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2007 Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Or as Parnelli likes to call them, for "the Parnelli Jones/Saleen Limited Edition."

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2009
PJ#430 PJ#430 is offline
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Default Trouble with Gen I Watts-Link on PJ?

Hello all. I was in the PJ on the fwy heard a loud snap or pop,a minute or two later the rear end became very loose. Got it to the dealer asap. Today they said two bolts had come loose and fell out. Anyone had this happen to them ? or heard of it happening ? I did look right after and found the left rear tire sticking out of the fender about 3"-4" the right sucked in the same amount. The recall fix had been performed at the same dealer that has it now. The saleen warranty ended at Christmas time. Dealer had no idea how long the lead time would be to get the bolts in from Saleen. Is it possible to replace those two bolts with some grade 8 or like bolt ? hate to have the PJ sitting at the dealer any longer than it has to be. Im going to see if Saleen will fix this under warranty, what do you people think ? Any chance of that ? Thx for any help. Kent.
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Old 02-26-2009
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I recently read about a guy with the Saleen Watts link having a bolt shear off. Not on a PJ, but same watts link. Read it here.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2009
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Here is the bolt that was removed from my Watts link. It had nothing to do with any failure. One of the problems is the Alum. housing. The end cut of the bolt was done at Saleen.





Which bolts failed on you??
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Old 02-27-2009
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I spoke with the dealer today,it turns out to be much worse thyen just a cpl broken bolts but have not seen it myself. Seems the diff cover a link and a few other parts are damaged.The service writer is waiting on a call from Saleen. He asked me why I thought it should be repaired under warranty even after a year. The recall was performed by them and was done less then a year ago. The car has not seen any track time or hard driving for that matter. Yes I would Saleen and the dealer to cover everthing that was damaged from there parts failure ! And they should be very thankful that myself and any other car around the PJ wasnt hurt! It got alil hairy there for a cpl seconds on the fwy to say the least. I just want my PJ back asap ! Thx , Kent
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Old 02-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ#430 View Post
I spoke with the dealer today,it turns out to be much worse thyen just a cpl broken bolts but have not seen it myself. Seems the diff cover a link and a few other parts are damaged.The service writer is waiting on a call from Saleen. He asked me why I thought it should be repaired under warranty even after a year. The recall was performed by them and was done less then a year ago. The car has not seen any track time or hard driving for that matter. Yes I would Saleen and the dealer to cover everthing that was damaged from there parts failure ! And they should be very thankful that myself and any other car around the PJ wasnt hurt! It got alil hairy there for a cpl seconds on the fwy to say the least. I just want my PJ back asap ! Thx , Kent
Thanks for the post! I have been getting a lot of squeaking from the rear when going over bumps and rough road. I will have to jack up the rear end and inspect. I had the recall done at the saleen plant in Irvine in 07. I have 4k miles since and most have been hard miles so I'm getting worried!

Tons more reading here..http://www.modularfords.com/forums/s...d.php?t=129276

If I were you I would post a complaint here...http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ Maybe if they get enough complaints they might issue another recall
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Old 02-27-2009
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Not to sound like I have .02 cents, but depending on how these claims go and whatnot. I'd almost put the Saleen-Link rear in a box for future prosperity and see what Techo and/or Steeda are offering with their Watts kits. Then powdercoat it red.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Saleen-Link was a light-duty street design.

Anyway.


Did the Dark Horse press car bust it's rear last autumn for the press? Or did the fumes at work finially melt my brain?
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Not to sound like I have .02 cents, but depending on how these claims go and whatnot. I'd almost put the Saleen-Link rear in a box for future prosperity and see what Techo and/or Steeda are offering with their Watts kits. Then powdercoat it red.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Saleen-Link was a light-duty street design.

Anyway.


Did the Dark Horse press car bust it's rear last autumn for the press? Or did the fumes at work finially melt my brain?
Indeed, the Dark Horse press car did have its Gen II Watts-Link setup go awry between the time it was at the track event for the press on September 24, and the time it was unveiled at the Queen Mary show on October 5. In its defense, it probably went through two tanks of gas at the Streets of Willow, which is a very tight course, and the car was rushed out the door to begin with.

