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#1073596 - 04/08/22 06:25 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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No way would it have accomplished the same thing Mark and most certainly not with an improved ride. Adding front lateral load resistance in a way without stiffening the front springs is the perfect recipe for Bob's next step in this journey. It is going to help SO many handling traits and I'm betting he won't notice any detriments in ride quality at all.

I'm just jealous that he figured out a better way to do it than I did...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1073598 - 04/08/22 11:52 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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I have to say that I'm very impressed with the results so far. Bob put way more thought and time into it than I would have and he will reap the benefits of the thought and time.

#1073604 - 04/09/22 08:24 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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LOL, Lance.

That said, I want to reinforce that this is nothing personal against you, Bob. I admire your determination and your laser focus on One solution to the problem at hand.

Justice Scalia said, "I attack ideas. I don't attack people. And some very good people have some very bad ideas. And if you can't separate the two, you gotta get another day job."

To be clear, I'm not saying that a very stiff front bar is necessarily a bad idea. I'm just saying that in the universe of potential solutions, it's insufficiently vetted. (Btw I need to check the thread again, but I don't recall that you ever made a clear problem statement, Bob, beyond saying that you vaguely wanted the car to handle a little quicker on the street and auto-x. As one of my favorite physics professors said, "A problem well-stated is half-solved.")

I know I'm not addressing engineers here, but try to understand this: the front sway bar would work as intended if the car's chassis behaved as a rigid body. It doesn't, not even remotely, and not even in comparison to the rigidity of this sway bar. Go back in the thread for numbers to support this if you disbelieve it. The entire front half of the car behaves just like its own sway bar, so adding a stiff sway bar as we would normally identify it, means we're rigidly coupling two sway bars together, without any benefit of shock absorbers because their action is mechanically short-circuited. So the ride suffers from not only increased difference-mode stiffness but short-circuited dampening.

Get the body to behave rigidly first, and the shocks will dampen as they should. The ride NVH will improve as well as handling.
______________

Bob, I can almost hear you thinking, "That's all well and good, but life's short, so I'll minimize risk and just copy/paste what's worked well for others." But you're posting for the benefit of others who may not feel the weight of this constraint, so for their benefit mainly, it's more than fair for me to point this out.

Last edited by MAP; 04/10/22 01:26 AM.
#1073615 - 04/11/22 06:17 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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A week of watching those Altantic waves rolling into the Outer Banks and it's back to reality. When I got there the cell and my internet went in the top drawer of the dresser for the past week, can't say I missed them.

Things to do this week.
Finalize 1/2-20 hole location on the arms. Tomorrow should have some time to sign off on the arms design. Unless something changed from last week that I don't know about, the arms are as engineered to fit as they will get.
Grab the tacked together arms, the welding jig, the new alum jig spacers, clamps and go see the welder to get-ur-dun.

Have spent some time reading about hardening steel. It seems the more I think I know the less I seem to know. Before the finished arms go to powdercoat any hardening would need to be done. Induction hardening, don't think that is the answer. Arms need to go in the oven @ 1550 for hours and then quenched, then reheated to give or take 550 and reduced very slowly over a long period of time. Go figure, ain't easy finding legitimate this is how it's done. We have a couple locals that may have a forge large enough and some knowledge.
A decision need to be made soon on whether there is a real need to increase the stiffness, strength, of the arms by hardening.
As advertised Speedway Eng show hardening as a upcharge on steel sway bar arms. The over build everything in me say get the arms cooked.

When the arms are fully welded, the 1/2-20 bolt hole located in the bar arm done, the LCA to link mount attachment can be done. Hate to say it but think the LCA will be removed from the car to do that welding correctly. Heat treating and, or just powdercoating would be done at that time.

The weather this week toward the end is supposed to be nicer. May have the need to drive the car again, with no front sway bar functioning. Maybe 60 miles since removing the 36mm bar, very easy to create noticeable body roll on this front heavy turd with no front bar.

Mark, criticism is always welcome. Ask my kids. Also ask them if I'm a tad obsessive. Sometimes i do things just because I need to know. And fortunate enough to have most of the tools at hand but the knowledge is hard to find. So the read, live and learn route becomes the path. Lance's car and many of the top car use the big bar theory. For me if you haven't tried it you don't know if it really works. On paper is one thing, the blacktop another.
The Big Front Bar setup has been around forever, it comes and goes. I ran Herb's "huge" 36mm bar for years and liked it, really always knew the car need more front bar. The only way to get more bar rate, ON MY CAR, is the three pieces, short arms setup. Effectively removed a 36 mm hollow bar (1.42" OD with a 12.5" ish arm with a mid 500 lb/inch rate) to a smaller 1.272" bar setup (.610 ID) , 7.75" arm, and 1150 rate. From that 1150 going less rate is a simple bar change.

