The Bernie Brace

patrick.anderson1 at patrick.anderson1 at
Thu Feb 3 10:16:18 EST 2005

If you really don't feel like making one and want to buy one I believe you can get one from 2Bennett Audimotive. They appear to have stolen Bernie's design and are selling it on their website. They also have a FMIC kit for our also stolen from others and marketed as their own.
-------------- Original message -------------- 

> Most of the Bernie Brace is available from local stores. 
> Reference: 
> I have copied text below that is from the write up at the link above with 
> my comments inserted: 
> List: 
> 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? ;-) 
> HTH, 
> 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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