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Thoughts on Apex Engineered 8.8 subframe

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Any thoughts on the Apex Engineered rear subframe against other options?   https://www.apexengineered.com/store/p31/Rear_Suspension_Conversion.html

 

I am building my s30 with a turbo LS and I am keen to upgrade the rear end.  I know zcardepot already has a bolt in kit and others on this site are working on others.  Just wanted to get people's opinions.

 

Thanks

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I give them credit for posting pretty good instructions with their earlier products.  It has torque specs and all.  The new ones which look more complex are missing them.  Arguably you could say that one can mosh together previous product instructions with various OEM torque specs and get there.  A complete set of instructions for something in the $2K neighborhood would be nice.  I know that documentation is expensive and lots small shops just don’t do it.  It saves money in the end though.  Saves bandwidth on the phone calls and e-mails.  Just a gripe of mine.    

 

Enough bitching and on with the Qs.

 

This is more of an observation.  Product says “Bolt-In”.  Not going to be very bolt in of it comes with axle shaft.  That means disassembly of the axle of your choice and replacing the axle shaft.  I know that anybody taking on this level of work should know what has to be done.  One would think but spelling it out couldn’t hurt.  Probably providing some instructions for that particular aspect of the destruction/construction would help sell these kits.

 

Under “Key Feature” there is a list of what would appear to be improvements since it has “!” and all.  You probably should understand what that entails.

 

Improve roll center!  Is that with all 3 settings for LCA (see inboard mounting point)?  I imagine the lower hole would potentially raise the roll center.  Then maybe not since the pivot point is further out from the OEM.

 

Widen track!  This one is probably more critical to understand if you don’t want to add flares.  Can it be set to OEM width?  I’m going to guess no and will require chopping of the fenders.  What wheel offset can you run before the inner rim encroaches on the coilover?  You might want to know if you’re chopping fenders and plan on ridiculous wide meats.  Speaking of coils, what coils?  Any 300ZxTT or 370Z will work?  How do they mount? 

 

Alter Camber! Alter Caster! Alter Toe!  What does that even mean?  Adjustable?  How and how much?  Lots of knobs there.  Might want to know what the knobs can do.

 

Sway bar mounting point?

 

Can you get the specs for the axle shaft?  They might not be around forever and this is a custom part that’s subject to breakage.  I suppose you can just break out the mic and take some measurements before the install.

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I am one of the many that have pre-ordered this setup. Well, not the exact one you are asking about but the complete track attack kit, front and rear. 

These were all components I needed to upgrade and I attempted to piece together the old Z Car Depot setup but there was way too many parts needed. After I bought the Z Car Depot I setup I ran into issues with the brackets not being correctly fitted. They had since fixed the issue and I had since sold that kit. That is where I learned Ohm was looking to do the 8.8 setup (which he already had a prototype in his personal car dating back a couple of years). I was fixated on the 8.8 for diff availability, gearing, price, and aftermarket support. 

I should have it in my possession within a month's time and plan to do a pretty decent write up. Ohm and Apex has had my attention on this for a little over a year and it marks a lot of the checkboxes that I was looking for. 

I am not a drag racer, I plan to actually track my car. I wanted an upgraded diff that could hold power (Ford 8.8 from the explorer has seen over 700 wheel hp), available gearing, pricing. The bottleneck is usually the factory limited slip but at 700hp, not many are actually going to hit that mark. I needed coilovers and this setup includes them and on paper seems to outshine. Of course no one has really ran this setup yet, but everyone has to start somewhere. I am okay being that person.With the coilovers being moved to the trunk area I will have access to wider wheels without needing to flare. He has said that a 315 could fit behind the factory fenders. I am sure your mileage can vary depending on wheel height etc. 

 

Through my numerous communications with him, he is addressing the axles as well. You shouldn't need to take any axles apart. The beauty of getting everything from Apex, the measuring is already done. Something I know I would mess up when having to send them out to respline. He has an option to use DSS axles. I will be running that at least. 

 

I recently sold my Hoke Performance mount kit as well (there was nothing wrong with hokes kit, in fact it was beyond amazing. Hoke made the first true bolt in LS kit for the datsuns imo) and opted to go all Apex. Was just a preference thing to go wtih all the same brand. I'm weird like that I guess. 

 

I am not sponsored or affiliated with Apex in any way. I know saying this might create skeptics but you were probably skeptical before that. I am in CA, he is in WI. 

