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brianj5600 said:
shelbyman1 said:
The ad for them says they will work with all kinds of lower control arms.
Edit: If we though Ford got it right we would not be modifying the Strut rod or the UCA mounting point. By shortening the strut rod the caster #'s move a little more through the suspension travel, but most agree that it is too little to tell.
I don't know what effect it would have to shorten the rods like the after market rods do but I did notice that the stock strut rod front mounting point is in a direct line with the LCA inboard mounting point. Like I said I question everything...I just don't have the emgineering background to be able to tell what effect changing this would have on the working of the suspension.

The main reason for the after market parts is that they are stronger and "better" than the stock parts. Ford had to cut as much cost out as possible....although the engineering may have been right on...I don't know. Also we want to make our cars handle the horsepower of modern modified engines at the limit where Ford just wanted it to go down the road safely. If you want to track the car you need more caster and neg camber...and the after market parts allow us to make those changes...which is a nice thing. :track:
 

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I've written these up several times on the VMF and on Mustang Steve's websites. But the posts get lost as the sites upgrade. Here is a quick write-up.

1. Materials: stock rods cut to length, two 3/4" x 3/4" high strength teflon kevlar grade hiem joints female end, 3/4" die, 8" sleeves (RH and LH threaded), two 3/4" LH jam nuts, two 3/4" RH jam nuts, two 3/4" grade 8 bolts (5 1/2"), matching grade 8 lock nuts and washers (I got 5/8" washers and drilled them to 3/4" on the dot to eliminate play, 12 washers is best), and something to make spacers out of (I used 3/4" ID pipe).
2. Measure from the mounting point on your lower control arm to the desired mounting point on the bracket. Use this measurement to determine the length of your completed strut rod assembly.
3. Take strut rods off car.
4. Decide on the length of the sleeve you want to use, you can do a long strut rod and short sleeve, or a long sleeve and short rod, or anything in between. It is just the combined length that matters.
5. Cut and thread your strut rods. *Critical point* - you must get the die started absolutely square to the rod, any out of true will be magnified with every turn of the die. Setting up a jig is best, I eyeballed it and got one side right on, and one side not as good, if I could do it over I would use a jig. Lightly sanding off the rust will make the job easier. Use plenty of oil, and turn the die, then back it off, oil, turn some more, back it off, oil, etc.
6. Drill out the holes in the strut rod bracket (the worst part of the process). If you drop the anti-sway bar out of the way it is "easier". I used the step drills that almost everyone sells. Use lots of oil and moderate pressure. you can drill the holes such that the end of the hiem joint extends into the hole in the bracket where the old strut rod pivoted.
7. Assemble everything and figure out how big the spacers need to be. I used a pipe cutter and got them so they were super tight. (Note: If you are worried about the movement of the pivot point off of the line between the lower control arm mounting point, then just make the inside spacer thinner than the outside spacer.)
8. I think the best way to do the assembly is (starting from one end and working to the other) bolt head, washer, frame bracket, washer, spacer, washer, hiem joint, washer, spacer, washer, frame bracket, washer, nut. Welding the four washers that touch the frame bracket to the bracket will decrease the likelihood of the holes becoming oval or larger over time.
8. I torqued the nuts to about 100 foot pounds.

John Harvey
 

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Discussion Starter #23
shelbyman1 said:
I don't know what effect it would have to shorten the rods like the after market rods do but I did notice that the stock strut rod front mounting point is in a direct line with the LCA inboard mounting point.
that would probably be the reason behind removing the strut rod support bracket. However if you you leave it and mount the heim somewhat close (<1") to the original mounting location, it remains in the same line as it did in the original mounting point. However, the pivot point is changed slightly. I too am unaware of how this would affect suspension travel.

EDIT: what I meant by in line is the line created between the mounting location on the strut rod support and the lca strut rod mounting point. I'll see if I can find a picture to show it on.
 

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Yes, mine is a 65, see above.

John Harvey
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Here is what I have come up with after much thought about the mounting location for the pivot point of the strut rod at the strut rod support. Someone on here mentioned that the original mounting location (pivot point) is in line with the LCA mounting point on the subframe. At the time it was unsure of why that was. Most aftermarket adjustable strut rods move the actual pivot point back in the strut rod support. Although this change is usually a fraction of an inch up to an inch, the strut rod pivot point is no longer in line with the LCA mounting point. So here is what I am thinking.

