Front struts for 504 - options?
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    Fellow Frogger! Binky's Avatar
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    Default Front struts for 504 - options?

    Hi all,

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    As some of you know, I'm in the process of shoe horning a factory 505 turbo (N9te) engine and BA10/5 gearbox into a 1970 504. After stripping out the engine bay and giving it a spruce-up, I'm ready to re install the front suspension.

    I'm just wondering (my curiosity piqued by Peujohn's blog) about front strut options.

    ...You see, I have a nice set of front struts from a 1994 505 wagon STi kicking around, and I'm thinking they are probably a little stiffer (springs) which might be good for the bigger engine. In addition, I'm thinking (given what I've read in Peujohn's blog) that the stub axles may provide me with that desireable extra camber. I'm also thinking that they might provide better front calipers and rotors.

    If I were to use these, would I still be able to use the standard 504 lower control arms and castor arms, or should I use the lower control arms and castor arms from the STi wagon? Or it it a bad idea alltogether?

    Thoughts?

    ...just an idea...

    Binky

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    ...should I use the lower control arms and castor arms from the STi wagon? Or it it a bad idea alltogether?
    It is a very good idea. Change the entire front end including the steering rack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    Hi all,

    As some of you know, I'm in the process of shoe horning a factory 505 turbo (N9te) engine and BA10/5 gearbox into a 1970 504. After stripping out the engine bay and giving it a spruce-up, I'm ready to re install the front suspension.

    I'm just wondering (my curiosity piqued by Peujohn's blog) about front strut options.

    ...You see, I have a nice set of front struts from a 1994 505 wagon STi kicking around, and I'm thinking they are probably a little stiffer (springs) which might be good for the bigger engine. In addition, I'm thinking (given what I've read in Peujohn's blog) that the stub axles may provide me with that desireable extra camber. I'm also thinking that they might provide better front calipers and rotors.

    If I were to use these, would I still be able to use the standard 504 lower control arms and castor arms, or should I use the lower control arms and castor arms from the STi wagon? Or it it a bad idea alltogether?

    Thoughts?

    ...just an idea...

    Binky
    You can't use the usual 504 lower control arms as the later 505 ones are screw in.
    The late 505 struts with 505 arms in a 504 will give you a hell of a lot of negative camber (double whammy, struts and arms as the strut towers are closer together in the 504 and 604 compared to 505), John got around this by fitting late 504 wagon arms which are also screw in, this is the best set up.
    Graham
    Graham

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    And you will have to get your brake lines reflaired to match the later brakes calipers

    OR fit a dual master cylinder and later front lines and reflair the line to the rear brakes

    OR simply switch the early RH caliper to the LH side (LH to RH as well ) and this will resolve the issue of early brake calipers behind the strut and later ones forward of the strut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    It is a very good idea. Change the entire front end including the steering rack.
    Thanks Thanos, I just wasn't sure if there was any difference between the sedan and wagon front struts, but I guess not.
    Unfortunately I don't have the steering rack, but I'd like to avoid power steering if I can...


    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    You can't use the usual 504 lower control arms as the later 505 ones are screw in.
    The late 505 struts with 505 arms in a 504 will give you a hell of a lot of negative camber (double whammy, struts and arms as the strut towers are closer together in the 504 and 604 compared to 505), John got around this by fitting late 504 wagon arms which are also screw in, this is the best set up.
    Graham
    Graham
    Ah yes, those mythical "hen's teeth"!!! Could one get a machinist to convert the "screw in" type to the earlier type? - just an idea. Otherwise, perhaps these LCA's are easily sourced from somewhere like Argentina?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob D View Post
    And you will have to get your brake lines reflaired to match the later brakes calipers

    OR fit a dual master cylinder and later front lines and reflair the line to the rear brakes

    OR simply switch the early RH caliper to the LH side (LH to RH as well ) and this will resolve the issue of early brake calipers behind the strut and later ones forward of the strut.
    Couldn't I just get new hoses made to match each respective end? I.e. 504 on the master cylinder side, and 505 at the caliper?

    Also (and I know this is probably just downright silly) has anyone thought about or tried to mount both calipers at the front, i.e. one fore and one aft?


