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Old September 10th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #1
VonHoffman
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Default SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

I've been having a heck of a time trying to get more info regarding the pieces and parts to the SoCalook front crossmember and axle setup that Speedway is selling.

I've already got a 4" dropped Superbell I-beam axle complete with spring and early Ford drums ready to go for my Volksrod project. I contacted Speedway to try to get some more info regarding the hairpin radius rods, panhard bar and tie-rod dimensions and/or part #s. I explained to the customer service/sales guy that their catalog was definitely lacking detailed info as to the components in the "Axle kit" that one would buy in conjunction with the crossmember kit. I told him about my axle and spring setup and explained that I didn't want to purchase a complete kit (containing?) when I already owned several of the parts. I did emphasize that even if they didn't have the items available for sale separately (although I can't imagine why they wouldn't), I would still like to purchase the raw materials such as rod ends, etc. from them to fabricate the panhard bar, steering arm and tie rod. Well, evidently once our conversation got beyond what he could read off of his computer moniter, he was lost. He bumbled around and gave me a partial part number for the hairpins before he threw in the towel. He was kind enough, however, to suggest I speak with another gentleman in their offices that was the go-to VW guy. As luck would have it, he wasn't around so I left a message.

A couple of days passed with no response from Speedway so I figured I would go straight to the source, namely SoCalook.com and request the info I needed from them. It's been a week and I still ahven't heard anything from them either.

I called Speedway a few more times and eventually got to speak with the VW guru there. I explained my whole situation again and asked for the same info. He seemed reluctant to want to help me out but he eventually said he would send me a revised price for a package that contained just the items I needed to purchase. After leaving him with my cell phone # again as well as an email address, I thanked him for his time and I looked forward to getting my credit card warmed up. That was Thursday morning.

I'm posting this, in part, just to vent but I could really use some help as well. If Speedway isn't interested in taking my money I will have to order/fab all of the other parts, except the crossmember itself, from somebody else. What I really need are the dimensions for the following pieces:
  • hairpin radius rod length,
    panhard bar length,
    tie-rod length,
    steering arm length,
    front shocks size

To be honest, at this point, I'm not even that hung up on using the SoCalook/Speedway crossmember. I know that there are some really talented fabricators out selling well-built beam extenders but that's just not the look I'm going for. I still want to use the I-beam axle setup. I had posted a while back asking for info on anybody else who might be making a crossmember for a straight axle but I didn't have much luck. I would actually like to have a crossmember that doesn't extend the front wheels ahead so much, perhaps 1.5" to 2" less than the SoCalook unit. Fabrication of major structural components such as that piece are beyond my skill set. Anybody have recommendations?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

erminger did one not to long ago he may have part numbers for you.if not just either build one for yourself or try and copy somewhat there design.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

there are 2 guys (at least) who sell the I-beam adapter on thesamba. just do a search for it.

as far as all the diminsions of the other stuff, I would imagine you want to get the adapter mounted on the car (with body), the beam and spring installed and go from there.... measure measure measure etc.

it's the only way to be sure it'll all fit.

they prolly don;t actually KNOW the kind of measurements your wanting, since they don;t build em themselves.

and I would imiagine every car is going to be slightly different (year to year, wreck to wreck)

good luck!
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Old September 10th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

speedway was not very much help with me either,but thats cause it is such a new product for them I guess.as far as parts in quest.,once you get crossmember on and axle in place the radius rods had to be cut 7" to 8" ,both tie rods on mine had to be cut a few inches each(don'tremember how much)
pan hard bar did not need cut,but speedway did have to machine a bolt to
attach panbar to crossmember.both steering arms had to be placed on top of spindle instead of bottom (new bolts for that as well)steering arms had to be heated and bent.I put a type 3 pitman arm on to help steering(has to be rereamed for ford tierod ends)
Just some info. 4 you,erminger helped me out alot he was around a month or so ahead of me on his frontend,(Thanks again for the help erminger)
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Old September 10th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

One on Samba: Dropped Axle Frontend
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Old September 11th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguy
erminger did one not to long ago he may have part numbers for you.if not just either build one for yourself or try and copy somewhat there design.
quote=bigguy]erminger did one not to long ago he may have part numbers for you.if not just either build one for yourself or try and copy somewhat there design.[/quote]

when I got my box of parts, there was a parts list printed out. I will look for that, as it has the info you need. maybe it would make a good post for the tech section.

as far as radius rod length, what we can give you would get you close, but you will likely have to fine tune (none of ours were the same)

Steering issues. socallook, speedway and KCW have not been able to fix the steering geometery issues as of yet. I have experimented with shorter pitman arms, almost works. I believe the solution will be rack and pinion, or vega box. plan to get away from the vw box

I have the same dropped axle on my 32 roadster with a vega style box, and it drives fantastic and very safe feeling.

