Username or Email Address
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up

    VWVortex


    Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
    Results 26 to 50 of 104

    Thread: Anybody use balljoint extenders?

    1. 01-06-2003 04:18 PM #26
      I had my own machined. They work great. Handling was noticeably improved. the arms now point slightly down again.
      I also drilled out the holes where the tie rod ends attach and inserted tapered sleeves so that the tie rods now mount from the bottom up, matching the angle of the control arms.
      I also made some mods to the suspension so I have correct geometry and full travel with a 2-1/2" drop.

    2. 01-06-2003 05:54 PM #27
      So what I get so far is; the people who use them feel that they are beneficial to the handling of a car that is lowered (to an extent). But there could be other effects that could (or should?) be addressed along with this modification. Such as... expand here please.
      Is it the opinion that caster/camber plates are neccesary to optimize handling if you were to add the "spacers"? Is it also neccesary to use shortened strut housings?
      My plan is for koni adjustables w/ coilovers sleeves, or possibly carrera coilovers. Should I rethink that?? I have seen camber plates that are raised from the strut tower that allow you more travel in your struts, would that be better than the "normal" ones you see that are flush mount with the strut tower?

    3. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 16th, 1999
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      20,271
      Vehicles
      '01 B5.5 wagon, '81 Scirocco, '04 FXDWG and too many A1,2, & 3 cars to remember. '93 Miata for S&G
      01-06-2003 06:47 PM #28
      Great technical discussion! Unfortunately, there's some mis-information flying around.
      As several have said, ball joint spacers do nothing to address the bump steer issue of a lowered car.
      Ball joint spacers will not (noticeably) increase the friction required to turn the car, nor the friction involved in suspension travel. You're still dealing w/ the same ball joint, you've just changed where it attaches to the knuckle.
      Flipping the tierod ends 'upside down' is one way to do it, re-engineering the knuckles is another, raising the rack is yet another.
      Ryan, I've seen 'offset' camber plates that will allow you to set the caster. It wasn't on a VW, but I saw a race car that had different 'sets' of camber plates. The driver would pick the ones he wanted based on how much caster he wanted to use. Needless to say, the plates bolted to the strut tower.
      The double A-arm setup is the way to go, but requires significant re-engineering of the mounts. BTW, the VW setup looks a lot like the one on the GT5 Honda (which looked to be a semi-tube frame car).
      The pictured spacers look nice, and probably work great, but @ $390/pr, I belive you could get your own custom made for less. I've got 'plans' for a set that I got from a fellow racer. I just need to get them made.
      Ryan,
      Please email me. I have some stuff to bounce off you about knuckles. Actually, Yahoo IM is even better, are you on?
      /edit/
      As far as the pic of the car w/ the spacers, the first question that jumps to mind is why does he have such a large front bar on the car?


      [Modified by Mk1Racer, 3:49 PM 1-6-2003]
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    4. 01-06-2003 08:08 PM #29
      I notice the front bar also, but what drew my attention was the mount because it doesn't look factory. Believe it or not, some people still go for the big front bar and small rear bar set-up. That is a whole other discussion though
      I may talk to someone I used to deal with about getting something custom fabbed, it sounds like an oppertunity for someone that has a machine shop or wants to go on a business venture. I can't see the $400 for them though, but I don't know what goes into the machining. They "look" like a $100 part, not saying they look bad, just a bit pricey.
      MK1R,
      How do we address the bump steer issue? I was under the impression that gaining the geometry of the lower control arms would reduce this.

    5. 01-06-2003 09:20 PM #30
      Bump steer is caused by the angle of the tie rod. If it's already angled up and you hit a bump the distance from the steering knuckle to the rack changes enough to "pull the wheel. You want it pointing slightly down so the arc of travel goes from there to slightly up, just like the control arms.
      BTW-I paid about $250 to have my ball joint extenders and tie rod end sleeves made.

