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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-14-2020, 12:55 PM
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C5GTO, also forgot to ask if that is a 8 inch spring you installed.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
Hey C5GTO. You mentioned that you changed your lower control arms. QA1 is telling me that the 1/2 inch bolt that currently supports the bottom of the shock is strong enough to support a coil over system. What do you think?
Mine have been mounted with the same 1/2" bolts for years, and there's no sign of bending or wear of any kind.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:22 PM
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I have another issue. The top part of the body of the shock is hitting the hole under the mounting tower. should I enlarge the hole, lower the tower, get narrower shocks?
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
I have another issue. The top part of the body of the shock is hitting the hole under the mounting tower. should I enlarge the hole, lower the tower, get narrower shocks?
I'd enlarge the hole. Remove the spring and shock, then remove some material. Re-install the shock and cycle the suspension throughout its entire range of motion using a floor jack or a bottle jack, even beyond what you think you will actually use. Check clearance and keep removing material until you have about 1/8" clearance through entire range of motion. Once there, re-install spring and shock, set ride height and check again.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:30 PM
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thanks. That will certainly contribute to the ride being messed up. When I switch to coilers (Also QA1) Will the geometry be the same in regards to clearance through the hole?
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
Hey C5GTO. You mentioned that you changed your lower control arms. QA1 is telling me that the 1/2 inch bolt that currently supports the bottom of the shock is strong enough to support a coil over system. What do you think?
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Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
C5GTO, also forgot to ask if that is a 8 inch spring you installed.
While my lower control arm is tubular instead of press steel, it still uses a 1/2" bolt for the bottom of the shock. I'd suggest using a grade 8 bolt, but yes the same bolts have worked fine on mine for about 25 years now.

I didn't know if the 8" spring measurement you were asking about was free or compressed length, so I broke out the floor jack and took a bunch of measurements.

- spring compressed length = 7"
- spring free length = 8 3/4"
- shock compressed length = 14 1/2"
- shock free length = 16 1/2"

There's a 2 1/2" extension on the top of my shock so the actual shock length is what I gave above minus 2 1/2". I'm guessing the extension is a CR thing given the tall shock mount on the top. I'm guessing you might also need a shock extension unless the shocks you have match the measurements above. I don't recall when or where I got those extensions but I bet they are not optional on a CR.

The height adjuster on the shock is right about the middle of the threads and there's about 1 1/2" of threads above it. So an 8" spring would work but the adjuster could be getting close to the top of the threads. Again, I have Cararra shocks so the QA1 shocks maybe different.

I hope this info helps you out.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:24 PM
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Ouch! take a look at this. Suspension travels like a pogo stick now without the shocks mounted. Should I enlarge the holes and replace the shocks or consider doing coilers anyways after fixing the issue with the hole?
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:14 AM
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Gbalko, i converted all of my suspension to Heidt Tubular upper and lower a-arms and QA1 coil-overs.

See the post "kirk...were under attack"
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:18 AM
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While installing the Heidt tubular a-arms plus Qa1 coilovers, I also shortened the upper shock mount to about 1/2 of an inch. The result is that the shock body no longer travels through the upper spring perch, just bought the correct Qa1 coilovers.

See " Kirk....we're under attack" post
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:19 AM
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I did read that post. Sounds like spoke guys had issues with geometry and had to do welding and move things around. Did you have the same experience and did you have to alter the shock towers to gain clearance?
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:20 AM
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also, from your picture of the shock body, that shock is now junk due to the extensive shock body damage.

I wouldn't take a chance with damaged suspension components, replace with new and correct QA1's
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C5GTO View Post
While my lower control arm is tubular instead of press steel, it still uses a 1/2" bolt for the bottom of the shock. I'd suggest using a grade 8 bolt, but yes the same bolts have worked fine on mine for about 25 years now.

I didn't know if the 8" spring measurement you were asking about was free or compressed length, so I broke out the floor jack and took a bunch of measurements.

- spring compressed length = 7"
- spring free length = 8 3/4"
- shock compressed length = 14 1/2"
- shock free length = 16 1/2"

There's a 2 1/2" extension on the top of my shock so the actual shock length is what I gave above minus 2 1/2". I'm guessing the extension is a CR thing given the tall shock mount on the top. I'm guessing you might also need a shock extension unless the shocks you have match the measurements above. I don't recall when or where I got those extensions but I bet they are not optional on a CR.

The height adjuster on the shock is right about the middle of the threads and there's about 1 1/2" of threads above it. So an 8" spring would work but the adjuster could be getting close to the top of the threads. Again, I have Cararra shocks so the QA1 shocks maybe different.

I hope this info helps you out.
Using a top stud extension on a shorter shock / coilover would be an alternative to opening up the top hole, though I do have concerns about using a stud extension on a coilover due to the possibility of lateral loading over the increased length of what is essentially a 3/8" bolt vs 5/8" hardened steel shock shaft. That's probably a question for suspension engineers, or at least QA1 technical support. OTOH, the MII coilovers aren't a 'true' coilover (IMO), because even though there are collars on the shock body for the lower mount, the upper spring loads act on the MII upper spring mount / hat, leaving the shock's upper mount to handle normal shock absorber loads, plus some lateral forces as the spring acts on the lower mount.

