Cobra Automotive Front & Rear Suspension opinions - Page 2 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
opentracker DOES NOT use needle bearing, he uses spherical bearings, especially in his lower control arms. just read the product description.
The discussion on needle bearings is referring to the roller perches, not the arms. The perches do not have spherical bearings in them.

It sounds like the OP has made up his mind that he wants CA parts on his car. He is very unlikely to find negative reviews on their stuff, so if the budget supports it, do what makes you happy.
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Last edited by Benny; 05-11-2016 at 02:14 PM.
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys for your opinions. I have carefully deliberated on my choice of CA as originally stated. Again my taste leans more toward vintage style, which discounts many of the more modern manufacturers making coilover and tubular kits. Would I get better ride quality and performance at a cheaper price with a tubular control arm / coilover set up. Definitely, but I'm going for subtle factory style. That leaves a few choices including Opentracker and CA. I chose CA for the completeness of the kit, the history of the company, and the robustness of the parts. Is this overkill for my purposes now. Again definitely. But in a few years when I'm about to retire and the kids are out of college I may want to do more and why build it twice when the cost difference isn't that much all things being equal between the two. Hell, I have 4 times that amount into the bodywork at this point that I will never recoup in the value of a '66 coupe but I've waited 26 years to do this so I will get as Mike Maier stated what I would enjoy drinking a beer with talking about the glory days gone by. Again, Opentracker, Maier, S&T, ect... make excellent products and I didn't want this thread to spiral down into which one is better. I just couldn't find anything on the web or on the forum regarding CA parts reviews. They seem like a great company but most folks aren't using them I suspect out of concern for price. But these same folks, probably spent far more money in the long run upgrading parts over and over again. You see it here all the time. One starts off buying KYB shocks, then decide they want better and go with Bilsteins, and then you finally end up with JRI coilovers from Mike. Why not just skip to the chase and save money in the long run and buy exactly what you want the first time even if it takes longer to save up the money.


Just my 2 cents and that's all its worth!

Again, thanks for the opinions I appreciate the responses, sounds like I'm not going to go wrong with CA.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
opentracker DOES NOT use needle bearing, he uses spherical bearings, especially in his lower control arms......"
I could be be mistaken, but I thought the spherical bearings were mentioned in regards to the roller perches. That prompted my post mentioning that The perches use a roller bearing.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 02:55 PM
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I agree with Benny, I've used Cobra Automotive parts before, they have quality products & tech support. Give them a call and they'll set you up. Great company. How fast you want to be on your track days should match the kit.

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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 03:04 PM
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I have parts from John at ORP and CA on my car. It's seen a lot of heavy use at the track for almost 10 years. Everytime I take it apart and check operation of bearing parts, they all seem to be just fine. I think worrying about a roller perch failing is a wasted discussion. I have run both the std roller bearing perch and the dbl roller from John and have seen NO wear over the years.

I think the testing that John does (and has others do) is as good if not better than other suppliers. Plus, I'd rather have a beer with John.


That being said, I would also say the same about Shaun at Street or Track!

I also agree that CA stuff is great too. All three can provide vintage legal parts.
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 03:18 PM
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I have parts from John at ORP and CA on my car. It's seen a lot of heavy use at the track for almost 10 years. Everytime I take it apart and check operation of bearing parts, they all seem to be just fine. I think worrying about a roller perch failing is a wasted discussion. I have run both the std roller bearing perch and the dbl roller from John and have seen NO wear over the years.

I think the testing that John does (and has others do) is as good if not better than other suppliers. Plus, I'd rather have a beer with John.


That being said, I would also say the same about Shaun at Street or Track!

I also agree that CA stuff is great too. All three can provide vintage legal parts.
I think it's similar to use of the dreaded single-shear bolt, though an "improper" design, as long as they are sized with enough excess load capacity, they will still have a good service life.

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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 04:58 PM
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I could be be mistaken, but I thought the spherical bearings were mentioned in regards to the roller perches. That prompted my post mentioning that The perches use a roller bearing.

