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The poor man's rear toe-in adjuster

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This is the culmination of discussion on the following string and more a reference for any future searches.

http://www.hybridz.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=28947

 

The toe adjuster is installed and funtions very well. It takes about 15 minutes to make an adjustment (car sits too low to make it at the normal ride height).

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Guest BigWhyteDude

Very professional looking Terry, You did a great job on that. i like it, You should make copies of that and sell it:).

 

Andrew

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Jon,

 

Lesson #1 learned so far:

If I was to do this again (and I will change this later on) I would make an 1/8" backing plate (mimicking the transverse link halves) with two nuts, or flange nuts (3 in my case) welded onto the backing plate so that bolts pass through the transverse link halves, through the uprights, and screw into the nuts welded onto the backing plate. This way the nuts could be loosened, and adjustments made, from behind the car instead of my design where I've got to loosen the nuts from in front of the link, which requires some jacking up of the car. The backing plate would then slide with the transverse link halves across the back face of the uprights, and when the bolts are tightened down on backing plate, the backing plate sandwiches the uprights between itself and the transverse link.

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Edit 1/1/04: Backing plates are finished and the assembly is shown below. Now I can loosen either side's link half, and make a toe adjustment without jacking up the car.

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Poly bushings should last a LONG time. Much longer than a hard delrin bushing that is tweaked at a weird angle to get the toe you want. At least that is my untested estimation. Also, think of how much load is being put on the bushing. Not a whole heck of a lot, compared to some of the stuff people do, like making caster adjusting TC rods and running poly front control arm bushings.

 

EDIT--keep in mind the whole bushing cup moves as the turnbuckle is adjusted, so the only additional load on the bushing comes from the control arm being "not straight" in relation to the original design. Since a lot of you seem to think that 0 toe is best, there would be no additional load on the bushings, since that was where the Z was designed in the first place. We're just making it adjustable so that it can be equalized on both sides. In my case where I plan to run 3/32 per side toe in, I still think this is negligable in comparison to poly bushings in front with adjustable caster, but I will swing the control arms up and down to check for suspension bind--something that everyone should be doing when running something new or not stock. I seem to remember a good amount of deflection in my old poly front control arm bushings when I had the G Machine TC rod setup in front, and I think that was part of why I went rod ends on both of those pieces eventually.

 

EDIT2--That difference from the original design would be cut in half and spread between the front and rear bushings too, so only half of the misalignment would be carried by any 1 bushing.

 

Jon

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I undertook this whole project because: 1) to see if it was possible under the parameters of little money required, which was about $25; 2) easier for my particular situation because of the large upright plate verses the OEM uprights and straight transverse link; 3) I personally required nothing less than OEM strength and durability, hence the OEM arms are left untouched; and 4) I love designing and making things. As it has turned out, even 1/6 turn on the turnbuckle produces a noticeable change in toe. I love this thing :D , and for the first time I can finally experiment on rear toe to see what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, because I never could adjust rear toe, I never paid too much attention to its effects on chassis dynamics, so now I've got something to learn about. Now I've got to find out what works.

 

Let me comment on a couple of posts above about reproducing this part. I'm guessing that 90% of all transverse links are the later "curved" links, which will require some kind of modification to our design (I say "our design" because I consider this a group effort with special notice going to Jon for his ideas and for getting me off my skinny ass (acutally it's just a hole in my back as I have no ass) to do something I've been sleeping on for a couple of years now. This fact, plus the large upright made this a relatively easy project. I do have a set of later model OEM uprights and curved transverse link which I will experiment with. If all works out as well as this does, then I may be able to reproduce my efforts.

 

As I see this idea of using OEM parts, I would weld a plate between both uprights, creating in essence, a single upright, shaped like a "U". I am very confident this will still fit behind the later positioning of the differential as I've double checked this several times. I've found it is not necessary to have a curved transverse link on the later model Zs. On mine for example, the straight transverse link comes to within 1/2" of the cover plate. The only problem I see here is interference with draining the fluid out of the differential, and nothing else. Small wings will need to be welded to either side (outboard sides) of the OEM uprights so that the transverse link mounting holes can be elongated and still have enough material around the ends of the holes to be viable (the straight plate welded between the uprights will serve this purpose for the inboard holes). Once this is done, then the curved transverse link will most likely have the turnbuckle placed in-line with the curved part to keep the tension/compression force associated with the adjustment process closer in line with the plane of the uprights (otherwise, the separated transverse link halves may try to jam or bind instead of sliding across the face of the uprights.

