### How to Measure Splitter Rod Length

The number one question we get asked about our splitter rods is “what length rods do I need for my car?”. Since there is such a range of makes and models that we serve, plus plenty of different styles of splitters, it’s hard for us to say on our end what the perfect length is. Hopefully this blog post will be of some use!

### How is splitter rod length measured?

First of all, our splitter rods are measured from mount to mount. For example, our 9.25-11″ rods have a 6″ barrel, are 7.65″ eye-to-eye, and the mounting points are 9.25″ apart from each other. Here’s a handy chart:

Product SKUMin LengthMax LengthBarrel LengthEye to Eye
FTR-111-7507.59.254.255.9
FTR-111-9259.25116.007.64
FTR-111-11001112.757.759.4
FTR-111-127512.7514.59.511.15

While the rods have a range of 1.75″, we recommend that your final length be towards the lower end of this range so that you have maximum thread engagement.

### How do I order custom lengths?

If you opt to order custom rods, we base everything off of the overall length. In the custom splitter rod order box, specify your minimum length, or the length range you need.

The simplest way to measure for custom rods is to just hold a string from one mount hole to the other, and then subtract 1/2″ from that length so you have a bit of thread exposed for adjustment. Use this length as your minimum.

For example, if you measure 11″ on your string, you would want to order 10.5-12.25″ rods.

If your measurement is taken eye to eye, just write a note like “10.5 eye to eye”. We’ll take this as your minimum adjustment, so you would get a 12.1-13.85″ overall length set of rods with 8.85″ barrels.

### Accounting for extreme angles

In some cases, the ends of the support rods will be at a 90 degree angle. If this is the case for your setup, please keep in mind that the distance between the pivot point and the mount face is 0.8″, so you can factor that loss of length because of angle into what you order.

Thanks for reading, hopefully this helps. You can view a PDF version of our splitter rod length reference here: https://s3.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/www.fullytorquedracing.com/FTR-111-LENGTH-DIAGRAM.pdf

### Splitter Rod Hardware Length Guide

We offer a handful of different hardware options for our splitter rods.

Splitter ThicknessRiserBolt LengthSKU
1/8 to 1/4None3/4″Type A
1/4 to 3/8None7/8″Type B
3/8 to 1/2None1″Type C
1/8 to 1/4
3/4″1 1/2″3/4″ Riser Type A
1/4 to 3/83/4″1 5/8″3/4″ Riser Type B
3/8 to 1/23/4″1 3/4″3/4″ Riser Type C
1/8 to 1/41.25″2″1.25″ Riser Type A
1/4 to 3/81.25″2 1/8″1.25″ Riser Type B
3/8 to 1/21.25″2 1/4″1.25″ Riser Type C

### What’s Going on at FTR?

Just wanted to give an update on the business, because there have been a ton of exciting changes in the past two years and I haven’t really shared them publicly.

From the start, we have been a racing parts company, manufacturing our products in-house and selling them online direct to customer. The other side of FTR, called “FTR CNC” (www.ftrcnc.com), provides design and manufacturing services to other companies.

Over the course of last two years, we’ve become increasingly focused on our manufacturing and engineering work. Today, our clients range from small startups just getting off the ground to multi-billion dollar international companies. Manufacturing and engineering was initially just a side thing, but today it accounts for 80-90% of our business. We purchased new equipment, hired more employees, and the manufacturing side of the business has become the majority of what we do here. There has been a ton of hard work and sacrifice to get to this point; I’m really proud of my guys and their ability to maintain our high manufacturing quality standards while growing like crazy.

With all this growth, there are some changes that need to happen on the racing parts side. With both sides of the business being about 5x the size they were two years ago, we can’t apply the old model we had been using of assembling parts to order and then shipping one by one. It simply doesn’t work at this scale.

So, what changes are we making to Fully Torqued Racing?

1. Build Inventory – No more “just-in-time” manufacturing, or products being assembled to order. We’re building out our inventory to have one month’s worth of product on hand at any given time. This way, orders can be filled easily and consistently, shipping same or next-day. The website will also reflect realtime inventory status.
2. Automate Order Fulfillment Workflow – We’re switching to a system that’s actually built to handle the volume of product that we move now, automating shipping settings and pick lists to simplify the pick-and-pack workflow and ensure accuracy when fulfilling orders.
3. Hire a Customer Service Rep – Customer communication and relationship is huge, and really needs to get dialed in now that we have grown so much. Really looking for the right person with passion, knowledge, and professionalism; if that’s you – give me a shout!
4. Strengthen Dealer Relationships – We’re a design & manufacturing company at the core, we want to be able to give great support to FTR customers. The best way to do this is by partnering with dealers that have intimate knowledge of their customer’s car, since . I think it’s really important to leverage that knowledge and community aspect into a great customer experience.
5. Discontinue Some Products – Our new policy is that if we don’t have a bulletproof, scalable process for a product, its not available to customers. Splitter rods, tow hooks, and Mustang brake kits are what we have now. These are the big movers, made in-house, with relatively simple supply chains. There’s a lot of demand for some of our old products, but we just don’t have the time to implement the processes needed to fulfill that demand.
6. Offer New Products – Since the company is maturing, we’re able to really identify what we’re good at, and I want to highlight those strengths. Our new products coming down the road will likely be more “universal” products that are made incredibly well and and available to a wide range of customers. We just released our new tow hook, I’m really excited about how it turned out.
7. Bring Back Old Favorites – Every time I peek my head out into the “Mustang socialmedia-verse” there are people asking for the 94-04 chromoly front bumper. We’re not a fab shop so we don’t make it right now, but it’s coming back. Also, we have a prototype S550 bumper that is pretty baller.
8. Developing Products Collaboratively – You’ll see a few products that are kind of “collaborations”, there’s a lot of products out on the market that we designed without our name on it (those pesky NDA’s), but we have stuff in the works that will be co-branded. A good example is Scotidi products (shout out to my boy! www.scotidiracedevelopment.com). Combining our manufacturing expertise with other people’s visions is really exciting and a lot of good things come out of it.

