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Old 11-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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shortened control arm???

I have a 26T with a corvair IFS,which works fine. I am in the process of replacing all the bushings and ball joints. I always knew that the right lower control arm had been welded for some reason.Now that I have it off the car I see that it was actually cut and about 3/8" taken out of it. The other side was not shortened and neither top A-arm was shortened. I don't know who originally built the car (someone in California) so I can't ask the builder why it was shortened like that. I have spare control arms,but don't know if I should use a stock one or the shortened one,I keep thinking that it must have been done for a reason,but can't figure out why. Has anyone out there had an experience like that,or know why it might have been shortened like that?
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PS--don't tell me to go to a straight axle,or mustang 2--I'm happy with the way the car steers,rides,and handles

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Old 11-16-2009, 11:58 AM
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Look at your spindle geometry. What will a longer control arm do to your camber?
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:02 PM
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I was thinking along them lines. To adjust the cambe on this frontend there is a cam-bolt on the inner support on the lower control arm----maybe it didn't give enough adjustment ,but why only one side??
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:49 PM
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For someone to shorten only one arm tells me that something is wrong somewhere. Camber gain etc will be effected. Perhaps that sides upper is in the wrong place, I would find out why and fix it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:02 PM
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I've looked and looked and measured everything twice---nothing else is out of place,or damaged,I have the whole Xmember out of the car and everything apart and nothing else is out of the ordinary.
The car was in perfect alignment,tires wearing perfectly,no cupping or scrubing. Now I'm thinking that if I put a stock control arm (which I have) maybe I won't be able to get it to align properly???
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:34 PM
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Something, somewhere, has to be wrong or there would be no need to alter the arm, right?? Collision damage to mounting point, a cam adjuster that wont move, maybe the wrong spindle or a-arm or ball joint (year or car line) used to correct collision damage during the past life as a Corvair, something.

If both lower's match in length now I would suspect that someone shortened one from a different car than a Corvair, maybe Camaro/Nova because Corvair stuff was rather hard to find before the internet. Most yards scrapped them in the early 70's due to no demand for them.

Have you measured from the engine cradle centerline out to both the upper and lower mount points, as well as their vertical distance from each other to see if things are square??.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:46 AM
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If you're happy with the ride and handling and you're not worried about the weld, DONWORRYABOUDIT!!!!

Or, another way of putting it: It ain't broke, so why are ya tryin' ta fix it??

Seriously, it's so easy for others to sit back and tell you to fix it, but, if there isn't a safety issue and you're happy with it, don't give it another thought. If you're not careful, you'll end up like that Monk character on TV.

In thinking about this some more, I realize that it's not as simple as I've stated above. You've got your toy apart and now would be the obvious time to switch to the stock arm and you've got one available. I kinda think you ARE worried about that weld. I've fabbed some "siamesed" arms (different make inner and outer portion), but I added a piece of flat stock at the junction. If this guy butt welded the piece and then ground it down to hide what he'd done, I'd also be concerned. Very concerned.
http://www.racetec.cc/shope
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:09 AM
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Its welded well. and on the bottom side it is fishplated with 1/4" stock---not afraid of it coming apart
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:59 AM
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Are both lowers the same length now, or is the shortened one actually shorter than the stock one??
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:21 AM
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Its shorter---going to do some measurements today---just measured roughly yesterday---looks to be somewhere around 1/4" to 3/8" shorter
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:38 PM
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Well here's the latest----took some measurements today. From the center of the crossmember to the top of the shock tower --driverside 20 1/4 ' other side 20 1/8" ---driverside shock tower leans in at 67 degrees -other side 65 degrees -----length of lower control arm from balljoint to end of arm---12 1/16 stock one 12 1/2 which is 7/16 difference If I use the stock one I will only be able to bring it in 3/8" before I run out of adjustment. SO, since it tracked straight and steered good and wore the tires right I think I will just put the new bushings and balljoints in and put it bac together like it was. Oh another thing I noticed is that the upper a-arm shafts were not installed the same way one was upside down compared to the other---don't know if that matters much???
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:29 PM
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That upper shaft matters a lot if it is an offset shaft. I'm not familiar with the Corvair so take a look, it could easily be your discrepancy.

Something is obviously out of spec, there is absolutely NO good reason to only shorten ONE a-arm. I personally could not go with "well, it worked before" and just reassemble it. Fix it while you have it apart

Are both Spindles EXACTLY the same??
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:37 AM
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the shaft is not off-set,if you flip it it would move it up or down about 1/8" thats all---spindles look the same,but I'll double check. the reason I think I'll leave well enough alone is that like I said ,I've drove the car around 7000 miles since I've had it with no problems and the guy I got it from drove it many miles including 3 or 4 trips from Ohio to Flordia and back with no problems!
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