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What Is Wrong With Adjustable Arms


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I have noticed that there are a few of the old style bushed adjustable arms popping up on Ebay and such recently. They are generally discontinued products, with the most common now being the arms with spherical bearings. I wrote this review on the common types for a magazine, but it mosly applies here;

FRONT

The Whiteline bush kit replaces the standard rubber bushes with polyurethane ones. The inner steel tube of the bushes can be rotated to adjust the camber, when you tighten the bolts the tube is locked to the control arm. So the camber doesn't change. I have NEVER seen a Skyline where the front camber is so far out it can't be adjusted with one front camber kit. One front camber kit costs $272.00 (on the Group Buy).

R33_Front_Adj_Upper_Arms.jpg

R33_Front_Adj_Upper_Arm_Adjuster.jpg

The blue arms, I haven't seen one of those upper control arms for years. They are OK, the main problem is the adjustment is in steps, so one hole can give too much and the next hole too little. Also the retaining bolts are very small, the thread in the arms strips over time and that do break (when loose) under heavy load. This is not too dangerous as the main bolt is still trapped, but it is quite freaky when they let go. They need to be tightened regularly

R33_Front_Adj_Upper_Arms_Black.jpg

R33_Front_Adj_Upper_Arms_Black_Adjuster.jpg

The black arms, they look to be the newer style with the eccentric washer, to overcome the step problem above. It is a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but the problem with those was there was only an eccentric washer on one side and they twist with the caster (when you turn the steering wheel). So they need to be tightened regularly. Of the three front arms this is the best one.

R33_Front_Adj_Upper_Arms_Chrome.jpg

The chrome arms (not a good idea to chrome plate suspension arms, they crack and the plating covers the cracks so you can't see them). The picture is not good enough to see what style adjuster they use, it looks like its the same as the black arms.

REAR

The Whiteline bush kits replaces the standard rubber bushes with polyurethane ones. If you need one kit, the inner bush on the upper control am is replaced. If you need 2 kits (as is your case) then both the inner and the outer bushes are replaced, the inner one on the upper control arm and the outer one on the upright (hub). The inner steel tube of the bushes can be rotated to adjust the camber, when you tighten the bolts the tube is locked to the control arm. So the camber doesn't change. I have NEVER seen a Skyline where the rear camber is so far out it can't be adjusted with two rear camber kits. One rear camber kit costs $123.00 (on the Group Buy).

R33_Rear_Adj_Upper_Arms.jpg

The blue arms have spherical joints on the inner mount. The outer mount uses the standard rubber bushes that are trapped in the upright (hub). They are the best style of adjuster, infinite adjustment, easy to get at and they have lock nuts so they never slip. The only bad point for a road car (and it's a big one) is the spherical joints. The wear very fast, are non greasable, have no dust covers (so they are illegal/defectable) and really make the suspension very harsh, chassis cracks etc etc

I get adjustable arms sent to me all the time to replace the spherical joints. But they are mostly a unique size and you can't just buy replacement sphericals. So you have to buy band new arms.

The bottom line is suspension experts have found the adjustable polyurethane bush is THE most effective method for adjusting camber on a road car. The adjustment is permanent and they don't need any maintenance or regular tightening. Sphericals are great on a race car, where no one cares about noise, they are replaced frequently and cracks are welded up regularly.

How much camber correction do I need the following is a quick table I drew up based on the front height, all models of R32/33/34 Skyline are pretty similar. But as usual, remember that every car is different;

Following are the usual front heights and what camber kits are needed at each height.

Standard (new) height is 380 mm (centre of wheel to guard)

360 mm needs only the standard rear camber adjusters

350 mm needs 1 front camber kit and 1 rear camber kit

340 mm needs I front camber kit and 2 rear camber kits

I hope that answers some of the common questions that I get asked on adjusting camber on Skylines

:angry: Cheers :)

Edited by Sydneykid
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hey gary, sorry to be off topic but im having trouble sending you a pm. inbox full?

cheers!

Nope, PM has room for new message at the moment. I have had a couple of guys say that the PM system was down for a while. Maybe have another try.

:) cheers ;)

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yeh bushes are good for road cars, but what about more track used cars..

jap caster arms/camber arms pillowballs last for YEARs..

how long do bushes last?

urethane bushes would be noisier than standard rubber bushes too id expect?

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yeh bushes are good for road cars, but what about more track used cars..

jap caster arms/camber arms pillowballs last for YEARs..

how long do bushes last?

urethane bushes would be noisier than standard rubber bushes too id expect?

Quick summary;

Spherical bearingss are illegal in CAMS Production classes, you have to use rubber

Spherical bearingss are illegal in CAMS Improved Production classes, you can replace rubber with polyurethane though.

Spherical bearings are legal in CAMS Sports Sedan classes.

Sphericla bearings are legal in V8Supercars

Targa rules vary, but in general if it didn't come with spherical bearings standard then you can't use them.

In the Sports Sedans we replace all of the sphericals every year at rebuild time. The lap times drop off noticeably if we don't. There are also a number of highly stressed areas where they are replaced more regularly. The front and rear control arms, the watts linkage and the front radius rods are the most common.

In the V8SuperCars we replace all of the spericals every year and the high stress ones after 10 hours of racing. For example new ones are installed for Bathurst and replaced before the next race.

We use race quality spherical bearings and a full set for a sports sedan costs around $5K to replace. They are not inferior quality by any means.

Polyurethane comes in a number of grades (hardness) which is measured in duro. Standard rubber bushes are around 45 duro, you can get polyurethane that is also 45 duro. Most aftermarket/off the shelf polyurethane bushes are 70/75 duro but you can get "competition" bushes up to 90/95 duro.

At 75 duo they transmitt very little extra NVH, at 90 duro it is noticeable but not excessive. Nowhere near as noisy as a solid joint using spherical bearings.

Keeping all of that in mind, my suggestion would be to use spherical bearings in suspension on cars that are ONLY used on the track. They may be driven on the road only to get to the local track. Plus make sure that they are legal for the class that you want to compete in. Check them regularly and replace them as soon as they have free play. Make sure that the arms/links that you buy have spehericals that can be replaced with new ones. Many have unique sizes/threads/dimensions that you can't buy aftermarket sphericals for, so you have to buy new arms when the bearings wear.

Hope that helps some more

:angry: cheers :D

Edited by Sydneykid
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Gary , do you work 25hrs a day??

To get all the prep work done on the race cars, build engines and STILL get on this forum to hand out advice that people pay good money for elsewhere.

Stop it, you are putting everyone out of business :D:D

That or would you like a part time job in WA ? ;)

Cheers

Ken

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Keeping all of that in mind, my sugestion would be to use spherical bearings in suspension on cars that are only used on the track.

this contradicts your thread title.

It seems as though the purpose of you posting this thread, is bagging out spherical bearings, however now you say that they are better (if the car is only to be used on the track). e.g.. spherical bearings are better than bushes

Though your tyhread title is "What Is Wrong With Adjustable Arms, Why bushes are better"

This is confusing to me, becuase the way you have worded the thread title, makes it sound like "throw your spherical bearings in the bin..."

So,

to summarise, this is how I understand what you are saying.

Looking at the way the affect the handling of the car, and adjustability. Ignoring if they are used on road or not.

- Spherical bearings are better

However, they are bad, because they wear out faster on road, aren't legal, and need to tighten bolts regularly

Edited by MerlinTheHapyPig
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i think the title would apply to more than 99% of people reading it. so maybe for you it is not accurate in case you have a track car, but i think everyone else is fine with it.

Maybe you are unhappy about this because you sell adjustable arms and it is affecting your business?

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i think he is more likely informing us of the inferior arms, why they are inferior and what is a better solution

the arms he or others would use in a dedicated track car would not be any of these and would be of higher quality and build

Edited by KamikazeR33
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The primary point to be made here for the benefit of the majority of forum members is that sphericals are a high maintenance item, and not too many members regularly spend the hours under a car to constatntly inspect for maintenance. For the majority without extensive racing experience they will likely have no idea of the difference in handling characteristics as well so close will be the difference.

Add to that they are expensive to replace, transmit large amounts of NVH and can transmit impulse loads that can cause structural damage to the chassis and mounting points.

Now if you are in the business of selling these items and told a customer that they are fine in a road car and failed to disclose that damage could result due to dramatic differences in form and function, and damage resulted due to the increased impulse transmission, then you are liable for the damage. You have also committed an offence under the trade practices act as you have misled a customer. They can also be defected so again you have not detailed the consequences so are liable for the costs of labour to replace, a refund for the goods and the fine.

Some things to perhaps consider.

SK is doing the members a favour, not screwing others out of an income. Private sales of one off items - "caveat emptor". Multiple sales like a business - Trade Practices Act.

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Maybe you are unhappy about this because you sell adjustable arms and it is affecting your business?

No actually, I do not sell anything on these forums.

Though, I could say exactly the same about Sydney Kid, since he's selling the bush style adjustable suspension components. And by the looks of things he's posting pics up of his competitors products and bagging them. Isn't that against fair trading practices??

I don't have financial interest in this argument, I just want clarification as I want to make the best decision for my personal car. And I also want to be clear that the thread author isn't misleading us in order to sell his own products!

Don't take that comment as inflammitory, just thought it needed to be said. Everyone on the forum appreciates your advise SK, which is very valuable, and in most cases spot on. But since you have a financial interest due to your group buy, these things should be mentioned.

Edited by MerlinTheHapyPig
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No actually,  I do not sell anything on these forums.

Though, I could say exactly the same about Sydney Kid,  since he's selling the bush style adjustable suspension components.  And by the looks of things he's posting pics up of his competitors products and bagging them.  Isn't that against fair trading practices??

I don't have financial interest in this argument, I just want clarification as I want to make the best decision for my personal car.  And I also want to be clear that the thread author isn't misleading us in order to sell his own products!   

Don't take that comment as inflammitory, just thought it needed to be said.  Everyone on the forum appreciates your advise SK, which is very valuable, and in most cases spot on.  But since you have a financial interest due to your group buy,  these things should be mentioned.

He is not making money on the whiteline groupbuy, so no, he does not have a financial interest to bag these products. If he was making lots of money from this the sale would be in the sponsor section, not the groupbuy section.

You have an add in your signature for your business, and i have seen you sell bulk stuff in the FS section before, also i guess you know that a lot of guys who read this forum also visit nissansilvia, on which you sell a lot of stuff, now those guys would think twice about buying these products if they did not know otherwise beforehand.

Anyway, why not get some bush style adjusters to sell alongside of the the arms, i need a set in the future :)

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no, i just drift as part of garage-13 team, i don't make any money. It is not my business. I sold a couple of things a while ago before i was affiliated with g13, but no longer do.

I have never sold anything on nissansilvia.com

also like to note, i think they sell adjustable bush ones aswell. So it's not about profit stealing here. If you're after some bushes, you can contact alex as he gets swaybars from whiteline and can probably get other stuff, but u need to talk to him about it (garage-13 on the forum, or in sponsor section).

I don't believe he is not making a profit from the group buy, because I have seen some of the sponsors selling the whiteline adjustable sway bars, for around $40 cheaper than the group buy. So either SK is adding a margin, or the price he is getting from whiteline is fairly poor.

I'm not here to try and sell stuff. I really am considering changing my sig.

But Ok, here are the reasons I'm being sceptical:

1. Admitted adjustable arms are better for track only, contradicting thread title. Seems confusing

2. SK is selling whiteline suspension stuff on group buy. of course he is going to promote his products

3. If any sponsor on the forum started a thread dissing other sponsors products, their thread would have been locked

4. The article doesn't cite any references, and their is no evidence of any sort of controlled testing of various products.

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1. Admitted adjustable arms are better for track only, contradicting thread title. Seems confusing

2. SK is selling whiteline suspension stuff on group buy. of course he is going to promote his products

3. If any sponsor on the forum started a thread dissing other sponsors products, their thread would have been locked

4. The article doesn't cite any references, and their is no evidence of any sort of controlled testing of various products.

1. Nothing wrong with the title. What is wrong with adjustable arms? Well the spherical ends have poor longevity and are not road legal and can damage your vehicle. He is vindicated.

2. He is providing a product he is satisfied with the form, fit and function of and attempting to save members major costs in the future. Given his current and previous occupations he is about the only person on this forum that will really know. I'd suggest others would not get the exact specification products that SK has provided but a more generic product eg the six (I believe and will check) different modifications to the GTR shocks valving as well as the extra height grooves and the added holes to the GTR anti roll bars that he initially developed for Whiteline. The intellectual property alone is worth more but hey, lets all buy generic and save a couple of bucks.

3. Which sponsor has he named? Perhaps he is a. right and b. is worth more as a member providing advice and raw knowledge than some sponsors monetary input.

4. When a subject matter expert writes a paper or article he doesn't need references. He is the reference. Perhaps his controlled testing was on someone elses payroll, say at a race track so specific detail is not easily divulged for IP reasons as well as protecting his reputation by keeping some detail close to the chest and is therefore a good intelligence risk for the current and next employer.

Do you get it yet???

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ok, relax man. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just explaining myself.

I don't doubt that SK has a lot of experience in this area, and his advice and contribution to the forum has been invaluable.

But, he does have a financial interest -- which is why i am sceptical

- and some of the things he has been saying in his article and posts in this thread seem contradictory to me. which is why I posted for clarification.

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The bottom line is suspension experts have found the adjustable polyurethane bush is THE most effective method for adjusting camber on a road car. The adjustment is permanent and they don't need any maintenance or regular tightening. Sphericals are great on a race car, where no one cares about noise, they are replaced frequently and cracks are welded up regularly.

How does that contradict the title?

SK clearly defines what is best for a road car, and what is best on the track.

SK is helping people by suggesting something that is relevant to them, rather than saying spericals are better due to more adjustment available.

Not starting anymore flaming here, but everytime i see you have given suspension adjsutment advice merlin, its all for the spericals. It doesnt help me or joe blow with a street car who doesnt need the car off the road every so often to replace bearings.....

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Well you do a poor job of the explanation, and if financial interest causes scepticism then surely Alexs' limited detail posts on sphericals are extremely suspect. If you don't want a debate then think before you suggest a long standing and well respected member of the forum is corrupt.

Don't pull a double standard on us.

I expect SK is ready for your apology now.

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