Tag Archives: toe link

Midwest Tour

So I’ve been travelling the Midwest the past few days to visit some of our manufacturers.  First, I went to see our suspension parts being made.  They have a large facility with a lot of CNC 3 and 5 axis machines, lathes, mills, benders, water jet, and welding stations.  This is only about 1/3 of the whole shop floor.

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IMG_8242They can do just about anything you can think of

IMG_8239Being able to do MIL-spec work, they are certified in just about every material, which shows in the stock they have

IMG_8243I have been discussing with them the idea of building our radiators and oil coolers.  They showed me the Denso core we would end up using for the FR-S/BRZ/GT86.

IMG_8245Then I went to visit our in autoclave composite manufacturer.  The tool for our SEW V2

IMG_8317Their large autoclave is 10’x20′, and is one of the largest in the country.

IMG_8312They work with teams at the highest levels of racing in the US as can be seen here

IMG_8326Since they had a bunch of defense projects laying around, I wasn’t able to take more pictures due to security reasons.  Then, I got to catch up with some of my old college friends and was told they were going to a 7 post rig test at ARC, so I watched that as well.

20130516_144147ARC also has a wind tunnel testing facility, but the team I was visiting didn’t have any wind tunnel time booked, so I didn’t get to see that.  Because the body panels were off the car and the guts were exposed, I couldn’t get any pictures of the car on the rig.  Sorry.  It’s been a very enlightening last few days, but I can’t wait to get back home tomorrow.

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Fruits of Labor

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Here is an excellent shot of AJ Gillette’s BRZ sporting Hancha toe links. I’d like to personally thank AJ for allowing us to use his BRZ as our test mule.  A few hiccups aside, the toe link fitment is spectacular and we have heard nothing but positive performance reviews from AJ.

This is just a fraction of what we will offer for the BRZ/FR-S. Stay tuned as we continue to upgrade more parts (just kidding AJ… but seriously.)

Rear Toe Link Install

Finally got the correct rod ends, and installed the rod ends.  Here’s a picture of the OEM link vs the Hancha link

photoA picture of the toe link installed on the car

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It went very well.  A potential issue was that with the castle nut, the shank is too long and doesn’t leave clearance for the parking brake cable.  So we’ve changed the production version to use a nylon locking nut which allows us to shorten the shank by 10mm.  This also allows us to shave off a few more grams.  The toe link will head into production next week.  Expect these to be ready to ship mid-April.  This is what the final production version will look like

Toe Rod PRODUCTION READY

The Little Things

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So we finally got our BRZ/FR-S/GT86 rear toe link prototypes back and I did some test fitting tonight.  Everything looked great

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except for one small issue.  Like an idiot, I accidentally ordered the wrong size rod ends.  So I have to exchange them for the right size before I can test them on a car.  However, I still wanted to check the shank since it’s the most critical component of the part.

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If the taper is off even slightly, it will move around in the knuckle and the shank will eventually break there.  I’m glad to report back, it was spot on and fit perfectly.  Unfortunately, Jimmy was taking pictures of me, rather than the shank.

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One thing I did discover is that there is not enought room between the trailing arm and toe arm to build in bump steer adjustment into the shank.  Therefore the feature will be removed.  Doing a comparison of the OEM toe link vs. our toe link

IMG_8189Side-by-side

IMG_8191I will test fit and test drive with the links on the car as soon as I can get the right rod ends.

BRZ/FR-S/GT86 Rear Toe Link

How hard could it be to design a toe link?  Not very if you just want something to “get the job done.”  However, we believe in being thorough, so we have spent nearly a hundred hours thinking through all the details.  These were our design objectives:

1. It had to be adjustable.  Changing the car’s ride height changes its static toe setting.  The adjuster was also placed in a location the user can easily access at all times, because nothing is more frustrating than struggling to fit a spanner to make adjustments.  So it could work with any ride height, it was designed to fit a modular shank to adjust the ride-steer curve for any height.

2. It had to be strong.  We created a list of over twenty potential rod ends and our toe links were designed around the rod ends, which means they can handle over 7000 lbs of load without failure.

3. It had to be stiff.  While others may discuss strength-to-weight ratio in design, when it comes to suspension, the stiffness-to-weight ratio is the key to better driving feel.  By increasing the stiffness over OEM, there is less compliance in the suspension, and less compliance means more feedback for the driver.

4. It had to last.  We selected materials that would be corrosion resistant for low-maintenance.

5. It had to be light.  It needed to be lighter than OEM and every ounce was accounted for.  We ran through multiple design iterations using multiple materials to produce the lightest product that met our design requirements.

This is the rendering of our BRZ/FR-S Rear Toe Link design

Rear Toe Rod
This product was designed with the end user in mind, so the user can “set it and forget it.”  The materials were carefully chosen for maximum performance and longevity.  The assembled toe rod should weigh just under 1.5 lbs.

The toe rod and rod ends are made of aircraft grade aluminum for its stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight.  The shank and bump steer shims are made of stainless steel for its strength.  Even the nuts are made from stainless to ensure the part never seizes, especially important for people who live in the salt belt that daily drive their car.

Our parts are made in the US by ISO 9001 certified manufacturers to ensure quality.  We expect to receive our first prototype by the end of the month.  Stay tuned.