So after about 2 hours of marking , measuring , erasing and re-marking , putting the bracket on and off I finally went for it and drilled the hole that holds the rod end .I just figured if I got it wrong , I can make a new bottom for the bracket .Put the bracket on with the arm bolted in and made some marks so I could see if It moves out of position while the suspension goes up and down .It stayed put , so that was a big relief .I used the mock up arms and bracket to keep it all lined up as the assembly went up and down .So they are good for something after all . Now I can reinforce the area around the rod end and start figuring out the upper arms . I have decided to buy some ready made SPC arms that utilize a Chysler style screw in ball joint .They are adjustable from 7 - 9 inches and available offset and angled or straight ball joint mount , whatever you want .
Except for some cleaning up and painting , the bumpsteer arm assembly is now done .I also purchased some Heidts Mustang 2 tubular A arms .I was going to use SPC arms but 7 " was the shortest they make and that is about 1/2" too long .The Heidts are 8" but very easy to cut and shorten .Final finished length is 6.5 " . It would have been nice to use the arms as is but there just is not enough room .Bumpsteer stuff:
Arms , showing difference in length . Other than the length , these arms have a great shape with lots of room for the coilover .Camber adjustment will be by slotted mounts , similar to a Mustang 2 custom suspension .
I spent some time last night catching up on DonP's racing fiero thread and I was trying to figure out how to make the strut stub stay where it needed to be and I did what they did : welded in a temporary brace .A small floor jack is still maintaining the height and a piece of tubing was ty wrapped in place to simulate a strut .At this point , camber is sitting at +1 .A good enough starting point to make the bracket that hopefully will give an adjustment range of +1 to -3 degrees .
[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 02-15-2015).]
Spent today coming up with something to attach the ball joint to the spindle .I think I have something workable and it puts the A arm in the area I want .Doing a little more research in to upper arm angle and how much anti squat I want .A new ball joint lets me angle and tilt the arm any way I want to take measurements and it will hang there without support.Some measurements need to be taken so that the mounts are oriented in relation to the frame the same as the lower arms .
So now that the spindle to ball joint adapter is complete , I need to start thinking about the geometry aspects of this build .The book I am using is Herb Adams Chassis Engineering and it has a lot of examples of right ways and mistakes and models drawn out of suspensions that work .Mostly devoted to racing suspensions but the dimensions give me a staring point anyway .The things that can't change : 1-the lower control arm length (12") and the way the inner pivots are angled to the chassis 2-unless I hack off the top of the strut hub and do something radical , the king pin inclination is around 15 degrees .For strength purposes , not an option for me . 3-6.5 " is the upper control arm length so I can pick the angle of the upper arm and the amount of anti squat and type of shock and spring rate .Not liking the idea of picking a setup and being stuck with it , I am planning a setup that will be adjustable as to arm angle , camber and anti squat .I have a couple of designs in mind , just no time to do anything for a couple of days .I have a coilover ty wrapped at ride height and it looks like it can be mounted to the spindle adaptor and angled back to a mount on the shock tower .
I see what you're trying to do. Now, if using an 88 upright be more beneficial for your application, I have a spare set if needed. Looking at the these two photo's, from Dave's build, (I hope he doesn't mind), one can see the advantage of using spherical joints to make the upper ball joint unnecessary. Thus providing greater travel (without binding) in the spherical joint's design properties. The mounting points of the rod ends could be placed in a variety of locations making mounting easier. Just adding another option to your design.
I have thought about using the 88 spindles but for now I am going to see if the direction I am going pans out .It is looking really promising right now , I am really getting enthused about the project and the only thing slowing me down is work and the freezing weather .That being said , I am always interested in other directions and a set of 88 spindles would be nice to play with .I could trade you the strut coilover kits I won't be using if you want .I can take the other side off any time now .Thanks for the reply .
With the stub locked in place , I needed to find the angle that the inner bushings of the lower control arm run at .So I tacked together a frame work of 2 verticles spaced the same distance from the cradle where the lower arms mount and got the angle I needed up near where the upper arms will be mounted : By a minor stroke of luck , the front edge of the plate that is part of the frame rail reinforcing is on the angle that the upper arm needs to be at .This will make everything really easy to square up for mounting the arm .
It appears as though you've finalized a way to mount the upper control arm to the Fiero upright. If not, I quickly drew up a little bracket that you could easily replicate for your project. (I used 1/4" for my design). It bolts over top of the upright and there's a hole in the top that would allow for the upper ball joint. (Provided one used a tapered reamer to make the hole). You could also angle the top of the bracket so that the ball joint will be in the middle of the stroke when the car is level. That should give you all the movement that you're looking for without binding on compression or rebound.
[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 02-18-2015).]