We always seem to come back to the polishing the turd thing. When you like old iron from yesterdays and still like playing with real toy cars you're stuck trying to fix the ills of something that is 30, 40, 75 years old. And if there was only one product that fixed that one problem there would be no need for other products. My guess there may be 25 front sway bars available for a G-body.
Can't say I haven't done do-diligence to the polishing the turd thing. Few G's are as connected as this car is, few can get the 9+ degrees of caster needed, few can keep fat tires untouched, and still be capable on the streets of Pa, only a very limited number of tricks left, front bar and maybe a spring rate change the current tricks on the hit list.

Lance was fortunate to be party to Bernie's new 3-link setup. Rear roll center has always been the real bone of contention with these cars. Back in the day everyone was trying to figure out how to do a fix without another compromise. Bernie had ​been thinking about that for a long time. Replacing the entire chassis, the truck arm , the GNX torque arm, BMR's setup, are choices, currently Bernie is ahead. But again it's how you want to polish your turd.

This past week rode near 700 miles in the back seat of our 02 SS, my son chauffeured, my wife shotgun. First time ever prone for so many hours and not in control of the car, This is the same son i allow to autox my car, with me shotgun.
Bob

#1073620 - 04/12/22 12:29 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hi Bob - outstanding - you took that exactly the way it was intended. And to repeat, I admire your tenacity.

But I still say you've left a huge stone unturned by not exploring ways to rigidify the front end. When you make everything in the front stiff except the chassis (beyond bushings, at any rate,) the result, mostly because of the shock short-circuiting problem described above, will be a jiggly ride (for the engineers, I mean high-Q resonances mostly in the 10-20 Hz range, which many OEM studies have shown to be highly objectionable to the typical driver.) And if I had to use a single word to describe the ride of Lance's car, it would be jiggly. If I had to use a single word to describe the ride of my 1978 Malibu when I was at the stage of using TPU body bushings, that word was also jiggly. (It got better when I switched to Delrin at the front, but jiggly was still the operative word.) Basically, until and unless you correct the factory's floppy chassis, the operative word will always be jiggly. As I wrote a while back, considering the rigidity of the things in 2022 we're typically bolting-up to our 1965-derivative A/G body chassis, the chassis needs to get about 13 times stiffer.

Not for anything, but I was talking about 3L/PHRs here since 20 years ago, before Bernie smile. The main reason then was the same as now: independence of control over RCH over other geometrically-constrained parameters, which also then as now, I've felt was set way too high from GM. Btw, it would be nice if you gave the 3L/PHR a try, Bob. I think you'd like it.

Best,
MAP




Last edited by MAP; 04/12/22 01:27 AM.
#1073624 - 04/12/22 12:18 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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20 years ago I was 15 laugh Thanks for sharing your knowledge all these years!

I'll actually be racing with Lance on the 23rd at Litchfield Park if you want to come out.

#1073627 - 04/12/22 01:57 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: SickSpeedMonte]  
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Originally Posted by SickSpeedMonte

I'll actually be racing with Lance on the 23rd at Litchfield Park if you want to come out.


I am so excited for this!! laugh


Lance
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#1073629 - 04/12/22 07:40 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hi SSM - Nice to see you here again! Best - MAP

#1073632 - 04/13/22 03:06 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Litchfield Park - Interesting - 2h24m from Yuma, Mapquest tells me. I'll definitely think about it - thx.

#1073635 - 04/13/22 02:36 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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We have to invite guests who wish to attend, I am in charge of registration so I can get you onsite Mark, but I'll need plenty of advance notice. My run group will start at 815 am and Bernies about 930 am, we'll be all done by 1130ish.


Lance
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#1073637 - 04/13/22 09:19 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hi Lance - thx - I'll PM you.

#1073641 - 04/14/22 05:13 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Bermie, MD to AZ, that's a hike, the car making that trip?

Lance, line up a 3 for Mark to ride along.

