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2005 rules - frame notching


swhiteh3

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The KB arms have the same mounting points, length and height as the stock arms. You can install them in a factory unmodified IRS carrier and they will mount to the exact same mounting points on both the carrier and the spindle. The advantage of them over the stock arms is weight.

 

I thought that various points were slightly different from stock. Previous discussions included the alteration of the roll center and IC, or is that achieved by simply lowering the car. It is my understanding that their system offered more than just wieght savings. Aren't there others pieces available to alter the geometry?

This is why I feel the administration needs to get the details first hand. A lot of information has been thrown out and I wouldn't want the details, which are paramount, to get lost.

 

Dave you are correct. The IRS cradle is modified to change the pickup ponts for the control arm and for the mounting of the IRS itself. The stock mounting point is the quad shock bracket area, where the KB one cuts the cradle and mounts it farther forward on the cradle and the frame.

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Mark L., Thanks for the info. This is the meat of the discussion.

How much?

How much is too much?

How is it checked? And by whom?

 

For discussion purpose:

Stock cradle in stock location. Stock dimension upper and lower arms, but open mounting points within the cradle. Stock spindle. I still think there is a design for the upper arm without notching. IMHO

 

Have at it.

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Mark,

 

I might be mistaken but I don't think you are correct. The IRS cradle occupies the same space as the stock unmodified IRS does. Ours is mounted to the quad shock bracket mount in the rear. The only difference is that they get rid of the stock rubber mount and hard mount it to the body. It is essentially the same as using a solid bushing but gets rid of the extra bracket and bushing and probably saves 1-2 lbs in the process.

 

Where the upper and lower arms mount to the IRS cradle is changed. Exactly where the mounting points are in relation to the stock ones I'm not entirely sure but I can tell you they aren't moved that much (but they are moved!)

 

If we aren't talking about the same thing I apologize.

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I had pictures of the two different mounts, but it would have taken up a bunch of bandwidth for Lewis and for Mark so I took it off.

Essentially the "upper" mount of the KB has been cut off. They welded a solid piece on to the top of the cradle and re mounted it to the frame without using the stock bracket. I doubt they did this for weight saving. I was told this was done to eliminate the compliant bushing, and to change the mounting point of the cradle.

 

The UCA and LCA are in fact moved. The carrier mount is also modified which turns it into a more solid mount and allows the angle of the shafts to be changed as necessary with ride height changes. Essentially the only mount that is still "factory" (OEM) is the lower mount which mounts into the torque box.

Is the sway bar in the same spot?

 

Wilson, can I link some pictures to this site for a visual instead from your website?

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Luna, could you copy and store the pictures of my IRS stuff (off Lewis's site, mouthbreather.net) and not kill his bandwidth for the month.

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Luna, could you copy and store the pictures of my IRS stuff (off Lewis's site, mouthbreather.net) and not kill his bandwidth for the month.

 

Sorry Tom, I frankly didn't think about it. I deleted it all to avoid it.

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I had pictures of the two different mounts, but it would have taken up a bunch of bandwidth for Lewis and for Mark so I took it off.

Essentially the "upper" mount of the KB has been cut off. They welded a solid piece on to the top of the cradle and re mounted it to the frame without using the stock bracket. I doubt they did this for weight saving. I was told this was done to eliminate the compliant bushing, and to change the mounting point of the cradle. ?

 

I think you are missing my point. It still bolts up to the quad shock holes so the mounting location is the same. It was done for both a weight savings and for simplicity. It was cheaper to chop the top off and solid mount it to the same holes as the factory IRS did. To be fair to KB though we did make some modifictions in this area. The original KB design only bolts to the side of the frame rail and uses two bolts. We removed about half the length of the KB mounting plate and added the plate on the bottom so we could bolt into the quad shock mounting holes that are located on the bottom of the frame rail. I still have the original IRS quad shock bracket and could take a picture with it held up next to what we did and you would see that the rear does mount in the same location but the huge factory bracket with the rubber mount has been deleted.