I have been a little slack in showing pics of the strut adapter .It is all done except the lower coilover mount and some grinding to round off some edges that may cause a tear in the grease boot .I am using photo bucket now because everything is done with a mac now and PIP does not work with mac .And I can't figure out how to post more than one pic per post .The adaptor was made with 2 side plates of 1/8 " plate and a top and bottom plate that frames a 3/8" wall tube that was step drilled and then finished off with a taper reamer .The ball joint is directly in front of the stub near the top of the stub .I will post some pics of the adaptor as it is now .
The slotted upper arm mounts are tacked in place now .Kind of a "heavy tack " so they won't pop off while I move them up and down .So far so good .There is 6" of travel lock to lock and more will be had once I do some clearancing on the bumpsteer bracket .A little bit of binding in full droop the way it is now .The lower strut adapter hole is going to get slotted so I can optimize the ball joint angle without changing camber .These changes should result in about 8" of free travel .That way nothing will be able to come to a hard stop at either extreme of jounce and rebound .
Thank you . I just jacked it up and down with my dial protractor on the disc and it shows about 2.5 degrees of negative camber gain from ride height to full compression with the car sitting level . Better than I thought it would come out at .I have not checked toe change yet .
So I think I am close to having a workable bracket for the shock mount .First a couple of plates were drilled and bolted on and moved around until they could move up and down without interference between the shock , arms and frame .Then the plates were cut and welded to the ball joint adapters .Also managed to check for ball joint to tire clearance and everything is good there .You can look through the strut mounting hole and check it , very easy .
And now the suspension will take the weight of the car: There are a lot of things to do now before this set up will be ready for the road obviously .The coilover in the pic is one I borrowed off the front of the car .I will be buying another pair of QA1 's for the back , but I need the longer travel shocks .There is not enough room on the passenger side to increase the shock angle enough to be able to use these shocks with their 4" of travel .There is a ton of bracing and welding to do and to do it right , the cradle has to be dropped .While the engine / transmission is out , I am going to reroute a lot of the plumbing , make a slight change to the exhaust and the list goes on and on .I won't bore everyone with pics of the cradle drop and tomorrow we are on vacation to Cuba so the next post might be a couple of weeks from now .I can't wait to get out of the snow and the cold .Thanks for watching .
Man, we just love creating work for ourselves, don't we? I think your vacation was too short! Lol. I'm enjoying the modifications from the warmth of my house. Now that it's starting to get warmer, I'll have to head out to my garage and try to keep up with you. I look forward to the finished product, you have your work cut out for you.
Thanks .I have the car hanging from the chain fall now , still on jack stands , while I crawl around underneath disconnecting and draining everything .That is one problem with a turbo setup like mine , all the extra cooling lines and wiring .Should have the cradle out today sometime.
So I have the cradle disconnected and remove from the car now .Finding a few things that need fixing so it is a good thing that I decided to do this now .Main motor mount is shot and the axles seem to have developed some slop where they pop in to the tranny .Looks like I need a stiffer mount , there are poly mounts available . The axle problem I need to look in to further , not sure what the fix will be there .But , I have a shop manual for the Cavalier everything came out of so should not be too hard to figure out .A lot of these parts are now 11 years old , not too surprising that some of them are starting to fail .The Fiero In hang mode :
Thanks , a little slow going right now but hope to get a lot done in the next few weeks .I have ordered new QA1 double adjustable coilovers and 450 LB 9" springs .I may use the new coilovers at the front and put the single adjustable on the rear with the 450 lb springs .Not sure if the springs will be heavy enough but thats the beauty of coilovers , easy to change spring rates .
Not much picture worthy going on , was away for a week and now working a lot .I have the passenger side cut and braced up ready for the arm mounts .I made the inserts for the driver side arms and a lot of time is just spent running the assembly up and down and checking toe and camber change etc .These photos show the brackets and the arms bolted in and the shock adjusters in roughly their final position .The mount is temporary , I have not decided on the final design yet .
I have been taking a break from the car to get all our summer stuff ready and yard work yada yada but today the weather was too cold to golf so I started to make the parts for the passenger side .It is slow going , but I cleaned up another spindle and put the new wheel hub and seal in .This spindle was caked in rust and old rust proofing but underneath all the crap it was in great shape .Got a start on the bumpsteer adapter :
I have almost got the passenger side lower control arm completed .Just have to weld the bumpsteer arm mount to the control arm .After that , I will make the upper arm mounts and weld them in place on the frame .
Thanks for the reply .Always a lot of stuff to do in the summer so just getting a little at a time done .It has been rainy and cool a lot lately so I managed to get the passenger side assembly welded up and mounted in place Lots of welding and grinding to be done yet to make it all look better .The next step will be to weld a cross brace from left strut tower to right tower to serve as the upper mounting point for the coilovers .The plan is to make multi position mounting plates and weld them to the cross brace .I want lots of adjustability
I should make a trip over and see this progress in person. Do you have a solution to keeping the water, etc from getting into the engine bay? Looks interesting though. I hope to get a ride in it once you get it all back together and see if I can feel the difference. Now, stop golfing and get back to the Fiero! Lol, just kidding.
[This message has been edited by Lunatic (edited 06-21-2015).]