Mon after a some pondering reworked the welding jig so the left side arm of the jig is identical to the right side of the jig. When I added the 5 degree cant to the end of the arm for better rod end alignmnet is when i noticed they looked identical but weren't mirrors. Just had to cut the tack welds off the one angle and make it identical location to the other side.
Then cut the tack welds off the left arm at the 2nd joint and clean the tack mess up. Clamped the arm back in the jig on Tues and back to the welder.
Tues night at the shop can now exactly locate the 1/2-20 top link bolt location and drill and tap the holes on both arms. The goal was always a 7.75" long arm and that is what is drilled. Now the link can be cinched to the arm in it's final configuration and location. There is still about an inch of steel to cut off the end of the arm at the link end, that can be done anytime before finish is applied.

Today both arms and links assembled and slid onto the ends of the sway bar, the arms clocked to each other, and guess what, it all seems like it going to fit. Was able to view the arms set at true ride height to see where the link needed to attach to the LCA, Was able to see that there should be ample clearance between the 1/2" bolt projecting through the arm with locknut on that side and the frame. That frame area for clearance to allow a locknut was huge, a big problem, dominated a large part of the arm's design.
Next raise the car to full droop and could then get a good idea of how the link angle would change as the LCA traveled downward. Was able to measure link travel distance from ride height to full droop and it's less than accounted for in the design, a good thing. Figure about 4" of droop travel there, but closer to 2 3/4" total.

So Fri the arms go to the welder to get 100% welded.

Next week if all goes well the LCAs will be removed and the bottom rod end mount gets welded in. I see no problems with location of the mount. Just need to build piers for the mounts to sit on.
Another mod to the LCA when it's removed is open up the access area to the DA front shocks. It was opened up when the shocks went in but still need more room to make adjustments easier at an event, with the car on the ground at ride height.

Have been kicking around a front spring change. The Global West front springs were 640 lb rated when i bought them 20+ years ago. They were shortened a little a couple years ago to tune ride height after the high caster/LCA project was done. I assumed the 1/2 coil removed increased rate a little. The coil springs need to be pulled to do the LCA link mounts. The coil spring rate checker I made to check rear coil spring rate will work on the front coils also. Being a linear rate spring i would just put about 200 psi preload on them and see what they are at 1" compression from that point. My spring rate checker is only build with 1000 psi limit in mind. But should be able to check a 700 psi spring. If I was to change springs Hypercoil was the choice, no Moog, and no one else really sells anything I'd buy to install, rates not what I'd be looking for.
Also since this 86SS is a fat pig over the front axle don't think going down in rate is a viable option. Have kicked around the big bar/soft spring approach but just think the high rate springs are needed to float the front end of this boat.

Have not weighed the parts of the new bar setup yet verses the old 35 mm bar but know no contest, new bar will be pounds heavier. Good thing is most of it is sprung weight and move 5 3/4" rearward of the old bar location.
Bob

#1073644 - 04/14/22 04:51 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Originally Posted by mmc427ss
Bermie, MD to AZ, that's a hike, the car making that trip?

Lance, line up a 3 for Mark to ride along.



Bernie is bringing along a racer friend and I have a 2nd car set up for him to drive, so Mat Leon and I will drive our Montes in Group A and Bernie and Chris will drive them in group B.

With 6 runs each, that's about 24 chances for Mark to see and feel in person how well a floppy G body can handle an autocross course at speed. laugh

I hope he makes it out.

When is your first event Bob? Gotta be coming up soon no? Get this thing done already so you can start to get used to how it feels...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1073645 - 04/14/22 08:54 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Bernie will have a great day playing with those toys. So he will be driving your car in heat 2?

Make sure Mark brings a helmet. Here they stopped lending/renting helmets at events, a Covid thing. If he comes he can't have any excuses. Seriously line him up a ride in one of those modified 3s.

Last time i checked none of the local event calender were posted yet, usually they do a "rust off" in early May. The goal this year is to try and use up that set of those RT 660 tires bought last Summer. With both of us beating on the car now we made 30 runs in two events last year. Seriously would like to double that number this year. At the 1/2 dozen events i previously ran only made 24 runs total. Me as really a novice never learn much at an event with only just a couple runs a couple times a year. A lot more seat time is the goal this year. Another birthday very soon moving me closer to that super senior territory. Although several years away you can feel the calling. The reason the kids now gets to drive my car.
Bob

#1073647 - 04/15/22 03:48 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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I've got an extra helmet plus our club has brand new loaners available if needed. Yes, Bernie will be in Group B in my car.

