Secrets of the Mirage

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Postby mymomswagon » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:01 pm

aw614 wrote:I think fwd turbo hatches have around 7 to 8 degrees of caster up front. I know my GTI has around that much. There were several posts about it on some of the vw forums (if you can find it through all the stance nonsense), but there were kits to add 1/2 a degree more too...
haven't measured mine but have seen 7ish as a number for stock mk7. arms and plates can add 1 to 2 more.
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Postby Loren » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:02 am

Well, now I'm kinda sad that I'm not likely to get this done before Sunday. Seems like the thing to do.
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Postby CaptainSquirts » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:17 pm

Loren wrote:Well, now I'm kinda sad that I'm not likely to get this done before Sunday.
Won't get done before sunday with that attitude :lol: . Anywho, since it looks like you like fabricate your own stuff, have you thought about making just the camber plate top mount itself so it fits in the original place?
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Postby Loren » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:55 pm

I like to fabricate simple things. Like spacers. And I don't mind cobbling together steel with a welder and a grinder. Course things that don't require precision are my forte!

Redesigning a full caster/camber plate with a strut bearing and all that... if I had to, I'd consider it. But, in this case, I don't have to.

The big problem is that I'm working with limited equipment. If I had access to a full machine shop with a lathe and a mill and such (and knew how to use them), I'd be all over it! But, I'm working with a wonky old cheap drill press, an angle grinder, hand drill, and hand tools. I can usually get Joe to lathe something small if I have to (like the bump steer kit toe adjusters). But, if it gets more than that, then I can't DIY, and machine work starts getting expensive!

My aluminum stock (3/8 x 4.5" flat bar) should be here late tomorrow. I shouldn't need any additional hardware. I might start cutting it to shape, and pending my work schedule, I could have them pretty well shaped and drilled Thursday... I guess there's no reason I couldn't have it done before Sunday.
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:24 am

Dammit, Dan. You're making me think.

I keep looking at this photo:
Image

I've honestly not looked really closely at how that camber plate is made before. But, it looks like it's simply a top plate with fancy machining (and glorious magenta anodizing) to make it adjustable. It's attached to the actual shock mount/bearing assembly with 4 screws, and bolted to the car with two studs.

I never considered it, but with my 3/8" plate, I could REPLACE that aluminum "camber plate" piece entirely. Drill the center hole as-needed, and drill four holes (not slots) for the screws... and countersink the holes... and use appropriate screws. That would give me a completely flat top without the protruding screws. Then I can secure the whole thing with two bolts in the max rearward position... and drill the new top plate such that I don't have to drill or slot the strut tower at all!

This only differs from the spacer plate that I was going to make in the precision of the 4 holes, but I think I can manage to drill some holes precise enough for that.

I guess I should go measure the threads on those little screws and see if I can get the screws that I'll need...
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:47 am

Countersunk screws, flange bolts and nuts, and a 90-degree countersink bit all on order.

Cha-ching. (only $10.xx for the hardware, and $11.xx for the bit, not too bad)
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:53 pm

Chunk of aluminium arrived today, so that's good. But, I expect my nuts and bolts won't arrive before about Tuesday.

I took the time to sketch what I'm trying to do on the inside of a cereal box. (that's CAD: Cereal Aided Design)

The red lines indicate the shape of the stock upper mount. (the coilover camber plate is nearly the same, slightly smaller) The yellow highlighting indicates the actual holes in the strut tower. 3" diameter hole in the middle, two mounting holes. The green lines indicate the shape of the new upper mount cut from 4.25" wide sheet. I had to move it rearward an additional 1/4" to have a good surface to sink the two aft bolts into the bearing assembly. As you can see, the holes for the strut/bearing mount are offset to the rear, and the holes to bolt to the strut tower are offset forward a bit. I'll go ahead and cut out this template to test fit before I get too crazy with drilling.

Image
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:58 pm

If I was going off-roading where the front suspension might be unloaded a lot, I'd be a little concerned about the way the center of the shock is so far behind the two mounting points. But, everything is well supported for compression loading, so I'm not too worried about it. If it turns out to be a noise maker (rattles or squeaks), I could go ahead and drill another hole or two on the back side and bolt it back there. Either one between the two countersunk holes, or one on each side toward the back. But, I doubt that I'll need to do that.
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:00 pm

Also, if I had known I was going to do this (rather than just a spacer) when I ordered the aluminum, I'd have gone with 1/2" plate instead of 3/8", and I'd have gone a full 5" wide rather than 4.25". (4.25" is just a little wider than the stock mount... seemed appropriate)
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Postby jbrannon7 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:57 pm

Loren wrote:Dammit, Dan. You're making me think.

I keep looking at this photo:
Image
I would not be happy with this camber plate, with the Vorshlag plates on my BMW I could get the top of the strut all the way up against the inside edge of the opening. Easily -2 more degrees more than these plates give.
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Postby jbrannon7 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:58 pm

Loren wrote:
Image
This image looks like you are going for max caster, in autocross camber is superior to caster, especially with Mac struts.
Last edited by jbrannon7 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby CaptainSquirts » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:32 pm

jbrannon7 wrote:
Loren wrote:Dammit, Dan. You're making me think.

I keep looking at this photo:
Image
I would not be happy with this camber plate, with the Vorshlag plates on my BMW I could get the top of the strut all the way up against the inside edge of the opening. Easily -2 more degrees more than these plates give.
For 4-500 bucks, they better get more caster than the fisher price home brewed fabrication :laugh:
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Postby Loren » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:09 pm

$600 coilover kit. Not just the camber plates, the whole kit. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
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Postby Loren » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:07 pm

Made some progress on the Caster Plates today. Slight design revision so that I can make it with straight cuts instead of fancy curves. My cheap-ass plastic-framed circular miter saw with whatever cheap wood-cutting blade it came with blazes right through aluminum. Straight cuts are quick and easy.

