belt wrap around the alternator pulley. The alternator is driven faster than the water pump or PS pump, and therefore is most likely to slip. Increasing belt wrap is like bigger tires, more friction, less slipping. Also, the mandrel on the crank will allow me to easily add pulleys for AC or even dry sump in the future.

Here is a photo of the seat mounting base I fabled up:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/proboscis201-1.jpg

I was laughing so hard when I took this pic I'm surprised it is not blurry. That is because I had just bolted on the brace for the shifter and parking brake. And until then I had not realized how funny it would look sticking out like that. However, the shifter brace still had some work to be done, and once it is installed in the truck with the shifter and parking brake it will be less noticeable:

Here is the brace after I welded on the required mounting points for shifter and parking brake:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/shifter20adapter202-1.jpg

The seat mounting base shown above sitting on the work bench is sort of an odd thing. I never really intended for it to end up like this. I was originally trying to get the seats to mount lower in the cab than was possible with the previous square tube aluminum base I had made. Then I wanted to add shoulder belts, but was not comfortable just bolting them to the back of the cab, so I figured I would add some tubes to help strengthen the belt mounting points. Then I wanted to add some handles to help in getting in and out of the bucket seats, which are quite deep. And in the end this is what I got. Unfortunately it weighs 46 lbs, where the previous aluminum seat base was 21 lbs. But several mockup trials did show it makes it a lot easier to get in and out of the truck.

I've started wiring the transmission up to the PCS controller. PCS (Powertrain Control Solutions) would have you drill a hole in the firewall and push the (rather large) connectors through the hole, then add a grommet. That's great for folks who don't like to work on wiring, but was not really the ideal way to do it. I've decided to mount the control between the seats for easy access. So I decided to add a bulkhead connector just behind the trans, at the front of the seat base, and then splice the wiring harness into both sides of this connector. I chose a mil spec connector, because I find them easy to work with, they look good, and they are bullet proof.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/shrink20boot20adapter201-1.jpg

I generally use Mil-C-26482 Series-II connectors, because they are easy to get, relatively inexpensive and available in a lot of configurations. I really only use the wall mounting receptacle with narrow flange (MS3470) and the straight plug (MS3476). I prefer to spec the pins on the plug side and the sockets on the wall mount side, though you can do it the other way around too. Next to the connector is the "backshell". In this case it is what they call a "shrink boot adapter". The connector should always be used with some type of backshell, as it pushes the rubber center tight around the wires. But most of the common backshells are for wiring systems with 'open' wires, as opposed to jacketed with heat shrink. Shrink boot adapters used to be hard to find. One of the only place that makes them is Glenair, out of Glendale CA. But now there are online places catering to automotive wiring specifically, and they stock them.

When you buy the connectors they come in little packages with the associated pins or sockets and a pin insertion/extraction tool (they red and white plastic thingy).

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/wiring20components201-1.jpg

Here is a shot of the transmission-side of the PCS harness, which I cut into two halves, the outdoor part and the indoor part:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/wires20ready20to20go201-1.jpg

Now the same wires, after they have been stripped, and the mil-spec pins crimped on:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/pinned20wires201-1.jpg

And now with the pins inserted into the plug connector, and the backshell screwed on:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/pinned20connector201-1.jpg

Note the pieces of unrecovered heat shrink around the wiring bundle. When doing these connectors you have to think ahead and slide on any and all things you'll need that won't fit past the connector - before you add the connector. That includes the backshell, but usually not the shrink boot. More about that part now.

At this point the wires in the harness will be completely covered in heat shrink, except for right near the connector. That is where the shrink boot comes in. It attaches the heat shrink jacket to the connector, making a continuous system. Here is a pic of a shrink boot fresh out of its package:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/raw20shrink20boot201-1.jpg

These things are pretty funky. They are only made by two or three companies in the world, Raychem being the most common here in the U.S. In theory they come in a lot of different configurations of material, with or without adhesive. But generally cross-linked or regular polyolefin is what you want, without adhesive, as you add that separately. The adhesive is a special two-part epoxy that comes out of England and costs about $50 per tube, though I've been using one tube for about 10 years (I keep it in the fridge in-between uses). The epoxy is critical for two reasons: 1. it bonds the shrink boot to the heat shrink jacket and the connector backshell and 2. it provides lubrication to allow the shrink boot to move around as it shrinks (and it moves around a lot).

Here's come before and after shots of a 90 deg shrink boot before and after "recovery" (shrinking):

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/shrink20boot20preshrink201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/shrink20boot201-1.jpg

It takes an amazing amount of heat to shrink one of these buggers down. Like 5 minutes of fully directed heat. But as long as the boot continues to change shape, keep heating. Wear gloves so you can reposition it as it shrinks. Once done and it cools off it is amazingly solid. What this does is provide the holy grail of mil spec wiring - strain relief. It prevents and movement of the wiring bundle from slowly strain hardening the wires at the connector entry point. Hence high reliability in extreme vibration environments.

So, here is my trans harness when all was said and done:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/trans20harness201-1.jpg

The harness is routed using a couple of Adel clamps attached to the transmission. The keeps the harness in place and prevents the 'weight' of the harness from straining the connector areas. There is enough slack in the harness to undo the various connectors, but no more. 'Clean and tight'.

More to come.

Peter Mc Mahon
10-27-2015, 04:42 AM
Nice write up. I am planning on doing something similar, but I'm terrified of cutting my perfectly good harness!

brawls43
10-27-2015, 04:56 AM
Awesome wiring harness. I've been toying with idea of trying some of those mil-spec connectors. Do the pins take a special crimping tool?

Also, for your seat mount, if the sides are just grab handles, you could always go to town with a drill bit, and take some weight back out. But just for the handles, not the base or the belt mounts. Just an idea.

Dr G
10-27-2015, 08:15 AM
Nice write up. I am planning on doing something similar, but I'm terrified of cutting my perfectly good harness!Yes, it is a bit freaky to cut up a good harness. But after that first snip it gets easier. Go for it!

GrabberGT
10-27-2015, 08:23 AM
Nice build. Love the details

Dr G
10-27-2015, 09:48 AM
Awesome wiring harness. I've been toying with idea of trying some of those mil-spec connectors. Do the pins take a special crimping tool?

Also, for your seat mount, if the sides are just grab handles, you could always go to town with a drill bit, and take some weight back out. But just for the handles, not the base or the belt mounts. Just an idea.

They are indeed grab handles, but, they are also supports for the shoulder harness bar. To prevent that bar from just folding forward in a crash. I did add attachment points at the top of the shoulder harness bar where it will screw to the back side of the cab, but I was not convinced that would be sufficient. In fact those tabs at the top of the shoulder harness bars are more intended as a mounting point for headrests, which I plan to build. Right now if I get rear ended my head will hit the back glass instantly, there is no way around it. I'd like to fashion some thin headrests to put a layer of aluminum and dense energy absorbing foam between my head and the glass. Far from perfect but better than nothing.

In any case, the grab handles are fashioned from 0.065" wall DOM and don't weigh that much. The bulk of the mass is in the periphery tube that forms the base, which is made from 0.109" DOM. Since it spans across the two mounting points to the cab, I did not want it flexing down in the middle, so made it thicker. It is what it is for now, I'm adding a lot of weight in terms of sound/thermal proofing too. A "lightweight special" is not in the cards I suspect. I'll just do what everyone does, and add horsepower and bigger tires to try to combat mass 8^)

On to wiring. The crimping tool for mil spec connector pins is made by Daniels Manufacturing Co. (DMC) in Florida. As far as I know that is the only company who makes it, it is the only one I've ever seen people use in any case. You need the tool and what they call the turret.

This is the tool:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/AF8-1.jpg

And this is the 'turret':

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/TH163-1.jpg

The tool has two adjustments. The turret is where you stick the pin or socket that you are crimping onto the wire. The turret accommodates wire gauges from 12 GA through to 20 GA in pairs. That is because the pins and sockets are made in various sizes, but each size will fit two different wire gauges. This is common and you get used to it in "wire terminal world". Yellow designates 10GA and 12GA, Blue designates 14GA and 16GA and Red designates 18GA and 20GA.

The same standard applies to the mil spec connectors. A connector for 14GA wire will be exactly the same one as for 16GA wire. I suspect this was done (a) because it could be and (b) because it reduces the quantity of part numbers floating around the already crowded mil spec system.

So, you set the turret for the pin or socket size you want to crimp (10/12, 14/16 or 18/20) and then you push it inwards to "lock" it as shown in this pic:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/TH163_1-1.jpg

Now you have to set the tool to the correct crimp depth. This is done with the black knob at the middle of the tool. This is set for the specific wire gauge, no pairing, and it simply limits how far the tool ratchets down onto the pin or socket before it releases. Thus establishing the crimp depth. The beauty of this tool is it crimps down onto the pin or socket from four directions at once (vs. just one or two). It practically fuses the metal of the terminal into the wire.

There is a ton of info about this on the web, just scratch around and look for instructions or procedures. I had to figure it all out myself about 10 years ago (with some help from Neel Vasavada at Apex Speed Motorsport), but today it's trickling down more and more. Different hobby-type guys like me are doing it and reporting their knowledge, which helps others.

The DMC crimp tool is not cheap. If you buy it new figure close to $400 for the tool and turret. If you go with 22 GA or thinner then they make a separate smaller tool and turret. I generally don't go thinner than 20GA but in upper levels of motorsport they'll go to 26GA or thinner for low current sensors to try to save weight. No thanks. Satellites will go into the 30's on wire gauge, and also they run at 100V to allow smaller wire sizes, all to save weight.

You can search for a used tool on eBay, or some places will sell surplus tools. But really it is an investment in my opinion. Once you can do your own high quality wiring, it really frees you up. And, the same tool can be used to crimp contacts on the Deutsch DT and DTM connectors:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/dtmseriesassemblermain-1.jpg

These are the next best think to a mil-spec bayonet connector. Very high quality and easy to use. I wish all automotive sensors accommodated these, it would make wiring so much easier. Here's a place that specializes in Deutsch DTM, but there are many other places to get them also:

http://www.deutschconnector.com

I could go on and on about this. I suppose some folks think I already have!

Gustave

Dr G
10-27-2015, 10:08 AM
OK, so after I blabbed on about the DMC crimping tool and how to use it I find this handy video explaining it much better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Du-cvKsQOE

Note that the turret shown actually goes down to 24GA wire. I'll have to look at my tool to compare. But I know I used to have the smaller DMC crimper (which they show at the end of the video) that was intended for smaller wire sizes.

Alpina
10-28-2015, 06:13 AM
Glad you like it. I'm not sure a lot of people really 'get' the things I do to my 56. Which is ok, I march to the beat of my own drummer I guess.



I have modified it in "phases". First was a complete re-wire using mil-spec parts (I just like doing that). Second phase was converting the new engine to fully programmable sequential fuel injection and ignition. Again so that I could take control of things. I'm much more comfortable tapping keys on a laptop than changing jets on a carburetor.


Gustave

May I ask what EFI setup you used and how you like it?

Dr G
10-28-2015, 10:29 AM
May I ask what EFI setup you used and how you like it?I am using a Vipec V88 ECU. These come out of New Zealand, reportedly designed by some ex-Motec guys.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/10/V8820ECU201-1.jpg

I have no issues with it. I bought it because it was more affordable than a Motec ECU, though I'd probably prefer to have Motec simply because it is so widespread and many people are familiar with it.

A lot of folks have success with MegaSquirt, which seems to have a large online support community, which can be very helpful.

Some of the "V8-based" ECUs seem to be maturing, like FAST or Holley.

At the end of the day any ECU does basically two things: control fuel and control spark. The rest boils down to user interface and sophistication of drivability tuning. And maybe things like transmission control, traction control, boost control, anti-lag etc, assuming you might need those.

Gustave

brawls43
10-28-2015, 10:50 AM
Valid point on the seat brace, I didn't think about that.

Thanks for the info on the wiring, do you have any links you recommend to source the connectors or pins? Definitely going to look into getting one of those crimpers, especially if I can find one used and use it with Deutsch connectors too.

Nice ecm, I've read good things about the ViPEC's. HP Academy has some decent info on tuning with those, they're big Motec guys.

Dr G
10-28-2015, 11:15 AM
Valid point on the seat brace, I didn't think about that.

Thanks for the info on the wiring, do you have any links you recommend to source the connectors or pins? Definitely going to look into getting one of those crimpers, especially if I can find one used and use it with Deutsch connectors too.

Nice ecm, I've read good things about the ViPEC's. HP Academy has some decent info on tuning with those, they're big Motec guys.

Thanks for the tip on HP Academy, I was not familiar with them.

