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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm contemplating whether to buy a set of stainless 1/4" thick OEM style shims for my Johnny Joint-ed Trailing Arms, (for my 6-Link Rear End configuration) OR using Grade 8 flat washer stacks instead, which would be way less expensive.

My concern over using washers vs. shims is whether the shims add any structural strength to "The Pocket", (ie spreading the load to the entire pocket surface covered by the shims) or not.

Or is the strength of the pocket independent of the shims, and washers would work just as well?:huh:

Remember in my 6-Link system, toe will be adjustable using the upper and lower strut rods, so I can fix the TA pivot point, perhaps moving it outward for maximum rear track width.

Any frame/metallurgical experts out there that can field this one?

Thanks!:thumbsup:
 

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No expert by any stretch- but I think the reason they started with shims was for ease of installing them. No reason washers won't work, but they will be a PITA to set the toe. Moving one spacer/washer from one side to the other will be a pull the bolt clear out, drop ALL the washers, then snake everything back in.
Keep thinking about it, and the only clamp load from the bolt is going to be within the radius of the bolt head/nut, or maybe just a little bit larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No expert by any stretch- but I think the reason they started with shims was for ease of installing them. No reason washers won't work, but they will be a PITA to set the toe. Moving one spacer/washer from one side to the other will be a pull the bolt clear out, drop ALL the washers, then snake everything back in.
Keep thinking about it, and the only clamp load from the bolt is going to be within the radius of the bolt head/nut, or maybe just a little bit larger.
Yeah, toe will be adjusted via the adjustable upper and lower strut rods of the 6-Link system.
Thusly, the washers would only be installed once, and would remain fixed. No need to move the pivot to make toe adjustments. Just wondering if the shims add any necessary structural strength to the frame/pocket.
 

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shims aren't adding anything appreciable to the structure of the pocket. Only issues will be getting the right size stack of washers to fit the pocket width correctly and the fact that you can't install them after the bolt has been installed. Even though you don't have to set your toe by moving shims, you still have to get a huge stack of washers on a bolt that's buried in a hole. :down:
 

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I know you say your going to be able to adjust your toe with the rear links but if you use the shims it could have you an other point of adjustabltyy and I cant consider how much of a PITA it would be to put those washers in.
 

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I have a similar setup as Metalkid...I would agree with others that while doing the washers may sound initially good, go with the shims. You will never be able to pack the washers in there as tight as you can with the shims by tapping the last 1~2 shims into the pocket making sure its not moving anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input!:thumbsup:

Looks like convenience and maximum adjustability win over economy. (I'm a slave to convenience anyway!:laughing:)

Going thru the thought process of installing the T/As with washers after hearing your opinions made me realize what a PITA it would be, so Stainless Shims it is!

So this brings up another question.

I've measured 3.07" inside the pocket. The Johnny Joint measures 2" in width and I was thinking of just getting a set of 8 1/4" thick shims to make up the difference, but should I also get one of those 24 piece shim kits with a range of thickness so I'll have some thin ones to "squeeze the last 1 or 2" in or just buy a couple of thin ones in addition to the 1/4" set?:huh:
 

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I would get a set of different size ones to make it fit perfect
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would get a set of different size ones to make it fit perfect
Most sets I've seen offered are for the stock configuration, "should be enough for both sides" is the lame general description, very few even list the sizes in the kits. The Johnny Joint setup needs an extra 1/2" (I think) to make up the difference from an OEM shim set, (as compared to the stock shims I pulled when removing the trailing arms).

Maybe I need to mount the TA's first without the shims, check for any clearance issues (like if I move the pivot outward, as opposed to being centered in the pocket) and measure the distances on either side of the joint then see if I can find a combo of shim sizes that would work best.

Experimental suspension design can be so confusing!:thud:
 
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