The suspension has been major undertaking, for me at least. This is another of those areas where I haven't a clue what I'm doing. When I rebuilt the chassis wider it made it necessery to redesign the mounting points of the trailing arms so they would still clear the front mounted breaks. Yet another of those small details to overcome. It wasn't bad after drawing it out on Auto Cad.
I also did some reading about watts links and Mumford links. These are replacements for a normal panard rod. It is supposed to improve handling. I saw the Mumford link on the Superformance S1 and since, I guess I didn't have enough to do, I decided to make one myself. I had no particular reason. (Sometimes what I can do and should do are two different things.) I found a guy in England who had drawings of the Mumford link he was willing to share. With those and a little quess work I built one.
I borrowed the construction technique from Jeff Underwood who was also willing to share his design.
Thanks Jeff and the nameless guy from England.
Except for the shocks this has the rear suspension completed.
The Chevette spindles use a bolt on type upper ball joint and a press in lower ball joint, the opposite from the book. As the tapered holes are different sizes they are not interchangeable. I believe you can use VW tie rod ends as replacements and maybe some Toyota ball joints but I was unable to find any easy to use replacement parts. I could have designed an upper arm to use the stock bolt on ball joint but I didn't like the look.
I finely decided to go with what I thought was the best looking design.
Call me vain but the a-arms sit out there in full view, so they might as well look good doing it.
What I did was use the stock lower ball joints for both the upper and lower. I bought a tapered reamer and enlarged the top hole to fit a lower ball joint. I had a machinist mill rings to press the ball joints into. I bought the cross shaft and parts from Colman racing along with some seamless tubing and fabricated my own a-arms. I'll order the shocks next.
This took all of about 8 months. It really seems like a big deal, to me, to have the suspension on the car.
The build might go faster if I'd quit redesigning everything.
I just have a hard time doing that.
Now that I have it all set up I find that I don't have enough caster. It seems I used the book a bit too much here. The book shows the upper a-arm off set by about 3/8". It needs to be about 3/4", I think. I'm going to move the lower mounts forward about 3/8" and I can shim the upper mounting shaft for any more adjustment
I might need.
Gig for cutting fishmouth
The finished front A-arms
Just got my coilovers Jan, 2008.
I ordered these from Lindbald Chassis. The price was $100 each, $435 with shipping.
Springs are 300# front and 180# rear. As usual, I didn't do any math here, just a guess. We'll see how they work. They are 50/50 damp rate and height adjustable. Should be good enough for street use.
The supplier is listed on my Links page.
These are the shortest shocks he sells and they are about 3" too long. The shocks have a 5" compression travel.
So even when I compress the springs they won't fit between the trailing arm bracket and the normal upper shock mount. So I'll have to make different brackets.
I made brackets to mount the shocks in back of the axel, so I've solved my length problem.
Tomorrow I'll do the front upper brackets. then I could put this thing on the ground and have a roller. Whoo Hoo
And it's only been 5 1/2 years.
Of course now I have to make new mounting brackets for the mumford link arms.
Well, somewhat later, July, six months, in fact, here is a shot of the finished front suspension showing the upper shock mount and the fully adjusted steering arms. I decided to repaint them all silver to match the shocks. The chassis got painted in that time as well.
Another shot with the nose in place. I'll have the hubs and breaks on by next week.
I'm doing a litle paint on my rear axel and I hope to install it this weekend. I'll put the wheels and tires on and set it down on the floor.
It will be a roller. At last.
It's July 15th 2008 and today I got th e rear suspension back in the chassis along with the coil overs. I'll start work on the breaks tomorrow. I've got pads but I'm waiting for the rear roters and my break line kit to arrive to complete the job.
Well, my wife has been out of town, way out of town, Hawaii actually, and I told her I'd clean up while she was gone. So I reorganized the whole shop put up peg board and painted what I have sheetrocked.
What do'ya think??
And along with that I finally managed to get all the right parts to rebuild the brakes. Most stuff came in wrong the first time. All new rotors and pads. I had done the kits a while back, five years ago, I think
It sits on it's wheels for the first time, and rolls. In fact it almost rolled out the door down the drive way and across the street.
That would not be good.
I've has a chance to look at a new, basic Caterham and the front brakes look very similar to these from a Chevette, single piston and non vented rotors. Seems to work fine for them. Should work for me.
I ordered this kit of brake line parts. It is supposed to plumb any street rod. Not sure if I shouldn't have just ordered the parts separately. I did have to go buy extra stuff anyway. Most of the problem comes when you try to connect to the calipers. I also needed some different length tubes.
I just bent the tubing by hand around a 2" pipe I put in my vise. It was pretty easy to install until I got to the calipers that was a bit more problematic. I did a lot of running around looking for fittings. Good that I have the time right now.