Z
ok, i can see that, but even then opentracker is not using needle bearings, they are roller bearings, the difference is the roller bearing is much more substantial than a needle bearing.

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 05:19 PM
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I've run Cobra Automotive complete front and rear suspension systems on my 66 Fastback for about 12-15 years. It has been faultless all through that time and I've never had to repair or replace anything. I used Cobra Automotive back then because at the time the availability of other suspension systems was more limited.

I've quite often thought about changing to a coil over system, but can't justify it because my car handles very well - better than my level of driving skill. I would note that the Cobra Automotive system makes the car hard sprung - but I'm quite happy with the car set up that way as I usually take my car out canyon carving, thrash it and then put it away again after an under car inspection.

Cobra Automotive are super knowledgeable to deal with, as they probably should given how long they've been in existence as a specialist Mustang race shop. Always faultless service when I've dealt with them, and a walk around their shop is a Mustang owners dream - real Shelby Mustangs everywhere.

1966 factory GT Fastback. Cobra Automotive front and rear suspension. T5z, 8" LSD. Roush 342R

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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 06:37 PM
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Pretty funny, The gentlemen said he felt pretty good about Cobra Automotive and the next said... Yea they are great, Try these other guys. Both are good. A big thing about our cars is that they are our cars and nobody else's. We gravitate to the group that we feel comfortable with and then we go there to enjoy ourselves. I can think of a whole stack of reasons why I would go a different direction for me. However Scotty does make a great product. He pretty much rules the roost on the east coast for vintage performance. The other factoid is making good vintage style suspension now days in many cases is more expensive than making tubular suspension. The tubular suspensions allow for the companies to be more sustainable financially. I went through our Bill Of Materials on the vintage suspension that I used to make and it just couldn't provide the ROI we needed to support the business. So... When Opentracker and Cobra continue to make the older style suspension systems it is probably more out of love for the car and they are just doing it to keep the classics alive. Go with the ones you can see yourself enjoying a beer with and have fun.
Mike, can you make JRI front shocks able to be installed on the Cobra Automotive front suspension setup?

1966 factory GT Fastback. Cobra Automotive front and rear suspension. T5z, 8" LSD. Roush 342R

Last edited by kiwigt; 05-11-2016 at 06:45 PM.
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks kiwigt! That's the kind of testimonial I was looking for when posting this thread. First hand knowledge with experience using the parts.
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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 09:05 PM
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ok, i can see that, but even then opentracker is not using needle bearings, they are roller bearings, the difference is the roller bearing is much more substantial than a needle bearing.
You seem to imply that the term "needle bearing" is somehow automatically inferior to a roller bearing. In certain applications, a needle bearings is vastly superior to a roller bearing.

Whether the roller perches have roller bearings or needle bearing is a moot point. They are both what is known as a "rolling element" bearings, and what is being said here is that the spring perch is a less-than-ideal application for a rolling element bearing.

Whether needle bearing or roller bearing, what really matters is the bearing's margin of capacity. You can't just point, and say "it has roller bearings, therefore it's better."

Last edited by Benny; 05-11-2016 at 09:08 PM.
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 09:17 PM
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I will second Cobra Automotive's expertise and product development. All you have to do is see their semi roll into the pits at any racetrack, how they prep their cars, and how their cars perform on the track to know that this isn't their first rodeo. I have some of their parts on my race car, and everything I have gotten from them is well engineered and well made. They do sell some parts you can buy cheaper elsewhere (i.e. Afco parts), but when you buy their parts, you get their experience and knowledge base as a bonus. And, Curt and Scottie have forgotten more about vintage racing Mustangs than most will ever know. Not saying they're the only ones (I have Maier and EPS parts with comparable provenance also), just addressing CA since that is the topic of the thread.



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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Benny View Post
You seem to imply that the term "needle bearing" is somehow automatically inferior to a roller bearing. In certain applications, a needle bearings is vastly superior to a roller bearing.

