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Custom rig for redrilling swivel ball housing


Disty
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Hi Guys,

I'm doing a rebuild on my 300tdi 90, and decided to go down the route of redrilled swivel balls. I live in sheffield so thought that it couldn't be hard to find a decent engineers who would do it.

I started with some new teflon coated swivels and took them down to get looked at.

I ended up paying a fair wack as the engeering shop machined a custom jig to hold the swivel while it was being drilled, and of course had to work out the bolt config etc.

I would like to re-use the jig which I paid for, and also give the lads who worked very patiently on my project some more work. Is anybody interested in having swivels custom drilled to the height of their lift? Does anybody have any thoughts on this process?

Pictures of swivels to follow...

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The holes where it attaches to the axle tube, by moving the holes to the correct orientation the Castor angle can be put back :)

It also enables prop UJs to be kept at a healthier angle, and IMO is a better solution than using castor corrected radius arms. It does not however relieve any strain on the chassis to radius arm bush. Bush strain relief would require a radius arm cranked at the chassis end, such as that offered by Gwyn Lewis. (Note Gwyn offers to crank both ends or just the chassis end).

I have no connection with Gwyn, nor do I even own any of his products. This is just an engineer's observation of the geometry involved.

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What do you do with the existing holes? Weld them?

hmmm, I'm guessing you're talking about lifts in excess of 2" for it to be really worth it? Intresting, when is it too close to the holes that are already there?

I do like the idea though.

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A lift of 2 inch means you have to redrill the holes about 5mm (calculated this once but forgot exact distance) so as the new hole is so close to the original one, best would be to close first and then redrill imho. This also avoids play on the bolts I think.

Someone who knows the length of a Front Radius Arm and the PCD of a swivel ball?

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Most correction arms for a 2" lift claim to offer a 3 degree adjustment.

Definitely weld up the old holes first, then you have an uninterrupted cut into 'fresh' metal.

Aside from this I don't like the idea of a slot for these bolts, it would provide too much opportunity to set them up wrong, or to move if you don't tighten the bolts adequately!

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It would better to drill the axle casing rather than the swivel housing. Makes replacement of the swivel housing with an off the shelf item possible. Not that they need replacing that often.

Very true, and possibly easier to do.

I hadn't got as far as thinking of which bit to mod, just the geometry issue ;)

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Very true, and possibly easier to do.

I hadn't got as far as thinking of which bit to mod, just the geometry issue ;)

I wouldn't even remove the axle. Just cut the flange off an old swivel housing and use it as a drilling jig, a few hours work each side at most.

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Just to note, the metal is in the engineers words "tough as nails"- bit of a ridiculous thing to say, but his point was that it's very tough stuff, and I think you really need decent machinery to do it.

I'll get some pictures up this weekend, don't have the balls with me. There is no welding on these!

The ideal set up imho is to have single/double cranked trailing arms at a STANDARD castor angle, and then have redrilled swivels. The castor correction arms are terrible for 3 reasons:

  1. They're damn expensive
  2. They supposedly break very easily (?)
  3. They worsen the pinion angle causing prop-shaft vibrations to increase and UJ's to wear quicker. (?)

I wanted a lift which would be driveable without wandering steering, but wanted to use stock radius arms. I'm going to try and get mine bent. I love gwyn lewis, but wales is a bit of a journey and they're gonna be damn expensive to post...

Pictures to follow tomorrow night!!

disclaimer: I'm not suggesting this method is the best or the only method- just my custom method- we'll see how it holds up!

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Just to note, the metal is in the engineers words "tough as nails"- bit of a ridiculous thing to say, but his point was that it's very tough stuff, and I think you really need decent machinery to do it.

I'll get some pictures up this weekend, don't have the balls with me. There is no welding on these!

The ideal set up imho is to have single/double cranked trailing arms at a STANDARD castor angle, and then have redrilled swivels. The castor correction arms are terrible for 3 reasons:

  1. They're damn expensive
  2. They supposedly break very easily (?)
  3. They worsen the pinion angle causing prop-shaft vibrations to increase and UJ's to wear quicker. (?)

I wanted a lift which would be driveable without wandering steering, but wanted to use stock radius arms. I'm going to try and get mine bent. I love gwyn lewis, but wales is a bit of a journey and they're gonna be damn expensive to post...

Pictures to follow tomorrow night!!

disclaimer: I'm not suggesting this method is the best or the only method- just my custom method- we'll see how it holds up!

Answers to your "anti" corrected arms list.

1. Is re-drilling 2 "hard as nails" swivels plus any future replacement swivels honestly cheaper?

2. Supposedly!

3. Think about it!! How can putting the angle back to standard be worse than moving it away from standard and often needing double cardan props to rectify miss coordination of prop uj angles?

Not trying to cause a fight, just sensible observations!

