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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2003 09:08 PM
BOBCRMAN@aol.com Amen!
03-18-2003 10:36 AM
willys36@aol.com [quote]Originally posted by Centerline:
<strong>It never ceases to amaze me how many self taught automotive engineers think they can easily improve on systems that Detroit spent millions to design, engineer, and test.

Strut rod eliminators are just one example. Sure itís a great idea because it cleans up the look of the design and according to some people improves the ride, but we forget that the struts are there for a very sound reason. Eliminating them transfers the forces at play to other parts of the system and the problem usually shows up with cracks or failure of the lower "A" arm mount. The sad thing is that most if not all of these failures could probably have been prevented by regular inspections.

We who pride ourselves on being able to adapt parts from a variety of vehicles to serve our own projects special needs should always keep in mind that although we may think we do good work sometimes because of the result of using adapted parts there can be forces at work that we may not totally understand or just don't realize. A regular inspection schedule of our projects should be something that everyone should implement. It just makes good sense. <img src="graemlins/nono.gif" border="0" alt="[nono]" />

Centerline
<a href="http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com" target="_blank">http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com</a></strong><hr></blockquote>

What he said!
03-18-2003 06:25 AM
Centerline It never ceases to amaze me how many self taught automotive engineers think they can easily improve on systems that Detroit spent millions to design, engineer, and test.

Strut rod eliminators are just one example. Sure itís a great idea because it cleans up the look of the design and according to some people improves the ride, but we forget that the struts are there for a very sound reason. Eliminating them transfers the forces at play to other parts of the system and the problem usually shows up with cracks or failure of the lower "A" arm mount. The sad thing is that most if not all of these failures could probably have been prevented by regular inspections.

We who pride ourselves on being able to adapt parts from a variety of vehicles to serve our own projects special needs should always keep in mind that although we may think we do good work sometimes because of the result of using adapted parts there can be forces at work that we may not totally understand or just don't realize. A regular inspection schedule of our projects should be something that everyone should implement. It just makes good sense. <img src="graemlins/nono.gif" border="0" alt="[nono]" />

Centerline
<a href="http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com" target="_blank">http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com</A>
03-18-2003 05:54 AM
willys36@aol.com [quote]Originally posted by Don Meyer:
<strong>Take heed - I have not seen a after market design that is as strong as the original design.
Contrary to the thoughts that the after market design that eliminate the strut rods ride better...this ia against all law of physics. The strut rod is designed to allow a small amount of compliance to the lower arm which helps absorb shock & increases strength</strong><hr></blockquote>

What he said!
03-17-2003 05:14 PM
Don Meyer Take heed - I have not seen a after market design that is as strong as the original design.
Contrary to the thoughts that the after market design that eliminate the strut rods ride better...this ia against all law of physics. The strut rod is designed to allow a small amount of compliance to the lower arm which helps absorb shock & increases strength
03-17-2003 12:34 PM
farna As already pointed out, you need to be careful with strut rod eliminator type A arms. Those that use a gussetted piece of tubing, all welded to the cross member, are a joke. There isn't enough support there for the rigors of daily driving. Those that use a welded on bracket with a pivot are better, mostly because they are wider and weld on in a different place. The only problem is the weld on bracket isn't very big, and it depends on who does the welding. Get the metal to hot in the weld area, and you create a weak spot (hard and brittle, actually, which cracks easier than the original metal). Frame rails are generally a high nickel steel or hardened to some degree, which makes them harder to weld without creating brittle hard spots. A properly designed bolt on bracket would be better for daily driving -- I think the original Ford frame mount bolts on, I know the AMC (62-83) suspension uses a bolt on bracket that had NEVER been known to crack, nor the locations in the unit body. It has three 1/2" bolts holding the bracket on. Those rods (AMC) ar in compression (rear of the lower arm), not tension (front of the lower arm) as in some Ford designs. I think the Mustang II uses a compression strut as well. The lower arms with extension and gussett on an aftermarket cross member are a different story -- they are usually more robust than the stock cross member, and mild or chrome-moly steel instead of high nickel or hardened. Makes a difference once welding heat is applied! Heidts makes a good looking tubular replacement, but it needs a bolt on frame bracket instead of weld on tabs in my opinion.
03-17-2003 11:28 AM
PrimeMover Lower control arms need those struts for support. Without them, the front landing gear on your rocket would fold up like the ones on the well, never mind...

