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Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe

Posted by Ckgtimk2 
Ckgtimk2
Corey Kline
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Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 03:36PM
So I'm going to swap out the subframe on my MK2 for one with a trans mount and was wondering if I should take the time to reinforce it at all. Right now the subframe isn't reinforced anywhere, but one control arm is plated on the leading edge. Is it worth plateing the other control arm? I took a big hit on the none reinforced control arm and it only bent the tie rod. So my thinking is it worth trying to make the control arm stronger just to have it bend the subframe if it takes a big hit? Swapping control arms takes seconds vs replacing a subframe taking a bit more time. Any thoughts?



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Doivi Clarkinen
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 03:54PM
Your thinking is correct. Reinforce the subframe, stitch it up, gusset it. You kind of want the a-arm as a fuse, though. You can reinforce it just enough so that it doesn't just fail in normal use but if you hit something hard you want it to bend and not the subframe. A-arms are a lot easier and quicker to replace than crossmembers.
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Project328is
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 04:15PM
Talking about control-arms...Should I reinforce it on the volvo?? There is a guy in Oregon doing some sweet Volvo stuff...

http://yoshifab.com/store/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=6

Also, are you gonna be at your shop tomorrow, I was thinking of swinging by if you're there.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 05:56PM
Quote
Project328is
Talking about control-arms...Should I reinforce it on the volvo?? There is a guy in Oregon doing some sweet Volvo stuff...

http://yoshifab.com/store/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=6

Also, are you gonna be at your shop tomorrow, I was thinking of swinging by if you're there.

That's Josh and he's a customer of mine, and I'm a customer of his.
He's in San Diego, a few exits south of Portland, about 1020 miles.Yeah you should but we can do those locally. First thing is grabbing a couple of extras to get them spotlessly clean....then weld.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 06:09PM
lower control arms found:
http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=272826



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alkun
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 07:51PM
Yoshi makes some nice stuff, but those a-arm reinforcement plates are hopelessly thin, like 20 ga. I make mine out of 10 ga.
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Project328is
Arno Guerin
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 20, 2013 08:03PM
Are you thinking Pick and Pull hard?? how much should I pay for it? Wouldn't be a bad idea to get some new CTA bushing? NON...



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hoche
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 04:22AM
Yeah, reinforce the subframe if you've got a chance.

As for the A-arms, I reinforce the leading edge with a steel strip. I've seen other people used steel tubing there, which probably works just as well. I also stitch weld
the trailing edge, in the seam where the two stamped halves meet, but I don't do any reinforcing there other than that. I also sleeve the big hole in the middle with a curved steel strip. The idea is to make the A-arms strong enough to handle pretty reasonable hits, but also have them be the first point of failure on big hits because they're the easiest (and cheapest) thing to replace.

I don't think I've ever seen a subframe without a trans mount. I'm kinda curious about that.

While you're at it, reinforce the stamped steel transmount arm that runs from the transmission longitudinally towards the rear. Be very careful when you're welding it though - it's easy to warp it. That's the main load-bearing piece of the transmission mount system - the piece that bolts onto the diff housing and holds the shift linkage will just fracture if it has to bear the weight of the trans.



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Ckgtimk2
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 08:22AM
Quote
hoche
Yeah, reinforce the subframe if you've got a chance.

As for the A-arms, I reinforce the leading edge with a steel strip. I've seen other people used steel tubing there, which probably works just as well. I also stitch weld
the trailing edge, in the seam where the two stamped halves meet, but I don't do any reinforcing there other than that. I also sleeve the big hole in the middle with a curved steel strip. The idea is to make the A-arms strong enough to handle pretty reasonable hits, but also have them be the first point of failure on big hits because they're the easiest (and cheapest) thing to replace.

I don't think I've ever seen a subframe without a trans mount. I'm kinda curious about that.

While you're at it, reinforce the stamped steel transmount arm that runs from the transmission longitudinally towards the rear. Be very careful when you're welding it though - it's easy to warp it. That's the main load-bearing piece of the transmission mount system - the piece that bolts onto the diff housing and holds the shift linkage will just fracture if it has to bear the weight of the trans.

Awesome. Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for.

