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Uniball mounting

DPpatrol

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm currently working on designing some long travel arms for a 2wd toyota pickup. They will be using uniballs in place of ball joints. I was considering mounting the uniball horizontally (like on the white
F-150 built by Craig Stewart) instead of the conventional verical position. This design appears to allow more travel out of the suspension. Does anybody know why this design is not used more often? Also has anybody ever built arms with this design? If so, how well did it work and do you have any tips on the set up?

jason
 

drtdevil93

Well-Known Member
#2
thats the setup the ats truck uses. it works great, and it puts less stress on it, making the uniballs last a lot longer. your suspension has no binding point, but your steering does, but with a high misalignment spacer you get plenty out of it.

erik
 

Greg

Well-Known Member
#3
Get a chart from HM Bearing and look at the difference in strength from the axial to the radial loads. You will see why mounting them the way ATS does is much stronger. The weak point is the bolt holding everything together which is now 100% in shear. For this application you might want to look at using shoulder bolts that are designed for that application.

Greg
 

Greg

Well-Known Member
#6
Because it takes a small miracle to make people realize there may be a better way than how our grandparents did it. Innovation is not one of our sport's strong suits. My truck gets ripped on all the time cause its not like everyone else's. I was told by some guy that I "had to be drunk" when I built my front-end. Oh well, thats the way it goes.

Greg
 

PatrickG

Well-Known Member
#9
As far as how ATS built the front, Is the spindle assembly a modified stock one or a custom built from scratch. And could you modify a factory spindle, like on my toyota, and it be strong enough to withstand racing.
Patrick
 

drtdevil93

Well-Known Member
#10
ats's spindle is a little of both. scott takes the stock 4wd spindle and cuts the axle off, and makes the rest out of plating. as far as your spindle, sure you can mess with yours. im probably gonna be modifying my spindle in a while. ill take good notes and keep good templates and let you know how it works out. ill probably do it similar to scotts, use the axle and make the rest out of plate.

erik
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#11
Jason,
It's often a matter of preference. Usually, cars are wide enough, and the arms are long enough so that plenty of joint angle can be had wither way. If you are trying to get maximum travel with shorter arms, mounting them "horizontally" (as you put it) is very helpful. By the time you get done designing and building the arms and spindles, it is definitely more work.

If you are using the larger balls, strength also is not really an issue. What is important is how much surface area of the ball (on the pressure side) is in contact with the outer race. This determines how long it will last. However this too is comparable in both mounting directions. One interesting opinion is that the "horizontally" (horizontal center bolt) mounted uni-balls let more dust in because the non-pressure areas are highly exposed. (the flat mounted ball is always tight on the entire upper surface)

This may all sound wishy-washy, but this is why you seen lots of them mounted either way with great success.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by FABRICATOR on 09/08/01 10:15 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#12
Another angle............these are shots of Larry Ragland's prerunner
 

PatrickG

Well-Known Member
#13
Now I was wondering if you could plate and reinforce a set of lift spindles. I was looking to design a front suspension with chevy (either full size or S10) spindles on my Toyota simliar to Curtis's Toyota.
Could you plate a set of bulls eye or fabtech spindles.
Patrick
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#14
PatrickG,
You can plate existing spindles, but it's not advisable unless you know just what you are doing. Most heavy duty factory spindles are forgings, especially on FWD or 4WD vehicles. Most lighter duty and most "lift" spindles are castings. Some are cast iron, some are cast steel. A forged piece is fairly strong to begin with. Adding gussets really messes up the heat treat and if not done well creates stress risers. Re-heat treating can help but it won't eliminate the stress risers. You don't loose as much strength welding on a cast steel piece. If it's cast iron, forget it. You can test by grinding. Forged pieces have a wide, usually ground, "parting area" all the way around the outer edge. Castings have a very thin line in about the same place.

The plated units that people get away with are usually built up for brute strength. With thick enough plate and enough welding you can overcome the heat treat and stress riser concerns. Not efficient, but strong. Heavy unsprung weight will show up negatively on a lighter vehicle.

This is not an area to experiment in. Take a look at what others are doing before jumping in.

I've added another pic. as food for thought. Take a look at the inner lower control arm mounting...
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
#15
It seems to me that a Seals-It washer could address the dust issue if it weren't hopelessly out classed by the degree of axial movement. How about a urethane dust boot for a tie rod end captured btwn the flange and the ball ? Would offer some shielding, but might contain any contaminant the makes it's way in there.
BTW this is my first posting to a BBS. Hope I haven't tripped over some protocol I'm not aware of.
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#16
Welcome ntsqd!

Your post is just fine. People may test you but don't let it get to you...

Those are good ideas and would most likely work. That part of my post was mentioned mostly to show the many aspects on the subject. Dust into uni-balls mounted that way is not enough of a problem to worry about.

The real issue is the work required to use them that way. Is it really better? Perhaps. Is it worth it? Not for the casual user.

Again, Welcome.
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
#19
Dust in poly bushings may lead to a squeak, but rarely causes wear problems like it can in a bearing. The other joints mentioned either have dust boots/wipers or a means to flush out contaminated lubricant. Something rarely incorporated in, or taken advantage of in Uniballs.
I must confess to discouraging the use of spherical bearings of any nature on most 4x4's because few owners will maintain them as they require. There is also the issue of single shear mounting that is hard to avoid on stock steering parts where most rock crawlers want to use them. I'm assuming most on this BBS understand the added maintenence needs of spherical bearings. As a newbie my preaching may not be taken well anyway. :)

Remember, Amateurs built the Ark, Professionals built the Titanic.
 
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