The Techco setup appears to be a better design, but it is also priced accordingly. I can't speak for the Steeda setup.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2009
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Anyone know what the warranty is on Saleens parts ? Any thoughts on them covering this ? Thx again. Kent
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2009
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If I recall from the owners manual in my PJ it was 12 months/12000 miles for ALL Saleen Installed parts. Other models have different coverage. No idea on what over the counter parts are, but doubt it is longer than 12 months.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2009
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All the Saleen installed parts have a 12 month warranty. I would venture to say in most cases mileage means nothing since most PJ are driven sparingly.
For Ford part the standard 36 month warranty applies.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2009
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check out the fays2 watts link. If mine fails I will go with this.

I believe there was a class action or some kind of law suit that brought about the watts link recall. I know a guy that says he started the action. He actuallu removed the watts in favor of a Steeda suspension (prior to its watts)
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2009
S281SC Coop S281SC Coop is offline
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just a little FYI on the Fays2. A friend of mine bought one for his 07 Shelby GT500. He had it on a little more than a month. We really did not care for it... its an extremely noise piece of hardware. He exact words were , " I cant see spending (at that time 10k over sticker was a good deal) 55k for a car and having a noise out of the rear end every time I hit a bump or try to make a quick turn". It all has to do with how the unit mounts up to the rear axle and also there from what I understand NO rubber bushing in it, which also could make it noisy

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  #13  
Old 03-04-2009
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Default Saleen garbage

Alright people listen up..if you are looking for a "much" more reliable, tuneable, sturdy..and overall "incredibly" better suspension, inlcluding Watts then dump that garbage Saleen recall crap and go with the Griggs system! NO COMPARISON! This is yet another in a long list of examples of Saleen rush to make a buck syndrome..as I have said before..I would never touch a Saleen ever again! For the kind of money the PJ sold for..OMG..what a rip off!
http://www.griggsracing.com/images/2005GRPWatts.jpg





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  #14  
Old 03-04-2009
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Craig, thanks for the info. I hate suspension noise.

The Griggs products look awsome.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2009
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Any news on your claim?

Its a shame....The watts link and the 302 engine were the main selling points for this car along with the heritage styling. I paid 60k for this car and I refuse to put any more money into it to repair these faults. I wonder
what the future holds for our engines...or maybe it will be like the S351's all over again.

If something else goes wrong with this car I'll make sure it gets stolen or its in a tragic fire.
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2009
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You are totally correct in your assesment of both this vehicle and "Saleen." In the interset of fairness one would have to wait and see if the "new" Saleen is customer sentric or otherwise bent. Personally I can't see the "Saleen" brand having any legs whatsoever. I (and several of my hyper smart "car" buddies have examined my PJ with a jaundiced eye and have not been impressed in any way shape or form. Other than the styling (which I have always liked) this particular car is a three dressed up as a 9. I ran into a fellow Saleen owner recently and he remarked that he would love Saleen to go "belly up" because mabey then his car would be worth something..lol.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2009
S281SC Coop S281SC Coop is offline
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Default Watts link failure

After talking with the two other guys that I hang around with, we think we might have a real good idea why those pivot bolts on the Saleen Watts link may have failed. The pictures that Richard 347 posted showing the centering bolt has some big time problems on it. They were caused by using the steel set screws that Saleen supplied with all the hardware for doing the install. We used Brass tips set screws when we did our installs, that way when you tighten the set screws down onto the bolt it does NOT damage the threads on it. Even if you did not use brass tips when it was installed...you could NEVER try to remove the centering bolt with out damaging the thread on the diff cover. You can get these brass tipped set screws from http://www.mcmaster.com/ The other picture shows the end of the bolt with what appears to have a "cut" end . I have no idea who did that cutting on it. It might have been Sallen or the person who did the install on it. The Generation 1 watts link we do not believe had a spacer with it, the Generation 2 Links did have that spacer. If the spacer was not used on the Generation 1 Link when it was installed then here is what might have caused the problem. The bolt, when it was installed bottomed out in the diff cover allowing the pivot arm to "wobble when a load was put on it, the axle would want to turn with the tires causing all kinds of pressure on that bolt which would eventually fail. We do NOT believe that the use of the steel set screws had anything to do with the the bolt failing. Also me and my friends do some pretty heavy road driving during the summer. We have not had a failure yet on our, but what we are going to do is on a yearly basis is change out that centering bolt . We just find it hard to believe that in less than 6 months of use that we can get one of them to fail


