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How to Narrow your own Beam !!!
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark tucker wrote:
twmcbrid wrote:
at the beginning under one of the pics, it says that he puts the adjusters at the "correct" angle and it shows an magnetic protractor at 15 degrees. is this the "correct" angle?
15 from what? and is that lowered ,raised, or stock? how much movement of the ajuster lowers the car how much?.

The answer to your question varies because not all adjusters are the same.

When you disassemble your beam and prepare to cut, you need to mark where the original (stock) center grub screw was mounted (see white chalk lines below):
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


When you install your adjusters, you set your adjusters to where you want the stock height to be and line up the grub screw with the line you made. So where is your grub screw in the new adjuster? Look at these two pics and you can see that depending on the maker of your adjuster, the grub screw can be 45-deg off. Notice that the screw that is visible IS NOT necessarity the grub screw. This means the adjuster will be welded differently depending on which of these two adjusters you install.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So the example from earlier pics are specific to that make/model adjuster. You will need to measure and judge based on yours.

If you wanted to change the ride height from a max height of "stock" and anything lower... you would screw in the adjustment screw all the way (max ride height) and align the grub screw with stock. That give you maximum drop.
If you planned on installing 2.5" dropped spindles and wanted to be able to raise the height some so you could get an overall 2" drop, you would need to weld in your adjusters to allow some height adjustment heigher than stock. It all depends on your setup.
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

both of those ajusters look the same to me just 1 is fliped over. and if you install it up sidw down it wont work as the pressure wont be on the ajuster screw.
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Derek Cobb
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark tucker wrote:
both of those ajusters look the same to me just 1 is fliped over. and if you install it up sidw down it wont work as the pressure wont be on the ajuster screw.


You obviously shouldn't be installing them then. They a certainly different. I made the 45 degree mistake installing adjusters in my first beam. Went from 3 inches narrow to 3 1/2 inches just like that. Laughing
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what does narrow have to do with it??? aparently you my not need to be doing it. I have done it with out any peoblem. first time about 30+ years ago with out any problem. then again with out any problem. but I wasent shooting for any certin hight. I was just raisenig it for baja. and the one 30+ years ago was a giha. no problem with either. but now Im fixen to lower my baja down low with ajsuters and spindles.and narrow itabout 4-6.
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark tucker wrote:
both of those ajusters look the same to me just 1 is fliped over. and if you install it up sidw down it wont work as the pressure wont be on the ajuster screw.

Take a closer look at which screw will lockdown onto the dimple in the torsion bar. In the top pic it is obviously the hex screw that extends radially.
In the lower pic you might assume the same, but that radial screw does not reach all the way to the torsion bars. You can see a "hidden" threaded hole with no external screw. THIS is the grub screw for the lower adjuster. It is 135-deg out from the top one. The angle of install of these adjusters would be radically different.
The point is, there is no one angle that works for all installs.

Mark, I think Derek's comment implied that after building his 3" narrowed beam, he discovered he had overlooked the hidden grub screw (just as you did). He then needed to cut out and reinstall his adjusters. The end result was an even narrower 3.5" beam.
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Derek Cobb
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ashman40 wrote:
mark tucker wrote:
both of those ajusters look the same to me just 1 is fliped over. and if you install it up sidw down it wont work as the pressure wont be on the ajuster screw.

Take a closer look at which screw will lockdown onto the dimple in the torsion bar. In the top pic it is obviously the hex screw that extends radially.
In the lower pic you might assume the same, but that radial screw does not reach all the way to the torsion bars. You can see a "hidden" threaded hole with no external screw. THIS is the grub screw for the lower adjuster. It is 135-deg out from the top one. The angle of install of these adjusters would be radically different.
The point is, there is no one angle that works for all installs.

Mark, I think Derek's comment implied that after building his 3" narrowed beam, he discovered he had overlooked the hidden grub screw (just as you did). He then needed to cut out and reinstall his adjusters. The end result was an even narrower 3.5" beam.