Here is a link to PEI Genesis, where you can get just about any military MIL-C-26482-II style connector with contacts. They come in Olive, Black or Nickel coating. You can narrow down the selection at the left (I already narrowed it down quite a bit).

http://www.peigenesis.com/en/shop/f/MS3470~MS3471~MS3472~MS3474~MS3476~MS3475~PV.html? ff=inStock:(true)-y_contactsSupplied_i:(17)-y_operatingVoltageAC_i:(27)-y_insertRotationKeying_i:(32)-y_shielding_i:(410)

Here are a couple or places aimed at the motorsport market:

http://milspecwiring.com/store/index.php?route=common/home

https://www.prowireusa.com/default.aspx

There are others I'm sure. I know there was a place in Indiana (near the Indy track) and another place in El Cajon (San Diego) that catered to the off-road racing market. Don't have the links handy.

Gustave

brawls43
11-18-2015, 08:04 AM
Thanks Gustave, found an ebay deal on a crimper and turret. Now to figure out what connectors I need. I like how the PEI Genesis page lists the mating connector. The two motorsports don't seem to be laid out quite as nicely.

Great video too btw, thanks for posting this info.

bovey
11-18-2015, 02:11 PM
Gustave, awesome. Love your sensibilities. One thing, are you going to put some kind of protection back side of your cooler in the fender? I know it seems crazy, but tracks are never as clean as you think and once the tires are hot they throw around a lot of crap. My 3 years of track/AutoX/Rally has done more sandblasting in my wheel wells and rocker panels than the previous 15 years of driving. That is a nasty place to damage a cooler. Love the build.

Dr G
11-19-2015, 02:47 PM
Excellent point. I've picked my share of balled up rubber out of cars after track days and wondered how the heck it got there. My little voice has been telling me to add protective screens to both the coolers I added inside the wheel wells, so I probably will once I get the thing on the ground and running.

Gustave

Dr G
11-20-2015, 12:03 PM
A few small update pics.

Here is the PCS Smart-Shift transmission controller installed next to the driver's seat:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/pcs20controller20installed201-1.jpg

I figured it would be good, at least initially, to be able to easily fiddle with the various knobs that control shift performance (RPM, firmness etc.)

Here we can see the wiring extending out from the PCS controller, the connector that leads to the transmission, as well as under the floor mat towards the firewall:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/transmission20wiring202-1.jpg

Here's a closeup of the connector:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/transmission20wiring201-1.jpg

This photo shows the mount I made for the shifter and handbrake. Previously these had been mounted to the transmission:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/shifter20mount201-1.jpg

I like the idea of a cable operated shifter as it gives the option of mounting it higher up, without resorting to a super-long (hence vague) shift lever. I know it's just an automatic, but it still feels reassuring when the shifter solidly clicks into the next gear. The handbrake used to be too hard to reach, way down near the firewall, so this gets it a lot closer.

Here's a closeup. Note the care taken with every single fastener in terms of how it looks, and how long it is (protrusion). I just have a thing for that, no idea why:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/shifter20mount202-1.jpg

Here's a shot of the new Tilton brake pedal as well as the throttle pedal I fabricated. You can also see the transmission temperature gauge that I added below the dash. I figured after all this trouble I should able to keep an eye on what's going on down there:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/new20pedals20installed201-1.jpg

Here is the trans temp sensor installed in the B&M pan:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/trans20temp20sensor201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/11/trans20temp20sensor202-1.jpg

I wimped out on welding the bung, and had a local engine machine shop do it. I figured this might not be the best place to learn how to TIG aluminum.

Gustave

rustomatic
11-20-2015, 05:11 PM
This is great stuff--thanks for taking the time to spell it out!

Dr G
12-08-2015, 04:35 PM
Got the truck back on the ground. Went for a shake-down drive today to bed in the brakes. Took a quick photo when I got back. It's sitting too low right now. I'll need to swap out the front springs to longer ones to get it where I want it. It drives just great, but the tires contact the fender lips during tight maneuvers.

The work to the suspension had the desired effect of making the truck much more comfortable to drive on the street. No more bashing over bumps and ripples. Also, the 12 deg of caster is surprisingly benign. I thought it might feel extreme, but I hardly notice it, other than better straight-line stability.

I'll take more pics soon.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/12/on20the20ground-1.jpg

brawls43
12-08-2015, 06:55 PM
Looks mean!

RobNoLimit
12-09-2015, 07:38 AM
Looks great with the re-positioned wheel opening. OK, it's not painted yet, so, maybe raise the wheel opening rather than lift the truck? 'cause it looks great down there.

Motown 454
12-09-2015, 08:02 PM
Beautiful work.

Dr G
12-10-2015, 09:38 AM
Looks great with the re-positioned wheel opening. OK, it's not painted yet, so, maybe raise the wheel opening rather than lift the truck? 'cause it looks great down there.
Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

Rob, I agree it does look good down low. But it is very low. I have to check more carefully but it's possible that ground clearance is lower than 4 inches. The lowest part of the truck are the 'arms' that protrude from the frame to support the running boards. Next up is the transmission pan! I probably should not have installed the extra capacity B&M pan, though it seemed like a good idea at the time to increase fluid capacity. But it really hangs down there, much lower than the engine oil pan.

Your idea of raising the fender openings is interesting. I'd not thought of that. It may be outside my capabilities, though I'm willing to try it (someone else moved the openings forward). The fenders are pretty trashed so its worth experimenting.

This is one reasons I strongly considered going with air bags. The ability to have a low ride height and raise the truck for parking maneuvers. But I can't warm up to the varying spring rate with ride height. Another idea I think about is using traditional coil-overs but adding electro-hydraulic actuators via rocker arms to vary the location of the upper shock mount in order to change ride height. That way you spring rate is unaltered with ride height changes, though your geometry does change. But the weight and complexity is somewhat daunting. The actuators cost about $500 each. They can certainly support the weight of the truck in order to raise it. And I am pretty sure they "lock-out" when not in use so they can withstand the much larger loads from the shocks while driving.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2015/12/Screen20Shot202015121020at209341820AM-1.png

RobNoLimit
12-10-2015, 09:50 AM
Yeah, 4" is pretty low. I try to stay with 5" scrub line for streeters. The actuator idea is interesting. JRI makes a coil-over shock with a hydrolic sleeve for the spring mount, for RH adjustment for driveways and loading. Not sure the cost, but at 2k for four actuators + fab time you have some room to look at. Keep up the good work.

Dr G
12-11-2015, 09:55 AM
JRI makes a coil-over shock with a hydrolic sleeve for the spring mount, for RH adjustment for driveways and loading. Not sure the cost, but at 2k for four actuators + fab time you have some room to look at. Keep up the good work.OK, that is cool. Just what the doctor ordered. I did not know that was available. I wonder if you can set the ride height for intermediate settings, or if it is only all the way down or all the way up. If they could integrate those with a controller and ride height sensors it would be even better.

http://www.jrishocks.com/rideheight/

Dr G
02-25-2016, 07:13 PM
After several teething issues with the transmission and brakes I finally have the truck up and running. The issues with the AODE transmission were (1) contamination in the 1-2 pressure accumulator causing a missed shift to second gear (it felt like it hit neutral in between gears), and (2) my PCS control module wanted to see a later model high resistance TCC solenoid, vs. the low resistance unit installed by TCI. So it kept throwing a code for a wiring problem with the TCC solenoid and would not lock up the torque converter. Now it is working and I've fiddled with the knobs a bit (high and low throttle shift points and shift firmness) and it drives real nice.

The new brakes had a few issues. First the ARP studs I had pressed into the rear axles had a portion near the base that was slightly bigger than the hole in the brake hats. Not by much, the hat would go on most of the way, but not quite all the way. Of course I did not expect this and thus did not recognize it. So I when I shimmed the caliper brackets to center the caliper on the rotor, it was not actually center, since the hat was not fully seated. I should have realized something was wrong when I was torquing the the lug nuts. Even though I hit the right torque value, it felt vague, not solid. The wheel was pushing the rotor hat onto the studs, but not all the way. Then I went out and bedded in my pads and rotors - 20 or so very hard stops. One can imagine that no good came of that. The left side was bad, wheel destroyed, rotor hat destroyed, wheel spacer destroyed, studs loose in the axle, requiring new studs and re-drilling the axle. The right side came away better. It was not until I was putting everything back together the second time that I finally saw the problem. A quick pass through each hole in the brake hats with a clearance drill and all was well.

I originally tried to see if I could get away with running race pads on the street. The pads worked very well, with good friction and low required pedal effort. But they would squeal like crazy during slow stops, there was no way I could tolerate it. The dust production was also amazing, though I could have lived with that on my crapper truck. I swapped to performance street pads, which don't feel as good but are quiet (and less dusty). I also swapped out the 3/4" bore master cylinders for 5/8" bore units to reduce pedal effort (but accepting greater pedal travel in the process).

Here are a few pics I took today:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/022520162028129-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/022520162028329-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/022520162028529-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/022520162028829-1.jpg

Gustave

rustomatic
02-25-2016, 09:52 PM
Dude, you've nailed it thus far. It kind of screams: fast and highly capable, but with neverending mad tinkering, so as to always demolish junior's drift-motivated mess . . .

hotrod56
02-26-2016, 09:16 AM
Hey Gustave

Are those stock rear view mirrors? If not what are they?

Dr G
02-26-2016, 10:19 AM
Dude, you've nailed it thus far. It kind of screams: fast and highly capable, but with neverending mad tinkering, so as to always demolish junior's drift-motivated mess . . .Thanks, yes, that's been the goal. I'll be hitting some auto-crosses at California Speedway this summer.

Dr G
02-26-2016, 10:24 AM
Hey Gustave

Are those stock rear view mirrors? If not what are they?


I made the mirrors myself. The stock mirrors are very heavy, so they tended to vibrate a lot since they are mounted to a not so stiff portion of the door. My mirrors are much lighter and stay steady. Also, the F100 has a notorious feature where the passenger side mirror is blocked by the post between the vent and main windows. So I moved the mirror further back.

I bought the actual mirror portion, very cheap, like $10 each. Then made the rest based on style. The stalks are 4130, the bullets are tubing that I rounded and tapped. The base uses a big washer that I ground a rounded edge on. The bolt is surplus airframe.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror205-1.jpg

Gustave

hotrod56
02-26-2016, 10:47 AM
very cool!

Centerforce
02-26-2016, 11:55 AM
The attention to detail in this build is amazing!

Dr G
02-27-2016, 08:38 AM
Another thing I changed recently is my electric cooling fan. I control the fan via the ECU. It puts out a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal to a solid state relay based on coolant and air temperature. This way I can change the duty cycle to run the fan from say 30% speed to full speed as the coolant gets warmer. It's not all or nothing (full speed or off).

I had been running a Spal fan. This was my second Spal fan, the first one I replaced due to vibration. I figured it had gone out of balance. I installed the new Spal fan and it did the same thing. So now, somewhat dismayed with the Spal fans (even though my gut tells me they are the best) I swapped over to a Derale fan. And it also vibrated! At this point I'm thinking it has to be more than a coincidence. Something else must be going on.

I posed the question to the gurus at the Tuning Forum. It was suggested that I try a different frequency for the PWM signal. I had not realized it was adjustable within my ECU software, but it was. So I played around with it. Originally it was set to 20 Hz. I moved it up and down finally settling on 300 Hz (the maximum value). And voila, my fan was smooth as silk right down to 10% duty cycle. Moral of the story is that both Spal fans are probably just fine, I replace them unnecessarily. Luckily I still have them so can use them in the future if needed. They are clearly better made (Italy) than the Derale fan (China it appears).

Here is a pic of the Derale fan, the shroud it came with and the wiring I redid to allow for a Mil Spec connector. Hidden in the wiring is a flyback diode which prevents the SSR (solid state relay) from being toasted by the fan motor as it is turned on and off.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/Derale20fan20and20shroud-1.jpg

If anyone is interested, this is the SSR I used:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/Screen20Shot202016021820at204350620PML-1.png

Gustave

Peter Mc Mahon
02-28-2016, 05:36 AM
You do nice work Gustave. Can you show the cooler in the back fender from the front, your giving me a good idea!

Dr G
02-28-2016, 09:49 AM
You do nice work Gustave. Can you show the cooler in the back fender from the front, your giving me a good idea!

I assume you mean this? Photos from inside the fender are further back in this thread.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/trans20cooler20entry-1.jpg

Forgive the butchery on the rear fenders. This was done by a prior builder who had lost interest in the project and committed the sin of sins, a lap joint. I will get to fixing this eventually.

Gustave

Emspilot55
04-04-2016, 10:42 AM
All I have to say is WOW!! Awesome job and some really great inspiration!!

