Q: What is the point of failure in the front suspension if you are hit on the wheel? - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Q: What is the point of failure in the front suspension if you are hit on the wheel?

This may sound like an odd question but I'm taking a lesson learned from my second 24 Hours of Lemons race and want to stock up on spare parts. Late in the afternoon on the second day of racing (when the other drivers start truly getting aggressive), a second E30 decides they like our line more than we do and knocks us off the track right at our passenger side rear wheel.

The UCA bent up like a taco. Luckily, this is a straightforward fix and thanks to a borrowed MAP torch and borrowed sledge, we were back in the race in 30 minutes. According to Dan, the rear UCAs are design to do this; IMO, this is a good idea because I'd rather have a part that is being held on by a mere 2 bolts bend vs. something far more annoying like the LCA or knuckle. The rear swaybar bracket also popped off but that was a simple matter of replacing removing/reinstalling a single bolt.
See pic:


Q: Now, if we were hit on one of the front wheels (perpendicular to the axis of wheel rotation), I would like to get your guys opinions as to what would be the most likely item to break/bend first...

My guesses would be either
a) the upper control arm at the ball joint (which is straightforward to replace at the race and fairly reasonably priced) but I suspect it might be
b) the vertical piece of metal on the knuckle/spindle OR one of the rods connecting from the back.

I'd appreciate your thoughts here so I can consider what to stock.


Thanks in advance for your replies.
Regards,
-g


After all, you can never seem to trust the stupid spec E30 drivers who are tired to losing in Spec E30 so decide to join us with their cheater cars in Lemons...

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 11:57 AM
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I would carry a spare UCA, LCA, and Hub/knuckle assembly. Might want to bring spare inner & outer tie rod ends too! That way you have everything with you that may break. Strut rod might bend or break, but they are pretty tough (heck, carry a spare of those too)


FWIW, I spun out of control at a high rate of speed once, hit the pavement sideways and bent a rear UCA like you did. Not quite so drastic as yours, but the tire was leaning in.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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My guess would be if they hit high on the wheel, it would break the spindle at the thinnest point beneath the ball joint, and if they hit low, it would probably break the camber adjuster on the lower ball joint and possibly rip the cradle where the cam bolt goes through. That would take a serious impact to do either of those things though, so I think you'll probably be OK on that front. What is likely to bend/break is the steering linkage. I would say keep a spare complete rack with both tie rods on it, that way if you need to change it, the alignment will be pretty close. Also, any kind of front suspension impact tends to destroy the strut rod bushings, so a complete set of those would be good to have too.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 10:23 PM
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The spindle bends, the uca bends, and the inner tie rod end bends on impact head on the face of a front wheel. Been there, done that.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Murder View Post
The spindle bends, the uca bends, and the inner tie rod end bends on impact head on the face of a front wheel. Been there, done that.
Yes, It does!

Impact from the side:

The end of the lca bends, as well as the vertical section of the spindle and then the shock, when the wheel hits it.

If it's hard enough, all the stuff Chris mentioned goes as well.



If you get nailed hard enough in the rear wheel where you did, it will also bend the ears on the LCA, the knuckle to match, and the attach points on the IRS.

BTDT, lol.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 06:30 PM
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I'd say the major point of failure would be the driver's seat as it turns dark brown ...

RwP
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 06:48 PM
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The part that bends first on anything but a square from the side hit will be the inner tie rod.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 08:03 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
I'd say the major point of failure would be the driver's seat as it turns dark brown ...

RwP
Technically, that's classified as an underwear failure.

(A diaper would have saved the seat, lol.)

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. This really helps me keep in mind what spare parts I will acquire/pack for our next race.
-g

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