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Author: Subject:  Bending BJ top arms for more camber
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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Bending BJ top arms for more camber


Even with the extra camber eccentrics I've only ever been able to get about 1.5 to 2 deg neg camber on Jezebel, and I really wanted more.

I'd seen a few posts on here about bending the top torsion arms on a BJ beam to get greater neg camber.

There was no real info on HOW to do it tho on here, stf, samba etc., and asking direct questions hadn't gotten my much either... so I just decided what the hell - time have a
crack.

Here's how it went if anyone's interested...


Step 1: Do some maths.
At it's simplest, the way the steering knuckle mounts is basically this. (drawing not to scale, but the measurements are good. Obviously the top and bottom rectangles are where the ball joints mount into the arms).

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1pqqPKxBjaS7CzY3ThMm8F8YsOzn6bMpnHH_iD6dftA0iwbJRm_YgD2Nft9PBauehCFlrcyK689MePfT45kru-kZHPCFIMitvy/Steerin
gKnuckle.png

I wanted to add about 4 degrees of neg, which high school maths (Sin = Opposite over Hypoteneuse) and a bit of stuff in Excel tells me I should aim for a bend to bring the balljoint in 8mm.

Best of all since my camber eccentrics have ~12mm of adjustment in them, so with only an 8mm bend I could still get back to my current 1.5 deg neg if I wanted (beyond actually to right around 0 camber)


Step 2: Get and measure some arms.
Pictures tell a thousand words, right ?
1 x shiny, straight top arm with new balljoints already pressed in - thanks Marcus !!!

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1potUM89jel-s8YR_tu77rwCkz5c9IAQMcsh7Xqt64T85ykwHL3MA1UfetrHgAc6Hng_04WLErjoj0yVZGH4rsZt_NVzCT1vrH/IMG_096
3.JPG

Measured square at just shy of 271mm to the center of the ball joint.

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1puZd2Oe6BVs-ALFfJEVDc-H4Y6OJsF2jC0PXpha2hfD2Jdqa5jkLXfrpu2hVc5_u1dlmvs3wYPMlLJDc37sXvdIIfuyfAki8z/IMG_096
4.JPG

Step 3: Bend some arms.
1 x 20T shop press
1 x 25mm steel plate as a work surface (I wanted something that wouldn't bend after all)
2 x Cast steel dolly's to act as supports to bend in the valley
Quality shed time = priceless.

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1p0MTBERs20JERH-Z0R0SKhSpU1WndZGosJ5HlhvOTko5tHm2YxfpF5pdrcQGarbiii9LRlTmAfvt1aw4R7c9FBdtHocF_-_Ci/IMG_096
8.JPG

Measure and marked to get the load from the press midway between the two support points, and some very tentative pumping of the handle later...


Step 4: A bent arm.

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1pEVj8HYh7dT1ngeXUr3PsdIu4b9w47QSJcd9PXMIyIwb1UlpWeqaitQBWsGCY-cgo-Z0YHAqhwWczfOiFqtV9h7mKlgKEpFG0/IMG_097
1.JPG

Measured square at just on 263mm to the center of the ball joint, which means 8mm of bend... gotta be happy with that !!!

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1p91tJeTCYnV_yP6qX0XDGkCb8AwVUY9uPKM5CXeSF_ZGYL9FQisZHV2QqkHDT_SE7gQaTIicI3mqt216vhjQUSJFW7dDwbE7Q/IMG_096
9.JPG

Step 5: Rinse and repeat for the other side.

Step 6: Fit and check measurements on the car.

Before - original non-bent arms with adjusters at max neg camber (-3.5). Without a spindle adapter and properly levelling the car off it's not the most accurate method of measuring, but good enough for before and after at least.

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1potUM89jel-tBg-FKHJjfVDIc0Zb2o1N0-BSgRffnSBSVjXLwmbq5FzY5Vq8cMibxru2M-iNPxq-me4sHlmTrQ7R2hg20PjvO/IMG_103
4.JPG


After 1 - freshly bent arm, adjuster at minimum neg camber (-2.5)

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1pcxZEhI8z1kUGd8Hxx-tJqLHUWYlpIORd0Yy6mOtG6KiOPKBn2-9SJzcZr2FP6Wss-Vh1p6t00E-bcgSihu7n_OioLMBMXAj5/IMG_103
6.JPG

After 2 - freshly bent arm, adjuster at max neg camber (gauge maxes out at -6 deg... but should be about -8 deg I think)

https://wkx8vg.bn1.livefilestore.com/y1pNLqqAhDMYK1p3io5acf58bY-qpbIM3GHOCwoi1Wid3A7EGb6ufVKEwhvUteX9xyxLh1HhCzoHjpgPe-ymzxStS28vZw9pT87/IMG_103
8.JPG


Step 7 : Crack a coldy !!!
Now just pull my finger out and bolt up the other side, then get a proper wheel alignment done !!!

:D




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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 06:41 PM



Cool
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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 06:47 PM



Good work Dave.

Cheers Col
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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 07:07 PM



Cool Dave, I sent mine to rod and he gets shimo to do it.
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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 07:18 PM



Nice write up Dave, thanks.
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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 07:24 PM



I like the unconvensional thinking, could you just shorten the top tube the little you need?



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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 07:34 PM



Cheers for comments guys !!!

:cool:

I thought about shortening the top tube Nils, but renotching the springs in only 8mm per side didn't really look doable to me... looked to need to be 10mm or more to get a good notch with my springs at least.