I like the look of the dropped axle and am glad I built mine with one. and would do it again
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Old September 11th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

i was trying to find out if speedway disc brakes would work with my 34 ford wires!all i kept getting back was that if they are 5x5.5 bolt pattern then they will fit i already knew that part i just didnt know if they would work with the wires no reply on that point but i have found out they will not!

i plan on making my own crossmember that is a little more extended than socalooks and will be fully adjustable so i can set the ride height how i want it!i will buy the speedway front end and if stuff doesnt fit i will adapt it to fit thats what hot roddings about!nothing is ever a kit theres always some sort of modification needed!
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Old September 11th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

[quote=31hillard]i was trying to find out if speedway disc brakes would work with my 34 ford wires!....... they are 5x5.5 bolt pattern quote]

socal speedshop has some for 5.5s, they are the wilwood hubs with the faux buick drums. they are pricey at $1695, but way sweet.

heres the link

https://www.est1946.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=957
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Old September 11th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Some of the old Ford wheels required a lip on the drum for location.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkparker
One on Samba: Dropped Axle Frontend
Michael,

Thanks for the link. I poured over theSamba site right after Fonzy gave a suggestion for search terms. I always try to be self-sufficient before I go asking anyone for help but I was just getting nowhere in my previous searches on this site as well as theSamba...I'm sure it has everything to do with the nature of the words you use in your query.

Anyhow, I checked out the link you sent, called the number from the ad and spoke with Wayne. He seemed like a pretty knowledgable guy with more street rod experience than VW's. He was also very familiar with the SoCalook/Speedway product design as well as some of the problems some people have had with the kit (perhaps that is somewhat related to the multiple design changes it's gone through?).

He spoke in detail about all of the pieces he was fabricating and why he made some of the design/product choices that he did. I gotta say that after talking to him and looking at the photos of the product, I'm seriously considering going with his setup rather than the Speedway stuff (BTW-still no response from Speedway or SoCalook)

Does anyone know of someone who has bought and installed this guy's stuff? Just curious how it all worked out. Also, he says that he maintains 3.5" of clearance under the lower beam tube with the body and everything back on the pan. What are some of the clearance measurements you guys have been experiencing?
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Old September 11th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

And another thing....FYI-I had mentioned to him about my desire to have the wheels set back just a little bit more from where the SoCalook unit positions them and asked about a custom built piece. He pointed out that with his setup, the axle is as close to the partial beam as it can be due to clearance issues with the forward edge of the steering gear/box. He pointed out one particular photo which really showed how tight things are. Basicallly there is about .25" of space between the axle/spring and the steering box.

Erminger,
When you mentioned steering issues on your setup, were you refering to the dreaded bump-steer problem? Again, while I was talking to Wayne he brought something to my attention regarding the SoCalook configuration that I should have noticed sooner being that I'm more familiar with street rods. In the SoCalook photos, the draglink is going "up hill" to the steering arm so it is no longer traveling in the same arc as the axle is. This is a sure fire recipe for bump-steer. Just a thought.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VonHoffman

Erminger,
When you mentioned steering issues on your setup, were you refering to the dreaded bump-steer problem? Again, while I was talking to Wayne he brought something to my attention regarding the SoCalook configuration that I should have noticed sooner being that I'm more familiar with street rods. In the SoCalook photos, the draglink is going "up hill" to the steering arm so it is no longer traveling in the same arc as the axle is. This is a sure fire recipe for bump-steer. Just a thought.
I solved all of the bump steer with flipping the rod ends and bending the steering arms on the spindles. I also set it up as "cross steer" so that it connects with a long drag link and a tie rod between the spindles.

some people set theirs up like a stock vw, this will be changing the toe in dynamically.


the issue is with the steering rate of the VW box, and how it centers up.

I have heard of using toyota truck boxes, might be something there to investigate.

Speedway took months to get me all of the parts, some arrived after I was driving (made my own parts while waiting)
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Old September 12th, 2006, 05:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by erminger
I solved all of the bump steer with flipping the rod ends and bending the steering arms on the spindles. I also set it up as "cross steer" so that it connects with a long drag link and a tie rod between the spindles.

some people set theirs up like a stock vw, this will be changing the toe in dynamically.


the issue is with the steering rate of the VW box, and how it centers up.

