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No More Broken Arms!

No More Broken Arms!

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen the future of class 5 front end technology. It’s here NOW, and it won’t be long before YOU convert too, so quit whining about it already. Almost as hotly debated as engine options it seems that the new front end designs are here and here to stay with approval from many in the class as well as a green light from BITD. AJ Martin lead the charge and created the first car with the new dual shear trailing arm concept. The design is really all about, you guessed it, reliability and affordability. It’s a win win if you ask me!

It wasn’t long until the second car showed up with the new style front end. Alexander Motorsports took the concept and ran with it. Some argue, perhaps they ran a bit too far, or I suppose you could say too long. My personal opinion (a luxury I have a site owner and writer) is that the new front ends are a great idea, a brilliant concept but that it NEEDS to have some new rules added before it gets out of control. Beam cars shouldn’t get 23″ of suspension travel. We are at a point where we are trying to grow the class, not push everyone away because they can’t cycle that much travel. Personally, I beleive that there should be a limit on the length of the arms so that all cars can remain competitive.

That being said, it seems the concept still isn’t fool proof or perfect. From my perspective it seems that with a “trailing arm” front end that the longer the arms, the higher the angle between the rack and the spindle becomes. This puts a lot of extra stress on the components, especially the steering rack components. Proof in case, first race with the new arms the Alexander motorsports team suffered a DNF caused by a broken tie rod mount on the rack. This could have been a catastrophic failure if it happened during a high speed section or on a part of the course with any significant exposure. I’m sure with some more time and development they will get these bugs worked out and the concept will prove itself.

A writeup from Steve Alexander Wheezy:I guess the first question would be why?AMS:It’s quite simple, I got tired of breaking and cracking the standard style front trailing arms. Let’s face it, the sport itself is expensive enough, not to mention having to pay close to $2,000 for arms every 1,000 race miles.Going into the 2012 race season I heard about another racer that come up with trailing arms for his Class 5 (AJ Martin). I had the opportunity to look at his design at the 2012 Parker 425. They had a good concept but we felt we could refine it and take into production. So we went to the drafting board and went to work. After a couple of cardboard mock-ups we made our first mild steel mock-up to run it through its motions. By no means we want to keep this a secret from anyone so as we were building it we kept everyone posted through our Alexander Motorsports Facebook page. Apparently it caught the attention of several people. Some called it a cheater front end, others called it the Alexander A-arms … I like that one the best.

The concept is simple. We started with a 6″ over beam, incorporated the mounting points and attached our boxed front trailing arms. It has the exact same motion as a traditional arm that is inserted into the beam. The motion of the shock is exactly the same as any traditional arms with upper shock mounts. The only difference is all of the pressure is not concentrated on just one part of the arm (that’s the part of the arm that always breaks). The arms we’ve come up give you more longevity. I am not saying the arms will last forever, they’re just like your rear trailing arms, if you get a crack in them you can repair them unlike the traditional arms.

As far as the rules go it’s quite simple, anyone that can read the rulebook can see they are legal. Here is the excerpt from BITD’s rulebook regarding Class 5000 suspension:

SUSPENSION COMPONENTS

Front and rear suspension systems may be modified or replaced as long as stock concept (trailing-arms, swing-axles, IRS, etc.) is retained and wheelbase limit is not exceeded. Stock concept suspension may be substituted by open trailing-arm type suspension but wheelbase limit must not be exceeded. Torsion bars and/or leaf springs are optional.”

I have underlined the most important part. SCORE, SNORE rulebooks are worded the same.

I used to find myself hitting the breaks for wash outs because of the fear of breaking an arm, now we power through them. The arms on my car are the same as a 6″ longer arm. We have them set-up with 16″ of travel but it’s possible to get close to 20″ out of them.

After several test miles, Vegas to Reno was our first major test with them, they handled fantastic but unfortunately due to an unforeseen issue we were out of the race at mile 315. I recently had taken the arms to mag, no cracks were to be found anywhere; same with the front beam.

Larry Longero with Longero Motorsports and I feel this is the future of Class 5 and doing everything we can to make these arms available to everyone. A complete setup (beam, arms and hardware) is $3,500; arms only will be $2,500. Not a bad price once you figure in the longevity of them. Everything is built out of chromoly, bushings are Delrin and all hardware is grade 8.

Another point, several people were concerned about the bump steer, at full droop it tows in about one inch, the rest of the motion is at zero.

For more information you can contact: Longero Motorsports in Las Vegas, NV longeromotorsports@gmail.com Tel: (702) 595-9095

or

Steve Alexander ams.racing@yahoo.com

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Image Gallery
Video Of Alexander Motorsports Testing (I’d say they are on to something here)