Cortex Watts link installed but think something is wrong

Discussion in 'Suspension and Chassis' started by Merkyworks, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Merkyworks

    Merkyworks TMO Intermediate

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    Had the Cortex watts link on the car for about a month now and everything was good until the other day I starting hearing a metal clank sound when going over bumps. Won't be able to get under the car and full inspect things till this weekend. Hoping I could easily find what the clank was I jacked up the driver side rear and took the tire off, did a quick check but nothing seems loose.

    However I did notice the watts tower brace bar was making contact with the top pivot bolt, this didn't seem right. Once the car was back at ride height the tower brace bar sits in between the top and center pivot bolt so that seems normal. But the contact I was seeing with one side jacked up doesn't seem right, cause as the pivot moves up from a bump it could then bind from contact with the brace bar. Is this normal or is something not setup correctly on my car?

    IMG_9895.JPG IMG_9900.JPG
     
  2. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $587,402 Moderator

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    That's not right. Don't drive it like that and figure out what spacer(s) are missing or whatever is causing that interference.
     
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  3. ArizonaBOSS

    ArizonaBOSS Because racecar. Moderator

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    Agree with Grant that such a thing is not normal.
    Not sure what is going on there, only things I would look at other than everything being tight are LCA axle relo pivot locations (is this tilting the whole axle assembly back, if the arms weren't lengthened?) and make sure everything is in the correct position at the front of that Torque Arm.

    @cortexracing any feedback?
     
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  4. TA28

    TA28 TMO Intermediate

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    I can see that the main bolt close but I don't think that a problem whats up with the sway bar? closer side of pic show 1 gap and other end very tight? pic throw me off? I have cortex in a fr500c .it is tight as hell I shave main bolt head a little if I remember correctly. I don't think there are any shims for cross support bar. also not sure if any were supplied for center mount.

    all bars should be parallel. and the watts link bars also parallel to the rear housing more or less level each 1. and rear lower control arms should also be level with min. neg/pos pitch

    also looks like you have there street version watts I have there race set up so that may make difference. I can't hear crap when at 6500 or at 3500. but I do love the way the rear plants and every joint is a bearing or heim . I hated did I say HATED that pan hard bar set up .

    chris
     
  5. Pitt302

    Pitt302 TMO Advanced

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    I have Cortex Watts Link / Torque Arm. I also purchase Cortex LCA's ,which were adjustable and were pre set to proper length to work with Torque Arm. I think this might be your problem.
     
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  6. Fabman

    Fabman Project: "Frankenstang"

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    Yes, I had some interference at first too, the axel was located too far back in the chassis.
    I see you have anti squat brackets...are the lower arms adjustable?
    This is very possibly the problem. It was in my case anyway.
     
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  7. Merkyworks

    Merkyworks TMO Intermediate

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    The LCA and drop brackets are BMR adjustable, poly body mount and heim axle mount.
    The LCA being adjusted to long and pushing the rear end back to far would explain why the pivot bolts are contacting the brace bar. This will be the first thing I look at this weekend.
    No shims are supplied for mounting the brace bar. I thought about shaving down the pivot heads a little and then putting some shims between the body and brace bar mount point to push the brace bar further away from the pivot bolts. Don't thing shimming it out 1/8" to 1/4" would be detrimental to the overall function of the watts system but I will leave this as a last resort.
    Yeah I kind of wish I had gone with the Cortex LCA but I already had the BMR LCA prior to the getting the WL and TA. If I can't get the BMR's to work with the rest of the Cortex system then I might have to bite the bullet and get the Cortex LCA's.



    I'm still learning how adjustments on one part can affect other suspension parts. The TA was installed and with the LCA's at the length they are now. Assuming the LCA's are set to long and I adjust them shorter does this effect the TA? If so how does this effect the TA? Does this mean the pinion angle is also changed, cause I thought the TA is now what controls the pinion angle.
     
  8. Fabman

    Fabman Project: "Frankenstang"

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    Either bracket will work, just the hole locations are different so the trailing arm lengths won't be the same. The watts will fit if everything is adjusted properly. Shouldn't need to shave anything. These parts are well designed so if it doesn't fit, something else is wrong.
     
  9. Pitt302

    Pitt302 TMO Advanced

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    I don't think the length of the LCA's would effect your pinion angle. If you drilled the Diff ears as per instructions from Cortex, and everything was bolted up without shims when installing Torque Arm.Shorting or lengthening LCA's is going to move the axle fwd or aft.
     
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  10. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $587,402 Moderator

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    One possible issue I see now is the angle of the LCAs. Under compression, the horizontal length of the arm gets longer compared to the static position. In other words, gets closer to the brace. Coupled with the TA, the upper side doesn't rotate toward the front like the OEM 3 link arrangement.

    Once you make the adjustments, you should check clearances of the whole thing without the springs installed through the full suspension travel.

    Good luck and please report back.
     
  11. Merkyworks

    Merkyworks TMO Intermediate

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    TA was installed per direction and without shims.

    This makes since, will be sure to do this.
     
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  12. Fabman

    Fabman Project: "Frankenstang"

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    The Cortex Directions give a specified length for the lower control arms-assuming you are using their anti squat brackets. That length is different for the BMR or MM units.
    Just shorten them both equally until everything clears.
    You can remove the springs and run the car through shock travel and see that it doesn't rub in bump.
     
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  13. thehueypilot

    thehueypilot TMO Advanced

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    I saw the same thing on a Shelby Super Snake and his issue was the rear adjustable upper control arm was unscrewing itself over time because someone used pipe sealant on the threads instead of a thread locking compound. The differential housing slowly rotated back until everything started hitting.

    Tim
     
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  14. zajac

    zajac TMO Intermediate

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    I have had the same problem with my Cortex track version Watts Link in my 2007 S197 Mustang. I also have the Cortex Torque Arm installed as well. The clearance between the top pivot bolt head and brace looked okay until more shock travel caused the bolt to hit the brace. My LCAs are NOT adjustable. Since the 1/2" bolt was in shear rather than tension, I just shaved the bolt. Mustang Mfg tolerances can make a difference. I did note that after installing a Cortex Watts link in a friends s197 Mustang, that his setup had more clearance. He also did not have adjustable LCAs but they were a different brand than mine. I am switching my track setup, Cortex Watts and Torque Arm, from one s197 Mustang to another S197 Mustang and I see the same minimal clearance between the top bolt and brace and using the same non adjustable LCAs. Solve the clearance problem the correct way by using adjustable LCAs to change the location of the axle. The Cortex Torque Arm will allow the fwd end of the Torque Arm to move slightly forward (1/8" ??) in it's urethane bushing to allow for a slight adjustment of the axle forward using adjustable LCAs.
     
  15. Merkyworks

    Merkyworks TMO Intermediate

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    Update:
    Checked all bolts and everything was torqued properly. Measured LCA's at 18.5" center to center, they're adjustable but are as short as they can go already. Reviewed TA install instructions and Cortex recommends LCA's to be set at 17.88"-18.0". So I'm guessing my clearance issue is caused by the LCA's being to long. Have a set of Cortex street LCA's on order and hopfully this will fix the issue. Will report back after I get them installed.
     
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  16. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $587,402 Moderator

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    Good info, even if an RTFM moment.

    Also good example for sticking to one manufacturer for suspension 'systems'.
     
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  17. Merkyworks

    Merkyworks TMO Intermediate

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    This really couldn’t be a better example of that. Live and learn.
     
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