    6. 01-06-2003 10:34 PM #31
      I've seen balljoints shear during race conditions. Even the larger later model joints. I like the idea of relocating them so the arms are parallel-- but I'm not so sure I am sold on extending them...
      just my $.02

    7. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 16th, 1999
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      20,271
      Vehicles
      '01 B5.5 wagon, '81 Scirocco, '04 FXDWG and too many A1,2, & 3 cars to remember. '93 Miata for S&G
      01-06-2003 11:04 PM #32
      quote:
      I've seen balljoints shear during race conditions. Even the larger later model joints. I like the idea of relocating them so the arms are parallel-- but I'm not so sure I am sold on extending them...
      just my $.02
      What kind of racing conditions??? I know (and race with) several people that race A1 VWs in SCCA (ITB, ITC, HProd) and I have never heard of anyone shearing a ball joint from stress. And these are some fast cars w/ very sticky tires.
      dub,
      Go back and read Dr. Ryan's (WWR) description of bump steer. Lowering the ball joint to bring the control arm back to level only impacts front roll center, it does nothing for bump steer.
      The way I've explained this to people that seems to help them visualize it is to take a push pin or thumb tack, a piece of paper, a piece of string, and a pencil.
      On the paper, draw two lines perpendicular to one another (like a 'T' turned on its side, like this |-- ). Now, attach the pencil to one end of the string and the pin to the other. Hold the point of the pencil at the place where the two lines meet and stretch the string along the horizontal line until it is tight, and push the pin in. Now, move the pencil up and down, above and below the horizontal line. It will trace a curved line (an arc). Now, get a ruler. Make marks on the vertical line, starting where the two lines meet, at 1, 2, 3, and 4 inches. Now, take the ruler and place it parallel to the original horizontal line, at each of the marks that you just made. Measure over to the arc you traced w/ the pencil. You'll notice that the farther up you go, the 'faster' the arc moves away from the vertical line.
      Now, in a normal ride height car, the initial horizontal line represents your tie rod. As the suspension moves up and down, your tie rod will trace an arc similar to what you did w/ the pencil (since it's a fixed length). You'll see that the arc doesn't get very far away from the vertical line w/ say an inch or two of travel. Now, on a lowered car, your tie rod doesn't start out level, it starts out somewhere on the arc (say at the 2" mark for the sake of arguement). Now, if the suspension travels an inch or two, you need to look at the distances at the 3" and 4" mark. See how much more it changes for that same inch or two? This is how much it is 'pulling in' on the steering arm on your hub (therefore, toeing the car out). It's called 'bump steer' because it's steering that's induced (w/o turning the wheel) when your car hits a bump and has the suspension travel away from the static state.
      I know it's hard to visualize by just reading, but if you actually go through the excercise, it'll be a lot clearer.
      Now, how to fix this on a lowered car. Just like you want to return the control arms to the same orientation they had before you lowered the car (i.e. level), you want to do the same thing w/ the tie rods. The closer they are to level, the less bump steer you will have.
      And, the reason that more bump steer is worse than less bump steer is that when you're turning (say a R/H turn), the left side suspension will compress. You want the left wheel to point toward the right (so that the car turns), yet the bump steer is pulling that wheel to the left (toeing it out). So, you have to put even more steering input in to get the wheel to the same angle than you would if the car were sitting still and the suspension wasn't loaded (thereby not inducing any bump steer).
      HTH
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    8. 01-06-2003 11:23 PM #33
      Kudos. Very well said. It definately gives me a few ideas that I may sketch up.
      I think this thread has done very well to help my understanding of car set-up. I hope others have learned a thing or two also. I already had an understanding of what bumpsteer was, but not well enough to know what to do to correct or minimize it. I see custom parts being made for the project GTi in the future. Don't tell the fiance though she knows when ever I say "custom" it translates to "expensive".
      If anyone has any pics of their tie rod "relocators" please post them so I can see if they are similar to what I am thinking of.
      TIA

    9. 01-06-2003 11:59 PM #34
      hmmm...definetly something to think about when i eventually go with the weitecs [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    10. Senior Member vdubspeed's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 18th, 2002
      Location
      Valdosta, GA
      Posts
      20,918
      Vehicles
      I quit counting.
      01-07-2003 12:37 AM #35
      quote:
      hmmm...definetly something to think about when i eventually go with the weitecs [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      more like:
      hmmm...not that my weitecs are installed, I really need to think about these
      Built > Bought
      58 Beetle | 79 Rabbit 20vT | 84 GTI TDI |84 GTI 16vT |12 Golf TDI ----89 325i | 99 QCSB Ram Cummins | 02 Burb 4x4 2500

    11. Member
      Join Date
      Dec 27th, 2002
      Location
      Issaquah WA
      Posts
      786
      Vehicles
      84 Rabbit GTI
      01-07-2003 01:32 AM #36
      Hey,
      I would like to thank everyone, (especially flogger, dubdrvrkev, WWR, samrabbit, etc) this has been an awesome thread.. I've heard alot of people say "lowering your rabbit won't help turning" and now I can totally see why. I'm definantly going to look into this for my rabbit. You all rule.

