Brake reaction strut rods - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2
Brake reaction strut rods

I know I could say the hellos in the new members section, but the main reason I wanted to join is because I wanted to add a little write up about a repair I did to my 67.

The cars been pulling to the right hard under braking, and adding disk brakes to it just seemed to make it worse. I replaced the rubber strut rod bushings last year, and they had less than 100 miles on them, but while doing the brakes, I noticed that the one on my passenger side was almost completely chewed away. So being sick of replacing them already, I set out to repair them permanently. The main reason I wanted to post what I did was the serious lack of any real info on this besides people either telling me to get some after markets for 4-500 bucks, or switch to poly bushings. I know my way around machines, and I know many of us car guys take pride in doing stuff ourselves. So I set out to figure things out myself.

First things first, I removed the rods from the car.

As you can see, the frame mount has seen better days. Wisconsin will do that.

As you can see, the rod didn't fare much better. Next, I cut the old washer and nut off, and chucked the rods up in my lathe, turned the OD down to .750.

I then cut a length of threads in the end, 3/4-16. Made them way longer then I know I'd need, knew I could always cut it down after.

Next, I used about 5.5 inches of .250DOM tubing (probably way overkill for what I'm doing, but what the heck) and welded some left and right hand 3/4-16 ends do the tube after cleaning them up a bit on the lathe.

After that was all done, I assembled it all with some eBay greasable rod ends. I think they were calling them Johnny joints, or something along that line. Costed me something like 35 bucks each. You could easily go cheaper or with different heims than I, and just modify your measurements a bit. I personally liked them because they were greasable.

Anyway, I bolted the rod back in the car so I could see where everything would line up.

William Dietrich is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2
I didn't want to weld in 2 plates to the car, and instead wanted to use as much of the cars existing frame for mounting the rod. The idea is the frame itself is going to be stronger than anything I could weld in place. So I marked where the rod wanted to naturally sit, after adjusting the rod end as far out as I could while still clearing the frame.

I measured and marked the frame on both sides, and drilled a half inch hole through the frame, then used one of my long bolts to make sure I could clear everything behind (its where two sections of frame meet) and line everything up.

I then again attached the strut rod I made to the bolt and made a nice cardboard template. Took that and transferred it to a piece of 3/16 flat stock answer shaped her to fit. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of that, bit of a brain fart. So I attached my plate to the strut rod, with all the spacers and such in place and lightly bolted it to gather to see where itd naturally sit.

I then tacked it to the frame, removed the strut rod again and burned her in tight.

Let those cool down and bolted the rod in for its final time. Torqued all the hardware down proper (downside of the frame side attachment, it was a touch difficult to get a wrench in to hold the bolt still while I Torqued it, but not undo able. A standard combo wrench fit in nicely once I figured out the angle to attack it from.

I then used a small pipe wrench to turn my homemade adjusters and rough set the caster on the car with a tape measure (from measurements from the lower arm to spots on the frame that i tool before removing the rod initially) similar to what ithe was set before I started the projectime, only a touch heavier on the caster as I read the full size cars like it. Then I set the wheels on it and turned it to full lock.

Boom. Tons of clearance between all the moving components, no interference with steering, all looking good. Took her out for a test drive and boy, what a difference. Steering and braking are nice and tight, no more pulling to one side, and the car also feels tons better at speed. No more wishy-washy feeling while changing lanes at highway speeds. If I ever get another full size Chevy, this is going to be the first mod I do. All and all, I have less than 100 bucks tied up in this, and I thing most people could do this at home. Just gotta find a friend that can turn the rod itself down to the proper size for threading. I don't think it's far off either, the rod with paint on it being something around .780 if I recall. Get it to the proper size, and you could do the rest yourself with a hand die to cut the threads. The metal wasn't at all hard and was quite easy to cut.

Anyway, I hope you guys like the write up, and hope it helps out someone in the future, so they don't have to go through the same bull I did to come to the conclusion of simply doing it myself and winging it.

William Dietrich is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,459
Welcome to the Team Will!

Looks good Will but you need to box that heim joint in to provide support for side loading. Whenever you have a part applying a force at an angle you can break that force down into two force vectors (three actually) ninety degrees apart. Though this sounds like physics mumbo jumbo I assure you those tangential forces really exist. So long as you can pull the bolt that secures the joint and slide the end of the rod out you can then plate over everything else.

Big Dave
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