I'm not sure any of the Teslas will be there. There is a National event in CA the same day so most of the high power drivers will be there not here.


Lance
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#1073648 - 04/15/22 09:51 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hi Lance - Couldn't PM you because your mailbox is full. On a flat course, a floppy chassis should handle just as well as a stiff chassis, and unsprung mass is immaterial. Even a car with solid axles front and rear could handle outstandingly well. As long as we keep the tires vertical to the road, and we achieve desired load transfers in acceleration, the car will do well. Ironic, but all suspension tuning reduces to these two simple goals on a flat surface. On a flat surface, the VH parts of NVH disappear as they might arise from sources external to the car.

It's when we want to have the car handle well on bumpy surfaces (IOW, most roads in the USA,) that things get at least an order of magnitude more interesting and challenging. All three parts of NVH are in play. Bumps, in short, are the reason why the OEMs pay big dollars to many PhDs to work their suspension and chassis magic. It's also the reason why solid axles have completely disappeared from supercars.

Thanks again for the invitation for Litchfield Park but I'll pass. I'd really like to go but I always put my family first for justifying any long trips. (Let's see whether I'm living in Phoenix, Tucson, FL, or TX a year from now!)

Bob, getting itchy to hear the results of all your tooling...




Last edited by MAP; 04/15/22 09:59 PM.
#1073670 - 04/17/22 05:01 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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I like to run with this group, https://www.scca-susq.com/autocross/calendar/ and first event is 4/30 which is not going to happen. First, car probably won't be back together in time and second, that's a birthday party weekend (Saturday) for three of us, most importantly the 9 year old. I am looking at that May 8th which is oddly listed as a "Test and Tune" and a Sunday. That Elmerton parking lot I ran twice last year and it kinda sucks, narrow with a 360 loop at both ends. I struggled on those 360s last year. I've run with the Philly group a couple times but dread going East anymore. My local SCCA is Blue Mountain, which doesn't do any autox anymore, Hillclimbs. Ran Maple Grove Raceway pit area twice with them maybe 4 years ago. That parking lot was an OK venue and would like to do it again.

Before doing the final welding of the new bar arms there is an education needed on the proper method to welding them and getting what is needed in place. Waiting for verification of the steel used to make the arms but assume it a 4130 which requires preheating to 500-550 degrees before starting the root welding. Myself never an education in welding, only the glue stuff together with a MIG education. 40 years ago I was told by my supervisor at a fab shop i worked at that he could train monkeys to MIG weld. Because failure of the new arm is not an option the welding of this thick, 3/4", steel arm needs to be done correctly. So working on the logistics of doing a preheat and a post heat process on my TIG guys bench.

Also have been looking and studying the how and why of heat treating the arms. Not a difficult process but particular equipment needed that only a "forge" guy would have. Requires a heating to 1550 degrees and an oil quench, followed by another heating to 700 or so followed by a long slow cool down. All this to get a tempered arm with the correct Rockwell. Which for me is all still a guessing game. The big problem i see with that whole process is dealing with the pinch bolt area of the arm. It needs to be able to be "crushed" down around the spline to hold the arm is place. If you harden the arm to much that area of the arm may become to bridle/hard and either not be able to "crush" or break off the tabs on the arm there.

Education, a good thing, but complicates things.
Bob

#1073672 - 04/17/22 06:13 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Unfortunately as much as we all try you wont be a metallurgist, chemical metallurgist or an expert welder. These are disciplines and trades that take many years of focus solely in that particular area. I personally have a list of supporting experts in my field targeting specialized applications in the machine building I deal with. I would approach the right tradesman with your intent and let them apply the many years of experience and training for a successful completion of your project. I'm sure the money wont be too bad for the quality it brings.


Enjoy life, family first!
#1073674 - 04/17/22 09:02 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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^^^ This sounds like good advice.

Bob, another thing you can try is to increase the length of the compliance slot in the clamping area of the arm on the central torsion bar by extending it into the opposite side of the cerrated clamp hole. This will increase uniformity of clamping pressure on the torsion bar. It does create a stress-riser at the slot root but it's under compression, so the effect is benign. I'm not sure how long an extension is optimum - perhaps 1/2" to 1". To know for sure would require some artful analysis of FEA modeling, but I wouldn't sweat it.