Dr G
04-22-2016, 10:26 AM
After re-building my front suspension I have finally gotten around to measuring my bump steer. I used a Longacre bump steer gauge which uses a single dial indicator instead of two. Makes it a little easier to read the numbers. It took some fiddling of the gauge to get it to work on my truck. I had make new longer arms to get the gauge to reach up high enough, since I prop my truck up pretty high on jack stands when working on it. I also had to make a few new parts to get the roller bearing and dial indicator to reach past my wheel studs. I locked the steering using ratchet straps going either direction off of the steering wheel to my seat base, which worked well and kept me from chasing my tail while taking data. Here is a pic of the test setup:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/04/longacre20bumpsteer20gauge201-1.jpg

I expected my bump steer curve would look pretty bad, and it does:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/04/bump20steer20data20baseline-1.png

You can see that at 1 inch of bump travel the right front wheel toe's in almost 1/8". If both wheels hit a bump at the same time and compress 1 inch each, that would be 1/4" of total toe in! And that is only at the gauge, which you can see is not as wide as a wheel or tire. I usually measure toe at the wheel lip. Some measure it at the tire surface. Since where you measure toe affects the result you get, my data above would look even worse if I adjusted it to reflect measurements at the wheel lip.

During inspections of the front end I discovered at least one reason that my bump steer is bad. My inner tie rod ends are nowhere near a line drawn between the upper and lower control arm inner pivot points. My rack is way too short relative to where the the suspension pickup points are located on the frame. I guess I should have checked this a long time ago, but it just never occurred to me since the inner tie rod ends are hidden under the rack bellows.

Doing some research I quickly learned that this is not an uncommon problem for folks using Mustang steering racks. And there are rack extension spacers available to help redress the problem. They fit between the rack and the inner tie rods and effectively lengthen the rack (push the inner tie rod pivots outwards). I've ordered some 2" spacers (per side) which looks to be close to what I need. I will install those and remeasure the bump steer and then decide if anything else can be done to make things better.

Josh@Ridetech
04-29-2016, 06:40 AM
Nice! Keep it updated :D

Dr G
05-03-2016, 09:12 AM
In my last post I was busy measuring my bump steer. I had come to the conclusion that my steering rack was "too short". In the sense that the inner tie rod ends were well inboard of an imaginary line drawn through the inner pivots of the control arms. There is a ton of info about this on the web. See this picture of an "ideal" suspension for minimal bump steer:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20diagramM-1.png

In my original configuration the inner tie rod (B) was about 1.5" to the right of where it is shown in the diagram. To make things worse, the outer tie rod end (Y) was to the left of where it is shown in the diagram above. So the total tie rod length was too long.

The location of the outer tie rod end I estimated from the Wilwood CAD drawing for their pro spindle:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/tie20rod20offsetM-1.jpg

This drawing has proved very valuable in sorting out the front end geometry. One variable I had to determine was the actual location of the outer tie rod pivot. It is basically a ball in socket design, so where is the center of the ball relative to the steering arm? Not easy to tell just by looking at it. I came up with another estimation technique. I moved the tie rod to the two extremes of its range of motion and then visually drew a line on the socket matching the centerline of the tie rod. Where the lines cross is the center of the ball:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/inner20tie20rod20centerM-1.jpg

To visualize the centerline between my control arm inner pivots I made a cardboard template. I cut two holes which fit over bolt/nut heads on the pivots, and drew a line through the center of those holes:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/inner20ball20joint20line202L-1.jpg

All these measurements are tricky and not perfectly accurate on an assembled truck. But I did my best. Having a bare frame on a table would make it all a lot easier. But the challenge of finding the exact center of ball joints and rod ends remains. It is one thing to design the perfect suspension using software. It is another thing to be able to "build to print" as they say.

So, back to the steering rack spacers...

I ordered some from Speedway, not totally sure they would fit until I saw them in the flesh. But fit they did on my Mustang PS rack. Here they are:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/rack20extensions201L-1.jpg

Full of optimism, I installed one of the rack spacers and proceeded to re-measure my bump steer. The results were surprising. I'll cover them in the next post.

Dr G
05-04-2016, 11:54 AM
Well, the result of adding the rack spacers was initially disappointing. The bump steer was mostly the same, and even worse as the wheel moved further into bump! I was completely taken off guard by this at first. I just sat there on my inverted milk crate staring at the front suspension wondering how moving the geometry in the right direction could degrade bump steer even further.

Eventually I snapped out of my stupor and started thinking logically like the engineer that I am. And I came to an interesting conclusion that I've not seen mentioned in the many write ups online about bump steer. It is frequently stated that two conditions must exist for minimal bump steer:

1. The tie rod must be of a length such that it extends from the lines intersecting the outer ball joints of the control arms and the inner pivot points of the control arms (see pic earlier).

2. The tie rod must point to the instant center created by the upper and lower control arm.

My conclusion is that #2 is much more important than #1.
I convinced myself of this with some simple sketches, but I won't dwell on it here.

My tie rods are located very close to the lower control arms (and far away from the upper control arms). So for the tie rod to point to instant center it made sense that it should be at somewhat close to the same angle as the lower control arm. But it wasn't that way at all. My outer tie rod ends needed to move downward to get the right angle.

Enter the bump steer kit. I bought one from Summit. I installed it on one side and as a first cut mounted all of the provided spacers above the rod end (which replaces the outer tie rod). With this configuration I re-measure the bump steer. Low and behold, things got a lot better.

From reading around on the web about bump steer, I had a loose goal of not exceeding 0.020" of toe change within the first inch of bump travel. However this initial try with the bump steer kit did not quite achieve this criteria. I've got a box of assorted spacers so I used some to increase the downward offset of the outer tie rod end a bit more. Then I remeasured the bump steer one more time. And the results once again surprised me.

Not because they were bad, but because they were unbelievably good! I started jacking the suspension up to 1/4" of bump. The dial indicator showed 0.000" of toe change. I figured something must be wrong so I lower the suspension and re-zeroed the indicator and repeated the procedure. The second time around at 1/4" bump the indicator still registered 0.000" of toe change. Baffled, I moved up to 1/2" of bump travel. Still the dial indicator read 0.000". At this point I figured something must be way wrong with my setup so I checked everything carefully, re-zeroed and started over. This time I got up to 3/4" of bump travel and still the dial indicator read 0.000" of toe change! This continued up to 1 full inch of bump travel! Only at 1.5 inches of bump travel did the toe change at all, and then only very slightly. I somehow bumbled into a very stable suspension setup for bump steer. I repeated the test enough times to convince myself it is not a fluke.

The results for droop travel are not quite as magical, but nonetheless quite good. Meeting my original goal of 0.020" of toe change in the first 1" of wheel travel.

Needless to say, I decided that this was good enough. Here are a few pictures of things.

The following pic shows the rack extension and how it move the inner tie rod pivot outwards:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/inner20ball20joint20line201-1.jpg

This picture shows the tapered stud that installs where the tie rod end normally goes:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20kit202-1.jpg

Here is the same stud with spacers and tie rod attached in the final configuration:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20kit203-1.jpg

In this similar photo you can just make out the upper control arm. This is with the suspension at ride height. The angle of the tie rod is close to the angle of the lower control arm, which turned out to be the right solution:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/tie20rod20angle20w20kit-1.jpg

Last but not least, here is the bump steer data. The Orange data series is the final configuration. You can see by the near horizontal shape of the curve that the toe changes very little with changes in wheel travel:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20data-1.png

kingcrunch
05-04-2016, 03:46 PM
I am sorry to jump into your nicely built sandcastle but that tie rod attachment is unsafe and i hope you're not hitting the road like that.
I guess you already noticed that the locknut does not even thread down far enough for the plastic to touch the bolt threads.

Other than that, good job! I really like your truck and your ingenuity!

Centerforce
05-04-2016, 03:51 PM
Those are impressive results! Its interesting to see how much difference a small spacer can make.

Dr G
05-04-2016, 04:26 PM
I am sorry to jump into your nicely built sandcastle but that tie rod attachment is unsafe and i hope you're not hitting the road like that.
I guess you already noticed that the locknut does not even thread down far enough for the plastic to touch the bolt threads.

Other than that, good job! I really like your truck and your ingenuity!Actually that locknut is fully engaged. Just barely, but enough. In any case after those photos were taken I replaced those nylock nuts with mil spec flex top nuts similar to what is shown here:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#hex-locknuts/=129ql61

These offer resistance almost as soon as they are engaged, so no worries.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that hanging a tie rod of the end of a cantilevered stud mounted in single shear goes against all proper engineering common sense. But this technique is nonetheless very common, even in racing. Here's a few photos of BMW E30 and E36 Gr A and DTM race cars that I have from my earlier days. That is where I first learned of using this technique to correct bump steer and roll center on factory type cars that were heavily lowered and no longer had good geometry. These are factory prepared race cars:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/front_upright1-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/left_ft_suspension1-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/PTG_bumpsteer_spacer1-1.jpg

This is all preparation for my plan to build a custom frame. At that point I can relocate the rack, which means moving it upwards where it might interfere with the oil pan. Or I could make new steering arms that position the outer tie rod end further down without the need for the cantilevered stud.

Gustave

Dr G
05-04-2016, 04:28 PM
Those are impressive results! Its interesting to see how much difference a small spacer can make.
Yes, no kidding. Although the bump steer kit made the most difference, I suspect the final results would not have been so good if I had not worked first on getting the tie rod the right length with the rack spacers.

Gustave

rab
05-07-2016, 06:46 AM
I made the mirrors myself. The stock mirrors are very heavy, so they tended to vibrate a lot since they are mounted to a not so stiff portion of the door. My mirrors are much lighter and stay steady. Also, the F100 has a notorious feature where the passenger side mirror is blocked by the post between the vent and main windows. So I moved the mirror further back.

I bought the actual mirror portion, very cheap, like $10 each. Then made the rest based on style. The stalks are 4130, the bullets are tubing that I rounded and tapped. The base uses a big washer that I ground a rounded edge on. The bolt is surplus airframe.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/02/mirror205-1.jpg

Gustave
Do you still happen to have the link for the circled mirror part of your homemade mirror set-up?

Dr G
05-07-2016, 10:06 AM
Do you still happen to have the link for the circled mirror part of your homemade mirror set-up?Yes, here it is:

http://www.amazon.com/Grote-28032-Convx-Assy-Blk/dp/B000CMH2V6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

RobNoLimit
05-11-2016, 05:53 AM
Well, the result of adding the rack spacers was initially disappointing. The bump steer was mostly the same, and even worse as the wheel moved further into bump! I was completely taken off guard by this at first. I just sat there on my inverted milk crate staring at the front suspension wondering how moving the geometry in the right direction could degrade bump steer even further.

Eventually I snapped out of my stupor and started thinking logically like the engineer that I am. And I came to an interesting conclusion that I've not seen mentioned in the many write ups online about bump steer. It is frequently stated that two conditions must exist for minimal bump steer:

1. The tie rod must be of a length such that it extends from the lines intersecting the outer ball joints of the control arms and the inner pivot points of the control arms (see pic earlier).

2. The tie rod must point to the instant center created by the upper and lower control arm.

My conclusion is that #2 is much more important than #1.
I convinced myself of this with some simple sketches, but I won't dwell on it here.

My tie rods are located very close to the lower control arms (and far away from the upper control arms). So for the tie rod to point to instant center it made sense that it should be at somewhat close to the same angle as the lower control arm. But it wasn't that way at all. My outer tie rod ends needed to move downward to get the right angle.

Enter the bump steer kit. I bought one from Summit. I installed it on one side and as a first cut mounted all of the provided spacers above the rod end (which replaces the outer tie rod). With this configuration I re-measure the bump steer. Low and behold, things got a lot better.

From reading around on the web about bump steer, I had a loose goal of not exceeding 0.020" of toe change within the first inch of bump travel. However this initial try with the bump steer kit did not quite achieve this criteria. I've got a box of assorted spacers so I used some to increase the downward offset of the outer tie rod end a bit more. Then I remeasured the bump steer one more time. And the results once again surprised me.

Not because they were bad, but because they were unbelievably good! I started jacking the suspension up to 1/4" of bump. The dial indicator showed 0.000" of toe change. I figured something must be wrong so I lower the suspension and re-zeroed the indicator and repeated the procedure. The second time around at 1/4" bump the indicator still registered 0.000" of toe change. Baffled, I moved up to 1/2" of bump travel. Still the dial indicator read 0.000". At this point I figured something must be way wrong with my setup so I checked everything carefully, re-zeroed and started over. This time I got up to 3/4" of bump travel and still the dial indicator read 0.000" of toe change! This continued up to 1 full inch of bump travel! Only at 1.5 inches of bump travel did the toe change at all, and then only very slightly. I somehow bumbled into a very stable suspension setup for bump steer. I repeated the test enough times to convince myself it is not a fluke.

The results for droop travel are not quite as magical, but nonetheless quite good. Meeting my original goal of 0.020" of toe change in the first 1" of wheel travel.

Needless to say, I decided that this was good enough. Here are a few pictures of things.