I have heard of using toyota truck boxes, might be something there to investigate.

Speedway took months to get me all of the parts, some arrived after I was driving (made my own parts while waiting)
Erminger,
So would the Toyota box still be affixed to the remnants of the VW beam? What are the exact steering symptoms you are experiencing on your ride?

Thanks in advance for the info.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VonHoffman
Erminger,
So would the Toyota box still be affixed to the remnants of the VW beam? What are the exact steering symptoms you are experiencing on your ride?

Thanks in advance for the info.
the toyota box would be mounted "cowl" style with the pitman arm mounted vertically, sticking out the side panel (see Doane Spencer 32 Ford). this mounts to a dogleg steering arm on the spindle.

my steering is too quick, changes lanes at highway speeds with a twitch.
I changed my pitman arm to a shorter type 3 which helped some.

wind also knocks the car around. rocking the body side to side adds steering input (unlike bumpsteer). adding a big fat sway bar on the rear got rid of 90% of this.

I have gotten used to the steering, but it takes more concentration than anything I have ever driven.

rack and pinion will hopefully solve it.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 07:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

wow i didnt think the steering issue was like that!i just heard that it had a bad turning circle!so to cure the quick steering i would have to shorten the pitman arm?

also you said you flipped the drag link?what like you would on a lowered vw to get more clearence?

what other problems are there i shoule be aware about before jumping in to this?

cheers dale
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Old September 12th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

since you are changing to ford spindles, you will also be using ford tie rod ends. the steering arms are designed to be mounted on the bottom of the spindle. you will be mounting them on top, with the rod ends pointing down and they will have to be reamed. the vw pitman arm will also need to reamed to take the ford rod ends.

also, if you get the wilwood brakes, the bolts to mount the steering arms are too short due to the addition of spacers (only bites 3 threads), you will have to turn down the heads on longer bolts.

see, I told you this was going to be fun
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Old September 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

ok cool!is it a special ream or just an ordinary one?

im not using discs now, im using 39-48 ford drums.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

speedway sells them, you will also need the taps for radius rod ends and tie rods.............opps, did I forget to mention that the tie rods need to be sized right too? dang, so sorry. it just gets "funner" all the time.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/xq/asp...qx/Product.htm

so do traditional auto parts stores. remember the ones with stools at the counters?
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Old September 12th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #19
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

there only little jobs shouldnt be to much work!the problem is im in the uk and if any parts are wrong im fucked!

i used to work for a street rod company they should have a ream to do the job!
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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:37 AM   #20
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Erminger,
How much shorter is the type 3 pitman arm VS the type 1?

I can't seem to find any info regarding the ratios for VW steering boxes. Does anybody know if and/or when they were altered over the years?
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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #21
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by erminger
the toyota box would be mounted "cowl" style with the pitman arm mounted vertically, sticking out the side panel (see Doane Spencer 32 Ford). this mounts to a dogleg steering arm on the spindle.

my steering is too quick, changes lanes at highway speeds with a twitch.
I changed my pitman arm to a shorter type 3 which helped some.

wind also knocks the car around. rocking the body side to side adds steering input (unlike bumpsteer). adding a big fat sway bar on the rear got rid of 90% of this.

I have gotten used to the steering, but it takes more concentration than anything I have ever driven.

rack and pinion will hopefully solve it.
The cowl style steering gear approach is very interesting and it would certainly add to the early hot rod flavor of a Volksrod. I'm wondering about just what sort of bracing one would need to construct to support such a setup.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Raydean did the side steer deal on his truck.There are pics here somewhere.


If the ratio on the VW box is too quick,you could make longer steering arms for the Ford spindles.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VonHoffman
How much shorter is the type 3 pitman arm VS the type 1?
I found mine on a shelf at my buddy Charlie's. just dug through what he had, found a shorter one and it was marked "type III" on it with a yellow paint pin.

it was shorter by about 3/4 inch.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #24
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Great replies on this topic, guys.

This is one I'd definitely like to put in the Tech Bin, so keep it comin. Good stuff for future searches on these common questions.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #25
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Default Re: SoCalook, Speedway & crossmembers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Great replies on this topic, guys.

This is one I'd definitely like to put in the Tech Bin, so keep it comin. Good stuff for future searches on these common questions.
Steve,

The Tech Bin placement is a great idea once this thread has run it's course. Obviously, I'm not the only one who has had questions surrounding this setup.
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