    Binky

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    Default Camber

    Actually, now I think about it, couldn't I alter the camber by having the crossmember mounts altered?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post



    Couldn't I just get new hoses made to match each respective end? I.e. 504 on the master cylinder side, and 505 at the caliper?

    Also (and I know this is probably just downright silly) has anyone thought about or tried to mount both calipers at the front, i.e. one fore and one aft?


    Binky
    just use a late 504 master cylinder and the brake lines from a 505 or late 504

    or just use the early 504 calipers and do as suggested and swap them left to right and not worry about the lines

    there isn't enough room nor mounting to have both calipers at once
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    Actually, now I think about it, couldn't I alter the camber by having the crossmember mounts altered?
    go to pedders and ask to have a look through their catalogue and see if you can find a camber adjuster that will fit within the 504 cross member
    3 x '78 604 SL

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    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    You see, I have a nice set of front struts from a 1994 505 wagon STi kicking around
    You mean a 1984 STI wagon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    Thanks Thanos, I just wasn't sure if there was any difference between the sedan and wagon front struts, but I guess not.
    Unfortunately I don't have the steering rack, but I'd like to avoid power steering if I can...
    Pretty sure sedan and wagon struts are the same. Paris Jansen fitted wagon struts to his 504.

    Why do you want to avoid power steering? You might need it to get that fish-tailing smartly back in line. Seriously, power steering on a 504 is a beautiful thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    Ah yes, those mythical "hen's teeth"!!! Could one get a machinist to convert the "screw in" type to the earlier type? - just an idea. Otherwise, perhaps these LCA's are easily sourced from somewhere like Argentina?
    I have tried for years to get hold of a set of those arms from overseas somewhere without any luck. Sure they are there, but how do you get them? Then Bob D told me they were fitted to 1983 504 wagons (I always thought they were fitted to 504s built from 1984 on) and I found a set at Pugwreck, 10 minutes from where I live!

    Modifying the crossmember where the inside ends of the LCAs are located is possible, but I am not suggesting this to you. Maybe if you have a crossmember handy, take it to a skilled machinist and tell him what you require and see what he says!
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    If you are willing to use a machinist, the most versatile option is to convert the LCA's with uniball joints. Not a huge, expensive job and offers a lot of adjustability. I am attaching a photo, it should be self explanatory to a machinist. As for a 505 steering rack, we use them without assistance, nice direct and quick steering to go with your strong engine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Front struts for 504 - options?-camber-bar-modified-uniball.jpg  

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    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    Thanos, what do you think is ideal camber for road use?

    Also on this subject. New DeCarbon strut inserts and rear shocks are available on Ebay France. I have been told that these are excellent for 504s. Does anyone have any experience with these? Would new DeCarbons be as good as they used to be?
    John W

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    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

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    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



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    Quote Originally Posted by peujohn View Post
    Thanos, what do you think is ideal camber for road use?

    Also on this subject. New DeCarbon strut inserts and rear shocks are available on Ebay France. I have been told that these are excellent for 504s. Does anyone have any experience with these? Would new DeCarbons be as good as they used to be?
    Hi, we have been using De carbons in our rally cars for years, including on the red Centre to Gold Coast.

    We have found them excellent, good damping but still subtle and seem to last well. Our early ones, mid 1980s into the 1990s (for the Australian Safari etc) were special "safari" spec. The ones we are using now were new, old stock out of the UK so I have no idea whether existing products would be of the same standard and like other brands they come in a few different grades.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    Hi, we have been using De carbons in our rally cars for years...
    So have we, they all failed in short order. It turns out the Americans (according to Brian Holm) had the same experience.

    I prefer -1.5 degrees camber, both front and rear for road use, but even -3 degrees (using the 505 struts) was acceptable.

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    Thanos, different kinds of rally cars I guess. Ours are relatively soft in the suspension and run more as "trials" cars, although the ones we had years ago for the Australian Safari must have been something good?

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    Hi, we have been using De carbons in our rally cars for years, including on the red Centre to Gold Coast.

    We have found them excellent, good damping but still subtle and seem to last well. Our early ones, mid 1980s into the 1990s (for the Australian Safari etc) were special "safari" spec. The ones we are using now were new, old stock out of the UK so I have no idea whether existing products would be of the same standard and like other brands they come in a few different grades.

