Strut front end kit

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Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on October 31st 2016, 8:09 pm

I'm thinking of putting a strut front end on my '68 Falcon.  Any input on where to buy a front clip, which struts etc?  Does anyone on this site sell a good kit that I can use?

Regards from Iceland
Biggi
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  jeffgfg on November 1st 2016, 2:43 pm

Fat man fab sells a complete front end kit, that replaces the entire front end. Total Cost sells a kit that uses stock sheet metal. I am not sure about any chassis makers that offer kits just for your car. Most would be universal and be made to fit.

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on November 1st 2016, 6:18 pm

Thanks for the reply, I was thinking about a universal kit, something like this, http://chassisengineering.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=50&product_id=732
I don´t see anything like that from Fat Man Fab or Total Cost

Biggi
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  Mike R on November 1st 2016, 7:46 pm


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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  Gregaust on November 2nd 2016, 5:15 am

Look up RRS . It is a bolt in kit and several options on brakes . A steering rack is nice too. I'm running it and very happy with results. Can cut the towers for lots more space

http://www.rrs-online.com.au/

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  Mike R on November 2nd 2016, 8:08 pm

You can check out AJE Suspension, they make a crossmember that uses Fox body struts http://ajesuspension.com/64-70-Mustang-Universal-Engine-Mounting-K-Member--p2088. What is the intended use of the car, dedicated drag car, street/strip or street cruiser?

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on November 3rd 2016, 4:38 am

IMO if this car will be seeing any real street use I wouldn't use either the S&W or Chassis Engineering kits. This is because both of these kits use the entry level Strange "drag only" short struts that have a very short strut cartridge length and/or short travel. These short struts are more meant for a low slung full chassis drag car. The really don't provide enough suspension travel for a car that might see real street use.

The AJE swap crossmember meant for using the Fox/SN95 struts & spindles in older Fords is an option for a multipurpose street/strip car. Just don't spend the extra money on AJE's own design strut/spindle assembly for use with this crossmember cuz their strut design uses a non adjustable (valving) strut cartridge. Better to use the Fox/SN95 OEM spindle & a Strange adjustable valving Mustang strut cartridge with the AJE crossmember IMO.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on November 4th 2016, 7:18 pm

Thanks for all the help guys.  This is 545 CID back half car and I was dreaming of being able to drive it a few miles to the track and back.  I've already cut out the towers and front crossmember and I need all the space I can get for the headers.  I want to get rid of the inner fenders and possibly the front frame as well and the strut seems to be the most compact space saving suspension set-up out there.  Being out here in the middle of nowhere (Iceland) there are not a lot of parts available and no chassis shops/guys, so I have to try to pick your brains and find my best option.  Regarding the short stroke of the Strange struts, can I get struts with more travel and thus more streetability?

Biggi

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  Gregaust on November 5th 2016, 2:46 am

Nice project , I like Smile .. There is a few local places here do front end kits . Have a look at this one might give you few ideas . Not a strut kit but may do what you need . A friend is going this way in an Aussie Falcon with 460/Turbo

https://www.facebook.com/SouthernChassisWorks/

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on November 5th 2016, 3:49 am

BB429 wrote:............Regarding the short stroke of the Strange struts, can I get struts with more travel and thus more streetability?...........

Strange does make a "drag only" strut with more travel, their "GT" series strut (as in the Super Stock GT class). The GT strut uses the same style aluminum body & stainless steel spindle as their short drag strut, but with a longer/taller cartridge/insert section. They come with either single or double adjustable valving like the short strut does. The GT struts also have a fairly thin steering arm (just like the short strut does), so it's probably a good idea to beef up the GT strut's steering arms a little if used on the street and/or used on a heavy-ish car.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  jbozzelle on November 5th 2016, 11:59 am

I like those style Falcon's. Keep us posted with what you do. You've got a long winter ahead to keep you occupied in the garage for sure!


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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  Gregaust on November 6th 2016, 2:13 am

jbozzelle wrote:I like those style Falcon's.  Keep us posted with what you do.  You've got a long winter ahead to keep you occupied in the garage for sure!