The following pic shows the rack extension and how it move the inner tie rod pivot outwards:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/inner20ball20joint20line201-1.jpg

This picture shows the tapered stud that installs where the tie rod end normally goes:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20kit202-1.jpg

Here is the same stud with spacers and tie rod attached in the final configuration:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20kit203-1.jpg

In this similar photo you can just make out the upper control arm. This is with the suspension at ride height. The angle of the tie rod is close to the angle of the lower control arm, which turned out to be the right solution:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/tie20rod20angle20w20kit-1.jpg

Last but not least, here is the bump steer data. The Orange data series is the final configuration. You can see by the near horizontal shape of the curve that the toe changes very little with changes in wheel travel:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/05/bump20steer20data-1.png

congrats on the bump curve. At first it looked to me that the rack was too low, the way the curve set, but you seam to have solved the issue. We spend a lot of development time getting this right on the money. With most performance based IFS systems, we try to gain a little toe out during bump, and a '0' net on droop. This trick can be used to create a small amount of toe 'out' in a hard corner and help to reduce understeer. - let that swirl around in your head for a while. Anyway, great work, and I'm sure it will pay off. Have you driven it with the corrections?

Dr G
05-12-2016, 10:11 AM
congrats on the bump curve. At first it looked to me that the rack was too low, the way the curve set, but you seam to have solved the issue. We spend a lot of development time getting this right on the money. With most performance based IFS systems, we try to gain a little toe out during bump, and a '0' net on droop. This trick can be used to create a small amount of toe 'out' in a hard corner and help to reduce understeer. - let that swirl around in your head for a while. Anyway, great work, and I'm sure it will pay off. Have you driven it with the corrections?Hi Rob. Yes, I read about the "toe out in bump" theory when I was researching what to use as a bump steer target. I can see how it could be achieved with enough fiddling of rack and tie rod end locations, though I do not yet intuitively understand how it would reduce understeer.

I did drive around with the new corrections. It rides real nice. Very smooth.

Gustave

windows
05-17-2016, 02:02 PM
I really like what you've done to this build. Stance is great also. I too have been considering the JRI Ride- Height coilovers. A bit pricey but I also have a low scrub height (3.5") and the JRI Ride-Heights seem to be the best solution to clear the speed bumps etc. Keep up the great work on your awesome truck.

Gmc427
07-23-2016, 01:34 AM
not being a hater and all for dyi,but novice welding on highly stressed parts?regards

LT1C1500
09-02-2016, 08:24 AM
I really like your attention to detail! Tend to hyper focus on minute details, and projects take me forever because of it. I love the project. Forgive me if you've said it before, but you must be some sort of engineer ��

Dr G
09-02-2016, 11:04 PM
I really like your attention to detail! Tend to hyper focus on minute details, and projects take me forever because of it. I love the project. Forgive me if you've said it before, but you must be some sort of engineer ��
PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA. Worked for McDonnell Douglas for a while designing airplanes, then TRW designing spy satellites, then DIRECTV also on satellites and rockets launches, and eventually on antennas. If you look on any roof that has a DIRECTV dish, the little pointing mechanism that allows it to point it's narrow Ka beam to a satellite 25,000 miles away, that was designed by me (11 patents). Been building stuff since I was 14, when I built a full suspension BMW bike with XR75 front forks. That bike could really jump. I still recall drawing out the frame life-size on butcher paper on my mom's living room floor, cutting and mitering the tubing by hand and having a friend's brother weld it up.

Dr G
11-25-2016, 04:31 PM
This write-up is just about some planning, not about actual progress.

Ever since I got my truck back from a prior builder I've been disappointed with where he positioned the engine. He didn't go nearly as low as I think he could have gone. Mainly because he was limited by the (standard for him) subframe that he welded in. He installed the subframe first, then tried to get the engine as low as he could and of course, with a Ford, ran into interference between the oil pan and the subframe/steering rack. Even though the engine has a rear sump oil pan, there is still a small front "mini-sump", which even has it's own drain plug. This is to accommodate the front mounted oil pump.

I think he should have installed the engine first, and then built a custom subframe "around" the oil pan. But that would have been too much work. It is, however, what I plan to do when I build my own frame.

During a recent build-phase I constructed new control arms, added new front shocks and installed an AODE transmission, as can be seen higher up in this thread. The reworked suspension required relocating the steering rack, and this in turn required re-routing the steering shaft. Due to a clearance issue I had to lower the front of the engine about 1 inch. I did this by making new motor mounts. The only reason I could do this and the prior builder could not was because the steering rack had been moved out of the way.

The prior builder installed my current 347 engine with a carburetor. As such he canted the engine up at an angle of 3 deg or so, probably a little more. I've since converted to EFI. From studying the subject I am convinced that an engine with EFI can run at 0 deg inclination (flat). There is no longer any need to tilt the engine backwards as had been the habit for so many decades. This allows quite a bit of scope to lower the front of the engine. As mentioned above, I lowered the front of the engine 1 inch, but would have to lower it quite a bit more to get it flat. You do have to keep your driveline angles in mind when during all this.

An interesting thing happens when you lower the front of the engine. The valve covers move away from the firewall. This then produces scope to push the engine backwards. A win-win.

If one is determined enough in lowering the engine in their Pro Touring truck, eventually it will get down there far enough where it will start "competing" with other parts of the vehicle for who can scrape the ground first when and if things start to bottom out. This is when people start talking about things like dry sump oil pans in order to get a little extra clearance. That's just fine if you're running a compact manual transmission. But if, like me, you have an automatic transmission, then things are a little different.

One look at this picture will sort of illustrate the issue:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/engine20to20trans20pan20comparison-1.jpg

Here you can see how far the AODE transmission pan hangs below just about everything else. I should make clear that this is an extra capacity B&M pan. Basically the biggest pan I could find. I bought it before I really understood how far it would protrude downwards. I was just thinking of extra capacity and extra cooling at the time. The picture also makes it obvious that a dry sump system for the engine would be of little benefit for me. The transmission bell housing is already as low as the existing oil pan.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/exact20pan20height20at20ride-1.jpg

Here I have a little ruler to show the actual ground clearance of the transmission pan, which looks to be about 4.5 inches. It was lower before as I just finished raising the front of the truck a bit by welding new lower shock mounts on to my lower control arms. When I built the control arms and installed the new (shorter) shocks I did a lot of measuring and calculating, but nonetheless my ride height ended up a little low. And I could not turn the spring perches down far enough to compensate. So I moved the lower shock mounts up 1 inch, moved the upper spring perches up 3/4 inches and voila, a tad more ride height.

hotrod56
11-25-2016, 05:56 PM
This write-up is just about some planning, not about actual progress.

Ever since I got my truck back from a prior builder I've been disappointed with where he positioned the engine. He didn't go nearly as low as I think he could have gone. Mainly because he was limited by the (standard for him) subframe that he welded in. He installed the subframe first, then tried to get the engine as low as he could and of course, with a Ford, ran into interference between the oil pan and the subframe/steering rack. Even though the engine has a rear sump oil pan, there is still a small front "mini-sump", which even has it's own drain plug. This is to accommodate the front mounted oil pump.

I think he should have installed the engine first, and then built a custom subframe "around" the oil pan. But that would have been too much work. It is, however, what I plan to do when I build my own frame.

During a recent build-phase I constructed new control arms, added new front shocks and installed an AODE transmission, as can be seen higher up in this thread. The reworked suspension required relocating the steering rack, and this in turn required re-routing the steering shaft. Due to a clearance issue I had to lower the front of the engine about 1 inch. I did this by making new motor mounts. The only reason I could do this and the prior builder could not was because the steering rack had been moved out of the way.

The prior builder installed my current 347 engine with a carburetor. As such he canted the engine up at an angle of 3 deg or so, probably a little more. I've since converted to EFI. From studying the subject I am convinced that an engine with EFI can run at 0 deg inclination (flat). There is no longer any need to tilt the engine backwards as had been the habit for so many decades. This allows quite a bit of scope to lower the front of the engine. As mentioned above, I lowered the front of the engine 1 inch, but would have to lower it quite a bit more to get it flat. You do have to keep your driveline angles in mind when during all this.

An interesting thing happens when you lower the front of the engine. The valve covers move away from the firewall. This then produces scope to push the engine backwards. A win-win.

If one is determined enough in lowering the engine in their Pro Touring truck, eventually it will get down there far enough where it will start "competing" with other parts of the vehicle for who can scrape the ground first when and if things start to bottom out. This is when people start talking about things like dry sump oil pans in order to get a little extra clearance. That's just fine if you're running a compact manual transmission. But if, like me, you have an automatic transmission, then things are a little different.

One look at this picture will sort of illustrate the issue:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/engine20to20trans20pan20comparison-1.jpg

Here you can see how far the AODE transmission pan hangs below just about everything else. I should make clear that this is an extra capacity B&M pan. Basically the biggest pan I could find. I bought it before I really understood how far it would protrude downwards. I was just thinking of extra capacity and extra cooling at the time. The picture also makes it obvious that a dry sump system for the engine would be of little benefit for me. The transmission bell housing is already as low as the existing oil pan.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/exact20pan20height20at20ride-1.jpg

Here I have a little ruler to show the actual ground clearance of the transmission pan, which looks to be about 4.5 inches. It was lower before as I just finished raising the front of the truck a bit by welding new lower shock mounts on to my lower control arms. When I built the control arms and installed the new (shorter) shocks I did a lot of measuring and calculating, but nonetheless my ride height ended up a little low. And I could not turn the spring perches down far enough to compensate. So I moved the lower shock mounts up 1 inch, moved the upper spring perches up 3/4 inches and voila, a tad more ride height.

Hey Dr G

Why dont u get rid of the pan, and make a new one, that is wide and shallow like your oil pan?

Dr G
11-26-2016, 12:41 PM
Hey Dr G

Why dont u get rid of the pan, and make a new one, that is wide and shallow like your oil pan?

Well you read my mind. That is what I have in planned.

At a minimum I have to get rid of the deep sump B&M pan. It's just and accident waiting to happen. Though surprisingly I've scraped and bottomed the truck at various times, and yet the trans pan is pristine.

What I plan to do is fabricate a pan out of steel plate (0.250" rail and 0.125" pan). It won't be the lightest thing in town, but compared to the weight of the transmission it will be inconsequential. And it will offer at least some resistance to scraping the ground if/when that ever does happen. And it won't crack/shatter like a cast aluminum pan would on impact. After I weld it up and leak check it I will have a local machine shop fly-cut the gasket mating surface to true it up.

I'd like to make my custom pan as shallow as possible. How shallow is this? That is something I am still investigating. The following picture gives me some clues:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/9324_9685_cf_stock_dims_lg-1.jpg

I would like to build a pan with a 2.3" depth like the one shown on the far right. I know my B&M pan is at least 4" deep probably more. So that gains me 2 inches of ground clearance right there. Nothing to sneeze at.

I'm just not totally sure if the pan shown on the far right is a standard 2WD AODE pan or an AOD-only pan. I know the bolt pattern is mostly the same for the AOD, AODE and 4R70W transmissions, but the AOD used a very different filter. The AODE/4R70W has two different filters for 2WD and 4WD applications:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/9685_filter_lg-1.jpg

Just looking at the filters it would seem to make sense that the 2WD filter is meant to work with the flat 2.3" deep pan, and that the 4WD filter is meant to work with the deeper 3.55" pan with the protrusion in the middle of it. That's what I'm going with for now, unless I learn something different. Sometime soon I will pull my B&M pan and check clearances for myself.

I am not happy about the loss of fluid capacity. As hotrod56 mentions, I have thought about flaring out the pan to the sides, similar to what is commonly done on road racing engine oil pans to gain capacity. But with the shallow depth it will make it tricky to access the bolts that attach the pan to the trans. I could get tricky and weld small tubes around the bolt holes to seal them to the gasket and them use longer bolts, or use bolts with sealing washers like the drain plug, or even a two-part pan. I've seen all these techniques used for oil pans. But there is not unlimited room to flare out the pan in any case, as the exhaust runs pretty close by. It will take some thinking. If I could get an extra two quarts capacity from the effort it might be worth it.

I've also thought about adding the equivalent of a surge tank to the return line from the transmission cooler. Just an empty aluminum tank to hold a few quarts of fluid. Fills from the bottom and exits from the top, non-vented. It should not add very much load to the transmission fluid pump. It would be kind of like a dry sump tank I guess. I can't think of any reason this would not work.

More to come on this.

hotrod56
11-26-2016, 01:47 PM
Well you read my mind. That is what I have in planned.

At a minimum I have to get rid of the deep sump B&M pan. It's just and accident waiting to happen. Though surprisingly I've scraped and bottomed the truck at various times, and yet the trans pan is pristine.

What I plan to do is fabricate a pan out of steel plate (0.250" rail and 0.125" pan). It won't be the lightest thing in town, but compared to the weight of the transmission it will be inconsequential. And it will offer at least some resistance to scraping the ground if/when that ever does happen. And it won't crack/shatter like a cast aluminum pan would on impact. After I weld it up and leak check it I will have a local machine shop fly-cut the gasket mating surface to true it up.

I'd like to make my custom pan as shallow as possible. How shallow is this? That is something I am still investigating. The following picture gives me some clues:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/9324_9685_cf_stock_dims_lg-1.jpg

I would like to build a pan with a 2.3" depth like the one shown on the far right. I know my B&M pan is at least 4" deep probably more. So that gains me 2 inches of ground clearance right there. Nothing to sneeze at.

