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I've made mention of a certain Ascona 'wanna-be' rallycar, affectionately known as the Turd, in these forums before. It currently has a nearly stock front suspension, deviating only by means of a fast ratio rack and pinion, 380 lb. springs, Bilstein shocks, a softened-up front swaybar, and polyurethane bushings. This suspension has worked well for road use, playing on dirt roads, and for rallycross use. But the car's eventual intended use for high speed rallying will require a better, stronger suspension system.

The front crossmember has been significantly strengthened by the addition of about 80 steel gussets. And since they were all cut out by hand and I chose to TIG weld them all in place to reduce warpage, there are probably around 30 hours into the crossmember alone.
 

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This was the trickiest part, making the new upper shock mounts to fit the Fox off-road racing shocks. There are still a few more gussets to be added here for more rigidity.
 

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Here are details of the lower a-arms, with internal and bottom gussets, aftermarket thread-in ball joints, and revised lower shock mounts to accomodate the Fox shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The L-shaped arms that tie the front crossmember to the framerails received their share of attention. These parts are very prone to cracking, even on street cars. Suitable gussets were welded in place.
 

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An overview of the shock/crossmember/lower a-arm.

Now that I'm unemployed, hopefully some old projects such as this will get completed!
 

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For those that are wondering, here's a pic of the rest of the Turd. It looks a bit rough around the edges, but "it can make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs" (Millenium Falcon reference, which you may recall is the fastest ship in the fleet, at least until the turbo is done...).

I can only imagine how it will fare in future races with the upgraded front and the Mikuni's

Bob: unemployed, Gregg: unemployed, Brian (me): unemployed, common thread: Severe addiction to Petrol (with a certain penchant for those with a little lightning bolt on the hood).
 

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Bob, You don't watch TV or get out much. How many pounds of rods have you gone thru?

I didn't read all the opening post, just started opening pics after the first couple sentences. I was expecting the typical gnarly looking MIG welds. (MIG is fast but rarely pretty.) I'm like WOW, either he's the BEST MIG welder in the world or he's laying down some fine TIG welds. I had to go back and read the rest of the post. Nice work!

Do you have a guess for the number of hours required to weld together a Ford V8 sheet metal tunnel ram?
 

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GT-Freak said:
Bob, You don't watch TV or get out much. How many pounds of rods have you gone thru?

Do you have a guess for the number of hours required to weld together a Ford V8 sheet metal tunnel ram?
I'm not sure how many pounds of welding rod I went through, but in terms of individual pieces of welding rod, there are about 30-35 pieces in that crossmember. But you're absolutely right, I don't get out much.... :(

I've never built a tunnel ram intake for a V8 before, so I don't know how long it would take to weld. It took me about 2 hours to weld up an intake plenum for my Nissan though, and maybe 3 hours to fabricate everything. But that's made from aluminum and I'm not comfortable welding thin aluminum yet.

Caution, non-Opel content....
 

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· Old Opeler
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Art!

Bob, Thanks for sharing some more of your Great Opel Art Pieces with us (and the non-Opel FI intake too).

BTW: An Artist is NOT unemployed while working on masterpieces! ;)
 

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RallyBob said:
I'm not sure how many pounds of welding rod I went through, but in terms of individual pieces of welding rod, there are about 30-35 pieces in that crossmember. But you're absolutely right, I don't get out much.... :(

I've never built a tunnel ram intake for a V8 before, so I don't know how long it would take to weld. It took me about 2 hours to weld up an intake plenum for my Nissan though, and maybe 3 hours to fabricate everything. But that's made from aluminum and I'm not comfortable welding thin aluminum yet.

Caution, non-Opel content....
I don't get out either. I prefer to get something done rather than wishing I did. So it's a good thing. Too many projects.

Nice job on the intake. Welding aluminum is kinda blind. It's hard to see the puddle. I'm far from a pro. I'm starting a V8 intake for street use. I'll probably use mild steel and have it Airborne coated.

I really love your pics. Keep them coming. :)
 

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Apparently there is a little bit of confusion about the Turd, I did not intend to lead people to believe that the Ascona was mine, rather I just wanted to share a picture that I had of the car.

Hopefully someday, but for now I only have a GT.
 

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Great Job Bob

Great job on the suspension Bob, that gives me a lot of great ideas. I'm just posting some pictures here of the suspension of my racing car that I added an extra linkage on the lower control arm and the sway bar has an adjustable link attached to the upper control arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pete, that's a creative way to use the stock swaybar for roll control but using a new lower link to keep caster change and deflection to a minimum. Nice job!

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I managed to finish off a few more steps in the buildup of the Turd's rally suspension. Here you can see where I attached a new platform for a bump stop. When I cut off the top of the crossmember to allow fitment of the racing shocks, the bump stop was deleted. Even though the new shock has its' own integral bump stop, I wanted to be sure the shock wasn't damaged during a landing after a jump. So I welded the new platform for the bumpstop to the crossmember, and welded a reinforcement (12 ga steel) to the top of the lower a-arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I finished the 'L-shaped' crossmember supports today as well. The last step was to weld up some solid mounts where they attach to the frame. I used 1/4" steel plate at the frame side, and a thick washer on the inboard side. To ensure the new mount doesn't crush when torqued, a thin sleeve of 3/4" OD, 9/16" ID steel tubing was welded in place. The OEM 14 mm bolt slips right into this tubing, ensuring a rattle-free solid mount.
 

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RallyBob said:
Here you can see where I attached a new platform for a bump stop. When I cut off the top of the crossmember to allow fitment of the racing shocks, the bump stop was deleted. Even though the new shock has its' own integral bump stop, I wanted to be sure the shock wasn't damaged during a landing after a jump. So I welded the new platform for the bumpstop to the crossmember, and welded a reinforcement (12 ga steel) to the top of the lower a-arm.
Bob, it that bump stop far enough outboard on the control arm? It seems a lot closer to the control arm pivot than the stock placement, which would put a lot of stress on the pivot when the car bottoms out. Or am I out to lunch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
kwilford said:
Bob, it that bump stop far enough outboard on the control arm? It seems a lot closer to the control arm pivot than the stock placement, which would put a lot of stress on the pivot when the car bottoms out. Or am I out to lunch?
The shock bump stop and the inboard bump stop will hit simultaneously, spreading the load somewhat. Also, the inner pivots are severely reinforced!

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is a prototype Manta/Ascona trailing arm which is going on the Turd. It has stock mounting dimensions, but the tubing it's made from is thicker walled DOM tubing rather than the thinner seamed OEM tube which is prone to rust damage and splitting. The forward portion of the link will use a polyurethane bushing for vibration isolation and impact absorption. The rearward portion uses a chromoly heim joint to provide greater suspension articulation over rough surfaces. This will allow the tires to stay in contact with the ground better over uneven terrain, aiding traction for acceleration and cornering.

If testing goes well I will build a jig fixture for repeatability in manufacturing and hope to offer this as well as an aluminum adjustable panhard bar for both the Manta/Ascona and GT chassis.

Bob
 

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