On the original mounting points. If you draw a line (A) from the strut rod pivot to the LCA mounting and another line (B) from strut rod pivot to the strut mounting location on the LCA, it will create a triangle with the LCA being the third side. As the tire/wheel move up and down, they will follow a path perpendicular to the line (A) between the strut pivot and LCA mounting on the subframe. This results in a straight up and down movement.
http://mspace.utep.edu/amacias2/Charlene/strut.JPG

On the modified mounting positions. Now draw a line (C) from the new strut pivot to the LCA mounting on the subframe, and another line (D) from the new strut pivot to the strut mounting location the LCA. Triangulate it with the LCA. With this new pivot point the tore/wheel will follow a path perpendicular to the line (C) between the strut pivot and the LCA mounting on the subframe. This movement will not be a straight up and down movement. Along with the up and down movement will also come front and back movement depending on position on the LCA in the suspension travel. What this will cause is a change in negative caster, negative camber, and possibly toe in. Also sinc the LCA is not travel perpendicular to the frame, it will bind.
http://mspace.utep.edu/amacias2/Charlene/modified%20strut.JPG

This to me would justify removing the strut rod support mount in the center and making sure the strut pivot is in line with the LCA mounting location on the subframe. I will be the first to admit that I am not too familiar with caster cand camber but based on what I looked up this is the conclusion I came to.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
With that said my new plans are to order new strut mount braces, remove the center mounting plate, and place the new heim pivot at the same exact place. Find a way to reinforce the brace and weld in the new strut mount braces to the frame.
 

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Deviousfred said:
Here is what I have come up with after much thought about the mounting location for the pivot point of the strut rod at the strut rod support. Someone on here mentioned that the original mounting location (pivot point) is in line with the LCA mounting point on the subframe. At the time it was unsure of why that was. Most aftermarket adjustable strut rods move the actual pivot point back in the strut rod support. Although this change is usually a fraction of an inch up to an inch, the strut rod pivot point is no longer in line with the LCA mounting point. So here is what I am thinking.

On the original mounting points. If you draw a line (A) from the strut rod pivot to the LCA mounting and another line (B) from strut rod pivot to the strut mounting location on the LCA, it will create a triangle with the LCA being the third side. As the tire/wheel move up and down, they will follow a path perpendicular to the line (A) between the strut pivot and LCA mounting on the subframe. This results in a straight up and down movement.
http://mspace.utep.edu/amacias2/Charlene/strut.JPG

On the modified mounting positions. Now draw a line (C) from the new strut pivot to the LCA mounting on the subframe, and another line (D) from the new strut pivot to the strut mounting location the LCA. Triangulate it with the LCA. With this new pivot point the tore/wheel will follow a path perpendicular to the line (C) between the strut pivot and the LCA mounting on the subframe. This movement will not be a straight up and down movement. Along with the up and down movement will also come front and back movement depending on position on the LCA in the suspension travel. What this will cause is a change in negative caster, negative camber, and possibly toe in. Also sinc the LCA is not travel perpendicular to the frame, it will bind.
http://mspace.utep.edu/amacias2/Charlene/modified%20strut.JPG

This to me would justify removing the strut rod support mount in the center and making sure the strut pivot is in line with the LCA mounting location on the subframe. I will be the first to admit that I am not too familiar with caster cand camber but based on what I looked up this is the conclusion I came to.

Thoughts?
WOW!!! That is quite a good observation you've come up with. I sure don't know if its correct or not but it sounds plausible to me. Maybe an engineer on here can comment on it.

I think I outlined in an earlier post on here what was done to my friends car to reinforce the strut rod support and it has worked out just fine. You can just use a sawsall to cut out the original welded in bracketry and a grinder to smooth things out and drill the holes in the sides and go from there. Leave the spot welded original sides in place as they will act to reinforce the bolt holes when you drill them...then well thick washers on the outside once you get the bolt mounted. Works very well.
 

