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6/01/2014 9:07 AM  #1


DIY Adjustable Strut

I made my own adjustable struts so I thought I'd share how I did it.  Below is a picture of the completed strut:

http://i58.tinypic.com/2agj4nl.jpg

Here's another shot with some of the pieces disambled:
http://i57.tinypic.com/245wl05.jpg

The swaged tubes are AFCO Swaged Tube Steel Zinc 1" Dia 10" L 3/4"-16 RH/LH Threads. 
The Heim joints are XMR 10-12 ROD ENDS 3/4 x 5/8 HEIM JOINTS ( LH Thread ) CHROMOLY. 
A grade 8,I 5/8" shoulder bolt attaches the heim joint to the bracket.  Its head and nut were slightly ground down so it would just fit in between the sides of the original strut frame mount.
The bolts are 3/4"-16 grade 8.
The spacer that is to the left of the bolt in the first picture centers the bracket in the hole in the frame that originally accomodated the rubber bushing.  I made it on my lathe, but you could use stacked washers. 
The large washer to the left of the spacer is an original strut cupped washer that I flattened on my 20 ton press (I needed all 20 tons for that!)
Here's a drawing of the bracket (subsequently slightly modified during fitment):

http://i61.tinypic.com/4vr814.jpg

Another view of the bracket with the spacer:

http://i59.tinypic.com/2uhpjs1.jpg

Here are a couple of pictures of the die guide I made to ensure the threads I cut on the old strut came out straight:
http://i62.tinypic.com/2u8xsvn.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/33kahat.jpg

Here's a picture of the installed strut:
http://i62.tinypic.com/k388sh.jpg

As shown in the above picture of the installed strut, the shoulder bolts are captured by the original frame, preventing them from coming out.

I'd be interested in feedback about my adjustable strut, and how it is actually adjusted in an alignment. 

Does anyone know what a good starting point is for the length?   I seem to have lost the length of the original strut before I cut it up.  Thanks.

Last edited by jkordzi (6/21/2014 8:13 PM)


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6/04/2014 12:10 AM  #2


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

nice looking struts you made there! i'm about to make some myself. got to figure out my vacume brake setup at swap out the 6 cyl. steering linkage first though. what measurements would you like? i'm assuming from the blt holes to the frame, right? i have a set of rods mounted and a set on the bench, both with new bushings in, that i can measure for you. let me know what you need.

as far as i understand it, you want to get the caster as close as possible with the shims and just use the rods to fine tune it. if you have a good alignment shop, they can make sure the wheels are all square and the adjustable rods might help with that, if they aren't square now. you don't want to be moving the wheel assy. too far from where it "wants" be though. no need for extra stress if you're pushing or pulling it from where it wants to hang. the whole idea is to free things up so they can move up and down smoothly. are you going to go with some roller bearing or bronze bushing spring
perches as well?

p.s. is there anything between the rod end and the mount to keep it from moving side to side? that's the one thing that been bugging me as i think about making one of these setups, myself.

Last edited by R5CYA (6/04/2014 12:22 AM)

 

6/04/2014 7:15 AM  #3


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

R5CYA wrote:

nice looking struts you made there! i'm about to make some myself. got to figure out my vacume brake setup at swap out the 6 cyl. steering linkage first though. what measurements would you like? i'm assuming from the blt holes to the frame, right? i have a set of rods mounted and a set on the bench, both with new bushings in, that i can measure for you. let me know what you need.

as far as i understand it, you want to get the caster as close as possible with the shims and just use the rods to fine tune it. if you have a good alignment shop, they can make sure the wheels are all square and the adjustable rods might help with that, if they aren't square now. you don't want to be moving the wheel assy. too far from where it "wants" be though. no need for extra stress if you're pushing or pulling it from where it wants to hang. the whole idea is to free things up so they can move up and down smoothly. are you going to go with some roller bearing or bronze bushing spring
perches as well?

p.s. is there anything between the rod end and the mount to keep it from moving side to side? that's the one thing that been bugging me as i think about making one of these setups, myself.

Thanks.  The bushing to the left of the 3/4" bolt in the first picture (essentially a thick washer) and in the second drawing of the bracket is what locates the strut in its bracket on the frame.  When you remove the original strut, you may notice a small piece of sheet steel that is formed around the hole in the frame where the strut rubber bushing attaches.  I chose to pry that out and use a dremel to clean up that hole a bit.  The bushing slides over the 3/4" bolt and then when the strut bracket is attached, that bushing goes inside the hole in the frame - this locates the strut.

