More new stuff on the website

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I have been working on getting the framework done for the new features I want for the website and fixing some of the dumb stuff I had as place holders. Still not done, but happy with some of the progress.

What I received in feed back from customers was navigation on the store, difficulty finding product and such. So my solution is to put multiple paths to find what you are looking for. At the top of the page are categories based on what you have. Not completely finished with them at this point. What I intend is a bit of information, history and links in each and everyone of those by make and year model.

I will also be working on updating and adding new product. So far I’m pretty happy with the new Theme Plugin from www.woothemes.com . Those guys have been more than helpful getting me going after my crash.

Soon we will have some project updates too. We currently have three full on turn-key projects. The 53 GMC is painted. Thank you Cam at Fury in Color! Rick’s 40 Plymouth is making progress, and we took possession of Bob’s 1964 Ford pickup. Look for pictures of that one soon, it’s really eye catching (in a good way!)

New feature coming soon

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One of the reasons for doing the redesign is for you the customer to navigate and find products easier.

The other is to add in a new forum that will go live in the next few days (I hope) where you and I can engage in a more technical sense.  I get asked to help people sort their suspension issues on all sorts of vehicles.

I am working to put together a searchable forum where we can get in-depth with the true geometry of what makes your IFS work and why. This will  be a subscription service, Sorry folks but more and more of my time is being taken up by answering questions. For those of you who are customers, you will get access to the forums, but for those of you on the fence, the fee will be minimal. In that forthcoming forum, we can get in-depth to get your ride working the way you want it to.

 

Eventually, I would like to expand the forum to be an offsite, 3rd party tech line for any aftermarket hot rod parts manufacturer. If you would like to participate in some way, PDF files of instruction sheets of kits you have installed would be helpful in growing to that goal.

As always, I appreciate some input.

Roadster Show Wrap Up

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I want to thank all the people that came by both booths to say hello. You guys made our trip worth it.

We came loaded with product, but something was amiss. I’m not sure exactly what happened to the show, but not only were prices up for us vendors but there were hardly any roadsters. I have seen a couple hundred maybe, this year more like 80-ish showed up. The Preferred Parking area on the North side was mostly vacant on Saturday and Sunday. The area over by the botanical gardens (South side) was pretty full on Saturday but on Sunday it was mostly vacant. The swap was spread out. There were guys jumping the line and buying up blocks of spaces and then didn’t show up. While in line waiting to pick my spot I overheard some of the guys that jumped the line bragging about buying up a few thousand dollars worth of spaces. Of course, the deal is, once you buy a space, you get grandfathered in and can keep getting the same spots for future events. The North East section was sold out by Thursday and on Saturday, maybe half of those spots were being used, Sunday maybe a third of those spots had stuff in them.

Here is a short video I shot at 7:30 in the morning on Sunday.

 

Granted, this is early in the morning. As the day went on, more swap meet vendors packed up and left by 9am. We drove around waiting for other vendors in the show area to show up so we could pick up things we had on order and chatted with various vendors. Some said they felt like a UPS service because all they did was deliver pre-ordered parts. They seemed to have the same experience we did. There is a rumor going around that Roadster Shows will “FINE” us for leaving before 4 pm on Sunday. I can assure you that if they do try and pull something like this, I will not attend the LA Roadster Show in 2018. I know we aren’t a big deal to most, but in talking to some of those big name guys, they won’t be back either.

I have been going to the LA Roadster Show  since 1974 as a kid. It has been a tradition of mine to go, I look forward to it, it’s a big deal. Now I’m not so sure. I can understand the Roadster guys getting upset that they no longer get a free steak dinner and a pewter mug for the price of just showing up, the thing I find very puzzling is that the general public just didn’t show up.

New way around the website

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I’m working with suggestions on how to navigate the website here. If you notice there is a new header under the main one with year and makes. What will happen, is you will click the one that matches your vehicle and it will take you to a page and list all of the product and related reading material to each of those years. This will take me a few weeks to get fine tuned but should result in  a much smoother way around.