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That's a fine but expensive plan. Even when the pivot point is in a "straight line" from the lower control arm mount, the movement of the control is not up and down in a perpendicular manner, because of the strut rod being a fixed length the end of the control arm is pulled towards the front of the car as the end of the strut follows an *arc*. You'll have binding no matter what. The "best" cure is to put a spherical bearing in the lower control arm where it hooks to the frame. put a hiem joint on the end of the strut rod, put roller perches on the upper control arm, and if you are really addicted put roller bearings on the upper control arm pivots. (See opentrackers products).

But concentrating only on the strut rod, if you do the hiem and a spherical bearing, placing the pivot point close to the original location (you can get to within 1/4" without removing the bracket support with my method if you are super careful) you eliminate *all* binding and have a super smooth suspension.

If think the loss of rigidity by removing the bracket is worse than any additional binding it might cause. That however is just my opinion.

All I know is I have a much better suspension now, I can hit a bump in the middle of a turn and not change track.

If you are bound and determine to buy the new brackets I would suggest you don't remove the center support just drill the 3/4" hole right through the center of the bracket. That way you've still got the pieces providing support and because the bracket has a big round hole in it already the hiem will probably fit in just fine and you'll still have the cross supports for strength.

John Harvey
 

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I have 3.5 or 4 degrees right now (I don't remember which we settled on at the alignment shop. When I took my guess at setting it when i did the install i ended up with 9 degrees (that's what the shop's initial measurement of my setting showed before they started working on it.

I'm going to rebuild the upper control arms this winter, I'm going to have the shop set my caster at either 5.5 or 6 degrees. I plan to offset the upper control arms backwards about 1/8" to 3/16" that will make it easy to get 6 degrees of caster without having rubbing problems.

John Harvey
 

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Discussion Starter #32
JSHarvey said:
That's a fine but expensive plan. Even when the pivot point is in a "straight line" from the lower control arm mount, the movement of the control is not up and down in a perpendicular manner, because of the strut rod being a fixed length the end of the control arm is pulled towards the front of the car as the end of the strut follows an *arc*. You'll have binding no matter what. The "best" cure is to put a spherical bearing in the lower control arm where it hooks to the frame. put a hiem joint on the end of the strut rod, put roller perches on the upper control arm, and if you are really addicted put roller bearings on the upper control arm pivots. (See opentrackers products).

But concentrating only on the strut rod, if you do the hiem and a spherical bearing, placing the pivot point close to the original location (you can get to within 1/4" without removing the bracket support with my method if you are super careful) you eliminate *all* binding and have a super smooth suspension.

If think the loss of rigidity by removing the bracket is worse than any additional binding it might cause. That however is just my opinion.

All I know is I have a much better suspension now, I can hit a bump in the middle of a turn and not change track.

If you are bound and determine to buy the new brackets I would suggest you don't remove the center support just drill the 3/4" hole right through the center of the bracket. That way you've still got the pieces providing support and because the bracket has a big round hole in it already the hiem will probably fit in just fine and you'll still have the cross supports for strength.
John Harvey
See if you can find something in the shape of a right angle triangle. Preferably a 30/60/90 acrylics triangle like this one:
http://www.reuels.com/reuels/test/media/cu/cut-4m_.jpg

Let say the 90 degree corner is the LCA mounting location, the 30 degree corner is the strut mount onto the strut support brace, and the 60 degree corner is the strut/LCA meeting point or wheel. Now take the triangle and place the side opposite to the 60 degree angle (second longest side) flat up against a wall (this will act as our axis of rotation) and have the 60 degree angle point at you. Now cycle the wheel up and down and see the path it follows. The side opposite to the 90 degree angle (longest side) is a fixed length. A heim on the strut rod end would allow the strut rod to move in this manner.
 

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I know at first blush it seems illogical, but do the following experiment, sit at a table and place your hand a 90 degree angle to the table edge so your thumb is sticking straight up in the air (that's going to be the lower control arm), place a pencil at an angle so it rests on the table and just touches your hand. Your fingers are the lower control arm joint with the frame. The end of the pencil should be as far from the edge of the table as your finger tips are, and the other end should just touch you hand close to the table edge. Now lift the end of the pencil which is by your hand, notice as it goes up it moves away from your hand. That is the arc the end of the strut rod moves through. It not only moves away from a vertical plane it twists the control arm as well - hence the bind in the lower control arm to frame joint. The Ford engineers simply minimized the binding (by getting the joints in a straight line), they didn't eliminate it.