I made a new template, checked and rechecked it against the stock upper mount. Then transferred it to the aluminum and set out to cutting the most difficult part, the large holes. That went pretty well. I cut them oversized. 1" was the minimum, they're about 1-3/8" for more wiggle room. (and because that's the smallest my hole cutter would adjust to) I did all of that with the full 3' long piece of aluminum so that I had plenty of material to clamp to the drill press table. Then I cut off the part I'll actually be using. Don't know what I'll do with a 25" long 3/8x4-1/4" piece of aluminum... I'm sure I'll think of something.

From there, I marked up all of the other holes. Made another design revision. I want to be sure I don't have interference problems with the strut shaft nut on the edge of the 3" hole in the strut tower. Initial plan was to move it exactly 1", which should "barely" fit. I reduced that to 7/8". Center punched and pilot drilled all of the holes to 1/8".

Man, my drill press sucks! That 1/8" drill bit was all over the place before it found center. But, it was free, so I shouldn't complain too much. Ended up with all of the pilot holes well within 1/32" of where they should be. Close enough for what I'm doing. When I get hardware in-hand, I'll final drill the holes, countersink the ones that go into the bearing assembly, and finish cutting the final shapes.

Curiousity is getting me now. Thinking about taking it over to Joe's and checking caster before and after. I know that I "should" be somewhere in the 3.8-4 degree range. And rough measurements are that the strut length from top bearing to ball joint is about 28", figure about 1.9" setback on the upper mount stock... trig says that's 3.9 degrees of caster. Moving it back another 3/4" puts it at 2.65" back... 5.4 degrees of caster.

So, really, it's nowhere near the 7 degrees I was reaching for. But, another 1.5 degrees is good. Don't have to worry about it being "too much". And it was cheap and easy to get. ($5 worth of aluminum, $10 worth of hardware, a couple of cheap tools, and some time)

Geez, given that I have so little money invested in this mod, it seems silly to pay for an alignment. I know how to check camber... it won't be highly accurate, but I can DIY... just to verify the math.
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Postby Loren » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:48 pm

New front bump stops and new tires were a win. I even had both Ron and Philip take runs in the car, and both commented on how nimble and planted the car felt. Must be doing something right!

Bolts are in for the caster plate. Was going to work on it today, but now my time is down to an hour before I have to head out for work. Yeah, I could go out and work for an hour. But, this is why I'm so stifled by procrastination. I hate to get started on something and have to leave in the middle of it. And I hate to get all grungy before I have to go to work.

I've got Wednesday off. I'll get it done.
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Postby CaptainSquirts » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:57 pm

z3 vs re71 review?
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Postby Loren » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:01 pm

ZIII's are plenty grippy, but not as responsive as the RE71. Seem to have a more progressive breakaway rather than the little baby "squeak" that the RE71 gives you before it's gone.

Philip didn't hate them.
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Postby Loren » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:22 pm

Loren wrote:I've got Wednesday off. I'll get it done.
Ended up working on this some on Tuesday, and some on Wednesday. The last tool that I needed to finish it didn't arrive until late Wednesday afternoon. But, I got 'em done and was ready to install them this morning.

Got one of the front struts off of the car and quickly found that I'd bored the center hole too small! I was thinking that it just needed to clear the center shaft nuts, which it does. But, there's a raised lip on the upper bearing assembly that also needs to fit inside that hole.

Unfortunately, the tool that I used to bore those holes requires a center hole to work. And my hole no longer has a center! Headed over to Joe's in a bit to see what kind of creative solution we can come up with to enlarge those holes.

Meanwhile, I did check the fitment of the camber plates on the car. As expected, I had to do some tapering on the top rear edge to account for the top of the shock mount dropping off toward the rear. That came together well.

With a little luck, I'll have this all done and reassembled by Saturday.
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Postby nathanwilliams617 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:33 pm

Loren wrote:
Loren wrote:I've got Wednesday off. I'll get it done.
Ended up working on this some on Tuesday, and some on Wednesday. The last tool that I needed to finish it didn't arrive until late Wednesday afternoon. But, I got 'em done and was ready to install them this morning.

Got one of the front struts off of the car and quickly found that I'd bored the center hole too small! I was thinking that it just needed to clear the center shaft nuts, which it does. But, there's a raised lip on the upper bearing assembly that also needs to fit inside that hole.

Unfortunately, the tool that I used to bore those holes requires a center hole to work. And my hole no longer has a center! Headed over to Joe's in a bit to see what kind of creative solution we can come up with to enlarge those holes.

Meanwhile, I did check the fitment of the camber plates on the car. As expected, I had to do some tapering on the top rear edge to account for the top of the shock mount dropping off toward the rear. That came together well.

With a little luck, I'll have this all done and reassembled by Saturday.
Hmmm, without really seeing the part here's my shot in the dark.
What If you clamp the plate untop a piece of 1 by (wood maybe)? Will the centering bit on your tool be long enough to use the wood to center it and enlarge the hole that way?
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Postby jbrannon7 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:15 pm

nathanwilliams617 wrote:Hmmm, without really seeing the part here's my shot in the dark.
What If you clamp the plate untop a piece of 1 by (wood maybe)? Will the centering bit on your tool be long enough to use the wood to center it and enlarge the hole that way?
Good idea.

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