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  #18  
Old 03-12-2009
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If you're a PJ owner and interested in the Techco setup, give Carlos a holler and tell them JimD at SOEC sent you, and he'll try to fix you up. You can PM him at Techco-CD here on the Saleen Forums.
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2009
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Very informative info..thank you very much. I dealt with the Watts issues last year and had noticable wear at less than a thousand miles (and this garage queen PJ was not pushed even for a moment).

Quote:
Originally Posted by S281SC Coop View Post
After talking with the two other guys that I hang around with, we think we might have a real good idea why those pivot bolts on the Saleen Watts link may have failed. The pictures that Richard 347 posted showing the centering bolt has some big time problems on it. They were caused by using the steel set screws that Saleen supplied with all the hardware for doing the install. We used Brass tips set screws when we did our installs, that way when you tighten the set screws down onto the bolt it does NOT damage the threads on it. Even if you did not use brass tips when it was installed...you could NEVER try to remove the centering bolt with out damaging the thread on the diff cover. You can get these brass tipped set screws from http://www.mcmaster.com/ The other picture shows the end of the bolt with what appears to have a "cut" end . I have no idea who did that cutting on it. It might have been Sallen or the person who did the install on it. The Generation 1 watts link we do not believe had a spacer with it, the Generation 2 Links did have that spacer. If the spacer was not used on the Generation 1 Link when it was installed then here is what might have caused the problem. The bolt, when it was installed bottomed out in the diff cover allowing the pivot arm to "wobble when a load was put on it, the axle would want to turn with the tires causing all kinds of pressure on that bolt which would eventually fail. We do NOT believe that the use of the steel set screws had anything to do with the the bolt failing. Also me and my friends do some pretty heavy road driving during the summer. We have not had a failure yet on our, but what we are going to do is on a yearly basis is change out that centering bolt . We just find it hard to believe that in less than 6 months of use that we can get one of them to fail


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  #20  
Old 03-13-2009
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I don't mean to hijack the thread but has anyone else heard that the Foos F150's (bought or still sitting on a dealer lot) now have no warranty either?
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJCanada View Post
I don't mean to hijack the thread but has anyone else heard that the Foos F150's (bought or still sitting on a dealer lot) now have no warranty either?
This seems way off topic -- please start a new thread -- and please verify your sources first.
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  #22  
Old 03-13-2009
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Sorry to hear about your problem..I would do the work myself or if you have a "good" dealership you purchased it from mabey they will show you how much your business means to them and assist.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2009
S281SC Coop S281SC Coop is offline
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Default a fix for the Watts links

