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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2004, 02:21 PM
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Wow - Had bolt failure on 7/10/2003

I've got a 1954 Dodge pickup with a Fatman Stage II IFS. The frame off resto was done within the past 5 years and I also have 12,000 trouble free miles on the truck.

This morning when driving to work, I stopped to make a turn and heard a pop. When I started to pull forward, the steering was wobbly so I stopped the truck.

Looked underneath the front and the bolt holding the control arm to the crossmember has broken off. Towing it to the shop managed to bend the control member since weight was being borne by it. However, I was fortunate to have no other damage to the truck (at least that I know of at this stage!)

Will be contacting Fatman on Monday to see what they will do - I'm hopeful I'll have as good an experience as you did. If there is anyone you suggest speaking to, let me know.

I'm also thankful that I wasn't hurling down the highway when this happened...

Sandy

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Last edited by bonginator; 06-11-2004 at 02:27 PM.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2004, 08:43 PM
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Sandy, identical scenario. Since your kit has been in for 5 years, you probably had the 1/2 inch bolt. When you call ask for Brent (Fatman) although the guy that answers the phone will get the information and will send you the parts you need. Make sure you check over everything well before you call. After I received the new larger bolts and started the repair job, I discovered the coil over had been hammered as well and had to call back. They also told me to send the alignment bill and would reimburse that as well.

Hope you have better luck getting the remains of the bolt out. Mine was seized up so bad, had to drill it out after a custom made press would not budge it. Fortunately we had the drills and reamers to give us a very precise 5/8" hole for the replacement bolt. He probably is going to send you a grade 5 bolt, but I would recommend you accept it for a future use and get your self a grade 8. Please post the results of your conversation(s) You may want to ask Brent if he has any suggestions for strengthening the setup. We discussed this at Lowes Motor Speedway in April and he has a couple of ideals. I am going to try one of them down the road.

If you run into any difficulties in your repair or want to hear my ideals on how to make this a stronger set up, PM me and I will send my phone number.

Trees
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2004, 06:32 AM
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Grade 8. No let me put that another way, GRADE 8. On second thought, maybe I should have said GrAdE 8. In summary, I would like to say GRADE 8!!!!!!!
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2004, 07:50 AM
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OK, Willys, in harmony: GRADE 8!!!!!!.

I was not clear enough. I meant never turn down a free grade 5 bolt for some other use that might turn up. GRADE 8 in the suspension!!!!

Trees
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2004, 11:11 AM
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Mustang II IFS bolt failure

Trees -

Thanks for the contact information at Fatman.

I was fortunate in the the bolt popped out clearly on both sides when it ruptured -so I don't have the issue that you had trying to extricate the old portion. Phew!

I'm probably not as handy as you guys to be able to drill out the crossmember so my mechanic is doing the repair for me and I will certainly mention your suggestions on replacing both bolts and considering getting a larger bolt. Any particular requirements for materials/structure of the Size 8 bolt?


I've read the thread on all of your advice on installing new bolts.

One question I have - if you bore out the crossmember to accept a larger bolt, aren't you introducing the possiblity of weakness in the crossmember?


Thanks.

Sandy
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2004, 11:38 AM
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Not if its a Fatmans crossmember. There is heavy wall tubing welded inside the heavy tubing that makes up his cross member. It will need to be reamed out. If yours is another vendors, then you want to weld the heavy wall 5/8 " tubing in the cross member and close up the end when finished. Willys or another member has posted some good info on this before Ask Fatman to send you some of the heavy wall 5/8 tubing if you need it. 5/8 GRADE 8 bolt is large enough. Fatmans kits for the past 2 or 3 years have come with the 5/8 bolt but it is grade 5. I will sketch up the mod that I think will spread out the stress on the bolt and PM you.

Trees
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2004, 11:45 AM
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Grade 8 is an industry standard that covers all the specs. Just get one and you will be coverd.
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Old 06-16-2004, 06:46 PM
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Got response from Fatman

Sooo - they are sending me two new control arms and bolts without charge. I still need to verify that they are grade 8 and not grade 5 (mechanic says he can tell by looking at them - is this so?)

