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Thoughts on Apex Engineered 8.8 subframe

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On 7/22/2020 at 11:52 PM, Dusty said:

Close up and important note.  I found the 10mmx1.25mm 30mm were to short to work with this particular bracket and engage the wheelbearing threads 100% so I bought 40mm long ones.  Only socket head bolts will work!!!

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Dusty - what brake bracket is that? Have you a link to it?

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4 hours ago, z31sham said:

My Apex install thus far. Waiting for the axles to complete.

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Interesting your swaybar mounts on the control arm are symetrical mine are not its like they sent me two of the same arm so one side is upsidedown.  

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Hello, im adding back to this thread as i was tagged by a few people in it so i have copied my responce from another thread.

 

Hello everyone 

 

Intro

 

Its Ohm from Apex. A few guys linked me to this forum to chime in. First off, ill like to publicly appologize to ervyone who has encoutered frustation with axles and components from us. Those who have ordered the first few kits when we first released were impacted with long wait times, and missing hardware. When i first launched the product mid last year I didn't realize the demand it would cause (also from the Hellz youtube video) and the sourcing i needed to do in order to ensure met lead times. We rushed the product to the market in fear of competition and left alot of things open-ended. For example the fixture we made, was not at the production leve l they should have been. They were very heavy, not welder friendly and the welders were having to fight the figture to take the subframes out when they were fnished being welded. This caused long lead times, poor build quility in some cases and frustrated customers in most cases.

 

Axles

 

Secondly Axles, i dont even know where to begin with this, to start off we were un-familiar with the axles, how to machine them and manufacture them correctly and effiecently so we relyed on outsourcing them. Due to that we used aftermarket  axles thinking "easier to find, and cheaper to buy, Win-Win" NOT THE CASE we realized that even if we bought from one company in the aftermarket world, there are too many variables and the aftermarket guys are constantly changing their axle splines or size or something, so if one year it works, they can come up with the update, and our axles are non-compatible. So, we had to chew the cost of new finished aftermarket axles and buy OEM ones for all of them and start fresh. We since had to fight with axle manufactuers to get the axles and / or continully find new ones. It wasnt untill last month when I pulled the trigger to buy our own CNC 5 axis machine to make the axles in house under our tollerance and guidlines, however we are still doing initial tests to get them into production and outsourcing the axles untill we can get it figured out on our end. For the customers who are waiting on axles we are giving them a refund cost of the axles along with the schematic print of the axles along with hardness tollerance. We are nearing our 4th vendor now and at this point we are still looking at new ones, i recently contacted RCV performance to see if they would be intersted if this one falls through. What ive learned is to just be proactive and tell the customers about delays instead of being fearful of their responce and agrivate them futher from them comming to me for an update, trying to find somone who can email faster than me or to set up a online order tracker.

 

Improvements 

 

On the otherside i would like to point out the imporvements / changes made. since customers had missing hardware we purchased a packing machine that vaccume forms the hardware to a packing list of all the necessary hardware which also gets put on a scale to measure the weight of the packaged part to see if any hardware is missing (attached pitcures). We have also incorporated alot of automation into our product lines allowing us to have ALL OUR ITEMS in stock and ready to ship in the lead time shown on the site. (except for axles 😥) We have also finished / working on around on around 30 new products to various product lines however are we are having them tested on cars, and are making sure we can manufacture them in voluime with acceptable lead times before we release anything to not have this issue repeat itselt. 

 

Conclusion

 

As a whole, we are a team of 5 employees. 2 welders, 1 machiest, 1 packaging/shipping and 1 powder coating guy and myself. I do the designing and product development along with take care of the customer service side. I try to get to my emails everyday and reply as fast as i can (and my wife helps me on emails too) but since covid we have been buiser then ever with everyone at home working on their builds i have had to assit on the floor untill i can find a empoyee who can fit our team. Im an engineer trying to learn the buisness side of things but am learing on the way (mostly from my mistakes) and reealsing this product as the single most frustraing mistake i made in the buisness (hopefully ever)

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Good reply, good to see you know the issues and are taking means to sort them. Can't be easy running a small business selling parts like yours but if you make good parts and give good customer service it should all come good in the end.

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I know that this topic is about the AE subframe and 8.8 swap, but TTT did just release their 8.8 complete rear end swap so now we can compare the two options. However, when I looked at the price for the TTT version it did nearly give me an aneurism. So as it stands for me the AE option is winning in the “not-costing-me-three-months-worth-of-paychecks-department” but I do like that the TTT version has bushings for a quieter street car.

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Looking at these two, and Techno has made some interesting decisions. Chief of which is making a new diff cover so it can mount in a "factory" style mustache bar. The T3 kit does appear to come with rear struts and springs, where the Apex kit doesn't, but the Apex kit includes rear control arms, where the T3 kit assumes you have them already. I do think the Apex rear control arm design (using heim joints inboard) with their subframe is a superior design. I do wish the Apex rear knuckles had the option of using a T3 style bolt on strut, rather than the standard weld on style. 

 

I just bought one of the Apex subframes, which I'll be pairing with some T3 backing plates, so this should be interesting. No axles for me, but I think I have a solution for that!

 

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@Ben280 I agree with you there, the heim joints for the AE kit are significantly better for handling, but it seems that the kit is very track car focused, but sacrifices for a lot of comfort for the street driver (and I live in STL which has the worst roads I’ve ever seen). But that price is really good and the construction seems bullet proof despite the R&D seeming a little rushed even to myself, and I am by no means a suspension expert. I agree again that bolt on style strut/coilover options would be nice, but in the same vain that option on the T3 version kinda sticks you with their coil overs which are good but there are better options available for weld-on available at a similar price. I would love to see AE make maybe develop or tweak this kit into a more road oriented option eventually even if it ends up costing more.

 

But again I’ve never driven a Z that didn’t have stock suspension and it was all shot to hell, and I didn’t find it too harsh to enjoyably drive on Florida roads. So there is a possibility the whole solid construction would actually feel better than a Z with old struts, nearly bound up springs and 50 year old rubber.

Edited by Sanchez

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