Upgrade to Gordon Levy front upper and lower control arms - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Upgrade to Gordon Levy front upper and lower control arms

Hopefully last step in my conversion to all rod end suspension. I already installed his rear lower control arms.
First step in Rod end conversions

Gordon's rear lower control arms good for 2 seconds off

The box came today. Uppers and lowers with mono ball ball joints.





Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 01:18 AM
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Looks great! I have eyed them as an upgrade once I get it all together. Will you be able to get an rough idea of dropped times like you did for the rears?

How are you handling sway bars?


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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 01:30 AM
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I have those on mine. Very nice and very adjustable. Took some time and a few calls to Gordon but I finally got them set.

408 ci Gordon Levy motor with his T5 trans and independent 3.55 rear. EZ EFI 2.0.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mk351 View Post
Looks great! I have eyed them as an upgrade once I get it all together. Will you be able to get an rough idea of dropped times like you did for the rears?

How are you handling sway bars?
Times will be next season but I will be running against the same top drivers at same Pocono events.

I don't use sway bars yet. Just working with spring rate and tire pressure. It is really surprising how much a pound or so difference in tire pressure can change the whole performance of our cars. I run 20 up front and 21 in rear with 295 Hoosier A6's all around on 10.5 rims.

Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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I am working out my challenge which will be drilling new lower mounting holes about an inch below the FFR holes.

Per Gordon:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Levy View Post
There are a couple of things that lowering the car does, specifically when running really low ride heights is it keeps the arms level and with the comp ball joints the neg camber gain is optimized.

Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 09:22 PM
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-11-2016, 12:02 AM
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I am working out my challenge which will be drilling new lower mounting holes about an inch below the FFR holes.
Friend of mine made me a jig out of hardened steel. These holes were as low as I could go without the heim joint rubbing the frame.

With the frame perfectly level, the top of the jig is angled and level with the earth. Four perfect holes.

I used a high torque, low speed drill he loaned me for the job.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Holes drilled, 8 hours later, I did the step method 3/32, 5/16. 7/16 ,1/2, 5/8. The biggest challenge for me, aside from my UTC in the way, was being able to drill a hole about 3/4 to 7/8 above rail. The front holes went relatively easy because you come in from front holding drill normally. The rearward holes not so much, steel is tough enough now lay the drill on its side. The most compact drill I was able to get my hands on was about 2 ¼ in thick so on its side the center of the hole was over an inch above frame tube. I filed the plastic case down to 1 3/4.




I also used a template to get my 3/32 holes all the same distance from upper holes. hacker-pschorr's template, above, looks to be ideal.

Needed to buy a long bit and then cut it down to about 4 1/2 inches. Most bits below 5/16 are less than 3" long and you need about 3 1/2" to drill from one tab through the other side.

Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 11-24-2016 at 10:10 PM.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Next challenge making room to drill front holes, drain rad to get hose out of the way


I also had to take out the p/s side header and exhaust pipe. Then cut F panel, didnt feel like removing I will just rivet the bottom back in place.


Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 11-24-2016 at 10:12 PM.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Then removed the elephant ears.


Then I got to work on drilling





Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 11-24-2016 at 10:12 PM.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Today I got to test fit the lowers, love the look. I have about 1/4 inch clearance from bottom of rod end to frame tube. Another benefit of the arms is you can space them forward slightly increasing wheel base and giving you plenty of caster adjustment. I am going with washers instead of spacers to give me plenty of flexibility in my adjustments and tuning.


Next I need to clearance the washers for the welds so they line up straight.


Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 11-24-2016 at 10:04 PM.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Remaining step before mounting the uppers; Last drilling will be to lean upper shock mounts in about an inch for full droop clearance. ***Do this after installing everything it may not be necessary depending on your setup Today I went back to original FFR holes not necessary to move the upper shock mounting points. (Added Jan 14, 2017) *****




Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 01-15-2017 at 01:05 AM.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Test fit uppers, they have Gordon's optional Monoballs for upperball joints. The Monoballs are rod ends with a ball joint stud passing through the end. They are fully adjustable with respect to the distance between upper and lower arms. They are also nice bc you can remove the nut and remove the upper arm with out messing with the stud in spindle, what was the upper ball joint.



Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 01-16-2017 at 09:38 PM.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Today I finished getting my aluminium panels back in place. I didn't like the way the stock boots looked on the lower ball joints so I found a set at Energy Suspension. Part # 9.13119R, they are actually tie rod end boots. These fit nicely, after expanding the holes with 1/2 dremmel sanding drum, into the recessed ball joint mount whereas the stock ones overlapped and did not fit in side the hole.

Will be doing final spacing fit of the arms this week.



Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 12:41 PM
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Those are beautiful for sure. One recommendation since you are autocrossing on R compound tires is to reinforce you SAI frame adapter. A couple of guys have ripped the angle iron piece out of the frame. See either the autocross forum or pics of the current FFR frame for ideas how to do the reinforcement.
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 11:02 PM
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X2 on what Craig said. I reinforced mine using a section of 1/4 x 2 angle trimmed and welded to the bottom of the mount angle for the UCA and bolted through the upright for future removal if needed.
HTH CB
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 11:32 PM
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This is great info for a new guy like me. Thanks to all.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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X2 on what Craig said. I reinforced mine using a section of 1/4 x 2 angle trimmed and welded to the bottom of the mount angle for the UCA and bolted through the upright for future removal if needed.
HTH CB
By any chance do you have any pics?

Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 12:49 AM
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Here is what Wade did with his. Should give you an idea of what needs reinforcing.

Mike

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 11:32 PM
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No pics of mine the 5.8 Cobra picture is almost exactly what I did except I use a section of 1/4 angle, either will work well. Well worth doing IMHO.
Good luck have fun Happy holidays
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 01:15 AM
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So, is the price on Gordon's website for the control arms for all 4? Seems like something I have to have...

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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 02:26 AM
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$1399 for a set of 4, $699 for ether uppers or lowers.


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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Got all spacing and shocks configured. In the process of cleaning up and mounting spindles



Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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All was going great til I lined up the spindles. I could tell by eye they were wayyy off. Fortunately my brother has a REBCO gauge that mounts right to hub.


Without it I would have really had a hard time, my lower arms needed to be moved all the way forward and I am still reducing neg camber. When I first put gauge on I had -5 deg camber and -4 deg caster, yes neg caster. These adjustments could not have been rectified by driving to an alignment shop. Gordon did tell me that I needed to get my hands on a Fas Trax to get the car good enough to drive and I should then learn to do my own alignments. So now I am pretty comfortable with alignment settings. The setup rough is now -2 deg camber and +7 caster. The REBCO device is great for this job bc it goes on bare hub. I have the shocks out, frame on 4" blocks then I raise the lower arm up so that the lowest stud is same height off the ground as my mounted tire on wheel which is about 10".


Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 01:54 PM
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I need to do my initial front end alignment as well. Do you start with caster or camber as the first adjustment (or does it matter)? Thanks.

Wade

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I need to do my initial front end alignment as well. Do you start with caster or camber as the first adjustment (or does it matter)? Thanks.

Wade
I assume your ride height is set or its like mine blocks under frame and control arms to replicate ride height with out shocks. This makes it so much easier, no weight to contend with. I am finding start with camber get it close. Then when you adjust caster it will have a minor effect on camber. Go back to camber then check caster. Set toe with full weight on shocks and tires. Now go back and check camber I found it to be affected by the toe setting. Then recheck toe. I have settled at -1 3/4 camber 7 deg caster and some toe in 1/6th?, I have trouble getting toe right. Next trip to alignment shop with a flat rack and computer assist for fine tuning accuracy.

**Went to shop and put car on a Hunter alignment rack ***
My setup using REBCO tool was pretty close was -2 and -1 3/4 camber and 5.3 and 5.75 on caster. After some adjusting I am going with -2 camber 6 caster and neutral toe.
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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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I am calling my work done, it was work not an easy job when changing from FFR mounting holes. I will be going back through the thread and will be adding the how I would have done things differently.

I did an aggressive test ride yesterday, roads were cold, my initial feedback the car feels very precise and stable.

My custom 15/16 wrench was old and already beat up. I found that by cutting the 1" end off it made the job of turning the retaining nut on the arms so much easier. The original wrench is longer than the space between upper and lower arms and tight above lower arms.


Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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Last edited by JoeE; 01-16-2017 at 09:14 PM.
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 06:18 PM
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I went back to the beginning of the thread and didn't see a reason. Why do you need to drill new holes for the LCAs?

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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 07:14 PM
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1 reason is I like the geometry better and the other is allows a little more droop with sn95 spindles.


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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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I have had about 150 miles on the new setup and have had some time in open closed areas. I love the handling characteristics of the control arms. Even in my cold weather conditions (35 to 40 deg) they are so predictable. When I intentionally break all 4 wheels loose in turns the slide and the re hooking up are so smooth and precise.

I have a feeling I am going to have a blast this competitive driving season.

Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.27 @ 113.49 mph N/A
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

“It is not the giver of life that destroys human life. It is the receivers of life who do not live in the rational, honest way called for by the creator's behavioral law. Instead they live as they please and finally are forced to depart this life.” Richard W. Wetherill

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