Whether the roller perches have roller bearings or needle bearing is a moot point. They are both what is known as a "rolling element" bearings, and what is being said here is that the spring perch is a less-than-ideal application for a rolling element bearing.

Whether needle bearing or roller bearing, what really matters is the bearing's margin of capacity. You can't just point, and say "it has roller bearings, therefore it's better."
in other words you completely missed the point, though i can see why. yes both have their applications, however needle bearings are used in applications where there is little vertical stress in the application, such as roller rocker arms. roller bearings on the other hand as used in applications where there is substantial vertical stress, such as wheel bearings and roller bearing spring perches.

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 11:54 PM
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in other words you completely missed the point, though i can see why. yes both have their applications, however needle bearings are used in applications where there is little vertical stress in the application, such as roller rocker arms. roller bearings on the other hand as used in applications where there is substantial vertical stress, such as wheel bearings and roller bearing spring perches.
First of all, bearings don't know (or care) about vertical, horizontal, etc....they are designed to take radial or axial loads, period.

A needle bearing IS a type of roller bearing, and because they have a large number of small cylindrical rollers packed together closely, they have a large "bearing surface", which is the total area where the needles make contact with the races. Because stress equals load/area, the large bearing surface in a needle bearing drives contact stresses down. Therefore, needle bearings handle radial loads VERY well, but they don't much much in the way of axial loading.

A ball bearing (which is what is used in roller spring perches) have more space between the ball-to-race contact locations, so the bearing surface tends to be smaller when compared to a needle bearing of equal size.....smaller contact area equals higher stresses. So, ball bearings take radial loads pretty well, but they also have the added benefit of being able to take SOME axial loading.

A bronze bushing creates a very large load bearing area, through more uniform "surface contact", and therefore VERY low stresses. So, for high radial load application, with a small range of motion, where some drag is acceptable, a bushing is pretty much ideal....which is why Ford used a bushing on the early Falcon perches.

So, since a spring perch involves nearly all radial loading on its shafts and bearings, the order of preference would probably be: bronze bushing, needle bearing, roller ball bearing.

Since I'm sure you won't believe me because you're so hung up on "roller" bearings, considers this.....the original Mini Cooper S was basically a purpose built (and very successful) rally car, designed to to take on the harshest roads in the world, and it has its upper control arms mounted on needle bearings. Even though most of these cars have been flogged to within an inch of their life over the last 50 years, I have never heard of a single bearing failure that didn't involve gross neglect. If lubricated periodically, they are absolutely bullet-proof.

By the way, the tapered wheel bearings you mentioned are basically a hybrid needle bearing, but because they have cylindrical rollers (not balls) loaded on a conical surface, they take radial AND axial loads very well. This is why cars switched from true ball-type bearing wheel bearings 50+ years ago.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 07:41 PM
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Food for thought.
You guys are getting pretty intense with this bearing thing so I thought I'd have a crack at it myself. In my early designs of the rocker arm rear suspension I used ball/ roller bearings in the rockers. I used them for about a year or so then I changed the rocker and noticed the bearings were very notchy. A thought popped in to my head and I realized I was not continuously spinning the bearings. They were just rocking back and forth. This eventually rocked a divot into to the loaded side of the bearing housing. so I then realized why Ford used the bronze bushings on the falcon spring saddles. As like the gentleman said before they have a ton more wearable surface area. So for our street applications we now use a delrin bushing in our rocking pivot points in our suspension systems. This by all means in not a rule. I am sure there are exceptions. Something like a needle bearing that spreads the load is something that also sound good. I just haven't gotten there yet.

As for the question about the JRI shock application. The short answer is no, we do not sell a stock replacement for something like the Koni. As we got into the project of designing the upper coil over system we found that there was much more to the picture than just swapping things out. This is what lead us to the Upper coil over combo. We did want to make it simple but we were not going to compramise quality in the pursuit of simple.
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