Yeah, what he said. Just like that.
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mark tucker
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok my eyes cant digitize the photo so I can turn it and see the screw that isant shown in the pic.but I would of seen it in my hand. I presume this is so you can position it so it isant hanging down under the car looking like crap. or for on a raised beam so it isant sofar up you cant get to it to ajust it.( I cant hardly get to mine in my bug ( top one ,somebody else did it before I got the car.
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twiggyzappa
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a general idea how how to do this myself. But my main question is what to do about the sway bar if the beam is narrowed more than two in.? Most retailers only sale them for a 2" narrowed beam.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twiggyzappa wrote:
I've got a general idea how how to do this myself. But my main question is what to do about the sway bar if the beam is narrowed more than two in.? Most retailers only sale them for a 2" narrowed beam.


get the heavy duty one and narrow it. its much easier with a tig.
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought sway bars are spring steel? If you cut and weld them in the middle won't you end up with a less flexible sway bar? Assuming cut/weld is what you were implying?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can sleave them if you like. but yes they will be less flexiable.but that is because you remover part of it. and is that what you want any way??stiffer,less roll.
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thewreckingsoul
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it does make them stiffer but it is still functional
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally people install thicker diameter sway bars to improve handling. Thicker bars are less flexible.
Shorter bars of the same thickness are also less flexible. So the more you narrow the front, the thinner the sway bar should get to maintain the same handling.

Would it be better to shorten a stock diameter sway bar and get the increased "stiffness" from the cut and the shortening... is this enough to act like a thicker sway bar on a normal width front end? Not many thickness choices out there.

I added a 3/4" sway bar w/ urethane bushing to my stock width front end... noticeably stiffer/bumpier. I don think I'd want to use it cut down for a narrower beam... it'd be an even bumpier ride. Shocked
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Duane
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ashman40 wrote:
Normally people install thicker diameter sway bars to improve handling. Thicker bars are less flexible.
Shorter bars of the same thickness are also less flexible. So the more you narrow the front, the thinner the sway bar should get to maintain the same handling.

Would it be better to shorten a stock diameter sway bar and get the increased "stiffness" from the cut and the shortening... is this enough to act like a thicker sway bar on a normal width front end? Not many thickness choices out there.

I added a 3/4" sway bar w/ urethane bushing to my stock width front end... noticeably stiffer/bumpier. I don think I'd want to use it cut down for a narrower beam... it'd be an even bumpier ride. Shocked


I'll be cutting and narrowing my stock bar next month and reinstalling, and for a 4" beam too. I'll post back and report my findings.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

does the beam ends where the torsion arms go also have grub screws?
sorry for the newb question. i already understand the concept of narrowing and installing adjusters. i dont think the torsion arms have grub screws because the torsion arms wouldnt be able to move, with that said, shortening of the torsion bars should also increase stiffness when narrowing the beam.

Charley

edit, ok just saw the pic above, no more grub screws, so shortening the torsion bars should increase stiffness.
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Duane
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AutoLuxLexES wrote:
does the beam ends where the torsion arms go also have grub screws?
sorry for the newb question. i already understand the concept of narrowing and installing adjusters. i dont think the torsion arms have grub screws because the torsion arms wouldnt be able to move, with that said, shortening of the torsion bars should also increase stiffness when narrowing the beam.

Charley

edit, ok just saw the pic above, no more grub screws, so shortening the torsion bars should increase stiffness.


yes the torsion arms have grub screws also, thats what keeps them from sliding off the trosion springs and why you will need to redrill after shortening them. Wink
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AutoLuxLexES
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, i didnt know that, but then again, i haven't done this yet and seen all the car thoroughly through.
but shortening of the torsion arms when narrowing still increases stiffness correct?

Charley
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Joey
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AutoLuxLexES wrote:
ok, i didnt know that, but then again, i haven't done this yet and seen all the car thoroughly through.
but shortening of the torsion arms when narrowing still increases stiffness correct?

Charley


You shorten the torsion leaves not the arms.

Correct, narrowing increases stiffness.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any opinions on what the maximum amount you can shorten a beam ? I'd like to make a buggy to run around on the narrow paths in my woods. I'll fab up a frame, so no concerns about body etc.

Thanks,
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just remember that a narrow 4 wheeler likes to fall over go boom.not very stable.get a bike !! offroad cars go wider for that reason.
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