    Cheers

    Jim
    The standard de carbon rears are junk, way too soft.
    The Safari rears were excellent but too stiff to begin with, it took a holiday trip, fully laden to Fraser Island to get them working properly! In those days you could drive your 2wd onto the Island.
    Standard fronts OK but not up to rallying, I had a few fail.
    Graham

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    We've just been lucky I guess.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    We've just been lucky I guess.

    Cheers

    Jim
    To elaborate I think anything other than standard 505 GTi rear shocks in the rear of a 504/505 is not worthwhile even the original 504 and 505 GR shockers, the de Carbons are as good as any other aftermarket shock.
    The fronts actually work very well but I did have a failure or two. When this happens the shocker goes to full extension making the car sit very high at that corner!
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by peujohn View Post
    You mean a 1984 STI wagon?



    Pretty sure sedan and wagon struts are the same. Paris Jansen fitted wagon struts to his 504.

    Why do you want to avoid power steering? You might need it to get that fish-tailing smartly back in line. Seriously, power steering on a 504 is a beautiful thing.



    I have tried for years to get hold of a set of those arms from overseas somewhere without any luck. Sure they are there, but how do you get them? Then Bob D told me they were fitted to 1983 504 wagons (I always thought they were fitted to 504s built from 1984 on) and I found a set at Pugwreck, 10 minutes from where I live!

    Modifying the crossmember where the inside ends of the LCAs are located is possible, but I am not suggesting this to you. Maybe if you have a crossmember handy, take it to a skilled machinist and tell him what you require and see what he says!
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    If you are willing to use a machinist, the most versatile option is to convert the LCA's with uniball joints. Not a huge, expensive job and offers a lot of adjustability. I am attaching a photo, it should be self explanatory to a machinist. As for a 505 steering rack, we use them without assistance, nice direct and quick steering to go with your strong engine.
    Quote Originally Posted by peujohn View Post
    Thanos, what do you think is ideal camber for road use?

    Also on this subject. New DeCarbon strut inserts and rear shocks are available on Ebay France. I have been told that these are excellent for 504s. Does anyone have any experience with these? Would new DeCarbons be as good as they used to be?
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    So have we, they all failed in short order. It turns out the Americans (according to Brian Holm) had the same experience.

    I prefer -1.5 degrees camber, both front and rear for road use, but even -3 degrees (using the 505 struts) was acceptable.
    Thanks everyone for their input

    Peujohn. No, I mean a 1994 STi wagon.

    I've driven one of Paris' 504's with power steering and I felt it was too twitchy (too much like a BMW - not enough like a Peugeot ). It works well in a 505 and in the later 504s which had heavier steering (I don't know why) But the earlier 504's feel great with no power steering. - I guess it has something to do with the geometery I think a boss kit with a slightly smaller steering wheel and heavier steering would be better for the occasional club event or enthusiastic drive through a windy segment of road...

    Thanks for the tip! I'll get on to PugWreck!!!

    I don't think that modifying the crossmember is the best option either, but I'm just putting out feelers for ideas

    Thanos. Thanks for the picture I've been discussing the possibility of camber adjustment with my dad and he has told me that GTA 105 Alfas had such a thing. I'm guessing it's like what you have... I think I'll look into that option. Given the people I know, I don't think that would be a difficult modification to achieve...

    I've been told by a few people that Konis are overrated, and that DeCarbons are better... sounds like I'll have to let personal experience decide...

    After reading many an AF thread (before and after the AF crash) it seems that 1.5 negative camber is the most desireable recipe D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    ...I've been told by a few people that Konis are overrated, and that DeCarbons are better...
    There are some low-end Konis that are almost as bad as DeCarbons. The main problem is with the DeCarbon strut inserts, the bottom comes off quite easily. If your STi struts have the oil inserts you should look into reconditioning them. Blistein fronts are also available online in the UK for the 504 and 505 at a fairly reasonable price (google is your friend). For the rears you can try to match Toyota Hilux fronts, one of the model years is a complete match and Bilsteins are also available for that model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    There are some low-end Konis that are almost as bad as DeCarbons. The main problem is with the DeCarbon strut inserts, the bottom comes off quite easily. If your STi struts have the oil inserts you should look into reconditioning them. Blistein fronts are also available online in the UK for the 504 and 505 at a fairly reasonable price (google is your friend). For the rears you can try to match Toyota Hilux fronts, one of the model years is a complete match and Bilsteins are also available for that model.

