Because I am designing the front suspension myself (well, sort of! Thanks AlanB for the inspiration) am have fabricated wooden brackets to hold the front wheels in exactly the right position relative to the chassis. This will help both in the measuring/designing stage and also in the assembly stage.
The front uprights are from the XR4x4i donor, and are therefore different to the standard Sierra uprights, so getting the correct adaptor inserts is proving difficult. What I am intending at this stage is to use standard adaptor inserts welded into the cut down McPherson struts, which will in turn mount, as they did on the donor originally, into the top of the uprights. This actually has a hidden advantage in that I can customize the height of the top suspension ball joint to suit my design.
I'm making the bottom wishbones first. They're not cut to length yet, just tacked to double check angles/measurements etc.
I've made the brackets myself because I wanted them oversize so I can use spacers either side of the crush tubes to allow me to alter the caster angle.
Upper, inner and outer front wishbones. There will be a tie bar connecting the outer ends of both upper wishbones eventually so the whole assembly 'cantilevers' around the top chassis rail:-
Like this!...... (April 2006)
Front suspension set up with 'dummy' shockers in place for now.
Making brackets and trial fitting steering column.
The Panhard Rod as I'd fitted it originally was at totally the wrong angle as can be seen in this
This would have given very odd handling characteristics had it been left like it so has been
Unfortunately it now runs exactly where the fuel tank should sit so that has also been relocated - see chassis page.
Right, having realised that the upper front ball joint is not strong enough to take the loads in 'shear' that it is going to be subjected to, I've had to redesign and modify my top outer wishbones. I'm replacing the Transit Drag Link ball joints with Saab top ball joints which are designed to take the loads anticipated.
To allow camber adjustment I'm mounting the new ball joints in brackets with elongated slots and a captive bolt arrangement to 'wind' the ball joint in and out.
And with the assembly welded into the new wishbones and on the car......