I've modified my spring perches per Daze's website and also installed Opentracker's lower control arm kit that boxes in the arm, adds a screw-in ball joint, and spherical bushings.  I also rebuilt the upper control arm and spot welded the caps to the arm.  I would recommend all these modifications before doing an adjustable strut.

Can you measure from where the original strut bushing contacts the frame to the middle of the forward most hole in the strut (where it bolts to the LCA)?  Thanks.
 


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6/04/2014 11:06 AM  #4


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

looks lke 17 3/4" is where you want to start at.
what i meant was, is there anything to keep the rod end from moving left to right on the 5/8" bolt that locates it in the bracket. i don't see anything. it would be simple enough to make a bushing/spacer for both sides, i guess.

 

6/04/2014 2:22 PM  #5


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

R5CYA wrote:

looks lke 17 3/4" is where you want to start at.
what i meant was, is there anything to keep the rod end from moving left to right on the 5/8" bolt that locates it in the bracket. i don't see anything. it would be simple enough to make a bushing/spacer for both sides, i guess.

I see your point now.  Yes, there should be some kind of bushings that prevents side-side movement of the heim joint.  I have bushings that I machined that go on either side of the heim joint, but I didn't include them in the photos because I'm trying to decide if it's worth including some kind of heim joint side covers (rod end seals) to keep the dirt out.  Thanks.


 

Last edited by jkordzi (6/21/2014 7:36 PM)


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6/04/2014 3:26 PM  #6


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

jkordzi wrote:

 I'm trying to decide if it's worth including some kind of heim joint side covers (rod end seals) to keep the dirt out.  Thanks.


 

LOL! now we're not only on the same page, we're both wondering about the same thing! i'd sure love to use some, but unless i can find some with a steel center for the bushing to go up against, i'm not sure how well it will work out. mount them over the bushings and they'll probaby move on us. gonna have to take a harder look on the Daze site and see what he uses.

 

6/04/2014 3:38 PM  #7


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

R5CYA wrote:

jkordzi wrote:

 I'm trying to decide if it's worth including some kind of heim joint side covers (rod end seals) to keep the dirt out.  Thanks.


 

LOL! now we're not only on the same page, we're both wondering about the same thing! i'd sure love to use some, but unless i can find some with a steel center for the bushing to go up against, i'm not sure how well it will work out. mount them over the bushings and they'll probaby move on us. gonna have to take a harder look on the Daze site and see what he uses.

These are the ones I was looking at: http://www.sealsit.com/rodend.asp
I think they have a steel washer bonded to the seal.  Summit also sells them.


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6/04/2014 10:00 PM  #8


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

thanks for the link. i shot them an email to see. i'll let you know when i hear from them.

LOL! i guess i should have looked at Summit first! yeah, they have a stainless washer in the center. thanks again.

hold the bus! looking around some more, i found these bad boys. they'll hide the nice work, but seem much more appropriate for what we're doing.
http://www.sealsit.com/rodendboots.asp

Last edited by R5CYA (6/04/2014 10:30 PM)

 

6/08/2014 10:37 AM  #9


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

Since there is plenty of room for it, how about a side seal that is thicker and larger diameter than the aftermarket ones.  They could easily be made on a lathe, probably 1/2" thick x 2" diameter, or whatever fits in there.  They could have steel sleeves inside to act as the spacers, with the rubber acting as a seal.


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6/08/2014 12:52 PM  #10


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

MustangSteve wrote:

Since there is plenty of room for it, how about a side seal that is thicker and larger diameter than the aftermarket ones.  They could easily be made on a lathe, probably 1/2" thick x 2" diameter, or whatever fits in there.  They could have steel sleeves inside to act as the spacers, with the rubber acting as a seal.

Not sure I understand - do you mean something like a misalignment spacer?
 


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6/26/2014 8:26 PM  #11


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

I decided to go with the seals-it rod end seals from Summit.  They are Stainless Steel/Rubber, 1.235 in. O.D., 0.635 in. I.D., .267 in. Height: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SIT-WS6250
This required that the spacers be about 0.325" in length.  Here's a couple of pictures that show the spacers and seals installed on one strut and the others next to it:
http://i61.tinypic.com/2rvzjmf.jpg

http://i59.tinypic.com/msk39d.jpg


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8/26/2014 11:45 AM  #12


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

Beautiful job, I ordered up all the pieces to do my own but am planing  on using the followinghttp://i57.tinypic.com/2jdg70l.gif

