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Old 02-22-2016, 10:11 AM   #1
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Feeler - Adjustable Control arms

Hi Everybody,

As the Oilfield slows down to a halt here in Canada, I am looking for something interesting to do that uses my machining and fabrication skills. I am going to build a line of adjustable control arms, trailing arms, links, etc. for the 986 Boxster.

I intend on using only grade 6061 Aluminum and either poly bushings or bearings for all connections.

What do you think folks? Would there be any interest on this board on purchasing some from me?

I am hoping to start making some up shortly and will post pictures and prices when I'm done. In the meantime, if anybody has some tips or advice on building these items, I would like to hear you input.

Piper
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #2
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What do you think folks? Would there be any interest on this board on purchasing some from me?
Yeah if they are not $1,000,000,000 dollars

Possible downsides would be that if one of these failed the results could be devastating. Maybe that's why the original ones and the performance aftermarket ones cost so freaking much.

I would still be interested though

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Old 02-22-2016, 05:24 PM   #3
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I would also be interested but would want to know what bushings you would use and who the manufacturer of the bushings was.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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As Steve mentioned, what happens when one fails?
Hope you have deep pockets and some good lawyers
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:08 PM   #5
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I have thought hard about the legal an liability side of doing this and am still working out details with my lawyer. Basicly the components will be built with a high degree of engineering, quality materials, and top notch manufacturing methods. By doing so, one can sleep well at night knowing that all due diligence has been done (negligence would never be a issue).

Secondly, I would build these under a limit liability corporate name, where I could protect my assets should a lawsuit ever happen.

Lastly, I would carry insurance for such ledigation.

I am hoping to design and build quality, engineered products. No junk...failures are not an option.

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming and I will continue to update you as I go along.

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Old 02-22-2016, 07:33 PM   #6
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I'm with Steve, as long as they're not too expensive I'd be interested.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:39 PM   #7
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The design part will be the easy part.

The hard part is having access to low cost/high quality aluminum. Can you afford to buy in large enough quantity to get the price low enough?

And do you have access to high quality machining at a low cost? I don't remember Canada as being considered a particularly low cost labor country.

Will you have enough cash to build a large quantity at one time so the setup and other fixed costs of the machining can be amortized over a large quantity? Machining a small quantity of parts can be incredibly expensive.

Add in the cost for taking orders, managing orders, shipping orders, return orders, customer damaged goods coming back for free replacement (you need to count on this happening and if you don't give them free replacement parts they will flame you on every internet forum imaginable and ruin your reputation), answering customer questions, managing inventory, advertising, and the cost of your time to manage the business and you'll be hard pressed to make much of a profit.

There is a reason why Tarett and Rennline sell so many products - each additional product lets them amortize the fixed costs of the business over more products and revenue. With only a single product and a low volume, even with a very low overhead it will be very hard to make a real profit.

I say all of this based on my experience of owning/operating RoboTop for several years.

Do yourself a favor and build out the business in a spreadsheet using firm costs (quotes from suppliers and hours from similar labor) before you do anything.

And it probably needs to be 20% better/nicer than these for 30% less (currently $1,000 so you'll need to be around $700 sell price):

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Last edited by thstone; 02-22-2016 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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this.

Pro-Series Control Arm Kit
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:01 AM   #9
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Hi Radium King,

I could build a system similar to this. Chromoly carbon steel that is stress relieved is nothing new to me here, we used it all the time in our high pressure oilfield piping and fittings. I will be exploring different styles and materials as I start to design my packages, the tubular style in you link is definitely an option.

Piper

Last edited by 986piper; 02-23-2016 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:14 AM   #10
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The hard part is having access to low cost/high quality aluminum. Can you afford to buy in large enough quantity to get the price low enough?
Not a problem at all, I actually find quality aluminum to be very reasonably priced and easy to get in my neck of the woods.

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And do you have access to high quality machining at a low cost? I don't remember Canada as being considered a particularly low cost labor country.
I am a machinist with a garage machine shop. I will be building the control arms myself, it will be a labour of "love" not cost. I am sure that our low Canadian dollar will make purchasing these from Canada very attractive.

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Will you have enough cash to build a large quantity at one time so the setup and other fixed costs of the machining can be amortized over a large quantity? Machining a small quantity of parts can be incredibly expensive.
Right now, I do not intend to manufacture large quantities, if that situation should ever come, I have several high production CNC type machine shops at my disposal to use (I personally know the owners). I recently sold out of my oilfield business and am not afraid of the start up (fixed) costs of getting this new adventure going.