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:13 AM, buff_n3rd said:

With the coilovers being moved to the trunk area I will have access to wider wheels without needing to flare. He has said that a 315 could fit behind the factory fenders. I am sure your mileage can vary depending on wheel height etc. 

That is a big selling point for me, I just cannot bring myself to cut the fenders up.

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Again these are questions that currently have no answer.  For the Time Attack Kit (not the one the OP is interested in) that information is not available.  That kit also has "Wider track width" under Key features.  The belief is that since the strut is now replaced with a push rod that is thinner than the OEM strut there will be room for a wider wheel.  Until actual numbers are available there's no way to know how this setup will work with what you're planning.

 

Since the track is wider you will likely need need more positive offset to get wider to work without chopping the fenders?  How much offset?  Will it go wide enough for the size tires you want?  Do they make the wheels you want with that offset?  Answers to know before pushing that add to cart button.  Especially since this kit is 5 grand.

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Hey Guys, 

 

My name is Ohm and i am the owner of Apex, sorry for the late response. anyway it's been awhile since i've been on this forum so bare with me...

 

Quote

 

I give them credit for posting pretty good instructions with their earlier products.  It has torque specs and all.  The new ones which look more complex are missing them.  Arguably you could say that one can mosh together previous product instructions with various OEM torque specs and get there.  A complete set of instructions for something in the $2K neighborhood would be nice.  I know that documentation is expensive and lots small shops just don’t do it.  It saves money in the end though.  Saves bandwidth on the phone calls and e-mails.  Just a gripe of mine.    

 

We are behind on a few product instructions and need to update a few! Last few months we were super busy with catching up on orders, soon we will have a bit more time and i can dedicate it to product improvement and website improvement.

 

Enough bitching and on with the Qs.

 

This is more of an observation.  Product says “Bolt-In”.  Not going to be very bolt in of it comes with axle shaft.  That means disassembly of the axle of your choice and replacing the axle shaft.  I know that anybody taking on this level of work should know what has to be done.  One would think but spelling it out couldn’t hurt.  Probably providing some instructions for that particular aspect of the destruction/construction would help sell these kits.

 

The majority of the kit is bolt on, the axles are something that will have to be disassembled yes, but arguably most of the kit is bolt on. In that our crossmember is advertised as bolt on, but on the instructions and installation there are holes needed to be drilled in the TC arm brackets so technically its not 100% bolt in but close. 

 

Under “Key Feature” there is a list of what would appear to be improvements since it has “!” and all.  You probably should understand what that entails.

 

Improve roll center!  Is that with all 3 settings for LCA (see inboard mounting point)?  I imagine the lower hole would potentially raise the roll center.  Then maybe not since the pivot point is further out from the OEM.

 

Widen track!  This one is probably more critical to understand if you don’t want to add flares.  Can it be set to OEM width?  I’m going to guess no and will require chopping of the fenders.  What wheel offset can you run before the inner rim encroaches on the coilover?  You might want to know if you’re chopping fenders and plan on ridiculous wide meats.  Speaking of coils, what coils?  Any 300ZxTT or 370Z will work?  How do they mount? 

 

Yes you can set it top the stock width, the control arms are adjustable and can be set at stock width or wider than stock by up to 3/4" so the total track width can be widened from stock to 1.5" wider than stock. If you see the design of the rear uprights they accept just about any aftermarket weld in coilover. AZC, BC racing etc, as we have a machined tube that gets welded to our rear upright for the aftermarket sleeve to go into. 

 

Alter Camber! Alter Caster! Alter Toe!  What does that even mean?  Adjustable?  How and how much?  Lots of knobs there.  Might want to know what the knobs can do.

 

The options are off the hole and adjustment you can do, i agree that adding the instructions to help assist installers with the terminology and mounting location is a necessary improvement. 

 

Sway bar mounting point?

 

The sway bar is mounted to the rear of the cradle, aftermarket or OEM sway bars fit.

 

Can you get the specs for the axle shaft?  They might not be around forever and this is a custom part that’s subject to breakage.  I suppose you can just break out the mic and take some measurements before the install.

 

Quote

Again these are questions that currently have no answer.  For the Time Attack Kit (not the one the OP is interested in) that information is not available.  That kit also has "Wider track width" under Key features.  The belief is that since the strut is now replaced with a push rod that is thinner than the OEM strut there will be room for a wider wheel.  Until actual numbers are available there's no way to know how this setup will work with what you're planning.

