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Mustang II chronicles, failure abounds

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ELpolacko, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Ok, back on track.

    COS, those would be just fine. I designed a set up like that when I was at the Rod Factory over 15 years ago. Every vehicle I have seen since I did those installations is still in fine working order.

    Here is the conclusion:

    The crossmember was already drilled out to 5/8" as I mentioned before so I had to either weld up the holes and re-drill or use aftermarket parts ready made for this. Also I would normally fab a set of my control arms but in the interest of time I purchased a set of TCI tubular lowers. I prepared the crossmember by reaming out the holes and welding in the provided sleeves. A little copper anti-sieze helps extract the bolt after you weld.



    You can see where I did a spot weld on the crossmember where the bottom plate of this Heidts piece is folded in a press brake. This is where all of the cracks propagate from on every one of thier crossmembers that I have repaired over the last 5 years or better.

    Next I pulled the lower bolt out and re-reamed the sleeves and added more anti-sieze. Installed the lower control arm and cut out a small 3/16" plate to fasten the back of the control arm to the frame.



    Like Dirty31's suggestion this spreads the load out over a larger area. His idea will work to control the brakeing loads but still doesn't quite kill the single shear problem. Realisticly I should have a frame gusset on either side of the rear bushing and on the front. But because the front bushing is out in front of the crossmember and interferes with the rack and pinion boot it is a compramise. The full sleeve and single 5/8" bolt will support the tension load reasonably well.

    Is this the best solution, no. Is this solution adequeate for street driving, yes.

    Spreading your braking loads over a greater area of your frame is always a good idea.
  2. ALindustrial
    Joined: Aug 7, 2007
    Posts: 852


    looking alot better than what you started with! keep it up :D
  3. WelderSeries
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 761

    Alliance Vendor

    I like the way you mounted the rear control arm in double shear. That's a great idea. When we were building MII crossmembers, my dad's biggest thing was making sure that I wrapped the weld around the ends of the tube. It's unfortunately really common to see welds just ending with the corner wide open.
    Nice work!
  4. KIRK!
    Joined: Feb 20, 2002
    Posts: 12,032


    Welding is all about how much you can pile on, not about penetration...........right?

  5. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,447


    NICE!!!!! Willl have to try this Steve on the next ones.

    Thanks for saving another hotrodder

  6. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,629


    Wouldn't boxing in the open section of the crossmember help prevent cracks forming from that corner ?

  7. The Hank
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 779

    The Hank
    from CO

    Looks good...
    Listen i'm no expert but while looking at this and mentioned above the gusset and boxing the wheel side would seem to take up the lateral load from braking while going over RR tracks . I will say again I'M no expert and it looks like a nice job , but if i'm doing it i would box it for added insurance allong with the gusset as you mentioned..

    Good luck my friend.[​IMG]
  8. The Hank
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 779

    The Hank
    from CO

    After looking again I think i would fill in some of the web between the rear of the control arm and the box section steel used to tie in the front of the control arm , that would carry the load along with the gusset and boxing in the front , I'm anal but fixing it later is more of a pain then slapping on a few more while your right there.

    Believe me i'm not picking apart your work in the least , just trying to add to your fine work and reduceing the possibilitys of future problems.

  9. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em

    I've installed several dozen Rod Factory M-II setups with the strut rod from the above post, and I have never had a problem with them. Some of the setups I have done have dozens of thousands of miles on them.
  10. I apreciate your concern there Hank, I have plenty of experience with this design with countless thousands of miles on hundreds of cars and trucks and no additional boxing or plating is necessary.

    Boxing the crossmember would be fine for aesthetics but will not provide any additional strength.
  11. The Hank
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 779

    The Hank
    from CO

    I was not trying to doubt you Elpolacko, like i said i'm anal and over build the crap out of things...
  12. No problem man. I would rather everyone overbuild than produce crap like I have been fixing lately.
  13. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,299


    Is the new stuff TIG welded?? Sorry if I missed it. Just curious which process you use. Looks like things are shaping up great!
  14. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,629


    Sorry man, but I am confused by these two statements ...

    "You can see where I did a spot weld on the crossmember where the bottom plate of this Heidts piece is folded in a press brake. This is where all of the cracks propagate from on every one of thier crossmembers that I have repaired over the last 5 years or better. "

    "I apreciate your concern there Hank, I have plenty of experience with this design with countless thousands of miles on hundreds of cars and
    trucks and no additional boxing or plating is necessary."