This could get a bit long so bear with me on this. As I said in a earlier post about the bolts that Richard 347 showed. My friends and I have pretty much come to the conclusion of what happened and why the pivot bolt ,failed. The first being those pivot bolt although it appears to be cut...was still to long and bottomed out in the dif. cover hole. (This is the bolt we took out of mine and notice there is no "saw" marks on it)
While it was being assembled who ever put it together would have no way of knowing that , that had happened. We dont remember for sure if the Generation 1 links had a spacer or not but, it did NOT.... then there would have been some serious amount of "wobble" between the bottom side of the head on the bolt and the facing of the dif. cover. Even if there was a spacer that was used in them,,, if the bolt bottomed out and lets say there was only .001" - .003" of a gap in that same area thats trouble waiting to happen. You put something in between and object that want to twist and torque versus something that wants to stay stationary, no matter how small of a gap you have in there the mechanical leverage of it will sooner or later find the weak point and cause it to break. In this case its a very small gap as mentioned before. There is also another underlying problem that im guessing the majority of any factory or dealership installed link is gong to have.....and the bad part is this can get messy and expensive. When we did our cars we used brass tip setscrews. What these do is two fold..they lock the pivot bolt in relation to the dif. cover but they also do NOT damage the threads on the pivot bolt. This is a picture of the pivot bolt we took out of my car over the week-end compare this to the one Richard 347 shows and you can see there is no damage to the threads. We measured the length of this bolt and found it to be (from the bottom of the head) 2.300" (yes...we're using thousands). The Saleen spacer (if used) is approx .080 to .090 inches thick, that leaves 2.220 to 2.270 from the tip of the bolt to the bottom of the now spacer. You have to keep in mind im taking my measurements from a piece I know is good ,,,,if that pivot bolt is any longer than the one I have then failure ofthe pivot bolt will occur. Getting back to the other problem of the set screws... if there is not brass tips on them and they were set into the pivot bolt and that bolt once the set screws are removed is in turn backed OUT of the dif cover hole....your going to seriously mess up the threads in there. about the only option you will have at that point is to buy a NEW dif cover from Jess at Saleen. I know it sucks but once those threads are damgaed.. its all over with.
You can see in this picture both the old Saleen bolt ( on the left) and the one we replaced it with over the week-end. Probably the first thing your goingto say is "hey wait... your new pivot bolt is longer". You would be correct,it is longer, but only by about .100 of an inch. What we did was after we dropped the link out of the way we put anti seize in the new piece and ran it in till it bottomed out then we measured from the face of the dif. cover to the bottom of the head of the pivot bolt and we came to the conclusion that is we used two hard spacer, one on the bottom of the bolt head and the other against the dif cover , which is where Saleen has the spacer on the Gen 2 upgrade at. Each one of those spacers are .110 (We already made up the difference of the pivot bolt with just 1 spacer) That with two of them there would be NO way the bolt could bottom out in that dif. cover hole and we will achieve a flush finish with all the ipieces installed. Here is a picture of link back together and installed on the car, although its a bit blurry you can see each one of the spacers. As another form or good measuring we will sometime after the cruis'in season ends take that bolt back off and then magna-flux it to check for any hidden pressure cracks. I'm sorry if I got a little long winded on this but I wanted to be sure what I was saying was clear and understandable. If you have any questions feel free to send me a private message or just reply to this. My friends and I hope this solves the problems that have occurred, but as they say "Only time will tell". But I would bet we got it fixed and it not going to be a problem down the road

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Craig
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2009
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A good read Craig.
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S281SC Coop View Post
This could get a bit long so bear with me on this.
Craig, that was an awesome post - its pretty rare to see that level of detail about a problem. I'm hoping that there are no problems with the Watts Link on my '08, but I certainly understand the whole thing a lot more now...

Chris.
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Old 03-16-2009
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Hmm..after doing some more reading it would appear that this is a "serious" problem for Saleen Watts link systems. They can call it what they want, this appears to be a design fault. If it happens to enough vehicles (assuming that all 500 PJ's had to have the recall done and many are continuing to have serious "issues" with it and other Mustangs that have installed the system are as well) it isn't a "glitch" it is a design fault or at the very least poor quality materials were used when the highest quality were called for..anyone else?
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Old 03-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJCanada View Post
Hmm..after doing some more reading it would appear that this is a "serious" problem for Saleen Watts link systems.
Isn't possible that the recall was performed incorrectly - possibly with the incorrect parts? Am I right in thinking that the dealership who did the recall would have been the last one to play with that bolt?

Chris.
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  #28  
Old 03-17-2009
USMC0341 USMC0341 is offline
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Great Info!!