Last edited by bulletbirdman (8/26/2014 11:47 AM)


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8/26/2014 4:06 PM  #13


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

bulletbirdman wrote:

Beautiful job, I ordered up all the pieces to do my own but am planing  on using the followinghttp://i57.tinypic.com/2jdg70l.gif

Thanks.  I'm assuming your size clevis is one of the ones that are liisted as being forged steel.  I would ensure the clevis fits between the frame rails, considering whatever you are planning on using to attach the rod end (bolt or pin).  Mine is designed so that the shoulder bolt and nut just clear the bracket so they are captured beween them and the nut cannot spin off.  Allso, I'd think about how you want the bolt side of the clevis to fit against the hole in the frame.  I turned a spacer to fit into that hole so the bracket would be properly located.  Pls post some pics.

Last edited by jkordzi (8/27/2014 9:05 PM)


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8/28/2014 10:13 AM  #14


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

I"ve got another 4 weeks in sunny Iraq but  the stuffs gonnna be there when I get home Ive got a couple of  Ideas from  just seeing how you and Daze did the job, One is just to mount it with a 3/4 32 bolt through a polyuretane bushing kit, that way it would have a little bit of shock absorbing but not as mushy as stock and still be adding the easy motion of the heim end and the caster adjustlment. Just think the bushing would save stress on the frame hitting pot holes and such.


I made enough money to buy Miami, but pissed it away so fast
 

10/06/2014 7:02 AM  #15


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

I'm home ran into a couple of problems with the strut rods 1st the 67' flat monting tang continues up the strut about eight inches so unless I splice it to round stock its a no go, Found out the lower A arms I ordered a year ago are actually 68 type which use a bent or angled strut  rod. I've got a set on the way and I think These will be compatable with the set up, will up date then. 


I made enough money to buy Miami, but pissed it away so fast
 

10/06/2014 6:18 PM  #16


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

bulletbirdman wrote:

I'm home ran into a couple of problems with the strut rods 1st the 67' flat monting tang continues up the strut about eight inches so unless I splice it to round stock its a no go, Found out the lower A arms I ordered a year ago are actually 68 type which use a bent or angled strut  rod. I've got a set on the way and I think These will be compatable with the set up, will up date then. 

Hopefully the 68 type strut will work.  Keep us up to date.
 


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11/05/2014 3:19 AM  #17


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

I"ve got another 4 weeks in sunny Iraq but  the stuffs gonnna be there when I get home Ive got a couple of  Ideas from  just seeing how you and Daze did the job, One is just to mount it with a 3/4 32 bolt through a polyuretane bushing kit, that way it would have a little bit of shock absorbing but not as mushy as stock and still be adding the easy motion of the heim end and the caster adjustlment. Just think the bushing would save stress on the frame hitting pot holes and such. 

 

11/05/2014 12:49 PM  #18


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

muneeb wrote:

I"ve got another 4 weeks in sunny Iraq but  the stuffs gonnna be there when I get home Ive got a couple of  Ideas from  just seeing how you and Daze did the job, One is just to mount it with a 3/4 32 bolt through a polyuretane bushing kit, that way it would have a little bit of shock absorbing but not as mushy as stock and still be adding the easy motion of the heim end and the caster adjustlment. Just think the bushing would save stress on the frame hitting pot holes and such. 

I guess you could do that, but I'd have to think about how to precisely locate the strut to the bracket on the frame so that it does not have any slop side-to-side.  My version uses a steel bushing on the 3/4" bolt to do that.  If you add a poly or rubber bushing on the end of the 3/4" bolt and retain the heim joint, then there is nothing to keep that bracket from flopping around, unlike the stock setup where the strut is solid.  I may be wrong, but I think the primary purpse of the original twin rubber bushings was to enable the strut to move with the lower control arm and not provide shock absorption. 
 


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8/12/2020 10:08 PM  #19


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PICTURES ON THIS POST??


I AM NOT SHOUTING...THIS IS THE WAY I TALK & DONT EVER ASK FOR SWEET TEA IN ILLINOIS!
 

8/13/2020 1:02 PM  #20


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

BILLY WALTON from GEORGIA wrote:

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PICTURES ON THIS POST??

 
Wuhan flu got them!


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8/19/2020 9:56 AM  #21


Re: DIY Adjustable Strut

I WISH WUHAN WOULD BRING THEM BACK.


I AM NOT SHOUTING...THIS IS THE WAY I TALK & DONT EVER ASK FOR SWEET TEA IN ILLINOIS!
 

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