Question about using heim Joints

madprofessor

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Depends on if it's a rigid frame or has suspension, but A-arms must mean yours go up and down.
The rigid point at the pitman arm or rack and pinion, whichever you've got, should have the heims mounted vertically on edge (laying on their sides w/holes requiring a horizontal bolt) to have minimum rotation of the ball as the A-arm travels up and down. That way all of the vertical motion is just spinning the sleeve, not torqueing the ball.
Out at the wheels, the spindle arms will come with a bolt hole requiring either a vertical bolt or an angle close to it. That of course would make the heims lay flat w/holes requiring a vertical bolt. You need to move your suspension up and down to their full range with heims and tierods installed. Then you'll see out at the spindle if the range is greater than the twisting of the heim's ball can take without binding.
If it binds up at max travel, one option is the 5/16" Full Range of Motion washers I got from BMI K---s. You put one on each side of the heim's ball before putting the bolt through. Works really well if 5/16" bolts are big enough for you, it was all they sell. They say 8mm.
Another option at the spindle is to put a little more vertical angle on the spindle's bolt end, but you must be careful how much. Too much and it will also bind at lock-to-lock steering angles.
 

gmo1515

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I was on a team building an SAE Mini Baja car back in 2003 and we used Heim joints on both front and rear suspension arms. As madprofessor stated we had them laying horizontal where it mounted at the spindle. One safety note that I recall from the SAE rules was that in cases like that they wanted to see an oversized washer on the outside edge of the Heim joint big enough so that if the ball came out of the socket the washer could help contain it. You may consider that on yours as well.

-Jason P
 

GreyW00lf

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I was on a team building an SAE Mini Baja car back in 2003 and we used Heim joints on both front and rear suspension arms. As madprofessor stated we had them laying horizontal where it mounted at the spindle. One safety note that I recall from the SAE rules was that in cases like that they wanted to see an oversized washer on the outside edge of the Heim joint big enough so that if the ball came out of the socket the washer could help contain it. You may consider that on yours as well.

-Jason P
Ah thanks I'll have to keep that in mind when I get around to build my A arms, plus having to wait until the spring time, or weather to improve isn't helping as I can't build in my shed (too small and non heated and packed full or tools).
 

madprofessor

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Just curious: How much working year is left over up there in Nova Scotia between spring thaw and autumn first snow?
Just a thought: Building A-arms and other such individual components is usually best done on a bench, regardless of where the bulky main frame of the kart is sitting.
After getting some measurements/ideas on paper, if you have a garage or similar besides that shed, you could just occupy a small space to sit down and make welds and such for transfer out to the shed after the spring thaw.
 

GreyW00lf

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I have to wait at least roughly another one/two to maybe three months until spring thaw, then we have at least 6 months roughly of usually beautiful weather before it turns back to fall/winter. These days, Fall starts around September and as the days go by it gets colder and wetter until late November, and full on Winter comes usually around mid to late December, usually though Winter's first snow comes around January.

It does suck to not have space in a garage to do this all year round, or even a garage at all. Most likely I will have to build some sort of Shelter. Uneven ground is going to be fun to put a floor for a shelter if I do go this route. Not mush space to do so though. I'll take a picture when I have time of my backyard to show what I am working with.
 

GreyW00lf

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Here are the Photos I mentioned earlier. As you can see Not a lot room to work with. The structure you can see next to my shed is my step dads material storage for his work so I can't use that space...
IMG_20210227_145918828.jpgIMG_20210227_145935417.jpg
 

madprofessor

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Well Grey, you've got something we'll never have here in Florida. That stuff is awesome! I personally wouldn't be able to stand 10 seconds out in that, but it would be Winter Disneyland for everybody else.
Without the snow, I'd have lost my mind playing on those hills on one of my motocross bikes back in the days before my fake left ACL. The 650 that took that would have munched on that terrain all day long.
 

madprofessor

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The "ups and downs" of those hills is what's really beautiful to me. Florida is mostly flat. We've gone to ridiculous lengths to get a hill climb or other non-flat fun. Best hills in Jacksonville were a huge acreage of sand dunes that used to be in the Regency area.
30 foot high dunes with near vertical drops on the windward side. Fun, but the sand ate chains for lunch. Snapped the frame on my 350 out there, right through the gusset plates.
 

madprofessor

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Sounds like Tallahassee, the state capitol, where I first started riding and racing. It's actually the Southernmost foothills of the Appalachian mountain range, and has vast areas of rolling hills. Not to mention a 20' near-vertical hillclimb in the industrial park where we raced.
Those hills were tons of fun, but the steep stuff you have is more to my taste. 60 mph off a rolling hill top will give you a certain kind of air, say 6 x 30 feet, but the violent leap off something steep at 25 mph, say 10 x 20 feet, is way more exciting.
Good luck to you, with lots of fun included, when the snow melts.
 
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