    12. 01-07-2003 01:48 AM #37
      quote:
      I've seen balljoints shear during race conditions. Even the larger later model joints. I like the idea of relocating them so the arms are parallel-- but I'm not so sure I am sold on extending them...
      just my $.02
      What kind of racing conditions??? I know (and race with) several people that race A1 VWs in SCCA (ITB, ITC, HProd) and I have never heard of anyone shearing a ball joint from stress. And these are some fast cars w/ very sticky tires.
      Bill, The ball joints I saw sheared off were in Vince Lociciero's shop. At the time he had quite a bit of race hardware laying around from all around the country.
      I'm unsure of the class, and I hesitate to say GT4, (since I did NOT see the actual race) but I DID see the aftereffects. Face it, VW engineering must have had a concern with stresses too as they upsized the STOCK balljoints during the run of the Rabbit.
      Sure, there is an advantage to correct geometry-- I'm just cautioning that you may want to think twice about how you go about it. Extending the shaft of a ball joint (as a few of these designs do) MAY not be the right way.
      As usual YMMV.

    13. 01-07-2003 08:05 AM #38
      That's what I was worried about. When I did mine I hadn't actually heard of anyone doing this. We kind of stood around and said, "well they LOOK pretty strong." My hope was that they'd bend before breaking. The thought of what a sheared ball joint extender would do to the front of my Caddy makes me cringe. I did progressively harder stops and several inspections before relaxing about it. I wanted to wait a year or so before posting because of this. It's been about 1 1/2 years now and about 20-30k mi. with no problems. But then I'm not running slicks.
      I'm going to make a page showing my whole setup and I'll post a link here next weekend.

    14. Member the12for12's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 21st, 2002
      Location
      ATL airport
      Posts
      4,034
      01-07-2003 11:05 AM #39
      quote:
      .
      I'm going to make a page showing my whole setup and I'll post a link here next weekend.
      we'll be waiting... [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    15. 01-07-2003 04:43 PM #40
      Very interesting information here! I like it. I'm looking forward to more info!!

    16. 01-07-2003 07:27 PM #41
      I will be waiting for the upcoming web page as well. Should spark the minds of all of us who are into racing or even just proper handling cars.

    17. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 16th, 1999
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      20,271
      Vehicles
      '01 B5.5 wagon, '81 Scirocco, '04 FXDWG and too many A1,2, & 3 cars to remember. '93 Miata for S&G
      01-07-2003 09:01 PM #42
      quote:
      you guys are amazing.
      i just learned more in 10 minutes of reading than i have in 2 years of auto x.

      Good, solid, tech stuff like this is one of the hallmarks of the A1 forum! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      This is one of the best threads I've seen in a while. Nice work guys, keep it up!
      BF,
      It's really hard to say. If it was a GT4 car w/ a redesigned suspesnion, but using stock ball joints (why, I have no idea), maybe it wasn't built right. And, was the ball joint failure the cause, or a symptom of some other failure/shunt?
      And, it's not reall extending the shaft of the ball joint, more like stacking one on top of the other. If it's good steel (CrMo maybe?), and it's machined properly and the tolerences are tight, shouldn't be a problem. I forget the exact size, but I think it's on the order of 12mm. Takes a lot to sheer 12mm of good steel.
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    18. Senior Member vdubspeed's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 18th, 2002
      Location
      Valdosta, GA
      Posts
      20,918
      Vehicles
      I quit counting.
      01-07-2003 09:16 PM #43
      Regardless of the outcome of this post (if these are good or bad) I've already begun to make a pair. What I did was I went to my parts Scirocco 16V and I took off the balljoints and the knuckle. The plan is the cut off the ball joint end that slides into the knuckle. I'll then cut the part off the knuckle and put it under the first part I cut off. Using a mig, I'll weld that BABY THICK!!!!!! If done properly and welded cleanly, the extender will just be a piece of a knuckle with the shaft of the ball joint on top.
      Does this sound worthy of spirited driving in my Rabbit. My GTI is screaming to be lower in the front!!!!!!!
      I'm stoked!
      Jason
      Built > Bought
      58 Beetle | 79 Rabbit 20vT | 84 GTI TDI |84 GTI 16vT |12 Golf TDI ----89 325i | 99 QCSB Ram Cummins | 02 Burb 4x4 2500