Thanks for all of your help and advice on this. I don't wish this experience on anyone else... What a hassle and disappointment with the product.

Sandy
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2004, 08:19 PM
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Just to show you that "the big guys" aren't immune to suspension failure problems, I was told, as an employee, that Chrysler had some interesting problems with the '57 torsion bar front ends. Seems the exposed adjusting bolt would occasionally suffer a corrosion fatigue failure with very spectacular results. The torsion bar would unwind and the head of the bolt would be hurled upward, much like a mortar shell, right through the roof of the car. A policeman in Ohio and a taxi driver in Japan were unfortunate enough to have a hip in the projectile's path. They sued, of course. The fix involved a redesign so that, when the failure occurred, the bolt head would be directed downward and, to prevent the failure in the first place, a protective cover was placed over the bolt.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2004, 08:21 PM
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Sandy, bet they are grade 5 so be prepared to go to your local bolt store for the grade 8s.

Also, when the parts come, if there are not new ball joints for the side that failed, you may want to request those also. They sent them to me and when I removed the old ones,one was broken internally from the overstress, I assume.

Trees
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2004, 11:48 PM
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Grade 5 have 3 marks on the head, grade 8 have 6 marks.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2004, 10:53 AM
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Interesting readings guys. Great info. just my 2 cents here. I am running the Fatman stub and Mustang ll under my 48 dodge. Within the first 1500 miles the left lower ball joint went bad. Couldn't find a socket to fit the Ball Joint. They sent me a new lower control arm free. Last week with less than 4500 mile on the car right upper ball joint goes bad. Ball Joint socket won't fit. Called and talked to Kevin--after much prodding he finally tells me that they had a batch of ball joints (moog brand) that had a different size head and that they had to modify their socket to make it work. Nice to tell everyone. Had to use a pipe wrench to twist it out and then use the proper socket to install the new one. Quality control?
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2004, 08:15 AM
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IFS revisited and then some...

First off this thread has been a God send... I've been collecting info on what to do with my "new" truck... 59 Apache. As of now I have been prioritizing upgrades and suspension/steering are up on the list. After reading all the "possible" issues with an IFS kit, it makes me think twice. I've talked to guys at Progressive Automotive and looked at other kits.

Has anyone been pleased with just adding monoleafs to lower a 2nd series and had good results?

Also with converting to front disc, are the kits available worth the time/money?

The truck is completely stock right now. If mono leafs can perform as advertised, does the fact that the front end remains stock still make it feel like driving a tank on a pogo stick?

Also any tips on TIG would be appreciated... I got my LE185 hooked up and began practicing burning through all sorts of test pieces. It's definitely a coordination thing but fun all together! Basically any info on tip diameter / settings for sheet metal of various thickness would be great help. The body has the usual issues except the PO had cab corners lap welded and it was not done well. Same goes for the lower front fenders. Lots of filler. Paint is blistered up wherever body was "patched".

Another issue I'm dealing with is paint. If I do one color, probably flat black or a nice titanium. I definitely want to show off the hood by lowering it up front, so if I two tone it possibly titanium body with flat black hood and tailgate... any thoughts?
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2004, 08:21 AM
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Checl out the story that begins @ Monte Carlo clip for '55-'59 Chev PU -1 on my Journal - Monte Carlo clip on late 50s Chevy pickup. This was a great addition to my buddy's truck and looks like it grew there. Pretty easy to do too.
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2004, 11:16 AM
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I just checked my bench assembled Fatman Stage III and the lower control bolt is 5/8" stainless steel but the head is polished so do not know for sure if it equates to grade 8 or 5.

The other stainless bolt heads have have the markings F593C (upper control arm) and S30400 (Shock mount) and made by "THE.". Anyone know right off hand what these relate to with respect to grades?

Thx, r
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