 

The UCA and LCA are in fact moved.

 

The UCA and LCA mounting points on the carrier are moved but if you put the stock arms next to the KB arms they are the same length and height. The only difference is that the upper arms take a different path to get to the same location because it's difficult to bend tubing into an L and expect it to maintain it's form under any load.

 

The carrier mount is also modified which turns it into a more solid mount and allows the angle of the shafts to be changed as necessary with ride height changes.

This is definitely not correct. WE changed the rear bushing mount and turned it into a solid mount and we use solid aluminum bushings on the front. We went to this configuration to save weight and help with serviceability. The center section is definitely in the stock location. On an IRS the driveshaft is in a fixed location and is completely independent of the ride height. Think about how you change ride height on an IRS car and you'll see what I mean. On any IRS you can raise the car 50 " and the driveshaft would still be in the same place.

 

Essentially the only mount that is still "factory" (OEM) is the lower mount which mounts into the torque box.

 

That is the only mount that is not modified except for the fact that we machined an aluminum bushing for it to solid mount it.

 

Is the sway bar in the same spot?

 

Yep

 

Wilson, can I link some pictures to this site for a visual instead from your website?

 

Definitely!

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think you are missing my point. It still bolts up to the quad shock holes so the mounting location is the same. It was done for both a weight savings and for simplicity. It was cheaper to chop the top off and solid mount it to the same holes as the factory IRS did. To be fair to KB though we did make some modifictions in this area. The original KB design only bolts to the side of the frame rail and uses two bolts. We removed about half the length of the KB mounting plate and added the plate on the bottom so we could bolt into the quad shock mounting holes that are located on the bottom of the frame rail. I still have the original IRS quad shock bracket and could take a picture with it held up next to what we did and you would see that the rear does mount in the same location but the huge factory bracket with the rubber mount has been deleted.

 

No actually that was my point. The cradle mounts have been changed.

 

DSCN1419.JPG

 

 

The UCA and LCA mounting points on the carrier are moved but if you put the stock arms next to the KB arms they are the same length and height. The only difference is that the upper arms take a different path to get to the same location because it's difficult to bend tubing into an L and expect it to maintain it's form under any load

 

And for obvious geometry change enhancements. When you are referring to the carrier, you don't mean cradle do you?

 

 

This is definitely not correct. WE changed the rear bushing mount and turned it into a solid mount and we use solid aluminum bushings on the front. We went to this configuration to save weight and help with serviceability. The center section is definitely in the stock location. On an IRS the driveshaft is in a fixed location and is completely independent of the ride height. Think about how you change ride height on an IRS car and you'll see what I mean. On any IRS you can raise the car 50 " and the driveshaft would still be in the same place.

 

The drive shaft would stay the same but with height adjustments, the arm angle change. Allowing the carrier mounts to be modified allows the angle of the halft shafts to coincide with the ride height, not the drive shaft.

 

I didn't realize that you guys have gone above and beyond and modified the KB suspension beyond what they did for modifications.

 

 

DSCN1412.JPG

 

If the sway bar mount is the same, what is the modification to the cradle on the bottom left of this picture. I can't figure it out. I took some pictures of the stock one in my shop, but this forum won't let me add pictures without linking them to my site first. Thanks for letting me link some pictures.

 

 

DSCN1422.JPG

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ALL of the geometry changes are in the carrier/cradle. There is no geometry difference between the stock arms and the KB arms. Cradle = carrier

 

The cradle mount has changed from having a bracket attached to the body which has a bushing it in to which the cradle attaches to to simply hardmounting it to the exact same pick up point. I guess KB could have machined up a solid bushing to put in the factory bracket but the method the choose is cleaner and does the same thing. The only completitive advantage it provides is a slight weight reduction and ease of installation and removal. If you think there is more then you are looking WAY to far into it.

 

I don't think any of us modify the ride height enough to need to do what you are referring to. At least I haven't heard of it needing to be done on a Mustang, have you? There has been nothing done to the IRS carrier/cradle to allow that to happen.

