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Old 10-24-2016, 11:48 AM   #1
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Era-1 Drop Knuckle Install Issues S14

I recently purchased a set of F/R drop knuckles for my S14. I purchased them second hand off a forum member on here. The knuckles were brand new never installed. The gentleman I got them from actually had two sets, one on his s13 utilizing s14 arms, and the second set which he sold to me. When he installed his he said that he had no issues and it was a bolt on affair. Anyways I was in the process of installing them and have run into some major issues.

1st issue being that the bolt holes used to mount the coilovers to the knuckles were two small. I have kei-office coilovers which utilize the stock size bolts. This was an easy fix as I was able to ream the hole out larger in the knuckle to allow the bolts to slide thru.

2nd issue I ran into was the hole on the knuckles where the tie-rods mount was also too small to allow my tie-rods ends to go through. After doing some research and calling around I was able to ream those holes out to 5/8" and utilize a straight allen head bolt with my SPL tie-rod ends. Problem solved there.

3rd issue which I am having a hard time remedying, is that the taper on the hole where the LCA ball joint goes through the knuckle is incorrect. Standard S14 ball joint shanks have a 9 degree taper. From the looks of the knuckles the taper on them looks to be a 10 degree since when my ball joints are inserted, the knuckle does not engage on the taper of the shank. Instead the ball joint is actually able to be pulled all the way into the knuckle to the point that it actually cut through the rubber dust boot on the ball joint. Also, being that the knuckle has a larger taper then the ball joint, it has side to side play in the knuckle.

I have looked into aftermarket ball joints sch as QA1 and AFCO but they don't offer anything that is even remotely able to be installed in stock s14 LCA's. I have spoken to SPL-Parts to see if they had any ideas on a fix but didn't really come up with anything. The only idea we came up with is welding the hole up and re-reaming it to the correct taper. Only issue with this is weld is no fun to drill through and I'm pretty sure it will prolly destroy the reamer on the first hole. And since ball joint reamers are only offered in 7 and 10 degrees, I would have to have the reamer reground to 9 degrees, which is gonna be pricey on top of the $80 for the reamer itself.

Have any of you guys running these knuckles run into any of these issues? I have sent emails to era1 with no reply and can't find a contact number to call them. Anyone have any ideas on how I can remedy this issue or am I just SOL?!?!?!
Thanx, Cameron
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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You could fill in the lower ball joint hole on the knuckle, drill it straight through, and convert the lca to a straight shank/heim for the outer balljoint. Then no bs with shank taper and reaming.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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if you go the weld and ream route. it would be your best be the right reamer. there's different types of reamers that can take abuse. those reamers are $$ if you want the nice ones that can take the abuse from the welds. my fabricators go through problems like this all the time with drill bits to reamers etc......... I can refer to a brand name called Viking Drill and Tool. http://www.vikingdrill.com/viking-Product-Catalog.php
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:10 PM   #4
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Well this is going to be predominantly a street car so I wasn't really wanting to go the heim straight shank route on the lca since the roads here are terrible and I feel like the heim would wear pretty quickly. But if I were to go this route, how exactly would I go about converting the lca's to a heim style end instead of the ball joint style?

Also I'd kinda like to stick with the standard ball joint style since I just spent $100 on new ball joints all the way around plus one more that got damaged when I bolted the lca's up the first time.

As for the extreme abuse reamers mentioned above, do you know if they offer a 9 degree tapered reamer or am I going to have to by a larger degree and have it regrind to the right specs. Or will I need them to produce a custom reamer for my app?

Thanx a lot for the help guys. I'm at my wits end on getting these things figured out and really don't wanna have $800 paper weights on my hands if I can't figure out how to make these knuckles work.

Cameron
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:48 PM   #5
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I guess we see why Era1 went out of business lol.


I can't see re-grinding a tapered reamer to a different taper as even being feasible..


Honestly a high quality Heim joint should match or outlast even an oem balljoint. You'd just have to get the heim welded to the lca in place of the ball joint, check out aftermarket lca's that have heim's for the outer already. Maybe consider upgrading to those lca's even.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:33 PM   #6
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Alright I was worried that the heims might be a little to harsh for street use and wear out quicker. Ive seen where people have cut and boxed the ends of the lca's and then welded in the heim so I guess that is one plan of attack.

I was really wanting to utilize all the parts I currently have since they are new and ive got money wrapped up in them. But, I might look into some aftermarket lca's if I can't get a reamer that will work for what I need. Might as well get completely new lca's if Im gonna end up having to invest a bunch of money into modifying my stock lca's.

Thanx for the input and keep it coming if anyone has any other recommendations or ideas.
Cameron
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:35 AM   #7
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Well looks like I'm gonna bite the bullet and purchase some driftworks adjustable LCA's to remedy the problem. With the money I'd be spending to have the knuckles welded, purchasing reamers, and paying my buddy to re-machine them, I'll pretty much have spent the same amount.

So, if anyone is in need of some oem s14 lca's that have been fully boxed and have brand new ES bushings and brand new Moog ball joints installed, let me know. I'll be making a forsale thread for them in the next couple days.

Also, if anyone has the driftworks lca's let me know what you think about them.
Thanx, Cameron
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