 

The pushrod is thinner, but the location for the lower pushrod is further in giving you much more room, in realty you can go about 1/2 inch from the fire wall if you had the proper offset wheel. there is also a video on youtube of HellZ with the installation. also there is a rendering for a reference from a 240z we 3d scanned and with our track kit on it attached

 

Since the track is wider you will likely need need more positive offset to get wider to work without chopping the fenders?  How much offset?  Will it go wide enough for the size tires you want?  Do they make the wheels you want with that offset?  Answers to know before pushing that add to cart button.  Especially since this kit is 5 grand

 

again, you do not need to go wider than stock, you can leave it stock, or go wider

Quote

Anyone have a thought as to why they offer both the 300zx and 370z hubs/axles?  Is one preferred to the other?  Is this a much stronger option than the 280z stub axle?

the 300zx and 370z are options as some people who already have 300zx parts from there r200 or r230 swap they can reuse the parts rather than buy new. and the 370z is an option as they are newer and more readily available than the 300zx stuff which is harder and more expensive to find. we have tested the 370z and 300zxtt axles up to 600hp with no fatigue signs or failure. the stock axle shafts would most likely have broken. the spline on the stock axle stubs are much smaller and not nearly as durable as the 370z and the 300zx 

product.JPG

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Thanks for your comments Ohm.   I am confused on your responses if they are referring to the rear suspension conversion kit , or the track attack rear suspension.  Do all your answers apply to both products?

 

Can you give a basic rundown to the differences between the two products?  Some differences are obvious, but please list them all.

 

Can you specifically say what axles are used?  Any reason the more stout 1200ft/lbs axles from the other kit wouldn't work on this one?

 

What options are there to upgrade the 370z stub axle to get it more in line with the torque capability of the rest of the components?

 

Do the 370z brakes bolt right up?  Any way to run a 15" wheel?

 

Thanks

Joe

 

 

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First block of quotes references my questions with regards to Rear Suspension Conversion.  The second block of quotes are answers for the Rear Track Attack.  There are no push rods in the Rear Suspension Conversion.  You would probably get a better response from him if you contact Apex directly through e-mail.  He's very responsive.  Kudos on him for that.     

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To me, Apex Engineering did an excellent job on both front and rear suspension upgrades.   Considering the upgrades are basically a bolt

on kits, a lot of thought went in its design.    The only problem that I can see is having the rear coil overs operating in the hatch area.   In a race

car, the noise and danger from moving parts in the passenger compartment would not be a problem.    In a street car,  those problems would arise.

However, maybe they thought of it and have conventional  struts that would work instead.   Awesome design.  I would consider using the

rear upgrade as I will have a Rocket Bunny Body Kit.

 

  

 

 

Edited by toolman
text

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From the pictures on the website (normal conversion kit) and the posted race kit, it looks like only the race kit has the coil overs in the hatch area because you can see the typical flange on the hub for coil overs compared to the picture in this thread with a different position and the higher arms for the hub.

Edited by Ereschkigal

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I too am interested in how this pans out when people have had some experience with it.  Just looking at the design, I'm not sure I see how replacing the "mustache" bar with a tubular design will greatly increase the resistance of the setup to twisting of the diff...which is the intent....particularly when compared to the TTT rear end design that uses a billet aluminum mustache bar.  It seems to me just like a different way of doing the same thing...no better nor worse.

 

This design looks like it has a MUCH more rigid front diff mount that the TTT design however....which is a real problem with the TTT kit.

 

I am currently running a modifying Apex front crossmember, and I am happy with it....so I am eager to hear of other's experience with this kit.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ironhead said:

Just looking at the design, I'm not sure I see how replacing the "mustache" bar with a tubular design will greatly increase the resistance of the setup to twisting of the diff...which is the intent....particularly when compared to the TTT rear end design that uses a billet aluminum mustache bar.  It seems to me just like a different way of doing the same thing...no better nor worse.

 

This design looks like it has a MUCH more rigid front diff mount that the TTT design however....which is a real problem with the TTT kit.

 

The Apex design nearly boxes in the rear diff.  The two members that projects forward and is connected to the front diff mounting point is part of the rear cross member (Apex's mustache bar).  Those same members continue forward past where the front of the diff is mounted and connects to where the OEM LCA mounting point.   If you connected the caps on the front mounting point it would essentially add a box structure to the rear of the car.  The design also looks like it would eliminate any flex due to the drop mounts for the LCA.

 

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