I'm just not totally sure if the pan shown on the far right is a standard 2WD AODE pan or an AOD-only pan. I know the bolt pattern is mostly the same for the AOD, AODE and 4R70W transmissions, but the AOD used a very different filter. The AODE/4R70W has two different filters for 2WD and 4WD applications:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/11/9685_filter_lg-1.jpg

Just looking at the filters it would seem to make sense that the 2WD filter is meant to work with the flat 2.3" deep pan, and that the 4WD filter is meant to work with the deeper 3.55" pan with the protrusion in the middle of it. That's what I'm going with for now, unless I learn something different. Sometime soon I will pull my B&M pan and check clearances for myself.

I am not happy about the loss of fluid capacity. As hotrod56 mentions, I have thought about flaring out the pan to the sides, similar to what is commonly done on road racing engine oil pans to gain capacity. But with the shallow depth it will make it tricky to access the bolts that attach the pan to the trans. I could get tricky and weld small tubes around the bolt holes to seal them to the gasket and them use longer bolts, or use bolts with sealing washers like the drain plug, or even a two-part pan. I've seen all these techniques used for oil pans. But there is not unlimited room to flare out the pan in any case, as the exhaust runs pretty close by. It will take some thinking. If I could get an extra two quarts capacity from the effort it might be worth it.

I've also thought about adding the equivalent of a surge tank to the return line from the transmission cooler. Just an empty aluminum tank to hold a few quarts of fluid. Fills from the bottom and exits from the top, non-vented. It should not add very much load to the transmission fluid pump. It would be kind of like a dry sump tank I guess. I can't think of any reason this would not work.

More to come on this.

I have the same problem, but with GM 4L80e.

rustomatic
11-27-2016, 10:49 AM
I just went through the realities of dealing with the 4r70 pan with the '63 Ranchero I put together last summer (recently sold to Tennessee). It had a 2wd setup (from 1997 Exploder), but that pan with the dumb bump on the bottom came with it, as did the filter that protrudes into the thing. The non-bump pan is like a unicorn, so I just tolerated things, and, like you, bumped the front end up an inch (about the depth of the bump) to compensate.

If you're stuck with that transmission, I'd say the best you'll do, given the low height of the inner workings of the transmission inside of the basic pan volume, would be to find or fabricate something along the lines of that flat 4r70 pan; again, finding one seemed rather difficult (one could just take the bump pan and cut/weld flatness in). Your idea of adding fluid capacity via a remote sump/cooling system seemed the best way to go (versus fabbing bolt tubes into a widened pan that can only get so shallow).

The 6l80 in my Falcon had a much easier (anti-truck) pan solution in the form of the Pontiac G8 pan, which chopped a good couple inches off the bottom . . . Looking at it from the side view makes me re-think a manual, if only for the sake of ground clearance. No.

Dr G
12-01-2016, 01:20 PM
As another post of "things yet to come", I just received this thing the other day:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/12/SKF20Race20Hub202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2016/12/SKF20Race20Hub201-1.jpg

This is an SKF "race" hub for the C6 Corvette. Supposedly equivalent to the SKF factory hub for the C6 ZR1. I bought this from PFADT in Corona CA.

I got this to mainly to sort of check it out and take some measurements. As part of my plan to build a frame, I would like to build my own front uprights. Right now I am using the Wilwood Pro Spindles and they are ok, but I think they can be improved on. I like the idea of the spindle snout, wheel bearings, and hub being an integrated unit as is the case on this piece here. It also makes it a bolt-on affair so it's fairly easy to add it to a machined steel or aluminum upright.

There is much discussion on Corvette Z06 forums about these wheel bearings, what fits what and so on. I think a lot of that centers around the number of splines for the rear axles and the compatibility of the wheel speed sensors. Neither of these concern me of course. I am only interested in stiffness. From what I've read I believe this SKF unit to be the stiffest and most durable unit known to exist for the C6.

I also considered the wheel hub from the 2015 Z28. It looks very similar. My thinking is that the Z28 is a heavy car with huge front tires, so the wheel bearings must be something special. But a little investigating shows that it shares the same front wheel bearing as the Camaro ZL1 going back to 2012. So it was not specific to the 2015 Z28. The Z28 weighs almost 3900 lbs. A Corvette C7 GS weighs 3400 lbs but I think the C6 ZR1 weighs 3350 lbs, but arguably with a more "sporting" intent. Not sure how this would have affected Chevy's decision making when spec'ing out the wheel bearings. The factory wheel bearing for the 2015 Z28 is on back order right now. Eventually I might order one to inspect it.

Dr G
01-08-2017, 06:42 PM
This is a follow up to the discussion above regarding the amount of ground clearance I had relative to my deep sump B&M transmission pan.

I decided I was not comfortable with it, and that I had to improve the situation. My first solution was to see if I could find a 2WD AODE pan. I assume this would match the available 2WD filter, and should provide more ground clearance than the common 4WD pan.

I found a pan on an auction site that was advertised as AOD/AODE/4R70W, and it looked like a flat bottomed pan that I wanted. I went ahead and purchased it, cleaned it up, flattened it out. Then when I compared it to an AODE gasket I discovered it would not work. Not only did the holes in the pan not match the gasket. But the gasket rail of this pressed steel pan did not even match the 'shape' of the AODE gasket in one corner. See pic below, upper left-hand corner:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/AOD20pan20and20AODE20gasket-1.jpg

I can only assume that this pan I bought is specific to the AOD transmission only and will not fit an AODE nor a 4R70W. So I decided to make my own pan to my own specs.

Here is a picture of the AODE transmission pan I fabricated:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/new20trans20pan20unpainted201-1.jpg

My goal for building this pan was to achieve decent fluid capacity with maximum ground clearance. And to have a pan that would survive if it did accidentally get hit by something (a speed bump etc.)

I built the pan rail and bottom side from 3/16" mild steel. I cut out the inside portion using a plasma cutter and used it for the bottom of the pan. The sides of the pan are 1/8" steel. I clamped the pan rail to a big 2" thick piece of surplus aluminum I have, to keep it flat during tacking together the pieces of the pan. When the pan was complete I leak tested it with water. I did find 3 pin holes I had to fix. Lastly I took it to an engine machining shop where the run the gasket rail on a large belt sander to make sure it was truly flat. They hardly removed any material at all, the rail was pretty flat to begin with, meaning my technique worked as planned. The only issue with this custom pan is that it is quite heavy at 14 lbs. If I did it over I would use somewhat thinner steel plate.

Here are some pan capacity measurements I took:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/pan20capacities-1.png

My custom pan capacity (5.75 qts) is not far off of the 'standard' AODE/4R70W 4WD pan that most folks would use (6.25 qts). However, I will lose almost 3 qts capacity in relation to the aluminum B&M pan that I have been using (8.50 qts). To make up for this I have built a custom 3 qt aluminum tank which will be inserted into one of the lines running back to the trans cooler. Thus the total volume of fluid flowing through the system will be the same. More to come on this.

Here is the new custom pan next to the B&M deep sump pan:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/new20pan20vs20B26M20pan201-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/new20pan20vs20B26M20pan202-1.jpg

And here is a shot of the bottom side of my truck with just the 2WD AODE/4R70W filter installed. As I see it this determines the limit to how much ground clearance you could expect to gain with any type of pan. You still have to fit this filter. And some of the solenoids hang just about as low so even running without this filter would not gain one very much clearance.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/ground20clearance20w20new20filter201-1.jpg

Dr G
01-10-2017, 05:46 PM
Here is the added capacity tank I built to make up for the loss of fluid in the system caused by my low profile transmission pan:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/custom20expansion20tank203-1.jpg

It holds three quarts. I looked around to see if I could find something ready made to fulfill this task, but the closest thing would have been a power steering reservoir. The problem is I wanted the inlet at the bottom of the tank, and the outlet at the absolute top end. That way the tank is guaranteed to fill up completely before fluid moves any further. PS tanks usually have the inlet around the middle of the vertical tank, and the outlet at the bottom.

So I went ahead and made my own to my specs. I added a baffle in the middle of the tank to reduce sloshing under braking and acceleration.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/custom20expansion20tank201-1.jpg

I changed the way I plumbed the hard lines to the tank after I'd built it, which is why it has a second inlet which is capped off.

Here is a picture of the tank installed on my frame rail. You can also see the auxiliary transmission fluid filter just downstream of the tank, as the fluid makes its way to the air-to-liquid cooler in the right rear fender.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/custom20expansion20tank204-1.jpg

Dr G
01-26-2017, 06:45 PM
I've spent a few days doing a few things to try to remedy a brake pad knock back issue I've been having. The issue started when I upgraded my brake system a while back. My intention was to go with manual brakes, as I'm of the opinion that it leads to better brake feel. Although that may be true, the tight confines of a truck can make it difficult to position the brake pedal far enough away from the driver to get good leverage. As a result pushing a manual pedal is not easy. I had thought I could get around this by implementing large diameter brake rotors, as the pads would have more torque on the rotor, leading to increased stoping power and hence less pedal effort. At first I ran racing pads with a high cold friction coefficient, and with those pads my theory worked pretty good. Super stiff pedal with good stopping power and great brake feel. But the racing pads squealed like crazy, not to mention the cubic feet of brake dust they pumped out, so I was forced to switch to street pads. The stopping power was then reduced, forcing me to decrease master cylinder sizes in order to reduce pedal effort to a manageable level.

Anyone who's up to speed on knockback can see where this is going. Knockback is made worse by (a) large diameter rotors and (b) small master cylinder sizes. Large diameter rotors just exaggerate the distance that the rotor moves to push on the pads when stuff in the hub area flexes while cornering. Small master cylinders are more sensitive to the caliper pistons being pushed away from the rotors simply due to the smaller brake fluid volume they contain. I have a few "chicane" type corners in my neighborhood that, while low in speed, are high in cornering force. I would definitely notice the pedal moving way too far at the stop sign following these corners. No need to even to go the track in order to ascertain I had a knockback problem.

I figured the first thing I should try was to install some anti-knockback springs in the calipers. I ordered the appropriate Wilwood springs and proceeded to remove the brake calipers and pop out the pistons to install the springs. I go to pop out the first piston with 40 psi of compressed air and WTF? There was already a spring in the piston bore! I checked a few more pistons on different calipers and they all had knock back springs already installed (from the factory). I guess the calipers I bought (black anodized instead of powder coated) are considered "race" calipers and come with the springs pre-installed. Apparently they are of limited effectiveness. When I re-installed the caliper pistons I saw why. The Wilwood springs are not strong enough to overcome the stiction in the piston seals. If you push the piston all the way in to the bore, it just sits there. The spring does not push it back out.

OK, I had to think about this a bit. It's possible that when braking, that the caliper pistons do not actually slide through the seals, but rather that their motion is small enough that they just 'flex' the seals. If this is true then the relatively weak Wilwood knockback springs would still help. But if knockback were bad enough to move the pistons relative to the seals, then these springs would not do much. Wilwood is pretty good about providing information regarding their products (one reason I like them). The packages that the knockback springs came in listed the minor and major diameters of the springs as well as the spring rates. And the rates are in the 3 lbs/in range, which is not huge. Performance Friction springs are around 7 lbs/in and AP Racing makes knockback springs up to 12 lbs/in. So I went to McMaster-Carr and found conical springs that fit the bill - same size but about twice the spring rate. I bought some and set about installing them. I've not yet driven with them (hopefully tomorrow). I only installed the stronger springs on the rear calipers for now, since this is where I suspect most of the flex is coming from that is inducing the knockback (more to come on this).

Here are some pictures...

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/small20springs201-1.jpg

This first picture shows the old and new knockback springs for the rear calipers. The new stronger rate spring is on the left (larger diameter wire).

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/small20springs202-1.jpg

This is a close-up of the two springs. The small end of the original Wilwood spring wrapped around the nub on the rear of the caliper piston, so that it stayed attached even when the piston was removed. The new spring ID on the small end is too small to fit over the nub, so I just reversed the spring in the bore, with the large end facing the piston. This is how Wilwood had installed the springs on the larger pistons of my front calipers. So I figured it must be ok to do.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/rear20caliper201-1.jpg

This picture shows the rear caliper pistons.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/installing20new20small20spring201-1.jpg

This is a rear caliper piston just prior to being reinstalled with the new spring, which is sitting in the caliper bore already.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/front20caliper20large20piston20removed-1.jpg

This is a front caliper with the larger size piston removed. The picture shows the Wilwood factory knockback spring sitting on the piston in the "as-installed" orientation.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/front20caliper20installing20large20pisto-1.jpg

Here is the large diameter spring sitting in the bore prior to installation of the large diameter piston.

More to come on this...

bovey
01-26-2017, 07:15 PM
I had no idea this could be done. Awesome post. Thank you.

Josh@Ridetech
01-27-2017, 05:58 AM
+1, good work.

