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A-Arm Fabrication

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Sarah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A-Arm Fabrication
    Posted: Jan/03/2011 at 9:20pm
So as most of you know our team has a huge lack of resources.  I have been trying to figure out what to make the a-arms out of and how to fab. them.
 
Do you teams normally buy a-arms? I didnt want to do this cause I doubt we will be able to find them in the sizes we wanted.
 
I've been trying to find some 'how tos' on the off road forums and havent came up with much.  Searched here and the USC baja thread came up over and over but there were not many replies and i figured an entire thread might be helpful.
 
I think I have a general idea of what size tubing I'd like for the top/bottom but not sure what the best route is to fabricate them.. I've seen people bend them (which means if we dont find someone who can we'd have to buy another die).. i've also seen some guys making a triangle by welding two pieces of tubing.  I'd prefer to bend them but I'm thinking we might go welded route. 
 
Just curious on what the experienced guys have learned to do and not do over the years.
 
 
did find this:


Edited by Sarah - Jan/03/2011 at 9:28pm
University of South Carolina - Gamecock Baja 2011
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ErikHardy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/03/2011 at 10:00pm
What joints do you plan on using for the steering knuckle?

If you plan on putting bends in the A-arms, the closer the bend is to the knuckle the better. I'm not a fan of putting in bends but sometimes its necessary to bend around the shock in the top arm.
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jeiB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeiB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/03/2011 at 10:49pm
Some teams use the Polaris Outlaw suspension, the arms, the knuckles, the brakes, the hubs. Simple but I think its pricey. Try to avoid bends, it adds to cost and manufacturing time and its weaker. Last year, we jigged the arms on plywood and used angle iron to locate them. 
Jeremie B.
McGill Baja Racing
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tp View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/04/2011 at 4:46pm
Not to give away too many secrets, but its really not that hard to come up with a decent a-arm jig. All you need is a decent way of locating some points in 2D. We have used pieces of plate with holes drilled in them to locate the points. Then is just a matter of connecting the dots. Probably the hardest part is machining the ball joint retainers. Guaranteed that it will be cheaper and probably easier than buying the stock suspension components off of an ATV. 
-Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote collinskl1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/04/2011 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by tp tp wrote:

Not to give away too many secrets, but its really not that hard to come up with a decent a-arm jig. All you need is a decent way of locating some points in 2D. We have used pieces of plate with holes drilled in them to locate the points. Then is just a matter of connecting the dots. Probably the hardest part is machining the ball joint retainers. Guaranteed that it will be cheaper and probably easier than buying the stock suspension components off of an ATV. 
 
And you can buy those online if you want!
 
At the risk of sounding completely backwoods... I've welded multiple sets of a-arms together with nothing more than some threaded rod, a few washers and nuts, and some clamps.
Kyle Collins
Lipscomb University Alumni
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Nexteer Automotive
Product Engineer, Electronic Power Steering

... and the 8th simple machine: a bigger hammer.
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CLReedy21 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLReedy21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/04/2011 at 7:30pm
This is our jig setup. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33676137&l=fef925eb5e&id=52707164

Edited by CLReedy21 - Jan/04/2011 at 9:19pm
-Chris Reedy
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adrive7 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrive7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/05/2011 at 1:00am
This is our usual jig setup:


Plate with steel dowels to hold everything in the right place.
-Joe
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dillon_b12 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/05/2011 at 11:09am
Laser cut plate with some machined bolt-on blocks.  Uppers, lowers, and our trailing arms were all made on this jig.  The windows are for flipping the jig over to weld the backside as much as possible before taking the part out.





Edited by dillon_b12 - Jan/05/2011 at 11:09am
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