Adjustable Strut Rods

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    I would like to try and assemble some adjustable strut rods based on what PST offers for B and E bodies.
    It seems like this is something missing for our cars, and should not be too hard to do.
    I will start a separate thread with all the part numbers once in order.
    The first challenge is finding the clevis type fitting that attaches to the front.
    I looked in McMaster- Carr and Speedway motors.
    It is a clevis with a stud. Studded clevis maybe would be the name?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    F142747038.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. 67Monaco

    67Monaco Old Man with a Hat

    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    2480
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Punta Gorda FL
    You'd just need a clevis, punch a hole in the center and either press a stud into it, or just run a hardened bolt through it.

    Then some rod ends.

    The biggest issue will be the tubing and threading but shouldn't be hard at all.
     
  3. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
     
  4. 67Monaco

    67Monaco Old Man with a Hat

    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    2480
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Punta Gorda FL
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 67Monaco

    67Monaco Old Man with a Hat

    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    2480
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Punta Gorda FL
  6. commando1

    commando1 Mr. Normal FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,564
    Likes Received:
    17774
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    FUHOA Reservation, Sebring, Florida
    Doug, what is it you're trying to gain by using adjustable strut rods.


    Curious in Sebring.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1290
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    Location:
    Cornelius Or
    The front suspension on a c-body is not really designed for front to rear movement that an adjustable strut rod is going to provide. You will probably throw the front end way out of line and tear up tires.

    Dave
     
  8. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    214
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon
    following.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    When we put in the sub frame connectors, we took a lot of time to check the squareness of everything. The rear end is straight front to rear, but offset to the right 1/4". I suppose that was good enough for the factory, and doesn't really warrant any change, as the perches were already welded to he new differential.
    The front end is out of square. The front left tire sat back 3/8 more than the right.

    The difference seems to be in the stubframe. The left strut rod has a little tweek, and is shorter than the right by maybe 1/4". That should make the front right sit back farther,but it doesn't.

    Also, mashing the brakes put pronounced wear on the strut rod bushings. They wore unevenly, putting load on half the bushings.The holes in the frame are uneven, like the were wallowed out at some point. I was going to weld some new washers at the front, also changing the rod length needed, not by much, but, a little. My thoughts were, getting that angle exact would put full load evenly on the bushings. I found a Moog 7027 bushing kit to help there as well.

    so, the adjustable strut rods are to
    #1 even the LCAs up.
    #2 stop the uneven wear of the bushings.

    Wow, I really respect what you have to say. The bushings provide a little play, do you really think a heim joint is going to flex more then the rubber?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    Parts list first attempt
    Shopping Cart
    (7 items)

    Item
    Qty
    Price

    Pro Series Rod End Moly Black
    SKU # 049-ALL58069
    $9.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    This item will ship Today.

    Clevis 5/8" mounting hole
    SKU # 555-60192
    $10.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    Gift Wrap
    This item will ship Today.

    Steel Tapered Rod End Spacers 1/2 in. ID (Bolt Size) x 1/4 in. L
    SKU # 555-64200
    $3.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    Gift Wrap
    This item will ship Today.

    Steel Tapered Rod End Spacers 1/2 in. ID (Bolt Size) x 3/8 in. L
    SKU # 555-64250
    $2.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    Gift Wrap
    This item will ship Today.

    Tube 5/8 Thread Blk 20.5
    SKU # 049-ALL56806-205
    $16.49
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    This item will ship in 24hrs from Mfg.

    Standard Hex Jam Nut 5/8"-18 LH
    SKU # 049-ALL18261
    $3.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    This item will ship in 24hrs from Mfg.

    Standard Hex Jam Nut 5/8"-18 RH
    SKU # 049-ALL18260
    $3.99
    Add to Wish List | Remove Item

    This item will ship in 24hrs from Mfg.
    Gardner-Westcott 5/8-18 X 2 1/2 GR8 HEX CAP CH
    472-31501

    2
    $2.99
    $5.98
     
  11. commando1

    commando1 Mr. Normal FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,564
    Likes Received:
    17774
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    FUHOA Reservation, Sebring, Florida
    If the old cars were built to today's tolerances, they wouldn't be necessary so I definitely understand what and why you're doing it then.
     
  12. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    it would sure be easier to source the strut rods pre-made, but I don't think that's going to alleviate the problems my particular car has. If you see an error in my plans, by all means let me know. You guys know infinitely more than I do. I'm in the process of sandblasting all my components now, maybe I'll put them all up under there and level things off and see if I'm still out of whack, if that's the case Jegs has an easy return policy.
     
  13. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    Should have bought a blast cabinet a long time ago
    The reason the disc brake swap needed to happen

    20190205_212826.jpg

    20190205_161755.jpg
     
  14. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,943
    Likes Received:
    904
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    When you were taking all of the pains to get things square, did you do the "diagonal" measurements from standardized measuring points, or just front to rear?

    As for the stub frame and the one wheel being farther back than the other one. THAT should have been visibly evident as the wheel would not be centered in the wheel well, I suspect. It should not have gotten out of the factory like that, even back then.

    On a single-pivot lower control arm, not much f/'r movement is allowed. What's there is basically for impact harshness absorption, not major movement. The strut rod is there to limit such f/r movement, which is what the bushings help with.

    If one of the existing strut rods is a different length than the other one, then "something" made "on the road" made it that way, not Chrysler. Also check the front of the stub where the bushings mount, for flatness. Reason I say that is that I happened into a '68 Buick LeSabre some time back. That year has the GM strut rod front end, rather than the normal lower control arms. The lh side obviously saw "something", as the strut bushing surface on the front crossmember is concave rather than flat/convex. The strut rod was cut in the middle, then re-welded with rebar as reinforcement, to compensate for that difference in resulting shorter-needed length. Good alignment and driving characteristics, especially with the Delco gas shocks I put on it later.