Dr G
01-27-2017, 05:30 PM
I drove the truck around today. Was not able to induce knockback like I could before. That means it is improved, though does not prove I eliminated it completely. It's hard to duplicate autocross or track cornering loads on the street.

I only upped the rate of the knockback springs in the rear calipers. I left the front alone. The original springs had a rate of just under 4 lbs/in and the new springs are just over 8 lbs/in. So the rate is a little more than doubled. This made a big difference. The springs are now easily able to push the calipers pistons back out after you push them in all the way. They don't push them completely out of the bores though. But it was tricky to reinstall the calipers, as the pads had to be pushed out while at the same time guiding the caliper over the mounting studs.

There is noticeable brake drag when trying to turn the rotor by hand. Also, with the truck on the ground and in neutral, it is harder to push it back and forth (as I do when opening and closing the garage doors). While driving I cannot really notice the drag. I put the truck in neutral and coasted up to some stops signs and it was only at the very last moment before coming to a full stop that I could notice any extra drag. Most people would never detect it if they drove the truck I suspect. I consider this solution less than optimum, but I will probably stick with it for now.

Longer term I plan to punt on the manual brakes idea and add a small diameter vacuum booster. That will allow me to increase brake master cylinder sizes (front and rear). My personal experience with manual brakes has been that by the time I have the pedal effort down to something tolerable, the brake pedal is too spongy due to the smallish master cylinder bores. Sort of defeats the purpose. When I build my new frame I'll build a brake pedal arm that allows me to mount the booster, balance bar assembly and master cylinders under the cab.

I've read a great deal on the subject of brake pad knockback. The issue is quite common and there is a ton of info about it on the web forums. Different groups of folks, depending on the type of vehicle they are into, attribute knockback to various causes. Wheel bearings are one common culprit. Also, for folks with live axles, the GM design with the C-clips is frequently blamed for causing flex and thus knockback. I gather the C-clip can allow axial play in the rear axles, which some folks try to shim out.

I installed a dial indicator to one of my rear rotors to try to measure the rotor runout:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/01/measuring20runout201-1.jpg

The runout was not bad, around three thousandths of an inch. But what was surprising was that by simply grabbing the rotor with two hands and trying to flex it back and forth I could more the dial indicator by almost 0.015" ! That makes rotor runout irrelevant. My axles and axle housing are made by Speedway Engineering so I called them to ask if this was to be expected. They said yes, it is unavoidable with the standard (non-floating) setup. And it is much worse during actual driving and hard cornering. It is due to the the rather long and narrow axles flexing along their length in response to torque applied by the wheel. Wow, that really made it clear to me why you want to run a floater axle if cornering is on the agenda. I'll be switching to a Speedway Engineering Grand National floater with the new frame build.

Dr G
02-19-2017, 06:17 PM
As part of the planning for my forthcoming frame build I've been playing around with Suspension Analyzer to come up with my front suspension geometry. I could just use someone's existing geometry (parts) but for me that's no fun. And although I am fairly familiar with the theory of suspension, I am learning a lot by playing around with the analyzer. I thought I might share some of the results. Maybe someone is interested.

Here is a screen shot of the Suspension Analyzer software showing the geometry I've come up with so far:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/static20values-1.jpg

I started out my measuring my existing suspension and entering those values into the program. Then I changed things from there. I kept the same steering axis inclination (SAI) as I have now with my Wilwood Pro Spindles. They have a rather large 11 deg of SAI. Even though I plan to build new front uprights using Corvette ZR1 wheel bearings, I am thinking to keep the rather high SAI. Then, following the words of Ron Sutton, I set the caster at 11 deg also, to match the SAI. That's what I have on the truck now and it seems to work well. For no particular reason I have the static camber set at -2.0 deg. On my truck now I run -1.5 deg. On previous European cars I've driven around with -3.0 or even -3.5 camber. But that was when I was doing a lot of auto-crossing and track events, and on cars with front struts which have very poor camber gain.

My first goal was to adjust the control arm geometry in order to yield an acceptable camber curve. From researching the subject online it seems that a good target is around 0.8 of negative camber gain for the first 1 inch of suspension dive. Here is a curve showing my result:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/camber20curve20annotated-1.png

The shape of this curve is very easy to change by simply moving the pivot points for the upper control arm up or down.

My lower control arms are set level to the ground. This leads to the minimum amount of lateral scrub for the contact patches. So that the tires are not moving side to side as the suspension moves up and down.

With the lower and upper control arm angles set, the roll center is defined. As of now my roll center is 2.36 inches above ground. There is tons of discussion online and in magazines about the ideal front roll center location. There is even disagreement as to how to determine the roll center, force based or geometry based. Folks used to state that the roll center should not move around a lot in roll, though today folks are saying this does not matter so much. One could grow a beard trying to sort this out.

Generally the roll center height is expressed as a percentage of the CG height. I do not know my CG height, though I have corner scales so I will eventually measure it. The Suspension Analyzer program recommends 20 inches as a good guess, though for a truck I suppose it will be higher than that. If it were 20 inches then my RC is at about 10% of the CG height, which is in the range of values that folks recommend. If I want to I can adjust the roll axis inclination by raising/lowering the rear RC height via the Panhard bar.

And there is the issue that adjusting the RC height via control arm geometry will then change the camber curve. The two are related. My general sense is that the camber curve takes precedence over the CG height.

I played around a bit with using longer lower control arms (moving the inner pivots points towards the center of the truck). I found this had a pronounced effect on the lateral migration of the roll center during roll. I have no idea if it is desirable, but I landed on a length for the lower control arms that yields almost no motion of the roll center during roll. This has the lower control arms longer than what I have on the truck now, but it looks like a reasonable value for a custom frame and suspension build. A possible benefit is that longer lower control arms further reduce lateral scrub of the contact patches during suspension movement.

This curve shows the left right movement of the roll center as the chassis goes through roll from -3 to +3

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/RC20Left20Right-1.jpg

The graph shows less than 0.20 inches of RC movement, which is basically nothing, over a large range of roll angles. Again, I have no idea if this is beneficial or not.

My next goal was to dial in bump steer. I decided to limit myself to the length of a standard Mustang steering rack which is 24.25" from inner tie rod end -to- inner tie rod end. Commonly it is stated that one of the requirements for good bump steer is that the inner tie rod end must fall on a line drawn between the inner pivot points for the upper and lower control arms. Hard to explain without a diagram.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/bump20steer20diagramM-1.png

So basically B must be on a line drawn from A to C. However, since I lengthened my lower control arms, but still want to use a standard Mustang rack, this becomes difficult to do. The rack is too long unless I move it upwards considerably. However, there is an alternative configuration for the tie rods that will still yield good bump steer, and is shown in the lower diagram here:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/Longacre20Bump20Steer20Diagram-1.jpg

Honestly I think in real life this is how most vehicles end up being configured. Without B falling exactly on the line from A to C. From my own experience with measuring bump steer, the angle of the tie rods is more important than their length.

I played around with tie rod length and the height of the outer tie rod ends until I got reasonable bump steer. From my research this would mean 0.005" to 0.015" of total toe out during a representative amount of dive.
Here is what I have so far:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/Bump20Steer-1.jpg

This shows a maximum of 0.19 of toe out (for one wheel) over 3 inches of dive. 0.19 of toe out equals 0.004" of toe out for a 27" diameter tire. So not too bad. From playing around with Suspension Analyzer I found that bump steer was extremely sensitive to the height of the outer tie rod end. Ultimately I believe good bump steer can't just be designed into the suspension. It has to be measured and adjusted on the final product.

More to come...

hotrod56
02-19-2017, 06:46 PM
Nice. A bit over my head though. Are you going to use Wilwood Mustang Pro or C10 Pro spindles? I would imagine with a truck - C10? http://www.wilwood.com/Spindles/SpindleList.aspx

Dr G
02-19-2017, 07:26 PM
No, as mentioned above I plan to design and have built my own spindles, using ZR1 hubs. Just because I like doing it, not because what's available is no good.

hotrod56
02-19-2017, 08:30 PM
No, as mentioned above I plan to design and have built my own spindles, using ZR1 hubs. Just because I like doing it, not because what's available is no good.

Guess I missed it. I need to pay better attention.

Dr G
02-20-2017, 11:10 AM
Guess I missed it. I need to pay better attention.No worries. I was glad you posted your link to the new Wilwood C-10 spindles. I was not aware those existed. I just did a crude PowerPoint check which shows the "built-in" SAI of those spindles to be 7. Compared to 11 for their Mustang II derived Pro Spindle.

I put "built-in" in quotes since that would be the SAI for zero degrees camber. When installed, every extra degree of negative camber increases the SAI by another degree. So in my case running the Pro Spindle with -1.5 camber, my actual SAI is 12.5

The Wilwood C-10 spindle does look a bit more muscular than the Pro Spindle. That might be good for reducing flex (and knockback).

I've done some thinking about where flex occurs in the spindle/rotor combination under braking. Obviously as the pads squeeze down on the rotor, the moving rotor tries to pull the caliper forward along its circumference. But because the caliper is bolted to the spindle on only one side, there are other forces induced also. These amount to a "twisting" force on the caliper. I suspect that the standard way of bolting the caliper to the spindle using an adapter bracket is not ideally suited to withstanding this twisting force.

In designing my own spindle I would like to do away with the adapter bracket altogether and have the caliper bolt directly to the spindle. As it would be on a dedicated racecar. You can see the idea in this picture of a spindle, manufactured from steel in this case. I think this is from a WRC or Touring car, not sure.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/spindle20w20caliper20mounts-1.png

I plan to have my spindles CNC'd from 7075-T6, for now anyway, my approach may change.

Dr G
02-20-2017, 03:24 PM
Here is another screen capture from the Suspension Analyzer software. It shows how my current design behaves under 3 roll and 0.7" of rack movement (steering input). See the numbers I've outlined in Green:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/02/320deg20roll20with200720steer20anno-1.jpg

This is where the effects of caster come into play. In one way it is possible to think of caster as inducing "dynamic camber". With 11 of caster, and with the wheels turned to the left some 10, the outside front tire is still at -2 camber, even though the chassis has rolled 3 to the outside. The plus side of this effect is that you can run less static negative camber. This would help with braking and tire wear. But too much caster has negative effects also. Heavy steering due to increased trail is one such effect. Ron Sutton mentions some of the other side effects in his excellent suspension summaries.

67dubcab
02-26-2017, 06:29 PM
Big fan of your build thread!
Lots of tech details and fabrication, also your subject is one of my favorite trucks, been admiring those bulbous lines since I was a kid.
Our builds are very similar, I am currently swapping in a A-arm front end so the suspension design parameters are very useful, though I am not brave enough to design one from scratch.

Stephen

Dr G
04-02-2017, 05:37 PM
As part of my ongoing experimentation I have been playing around with wheel spacers. I had two goals in mind. The first was to see how close I can push the tires to the fenders and still have adequate clearance when going over bumps and when turning. The second goal was to see how the steering felt as I varied the scrub radius.

Here is a pic of a spacer on the rear:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/04/spacer20installed201L-1.jpg

Here is a picture of a few spacers showing the different thicknesses:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/04/spacersM-1.jpg

In the final analysis I ended up going 1/2" outwards with each front and rear wheel. That increased my track width by 1" front and rear. I drove around a bit over some bumpy stretches, and did some parking lot maneuvers and all is well, no rubbing.

I need to know this when I order my new wider wheels. How wide can I go and what offset will I need? Keeping in mind that these wheels will be added along with a new frame and suspension. So I can build in any hub-to-hub width I want to match the wheels.

I want to keep with the theme of having the same wheels front and rear, so that I can rotate, and because I think it looks better that way. That's referring to the offset part. Having the same width wheels and tires front and back is an absolute requirement for me. But unless the offsets are the same, you cannot rotate obviously. And I do not like the look of super deep-dish rear wheels when the fronts have much less.

One interesting thing I learned during this exercise is that the steering feel is quite responsive to small changes in scrub radius. I changed the front spacers from 1/2" which I had been running, to 3/4" and then to 1". Each time I noticed that the steering effort increased as did the self-centering tendency. I would say that the steering feels better with the 1" spacer than it did with the 1/2" spacer (1/2" extra scrub radius). Interesting lesson. As with so many things, some scrub radius is good, too much is bad. I'm not sure that zero scrub radius is really a valid goal. I think it would really sap the steering feel. This theory is in line with some stuff I've read over time also.

I am currently running 19" x 10" wheels with 285/35-19 tires. Just from a space perspective I could easily go to 12" wide wheels in the back with the mini-tubs I have now. There is an easy 2 inches of clearance between the inside edge of the rear tires and the mini-tubs. Up front the situation is not so clear. I expect no problems with a 19" x 11" wheel and 305/30-19 or 305/35-19 tire. The next step up would be maybe an 11.5" wide wheel with a 325/30-19 tire. I have to carefully check the clearance from the rim to the various suspension pieces at full lock.