Full A-arms are the way to go - you can loose the struts.
03-17-2003 10:17 AM
willys36@aol.com [quote]Originally posted by Dragon J:
<strong>Did a search in KB for any evidence of the relocators I mentioned and found no evidence of failure. If there is such evidence of this type of relocator failing I would appreciate seeing it... A friend has had these installed for several years and it ain't no trailer queen. I feel this type is strong and does the job well. My opinion, I guess, until I see otherwise.</strong><hr></blockquote>

The failures that were on this board were of a very popular aftermarket design that used strut rod eliminators. As far as I know, there haven't been any posts of strut rod relocator failures. Those I have seen are on cars I have personally inspected. Granted, done properly, a welded bracket is fine. 'Properly' is the operative word here - old frame material is uaually relatively thin and depending on a butt weld on a 3" wide bracket with a single gusset is a recipe for eventual failure. A more robust welded bracket on an old frame or a bracket on a new reproduction frame or rectangular tubing one is much more likely to be problem free. Again, my preference is to follow Ford engineer's lead on this and install all of their stuff.

[ March 19, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</p>
03-17-2003 08:58 AM
Dragon J Did a search in KB for any evidence of the relocators I mentioned and found no evidence of failure. If there is such evidence of this type of relocator failing I would appreciate seeing it... A friend has had these installed for several years and it ain't no trailer queen. I feel this type is strong and does the job well. My opinion, I guess, until I see otherwise.
03-17-2003 07:24 AM
willys36@aol.com The strut rod that Ford designed absorbs a very high percentage of the loading on the suspension system. Look at their robust design for the rod and its support and you get an idea of it's importance. All of the failures of the aftermarket MII suspension systems I have seem over the years are the result of poorly thought out modifications to this part. FOr example, simply welding a strut rod support to the frame with a couple of gussets will eventually result in either total over stress and breaking off the frame or surely fatigue fracturing over time. One of my 'favorite' passtimes is to go around rod runs and pointing out fratured welds on these installations.

Designs that eliminate the strut rods altogether should be investigated in detail before trusting them in a daily driver. They do fine in trailerd show cars or Friday night Sonic Drive In cars but in daily service they MAY be very dangerous. There have been pictures on this bulletin board of two separate failures of a popular after market x-member with strut rod eliminators. Although the x-member looked very robust, there is a design flaw that guarantees a fatigue crack failure. One manufacturer answered the failure by saying the "he tested his designs for two full weeks over rail road tracks and pot holes with no failures". This shows woefull ignorance of fatigue failure which is the biggest danger in a daily driver. Not only must a part be able to sustain large single loads which that guy's 'test' did fine, it must also survive much lower but repeated loads for a long time which is fatigue. Fatigue design investigates the effect of vibrations for millions of cycles and tens of years, not a two week drive around.

For my installations, I will use nothing but stock MII x-members and stock, bolt on with secondary x-member strut rod supports and all the rubber donuts that Ford used. They can be made to look very good - not like an Indy car, admittedly - but good enough to win awards. And most important, I know they are safe.
03-17-2003 05:22 AM
Dragon J Agree w/above- Full Tilt Street Rods makes a great relocator for the strut and eliminates all that stock bar hassle. They are in the Company Reviews.
03-16-2003 07:51 PM
bears38 The strutt rod is there to keep the lower arm from wobbling back and forth , It pivots on a rubber bushing and it will move the spindle end back and forth - not good for alignment . some aftermarket guys make a regular A arm that does away with the strut rod , makes it ride alot better too !
03-16-2003 07:46 PM
BOBCRMAN@aol.com the strut rod controls forward and aft movement of the lower controll arm, its bolted to the frame with a rubber bushing.
03-16-2003 06:21 PM
arborlis
Strut rod???

Can someone tell what the strut rod is for on the mustang II set up? What does it do? How do I install them? The instructions are very vague. Does anyone have photos of their installation?

Thanks,

Arb

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