    So, my respectful orientation is that the stub frame got tweaked by "impact", rather than being sloppily assembled at the factory. Did you check the diaonals on the stub, too? (Diagonal dimensions are in the FSM.) Just curious.

    In my way of thinking, it's not the strut rods' job to pull the lower control arm forward or push it rearward, to center the wheel in the wheel well, that should be a function of the lca mounting in the stub itself. The strut rods should just locate what's already there, f/r, in a neutral manner on the lca pivot bushing. IF you're trying to compensate for a different dimension from the lower ball joint forward, with the lca mounting where it's supposed to be, it could well affect the particular wheel's caster as the body moves up and down, which might "steer" it a bit in the process, leading to the side with the most caster.

    Just some respectful thoughts,
    CBODY67

    I have seen a nationally-ranked Skylark GS that has the front wheels visibly not centered in the front wheel well. VERY visible, but it's a full OEM-correct restoration. Made me wonder how it came out that was after a full restoration (when anything of that nature should have been corrected).

    Just some respectful thoughts,
    CBOdY67
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    so in the FSM there are diagonal points to check, we checked about six points plus we were able to narrow down that the face of the strut rod pocket on the left was different than the one on the right. That is why I was considering the adjustable strut rods. I also have to take into consideration the left lca bushing who was disintegrated, the right was not bad. The question is did the misalignment cause the bushing to go bad? I don't know. I want to put it all together and set it down and get some weight on it and see where everything ends up. The amounts that the tire set in the wheel well we're not really noticeable, about 3/8 of an inch isn't that much, for my eyes anyways. Thank you for all your thoughts and input.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  16. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    11,884
    Likes Received:
    6912
    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Location:
    Marcellus, NY
    I've looked at these adjustable strut rods before and tried to wrap my head around a couple things.

    First thing that strikes me is the pivot point for the front of the rod is moved back about 3-4" from the stock position. That may or may not mean much, but shortening the rod makes the LCA move forward more as it moves up and down. It's making the radius of the arc it moves on smaller.

    Second thing is it's still mounted on rubber in the front and solid in the rear. It's still going to flex so it makes me wonder if it's as solid as they want to claim.

    Third is that I've seen these advertised as another way to adjust the alignment. At first glance, that sounds good, but I'd hate to see it be a band-aid to tweak something else that's bent and should be repaired.

    So... It really could be something good, but I don't know if it's as good as PST claims it is.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1290
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    Location:
    Cornelius Or
    The car probably got hit on the left side at some point which may have caused the face of the rod pocket or the frame rail itself to be altered. A 3/8" differential between the two sides would not be acceptable and probably caused the excessive bushing wear on the left side. Check the front frame horns for obvious signs of repair welding or wrinkle marks on the frame rails which is an indicator of damage. This type of damage often went unnoticed or was ignored by sub standard body repair shops. If the frame rail is out of alignment, adjustable strut rods might help control bushing wear, but you will still have a front end with one front wheel out of sync with the other. Hang a plumb bob from the front of the frame horn on each side (be sure to use a common location on both sides) and put a chalk mark on the floor to mark its location, now do the same at rear mount point for the frame and mark the floor as before (again using a common mount point). Measure both sides front to rear and diagonally. These measurements should give you a fairly accurate measurement of any frame deformation. (Measuring the full frame in this manner gives a more accurate measurement of total deformation) Both strut rods should be of equal length, if they are not, both should be replaced. Check the upper and lower control arms for obvious signs of damage as it is possible the left one might be bent and causing your bushing issues.

    Dave
     
  18. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1290
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    Location:
    Cornelius Or
    Uneven wear on the strut rod bushings can be caused by a number of things. First, has the ride height of the car been altered? Jacking up the torsion bars or lowering them below the factory ride height will tear up strut rod bushings as this alters the geometry of the front end.
    Uneven wear can also be caused by worn out upper and/or lower control arm bushings that are flexing more than they should and stressing the control arms.
    Uneven wear is also likely if the strut rods are deformed or bent as the bushings will not get a full seat. You need to replace the strut that is tweaked.
    You mentioned wallowing of the strut mount holes, this is usually caused by bent components or bushings that have worn out and caused the strut to go metal on metal. Unless the holes have worn very large, new bushings are probably all you need.

    The Heim joint is probably stable, that is not the issue as this is treating the symptoms of the front end problem, not the cause.

    Dave
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  19. 65Fury440

    65Fury440 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    938
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Location:
    West Central FL
    Thanks Dave.:thumbsup:
     
  20. cantflip

    cantflip Old Jagoff with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,376
    Likes Received:
    5516
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Hey Doug, some food for thought...

    How old are the bushings you have now? The condition of the bushings may be the biggest cause of the difference you're describing... and if they are old bushings, could have worn differently for a number of reasons, including fluid leaks and solvents used for cleanup. IMO, I'd want to see where you wind up after good bushings are installed.

    Also, the strut rod is going to be under tremendous pressure during braking. If you build your own, think over kill on the strength of every component. The weakest part will be the failure that may kill your car, I'd rather see weight come out of almost anything else, than the strut rod.

    You may also be able to have a frame machine pull the mount surface a bit for a little correction. I see the alignment thoughts @Big_John mentioned, but I'd be skeptical of the quality of materials used in non-factory strut rods... they had better be very strong.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1