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Custom Built Strut Rods

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CoupeBoy
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:17 am
Location: Fargo, ND
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Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #1 by CoupeBoy » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:17 pm

I got this information from a random guy on the internet named buening, I've never seen him do a build thread on these, but if I find one, I'll post it.
Because the forum is limited as is photobucket.. I'll be posting images of pdf files. Where available I will denote that a PDF is also available. And as always.. if you want, just ask.

We all know there are about a billion different types of these out there in the world. The ones I am building (when complete) should look a lot like these..

Part #: ST-STSR
Price: $399.00

Now I'm not poor, but that number makes my sphincter pucker just a little bit... So I hit the internet, clearly there must be something that is a little less expensive and that a guy can do himself without endangering his family..
I've emailed, chatted, and generally harassed buening on a couple forums now and he seems to be of like mind. And luckily he seems to be a project or two ahead of me at all times.

so he tells me that he is giving away plans on DIY strut rods, I being an internet information hoarder ask for it. He graciously sends it.

The Big Picture (available as a DXF)
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Plate Dimensions (both available as pdf)
V1
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V2
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The differences between V1 and V2 are that he says V1 is designed to work better with coil over spring conversions and V2 is more of a standard style.

The Clevis Dimensions (pdf available)
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The process
I started by finding a piece of 2" round stock in the recycle bin at work and then cutting it into 3" long sections
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After the parts were cut, I chucked them into a lathe.
First the ends were faced
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And then the step was cut per the instructions. I didn't take a picture of it, but I also used the lathe to center drill the 0.654" hole (21/32nds drill bit)

Which leaves me with the half finished clevis
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For the Lower Control Arm (LCA) plate, again I worked with buening and he sent me individual (DXF/DWG) files so that I could plasma cut the plates.
I nested them with a bunch of other parts.. on a 2ft x 5ft piece of flat plate 3/8" A36 that I bought through work.
You will see several interesting things, like a custom 2pc 300 intake/exhaust flange set for clintonvillian, a custom 1pc 300 intake/exhaust for me (and a spare), some brake parts for clintonvillian, and some parts for my 6.0L powerstroke, center mount engine lift plate (my design) and Injector Pressure Regulator (IPR) removal wrenches, also my design.
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A few moments later, presto... LCA plates suitable for '67-70 Mustangs
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Next will be determining what to use for the threaded tube and where to buy heim joints.
For the LCA plate I will buy a left handed 5/8" bolt and cut the head off it, then have the bolt shaft welded in place.
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
1967 200/C4
1965 240/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch/3.03 bell pattern
1975 250/flexplate
1975 300/flywheel

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CoupeBoy
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Posts: 3439
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Location: Fargo, ND
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Re: Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #2 by CoupeBoy » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:24 pm

I used the mill to drill the last hole all the way through.. first as a 3/16" then as a 1/2". Then without moving the part, I used a 5/8" end mill to flatten the area.
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Then I stood it up on end and started milling out the center, I did one half at a time, so this is the beginning of the first half.
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Lots of Milling and measuring..
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First half of the first slot, done!
You can also see the flat spots on the sides.
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Gearing up for the second one..
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I don't know why the mill bit did those weird whiskers, but it did. I later ground them off with a 4" grinder wheel
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That was an awful lot of material that I took out of the center..
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And finally the two important parts, all done, sharp edges ground off.
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I still need to make the front flat washer, and then the parts in the center.
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
1967 200/C4
1965 240/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch/3.03 bell pattern
1975 250/flexplate
1975 300/flywheel

User avatar
CoupeBoy
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Posts: 3439
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:17 am
Location: Fargo, ND
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Re: Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #3 by CoupeBoy » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:27 pm

Food for thought for anybody thinking of making these clevis's.. they are time consuming. I've probably spent 5 hours making 2 small metal items.. Prior to making them, I had shopped around and there is a small machine shop on the south side of Fargo that will make them for $38.50/each so long as I order 10 (minimum order). So they could have been built (and looked a bit better) for around $77 (plus shipping).

