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Where here’s a fabrication long shot question!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by buickbybirth, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. buickbybirth
    Joined: Jan 28, 2011
    Posts: 83

    buickbybirth
    Member

    :eek:
    I was almost afraid to ask this but here goes. Has anyone ever shortened a control arm? That is: moved the spindle ball joint location back toward the engine 1 inch. upper and lower. I could have posted this under my other thread but I wanted to make sure this got attention. I can’t use any more offset in wheel. No-one offers a manufactured short control arm that I can find for a 73 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Riviera</st1:place></st1:State> plat form and I need 1 more inch to be happy. It works fine but I want more clearance. That’s the issue. I’ve put it under a 53 buick.
     
  2. kwmpa
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,241

    kwmpa
    Member Emeritus
    from Pa

    yes its possible but risky doing anything to control arms if yucut them down and tack them together send them to this guy top quality work http://autoweldchassis.com/index2.ivnu im in no way affiliated with him just like his work
     
  3. newsomtravis
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 562

    newsomtravis
    Member
    from pville, ca

    you can, but if you have to ask do you think you can tackle the job, they will need some gussets designed and added and welded, which will take up packaging space...i partially agree with kwmpa in the having a professional weld them, but don`t think sending them to someone else is the way, he will need alot of the rest of the suspension to do the job well........good luck, look around your local area for welders that can do the fob...
     
  4. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,428

    blue 49
    Member
    from Iowa

    You will be taking leverage out of the lower arm and will probably need a softer spring or it will ride too rough.
     

  5. kwmpa
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,241

    kwmpa
    Member Emeritus
    from Pa

    that was just a segestion of a local guy who does them here he custom build custom mandrel bent 2x4 frames and custom build suspension componets including custom a-arms....any pro suspension builders well tell you never cut or weld arms at some point they well fail...if your going tomodify them have custom ones made....at least thats what they taught us at school....that and in my mini truck days ive seen to many fail that were cut and welded at pro shops...a friend of mine is no longer with us due to a modified control arm..if u modifythem atleast have them xrayed for cracks or inclusions in the welds im overly cautious with suspension when you loose someone because of it you well be too...if you take it to a shop make sure they are well versed in suspension geometry.amd they have a jig to weld them so they dont twist
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  6. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,226

    Da Tinman
    Member

    with proper weldng and gusseting they wont fail.

    fishplates are your freind here.
     
  7. Yes, I have done it when I put Monte Carlo spindles on my "Monza" to change it to five bolt hubs and bigger brakes. I plated the area around the ball joint socket to add strength. What about changing the upper and lower control arm mounts? It may be easier.
     
  8. buickbybirth
    Joined: Jan 28, 2011
    Posts: 83

    buickbybirth
    Member

    Thanks for the input guys. I will take every comment into consideration. I like the comment "If you have to ask do you think you can tackle the job." There is no doubt in my mind that I can modify the arms but I figured I might glean from the experience of others or possibly find a better solution. Moving the control arm mounts could be a possibility. I think I'll take the time to put the existing contol arm design in Autocad and make the modifications on the computer to provide a cut sheet. Through that process I might avoid the unexpected or it may prove to be a bad idea. Thanks again.
     
  9. wickedgoodracer
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 192

    wickedgoodracer
    Member

    why not move the piviot inboard an inch
     
  10. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,096

    pitman

    Minimal issues, if you have sound fabrication & welds, and think through the geometry, to at least mimic as close as possible the existing setup. Some folks here build full suspension systems. There are book titles on the subject, that a search will yield. My guess is that the OP might have meant; moving the spindle ball joints inboard, toward the engine?
     
  11. bbtom30
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 155

    bbtom30
    Member
    from so. cal

    It's probably easier and definitely safer to have some tubular a-arms built to the specs you need.There may be some already available depending on your application,though most are made longer.
     
  12. kwmpa
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,241

    kwmpa
    Member Emeritus
    from Pa

    thats what i was getting at
     
  13. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    You might check with some of the oval track supply houses. Some sanctioning organizations allow the offsetting of chassis for better weight bias/handling. You can accomplish that with a combination of shorter a-arms on the left and longer ones on the right. Most will interchange left/right so you have the possibility of running all left side a-arms to accomplish what our trying to do. Just a thought.

    Frank
     
  14. studedudeus
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 141

    studedudeus
    Member

    Try not to alter the stock control arms. Instead consider either moving the chassis pivot point (so you don't change the geometry much) or have someone make tubular control arms for it. Not the cheapest idea, but will give you better results.
     
  15. Noland
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,237

    Noland
    Member

    This would be my suggestion, you could build them yourself if you have some skill, make a jig.but I wouldnt try to cut up a existing arm and move the ball joint. for the effort you would have something cleaner and stronger with a tubular arm.
     
  16. Its easy, but you should not do it as stated in earlier replys. The control arms are just stamped steel pieces and very easy to manipulate. This kind of work has been done for a very long time but should not be done by a beginer.
     
  17. Ralph
    Joined: Jan 8, 2004
    Posts: 295

    Ralph
    Member

    My 40 Plymouth has 1" narrowed stock control arms on a Camaro subframe, to tuck the tires in a bit. I had a local guy who does a lot of dirt track stock car stuff do them. His stuff pounds around our local 3/8 mile dirt track year after year. Street use shouldn't be a problem.
    For the first few years I eyeballed them pretty close every couple of months. After a while I was comfortable that they were going to be fine.
     
  18. buickbybirth
    Joined: Jan 28, 2011
    Posts: 83

    buickbybirth
    Member

    Thanks for all the info and for the pics of modified control arms. I got a call from a friend that works in a maching shop and he said if I would bring the control arms in he would help me build a set of tublar arms. He asked about the lowering spindles and said we could look at putting the drop in the new arms so I could use the factory springs.
     
  19. TDCENG
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 42

    TDCENG
    Member

    Depending on your type of steering ,you must consider the relationsip of the control arm pivots to the streeing link or rack . A line drawn thru the control arm pivot must also intersect the steering arm pivot to allow the steering to swing parallel to the control arm . There is a fair amount of geometry to consider to maintain proper steering control. Get a good technical book on steering geometry and study the diagrams. Best of Luck !!!
     
  20. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    don't forget to shorten your tie rods and links or you'll have bumpsteer. the g-body crowd uses tubular arms to run larger b-body brakes, and run into this problem just by changing the spindles.
    http://gbodyforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=26858
     
  21. buickbybirth
    Joined: Jan 28, 2011
    Posts: 83

    buickbybirth
    Member

    Will do. It seems like I spend more time figuring than I do working. One thing is for sure: The experince on this sight is more valuable than I ever imagined. Thanks a ton!
     

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