The Bernie Brace

Eric_R_Kissell at Eric_R_Kissell at
Wed Feb 2 13:28:10 EST 2005

Most of the Bernie Brace is available from local stores.


I have copied text below that is from the write up at the link above with
my comments inserted:

2 ea.  Superior Linkage #SPM-10S moulded race ball rod end.  $11.45 ea.
Find list of local distributors on Superior's web site.  I got mine from H.
R. Swanton, P.O. Box 15926, LA, CA 90015, 213-749-8114, fax 8160.

      My Comment ==> You can also go to your local Farm Store or probably
even Lawnmower Store or maybe Lowes etc. and purchase a Category 0 (zero)
top link for a 3-point hitch used to attach various implements to the rear
of small tractors. The two ball ends on these Category 0 top links are
essentially the same as the part listed above (maybe a little looser on
tolerances & maybe a little thicker but likely acceptable for this task),
except one is left-hand thread and the other right-hand thread. Anyway,
expect to pay about $20 for a Category 0 top link. It seems like I used a
hand grinder to tailor the fit of these. You may want to measure your ball
end thickness before you make the "strut adapter nut" mentioned below and
tweak the dimensions of your strut adapter nut to match your ball end.

2 ea.  5/8-18 Jam Nut, cad plated.  $0.50 ea.  from super hardware store,
or fastener distributor.  See Yellow pages.

      My Comment ==> Most farm stores around here have nuts, sold $/pound,
that will thread onto the Category 0 top link. It was a pretty big nut, so
I cut one nut in half to make two nuts so I could jam it yet still be
compact because I wanted to maximize the portion of the threads inserted
into the tube. I love my Dremel with a little carbide cutoff wheel for
these little tasks. I also used some large tight-fitting washers between
the ball end and the tubing (EMT) mentioned below to give a larger bearing
surface, though I had to cut these down to clear the area near the top of
the strut tower.

1 ea. 40" length approx. of 1/2"EMT (thin wall electrical mechanical
tubing) $1.05/10' at building supply, or bum scrap from your electrical
contractor. Must be straight.

      My Comment ==> I always have called this electrical conduit - not the
flexible stuff but the stuff that is a pipe. Possibly available out of a
dumpster at a construction or demolition site, though you need it to be
straight. Get it new at Lowes or Home Depot for reasonable outlay.

2 ea.  Strut Adaptor Nut, per drawing, below.  Find a friend with a lathe,
or have them fabricated at a local machine shop having metric taps.  est.
cost $5.00 ea. max.  This nut replaces the strut piston rod top nut.  It
extends and adapts the piston rod end to the ball joint.

      My Comment ==> See the site referenced above for the drawing. This is
an easy part for a machine shop to make. Soon after I moved to my present
address (i.e. I was new in town) I called around and all of the local
machine shops I talked to were busy, so it was going to be more than $5
each. However, I have some machine shop connections with my business and
after a little while I was able to procure mine for less than $5 each. In
my previous city I had relationships with several machine shops that would
have done this inexpensively. Everywhere I have lived I have managed to
find someone who has a lathe, sometimes in the old barn beside their house.
Usually they picked it up cheap at an auction and have been doing small
machining jobs on the side ever since. When I was in graduate school and
also as an undergraduate, I had machine shop privileges (as all Mechanical
Engineers and Materials Engineers should) and could have kicked out a bunch
of these in no time flat.

      My Comment 2 ==> If there was enough interest, I could try to put
together a small production run of these, though the shipping costs plus
production costs would likely be more than you would pay if you had them
made locally. Let me know if you are interested. I am not signing up to do
this right now, but if the interest is there I will investigate whether I
want to do this. I honestly believe everyone should spend their time
finding a local machine shop willing to do small jobs at reasonable costs.

      My Comment 3 ==> Doesn't everyone already have their own set of
metric taps and dies for making and chasing threads?  ;-)

Eric Kissell
Tiffin, OH 44883
1991 200q 20v Avant, Koni Sports (yellow), 2.4 Bar (MRC), eBay Surprise
1989 200q 10v Avant, Boge Turbogas, 1.8 Bar (qlcc) - FOR SALE
1986 5000cstq Sedan, Bilsteins, 1.8 Bar (SJM)

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