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Thread: Help - new member

  1. #1
    Lee
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    Help - new member

    I am in the process of trying to purchase the atom below but some concerns have come up that I was hoping someone on this forum could help with.

    http://www.dupontregistry.com/autos/...itemid=1142357

    Specifically, it has come to my attention that the rear uprights on this atom are not factory. See photos at link. Am I just buying a headache that I would not be able to repair or does someone recognize this set up.

    I greatly appreciate any assistance. I have no problem working on cars but I am a vette guy and have no background with the atom. I am afraid that I would not be able to find replacement parts.

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    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Specifically, it has come to my attention that the rear uprights on this atom are not factory. See photos at link. Am I just buying a headache that I would not be able to repair or does someone recognize this set up.

    I greatly appreciate any assistance. I have no problem working on cars but I am a vette guy and have no background with the atom. I am afraid that I would not be able to find replacement parts.
    I've seen that system before - maybe on the Van Halen Atom? Some of the folks here who keep a closer eye on Atoms being sold might know the car. It also has different rotors and wheels. You could check to see if either a) all the original parts come with the car, and/or 2) if the seller will provide the name of the shop that did the original work (that's probably a few owners ago, and they may want to protect the customer it was done for, particularly if I'm right and it was Alex).

    It is an Atom 3 built by TMI, so stock parts should be available for the forseeable future. Of course, damage to one of the odd suspension pieces will probably result in needing to go back to stock on front and rear to keep the handling predictable, which will get expen$ive.

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    That's Alex Van Halen's old car. Its been through a few owners in a short period of time and we havent had much input from any of the owners. As far as we know, Alex had major modifications done to the car after he bought it. Particular modifications were done to the suspension - anti-roll bars and uprights and what not. Its all custom and unique to this car. That being said, if there is a major problem you should be able to go to TMI and order original parts to replace the custom parts but it would probably mean buying new suspension parts all around.

    Even though the parts are unique, I would happily own this car given the chance.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Lee
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolus View Post
    That's Alex Van Halen's old car. Its been through a few owners in a short period of time and we havent had much input from any of the owners. As far as we know, Alex had major modifications done to the car after he bought it. Particular modifications were done to the suspension - anti-roll bars and uprights and what not. Its all custom and unique to this car. That being said, if there is a major problem you should be able to go to TMI and order original parts to replace the custom parts but it would probably mean buying new suspension parts all around.

    Even though the parts are unique, I would happily own this car given the chance.
    This is the van halen car. The work was apparently done by R3 motorsports in van nuys California. I tried to speak with them but they were rude and less than helpful (put me on hold and then hung up). I believe that they may have even relocated the control arm mounting points on the frame and fabricate custom up rights and control arms. Those more familiar with the atom maybe can confirm this based on the pictures. Thus, I am concerned whether you could even replace with factory parts. I also believe that the coil overs have been changed. Don't know if they are better or boy.

    I know nothing about uprights and what is involved to change them. With the vette you just replace the whole hub. I am unclear on it but it appears that maybe you replace the bearings and retain the upright? Wonder if it would be too difficult to identify the replacement parts? I do know that the half shafts on this car are not factory.

    Any help is appreciated. I just cannot tell if I would be buying something that I would not be able to repair.

    Original parts are not available with the car and current owner has no knowledge.
    Last edited by Lee; June 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM.

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    Are you near the car to go take pictures? You could take pics of the suspension and we could give you a better idea of what is going on.

    Changing uprights is pretty easy. On the Atom 2 which has a bit different setup its just 2 bolts on the bottom and one on the top on the rears for example. Here's a pic of when I put on custom uprights

    the high profile toy thrower

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    Lee
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    Unfortunately, the car is very far from me and I have made plans to travel to see it. At that time I have to decide whether to buy it. When the wheel bearings wear out, do you replace the upright? This is my concern. The uprights on this car seem to be one of a kind. If you look at the rear end photos in my link there seems to a silver heim joint (almost an end link like you would see on a sway bar) that attaches to the lower control arm and the upright. This does not seem to be stock. Thus, it would seem to me that I would be screwed when the wheel bearings wear out (assuming that you have to change the upright). If you don't change the upright, it might be possible to find rebuild parts although that might be difficult. That same photo seems to show that the lower control arm mounting point on the frame may have been lowered when compared to similar AA3 photos. Thanks for the photo. The whole thing is very frustrating because I want to get the car but I don't want someone else's headache.

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    they modified the suspension to adjust toe without taking the upright off. The Atom 2's made in the US had a different way to do this but the Atom 3's dont have it. They modified the main frame to add the extra bars for the roll bar. so it is certainly possible they modified the frame for the suspension. I'm sure there wasnt any expense spared considering who did it.

    what's the price they are asking on that car? I cant seem to find the main page, just the pictures.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Lee
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    So do you rebuild the uprights or replace them?

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    These are replacements that were made by a custom fabricator. He made around 10 sets or so if I remember correctly. The original uprights were fine until people started adding slicks and more power then the bearings and hubs were starting to have problems. There were a few options for replacement uprights for the Atom 2 but none for the 3.

    The wheel bearings can be replaced though they need a press to get them in and out.
    the high profile toy thrower

  10. #10
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    It looks like they just modified the suspection arms, not the mount points on the frame. Hard to tell with the small pics. The silver parts on the lower arms are added to adjust toe.

    the high profile toy thrower

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