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Discussion Starter #1
In a May 4, 2010 post Jeff Kleiner suggested a minimum of 3/4 inch thread showing beyond the jam nut on front upper control arms. Would this also apply to 2001 vintage FFR control arms which have a 3 3/4 inch sleeve? I am trying to adjust caster after installing power steering and first tried moving the mounting bolts in the frame slots but running into problems with the front arm hitting the coil over spring. Now I need to try changing the arm lengths.
 

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Hi, I ran into this problem on my mk4 donor build. Not sure if all the components are the same but, I gained room by changing the upper coil over bushings. I made the front blushing longer and the rear bushing shorter allowing me to get to 6.5 degrees of caster and -.5 degrees of camber. The picture was taken during the build and yes the bolts have all been torque since. ?

The experts with more experience with your vintage of car might have a better solution.

Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, I ran into this problem on my mk4 donor build. Not sure if all the components are the same but, I gained room by changing the upper coil over bushings. I made the front blushing longer and the rear bushing shorter allowing me to get to 6.5 degrees of caster and -.5 degrees of camber. The picture was taken during the build and yes the bolts have all been torque since. ?

The experts with more experience with your vintage of car might have a better solution.

Norm
Great idea Norm. That would work on mine, too. I don’t remember thinking about it during the build but both are mounted with the short spacer in front. Thanks.
358038
 

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I think the common rule is the diameter of the bolt. A 3/4" diameter bolt should then have 3/4" of thread engagement .
 

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What's important is the amount of thread engagement. On something like the UCA adjuster sleeves I like to see 1 to 1 1/2 times the diameter of the bolt. There are lots of variables and not one size fits all answer for the proper sleeve length or amount of thread exposure. Mk3 and early Mk4 with the zero degree ball joint plate and the arms in the upper mounts usually needed front sleeve to have safe engagement beyond 5-6 degrees of caster...side mounts with FFR spindles usually not...angled ball joint plates often need the rear sleeve shortened. Long story shout you really need to mock it up at ride height with caster & camber at or close to your desired settings then check the thread engagement and change the adjuster sleeves if necessary.

Jeff
 

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Here ya go
UCA threads by craig stuard, on Flickr
The one welded to the ball joint plate is the same length. As Rich says, you want a minimum of 3/4 inch of threads inside the sleeves. Also, you could use just a pair of washers for the rear spacer because there is no tendency for the coil over to rotate. Here are a couple of other mods I did to mine.
Z by craig stuard, on Flickr
See the red line on the bottom of the rear mount ear for the coilover. I bent that ear so it ends up maybe 3/8 inch further to the rear to allow the top of the coilover to be moved even further rearward. You will need to run a 1/2 drill through the two holes because they end up slightly out of alignment w/ each other. Also see the green arrow. My old mkII frame had two sets of holes for the bolts that mount the cross shaft to the frame. At the rear location I drilled a new hole between the two factory holes. This allowed me to rotate the whole UCA which moved the ball joint rearward so I didn't need any different length sleeves. This works only on old cars w/ Fox spindles that mount the UCA on top of the frame plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here ya go
UCA threads by craig stuard, on Flickr
The one welded to the ball joint plate is the same length. As Rich says, you want a minimum of 3/4 inch of threads inside the sleeves. Also, you could use just a pair of washers for the rear spacer because there is no tendency for the coil over to rotate. Here are a couple of other mods I did to mine.
Z by craig stuard, on Flickr
See the red line on the bottom of the rear mount ear for the coilover. I bent that ear so it ends up maybe 3/8 inch further to the rear to allow the top of the coilover to be moved even further rearward. You will need to run a 1/2 drill through the two holes because they end up slightly out of alignment w/ each other. Also see the green arrow. My old mkII frame had two sets of holes for the bolts that mount the cross shaft to the frame. At the rear location I drilled a new hole between the two factory holes. This allowed me to rotate the whole UCA which moved the ball joint rearward so I didn't need any different length sleeves. This works only on old cars w/ Fox spindles that mount the UCA on top of the frame plate.
Thanks so much Norm, Rich, Jeff, Craig for all your expert advise. I have a plan to proceed. First, I will remount the shocks moving the tops rearward. If I have some correct washers I will make the rear space even shorter and see how much room that makes between the coil and forward UCA arm. My car has 1 1/2 inch horizontal slots where the UCA shaft mounts to the frame, not two sets of holes. By my calculations if I move the frame mounting points 1/4 inch in the opposite direction, front mount out and rear in, I will move the upper ball joint enough to add ~ 4° of caster to what the have now which is ~ 2 1/2°. I will then use the arms only to adjust camber which should be fairly minor adjustment. One of these days, either when I am not elderly anymore or released from family stay at home orders, I will get to an alignment shop. But, I am too impatient to wait.
thanks, again,
Phil
 

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Someone used to sell filler pieces you could put in those slots. They would be captured by the washers and assure the things couldn't move even if the bolts weren't quite tight enough. You could make up some fairly easily. If you make them in pairs you could put one set in each side, shove the UCA against them, and tighten them up. This way you could be assured they are locked into the same position on both sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Someone used to sell filler pieces you could put in those slots. They would be captured by the washers and assure the things couldn't move even if the bolts weren't quite tight enough. You could make up some fairly easily. If you make them in pairs you could put one set in each side, shove the UCA against them, and tighten them up. This way you could be assured they are locked into the same position on both sides.
Thanks, Craig. I worked on it yesterday. I substituted 4 washers which were about the same total thickness for the small spacer and mounted each shock, front to back on the bolt between the ears, two washers, large spacer, shock, two washers. That moved the shock back ~1/2 inch. I then torqued the lock nut to 60 ft-# and everything is nice and tight. Now I need to work on the UCA to frame mounts.
Phil
 
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