Fyi, I do not plan to do any aggressive driving with these large spacers installed. I have long wheel studs, so that was not a problem in terms of mounting them up. But it is really just an experiment.

Here's a few pics of the truck with wider track:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/04/DB20F100204217205B15D-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/04/DB20F100204217205B35D-1.jpg

Peter Mc Mahon
04-02-2017, 07:38 PM
The wheels look great pushed out that far!

brawls43
04-03-2017, 06:27 AM
It always amazes me on how much trucks just make wheels and tires look small. Especially width. Looks great though!

Josh@Ridetech
04-03-2017, 07:40 AM
Love the wider track width!

Dr G
04-03-2017, 08:48 AM
It always amazes me on how much trucks just make wheels and tires look small. Especially width. I know, no kidding. That's why I am avoiding 18" wheels. They would just dissapear.

minendrews68
04-07-2017, 07:54 AM
I must say... I'm impressed with your skills

Dr G
04-08-2017, 12:13 PM
I must say... I'm impressed with your skillsThanks. I just try to combine my engineering training with some common sense. The fabrication skills I'm learning all the time. I do all the homework I can on a subject and then, as my old college friend used to say, "there is nothing left to do, but to do it".

Dr G
05-01-2017, 05:42 PM
Some who are following this thread know that I plan to build a new frame soon. With new suspension of my own design and fabrication. A big part of the front suspension is the spindle, as the dimensions thereof dictate a lot of other parameters.

For a time I was thinking I would keep an SAI value around what I have now with Wilwood Pro Spindles, namely 11 deg. Which is a lot. But I have been going a lot of studying, as well as driving around a lot in my truck and I've done a bit of an about face on SAI. I now think I want to go for something like 5 deg. With around 0.5" of scrub radius and 7 deg caster. Achieving low scrub radius with low SAI is a challenge, as the wheel mount surface (WMS) to SAI distance has to be on the small side, or you have to use big offset wheels, or both. I have developed a little spreadsheet calculator that allows me to quickly plug in values for SAI angle and WMS to SAI distance, along with wheel offset, to arrive at scrub radius. I've resisted going to big offset wheels as I am not sure the look is in keeping with my 50's truck, but I am slowly giving in to reality.

Since I plan to build my own spindles one of the first things to decide on is what snout/bearing/hub combination to use. For a long time I was planning to go with Corvette ZR1 hubs (SKF) which seem to hold up pretty well, though some users still complain about caliper piston knockback. Though it is never possible to completely determine if they have it in the front or at the rear. I've had a ZR1 hubs sitting here on my desk for a few months, just sort of staring at it. It's an interesting design actually, sort of an inside-out spindle. The wheel mount surface and the spindle are one part, and the spindle extends inward instead of outward. The portion that bolts to the upright only holds the bearings. The package is manufactured by mechanically rolling the end of the spindle over the inner bearing. This must be a tough exercise in terms of getting the preload on the bearings just right. And that might be why only the SKF (ZR1) bearings are thought to be all that good, even though other brands have similar overall dimensions.

After some time I started wondering if the ZR1 bearings are really as stiff as I would want to avoid flex induced knockback. Chris Alston's ChassisWorks sells a bearing that is similar to the ZR1 unit, just bigger in all dimensions. I do not know if they make it or if it is from some other application and they just sell it. A pair will set you back $1400, so they are not cheap. I considered this path for a bit, but kept looking around for alternatives.

http://www.cachassisworks.com/p-3202-pro-touring-floater-hub-set-5-on-4-34-hubs-only.aspx

I started reading some desert racing forums, and learned that they often use circle track hubs and snouts (the snout being the part that sticks out, that the bearings and hub slide onto). Since I have been looking into doing a Speedway Engineering rear floater, which also uses circle track hubs and bearings, the two paths sort of lead to the same place. This:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/hub20comparo203-1.jpg

On the left is a ZR1 hub. And on the right is a Grand National 2.5" OD 5x5 snout and hub. I'd been looking at pictures in catalogs and on the web of these parts for quite a while. But I was still awestruck by the immense size of these parts relative to what I am used to. You might think they would be heavy too, and you'd not be wrong. The ZR1 hub on the left weighs 8.5 lbs according to my scale, and the parts on the right weigh 12.5 lbs. Though the steel AllStar hub I bought for measuring weighs 8.5 lbs by itself. There are better designed steel hubs or aluminum hubs that are down around 5 lbs, so then the difference starts to be not all that much. I would also plan to machine off the "ears" on the back of the hub where the rotor adapter is meant to bolt to, as I would use a standard aluminum brake hat the mounts over the studs. I think it can be close to a wash on weight with carefully chosen parts.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/hub20comparo202-1.jpg

Another thing one can see is that it will be tricky to integrate this hub and snout into a spindle while keeping the WMS to SAI distance small. I am shooting for 3 inches on that dimension and it's already 3 inches just from the WMS to the end of the hub.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/wms20to20back20of20hub201L-1.jpg

So my SAI will have to pass right through the back edge of the hub. Is this possible? I think it is, I just have to think outside the bun a bit when designing the spindle, which I am still working on. I thought about machining a bit off of the back edge of the hub, but that is where the seal installs, so there is not much scope for that. If I made my own hubs I could probably pull the WMS inwards about 0.5" - 0.75", since there is about that much "wasted" space past the outer wheel bearing. But that seems like a lot of work for a small reward. You can sort of see what I mean in this picture:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/hub20retention20mechanism-1.jpg

This pic also shows the way the hub nut is held in place. No buggy-era cotter pin!

I'll continue this hub discussion some more in a following post.

RobNoLimit
05-05-2017, 09:18 AM
Congrats on the progress and approach. I would like to toss in $.02 if I may. I use the Coleman short snout spindles on our Sniper front subframes for the F-body cars. My experience with the large bearing hubs gives me a ton of confidence in these parts. Coleman will make you spindles in about any combination you design for them (not too expensive) with bolt on steering arms and a bolt on upper ball joint receiver. This can help in final tuning.
Big SAI numbers matched with big caster will work, but can produce a 'jacking' effect on the inside tire. - this can be somewhat useful on 'big bar/soft spring' set ups, but a penalty for guys that like heavy springs. Very low SAI/caster, like the 'Vette stuff works great (on a Vette) if you have a very low Center of Gravity (CG). I am now mostly working in the 6/7* range. Next, and this is from the drivers seat, low scrub radius looks great on paper, but with a scrub of less than 1 1/2", you can't 'feel' the tire. So, I like around 2" of scrub. If this was a pure track car, on slicks, with Mario behind the wheel, maybe less. One more thing, do some searching and look at how the long travel sand car guys make their spindles from tubing with mono-balls. Pretty clever. Keep it up Dr.G. Looking awesome!

Dr G
05-06-2017, 03:21 PM
Congrats on the progress and approach. Thanks for the encouragement Rob. Though it's only theoretical progress until I actually build something 8^)


I use the Coleman short snout spindles on our Sniper front subframes for the F-body cars. My experience with the large bearing hubs gives me a ton of confidence in these parts. Coleman will make you spindles in about any combination you design for them (not too expensive) with bolt on steering arms and a bolt on upper ball joint receiver. This can help in final tuning.
I just glanced at a previous thread you started on your Sniper subframe. I had not seen those spindles before. Very cool. I cannot determine exactly what spindle you are using though. You call it a "short snout" spindle. Is that "short" in comparison to a Wide-5 snout? It looks like a 5x5 snout with the 2" ID bearings. I sort of consider this long in comparison to the 2.5" Grand National snout. Only because I am in the process of comparing and contrasting those two snout/bearing packages against each other. Although I don't have the parts to measure yet it looks like the 2.0" ID 5x5 snout has a larger bearing spread than the 2.5" GN stuff. That would be advantageous in some ways, reducing the loads on the bearings due to the torque caused by cornering forces. Though the larger 2.5" bearings might better handle the lateral loads from cornering. Still weighing this.

Of course the Wide-5 setup has a very wide bearing spread. And I know you used this on Hellboy. My concern with Wide-5, other than getting the right wheels, is what appears to be a very large WMS to Steering Axis distance. Then there is the Mini Wide-5 also. This was all incredibly confusing to someone like me, wading into the subject with zero prior knowledge. The most frustrating part is the inconsistent terminology used by the various places that make and sell these parts. 5x5 seems to imply generally the snout with the 2" ID bearings (I've also seen it referred to as 2" GN), though one can get 5x5 hubs with a 5x4.75 wheel stud spacing! And the GN stuff seems to be generally the 2.5" bearing concept, though some folks also refer to it as 5x5. Phew...

I may eventually punt on building my own spindles. Heck, I could just buy the Track Star spindles that Ron Sutton makes. But for me it is the journey as much as the destination. One thing that I feel a spindle should allow one to do is to change camber without affecting SAI. I wonder how many folks realize that the standard way of adjusting camber, by shortening/lengthening the upper control arms, or moving their pivots inwards or outwards, also affects the SAI by the same amount (deg. for deg.). I feel the upper ball joint should be bolted to the spindle, and that shims should be used to change camber. That's how they do it in F1 for example. I note your Sniper spindles have bolt-on upper balljoint mounts, though I do not know if they are adjustable. There are circle track spindles which use offset slugs to adjust SAI, though that would only happen if the upper control arm length was changed correspondingly, otherwise they are actually adjusting camber.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/Keyser20Adj20Spindle-1.jpg




Big SAI numbers matched with big caster will work, but can produce a 'jacking' effect on the inside tire. - this can be somewhat useful on 'big bar/soft spring' set ups, but a penalty for guys that like heavy springs. Very low SAI/caster, like the 'Vette stuff works great (on a Vette) if you have a very low Center of Gravity (CG). I am now mostly working in the 6/7* range. Next, and this is from the drivers seat, low scrub radius looks great on paper, but with a scrub of less than 1 1/2", you can't 'feel' the tire. So, I like around 2" of scrub. If this was a pure track car, on slicks, with Mario behind the wheel, maybe less. One more thing, do some searching and look at how the long travel sand car guys make their spindles from tubing with mono-balls. Pretty clever. Keep it up Dr.G. Looking awesome!

I am currently running 11 deg SAI with 11 deg caster and about 1.5" offset (scrub radius) and -1.5 deg camber. It feels generally ok except for on some of the high speed freeway transitions (like the 105 East to the 405 North which I sometimes take at about 100 mph) there will be some weird oscillations sometimes near the end of the corner as I slow down to merge. The first time it happened it kind of freaked me out, but I've learned nothing catastrophic comes from it. Make Ortiz, in one of his articles on this subject, mentioned also that some folks report weird oscillatory behavior with high SAI/Caster setups.

What really sort of turned me towards a low SAI low scrub configuration was reading Eric Zapletal's definitive write-up on front end geometry. It is very long, and examines each parameter of the front suspension (camber, caster, SAI, offset, trail) in detail, both individually and in combinations. The write-up is probably too long to post here, and would bore most readers to tears (as this is probably already doing). But here is Zapletal's conclusion:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/Zapletal20Conclusions-1.png

================================================== ===================
You bring up good points Rob, in that what is good for a low CG car might not necessarily be best for a truck. Also I am striving to set my truck up for dual purposes. Reasonable street comfort with reasonable handling for auto-x and lapping days. So I'll have springs and bars on the soft end of the spectrum (relative to all out performance builds), and hence more roll. For a while I thought that the jacking effect on the inside wheel produced by large'ish SAI (in combination with large caster and offset) would be an advantage worth pursuing. But lately I've not been so sure about that. And that is really the only advantage one could attribute to large SAI. And does it outweigh the loss of camber on the outside wheel?

Also regarding steering feel produced by offset (scrub radius). Is this really the "feel" we search for? The feel that tells you the tires are on the edge of adhesion and about to break away? Usually that type of steering feel is attributed to trail (induced via caster). Sure, large offset will yank the steering wheel around over a bumpy road, but is that an advantage? Or does it get in the way of feeling what's actually important? I am in no way trying to state what is best here, these are just my rambling thoughts at this point in time.

Dr G
05-10-2017, 10:42 AM
Some more info on 5x5 and Grand National wheel bearings and snouts. I bought what is typically called a "5x5" hub, snout and bearings so that I could check them out. I wanted to compare them to the GN (Grand National) snout and hub that I had to see if either configuration would present itself as a clear favorite from an engineering point of view.

Here is a picture of the two spindle snouts, the 2.0" 5x5 on the left, and the 2.5" GN on the right:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/snout20comparison201-1.jpg

The snouts you see are intended to be welded into rear floater axle assemblies. However they are also used on the front, when welded to a spindle, though some of the material would be machined off.

Since one of my primary goals in designing a spindle is to reduce flex (and thus reduce brake pad knockback), I was initially drawn to the GN snout. With it's 2.5" diameter, snout flex is not likely to be an issue. But I also doubt it would be much of an issue with the smaller 5x5 snout on the left. If these snouts were properly integrated into a spindle assembly, I suspect factors other than snout flex would be at fault it knockback is a problem.

