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Sean's Coilover Conversion

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Sean
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2006/08/23 01:12:04 (permalink)
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Sean's Coilover Conversion

It's been a long time in the making, but my coilover conversion on the RS is almost seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... I hope.

Here is my progress thus far..

At first I planned on converting another pair of 2ltr Escort struts.





The plan was also to use adjustable strut top plates to allow both camber and caster adjustment. There are quite a few different options, most of which are shown in this thread. I finally decided on the Rally Design aluminium spherical bearing top mounts as seen below.






After receiving the roller bearing top mounts I started to do some calculations to determine shock travel comparisons between the old and new setups. It was at this point I realised that with the thickness of the new adjustable top mounts and spring top plates sitting below the guards that the travel on the shock abosrbers would effectively be reduced when compared to the standard setup. From measurements taken when the old setup was in the car it was determined that from free length the shocks were compressing 80mm under the dead load of the car and that they had a further 50mm of compression left before bottoming out. If maintaining the same ride height with the new setup, the shocks would only have 25mm of travel from cars dead load to full compression. This was due to the top of shocks effectively being 25mm lower at top plate.

Whilst I wasn't entirely sure how much the shocks would compress under 99% of driving conditions, I was fairly certain that 25mm wouldn't cut it. Even 50mm didn't seem like much, but that's how much I have had for the past 10 years and have never noticed it being a problem and this time I planned on using stiffer springs. Anyway, the solution from here seemed to be a) get the struts and inserts shortened, or b) use Capri struts. Option 'a' started sounding very expensive so I decided to run with 'b'. As most of you know the Capri struts have the stub axle welded 25mm further up the strut tube than the 2ltr Escort item, therefore giving an instant 25mm drop in ride height, which would bring me back to the 50mm shock travel I was after. The Capri strut tubes are the same diameter as the Escort tubes, however they are slightly longer internally so a 3mm washer needs to be used in the base of the tubes in order to pack the Escort shocks enough so they sit in snug.

Fiding come Capri struts proved to be very difficult but I finally got some Capri legs from John (gtv6Capri) and then some Capri hubs from Rhys (2lt Scort). John had already removed the spring seats from the Capri struts so that saved me some work. I just cleaned them up with the wire brush and sand paper so they were ready for welding etc.




The following pics show some comparisons between the 2ltr Escort struts and the Capri struts...








More updates to follow soon...
#1


29 Replies Related Threads

    Paul Dunstan
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/23 05:55:40 (permalink)
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    Sean, great to see progress! I bet the old girl has felt a little neglected lately due to the new addition to the family.........This should cheer her up!

    I had to do a "double take" as it's been some time since you have posted a topic regarding the RS [:u]

    Your quest is almost at an end - adjustable spring seats on the way so now you just need to find that illusive mint RS bonnet
    #2
    nigel mk1
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/23 14:06:04 (permalink)
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    Looking good Sean. I just finished my coilover conversion on Capri struts too. Still finding it hard to find steering arms though[8~2]

    nigel.
    #3

    Sean
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/24 00:55:09 (permalink)
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    Next step was to make up some gussets for the struts... these were made from 3mm mild steel plate. The following pic shows two of the gussets along with a threaded tube ready for welding to the strut.



    Here is a pic of the complete coilover kit to be used (courtesy of SPEAD Design)




    Before fitting threaded tubes I had to deterimne at what height they should be welded to the strut tubes. I wanted to maintain my current ride height but also have equal amounts of adjustment both up and down so it was fairly crucial the threaded tubes be in just the right place. Whilst the old struts were still in the car I measured their length from underside of guard down to the stub axle so I knew this was the dimension I had to maintain for the new struts. Using an estimated figure of 250kgs to each front corner of the car I calculated how much the new 250lb coils would compress. The coils would compress at a linear rate of 1 inch for every 250lb's applied. 250kgs = 551lb's, so therefore the springs would each compress a total of 2.2 inches (56mm) under the dead load of the car. I also cross checked the calculations against the old 200lb coils which were in the car to see if their compressed length correlated with the formula. It seemed the old springs were compressing a little more than what the formula suggested, but I just put that down to sag over time. So, taking all the new components into consideration and using the calculated compression of new springs I was able to determine exactly where on the strut tubes the spring seats should sit. This in turn allowed me to determine where the threaded tubes had to be positioned on the strut tubes. I drew the following diagram to help me get my head around the calculations, showing both old and new setups...




