Roadster Show Wrap Up

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.

Ball Joints 2.0

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

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

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

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. 

 

Well that was interesting

Sorry for the downtime there. Not exactly the thing I wanted to happen, as soon as I got back in the shop Monday from the LA Roadster Show there were a few things that needed updating in the background on the website. One of those things did not want to play nice and caused a site failure. I ham-handed my way around trying to discover the problem to no avail. But from listening to the Tom Woods show, he mentioned that he uses a website called www.fiverr.com for instances just like this. Very impressed by the speed and expertise used to get us back up and running.

On the Roadster Shown note, we were inside for the first time. It was a bit of change for us. Usually we are in the swap area blowing product out and sweating our butts off. I swore off fighting for a space last year. It’s not an experience I want to do any longer. Plus the air conditioning sounded pretty good to us. Was it a success, time will tell. Not as much product left, we did take orders and 2016-06-18 07.08.14are shipping them this week. I will be back next year, should be the same spot in Building 4.

LA Roadster Show 2016

It’s almost upon us. This June 18 and 19th, Father’s Day weekend, is the 52nd Anniversary Roadster Show and we will be inside building 4 for the first time!

In years past we were in the Swap Meet area but changes over the last few years has made it difficult for us to set up there. That and we were bringing out the used goodies you guys could use. Well this year, it’s all new stuff. We are bringing ’32 Ford stuff and working on a few new products. I will have two frames ready to go, full knock down at a Roadster Show special price.

 

Look for us in Building 4 spaces SAA 26 and 27

 

Quick hits from around the shop

New information regarding springs and brakes

I do my best to keep up with information on all of our products. I was recently informed that the earlier 1973-1982 Dodge D series rotors for the 3000 pound front axle take a different bearing and are not compatible with the Dakota spindles. I made a quick note on the D-series caliper bracket selection about this change and will soon update all of the information to reflect the correct interchanges.

This morning however, was a question about springs for the Dakota IFS kits with 302 Fords. This is a work in progress and as I gather more information about the spring selections I will add it to the list to help you guys get the most out of your front end. This new information about the spring selection is in the Dakota Tech section.

LA Roadster Show 2015, We Were There!

What a show. The heat had to be a factor in the low turn out. That and the guys that go in first roped off over 90% of the spaces, leaving many swappers to turn around and go home. I spoke to two guys that demanded their $70.00 back because there were no available spaces. Even on Saturday a large percentage of the “saved” spaces were still empty with yellow tape and cones and maybe a lawn chair and a small pile of scrap metal to guard the space. I cannot see this happening for much longer before they the LA Roadster guys start having to do assigned spaces or at least check that the guys that paid for one spot only have one spot and so forth.

We set up with Hotrod Ron and had a good selection of stuff. The reception to our new fully bolt together ’32 frame was encouraging. The SBC engine saddle was the hit of the show! Now I’m going to have to put them into the store. Look for those items in the near future, but if you’re impatient you can always give me a call.

IMG_20150619_135942We talked with several satisfied customers and even saw Tim Thompson and his wonderful ’32 3W with the first mail ordered Full-X member installed. Of course Dr Marvelus and I had to take the opportunity for a shot of us all together. 2015-06-19 13.55.22

It’s summer time and we are still at it. More new products are on the way.