I doubt I'll ever make a second set, it was just too time intensive.

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CoupeBoy
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Re: Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #4 by CoupeBoy » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:10 pm

I sent out an email request to 1966Mustang asking him to measure his strut rods, and he sent me back some pictures
Image
Image
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And a little bit of information.
Holes .444 dia, 1.05 apart. .43 from the end.
So I took that info and some from the previous drawings (bolt length 2.5", distance from end to center of first bolt hole 3.705") combined that information and created this hand drawing.
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FWIW, I took this picture of a Unique Auto prepped 1965 Mustang race car.
The fancy clevis at the front isn't absolutely required... a person can add reinforcement plates to the strut rod housing and drill straight through and use a long bolt.
Though, I'd probably use solid spacers instead of washers.. :bang:
Image

I needed this info for a future build for my 63.5 Falcon. This plate seems much easier for the home DIY guy than the '67+ plate.
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
1967 200/C4
1965 240/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch/3.03 bell pattern
1975 250/flexplate
1975 300/flywheel

User avatar
CoupeBoy
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Posts: 3439
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:17 am
Location: Fargo, ND
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Re: Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #5 by CoupeBoy » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:58 am

Last week, I found that I had a cracked driver side strut rod bushing on the '68 Mustang
Image

I suspected that it was going to take a while to get the components to complete the tubular strut rods, so I also ordered standard strut rod bushings from AutoZone (duralast FA939), those arrived the next day and I installed them. They didn't come with instructions and they were shaped differently compared to the ones I took out. I guessed that this was the order that parts should be installed.
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And here are almost all the parts that I need.
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$18.00 (part/tax/shipping) 7/8" OD .156 wall DOM, that is 2ft of it. To be cut to size, bought it off eBay
From Summit
$1.97 (x2) HAL-JNL10S Jam Nut, Steel, Natural, 5/8 in.-18 Left Hand Thread, Each
$16.97 (x2) HAL-XML8-10 Rod End, X Series, Chromoly Steel, 2-Piece
$14.99 AAF-ALL11067 Tap, Tungsten, Titanium Coated, 5/8 in.-18 LH,
$14.99 AAF-ALL11066 Tap, Tungsten, Titanium Coated, 5/8 in.-18 RH, Each
Part Subtotal: $67.86
Delivery & Handling Charge: $9.95
Total Charges $77.81

$2.38 (total for nuts and bolts) 5.5" 5/8-18 RH Grade 8 and associated jam nut.

The clevis and plates have not costs associated with them, both came out of the scrap pile and only my labor was involved (ok, the Plasma table helped a little bit)
So my running total is $98.19 -- This includes a *hopeful* one time purchase of $30 for the taps.
I bought non HSS taps, I could have paid twice as much and bought HSS. But for my needs, I thought I'd try these first.

The 5.5" bolts will get the heads cut off and welded into the slot of the plates.
When I was ordering items, the RH and LH QA1 rod ends were approximately the same price and I could source the 5/8" RH bolt/nut locally.

I need to make the large flat washer still for the front, and buy some bolts and nuts for the clevis. But I'm getting there.

I never want to make those clevis again.
I called a local (CNC) machine shop and he quoted me $38.50 each set (clevis/washer) with a minimum order of 10pcs (enough to make 5 sets).

Next time I make a set, I plan on doing what this guy did -- fewer moving parts.
Adjustable Strut Rods -- FordMuscleForums.com
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CoupeBoy
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Re: Custom Built Strut Rods

Post #6 by CoupeBoy » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:30 pm

Slow progress, I finally got the strut rod plate bent for the steering stop.
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The next step is to tap the DOM tubing for left and right, then cut the LH thread 5/8" bolt head bolt off and have it welded into the freshly bent bracket.

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