 

Are you referring to the bracket with the hole in the middle of it located in the lower left of the picture below? If so that is the mount for the diff pump. The part that is sanded down near where the sway bar mounts up to is where we ground down the IRS carrier to get rid of the casting flash before we powdercoated the carrier. There are numerous locations all over the carrier that we did this to in an attempt to make it look cleaner. If you have an IRS carrier then you know what I'm talking about.

 

DSCN1422.JPG

 

Maybe this will help. It also shows the swaybar and center diff in the stock location and shows the rear cooler pump mounted to the bracket. You can also see the major geometry changes in the lower control arms (that was an attempt at humor)

 

DSCN1614.JPG

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Are you referring to the bracket with the hole in the middle of it located in the lower left of the picture below? If so that is the mount for the diff pump.

 

Yep, that was it. The pumps I have seen were mounted different and I couldn't figure out what that was for. Thanks.

 

I don't think any of us modify the ride height enough to need to do what you are referring to. At least I haven't heard of it needing to be done on a Mustang, have you? There has been nothing done to the IRS carrier/cradle to allow that to happen.

 

My comments are strictly what could happen and why someone would do it. I don't see a competitive advantage unless someone moved it big time to allow the car to be lowered substantially why not puttin any more stress on the half shafts. If the car was lowered more than a couple inches, it could prove to be a mechanical problem.

 

I doubt that we will see a car get much lower than this.

DSCN2268.JPG

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You might be surprised Mark! Actually we have measured the blue car and it sits higher than Brian's Griggs equipped car. You might also want to check out the thread discussing minimum ride heights because some people feel that 1.5" is a good distance!

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Any car can get that low if they screw up their spring rates as much as I did on that one. On top of the super silly low rate springs I had no damping in the car whatsoever. That thing acted like a teeter-totter going down the track.

 

also, take a look at the Griggs cars from out west for an example of how low a solid axle car can go.

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So if frame notching is allowed for an IRS....how about for upper control arm clearance on an SLA? I could have sure use some the way I have the upper control arm mounted on my fathers car...it would look similar to the notches the Wilstone team has, just on the front frame rails.

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I have been sitting back and watching the discussion on frame alteration. I am still "sitting on the fence" as to what I believe the rules should be, I would like to bring up a few points for CONSTRUCTIVE discussion:

 

1) I have to ask myself why this rule would first be written, what were our founding fore-fathers intending? It is my believe that the no-frame alteration rule was written as a matter of safety to keep notching, sectioning, bending, cutting, etc. from weaking the structure and therefore making the vehicle unsafe.

 

2) At what point do you consider a frame to be altered? I understand the rule specification for allowing holes for wires, etc. Does one consider the frame to be altered by drilling to mount a panhardbar (if so there are more than a couple of cars that are illegal)...or by welding/bolting sub-frame rails to them?

 

3) If the Wilson/Tone alteration would have been just a notch I think I would have a significant issue from a strength/safety standpoint...but on the contrary, from the pictures it looks like they took considerable time to weld in a piece of tubing to regain the intended frame strength.

 

4) Since it is obvious that many folks perceive the Wilson/Tone alteration to be beyond the rules, it is a fact that they gained prior approval to make the alteration by the sanctioning body, therefore it is now a precedent they have set for the rest of us! We simply cannot expect them to have to re-do everything they have already done, especially since they were given the OK.

 

5) The big question is how can/should the rule be written to MINIMIZE the extent of frame alteration. We have to be careful of specifics, or the rule will ask to be changed twice a year for the next decade. But on the other hand if we open the rule up to generality we may be setting ourselves up for a flood of uncontrollable interpretation.

 

Let us not send ourselves down the slippery slopes...we need to take significant time to make this rule something we can all live with and SUPPORT. I look for direction and understanding by those who were involved with the inital rule construction so that we can understand why it was written. Can the rule be re-written to give us the flexibility we are looking for without compromising safety?

