Sunday, November 29, 2015

Now that the fan shroud, hood, and shift linkage are coated in epoxy primer, my next project is the lower control arms.  Since I'm using two front suspensions, I have four lower control arms to deal with.  

I had the arms sandblasted a few months ago, so I wiped off the protective oil and started work.  I ordered high-misalignment spherical bearings from Southern California Cylinder Heads a few months ago.  I had previously machined my own set ~10 years ago, but they were pretty well worn and corroded.  Without access to a high precision lathe, I purchased this set.  They're really nice pieces!  I'm pretty picky when it comes to workmanship and design, and these are very nice.  

I chose anodized aluminum housings, stainless steel spacers, and Aurora HAB-10T high misalignment spherical bearings.  These bearings are rated to ±20┬║ of travel, which is just enough to lay the subframe on the floor with 205/40/17 or 215/35/18 (!!!) tires.  

I'm not running swaybars in the front, so I decided to cut away the mount and rework the control arm.

I made a press tool and stamped out some 12 gauge mild steel plate to match the contour.

I was in the zone and forgot to take pictures, but here is a photo of one of my welds before I ground it off.

One side done!  Here is a comparison with the stock arm as well.

Moving on to the back side, I took a photo of the weld-prepped patch in place.  


Now that the subframe mounting hole is gone, I'm moving on to a project that I dreamed up over 6 years ago.  It's cool to finally see it coming to life!   I started by splitting a piece of 1-1/4" x .065" wall tubing along its length.

Here is where it will go.  Obviously it will require some shaping!

I busted out the tubing bender to match the tubing to the contours of the arm. Some of the subtle bends were made by hand after the tubing was split, the larger bends were done on the bender.

Fast forward a few steps:

One arm is all tacked up and ready to weld.  I still have to do the final trim on the contours, but the finished edge will have smooth, continuous curvature.

I tapped the edges down so they flare out and meet with the original stamping.

My next step will be the opposite side, which requires a bit more fitting.

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