I hope this brings everyone up to speed on what we’ve been up to. I really appreciate everyone’s patience as all of these changes are happening and new systems are implemented to make sure we can provide the best products possible. Also – if you need some killer machine work done, give me a shout. Thanks for reading!

### It’s All in the Details – How Our Support Rod Clevis is Made

We put a lot of pride and care into our support rods. From start to finish, they’re machined, assembled, and shipped completely in-house. I’m excited to share the process of just one single component of the rods: the clevis.

Since our support rods are our “bread and butter”, our typical production run of clevises lasts about 24-32 hours. At two minutes apiece, thats just over 700 parts produced in a 24 hour period. The key to these efficient production runs lies in our bar-fed 4 axis lathe, which can machine the majority of the part in one operation, fully automated, with no human help.

First, material is loaded into the bar feeder magazine and automatically fed into the machine. From there, the machine performs the initial turning operations.

Our 4-axis capable CNC lathe precisely drills and mills the features of the clevis.

Two minutes later, the machine uses a parting tool to cut the completed part from the rest of the bar, and drops the clevis into the parts catcher.

Once the initial machining is complete, a worker meticulously deburrs each part, one by one, on a soft wheel.

Each part is loaded into a manual lathe where the back of the part is finished, the threaded hole is countersunk, and the part is inspected.

Finally, the clevises are assembled along with the rod ends, barrels, and pins to create the finished product.

### Is Your Job Shop Right for You? The Rise of Specialized Machine Shops

No matter where in the country you are, chances are theres a machine shop within 15 miles of you. Many times, working with a local shop is preferable, for ease of communication and transportation. However, these days you can set up a Skype meeting with your machinist and they can ship a full box of parts from coast to coast in two days for under 20 bucks.

Geographical location should not take precedence over choosing the right shop for the job.

While many shops work across several industries, there are many specialty shops out there who have experience and skills that can be relevant to your project. For example, our specialty is motorsports, so when we have a new client in racing, off-road, etc, there’s a lot of advantages to be had.

A Deeper Understanding of the Product

Often when clients approach a shop, they don’t have a full dimensioned drawing – maybe just a sketch on paper or an example part. When you choose a specialty shop, you’re working with someone who understands how the entire assembly works, so they can help provide proper tolerances to make sure you get parts both work perfectly and are economical to make.

I’m going to speak from the perspective of Motorsports here – 90% of parts we make, for a range of different clients, fall into one of the following categories:

• Link – Cylinder of a given length and diameter, threaded in both ends
• Clevis – “U-shaped” part which assembles with a thru-pin or bolt, and either a female or male thread on the end
• Sleeve / Bushing – Cylindrical part used as a standoff or to adapt one diameter to another
• High Misalignment Spacer – Allows greater articulation of a heim joint
• Bung – Threaded part which is generally welded to the end of a tube
• Pin – Cylinder of a given length and diameter

With this in mind, if you bring your part to a specialized machine shop, they likely have made your exact part before, or something really close. This means that they already have all required tools, fixturing, and likely an existing program to work off of, which eliminates cost, time, and trouble, ultimately saving you money and reducing turnaround time.

Specialized Shops Across the Industry, From Race Cars to Wine

A great example of this is York Machine Works in St Helena, CA who built a strong following within the wine industry by machining custom components for fluid processing (such as venturis and flanges) as well as releasing their own product line. While each part is unique, the application is similar, allowing many parts to be designed and manufactured based on proven designs and on-hand materials.

So How Do I Find a Specialty Shop?

It’s actually really simple – just ask around. Often times parts companies who sub out their work tend to be a bit stingy when it comes to sharing the details of where their products are made, but if you have an existing relationship with a friend in the industry, just say “Hey look, I want to have this made. Know anyone?” If they make their products in-house, its likely that they also do contract manufacturing, and if they don’t, they probably know somebody.

Looking for a motorsports manufacturing shop? Shoot me an email, maybe we can work together.

Footnote: This is the first in a series of blog posts about manufacturing and product development for small and mid-size firms. If you’d like to follow these updates, please go give our Facebook page a like. Thanks!