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Dave,

 

You bring up some good points. I don't think the frame notching rule was written to maintain structural strength. I think it is about keeping our production subframes from becoming to hacked up and unrecognizable. Also, to keep costs reasonable. Although I realize thats not what Mark and Brian have done. It is the slippery slope that many are conserned about.

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Dave,

 

You bring up some good points. I don't think the frame notching rule was written to maintain structural strength. I think it is about keeping our production subframes from becoming to hacked up and unrecognizable. Also, to keep costs reasonable. Although I realize thats not what Mark and Brian have done. It is the slippery slope that many are conserned about.

 

Yep, well said by both of you.

 

 

You might be surprised Mark! Actually we have measured the blue car and it sits higher than Brian's Griggs equipped car. You might also want to check out the thread discussing minimum ride heights because some people feel that 1.5" is a good distance!

 

You two pull your panties out. I'm not stating that your car is too low or lower than anyone elses. The modifications that you have made have allowed a car with an IRS to be lowered more than a car without a modified IRS can. Yes the Griggs car is really friggin low but is is also a fox body which is a whole different dog. The difference as Tone stated is the fact that running that low with soft springs is a dangerous scenario with a stick axle. It will bottom out and hit the frame rails. Where a IRS can get away with it. Tone obviously didn't like the softer springs though.

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Man, take a week of vacation and look what happens....

 

I will admit I have not read every letter of every post. Dam you guys are wordy. Since the AI guys are giving opinions of AIX rules (to which I have no problem with), I am going to chime in hear. JWL has a valid concern. I think we all need to put ourselves in his shoes. We have a lot of different opions & backgrounds here. We have series directors/people who just want to race/ racer-geek-engineers / & Luna (I haven't decided how to describe him yet- but I have some pretty good ideas.) We need to do what is good for the series. Period. None of us could even dream of keeping everyone happy. To that extent here are my opinions.

 

1 JWL's 1st option - this bites.

2. 2nd option - My opinion of the way to go.

3. 3rd option - a cliff that tech directors are not ready for.

 

A few observations:

 

1. Robin Burnett kicked the entire AI field at BeaveRun with a close to AS legal car, no coil-overs, no IRS, no fancy K-member. Hmmm. Who has the advantage?

 

2. Ride height- I don't know about your car, but my car will hit the inner fenderwell if lowered too much. Can a IRS get lower than a 3 link? Probably not, but WHO CARES - there are other limiting factors on ride height.

 

3. If a car becomes dominant, just add weight (see rewards weight proposal) All that really matters is that we have close competition. If the IRS is "the bomb" two years from now, change the minimum weight for that particular setup (IRS add 100 pounds - for example)

 

4. We need to accomidate aftermarket companies. Let them run it, if installation instructions are followed. This should be on a case by case basis. The suspension system should be gone over closer before series approval and exceptions to rules noted (I think JWL already has this covered).

 

5. Custom suspension designs - or any rule quesitons out of the ordinary (moving mounting points for example) whould be submitted via a Rules forum created here on the internet for all to see and discuss before the directors make there judgement.

 

6. I think we all need to remember that we all have the same four contact patches on the track. Let the cars compete, adjust rules if necessary for a dominant suspension- but make sure it is the suspension, and not the driver..... Robin - we are taking away your stock k-Member!

 

I believe it was Tone about 87 pages ago that pointed out no one has been dominant in AI. Hmmm, maybe it's working?

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Chris,

Welcome to the party. You'll have to sharpen your typing skills to keep up with the regulars in this thread.

 

For what its worth, making the rules to flexible leaves the door open for numerous rulings, opportunity for favoritism, more long winded debates, and someone will always go home unhappy. The rules should cut all that out as best as possible.

 

BTW, next time you lap me, I want to see a wave.

