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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2011, 07:22 PM
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Cobra Make, Engine: A&C Cobra, 521 CU BBF, Holley ProJection, T56 Magnum, 3.5:1 TruTrac 9-inch
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Default Control Arm Safety Tip

I adjusted my suspension a bit and wanted to go get another alignment to reduce a vibration that I picked up.

While on the alignment rack....the guys finds that one of the rubber bushing that actually held the upper control arm together, and the bolt holding the bushing into the control arm - WAS MISSING !!

The bolt on the passenger side control arm was also missing, but bushing was still there.

So that explains the vibration!!

Any way, the upper arms are made by a shop called Fast Times Rods up near Buffalo. So I call them and they say that you are supposed to remove the bolts that hold the bushings in, loctite them, and then put it back together.

No label or warning note indicated that so it never occured to me to dissassemble my control arms, loctite them, and put them back together.

The guys at Fast Times sent me new bushings/etc and I loctited the whole thing together.

So safety tip....check those bolts that hold the upper arm bushings in place. Make sure they are tight and maybe loctite them.

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Old 07-14-2011, 07:10 AM
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So if I read this right, only the bushing was holding your upper control arms in place?! You are one lucky man!
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:18 AM
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Each control arm has two bushings and two bolts. One that faces the front and one that faces the rear.

The read bushings and bolts were in place and solid.

However, the front bushing and bolt on the drivers side was completely missing. So the control arm and wheel assembly would vibrate at about 55-60. It was barely noticable otherwise.

The front bushing on the passenger side was still in place, but the bolt was gone.

The arms were not going to fall off or anything, since they were still held in by at least one bolt....but it was certainly less than ideal to say the least!

I probably did get a little lucky there
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:21 AM
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Kicker is...I was/am planning to do an autocross event this weekend. That would not have gone well with control arm bushings missing and bolts missing!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:28 AM
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As I said, a very lucky man!

For normal driving, probably not ideal, but not so bad. In an autocross event, you could have twisted the arm, snapped the arm, worst case lost control of the car.

Really glad to hear you discovered and fixed it in time. This strongly reinforces the reminder to inspect your car thoroughly at least at the beginning of every driving season and check all critical bolt torques. I guess I'll now add to also do it just prior to any track or autocross event.

Thanks for posting the details!

Mark
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:48 AM
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I had this happen too. I thought it was just something I over looked. Great tip on the loctite.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:37 AM
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If this bolt is in single or double shear, which it probably is, the correct design would be to use a 1/2 height elastic stop nut (nyloc nut) or a Stover nut on the end of a grade 5 through bolt.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:52 PM
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The arms from Heidts use a stop nut and through bolt. I was going to buy those originally, but I went with the ones that came with the kit since they seemed well enough.

Oh well...bushings are back in place and I got the front end aligned back into spec today.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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WOW, I'm going out to the garage right now and look at mine. I have a slight front end shimmy around 60 mph but I though it was a tire out of balance..
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:18 PM
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Well! My contol arms held together just fine at the Autocross event I went to.
Even though I drove like an old-lady, I had a lot of fun. I did do a 360 spin-out into a hard right turn, a little touchy on the gas in 1st gear into a 90-degree turn at 30 mph



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