Other benefit is this way is pretty easily reversed too - just change back to the stocko arms.




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posted on January 8th, 2013 at 07:40 PM



Nice; I wonder how braking up front will be affected with the change



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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 05:49 AM



:tu::tu:I had about 4 1/2 degrees on the front of my old bug no problems with braking probaly one best braking cars in the class:yes:
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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 07:05 AM



Cheers for the pics and detail Dave.

I'll be wipping mine back off to do this before going too far.




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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 07:32 AM



Good work there, Dave. That's the sort of stuff that this forum should be about, IMHO.



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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 11:19 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by sander288
Nice; I wonder how braking up front will be affected with the change


I'm going to go with about 4 deg neg - obviously would have to affect the braking due to the smaller contact patch, but hopefully not too severely.

Great to know you still had good braking Paul with 4.5 deg neg... nothing like having a bit of experimenting room !!!

:D

Some of the regulars at Mt Cotton run as much as 6 or 7 deg neg. Obviously the extra weight they have up front would help in the braking area, so don't think I'll be able to get anywhere near that aggressive...




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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 11:22 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by HappyDaze
Good work there, Dave. That's the sort of stuff that this forum should be about, IMHO.


Cheers Greg.

I'm by no means a guru, but I figure should still share what I've tried, what worked and what didn't...

;)




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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 01:57 PM



I ran - 4.5deg in hillclimb without any problems :tu:



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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 02:25 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Sides

Other benefit is this way is pretty easily reversed too - just change back to the stocko arms.


sweet that makes heaps of sense




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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 05:26 PM



I have run about 3' camber on my race bug for some time now, the current experiment is to give it a whole lot more caster and have less camber when the wheels are neutral. The caster also gives camber as soon as you turn the wheels. I'm using 3 sets of caster shims on the bottom tube with offroad braces on the bottom arms and shock tower extentions that fasten onto the roll cage.
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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 08:29 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by sander288
Nice; I wonder how braking up front will be affected with the change


I run 5 degrees of neg camber on my Beetle with no adverse braking affect.
If you can ever get a photo of a car under heavy braking you will see the tyre distortion more than adequately makes up for the lost contact patch.

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posted on January 9th, 2013 at 10:54 PM



4.5-5 degrees,wow. I run 3.5 and get pretty even temps across The tyre when I do a supersprint so I have never tried more. What do you find it helps with having 5 deg col?? You run a 205 tyre?
Bit of a hijack here but has anyone done about Bumpsteer?

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posted on January 10th, 2013 at 06:46 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by cnfabo

Bit of a hijack here but has anyone done about Bumpsteer?

Cheers Fabo..........

A whole new can of worms, Chris. Why not open it up with a new thread?




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posted on January 10th, 2013 at 07:35 AM



Great sharing of info all!! Nice to see the forum operate this way :)



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posted on January 10th, 2013 at 08:53 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by cnfabo

Bit of a hijack here but has anyone done about Bumpsteer?




turn the steering box on the front beam to bring the steering arm up to level out the tierods.




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posted on January 10th, 2013 at 06:47 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by cnfabo
4.5-5 degrees,wow. I run 3.5 and get pretty even temps across The tyre when I do a supersprint so I have never tried more. What do you find it helps with having 5 deg col?? You run a 205 tyre?
Bit of a hijack here but has anyone done about Bumpsteer?

Cheers Fabo..........


Yes we all run a 205 width tyre in the Hillclimb series.

We must account for the fact that we rarely get our tyres up to temp as they start cold and most Hillclimb tracks are only 45 odd seconds.
Tyre pressure is crucial to grip, i often change pressures at the track, up or down 1 psi can make a huge difference.

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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 07:33 AM



Had a Test & Tune session at Mt Cotton yesterday, and definitely happy with the change.

Running 4 deg neg for the moment - Jezzi feels much more pointy and can actually feel her sort of roll onto the tyre on turn in. Needing a bit more effort on the wheel has lead me to changing my style slightly - more short sharp movements now compared to a gradual winding on and off of lock previously.

Didn't have a pyro to check temps, but the wear pattern looks nice and even across the face so I think the 4 deg neg has to be close to right.

Best of all I chipped away at my times each run, by end of the day lowering my PB by another 0.25 seconds - so obviously shed time well spent !!!

:)




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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 09:00 AM



Dave, one reason for improving your times each run, could be the tyres.......they need to be 'cut in' after each major camber change.



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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 02:42 PM



Yeah, someone else came up with that theory too Greg, but admit it wasn't something I'd heard of before.

My thinking is probably just me taking time to warm to the different feel and style, but whatever it is I'm happy to take the 50.53 s... now the new target for the year is a 49 !!!

:D




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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 04:36 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Sides
Yeah, someone else came up with that theory too Greg, but admit it wasn't something I'd heard of before.

My thinking is probably just me taking time to warm to the different feel and style, but whatever it is I'm happy to take the 50.53 s... now the new target for the year is a 49 !!!

:D


It,s nice when all that thinking and work in the shed, turns into real measurable gains.
Good one Dave.

Cheers Col
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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 08:17 PM



Constant improvement Dave!

Awesome effort




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posted on January 21st, 2013 at 08:23 PM



i agree with the change of styles as ive done a fair bit of circuit stuff with the same car and ive found that the adaption of style is the biggest improver of times!



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