    Surely if they all crack from that point, it is a design flaw and some sort of reinforcement is needed to stop it flexing at that point ?
  15. I wish I understood the M2 under my 39 poncho better,Im on my 2nd rack in 14 months and we can never get the front lined up cause the line-up shop says it needs to be cut out and layed back more....and yeah some of the welds look like that early crap you showed Steve.Kinda wish I had a dakota under it but I guess Im going to cut this up and try to fix it after seeing these pics.....thanks EL
  16. blkcat77
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 130


    Ok, I have a question.

    I have stock MII control arms with stock strut Rods. I'm looking to use the strut rod eliminators (pictured below) to avoid having to beef up and gusset the hell out my frame where the strut rods mount (the mount sticks out past the frame rail a little and I don't want to bend the rods).

    Will this work effectively or just cause a lot of problems?

    The car is a 49 Chevy Coupe.

    Attached Files:

  17. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Hey Steve, thanks for showing us all this info. I always learn something new, or at least get reminded what to watch out for.
    You know I have your Dakota kit under the '50 Burb, but I'm using a stock Pinto front end under my daughter's 57 Nash Metropolitan. Any reason MIG welding - if done right - can't be used in this application? I've got her front end in, still need to fab up rack mounts and lower strut rods.
  18. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,475

    from swanton oh

    Steve, back when Cosmo's Ford broke, I studied the pictures, and came up with the same fix. Now all that I do have the frame brackets to support the outer end of the arms. If you calculate the loads, it reduces them by a factor of 5. More than enough for the street.
  19. Directly, because they use A-36 hot rolled steel and use a sharp radius to fold the material it causes small fractures. This compounded by a sharp 90 degree corner cut by a laser (not smooth) it is a perfect place for a crack to form. Boxing it would stop it, but so would eliminating the sharp corner AND relieving the stress in that area.
  20. Seen this one hundreds of times. Mostly whe someone used the stock MII crossmember to install into the frame. They would level the upper control arm mount. This is for anti-dive and they should have leveled out the bottom of the crossmember. It may be one of those cases you need to start over and correct it because you can only get 0 to 1 degree of caster.

    Been there and done that.

  21. I have seen those before and I think Dave Bell was pushing them in Old Skool Rods a while ago.


    That's what I think of them. Almost exactly the same thing that was on this Studebaker Hawk I took the video of at the begining of this post. There is not enough distance between the bushings of the lower control arm to resist braking loads AND the rear bushing is only in single shear. Now granted they have a machined bushing/spacer that will resist more load but in the end it will have the same charictaristics shown previously.

    Instead, do this..



    Run the strut rods forward. This is a 52 Chevy sedan delivery we did a few years ago. Did the same on a few other Studebaker Hawks also. Works tits!
  22. MIG if done right is just fine. TIG is almost always a better weld because it is hard to do wrong unlike MIG. I have been MIG welding structures for over 20 years, same rules always apply. Clean surfaces, proper wire and gas, proper techinque.

    I use ER 70S6 0.035" wire with 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix. Miller 250 or Ltec 250 MIG machines. No reason similar wire with a home 110 volt MIG cannot do the same job.
  23. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,026


    I like that setup. Looks like it mounts things higher in the frame so you can run the car lower w/out the scrubline issues created by using dropped spindles. Is that a "kit" yall sell? I have a 52 Chevy Fleetline that needs something like this.

    Feel free to PM if you think a public response is too close to spam.
  24. That is a Rod Factory Slam kit I designed many moons ago. I just did a few tweaks to it to correct any odditys in the frame and added my own rack and pinion C-notches and control arms.

    I might have to make a run of my tubular lower control arms.
  25. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,557

    from Garner, NC

    you should.. I'd rather give you my money, and I'd feel better for my customers too...
  26. old dirt tracker
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,003

    old dirt tracker
    from phoenix

    there is nothing wrong with the factor strut rods. do you think tci or fatmans or any small manufactor has the engineering of ford or gm i dont. wheni buy of part from gm it fits. when i buy a aftermarket part its grind/drill of what ever.just part of the deal.
  27. there is a design flaw there. it is very minor at that. if there was a radius in the corner of the cut rather than just two straight cuts meeting the forces would be distributed more evenly and the crossmember wouldnt crack. the tacks that el polacko has added in will help distributing force. things break where strong meets weak. eliminate strong meeting weak by making joins that "flow"
  28. 65f100
    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 22

    from Houston

    El Polacko,

    Which mustang II crossmember (manufacturer) would you recommend for my 65 f100? I want to ditch the twin I beams. Also can you send me to a decent shop here in Houston, not trusting my new guy welding skills on the front end of my truck.
  29. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Next time I'm in your neighborhood, I'm soooo coming over to play at your house.:D
  30. GreggAz
    Joined: Apr 3, 2001
    Posts: 931


    wow that frame brings back memories,

    did anything ever get completed with that car?

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