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Chris, You friggin kill me. You haven't read anything that anyone has posted, and then you post the "simple" solution of letting everyone run whatever they want to run essentially. Do me a favor, let Sue read this thread and explain it to you. The only semi coherent thing you said was adding reward weight. That would essentially even things out as mentioned in the "other thread" about. Thank you for gracing us little AI people with your presence.

 

BTW, next time you lap me, I want to see a wave.

 

Chris has been lapping me for years in Midwestern Council events. I always give him a point by and he always waves. If he only knew what finger I was using all this time. The crazy SOB passed me at Mid-Ohio under the bridge at turn one. The car was in a four wheel drift for about 11 seconds. Friggin showoff!

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You haven't read anything that anyone has posted, and then you post the "simple" solution of letting everyone run whatever they want to run essentially.

 

I think it is you that suffers from a lack of reading (or maybe comprehension). I said I didn't read every letter of every post. When you guys argue the same point over 15 different ways, it gets a little boring. I think everyone watching this thread will agree that you, Tone, & Wilson will have to agree to disagree.

 

No solution will ever be "simple" with you guys. I am not promoting that everyone can run what ever they want. See points 4 & 5 of my original post. If the QUESTIONS are posted, BEFORE a car shows up for a race, every one will have there chance to have a say. A decision will then be made by the series directors. The part I left out, that everyone needs to come to a conclusion about is that the line that will be drawn, OVER TIME, through the question/debate/ruling process. This process will define were the series will be headed and should limit the rules creep. In time, the questions should calm down, because most (I know, not every) question will set a precidence and the questions should already be answered.

 

I think the other thing everyone needs to realize is that the rules will be a living document. They will continually be clarified as questions come up. It is part of every succesful race series. Show me a race series (besides Spec classes) were the rules are stone for many years without revision. It doesn't happen. I think everyone is trying to do the right thing. We all have different ways of getting there. It is up to the series directors to lead us in the direction which will support the most growth. What other race series opens up any rule proposal for debate in an open forum? I think we are all overlooking some MAJOR advantages of NASA. How are all your rule proposals going with Midwestern Council Mark? That is my point, They don't happen much. NASA has the balls to attempt this format of rule changes, which IMO, is why NASA will succeed.

 

always give him a point by and he always waves. If he only knew what finger I was using all this time

 

I guess I go by so fast that you haven't noticed "what" I was waving either.

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I think it is you that suffers from a lack of reading (or maybe comprehension). I said I didn't read every letter of every post. When you guys argue the same point over 15 different ways, it gets a little boring. I think everyone watching this thread will agree that you, Tone, & Wilson will have to agree to disagree.

 

Not true at all. I bet we all agree that we'd rather be racing at the track than writing and re-writing our opinions. I'm headed to work, and then to BFR for Sunday. Are you guys going?

 

 

No solution will ever be "simple" with you guys. I am not promoting that everyone can run what ever they want. See points 4 & 5 of my original post. If the QUESTIONS are posted, BEFORE a car shows up for a race, every one will have there chance to have a say. A decision will then be made by the series directors. The part I left out, that everyone needs to come to a conclusion about is that the line that will be drawn, OVER TIME, through the question/debate/ruling process. This process will define were the series will be headed and should limit the rules creep. In time, the questions should calm down, because most (I know, not every) question will set a precidence and the questions should already be answered.

 

How about a rule that is clear stating not cutting of the frame and then a director allows one car to do it? Shouldn't the line be drawn over time and fairly for everyone? It is a little tougher in this series as Sidney said they are trying to close the box where most series are trying to open it.

 

I think the other thing everyone needs to realize is that the rules will be a living document. They will continually be clarified as questions come up. It is part of every succesful race series. Show me a race series (besides Spec classes) were the rules are stone for many years without revision. It doesn't happen. I think everyone is trying to do the right thing. We all have different ways of getting there. It is up to the series directors to lead us in the direction which will support the most growth. What other race series opens up any rule proposal for debate in an open forum? I think we are all overlooking some MAJOR advantages of NASA. How are all your rule proposals going with Midwestern Council Mark? That is my point, They don't happen much. NASA has the balls to attempt this format of rule changes, which IMO, is why NASA will succeed.

