Haynes Roadster Lower Front A Arm

The Lower front A Arms have been made fully adjustable so that they can control both caster and camber.

It’s been a slow few weeks on the car, not because I haven’t been out in the garage. Purely because some tasks take many hours for seemingly little gain. I guess we all get weeks like that 🙁

Front Lower A Arm Haynes Roadster

The bottom arms took a fair amount of setting up due to the complex angles the threaded ball joint cup needed to be set at. I’d get it all set up perfect, only for it to move or pull as soon as the first tack weld was placed.

Anyway, enough grumpiness I’m quite pleased with how they turned out.

The outer cup is threaded to use old Austin Ambassador Joints. Welded to that is a flat plate for the 5/8″ clevis joint and a cut down high tensile 5/8″ bolt. The inner joints are simply urethane joints with a swivel mount.

Haynes Roadster Push Rod Front A Arms.

Urethane Swivel Joint

Along with the new front arms there are a ton of brackets that need to be made. I have finished them yet, but you can see my progress below.

Front Suspension Brackets Haynes Roadster

There are probably another 20 hours left in making the brackets and front arms. It’s going to be another few weeks before anything visual happens to the chassis. Hopefully, then I’ll nip out to the workshop, fire up the welder and have the whole front suspension on in time for a good English breakfast.

Once these brackets have been finished I need to make the mushroom adaptors for the 4×4 front uprights. I can’t use the adaptors available on fleabay as the 4×4 uprights have a different diameter strut.

Mushroom Adapters Haynes Roadster

The adaptor on the right is the commonly available adaptor. The tapered insert is off centre, to allow camber and caster adjustment. I don’t need this so I’m going to place the tapered hole in the centre.

The Austin Ambassador ball joint has a 1 1/2″ per foot taper (7.15°) – probably the same a the Austin Maxi ball joint (If you believe the forums). Unfortunately 1 1/2″  tpf or (8:1) tapered reapers small enough for the job are quite rare on the ground in the UK. Some say 19mm hand reamers will do the job. I have one and it’s 7° (The Axminster Handy tool, plus a similar one from local hardware store). Close, but no cigar!

According to Ford and the drawing below, a standard track rod end taper is 7° 9′ 7″
7° 9′ 7″ = 7.151944°

Axminster Handy Reamer (810033) approximate dimensions………….

  • Small end: 6.89mm
  • Large end: 18.82mm
  • Length: 97.38mm

The sums…
2 atan((18.82-6.89)/(97.38×2)) = 7.010532°   — just in case you were wondering

OK, for you guys with 2wd this is close enough as you can buy the top mushroom adaptor pre-reamed and the bottom one you can simply tighten up. However, for my 4wd set-up, I need to find a better solution.

It would be total luck to find one that was 7.15° and to be honest pretty hard to measure in the shops. So the best option is to turn to our American cousins, because they have been reaming out similar stuff for uprights / kingpins etc. for decades. It seems they are really popular on American farm machinery, trailers etc.
1.5 inches per foot = 7.125° (much closer than hand reamer)

The errors…..
7.151944 – 7.125 = 0.026° difference (1.5″/foot)
7.151944 – 7.010532 = 0.1411° difference (Hand Reamer)

Taper Reamer Tie Rod End

Forgetting the over-priced fleabay items, I’ve found one for £50 inc international shipping. Not cheap, put it’s the real deal that can be used over and over (hopefully).

Other things I’ve been up to are drawing up various components such as the Ford Escort Steering Rack. There has been a drawing on the net for several years, indeed I used it up until recently.

Why have I redrawn it? Well I worked out, that old drawing was for a Left Hand Drive (LHD) Rack. Doh! Which kinda makes sense; seeing as the website I found it on was German.

Ford Escort Steering Rack RHD CAD

Most of the dimensions on the German LHD drawing worked out almost a perfect mirror of my own findings (well within 1mm), so it wasn’t at all bad. I’m glad I’ve redrawn it though as it meant I had to move to rack up 6mm on my drawings. This could have caused bump steer if left un-spotted.

I’ve also quickly drawn up the Rover V8 P38 Thor Exhaust manifolds. They are actually almost perfect for my design, plus if your lucky; like me; some versions are made from stainless. The tubing isn’t super huge diameter for those of you out there with ported heads, but for me and my lightly touched up Vitesse heads I reckon they’ll do quite nicely.

The brother in law is building a super trick, 37 Chevy pick-up with a Lexus 4.0 V8. We had a brief debate on which was bigger, The Rover V8 or the much more modern and sexy looking Toyota / Lexus 1uzfe?

Having the Thor exhaust manifolds will allow me to measure and post a set of comparison dimensions for the 2 engines. OK, the the Lexus is more powerful and a pretty sweat runner compared to it’s 60’s cousin, but it’s a battle out size here. The Lexus may look huge at a quick glance but in fact I recon it’s going to be a tough run fight.

On the Rover, the exhaust sticks out the side, the injection out the top and the water pump out the front. With the Lexus, the rocker boxes are pretty much the limits of the engine. What this space… Contenders ready! 

Rover V8 P38 Thor Exhaust Manifolds

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