I'd like to see this come together as well Cool

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on November 20th 2016, 9:05 am

Thanks again for all the input. I've decided to face the facts and admit to myself that a 13:1, 800 lift engine will never be used on the street anyway so I'm thinking of going with the Strange struts and probably buy the kit from SW racecars.
Do any of the vendors here offer Strange struts? I would prefer to direct my business to them if possible.

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Change in plans

Post  BB429 on April 11th 2017, 4:58 pm

Hi again, I got my hands on a complete chassis with rollcage and decided to transplant the body on to it instead of installing a new front clip.  It's an older CE kit that has reportedly ran 7.5s in a glass body GTO.  I'm having some packaging problems with the 4 link setup, what is the minimum link length I can get away with?

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on April 12th 2017, 2:43 am

Probably best to post some pics of the bare chassis so we can see what "type" chassis it is, (round tube vs box/rec tube, SFI vs non-SFI, etc).

I'm assuming CE is Chassis Engineering, and not Competition Engineering. Remember if you shorten the 4-link bars X-amount (or move the entire 4-link assembly forward X-amount) you will also have to move the rear shock's top chassis mounts forward, and also move the wheel tub centerline forward as well.

Depending on the chassis type/layout if the driver seat & main hoop placement is well forward of the wheel tubs you might have no problems moving the tubs forward. But if it's an all round tube SFI type chassis (with the driver seat/main hoop sitting way back against the wheel tubs) then you might not have any room to move the tubs forward.

You also need to make sure there is enough frame rail clearance (over the top & in front of the tops of rear housing 4-link brackets) so that no part of the rear housing hits the frame rails during suspension travel after it's moved forward.

There is no one-size-fits-all go/no go length for 4-link bars, some "store bought" 4-link kits might have bars in the 18" to 24" plus range. Obviously a shorter bar will travel in a shorter arc, and longer bar = longer arc. Real short bars combined with "older" 4-link brackets (with wide spaced 3/4" rod-end bolts/holes) can sometimes have problems hitting a desired I/C placement.

Post some pics of the new chassis "as-is", and also pics of how much the housing has to go forward.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on April 12th 2017, 5:39 pm

Hi Dave, I'm having problems posting pics, the max size per file is 0 kb ???
I'm told it's a Chassis Engineering kit, box type probably non SFI.  I think it's around 20" in Set Back.  In order to center the tire in the wheel opening the bars would need to be ca 17" center to center.  I have the option of shortening the main frame rails and moving the entire 4-link/rear clip forward 4-5 inches, but I would rather avoid cutting the chassis if possible.  I need to replace the brackets on the rear end and I could also replace the front brackets as they are rather deep.
Maybe some one can help me with the picture problem, because one picture is worth a thousand words ;-)

Biggi

PS. never mind the pic problem











DILLIGASDAVE wrote:Probably best to post some pics of the bare chassis so we can see what "type" chassis it is, (round tube vs box/rec tube, SFI vs non-SFI, etc).

I'm assuming CE is Chassis Engineering, and not Competition Engineering. Remember if you shorten the 4-link bars X-amount (or move the entire 4-link assembly forward X-amount) you will also have to move the rear shock's top chassis mounts forward, and also move the wheel tub centerline forward as well.

Depending on the chassis type/layout if the driver seat & main hoop placement is well forward of the wheel tubs you might have no problems moving the tubs forward. But if it's an all round tube SFI type chassis (with the driver seat/main hoop sitting way back against the wheel tubs) then you might not have any room to move the tubs forward.

You also need to make sure there is enough frame rail clearance (over the top & in front of the tops of rear housing 4-link brackets) so that no part of the rear housing hits the frame rails during suspension travel after it's moved forward.

There is no one-size-fits-all go/no go length for 4-link bars, some "store bought" 4-link kits might have bars in the 18" to 24" plus range. Obviously a shorter bar will travel in a shorter arc, and longer bar = longer arc. Real short bars combined with "older" 4-link brackets (with wide spaced 3/4" rod-end bolts/holes) can sometimes have problems hitting a desired I/C placement.