 

NASA has allowed this kind of discussion for a couple years now. Certainly no one here is critiquing them for allowing it. Many have applauded it myself included. Who is overlooking this advantage?

Regardless we don't have a vote and frankly I don't think we should. It is up to the directors as a group to make that call and I don't want to be in their shoes.

Chris, you'd be surprised at the rule changes we have made over the years in Council. AGS has been the only group that gets together ahead of time, and discusses what they want to do via emails. We have been the leaders in MC for a few years. On Saturday, Jerry will present to the Council all the changes that the whole class has agreed upon. This includes many people that don't get much track time with us. For next year we are allowing more engine mods like aluminum heads. We are all going to stay within the 9.5-1 hp to weight and 9-1 torque. We are allowing bigger brakes. We are allowing 4th gen Transam and Camaros along with 351 Ford motors as long as they stay within those paramaters. We're allowing aero mods like wings and splitters. This has all been approved and signed off on by all the AGS class. It's more complicated, but those are the basics.

 

 

I guess I go by so fast that you haven't noticed "what" I was waving either.

 

You don't have time to wave, you are too busy gloating. Oh, that was me when I lapped you in the rain at Putnam ( I have to enjoy that as it will never happen again)

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This post is about AI, not AIX. AIX is a different class, and therefore I am not discussing AIX here.

 

Frame rail notching for suspension clearance is not allowed by the current rules:

To paraphrase section 7.3: “The entire tub, floor pan, firewall, and frame assemblies including the cowl and windshield frame must remain in the stock position and cannot be relocated…. The only modifications to these structures allowed will be in the following instances:” None of the “following instances” states that frame notching is allowed. Furthermore, section 7.12.1 states: “Control arm mounting points are unrestricted on all cars but may not violate any rules herein (i.e. frame modification). I do not interpret any portion of the rules as allowing notching of the frame rails.

 

I believe that the current rules should NOT be changed to allow frame rail notching. This thread is about proposed rules for 2005. The current rules state no frame notching, and I do not believe they should be changed.

 

Some have recognized The Slippery Slope we are on. The frame rail notching is the latest step down The Slope. The first step down The Slippery Slope was allowing the Griggs World Challenge rear lower control arms. While these violate the integrity of the floorpan, the official rules at the time may have only directly addressed the frame rails, and not the integrity of the floorpan. This oversight was unfortunate, as I believe the original intent of the rules was to maintain the integrity of the OEM floorpan as much as possible. This provision for a specific manufacturer’s product certainly allows even longer control arms than the Griggs units—allowing another half step down The Slope. While allowing the integrity of the floorpan to be violated was the first step onto The Slippery Slope, it could still be rectified, and it is certainly NOT a precedent for taking more steps down The Slope.

 

The second step down The Slippery Slope was to allow through the floor 3-links. Again, in my opinion the integrity of the floorpan should not have been violated in AI. These types of modifications may have a place in AIX, but not in AI.

 

The current discussion about changing the rules to allow frame rail notching is the third step down The Slippery Slope. If we are all concerned about the good of AI, and we see the dangers of accelerated rules creep, then let’s just say no. Let’s step back and away from The Slope. Do not go into the light.

 

The current rules do not allow frame notching. The fact that one car that does not meet the current rules has been allowed into AI competition does not mean that the rule is automatically changed for 2005. That has yet to be determined, and that is why NASA has asked for our opinions.

 

 

Now, here are some points that I believe are important to consider.

 

· While what NASA has done in the past may have some relevance here, we are not locked into taking more steps down The Slippery Slope at this time. NASA is allowed to change the rules, hopefully for the betterment of the series. NASA is allowed to rectify mistakes.

· The majority of aftermarket suspension parts do not violate the integrity of the floorpan. K-members bolt on. Panhard bars and Torque-arms are under the floorpan. Frame rails are not notched for these items.

