Locost Front Suspension

I have read horror stories about the Transit drag link adjusters. With the steel adjusters the threads strip and  the aluminium ones simply shatter. Plus, to be honest, they look like a design after thought.

I nearly used them, I had brand sets; steel and aluminium; sitting on the bench for weeks waiting, but the longer they stayed there, the more the voices said ‘do not use them!’. I’ve always been told, ‘never have ally and steel touching each other’, due to them corroding like mad. So I nearly used the steel ones. Nearly………………….

Austin Ambassador Ball Joint

As an alternative and much more elegant solution, I am using an old Hot Rodders favourite, the Austin Ambassador threaded ball joint. The early Austin Princess ones need shimming and were a pain to set up. Mine are the later ones.

The joint has to sit in a threaded ‘cup’. The top arm is not adjustable.

Locost Upper Ball Joint

You’ll have to excuse my welding, It’s 20 years since I touched a welder. I’m getting better slowly, but I expect there are a number of you thinking ‘Oh my heavens!’ I’m alright until I have to go around an awkward corner.

I’m using a 130amp Mig and Pub Gas.

The tubing is 26mm Ø x 2.5mm wall thickness.

Originally, the front suspension was going to be pull rod, with the shocks sitting horizontally along the chassis. However, I couldn’t get a decent rising spring rate ratio,

Therefore, I swapped to a more conventional Push Rod and Bell Crank Cantilever setup.

Locost / Haynes Roadster Push Rod Front Suspension

All of the adjustment with this set-up is in the bottom arm. I can adjust camber, caster and the rising spring rate.

Haynes Roadster Front Suspension

I’m a little concerned about the clevis joints on the lower arm. As a test, I put a mock-up in the vice with a 2 metre lever and bounced my 14Stone frame up and down on it. The levering bar flexed, but I couldn’t see any distortion in the clevis. Upon removal the clevis looked and measured exactly as before. Formula one and LeMans cars use similar, but still I couldn’t silence those voices. At least they’ll be easy to check regularly once it’s on the road. (Once I’ve removed that stupid rubber sleeve the IVA boys require! – I still need someone to explain the purpose of these.)