 

For those thinking they may want something like this, I make no promises, but none-the-less, review what I've noted above, and if you have better ideas on how this can be accomplished using the later OEM parts, then sound off. If you can live with a straight plate behind the differential, then sound off as well. I'm just sending out feelers so that I can get an idea of what is acceptable, or not, in how much modifying some people are willing to accept. Below is a photo of my plate upright with the slotted transverse link holes to give some idea of what was hidden in previous photos. The amount of slotting I feel could be reduced from this example.

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I am stymied by small parts. I've ordered 2 "sets" of hardware for this little project. First try was Coleman's, but I apparently read the desc. wrong because though the L & R threaded rod ends were good, the doubley threaded rod (L & R of course) turned out to be a tube with female threads. Cannot find any male L thread stuff to match. Ugh.

 

Then McMaster-Carr sent me L threaded bolts that were not threaded along the whole shaft (which is what I ordered) and the L thread bolt doesn't turn smoothly into the L thread nut. I think the threads may not be compatible.

 

And of course I cannot find my old R180 cross brace.

 

Simple project becoming not so simple.

 

Can anyone recommend a source for hardware? I think I may just buy one of those turnbuckles I linked to in the other thread....

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I could weld you up a turnbuckle similar to mine if you run out of patience or supply sources, and if it would match your design. Left and Right hand nuts and bolts are available locally (mine are 1/2" by 2" long in grade 3, but I believe they can be had in 1/4" and 3/8" as well, and can be tacked together fairly quickly).

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Jeromio, I was thinking a rh and a lh bolt in a sqaure tube which will be the transverse link, then a "doubley threaded" tube in the center for the turnbuckle. You'll have to get a bolt on the right and left side of the gap, or get rod ends on the right and left sides, with a female center section. Coleman should have what you need.

 

Jon

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Ironic that you have better access to hardware in Little Rock than I do in RTP.

 

I just poured over the Coleman site again and I don't see where they have any reverse threaded male parts at all.

 

There is a local fastener supply place here, but I can never get over there during business hours.

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I just looked in my Coleman catalog, it appears the only male parts they have are rifle drilled bolts. Probably overkill, but I suppose they would work. Still, LH bolts should not be too hard to find locally or special order locally. I'm sure McMaster Carr would have them, if no place else did, or maybe Fastenall (sp?) if you wanted to order on the internet.

 

Jon

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Hey Jeremy,

 

There is a Fastenal place on Geer St 682-1408. They weren't very helpful when I was looking for something awhile back but you might have better luck. Have you tried Public Hardware on Mangum St? They might be able to order it or maybe the machine shop at the auto parts store next door to them.

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Anyone have any recommendations for hardware sources? I've decided I'd like to use the 5/8-18 female parts I already have wince they're nice and the threads are fine (as opposed to coarse).

 

I just cannot track down anyplace that has 5/8-18 reverse threaded bolts.

 

I'm pretty much ready to order the only thing I can find, which right now is a set of heim joints for $11 each from Grainger. Seems a shame since I'll just be cutting those off - all I need are the threads.

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http://www.ubmachine.com/page34.html

 

I was able to get taps and jam nuts from the local industrial supply place for the strut tower bars I made. I can't believe you are having such a hard time finding these. The webpage above has them. If you need, I can go buy some and mail them to you.

 

EDIT--what I was looking at were LH jam nuts. I still don't think it would take very long to find, should be as easy as going to an industrial supply place and have them special ordered.

 

Jon

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Well, I sucked it up and ordered the heim ends. Found some at Summit for $9 each including jam nuts.

 

Since I had to pay the $9 "handling fee", I went ahead and ordered the Hooker 2-into-1 resonator that I have been eyeballing.

 

That handling fee is clever...

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