Tag Archives: sunk costs

Wanting to make a change but stymied by sunk costs

I’m looking at the front suspension for the Sprint-T and I’m thinking I really need to go with an independent suspension for more grip on bumpy tracks, but I’m dealing with over a thousand dollars in sunk costs, just in brakes that couldn’t be put on a different front end.

I think I could do better with Pinto/MII spindles and aluminum a-arms, but the only thing I could transfer would be the rotors and maybe the calipers. Everything else would have to be a new purchase. If Wilwood makes a kit that uses the same size rotors and the same calipers for the Pinto/MII spindles then the brackets, hubs, and everything else is sunk cost. And that’s just brakes, there is also the spindles, axle, axle brackets, and frame brackets that have to be discarded or replaced. If I was independently wealthy that would be a different story, but I’m on a very small pension and Social Security, so every penny counts and comes dearly. I basically don’t have disposable income these days, everything comes at a cost of something else I can’t get.

Actually the 2″ drop version of the Pinto/MII spindle would work better than the standard because it centers the spindle better in the wheel for more angle and more travel without hitting the A-arms, not that there was any danger of there being enough travel to cause the arms to hit the wheels. Angle, maybe, but travel never. That’s one place where the solid axle shines in comparison to the independent suspension, there’s a huge amount of clearance for angle. That and camber control through body roll, solid axles don’t change camber, like ever. There is some communication from one side to the other as pavement imperfections are encountered, but aside from that the camber doesn’t change. The axle holds the camber constant, which is why building the right angles in in the first place is so important.

Anyway, IFS would be a bit better in bumpy conditions, especially with really wide tires, but because I made that decision years ago and purchased accordingly I’m stuck with a solid front suspension. In this kind of competition the tires are a much bigger variable than solid or independent suspension. And it so happens I have some really sticky rubber picked out, and the slicks for SCCA competition are specifically designed for solid axles.

And this has no bearing to the rest of the post, but I have the non-ap browser version of Youtube Music running on the laptop and it’s really nice to not have to deal with ads in the middle of pieces like the phone version. And I still have access to my mixes and lists like the phone ap. The main difference is the browser version on my computer doesn’t use up my phone battery and I can leave it running in a tab while I edit a post in another tab or window. The phone ap is a little more portable because it uses cellular data that my laptop doesn’t have so I can listen on the bus or while riding in the car. Horses for courses, sometimes one device is better, sometimes it’s a different device.