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Add in the cost for taking orders, managing orders, shipping orders, return orders, customer damaged goods coming back for free replacement (you need to count on this happening and if you don't give them free replacement parts they will flame you on every internet forum imaginable and ruin your reputation), answering customer questions, managing inventory, advertising, and the cost of your time to manage the business and you'll be hard pressed to make much of a profit.
Thank you for the advise...not to sound arrogant, this is not my first business and I am used to 24 hr working days to keep my clients happy.

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There is a reason why Tarett and Rennline sell so many products - each additional product lets them amortize the fixed costs of the business over more products and revenue. With only a single product and a low volume, even with a very low overhead it will be very hard to make a real profit.
I am not sure I agree with this. Bigger, more volume, etc, does not always equal more profit...I have learned this more than once. Also, I plan on developing more than one product for the Boxster, stay tuned!

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I say all of this based on my experience of owning/operating RoboTop for several years.
I really appreciate your comments, thank you for taking the time to chat.

Quote:
And it probably needs to be 20% better/nicer than these for 30% less (currently $1,000 so you'll need to be around $700 sell price):
I easily can be in this price league with a high quality product.

Last edited by 986piper; 02-23-2016 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:36 AM   #11
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Elephant Racing | Control Arms and Links | Porsche Boxster/Cayman

These are pretty sweet too, and fully rebuildable, and competitive in price with OEM GT3 arms + monoball ends or the Tarett ones.

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I had never heard of these either, dang...
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:57 AM   #12
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the issue with the coffins is that they have to be cast or cnc machined. the tarett/erp units look like they can be fabricated much more simply - rods and heim joints. of course, no rubber so track only.
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:13 PM   #13
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The cro-mo arms look great and solve several problems...
On another note, the issue with the factory arms seems to be the ball joints and the center bushing. What do you think abou machining factory arms for an after market screw in ball joint and a pressed in metal center bushing?
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #14
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this guy - vertex provides such a service. no camber adjustment unfortunately.

Porsche Control Arm Ball Joint 996 Boxster: Steering and Suspension &amp Control Arms and Related Parts
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Old 02-23-2016, 02:32 PM   #15
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Add my name to the interested list.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:19 AM   #16
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if throwing ideas out there, how about wheels? if you have access to cnc you could fab centres for a three-piece and just buy generic inner and outer rims.

threaded strut sleeves, etc. ie, instead of buying a full coilover set, with threaded sleeves and new perches you could perhaps convert your existing struts to coilovers.

electric power steering kit? looks like gsr are no longer making theirs, so fabricate adaptors from the proprietary Porsche steering rack fitting to an AN fitting. also, a bracket that mounts the pump in the front.
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:07 AM   #17
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Ideas? V8 conversion kit.

Well because i'm living in Germany i'm not in the race. Would never get such components street legal without a very expensive technical opinion for street use over here.

Regards, Markus
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:22 AM   #18
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With all of that said, I'd say go for it!

There are a lot of Boxster's that are continually undergoing suspension refresh/overhaul as the 986 fleet ages (in both years and miles); and IMHO many of those customers would seriously consider upgrading to an adjustable LCA (or similar higher performance suspension component) if the quality was decent and the pricing was lower than currently exists in the market today.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:16 PM   #19
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With all of that said, I'd say go for it!

There are a lot of Boxster's that are continually undergoing suspension refresh/overhaul as the 986 fleet ages (in both years and miles); and IMHO many of those customers would seriously consider upgrading to an adjustable LCA (or similar higher performance suspension component) if the quality was decent and the pricing was lower than currently exists in the market today.
I agree, I am going for it. I should have some prototypes complete within the next few weeks!
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Radium King View Post
if throwing ideas out there, how about wheels? if you have access to cnc you could fab centres for a three-piece and just buy generic inner and outer rims.

threaded strut sleeves, etc. ie, instead of buying a full coilover set, with threaded sleeves and new perches you could perhaps convert your existing struts to coilovers.

electric power steering kit? looks like gsr are no longer making theirs, so fabricate adaptors from the proprietary Porsche steering rack fitting to an AN fitting. also, a bracket that mounts the pump in the front.
I like your thinking....I am definitely not stopping with LCAs. I love the strut-coil over conversion idea, I might dig a little further into that one! Also the electric power steering pump sounds cool too.

I'm excited about this guys, I am so glad to be looking at other ways to use my fabrication skills (instead of the oil patch).

Piper
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