I have no idea why CR decided on this extended upper mount approach, other than the ability to get greater travel through a longer shock body. My OEM MII front end uses the original upper mount and QA1 MS301 coilovers and I certainly don't have this problem - though it is a bit of a PITA to work on.

Restoring the upper mount to the original MII mounting configuration (or similar) is an option. The upper mount extension could be cut off and replaced with a plate that provides a replacement upper mount much closer to the spring hat. Whether that's done through welding or a bolt-on plate would be up to you. It needs to be strong enough to handle normal shock loads, not the weight of the vehicle - but location relative to the enlarged hole and the shock stud is important - you don't want it shifted and start inducing additional side loads beyond the original design. You'd also need shorter shocks than you have.
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Last edited by cycleguy55; 07-15-2020 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:40 AM
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Agreed. The shocks are trashed. I spoke to QA1 and I think I am going to go the route of cutting The hole under the shock tower a little larger. I agree that the tower was designed to allow for a shock with more travel and QA1 is encouraging me not to lower it and shorten shock travel. Why the hole doesn’t line up better is beyond me. It allowed for clearance of the Monroe’s but not the QA1s. I am hoping that removing a little metal will solve the issue without having to change the shock tower or having to change the control arms.

Is there a good reason to go to tubular control arms? Seems like you guys had a lot of issues making things work and it wasn’t a direct bolt in....no problem scenario. QA1 said that I can use the stock LCA and 7/16” bolt and run coil overs if I choose. I don’t plan on auto crossing the car. Input appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:44 AM
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RB Gray. I wanted to say thanks. I read one of your posts that got me thinking that I should check the hole under the shock tower to see if the shock was clearing. Diagnosed my problem.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:58 AM
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C5GTO. DId you have clearance issues also? Is that why you installed shock extenders? How much travel does your shock have? My shocks are approx 14 extended and 9 collapsed with 5 inches of travel. If I did shock extenders I could gain more clearance but at the sacrifice of losing shock travel and adding a potential weak link in the system.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
C5GTO. DId you have clearance issues also? Is that why you installed shock extenders? How much travel does your shock have? My shocks are approx 14 extended and 9 collapsed with 5 inches of travel. If I did shock extenders I could gain more clearance but at the sacrifice of losing shock travel and adding a potential weak link in the system.
Don't forget 5" of travel at the shock translates into a lot more at the wheel. How much travel do you need? I have the shorter shocks and, to the best of my knowledge, only reach travel limits when lifting it to work on it.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:04 AM
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GBalko,

My front suspension is now bullet proof and has almost the same travel as stock travel!
The original upper shock mount was only welded by the CR factory so they could use readily available "Monroe" type shocks available in the late 80s!

Keep in mind, many of the companies like QA1 didn't exist at the time of manufacture by CR, they were simply trying to utilize inexpensive "off the shelf" components available at the time of chassis production.

Also, regarding lowering the upper shock mounts, simply cut off the existing mount, shorten it to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, and weld it back on the the upper spring perch, paying close attention to the angle the shock travels! If you don't weld, any good auto shop can do this for you for a hundred bucks or so.

Shortening the upper perch does not have much impact on travel, the QA1 spring simply will not compress to that point without "spring bind" or compression of the coils to touch each other.

In my opinion, the factory CR1 "Pinto" lower A-Arm with strut arm is junk! Multiple bushings and deflection. The Heidt tubular option is the way to go. Just requires some minor welding and set-up. If you're going to the length of new springs and shocks, now is the time to get rid of the "Pinto" strut arm and go tubular A-Arms! I did all of the measurements and comparisons when I did mine and I'm very happy it a much improved front suspension versus the M2-Pinto set-up!
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbalko View Post
C5GTO. DId you have clearance issues also? Is that why you installed shock extenders? How much travel does your shock have? My shocks are approx 14 extended and 9 collapsed with 5 inches of travel. If I did shock extenders I could gain more clearance but at the sacrifice of losing shock travel and adding a potential weak link in the system.
I haven't noticed any clearance issues on my CR from the perspective that my shocks have never been damaged from hitting spring perch. Maybe they would if fully compressed without a spring in place, maybe they wouldn't. I don't know as I don't recall ever exercising the suspension without the springs in place. I honestly don't remember why or from where the shock extenders on my car came from. I built the car about 25 years ago and don't remember all the detail. I just know they're being used and I'm sure must have been needed or I wouldn't have put them on. If I were to be changing anything on the front suspension now, I would just lower the upper shock mount and get rid of the extensions. I like simplicity and extra parts aren't simplicity.

I haven't directly measured the amount of wheel travel in compression on my CR with the car in use. My best guess is that it's about 2" or so. I have the ride height set fairly low, there just isn't that much room between the tire and fender lip, and the tire has never touched the fender. That's after 50K miles of driving and hitting my fair share of pot holes. So the amount of actual shock travel in use isn't really all that much.
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