    Once the threaded tube location was determined it was time for welding them to the struts. Phil kindly welded both the threaded tubes and the gusset plates to the struts for me. Once these bits were welded in place I tidied the struts up ready for painting by grinding down some of the welds slightly and using body filler to smooth out the transitions between the welds and strut tubes (I should point out that this is not an indication of poor welding but rather me being pedantic about that 'show car' finish). Below is a pic of the struts ready for primer.




    That's all for tonight... more updates to follow...
    #4
    RS2000mk2
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/24 07:42:04 (permalink)
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    gonna follow this very closesly, ive been hooked on the idea since i saw the how to in classic ford.

    cheers
    Rhys
    #5
    Timmeh
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/24 21:19:27 (permalink)
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    Good thread Sean, I'll be watching keenly as my coil-overs are made up for the rally car but just have to weld them together now.

    Lot's of calculations being done, good to be comprehensive.

    Timmeh
    #6
    Sean
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/25 00:58:17 (permalink)
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    With the struts basically ready or painting I then moved on to rebuilding the Capri hubs. I stripped the hubs and cleaned them out thorougly ready for fitting new bearing and seal kits. New kits are from CBC thanks to the help of Duane from the forum. Here is a pic of the kits...



    A bit of effort was required to knock out the old bearing cups but they eventually came out with a bit of coaxing. New bearing cup were then fitted using the old cups to knock them in to place. Below is pic of hubs part way through new cup fitment...




    I will be re-using the ventilated discs which were in the car... they just need a tidy up before being fitted...




    Another thing which I had to consider along the way was tie rod ends. The Capri steering arms have a smaller hole than the Escort steering arms so standard Escort tie rod ends cannot be used. This can be overcome however by either reaming out the Capri steering arms to suit the Escort tie rod ends, or using english RS2000 (aka 'green') tie rod ends. Given that the hole is tapered to match the tie rod ends I think it would be very difficult to machine it accurately enough, so therefore I chose the later option and sourced some tie rod ends from the UK...




    Yet another problem which I encountered was the fact that the hole for the strut top plates and sleeves for the adjustable top mounts did not suit my Bilstein inserts. A 5/8" hole was required for these items and Mark kindly arranged to have these machined out for me. Here is a pic of the top plates and sleeves after machining...




    These progress reports are almost up to date of where I'm currently at now, but hopefully it won't be too long before more progress happens...
    #7
    Sean
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/27 00:57:57 (permalink)
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    Strut legs, hubs and steering arms are now in primer...





    New wheel studs have also arrived and seem to be a good fit. Hopefully they don't turn once I start tightening wheel nuts.




    Also, whilst at the garage tour of BrakeSmart in Wollongong I had some braided brake lines made up to replace the cruddy old rubber lines...



    #8
    GeoffWade
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/27 07:36:36 (permalink)
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    your project is looking great Sean, keep the pics and progress report coming, your doing a great job and its a great read
    #9
    Phil
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/27 09:55:25 (permalink)
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    They look great Sean,did you end up having to sand blast the hubs or did you just rub them back by hand[?]
    #10
    Phil
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/27 09:58:10 (permalink)
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    A new set of wheels will have to follow soon[:p][%]so you can show off the brakes and struts[;^)]
    #11
    Sean
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/27 10:34:14 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Phil
    [br]They look great Sean,did you end up having to sand blast the hubs or did you just rub them back by hand[?]



    I just cleaned the hubs using the old wire brush on electric drill routine
    #12
    Sean
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/29 22:18:54 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Phil
    [br]A new set of wheels will have to follow soon[:p][%]so you can show off the brakes and struts[;^)]



    Do you know what the approximate lead time is on new wheels?
    #13
    Mark
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/29 22:30:30 (permalink)
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    "They" tell you 3-4 weeks...but realty is 6-8 weeks.
    #14
    Paul Dunstan
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    RE: Sean's Coilover Conversion 2006/08/29 22:37:05 (permalink)
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    Well, knock me down with a (big) feather - Sean, are you feeling OK [:x)]
    #15
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