I’ve been boxing in one of my custom Ford Sierra Front Uprights. So far, I’m quite pleased with how they look.
I’ve also had a trial fitment of the bearings and they slid straight in as if the uprights had just dropped off the production line. When I say ‘slid’, that’s not quite true, as there was a mallet and bearing press involved. I hadn’t spotted an almost invisible ball of weld splatter. Once I took the bearing out again, chipped off the weld spit, it was then they ‘squeezed’ straight in.
As regular readers will know, I’d swapped from front mounted Ford Escort MK2 rack to a rear mounted Citroen BX item. This was because the route my steering linkage was taking around the Ford Sierra 4×4 Front Differential wasn’t at all good and the original Escort rack was 20mm too far forward.
I couldn’t simply swap the uprights from one side to the other because the Ackermann Geometry would have been totally wrong. Therefore, the only suitable option I could see, was to make my own. Custom uprights would solve an issue I was having with the bottom mount on the lower A-Arm and allow me to fit some more powerful and lighter brakes.
I’ve made my new Front 4×4 Ford Sierra Uprights using dimensions taken from a Ford dimensional drawing:
The drawing came from a very helpful Polish Locost builder (thanks filemon!).
Isn’t the internet great 🙂
When I finished my CAD drawings, I was a little concerned that the walls of the central bearing housing were a little thin. I’m now totally satisfied that they are plenty strong enough.
I haven’t made the steering arm, mostly because I am still waiting for the 12mm steel sheet I ordered a couple weeks back. I have turned and reamed out the mount for the track rod end and cut the 25mm bars ready and waiting. Hopefully next time I return to the workshop, progress will seem a far bit quicker.
I’ve been using a mixture of 3mm and 8mm steel plate to do the boxing. Once I’ve welded on a couple of shims they will be ready for final machining (just to make sure they haven’t distorted during welding).
Some custom uprights are works of art, especially when CNC machined from solid aluminium, others are very functional and strong looking, but once these ones are covered with some black powder coat, they are going to look almost ‘stock’. On a CAD screen that wasn’t the case. Maybe that’s not a bad thing….
When a complete novice like me, makes parts like this, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty on whether they will work ‘on the road’. With many parts, as soon as the bolts are tight, any worries disappear. At the moment, all I know is, ‘in theory’, they ‘should’ be miles better than what I had.
At least the Ackermann Angle will be adjustable.
I’m going to use 300mm Jaguar X-type discs (machined to 5×112 bolt spacing) and Mercedes E320 Brembo calipers. I had a very quick ‘mock up’ of how things will look.
I’ve got a several complete Ford Sierra Front Uprights under the bench. Some have sliding calipers, others cast iron 4 pot brakes. I know the steering arms and discs are still missing but mine are noticeably lighter than all ‘off the shelf’ options. Once I have finished, I’ll put them on the scales. Without exact measurements I’d say the uprights will end up very similar weight to the Ford ones. The discs are bigger and definitely heavier but the Mercedes calipers are much lighter, so with a bit of luck my 300mm, 4 pot, big brake conversion will end up much the same weight as the standard 242mm single pot set-up.