Ball Joints 2.0

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In my last post, covered the Chrysler style screw in ball joints commonly used on Mustang II front ends. Today I want to talk about the Dakota ball joints and some misconceptions being run around the internet. There are a few generations of Dodge Dakotas now, I concentrate on the first two, being 87-90 and 91-96. Both are pretty much the same, the ball joints are exactly the same.

I have run across a few people trying to conflate the 97 up (3rd Gen) Dakota ball joint issues with the earlier First and Second generation trucks. In the 3rd Generation Dodge made quite a few changes to the Dakota’s front suspension. Almost a complete redesign. About the only thing similar is the lower control arm spacing and bushing size (yes, they will fit our kits) and the upper control  arm rear mounting bolt is in the same location. But that’s it. The rack mounting and angles are very different and the upper control arm became symmetrical for cost cutting reasons. The other major changes are in the spindle and ball joints. They bare no resemblance to the 1st and 2nd gen trucks. The ball joints became significantly smaller and the orientation of the lower ball joint changed from tension (pointing up) to compression (pointing down) making dropped spindles pretty much impossible.

 

Have a look at the line up of ball joints here. From Left to right, the 1997 and up Dakota/Durango ball joint, The K772 Ball joint used in most Mustang II type set ups, The K778 joint used in the 87-96 Dakotas (and many other full size cars and trucks) and then on the Right is the K7025 used on the Dakotas and several other full size cars and trucks. Visual confirmation would show you, this is robust stuff. History can confirm that these larger ball joints were not failure prone. Sure, everything wears out, this is why we recommend using premium quality repair parts when building your car or truck. Not only will you see a longer service life, you will get a better ride quality with parts like the MOOG joints and bushings we suggest.

I suppose shocks would be the next topic, stay tuned!

Ball Joint talk

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What I wanted to discuss is regarding the screw in MOPAR style ball joint that is very popular with the tubular control arms for the venerable Mustang II suspension.

These two ball joints are very different in how they are supposed to be used

The ball joint pictured at the right is the commonly used K772 MOPAR screw in ball joint used on tubular control arms throughout the industry. If you look up that number you will see it is meant for MOPAR Upper Mid-Sized cars. It is not intended for use as a lower ball joint where it will see tension loads.

The ball joint on the Left is a K719. It has the same threaded body of the K772 but if you notice one very different difference in that body, it encloses much more of the ball stud. This is a true lower ball joint meant for the Mid-Size and larger passenger cars. While it will directly replace your K772 ball joint in the control arm, the stem is larger. This larger stem requires you to machine your spindle to accept it.

While many thousands of cars and trucks are on the road using the K772 as a lower ball joint without failure, we have seen a few. Granted, this is a very robust ball joint, and if you are using a quality joint like the MOOG Problem Solver line, you may never experience a failure. We have, on the other-hand, solved some driveability issues associated with the Mustang II suspension, mainly the nervousness out on the highway but replacing the ball joints with a true lower ball joint. Now don’t take this as the end all-cure all solution to your Mustang II suspension, it’s just something we have experienced. Because the K772 is not meant to be loaded in tension, it can be “sticky” and not let your steering wheel return to center properly.

All of our Mustang II based control arms feature the K719 on the lower, and we machine the spindles to fit. If this seems like an upgrade you would like to make, give us a call and we can take care of you.

LA Roadster Show 2017

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We are in preparations to be at the 2017 LA Roadster show in Pomona, CA at the Fairplex on June 17-18th (Fathers Day weekend) in two locations this year. We will have our indoor booth again this year, but will also have a spot out in the swap area.

So far we plan on bringing out three ’32 frames with our full X members with show pricing. One will be pinched for 28/29 Model A use. We will also have our accessory K-member legs, stock style brake pedal sets and other bolt on chassis parts.

If you want to pre-order any of the product and have us deliver at the show, give us a call @ 866-553-8996

 

More new product in the store

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Recently added are dropped spindles, engine mounts and a few other goodies.

Like this, a bolt-in transmission crossmember for stock Model A frames. Allows you to use ’35 up style transmission mounts and a 48-52 Ford F1 brake and clutch pedal set.