As far as the trans mount, I haven't seen a subframe w/o one either. A previous owner made custom motor/trans mounts for the car. The mount on the trans bolts in place of the factory mount "arm" that bolts on the 5th gear housing and bolts right to the frame rail. The factory mount on the subframe is completely gone, the cup the mount sits in isnt even on the subframe anymore. I was trying to think of the logic behind removing it completely, maybe making tranny swaps easier? Anyway, at BRS we landed hard off of a small jump and it broke the top off of the 5th gear housing. So I figured if I can throw a factory trans mount on there too I might as well.



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danster
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 10:07AM
Quote
Ckgtimk2
As far as the trans mount, I haven't seen a subframe w/o one either. A previous owner made custom motor/trans mounts for the car. The mount on the trans bolts in place of the factory mount "arm" that bolts on the 5th gear housing and bolts right to the frame rail. The factory mount on the subframe is completely gone, the cup the mount sits in isnt even on the subframe anymore. I was trying to think of the logic behind removing it completely, maybe making tranny swaps easier? Anyway, at BRS we landed hard off of a small jump and it broke the top off of the 5th gear housing. So I figured if I can throw a factory trans mount on there too I might as well.

That mount setup you describe is what the works mk2 Golfs utilised. It is very similar to how a std mk1 Golf engine and box is mounted.
Presume the reason for such a modification on a mk2 is that it is designed to use captive mounts rather that the mk2's original type that are not that good at keeping the engine located.
It also means the subframe can be dropped out if damaged without having to support the engine.
Mk1 and mk2 Ford Escort sort of do this modification too with their chassis rail mount engine mounts instead of bolting engine to the crossmember.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 11:42AM
Quote
danster

It also means the subframe can be dropped out if damaged without having to support the engine.
Mk1 and mk2 Ford Escort sort of do this modification too with their chassis rail mount engine mounts instead of bolting engine to the crossmember.

Once again it MIGHT be helpful to look at the
Ford Escort RS2000 F2 Prep book for the Fail Wheel Drive F2 thing we have scanned somewhere here.. Some real nice ideas shown in clear simple drawings...







Whatever else it does show they gave it a lot of effort to keep that engine still--and still serviceable.



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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 01:43PM
Whilst talking of stronger parts and serviceability.
Did you guys get the rear stub axle on the left?



They were fitted to Polos and other variants over here in Euroland. They can be bolted straight on to a mk1,2 or 3 rear beam, and once fitted they save having to muck around with those taper rollers used on the original type on the right all the time. And they also use a separate hub and disc assembly as an added bonus.



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john vanlandingham
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 02:01PM
Quote
danster
Whilst talking of stronger parts and serviceability.
Did you guys get the rear stub axle on the left?



They were fitted to Polos and other variants over here in Euroland. They can be bolted straight on to a mk1,2 or 3 rear beam, and once fitted they save having to muck around with those taper rollers used on the original type on the right all the time. And they also use a separate hub and disc assembly as an added bonus.

Jeeezuz I've been trying to get guys to use the later MkIV junk for almost 15 years, and I THINK I may have convince our local maniac fast VW guy Tom Buress to try it...the damn hub is 5 bolts and its sealed bearings.. makes it hard to weld up the holes and start over...

Do the hubs that go wif dat have 4 holes or 5???



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danster
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 02:06PM
I thought you guys would have plenty of the mk4 stubs but they are slightly larger and the 4 bolts that locate the stub to the mk4 beam use a different spacing from the mk1,2 and 3 beam. Also the mk4 stub does not have the caliper carrier lugs on it, for some reason VW kept those lugs on the beam.

But this type of stub comes with both 4 x 100 and 5 x 100 hub and disc options.





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john vanlandingham
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Re: Reinforcing VW control arms/subframe
January 21, 2013 02:13PM
OOOooooooooh dear (in my best POSH RP accent)

Bolt pattern on the poxy beam I didn't flinch at, simple drilling jig...

But the permanent bearings makes filling the holes a bitch.

But wait! I CAN change a 5 bolt to 4 bolt easy..

The ears I didn't think about cause i wanted to go to larger disc than the little tiny weeee 130 x 5.5mm disc disc that VW uses so we'd just zap out some simple ears...

But...how common is that stuff?



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