### Bump Steer Explained

What is Bump Steer?

Bump steer is the tendency of wheels to steer themselves without driver input. This undesirable effect is caused by bumps in the road or track surface, as well as suspension travel due to braking and cornering, and their interaction with improper angles in the steering/suspension geometry.

From the factory, cars are designed so that bump steer effects are largely negated. However, when cars are lowered this geometry is compromised and must be corrected for. On a completely stock vehicle, bump steer compensation is not adjustable since proper geometry is engineered into the vehicle’s suspension.

For zero bump to be achieved, the tie rod’s motion must follow the arc of the suspension travel.

Simply put, bump steer is the amount of toe change throughout suspension travel.

Prep for Initial Bump Steer Measurement

Since the front suspension acts together as a system, you should have every parameter set before bump steer is adjusted.

• Set Ride Height
• Proper size wheel & tire
• Camber is set
• Caster is set
• Toe is set
• Tie rod length is set.
• Steering is centered (wheels pointing forward)
• Steering locked static
• Ideally, sway bar & springs are disconnected. This is not necessary although it makes adjustment easier.

Jack the suspension on one side through ~3” of travel up and down, and record the changes in toe.

Make Bump Steer Corrections

Once you know your baseline level of bump steer, you are now ready to make changes to the level of bump steer compensation by changing the length of the outer tie rod.

On a classic “shim-style” bump steer kit, this adjustment is made by removing the rod end and changing the amount of shims between the rod end and the spindle.

On an FTR Shimless Bump Steer kit, this adjustment is made by simply loosening the jam nut and rotating the vertical adjuster to the desired location.

 Symptom Correction (Shim-Style) Correction (Shimless) Toe out on compression, in on rebound, in the same direction Remove shims between outer tie rod and spindle Turn adjuster clockwise Toe in on compression, out on rebound, in the same direction Add shims between outer tie rod and spindle Turn adjuster counter-clockwise

How Much Bump Steer Do I Want?

In an ideal world, you want as little bump steer as is physically possible given your suspension geometry. This will keep your steering predictable over uneven surfaces commonly experienced in autocross events, and even some road courses.

A bit of bump out (toe out in compression) will make the car more stable upon corner entry, but bump in is almost always not wanted. Small amounts of bump steer will create an Ackerman type effect during a corner causing the inside tire to turn a bit further, increasing stability.

As a general rule of thumb, run a small amount of bump out (toe out on compression), and do not allow any bump in.

### SN95 13″ Rear Cobra Brakes

The time is finally here… 13″ Cobra front brakes on the rear of the SN95. Coming soon!

### SN95 Center Dash Delete / Gauge Panel

Working on getting rid of the center dash area, replacing with switches as well as water temp & oil pressure gauges.

### S550 14″ Brakes on SN95 2001 Mustang GT

People have been asking about putting 2015 brakes on the SN95, so I thought I’d just go for it. Here’s the best part:

Total cost was under \$1000!

Required hardware:
S550 Calipers – \$100 each (+\$50 core)
Rotors (2x): Blanks \$60 ea from an auto parts store, slotted \$100 ea from StopTech.
FTR Brembo Kit – \$350
Stainless Brake Lines – \$95
Pads (currently only available from Ford) ~\$100
Caliper Pin Kit (2x) – ~\$12

Total cost: \$889!

First off, I started with our GT500 Brembo Adapter Kit (http://www.fullytorquedracing.com/sn…brake-kit.html). The S550 calipers use the same mounting pattern as S197 brakes, but there are some clearance issues so we had to machine down a section to get it to clear the bracket. The only other modification we made was to add a 1/8″ washer between the bracket and the spindle so everything would line up.

There was a fair bit (maybe took an extra 30 min) of modifying to the caliper, so I’m thinking we’ll probably come out with a bracket specifically for the S550 calipers if there’s enough interest.

The S550 Caliper is a bit larger than the GT500 Brembo, and also has larger pistons as you see here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Use the S550 CALIPERS, PADS, AND HARDWARE, with the 2012 GT500 ROTOR

### Developing a Quality Splitter Support Rod Design

A brief history – back in 2013, when FTR was barely in its infancy, I need some support rods for the splitter I was making for my ’96 Mustang. Looking online, there were only a few brands out there, and frankly, they all looked like crap. I decided to machine something up myself. The first prototype was a janky manually machined clevis design with an ugly bolt going through it. After a few revisions we ended up with the low profile pressed pin design we use today, and it has barley changed since late 2014.

The big issue with the other rods on the market was the amount of rattle in the design. In our splitter support rod design, we integrate a heim joint in the end to make sure that no play or rattle is introduced

Another thing we developed was a Boss 302 support rod, which is literally just our normal support rod design with a 1/4-20 thread instead of a 5/16-18 thread. A lot of Boss 302 owners are quality obsessed, and find it obscene that such a great car comes with those pieces of junk on the nose. The stock support rods lack rigidity causing the stock Boss 302 splitter to vibrate at speed, reducing the aerodynamic benefits of the splitter. By replacing the stock part with the FTR unit, that vibration is eliminated, thereby increasing downforce and consistency.