I was told by saleen that the bolt dimensions of the pivot bolt is
14mm 20X57mm and is a grade 10.9 Is this the right size?

Would using a 12.9 bolt help?
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  #29  
Old 03-17-2009
S281SC Coop S281SC Coop is offline
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USMC0341..The ones we replaced were 10.9 grade. As for the size of the bolt, as you can see in the post I had earlier we actually used a longer one. I'm not good with millimeter to decimal conversion. After doing some figuring the bolt we took out of my dif. cover was 57.15mm and we replaced it with one that is 59.69 mm. we also use the 2 (two) spacer and they were 2.794 each for a total of 5.588. If you subtract the spacers from the length of the bolt, it leaves you with 54.102mm. Since the bolt is a 14 mm, if you use the forulma of 1.5 times the diameter of the bolt for maximun torque you only need 21mm of the treads in the dif cover to achieve max torque.
Chris (ctann) I am begining to believe that there were some quality control issue that MAY NOT have been etched in stone ,so to speak (ie the true lenght of that pivot bolt) As you can see from what I said to USMC0341...our replacement bolt was longer than 57mm.. not by much but then were not working with alot here and it only takes a little to get that pivot bolt to bottom out. If it does. you or who ever installed it might not ever know that it had. It would be like hanging a picture by putting a nail in the wall...if you hit a wire behind it...how would you know??
PJCanada I have to somewhat agree with you, but I think what happened was when Saleen first came out with the link then realized it needed upgraded there were issue that came about because of the upgrade. For example the issue with the pivot bolts after they were seated with the set screws. I wonder how many dealerships did the upgrade and once they saw what had happened to the threads on the dif. cover maybe tried to just retap the treads in it. That being said Chriss may be 100% correct in him saying the dealership screwed up....one thing we wil never know is who told who how to fix the threads once tha pivot bolt was removed. I was one of the unlucky ones when it came to that. I had to replace the dif. cover. here are some pics from when we did my upgrade. This first one shows the threads in the original dif cover that had to be replaced becuase I did nOT use brass tipped set screws

these next two show just how little damage was done to the original pivot bolt that we took out


When we replaced the pivot bolts over the week-end we found there where no markings on the threads.

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Craig
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  #30  
Old 03-18-2009
Richard347 Richard347 is offline
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Craig, I read your posts with great interest. I have to check with the installer whom removed my bolt as to what it was replaced with. His mechanic will probably not remember since it was over a year ago. I seem to remember him saying something about a longer bolt??

can you supply us with bolts?? How much??

Thanks
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  #31  
Old 03-18-2009
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Fantastic post Craig!!!! This is priceless information! Thanks!!!
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  #32  
Old 03-18-2009
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Great info ! It makes complete sense that once the set screw had been secured and you removed the pivot bolt , lets say to perform the recall fix, that the bolt and diff cover threads would be damaged. Why didnt anybody see that ?? Myself included. I can always say that it wasnt my job to see those kind of things, what can those who got paid to see those things say ? Uhh oops ! I didnt have time to let the pj sit at the dealer so I had them install the Techco watts set-up. Only have a few miles on it so no opinion so far. I do know they also use a set screw so the same problem is still there.
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  #33  
Old 12-14-2010
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I bought a used techo watts link with a stripped out screw (unknowingly of ALL this info you have here). So when the my tuner was installing it and telling me about the issue I did research and wound up here, and other places aswell. You guys have a done a fairly impressive job documenting this and sticking together. Originally I was curious if you could just use a helacoil on this and fix it with a different bolt. My tuner wound up putting a sleeve insert into mine to fix it. We will see how she fares. It had no noticeable play or rattle, just figure I would pass along the info. One thing my tuner told me was that the Techo uses the heim joints for the arms and he said he has read where racers will change those out after only a few races, he might have said 10, I can't remember though. So what would my course be to get new heim jointed arms since Techo is out of business? Great job again on the detail of this write up and has possibly saved me from getting into serious trouble in a turn and has brought some awareness for me to pay attention to that area.
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  #34  
Old 12-16-2010
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Default Un-safe? 48k mi on original watts link.