Post some pics of the new chassis "as-is", and also pics of how much the housing has to go forward.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on April 13th 2017, 3:04 am

If that chassis's tubing will pass sonic testing as it sits it will only cert to 8.50 and slower. If they were running 7.50's with it then it was either many, maaaaany years ago, or it didn't have a cert tag, (or the track didn't care).

Why change out the rear housing's 4-link brackets? Hard to tell from the pic angle but what little I can see they kinda look usable.

It might be an optical illusion but the front chassis 4-link brackets do look a little funky, like their hole arc & angle might not really match the arc/angle of the bars (especially the top bars). But since the front brackets are so deep you might be able to cut them off/trim them back some/weld them back on to move the 4-link assemble forward some. And while trimming the brackets back you might also be able to trim more from the bottom of the brackets (to rotate them some) to help correct the hole arc/angle some (or get better front brackets).

But before you cut anything you need to first mock the rear housing at the desired ride height (up-in the body) to see what kind/how many different bar angles (and I/C points) you will have to work with. And to also see how much the housing needs to be rotated to get all the driveline angles (engine-trans/slip yoke/driveshaft/pinion) correct at the desired ride height.  

That cluster-fuuk of multiple upper rear shock mount/crossmember assembly installed in front/above of the housing (like they did back in ancient times) needs to be cut out and a new crossmember welded back in. Then a proper upper shock mount/crossmember assembly needs to be installed behind the housing (like modern drag cars do).

If it was my car I would also be looking into adding a back-brace to the rear housing as well.

Combining both trimming the front 4-link brackets back some, and also shortening the 4-link bars some, you might be able to hit the desired wheelbase number without making the bars way too short.

But if it was me I would also take another look into cutting out a section of frame/moving the rear frame section forward a given amount so the 4-link bars don't have to be shorten too much.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on April 14th 2017, 7:15 pm

This frame is probably around 15 years old and has been sitting in storage for the past 12.  The shock crossmember will be replaced and I will be bracing the rear housing.  The front 4-link brackets are drilled for ⅝" bolts and measure 27⅛" c/c but the brackets on the rear end are home built, drilled for ¾" bolts with a c/c of 26⅛", so I think I'd better replace them.  If I can avoid cutting the chassis I would prefer that, I might be able to gain a couple of inches by repositioning the frame brackets and fit a 17"-19" link, but if I have to I can gain another 4"-5" by cutting the frame rails and moving the rear clip forward.  So the big question is how short is too short?







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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on April 16th 2017, 3:05 am

BB429 wrote:..............So the big question is how short is too short?

Meh, that's hard to answer. I don't know anyone who has gone out of their way to purposely build a full chassis 4-link drag car with shorter than "normal" bars.

One side effect of using shorter & shorter bars is the I/C placement will move around to a greater extent during suspension travel.

I did know one guy many yeas ago with a back-half FoxBody that ended up with fairly short 4-link bars because they misjudged the 4-link crossmember placement in the car when they built it. The car really didn't work very well. But I never worked on the car so I can't say for sure the problem was the short 4-link bar length. The car also had the crappy "Alden/American/Eagle" coil over shocks instead of "real" drag coil overs so that might also have been part of the problem.

I did do some work on a full chassis vett years ago with an old "uneven length" 4-link setup that was a pain to iron out. It had a fairly long bottom bar (IIRC in the 26" range) and a real short top bar (IIRC something like 10-12"). It finally ran 4.90's but it took some time to get it working 1/2 way right.
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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  BB429 on April 16th 2017, 6:56 am

Thanks for all your input Dave, I think I'll try to fit 20"-22" inch bars and just go ahead and shorten the main frame rails. That seems to be the smart thing to do and looks relatively easy.

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Re: Strut front end kit

Post  DILLIGASDAVE on April 16th 2017, 9:37 am

Since this is now going to be a full chassis deal IMO another thing you might want to look into as the build progresses is cutting out most (or all) of that extra inner body structure to save some more weight.

If it was staying a back-half combo then some/all of that extra inner body structure can often be left intact because it might actually help (or even be required by a given class) a back-half car. But you can often chop out most/all of that extra inner body structure/sheetmetal on a full chassis car because the body shell is no longer a loaded/structural part of the body-chassis assembly anymore.
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