    I am presently trying to get a very good rally set up for the 505 that I'm building up.
    I've talked to Murray Coote, the guru for rally suspension in this country (and a Peugeot enhusiast!) but there are some problems with fitment to the rear of Peugeots, although Andy (Rally) has produced something which is effective.

    I've taken a 505 front strut, original Peugeot, to Top Perfomance the Koni agents, to see whether they can produce a wet leg strut based on this. I don't think there is any point in trying to directly modify the Peugeot struts due to lack of both knowledge and parts in this country, whereas Top Performance are building competition shocks with Koni components all the time.
    Yes, the Hi Lux shockers in the rear seem to be the way to go.

    I'm not committing to this but Top Perfomance are close to home and I've known the owner for a while so it should be interesting to see what is possible.

    Any other suggestions welcome.

    For motorsport definitely go for the power steering, less effort to turn the wheel means more ability left over to decide when to turn it!

    Graham

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    Blistein fronts are also available online in the UK for the 504 and 505 at a fairly reasonable price (google is your friend)
    Are these B4s at around 60? I think the site is europerformanceparts and it looked like the kind of site where you enquire and they tell you they don't stock them and can't get them but I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
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    Regarding the rears, I like the idea of fabricating a bracket that bolts to the hub and mounting the shock off the rear of the swing arm. A hole would have to be drilled in the boot floor and a mounting fabricated as well.

    The advantages of this would be a 1:1 motion ratio for the shock and a greater freedom of choice in shockers. I imagine there might be problems with event regulations (not to mention road regulations) for this kind of approach though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uffee View Post
    Are these B4s at around 60? I think the site is europerformanceparts and it looked like the kind of site where you enquire and they tell you they don't stock them and can't get them but I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
    Yes, that's the one. When I called them a couple of months ago the inserts were available. There seems to be only one variant, even though they have different stock numbers for each 505 and 504 model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uffee View Post
    Regarding the rears, I like the idea of fabricating a bracket that bolts to the hub and mounting the shock off the rear of the swing arm. A hole would have to be drilled in the boot floor and a mounting fabricated as well.

    The advantages of this would be a 1:1 motion ratio for the shock and a greater freedom of choice in shockers. I imagine there might be problems with event regulations (not to mention road regulations) for this kind of approach though.
    It is against FIA regulations to change the mounting points, I don't know about local road regulations

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uffee View Post
    Regarding the rears, I like the idea of fabricating a bracket that bolts to the hub and mounting the shock off the rear of the swing arm. A hole would have to be drilled in the boot floor and a mounting fabricated as well.

    The advantages of this would be a 1:1 motion ratio for the shock and a greater freedom of choice in shockers. I imagine there might be problems with event regulations (not to mention road regulations) for this kind of approach though.
    I looked at this and talked to Andy, who had the same thoughts.
    It turns out the shocker to wheel clearance is hard to achieve, so I've put it to one side at the moment.
    Has anyone bought P-S rams or bushes for same from EAI recently?
    These are listed on their website, I'm hoping they are still in stock when I phone tommorrow.
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    I am presently trying to get a very good rally set up for the 505 that I'm building up...Any other suggestions welcome...
    The simplest, and best tested, I can think of is this: Custom springs (from Moorabin, Kings, or ...)
    350 mm 140 lbs/inch fronts, 350 mm 390 lbs/inch rears (these are also the rates specified in the group 2 link you posted)
    Bilstein inserts (from the UK supplier?) re-valved locally to 100/200 bump rebound
    Bilsteins (ex Hi Lux) for the rear revalved to 200/500 bump rebound (you can also go a bit softer).

    I ran this set up for years in the 504 rally car before I converted to a much stiffer set up for the higher speed stages and it worked extremely well all around. As for the Bilsteins they took some serious caning and while we rebuild them every year as a precaution, we did not see any failures or experience fade. Not to mention that you can revalve them at will to suit the event.

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