My daily is a Subaru WRX. More often then not I find this to be a mistake. I don’t vape. I dont like plaid seats. I look like a lumber Jack, but I can back the look up. I dont live in black t-shirts. I can change a tire. And I hate acronyms. Why do these fuckers wave at me? I hate that. I don’t get off on that shit, and other guys that drive the same car as me don’t pump my nads, Claire. But most of these guys probably never got passed sniffing butts.
This all leads directly to the front upright and rear upright dilemma I was having. As a matter of fact its the reason I’ve been so long in posting. (Not the WRX butt sniffers, the uprights). I’ve been buying and returning uprights for the last 2 months, testing wheel bearings, adapters, conflicting between ball joints and spherical bearings, and reworking my cousin’s EVO VIII all along the way.
We all know the basic premise of the upright. It provides a mounting point for the wheel/tire assembly and allows that assembly to rotate around its main axis, turning the car. It attaches to the chassis by some combination of ball joints, control arms, struts, spherical bearings, etc.
During my preliminary research I decided I wanted to run a short arm/long arm, SLA, type front suspension. I’d also settled on that for the rear, but not for long.
Right off the bat I started brainstorming on what was out there that could provide and easy off the shelf part that I could adapt to the setup I had in mind. Pick a muscle car, any muscle car, chances are it had a “spindle” in which an upper and lower ball joint sat in a taper on the upright. Great design. I threw around names like Nova, Chevelle, Barrucauda, and Mustang. They all shared the basics at the “spindle”. That being said, they all have “spindles”…that shaft that a tapered roller bearing and cone setup resides in/on. No good. I wanted modern, sealed bearings that you’d find on your GTR, new Challenger, or…..Honda Civic. Anyway, for that reason alone theses old school uprights were out. This also eliminated anything in the racing aftermarket that had to do with “THE NASCAR” or dirt crap…I mean dirt track racing. There’s nothing wrong with those pieces, the tech just wasn’t there for me.
Next I thought about brands like Ginetta, Porsche, and other shit like that. Nope…way too much bread. Way too much.
Then it hit me, I had what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. Corvette. Yes, my ultimate enemy. The Chevy Corvette. Enough vette cams for 7 generations of guys in Polo shirts, fucked up shorts, and loafers.
But look what the Corvette could offer me! SLA front and rear suspension and a sealed wheel bearing with a splined hole in it for a rear drive axle. A quick internet search showed me how ridiculously affordable C6 front and rear spindles were. Here’s the kicker…the left front is the right rear and the left rear is the right front. Amazingly simple. One problem: the wheel bolt patter is 5 x 120.7, my wheels are 5 x 114.3. No problem Really, no problem. Another quick internet search and I had a custom set of hub-centric 5 x 120.7 to 5 x 114.3 wheel adapters made. All seemed well in the world of vette cams and colored socks.
Until the adapters show up. They fit perfect to the wheel and perfect to the wheel hub. Real hitch #1. The Corvette upper ball joint is pressed into the top of the upright. This would hinder me from doing a simple “re-taper” of a ball joint slug and running the ball joint I really, really wanted to run.
No problem. Just press the ball joint out, machine the ball joint hole and get one of those super trick spherical bearings that all the off road guys use. Problem averted. Nope. Upon closer inspection of fitting the upright to the wheel, my 18 x 11 Cosmis wheels gave no clearance to fit an upper control arm. Ouch. Nix the C6 uprights, cant seem to stomach running an upper ball joint I don’t care for.
All goes back and I tell myself C7 spindles will be different. Nope. They go back and i find this little company that makes “drop” spindles for old Camaros and Chevelles, AND they use new C5/C6/C7 wheel bearings and hubs. I just so happen to have enough of those to really make this work. So I order a set and promptly cancel the order as it finally dawns on me. Why am I taking my +8mm wheel offset and adding a 19mm – 20mm spacer ruining the whole works? (Argue with me about track width. I dare you. In essence adding a wheel adapter can be looked at in 2 ways. 1: we are adding the adapter to the wheel. In my case changing my +8 to -11mm. Because hours in front of the computer and dealing with the Devil (read that Corvette) had warped my mind. I tried everything from Wilwood to OEM shit and then told myself….find a car with a sealed wheel bearing with a 5 x 114.3 bolt pattern.
Nissan, the home brand of the car. The 370z. Great bearings, shit front uprights. I’ll be doing a really nice IRS 5-link using the rear upright from a new 370z. My fronts will be my own design with 370z front bearings in then.
2 months in the shitter and I did nothing but settle on wheel bearings. Next issue will actually have some how to and science in it.
See you all then.
Chassis builder, engine builder, cynic