After reading all the prior posts I'm wondering if I even want to put the recall parts on now. My #209 PJ has 48k miles on it and the watts link is fine. Dave at Saleen told me it has never had the recall done to it. It sounds like I might actually cause damage by attempting to put on the new parts. I think I should wait for it to break, if and when, then fix it....Uhh, wait a minute. If it breaks right when I need it the most it could be an interesting ride.....??
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  #35  
Old 12-22-2010
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Barricade Barricade is offline
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Is this a Gen I or II?

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  #36  
Old 12-22-2010
S281SC Coop S281SC Coop is offline
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That unit is a Techco Watts link, and I am not sure if they made a Gen II link. The basic difference with Saleens Gen I vs the Gen II link was the length of the centering links that connect to the Chassis on one side and the body on the other side to the pivot arm that is on the differential cover. The Gen II will be longer, which causes the piviot arm to have more angle to it. the Gen I's pivot is roughly 12:30 to 6:30 if you looking at it from the back of the car. The Gen II" pivot will be greater....more like 1:30 to7:30. Hope this helps

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  #37  
Old 12-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S281SC Coop View Post
That unit is a Techco Watts link, and I am not sure if they made a Gen II link. The basic difference with Saleens Gen I vs the Gen II link was the length of the centering links that connect to the Chassis on one side and the body on the other side to the pivot arm that is on the differential cover. The Gen II will be longer, which causes the piviot arm to have more angle to it. the Gen I's pivot is roughly 12:30 to 6:30 if you looking at it from the back of the car. The Gen II" pivot will be greater....more like 1:30 to7:30. Hope this helps

QWKENUF
Craig
What's the purpose of the greater pivot angle? I have a Gen II unit and the difference is considerable comparing it to the Gen I.

Thanks
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  #38  
Old 12-23-2010
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Aussie-Parnelli Aussie-Parnelli is offline
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Yesterday I was driving Brenda's PJ#45, doing 40mph and bang the centre pivot bolt of the Watts link broke exactly the same as PJ #407 except I was going a lot slower. PJ #45 has 19250 miles on it PJ #407 only had less than 5000 miles on it when it broke.

I pulled the diff cover off and removed the grub screw and started drilling a hole for the easy out and the broken stud turned about 1/2 to 1 full turns "which is always good when removing broken studs" but it proved the bolt hadn't bottomed out. When I got the broken piece out it had been cut off when initially installed.

Both these vehicles had the recall upgrade done to them.

I have now replaced the pivot bolt on both cars with a 12.9 socket head cap screw to see if they are any better.

In the new year I intend to replace the 2 pivot arms with adjustable aluminum rods with Heim joints similar to the Fays 2 units.

I run a Fays 2 Watts link on my '66 Shelby and '06 race car and can only say how great I think they are, certainly have never failed me.

Tony
South Australia
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  #39  
Old 01-21-2011
csgt428 csgt428 is offline
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Is there any point in putting on the recall parts? Sounds like those break as well..... I want to drive the PJ hard but if I lost control due to the watts problem.... Now I don't trust the car under any kind of hard driving. Is there some other way to stabilize the rear in the event the watts breaks??
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65 C GT clone coupe restored 4-sale
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  #40  
Old 10-06-2013
jrcalvin jrcalvin is offline
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Default Watts link bolt failure

I kn ow this is an old thtread but I was reading up on a lot of new and old threads about the Saleen Watts link bolt failures. My Saleen Gen II Watts Link bolt failed while at the track. There was a long bang and I thought I had blown a rear tire with the way the car started handling. Anyway, the pwatts link pivot bolt was brown. I could drive slowly off the track.

I was not 50 miles from home and a rear axle that was moving around when driving. The tempoaray fix was using two ratcheting straps, each tying one end of the axle to the opposite body suspension part. I could drive at 40 miles an hour with very little axle movement.

All Watts Links use a center pivot bolt so....

jc
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