Do whatever you think is best, I'm just offering advice on what worked for me.

John Harvey
 

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Discussion Starter #34
very true, if the LCA/strut rod joint move in a straight line up and down only but it does not. This joint between the LCA and strut rod travel in a circle around the LCA mounting location which lies on the axis in question. The strut rod end not only follows one arc but rather two arcs. One arc along the z-axis (up and down) and another on the xy-plane.
 

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I think you are on to the same train of thought as the Mercury Engineers in 1967. I discovered this relatively unknown assembly when I swapped out the LCA and disc brake assembly from my Cougar to my Mustang.

Mercury called it an articulating strut, and it appeared for only one year, 1967. One vmfer opined that it was for ride comfort on the upscale Mercury Cougar. I could not find any other opinions, but I agree with you, and apparently, so did Mercury.

Although others stated that the LCA for the Cougar is different than the Mustang, and has a different part number, I have installed this set up on my Mustang. I have not aligned the vehicle, but the whole thing bolted up with no problems. I know that the bushings could probably be improved, but this set up seems to make more sense. What do you think!>?
http://www.mustangphotos.com/photopost/data/505/medium/Cougar_Strut.jpg
http://www.mustangphotos.com/photopost/data/505/medium/Articulating_Strut.jpg
Cougar Passenger side LCA/Strut assembly on LEFT, Mustang assy on the right.
 

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It looks to me like the aftermarket strut rods in the original post are trying to duplicate the flexible clevis mount to the LCA. This seems very similiar to the '67 cougar configuration.
 

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I put spherical bearings in the lca along with adjustable strut rods and have zero bind. I doubt bind increase would be measurable with a stock rubber mount on an lca. Nearly every classic on the track has strut rods that are slightly shorter than stock. I think y'all are fixing something that isn't broke.
 

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brianj5600 said:
I put spherical bearings in the lca along with adjustable strut rods and have zero bind. I doubt bind increase would be measurable with a stock rubber mount on an lca. Nearly every classic on the track has strut rods that are slightly shorter than stock. I think y'all are fixing something that isn't broke.
I think you could be right. Until a qualified engineer makes some comments its all pretty much speculation isn't it.

You know another friend of mine fabricated some of the most trick adjustable strut rods for his 66 that use the stock mount location. You have to use 67 strut rods and modify them to fit on a 66...but you use a spherical bearing at the front mount point and you weld the retaining cups to the stock mount bracketry...thread the rods to the length you need...modify the ends to fit on the LCA and you are done. Its a very cool setup.
 

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Deviousfred is correct about the movement of the LCA and strut rod. They are bolted together, so they are essentially just a lower A arm with a confusing front bearing/bushing.

If you tape the long side of Deviousfred's traingle (or a diagionally cut piece of paper) to the edge of your desk and move it up and down, you will see that the imaginary ball joint end will move just up and down, not sideways.

Moving the strut rod pivot forward will angle the pivot line of the LCA/strut assy. and create some bind at the LCA bushing. Pulling the LCA forward to increase caster by shortening the strut rods will increase the angle between lCA and the mounting bolt of the bushing, which also results in some bind. Combined, that adds up to maybe 5 degrees, which doesn't sound like much, but on a 65-66 LCA, the bushing diameter is rather small (1 1/16"), so after subtracting the ID (1/2") and the steel sleeves, there's not much rubber left to take up the angle, so a spherical bearing would be a good solution in this position.
 

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shelbyman1 You know another friend of mine fabricated some of the most trick adjustable strut rods for his 66 that use the stock mount location. You have to use 67 strut rods and modify them to fit on a 66...but you use a spherical bearing at the front mount point and you weld the retaining cups to the stock mount bracketry...thread the rods to the length you need...modify the ends to fit on the LCA and you are done. Its a very cool setup.[/quote said:
Most spherical bearings are designed for radial forces, which is of course perpendicalur to the forces it will see when used as a strut rod bearing. But there may be some out there that work well.

I'm using these Maier bushings, which accomplish the same thing:

Maier

http://www.mustangdepot.com/OnLineCatalog/images/Suspension/151-5129_IMG.JPG
 
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