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Discussion Starter #1
rather than spend $175 at VB&P I've decided to make my own HD strut rods. I bought 1" diameter aluminum for the rod. Will 5/8" heim joints be sufficient or should I go 3/4"?

Furthermore, what's the difference between their "HD strut rod" kit and their "smart strut" kit besides the new bracket?

HD strut rods:


smart struts:


looks to me like the smart struts still have poly bushings rather than heim joints... Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
just found their "racing camber struts" as well.


Where is a good place to acquire quality heim joints?
 

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Aurora rod ends are the best.

Try speedwaymotors.com

I would probably get chromoly ones

They are about 20 each

You'll also have to make the spacers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aurora rod ends are the best.

Try speedwaymotors.com

I would probably get chromoly ones

They are about 20 each

You'll also have to make the spacers
thanks for the heads up. Speedway is here in Lincoln, so I'll probably hit them up for some ends. Any thoughts on 5/8" vs. 3/4"?

My real concern is this... Are these things as simple as they seem? Is the original system so bad that these things are a huge step up? Or is there something I'm missing that will make this project a waste of time and raw material if I don't take it into account?

I'm assuming the square plate at one end is to replace the funky cam-bolt in the original system?
 

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rather than spend $175 at VB&P I've decided to make my own HD strut rods. I bought 1" diameter aluminum for the rod. Will 5/8" heim joints be sufficient or should I go 3/4"?

Furthermore, what's the difference between their "HD strut rod" kit and their "smart strut" kit besides the new bracket?

HD strut rods:


smart struts:


looks to me like the smart struts still have poly bushings rather than heim joints... Suggestions?
The smart strut bracket is supposed to correct it to 1* change over the movement of travel. I would call Pattie at VB and P tomarrow and ask how much for the HD Helm struts with the smart strut bracket would cost. Tell her you are a friend of Big Bird. She should give you 10% off.:D
 

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thanks for the heads up. Speedway is here in Lincoln, so I'll probably hit them up for some ends. Any thoughts on 5/8" vs. 3/4"?

My real concern is this... Are these things as simple as they seem? Is the original system so bad that these things are a huge step up? Or is there something I'm missing that will make this project a waste of time and raw material if I don't take it into account?

I'm assuming the square plate at one end is to replace the funky cam-bolt in the original system?
5/8 is the size on the shock mount

Are you planning on racing?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
5/8 is the size on the shock mount

Are you planning on racing?
not heavily, no. Just have the tools available to make these things for cheap so I thought I'd take on a little project. Mostly just spirited street driving at this point. Might do some racing later on, but there are a lot of improvement to make before then...
 

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I made mine from 1" dia x 0.250 wall A513 DOM steel tube... Use a 37/64th drill for 5/8-18 LH and RH Tap...





 

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not heavily, no. Just have the tools available to make these things for cheap so I thought I'd take on a little project. Mostly just spirited street driving at this point. Might do some racing later on, but there are a lot of improvement to make before then...
Like some already stated 5/8th is the way to go. If you make your own you need a left and right 5/8th tap. That is not cheap.
If you check with coleman racing you will find they have made up aluminum strut rods in any length you want plus anodized black and very cheap.
Is it worth making your own?
Also remember if you want a good fit for those 5\8th rod ends you need to use a 16mm bolt.
The shank on a 5/8th bolt is about .612-.615 and a 5/8th rod end has a internal diameter of .625 so a 5/8th bolt through the rod end is sloppy
A 16 mm bolt is about .626 so just a little sanding on the shank of the 16mm bolt makes it a good fit for the 5/8th rod end.

A couple of examples of my homemade links
[
 

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I hate the flats on your rods. They are much too thin. This is one of the major complaints I had with VBP streader bars. The flats didn't allow a good hold with a wrench.
I like a complete wide hex on all my rods.
I bought 1 inch hex aluminum and turned the center section down to smooth leaving the hex for about 2 inches on either end for a good hold with a wrench.
I have 7 of these homemade strut rods on my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the examples guys, those are very helpful :thumbsup:

also, thanks for the tip on the 16 mm bolt, Norval. We're getting a sample 5/8" LH tap here at work where I'll be doing the fabrication so I'll save on that cost.
 

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thanks for the examples guys, those are very helpful :thumbsup:

also, thanks for the tip on the 16 mm bolt, Norval. We're getting a sample 5/8" LH tap here at work where I'll be doing the fabrication so I'll save on that cost.
Look at the picture I copied from you. Look at the flats. Can you put a wrench on the flat and another one on the nut and tighten the two against each other for a good lock???
I don't think so and that is important for a good lock.
I ran into this a number of times and hate those tiny flats what aren't wide enough.
I ran into a VPB rod agian this past weekend and ended up pulling the rod, boring out a large nut, sliding it over the bar and welding it into place.
I will pull my picture since it is too big and distorting this post.
 

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I like the small flats at the end, that way the wrench can't slip sideways. I always use 2 wrenches angled slightly apart, one on the nut and one on the flat and then squeeze them togehter to tighten it doesn. You can't do that it the flat is in the middle.
 

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I like the small flats at the end, that way the wrench can't slip sideways. I always use 2 wrenches angled slightly apart, one on the nut and one on the flat and then squeeze them togehter to tighten it doesn. You can't do that it the flat is in the middle.
I hate the ones in the middle also. The flat itself is the problem.
It is usually too narrow to fit the wrench. When a wrench is placed on the flat it overlaps onto the nut and interfers with the tightening.
Again I ran into this last weekend and cursed those little flats. They also round quickly if you are not careful
The coleman strut rods have great big full hexs on the end. One you can really get a wrench on. No interference , no rounding a dinkly little flat.
 

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I hate the flats on your rods. They are much too thin. This is one of the major complaints I had with VBP streader bars. The flats didn't allow a good hold with a wrench.
I like a complete wide hex on all my rods.
I bought 1 inch hex aluminum and turned the center section down to smooth leaving the hex for about 2 inches on either end for a good hold with a wrench.
I have 7 of these homemade strut rods on my car.
Ok I'm glad you're so passionate about it. They seem to work ok for me. I got a good deal on the DOM tube. Help me understand your wrench? Assuming it's not a flare nut wrench how many points does it use to apply force at one time ?

:huh:
 
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