· The fact that the KB IRS parts can be purchased by anyone has no relevance here.

· The fact that a contingency prize is offered for using these KB parts has no bearing on the legality of the parts. NASA does not check the legality of the parts that sponsors put into their contingency prize programs.

· Maximum Motorsports, Griggs, Steeda, Global West, and even Kenny Brown all offer parts that do not violate the integrity of the floorpan, and therefore do not violate the rules.

· It is irrelevant that the KB IRS system is “off the shelf”. So are a lot of other parts, both suspension and engine, that are not legal by the AI rules. Just because an aftermarket company makes parts does not mean that NASA must change their rules to allow all aftermarket parts into the series.

· What the current rules allow to be done to a stick axle is irrelevant. It is the rules as they are now. Perhaps the rules concerning stick axles will be changed someday.

· The argument that the IRS must be modified as per KB in order to be competitive is unfounded. The sample size of IRS cars raced in AI is too small to draw that conclusion.

· It does not matter that KB provides a template for the notch. The NASA rules do not allow notching the frame.

 

Now, I would like to respond directly to some of the comments that have been posted here.

 

Mark Wilson: “Frame notching doesn't allow for additional negative camber. It allows the arm to complete the same range of motion that the stock arm takes.”

· Well, just because KB made a control arm that restricts the range of motion compared to a stock arm is not a reason to change the AI rules to accommodate one product from one aftermarket company.

 

Mark Wilson: “The installation directions state in bold text that the frame rail must be modified to accomidate the arms if the vehicle is to be lowered more than 1/2".”

· The KB arms CAN be used without notching the frame rails; the car simply cannot be lowered as much.

 

 

Dave Algozine: “However the only way to make the the KB system legal is to write the rules exactly for the design of the KB system. That doesn't seem right and may cause many more problems going forward, as others have suggested.”

· Astute observation; it certainly does not seem right.

 

Brian Tone: “Essentially I can cut the entire floor pan out of the car behind the drivers seat, mount whatever control system to the solid axle car I want, at any length and forward mounting location but I cannot use the KB supplied template to ensure the upper arms do not hit the rail?”

· According to the current rules, your interpretation may very well be correct. The current rules are not written as well as they should be. Allowing the butchering of the floorpan to install longer lower control arms (such as the Griggs WC arms) was the first step onto The Slippery Slope. NASA could still take this step back, or limit the scope of potential modifications.

 

Dave Diehl: “Since it is obvious that many folks perceive the Wilson/Tone alteration to be beyond the rules, it is a fact that they gained prior approval to make the alteration by the sanctioning body, therefore it is now a precedent they have set for the rest of us! We simply cannot expect them to have to re-do everything they have already done, especially since they were given the OK.”

· I do not know that it is a fact, and yes we can expect Wilson/Tone to re-do their car. Look to NASCAR for the precedent. What is legal this week can easily be illegal next week. Especially if it is for the good of the series. In this situation it is not a question of trying to equalize the competition, which is the reason for many of NASCAR’s decisions. It is a matter of possibly correcting an error on the part of a NASA official.

 

Richard C.: “However this thread is not about you or your car. This thread is about if we think the frame rails should be allowed to be cut or modified.”

· Thanks for reminding everyone to keep their eye on the ball.

 

Mark Luna; “The point of this discussion is what could happen.”

· Exactly. We should be making suggestions that will help the American Iron series in the long run.

 

Mark Luna: “Maintain the current rules regarding frame notching or modifying. Those rules would be no cutting, notching, or modifying are allowed with the intention of suspension clearancing. Clarify the rules to clearly state what a frame is. Clearly state that no modification of the factory cradle, carrier, or mounting points of said pieces can be modified. Change the wording of "factory IRS" to enable people to utilize bushings, IRS braces, half shafts, swaybars, toe pieces etc, that are all currently available from multiple aftermarket companies.”

· Good suggestions. Well thought out, although some go beyond the topic of this thread, which is about frame notching.