Lara ;)

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Personally I wouldn't be trusting my life to reworked swivles, especially if the metal was high-carbon or chrome steel as you are weakening it. Wedling it up first? that just makes it worse, full of stress, heat effected metal (crystalised) and dissimilar metals.

If you realy hate castor correcting arms then buy properly offset swivles from Tomcat Motorsport.

Reason why I Like QT castor arms

40% lighter

lengthened to correct the wheelbase with the lift

corrected at the chassis end and the axle end

straightens the spring because the spring seat is level

releaves the twist in the lower shock mount and panhard rod bushes

straightens the bottom UJ allowing the fitting of a TD5 propshaft/flange for zero noise transmission

stops steering wander and re-aligns drag link and track rod

all other parts standard/of the shelf.

as soon as you fit a 2" lift you will start having propshaft problems, they become more noticeable with castor arms but they are there anyway. I re-aligned the propshaft UJs to make it better but it will always be there.

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Answers to your "anti" corrected arms list.

1. Is re-drilling 2 "hard as nails" swivels plus any future replacement swivels honestly cheaper?

2. Supposedly!

3. Think about it!! How can putting the angle back to standard be worse than moving it away from standard and often needing double cardan props to rectify miss coordination of prop uj angles?

Not trying to cause a fight, just sensible observations!

Lara ;)

Your not putting the pinion angles back to standard. Parallel pinions are recommended for a 3 or 4 link setup. however the front end is a ladder bar system, the front axle sweeps in an arc from the chasis mounting not perpendicular like a 3 or 4 link system. The front uj on the front axle is only really there to take up the misalignment when the axle twists etc. the rear u.j does most of the work when the axle moves up an down. Using caster corrected arms is just a backyard solution which increases the angles at both joints, therefore increasing the vibration and wear.

If the chasis pivot and the gearbox u.j were perfectly ( :lol: :lol: not in land rover world) aligned then you could fit a solid joint at the axle end without any problems (if the axle were to travel in a vertical axis only obviously).

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Personally I wouldn't be trusting my life to reworked swivles, especially if the metal was high-carbon or chrome steel as you are weakening it. Wedling it up first? that just makes it worse, full of stress, heat effected metal (crystalised) and dissimilar metals.

If you realy hate castor correcting arms then buy properly offset swivles from Tomcat Motorsport.

Reason why I Like QT castor arms

40% lighter

lengthened to correct the wheelbase with the lift

corrected at the chassis end and the axle end

straightens the spring because the spring seat is level

releaves the twist in the lower shock mount and panhard rod bushes

straightens the bottom UJ allowing the fitting of a TD5 propshaft/flange for zero noise transmission

stops steering wander and re-aligns drag link and track rod

all other parts standard/of the shelf.

as soon as you fit a 2" lift you will start having propshaft problems, they become more noticeable with castor arms but they are there anyway. I re-aligned the propshaft UJs to make it better but it will always be there.

but don,t forget they also suffer stress fractures ;)

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When I converted a 110 front axle to fit on leaf springs I had to alter the castor angle. I made up a simple jig, sliced through the axle tube, rotated it to the new position, then welded it back together again. Just an alternative to redrilling swivel balls.

Marked-up prior to the cut -

post-2-039815100 1284188622_thumb.jpg

Very carefully cut with a plasma blade -

post-2-084614900 1284188634_thumb.jpg

Chamfered to allow depth of weld -

post-2-064317800 1284188645_thumb.jpg

The simple jig I made is bolted to a couple of the diff studs, then a plate on the end to hold the flange in position.

post-2-099786600 1284188660_thumb.jpg

A few spot welds and then check all is square -

post-2-020603800 1284188673_thumb.jpg

Then full weld -

post-2-083775400 1284188690_thumb.jpg

I cleaned the weld down, then banded over it with 4mm plate (just to be sure :) ) -

post-2-019986100 1284188702_thumb.jpg

post-2-038768300 1284188716_thumb.jpg

post-2-045296500 1284188730_thumb.jpg

Les.

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Although range rover blues does have a point about the spring seat orientation. If it's a toss up between aligning suspension and pinion angle, I'd go for pinion angle any day.

The real question is, is anybody interested in laying down the bucks for these? (If not, I may as well stop here!!)

Picture attached.

swivel-top.jpg

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Personally I wouldn't be trusting my life to reworked swivles, especially if the metal was high-carbon or chrome steel as you are weakening it. Wedling it up first? that just makes it worse, full of stress, heat effected metal (crystalised) and dissimilar metals.

If you realy hate castor correcting arms then buy properly offset swivles from Tomcat Motorsport.

From other peoples replies it seems castor corrected arms are definitely not an ideal solution..

As you can see, I've not done any welding at all- you're right about how it would affect the steel. It was also my understanding that Tomcat no longer offered these. Does anybody know any different?

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