The 2.5" GN snout and bearing package is commonly used on the front in the desert racing community. Though not for Trophy Trucks as much as for buggies. But those guys tend to use a 5x5.5" bolt pattern, so they have their own type of hubs. It is funny that in the circle track world, Speedway Engineering parts are seen as pretty good, whereas in the desert racing world SE is seen as more run of the mill. This could be because in desert racing the vertical loads into the hub predominate (vs. lateral loads) and strength to them is more important than stiffness (the two parameters are not the same). Mittler Brothers makes chrome-moly versions of the GN snout which are used by desert racers.
http://www.mittlerbros.com/snouts-group.html
http://www.mittlerbros.com/off-road-spindle-snouts.html
In this case using 4130 is mostly buying you strength, since it is not that much stiffer than mild steel. But it can be heat treated to be very strong. I've not seen anyone in the circle track community offer snouts out of chrome moly, though there may be some I have not discovered.

On to the bearings. Here is a pic of the tapered bearings used in the two designs:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20comparison202-1.jpg

That's the 2.0" ID 5x5 bearing on the left and the 2.5" ID GN bearing on the right. The individual bearings on the 5x5 are much larger (0.375" OD vs. 0.25" OD). The GN has smaller bearings but a lot more of them. Which is better? I have no idea. Perhaps more bearings help spread out the load better? But since they are smaller, and have to travel a bigger circumference, there might be more friction? Since both designs seem to be used very successfully in racing, maybe it does not matter at all.

Another parameter regarding wheel bearings is "bearing spread". This is the distance between the two wheel bearings. There is no consensus on how to measure it. To the outsides of the bearings, the insides, or the centers? I feel measuring to the center of the bearing is most correct. The wider the bearing spread, the lower the load on the bearings due to the torque created on the hub by the tire's lateral force. Here's a very simplistic sketch I made to illustrate this:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20spread20forces-1.png

This is an idealized case, where the two wheel bearings are evenly spaced away from the center of the contact patch.

I'll continue in the next post...

bovey
05-10-2017, 06:50 PM
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20spread20forces-1.png



Given the "L"ateral load of 1500 pounds pushing to the left, I believe your "F"orce arrows are the wrong way. This situation would load the bottom of the inside bearing and the top of the outer.

Dr G
05-11-2017, 08:00 AM
Given the "L"ateral load of 1500 pounds pushing to the left, I believe your "F"orce arrows are the wrong way. This situation would load the bottom of the inside bearing and the top of the outer.

The smaller force arrows on the bearings are the "reactive" forces which are created to keep the tire/wheel/hub assembly from going into rotational acceleration. The old "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" thing. This is a typical "free body analysis" that would be used in engineering. So in my case I drew the forces exerted by the snout onto the bearings. As you point out there are "equal and opposite" forces exerted by the bearings onto the snout.

The three Blue arrows shown all create moments (torques) around the red dot. The equation is a simple sum of those torques, which have to equal zero (otherwise the tire/wheel/hub structure start to accelerate). The red dot could have been anywhere. I chose the location to make the equation easier to write.

bovey
05-11-2017, 08:16 AM
The smaller force arrows on the bearings are the "reactive" forces which are created to keep the tire/wheel/hub assembly from going into rotational acceleration. The old "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" thing. This is a typical "free body analysis" that would be used in engineering. So in my case I drew the forces exerted by the snout onto the bearings. As you point out there are "equal and opposite" forces exerted by the bearings onto the snout.

The three Blue arrows shown all create moments (torques) around the red dot. The equation is a simple sum of those torques, which have to equal zero (otherwise the tire/wheel/hub structure start to accelerate). The red dot could have been anywhere. I chose the location to make the equation easier to write.


OHhhhhh... Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.

Dr G
05-11-2017, 08:57 AM
Continuing on from my previous post. This is the equation for the forces on the wheel bearings due to a lateral load at center of the tire contact patch:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20force20equationTh-1.png

F = the force on each wheel bearing
R = the radius of the tire
L = the Lateral Load at the tire contact patch
b.s. = the bearing spread

This equation allows a "sensitivity analysis". Something done in engineering just to get a "feeling" for how one parameter depends on another. It is not meant to be 100% accurate of real life.

Assume a 3000 lb Pro Touring Truck in steady state cornering. It's Bovey's truck, so it has a 50/50 weight distribution, and thus 1500 lbs on the front axle. Just to make things easy we have 100% weight transfer at the front axle (the front inside tire is just off the pavement). And we have sticky tires to allow us to corner at 1g. The Lateral Load is thus L = 1500 lbs

Assume a typical Pro Touring tire with a diameter of 26", so R = D/2 = 13"

Let's start by assuming a bearing spread of 2". This results in F =9750 lbs. The vertical force on each wheel bearing due to tire lateral load is 9750 lbs. Note that this is much larger than the lateral load on the bearings, which is simply equal to L, and is 1500 bs. Actually only the inside bearing is able to bear any of the lateral load btw, the outer bearing is just floating in this respect.

If we halve the bearing spread to 1", the force on the bearings double to F = 19,500 lbs. So that is the "sensitivity. The bearing force is proportional to the inverse of the bearing spread. For every 10% that you increase bearing spread, you will decrease the vertical bearing load by 10%.

Note I have ignored the additional vertical force on the bearings due to vehicle weight (the pavement pushing up on the tire/wheel/hub). This force is independent of bearing spread, and in this example would be 1500 lbs (total on both bearings), much smaller than the forces created by the lateral load.

Here is a picture showing the measured bearing spread of the GN 2.5" bearing/snout vs. the 5x5 2" setup. The bearings are place on the snouts pretty much where the wheel hub would locate them:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/5x520vs20GN20bearing20spread20comparison-1.png

The difference turned out to be smaller than I expected. Moving from the GN design to the 5x5 yields an increase in bearing spread of 27%, and thus, in my idealized analysis, a 27% reduction in bearing load caused by tire lateral force. Not a huge change, and probably not big enough to warrant choosing one design over the other unless you were really stressing your parts to the limit.

So my boring conclusion is that I have no conclusion. The two bearing packages are different, and probably offer advantages or disadvantages in certain situations. But the differences are likely to be small. Fyi, any differences in weight between the snouts, bearings and hubs of the two designs is quite small, and not worth basing a decision on.

One other thing I have thought about is the comparison of tapered bearings vs. round bearings for a wheel bearing application. Is one better than the other? Round bearings have a smaller contact area, and should have less friction. At least until they are heavily loaded, at which point the smaller contact area might "dig into' the race a bit more, creating added friction. Tapered bearings have a reputation for handling large lateral loads, but the large contact area would seem to point to higher friction, at least in low load situations. I know at one point in the 70's when I was very into BMX, there was a sudden push to move headset bearings to a tapered design (the part that holds the fork to the frame and allows one to steer the bike). But this effort petered out, and to this day bicycles use round bearings in the headset. However this is an application which is extremely sensitive to friction. If you've ever ridden a bicycle with the headset bearings adjusted too tightly you know, it is very difficult to balance the bike. Without more education I can't even speculate on round vs. tapered bearings, and which is better for a wheel bearing application.

Since every thread is better with pictures, here's a few more:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/dust20cap-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/hub20kit20parts-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20spread20comparison202-1.jpg

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/GN20Snout20to20ZR120comparo-1.jpg

Peter Mc Mahon
05-11-2017, 09:42 AM
Interesting stuff Gustave, I appreciate the write up and nice pictures to boot!

Dr G
05-11-2017, 02:29 PM
Interesting stuff Gustave, I appreciate the write up and nice pictures to boot!Thanks. I hope this of interest to some people, now or in the future.

Dr G
05-11-2017, 02:49 PM
One last item regarding the 5x5 and GN bearings. There is this little do-dad:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/GN20bearing20spacer-1.jpg

This is called a "bearing spacer". I first heard about these when I was chatting on the phone with Ken at Speedway Engineering about ways to reduce brake piston knockback on floaters. At the time I heard what he said, but had no idea what he was talking about. It took me a bit of thinking to realize how these bearing spacers actually work.

Think about the typical way one would adjust pre-load on the front wheel bearings, and then insert a cotter pin to keep the retaining nut from backing out. That retaining nut is not really tight. In fact it is merely hand-threaded onto the spindle snout until it just kisses the wheel bearing. Now think of the action of threading a (non-locking) nut onto a bolt. If you carefully jiggle the nut you can feel that it moves a tiny bit. It has to by definition, otherwise you would never be able to thread the nut onto the bolt by hand (it would be an interference fit).
If you were to subsequently thread a second nut onto the bolt and tighten them against each other with wrenches, you would no longer be able to detect any movement at all in either nut. All play will have been taken up by the action of pushing the nut threads against the bolt threads.

The same situation presents itself on a front spindle snout when you adjust the wheel bearings. The nut it never really tightened against anything, so there is this small amount of play present.

The idea behind bearing spacers is that they fit between the inner bearing races, and as you tighten the retaining nut against the outermost inner wheel bearing race, it pushes against the bearing spacer, which then pushes against the inner-inner wheel bearing race, which is bottomed out against the end of the snout. The net result is that you can tighten the retaining nut to 100 ft lbs (as is often recommended), and still achieve perfect wheel bearing adjustment. The trick is that the bearing spacer is adjustable for length, and you have to fiddle with the size of the bearing spacer through trial and error to get the adjustment just right. But when it is right, you can just crank the retaining nut right down and there is not more play in the nut. Hope this makes sense. DRP seems to be where circle track racers get their bearings spacers. They were the recommended source by Ken at Speedway.

Here is a video on the DRP website showing how the spacers work and how to adjust them:

https://youtu.be/ezDmH9iFsYI

Here is a picture of the 2.5" GN bearing spacer installed between the bearings:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/bearing20spacer20installed-1.jpg


https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/soda20can20comparison-1.jpg

Dr G
05-11-2017, 04:04 PM
Couple things I forget to mention. These Grand National and 5x5 hubs come with 5/8" studs, not 1/2". The thread can be fine or coarse (as in the photos). I plan to install ARP studs with an extra long shank so that the brake hat and wheel are not pressing against the threads of the studs, but against the shank. Just seems the right way to do things.

The dust caps, which attached with 3 or 4 screws depending on brand, are 3.06" OD. Larger than the common Corvette size of 2.78" but not totally unheard of. The pointy dust cap is meant to speed installation of wheels during pit stops. I prefer the look of the flat ended dust cap.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/full20up20comparison202-1.jpg

Note that each design, when completely assembled, weighs 13 lbs. This vs. a Corvette ZR1 hub which weighs 8 lbs. So a 5 lb difference. But I have steel hubs at my disposal. One can purchase identical aluminum hubs which weigh about 3 lbs less. This narrows the gap to 2 lbs, which you can easily loose or gain just be changing tire type. And many folks in the Pro Touring realm would happily kiss away 2 lbs on each wheel just to get a particular "look" (I probably fall in that camp).

Regarding steel hubs vs. aluminum hubs. Aluminum is lighter, but is also less strong, less stiff, loses both strength and stiffness as temps increase above 250 deg, and the hubs expand more as they heat up, thereby changing the bearing preload. So not a slam dunk necessarily.

In particular regard to knockback induced by flex, the larger 2.5" GN hub might actually present a better design when going with aluminum. The larger diameter of the "barrel" of the hub means the wheel mount surface is better supported as the wheel pushes on it and tries to flex it (thus moving the rotor relative to the caliper). You can sort of see this in the pics:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/full20up20backside20comparison-1.jpg

Dr G
05-13-2017, 09:32 AM
I did some research into the bearings of the 2.0" 5x5 design vs. the 2.5" GN designs.

The 5x5 bearing has a part number 368A with a corresponding race p/n of 362A

The GN bearing p/n is L610549 with a race p/n L610510

Here are the dynamic load ratings for the two bearing types:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/Timken20368A20vs20L61054920load20ratings-1.jpg

One can see that the 2.0" 5x5 bearings have a higher dynamic load rating than the GN bearings, both radially and in the axial (thrust) direction.

If you, like me, are not familiar with the way the load ratings are expressed, here's an explanation:

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2017/05/Timken20Dynamic20Load20Ratings20explaine-1.png

Based on this it seems the C90 and Ca90 ratings are the ones to focus on. And in this respect the 2.0" 5x5 bearings have a 52% higher radial and 14% higher thrust load rating than the 2.5" GN bearings. That is something you might hang your hat on.

bovey
05-14-2017, 06:45 PM
This is very interesting stuff. I'm looking into the DRP spacers and bearings at the moment. I questioned the import bearings that came with my floater. "Everyone" says they are "fine". I really don't get why manufacturers skimp on the bearings, it's a difference of $50-$100 on a brutally expensive part.

Also, FWIW, it's a nice dream that my truck will way 3000lbs and have a 50/50 weight distribution, but no, nope, huh-uh, not very likely.

Thanks again for taking the time to write these posts, very cool stuff.