 

Mark Wilson: "How about spelling out that aftermarket upper and lower arms would be allowed as long as they would work on a factory stock IRS (this would make the mounting points pretty close to the factory points). Also require the factory rear spindles with unmodified suspension pick-up points (there may be some modifications required to fit larger brakes so I'd suggest limiting it to suspension points). And require the use of the factory IRS k-member but allow the pick-up points to be changed. Coil overs are allowed but must use the same mounting locations as the factory shocks. Sway bars are unlimited. Center section must stay in the stock location but can be modified for cooling and bushings are unlimited. That isn't perfect but doesn't that severely limit what you can do?”

· Hey, this isn’t too bad. I think it is a good start for further discussions. And I noticed that you did not ask for frame notching. As with some of Mark Luna’s suggestions, these are off topic, and belong in another thread.

 

To help keep us from moving further down The Slippery Slope, I think we need some serious clarification of the rules. Here are my suggestions that are related to frame notching:

· Define the intent of the rules. I think the intent should be to maintain the integrity of the stock floorpan as much as possible. List the allowed modifications.

· Define the floorpan, and specify what can be done to the floorpan.

· Whatever the final definition of the floorpan is, it does not include the frame rails.

· Define what the frame rails are on a unibody car, and how they are different from the floorpan.

· List any allowed modifications to the frame rails.

· Allow holes for wiring and plumbing.

· Allow reshaping the floorpan (using the large-hammer technique) for clearance of the exhaust, wiring, plumbing, and fitting suspension components.

· Allow drilling holes and welding brackets to the floorpan and frame rails for the purpose of installing suspension components and chassis braces.

· Clarify the rules for the term “torque boxes”. I think this may simply be the Mustang-specific lingo for the brackets welded to the unibody that the control arms are attached to. Use a more generic term that covers other vehicle makes, and specify what is allowed to be done to the stock suspension mounting brackets. I suggest allowing bending, reshaping, and the moving of any holes in the OEM suspension mounting brackets that are welded to the unibody.

 

And moving on to more of my opinions:

 

JWL’s option #1 is the best and fairest choice for all of AI. It backs AI off from the third step down The Slippery Slope of rules creep. Sure, it creates a hardship for Wilson/Tone, but better a hardship for one car than all of us moving further down The Slope.

 

And how much of a hardship is it? Wilson/Tone stated that the only reason to notch the frame rails is to use the KB arms. The only reason to use the KB arms is to lose weight. Well, lose the 8 pounds somewhere else. Or if you really want to use the KB upper arms, do not lower the car. KB says that notching for their upper arms is only required if the car is lowered. If they want to maintain their lower ride height they could use stock upper arms and work to lose the 8 pounds elsewhere. And how much does it really penalize them? A day’s time? Two days? In the best interests of AI, I hope they will take one for the whole AI team, and not push us all further down The Slope.

 

While this may be a tough break for Wilson/Tone, I think that it is in the best interests of AI. The rules for AIX are a whole different discussion.

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racercosmo

Really folks, I agree with Chuck's post.

One thing I'm not sure about is whether "the Slippery Slope" is truly a proper noun and should its name be capitalized. Really, I don't know.

 

I bet that the quickest way to get frame rail notching made fully illegal is to have a certian driver mention that frame rail notching is important to the class rules. Just about every other suggestion he's made has been ignored and/or the opposite has been done about it. Yes, including the legality of cutting the torque boxes to install longer trailing arms and cutting the floor pan to install a 3 link. Most of the time this person has made suggestions based on 35 years of racing experience, but he was ignored and/or called a complainer.

Sure some of the Doomsday scenarios are a bit out there and there may not be many people that would really build a car like that, but maybe somebody has a shop similar to mine. The difference is that this person wouldn't have anything better to do.

 

It hit me during this post that my car is AI legal. Watch out.

 

 

Disclaimer: this was posted as an observer, not as an associate of any company involved with American Iron or NASA Pro Racing.

This message was not paid for by anybody.

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