    19. 01-07-2003 11:12 PM #44
      one more thing I should mention. ......hehe.
      if you go too low and start angling the ball joint alot, it is possible to bottom it out when you hit a big bump, and the resulting shearing/popping out from the upright will happen. it has before.
      if you put in raised camber plates to get more travel, you better get some longer uprights too to keep the balljoint angle in a good spot.
      the carrera plates which I use have an offset on top, so you can use them one way for camber setting or spin them 90 degrees for caster adustment.
      if you use them in the longitudinal position(caster), you can still use the strutt camber adjusters on the upright to set static camber.
      the too low balljoint scenario did happen at limerock on a prepped 944 and he rolled it and more. air time too.
      if you really want to see firsthand what the dynamics and stresses are on a balljoint with spacer setup do the following...........
      pick a nice bolt from your collection. put it in a vice.
      try bending it right on the vice surface......thats called shear(the way the balljoint and upright are designed to work).
      now go up about an inch or two, and try bending that bolt. it bends.
      the spacer makes a shear connection into a bending arm.
      when you introduce race tires and high loading, with nice bumps thrown in, things get magnified. and street conditions are far worse than a fairly smooth racetrack.
      do it safe.
      the superrabbit, the tuberabbit and all the wf ftd trophies say hi
      live eat and breathe VW http://the16v.com/super_rabbit/

    20. Member WackyWabbitRacer's Avatar
      Join Date
      Apr 24th, 2001
      Location
      Charlotte, NC USA
      Posts
      14,303
      Vehicles
      1978 WackyWabbit (sold)
      01-07-2003 11:47 PM #45
      Samrabbit is correct about the increase in the shear load as the length is increased due to a longer moment arm about the force.
      My custom fabriacted bearing housing extenders were made of high quality steel, TIG-welded to the bearing housings with a special filler rod for the dissimilar metals of cast iron to steel.
      I also inspect the entire suspension and retorque everything after each race weekend. If the weekend is a double race event, I will retorque and inspect on Saturday night.
      As a suspension is more modified, more frequent inspections are required to insure that all components are still functioning right. Cheers, WWR.
      WWR
      ▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄
      signature edition
      Harry Puckett R.I.P. 01-24-2010. You are gone too soon. We had races
      to race, jokes to tell, laughter to share, and cold beers to drink.

    21. 01-07-2003 11:52 PM #46
      Maybe the setup is different on the Porsche but I think the angle is the same as it would be on the stock setup. OH maybe you're talking about the caster, I think I get it.
      I wouldn't feel comfortable at all with welded together joints. Just think of what would happen if you were hard braking into a fast turn and hit a pot hole or a dog or kid showed up and that baby let loose. It's a scary thought.
      I think the race track would be more stressfull because the loads being put on the extender are a function of tire traction. Repeated braking at the limit with slicks would be more than street tires with some bumps thrown in I would think.

    22. 01-08-2003 07:22 PM #47
      >metallurgist here, mine are just 4140, if i recall correctly,
      not heat treated, and held up to a STIFF suspension and horrible roads
      Cars: '97 Cabrio--'98 Purple Beetle (wife's car)--'99.5 Jetta
      Bikes: '75 CB550 Cafe--'82 XV 920--'00 Ninja 250 (wife's bike)-- '00 KLR685

    23. Member kmead's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 11th, 2001
      Location
      Left coast of Michigan-GR
      Posts
      3,057
      Vehicles
      '04 Sienna '00 Golf '92 Miata '84 Bertone X1/9 '70 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe '69 Fiat 850 Sport Coup
      01-08-2003 09:03 PM #48

      If you look carefully, you can see that they put a subframe across the engine bay behind the engine. The subframe carries the lower and upper a arms, the Mazda Miata has a similar arrangement of the a arms in front (without the Honda spring/shock attachment of course). They also cut quite a bit out of the inner fender well to make the room. I suspect (not being able to see the complete solution) that they tied into the longitudinal bars that go from front to rear in the engine bay and carry the crash loads from the bumper system. Quite a good idea actually.
      FIAT is back

    24. 01-08-2003 09:33 PM #49
      Here is some better pics of the mounts:


      This car is very well built, I would like to be able to put the kind of money and time into my car that is in this car.

    25. 01-08-2003 10:03 PM #50
      Best thread on this site!
      And remember when making backyard balljoint extenders, they support some signifigant loads, accelerating thrust, brakeing, cornering ect.
      What I'm saying is if you ball joint snaps on the highway or in moving traffic......nothing good is going to happen.
      Caster question, what effects will adding caster have? Cornering camber?
      The rate at which camber changes during cornering? Anything else??
      Mercedes have lots of positive?? caster??

    Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •