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Mustang II Setup Rod--Is this necessary?

 
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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Mustang II Setup Rod--Is this necessary?

Okay, I finally got my MII kit from JPL. It's a Chassis Engineering kit. When I opened the box with the springs and shocks, a big red warning paper is in there warning that the springs and shocks should not be installed until the full weight of the completed vehicle is on the front end. They reccommend a setup rod between now and then. They say it's because of the stress on the ball joints, etc. until the weight is on it. Could somebody who's been there and done that comment? Is this rod truly necessary? Couldn't I just at least install the upper and lower control arms, spindle and the springs between now and the completion of the truck? I don't want to mess this up, and I've seen multiple pictures of installs where they do the springs and shocks early on. What is the deal? Is it just a safety issue with the springs?
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:17 PM
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the issue is that the balljoints typically don't carry the spring pressure full time. but I think this is crying wolf.. maybe someone had bad balljoints and got a failure.. I've never heard of one myself.

I would certainly install the shocks as a safety against balljoint failure..

I use the rod/block as a tool during chassis setup, but will install the springs shortly after that..

sam
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:23 PM
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Here's a link to a pic of one being used:

1949 Chevy Ifs Kit Spindle Photo 13
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:25 PM
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I installed my springs before I put any weight on the frame and didn't have any problems. I don't see why the ball joints wouldn't be able to support the full spring force. I did use a piece of all-thread with some big washers and nuts to compress my springs to ride height, but that was just so I could position the motor mounts and trans mount correctly.
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:07 PM
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Just for your (and mine) curiously why not ask Chassis Engineering?

On my Hedits installation I didnít have enough weight with the coil springs installed to do the shocks up so I used the above mentioned all-thread rod adjusted to ride height.

Still there (sure rides rough... just kidding) and a possible bonus benefit (yah, right?) might be that the coils springs will settle to ride height quicker.
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:15 PM
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I think part of the issue is the extreme angle of the ball joint stems, combined with spring force. They don't see that great an angle in normal use, except when the truck is jacked up. You can't install the spring with weight on the wheel, so it would seem like they are worried about it being that way for a year while you build the rest of the truck.
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:47 PM
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Thanks guys for the replies and help. Yeah I think that is their biggest concern. I called and asked them about it before I posted the thread. The guy who I talked to said it was more of a mock up type thing to get your ride height established, etc. Then I made another call later this afternoon (after I posted this thread) and that guy mentioned the ball joints and the fact that they've had unhappy customers lay a torch to their springs before they got it completely finished because it was too high. I just hadn't ever had any of my friends here locally mention that they used those rods and I couldn't get a good reason to leave the springs and shocks out until the very end. Thanks guys.
 
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:34 PM
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Is the setup rod included in the kit? If you wanted to you could put the coil spring and install the setup rod (it looks like it use the lower shock mount holes). That would keep it at ride height but Iím not sure you can compress the springs enough to install it. If there is no rod in the kit, use all-thread at ride height and it keeps the extreme pressure off the ball joints even in the air.

With humble apologies to anyone that is tried of seeing this pizz poor picture.
 
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:42 AM
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Unfortunately, the setup rod is not included in the kit, and I think it should be if they say it's such an important piece. It's another $20 if you order the one they have pre-made.
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:20 PM
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You could use an eye bolt or clevis and a piece of 1/2" to 5/8" all thread to make a set

I made a set of shock dummies for setting up four links or ladder bars on racecars about 10 years ago kind of the same idea.
 
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:32 PM
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It's not tough to make a set up rod from some pieces or even scraps of small tubing. It is a good idea to use the rod instead of the springs for all of the reasons mentioned. If you're not going to have the weight on the suspension for some time, it would put unnecessary stress on the ball joints. And it is a lot easier to mock up the chassis and body with the rig set at the correct ride height, instead of all jacked up with the springs installed. At the shops I worked at, we always used set up rods while building the car and installed the springs last. As mentioned, they're much easier to put in with weight on the chassis, too.
 
 
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