Last edited by MAP; 04/17/22 09:02 PM.
#1073677 - 04/18/22 03:13 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Mark I had considered increasing the length of the slot into the opposite side. Have seen this done and also have seen a second pinch bolt added to that area when a slot was done there. Generally what i see is when the torsion bar rate goes up and the abuse the vehicle may get goes up the size of the spline goes up. A low rate three piece bar for the rear sway bar and maybe a small lower rate front bar the spline will be a 1"x48 spline. From there the splines sizes go skyward, 1 1/4"x 48 seems to be a norm for a front moderate rate bar such as mine. Next is 1 3/4" x and even jump into the 2" and 2 1/4" splines for the huge NASCAR and off road truck stuff.

You don't know how many times I've wished I could make a phone call and get the support, info and help to get this project done. These days it's hard enough just to get the bolts and nuts to do something, every piece of this project was a PITA to source. Getting the knowledge has been even harder. Nothing would make me happier than just drop off the arms and pick them up all done to my expectations. But that ain't going to happen, and like dozens of projects I've done it has to be a live and learn thing. If the arms fail it won't be from lack of trying.
Two "old" TIG welder friends ​opinions that have welded a zillion miles of tube frames and 300 mph cars said cut and weld the arms. Bending not the wise option. I followed their advice even though my plan was heat, bend and heat teat all in one shot, no welding. A person skilled in that technique I believe could do just that.
The problem of course is finding those qualified people who have the necessary furnaces to heat and precision bend the arms.

One big plus to the current arm is I now have the perfect arm design, measurements, a blueprint and a precise jig to build a second set of arms from it they fail.
Another plus is if one arm fails it's not really a big safety deal. It would be like one of those skinny stock sway bar links breaks. We have all had that happen and it may take a day of driving to realize the sway bar is, not working. Both my Astro and 02 SS went through that scenario in the past couple years, one end of the 34 mm hollow bars broke off from internal rusting on both vehicles.

This week is hoping to get the arms welded using a 500 preheat. From everything i read this should give me a good chance at having arms with no weld cracking or hydrogenation of the welds. Hoping the machine shop that produced the blanks for the arms will get back to me this week with an the answer to "what are the arm made from". My assumption is 4130 steel which seems to the norm for arms. I've already done the spark test, file test, ball bearing test and think i know how to treat the preheat, welding procedure with this material. Another factor in the welding is the interpass temp, maintaining the 500 and not cooking the steel with excessive over temp during welding. My TIG guy has figured out I'm a PITA, he's conceded we will do it my way. Will pull the trigger by weeks end on the welding, need to get the arms to powdercoat.

Almost looking forward to pulling the LCAs to weld on the link mounts there. Already know the exact orientation of the lower mount on the arm. Could pull the LCA and start the fab work need to glue the mounts onto the LCA. The car needs to be driven to the the first show in town this year, May 7, my two grandkids told me that at diner today. Less than three weeks, hmmmm.
Bob

#1073680 - 04/18/22 01:42 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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You got this Bob!!


Lance
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#1073682 - 04/18/22 10:27 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Hi Bob,

I don't think your arms will fail. I don't have a built-in FEA analyzer in my brain but some of the PhDs I've worked with think I may be wrong. My hunch says that even under maximum twist, the maximum stress in each arm will be well within its elastic range, and the maximum stress will probably be right at the spline engagement. Second compression bolt for a long slot: I wouldn't do it. The bolt hole would weaken the arm in an area where I wouldn`t compromise strength.

Last edited by MAP; 04/18/22 10:27 PM.
#1073683 - 04/18/22 11:04 PM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: MAP]  
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I don't think they would fail either, it's only a sway bar with small loads. I was only suggesting to have the parts welded and forged. If you were closer I would have my guys do it free for you.


Enjoy life, family first!
#1073684 - 04/19/22 01:06 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 6,629
Peoria, AZ
I know guys that are road racing on cut and welded up steering arms that don't have near the beveling and work into them that Bob has on these swing arms. Not that I would run them...but it doesn't seem to bother them any. laugh

Bob's arms will be fine.


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1073693 - 04/20/22 12:24 AM Re: Front sway bar project [Re: mmc427ss]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,232
1 Slow SS Offline
10+ Year
1 Slow SS  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,232
Small town KY
Lance I'm not taking the bait, I'll say it's quiet tempting though... LOL


Enjoy life, family first!
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