V8 front suspension

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speedbug78
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by speedbug78 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:23 pm

Aftermarket lightened flywheel, but I did use 164 tooth rather than 157 so that may have gained slightly. Geared "Mini" starter. I'm forgetting what else atm.
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speedbug78
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by speedbug78 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:27 pm

I may be able to get to the local weigh station tonight and get a rough front/back on it. A friend of mine has proper racing scales that I can use later on for more accurate 4 corner measurements.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by fj20spl311 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:30 pm

My suggestion is to repair/rebuild the front suspension. The easy Franken-build parts are an option, I would not go as far "custom A-arms" until you have sorted out the suspension. Custom tie rods and a bolt in adaptor for the lower ball joint to use a pinto style screw-in joint are both doable. If you want to improve the geometry, the classical solution is to raise the lower inside control arm spindle by rotating the mounting points and making bushing for the mount. This raises the inside pivot of the lower control arm about 3/8". If you change to a screw in ball joint, there are longer joints that would both lower the front and change the relationship of the control arms, effectively lowering the upper spindle.

For the brakes, I suggest Toyota 4x4 calipers with Altima vented rotors. The 4x4 calipers have a little more piston area to soften the pedal.
You need to brace the firewall and master cylinder.
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speedbug78
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by speedbug78 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:09 pm

fj20spl311 - I saw the pinto joint recommendation in this post: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26857 but am unable to find anyone (w/pictures) who has done it? Why the pinto ball joint and not another bolt-in joint? Does the taper match up better (less reaming), size fit better or something else? Sorry just my curious mind at work. You've obviously thought about this, your post is way too detailed not to be.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by fj20spl311 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:54 pm

I might have made some suggestions in that post.
The taper is correct, no reaming required. That joint is the Hot Rod "standard", its also used a lot in racing. Very easy to get the threaded sleeve.
I never got around to doing it, as I am lazy and I bought several sets of ball joints and spindles when they were cheap.

There was a 302 roadster made by a friend of Fergus O. aka FergO2k called unfair advantage. He might have links some of his posting or can get you in contact. I remember that he used a different lower ball joint.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by greydog » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:50 pm

To get the engine weights, I simply used Google. There were no specific "with this or without that' sort of notes.
I'd bet that with the aluminum bits, you're very near the U20 weight.
I owned a Tiger for a while. Not a bad car to drive, even in the rain. The only time I noticed any weight in the front was when I changed to a smaller steering wheel to get a littel more room getting in and out (much like my current roadsters that way). It was much better than the bugeye Sprite/327 we did.
If you've got visble movement in the joints, replace the parts and see where you are. Also check the steering gear adjustment and the idler box for play/movement.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by JT68 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Most Tigers I ever saw had already been wrapped around a tree or telephone pole. Wouldn't stop and couldn't corner- sounds fairly familiar.

I guess it depends on how you define handling- if you are trying to out corner a 70's Malibu, yep, you can do it, If you want to keep up with a Super7, thats going to be a challenge.

Remember the roadster suspension was designed for the 15/1600, ANY weight you add up front is a step in the wrong direction WRT to handling. Whatever weight you did add, 100, 150,200,250lbs is forward of the original CG and much of it is above the original roll center of the car- not a plus for handling.

Mike Young suggests adding bags of concrete to the trunk- you might just pour it in the rear fender wells to keep the weight distributed low. That would lower the rear suspension too! Prob need to cut the bump stops though//
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by spl310 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Move the battery to the trunk. JT it is apparent that you despise this swap. That's ok though, it isn't yours to deal with. I'm not a fan of the big catcher. I'd prefer different side pipes if any, but it isn't my car either.

Tigers had puny brakes and not a very sporting suspension design. Roadster brakes are better as is the suspension.

How does the cooling work, speedbug? Any signs of overheating?
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JT68
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by JT68 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:58 pm

The original question was about why it doesn't handle, I didn't give any opinion regarding the swap-we could debate the merits of that endlessly.

Adding weight ahead of and above the CG isnt going to help handling by any stretch of the imagination- that is quite clear.

The battery in the trunk won't do much realistically, just offsets the weight of the driver somewhat.

Macroscopically, its very similar to a Tiger now. Double wishbone front end, very light rear with leaf springs, 50's technology brakes. Realistically, it will take significant changes to improve handling markedly . Replacing a few bushings won't correct the fundamental issues.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by greydog » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:07 pm

Haha, you're right Jim. Back then, it was Malibus, early 60's Corvettes, GTO"s and Mopars.

I don't remember it being that bad, certainly better than the '59 Corvette I owned. Stopping was a challenge and the tires of the day didn't help any. It sure got hot in the summer if the top was up.

I like the 289/302 swap idea tho if you can't find a 215 Buick. I'll bet he'll be happy with it once he sorts the steering and suspension.

Dan
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by speedbug78 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:42 pm

Battery is already in the trunk. Cooling seems great so far. We don't get blazing hot weather here, but I haven't been able to get it above 160 yet. I may need to go with a hotter thermostat.
Realistically, it will take significant changes to improve handling markedly
Are there any additional ideas you might suggest?
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by JT68 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:48 pm

greydog wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:07 pm
I'll bet he'll be happy with it once he sorts the steering and suspension.

Dan
Maybe, but the springs and shocks are still way off the mark for an iron block V8. Mike Young springs or possibly the Datsunparts super comp springs since they are the highest spring rate I know of. Height might be an issue though since they are very low-might be fine? Mike's would help almost certainly. Konis on hi-rebound setting or custom valved Bilsteins. KYB's/budget shocks will wet themselves, don't bother with that nonsense.

All bushings and BJ's need to be good enough to align properly, that pretty much goes without saying.

Otherwise, yes, to really make it handle relatively well (and half way safe), it needs a pretty radical suspension upgrade.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by jhayden » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:48 pm

Always great fun to hear someone pontificate (no, it doesn’t cause blindness) about a subject, e.g, engine swaps, which they have little respect for or bugerall experience with! Top it off with overly simplistic generalizations (aluminum block light and good, iron block heavy and bad), and it gets really entertaining.

Welcome to the forum, Speedbug! You will be rewarded in spades for your perseverance. Not financially, of course (a negative net return on investment, but you already knew that), but a great V8 sound and good handling.

Nothing quite like the sound of a U20 as it approaches 7K redline and an indicated 100 mph on the clock, but neither is the feel of accelerating UP hills as effortlessly as DOWN!

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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by RustBucket » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:08 pm

My car used to wander on acceleration and braking (especially in the transition between). When I took the wheels off I could shift the hub around a bit. Specifically, the upper A-arm moved at least a 1/16 inch front to back and the steering idler shaft had at least 1/16 play. I changed out the upper a-arm pivots, the lower a-arm ball joint and put in a new old steering idler and that fixed it right up. After doing this I re-aligned the toe in/out. It still has some steering play that I think is from the worm gear, but it's not too bad (I just haven't got around to swapping in the new old box).
If you do this too, I think it will really help your front end slop/stability.
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Re: V8 front suspension

Post by speedbug78 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:35 am

Thanks for all the help guys!

I did make it to the scales tonight. I weigh 1250 on the fronts and 1000 on the backs, 2250 total. That is with 3/4 tank of gas and no one in it. Not sure how that compares, but at least I have a number to work with.

I have found that with just a few miles (maybe 5?) on the car the brakes are quite a bit more predictable, I expect they are scrubbing the rust off and seating to the rotors again. Fixing up the existing suspension and steering sounds like the way to go and is definitely on my list. So is checking the firewall for cracks!
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