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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been running Dave Borden's SAI mod kit (sold by Whitby's) on my car for a while now. I really like how it makes the car feel/steer so I am NOT prepared to give it up. It has never been an issue with my 17" FR 500 wheels but since I just can't stop playin' :grin2:, I felt the urge to try 15" wheels on for size. I know they are not supposed to fit over the SAI modded upper control arm assembly (except with pin drive length control arms) but I'm determined to find a way. I've only found one other member who's actually been able to do it with standard length control arms (Jack Wojack) and he is using slightly different parts which he modified to get the required clearance. I tried copying his technique but my SPC brand control arms seem to be different enough from his that I am not able to replicate his results. I'm noodling around for other solutions and wondered if anyone has an opinion about modifying the clevis bolt position on my ball joint plate (see picture of my driver's side below):





What are the implications of drilling a new hole on the ball joint plate, say 1/8" closer to center/rear of the plate (in my picture above, moving the bolt from left to right around 1/8")? I don't have any clearance issues at the rear of the ball joint plate and moving the clevis bolt over an 1/8" would give me room on the front side. I'm aware of the alignment corrections required and have no problem welding up the original hole if strength is a concern??

Please feel free to be creative with me! That's the power of the 'forum brain' :nerd: I've got both 0 and 10 degree ball joint plates (so far I've had some degree of contact issue with both regardless of orientation).

Sean
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
So does the SAI mod work with 15" pin drive? Didn't think it did?
I haven't done it but there are a few threads by others who've managed it. Todd Buttrick comes to mind. I think his write up might still be in the autocross forum. I think it may still require redrilling the upper shock mount (?) but not certain.

Sean
 

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Junior Charter Member
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182 Posts
I believe the UCA are the same for the pin drive. The lowers are narrower
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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23,044 Posts
That will be fine. See what I did to mine. Made my own. A threaded ball joint sleeve from Speedway and a piece of 1/4 inch mild steel.

BTW had this on for the last 10 or so autocrosses last summer on Hoosier A7 R compound tires.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #6
I believe the UCA are the same for the pin drive. The lowers are narrower
Yes, the UCA are the same (usually with shorter adjustment sleeves etc.) but the relationship of the ball joint relative to the inner radius of the wheel changes to provide adequate clearance. With standard length LCA, the ball joint/UCA assembly winds up deeper inside the wheel radius.

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That will be fine. See what I did to mine. Made my own. A threaded ball joint sleeve from Speedway and a piece of 1/4 inch mild steel.

BTW had this on for the last 10 or so autocrosses last summer on Hoosier A7 R compound tires.
Thanks Craig,

It looks like the position of your UCA arms on your unique ball joint plate are closer together, which is what I'm trying to achieve too. I guess I'm wondering if there is any consequence to moving just the front arm in a bit? It's angle from the cross shaft would be slightly different than the rear (welded) arm?

Sean
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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23,044 Posts
I don't think there would be any difference. Geometry wise all that matters is the position of the UCA pivot points and the BJ pivot point. I would just drill another hole closer to the BJ sleeve. You could even cut off the excess plate. BTW, I needed to narrow mine because I am running rear 10.5x17 wheels on the front for autocross. The inner edge of the wheel came in contact w/ the UCA sleeve at full lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the sanity check Craig.

I've discovered lots of interesting tidbits as I experiment. I started with 10 degree ball joint plates (with ball joints angled inward as per SAI 'reversal' instructions). My driver's side, with the clevis to the front had no contact anywhere. The passenger side, where the clevis was to the rear, the 15" wheel contacted the bolt head of the clevis. Unfortunately, the angled orientation of the ball joints prevented me from simply flipping/rotating the offending side to mirror the drivers. I opted to replace them with 0 degree plates so that I could orient the clevis to the front on BOTH sides and discovered that the wheel now hit the clevis bolt on BOTH sides!!??:eek:hmy: I'm still trying to figure out how changing from the 10 degree to the 0 degree ball joint hardware shifted the position of the clevis on the plate!?

I figure I can either cut up and remanufacture one of my 10 degree plates to make it mirror the side that had clearance or shifting the front arm to the rear slightly on both of the 0 degree plates. I know I could also minimize the amount of surgery by adding rack limiters but I want to have my cake and eat it too! I THINK I can make it work.

Sean
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to wrap this up for anyone with standard width control arms who might be considering the SAI mod but wants to keep their 15" wheels.

I succeeded in modifying only one side of my (10 degree angle)ball joint plates to have it mirror the opposite side so the bolt & clevis is forward on both. In my case, the driver's side was already correctly oriented, only the passenger side needed to be altered.

I found i could make the 0 degree angle ball joint plates work to orient the bolt & clevis forward on both sides but for some reason, I still needed a 7/8" travel limiter on the rack to ensure I had the minimum .100" clearance inside either front or back of the wheel at full lock. Moving the clevis end of the forward arm towards the rear by drilling a new hole as I first suggested, would only have given me more clearance on one side, so I chose to use the 10 degree plates.

I cut the welded stud off one of my 10 degree plates and relocated it to the side where the bolt & clevis were, filled the hole left by the stud and drilled a new hole there for the bolt to attach the clevis. It's now a mirror image of my driver's side which had no clearance issues in my initial test.

I'm not sure how or why it works but it works and I only required a 3/8" travel limiter on the rack (I already had an OEM 1/4" limiter factory installed, so an extra 1/8" difference is not significant). I could have lived with less but it was my choice to leave just over .125" clearance at any pinch point so I opted to increase my turning radius marginally to get everything the way I wanted.

I have more pictures if anyone is interested but its really pretty simple if you can weld (or know someone who does :)). The 10 degree plates angled IN were key although I still don't understand why. They sure do look and measure identical to the 0 degree plates (other than the obvious ball joint mounting angle difference).

Sean
 
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