Story and images by John Dinkel and Chirag Asaravala.
A couple of issues back we introduced you to John Dinkel
and his roller spring perches. We learned about John, a FordMuscle
subscriber, through the Forums, where he had been assisting
fellow enthusiasts in making rollerized coil spring perches
for their early Mustangs and Falcons. What we learned about
John (who goes by the handle Opentracker in the Forums) is
that he is dedicated to helping out his peers in this hobby,
even if it means losing a sale. You see, John also owns Opentracker
Racing Products, a business specializing in early Mustang
and Falcon suspension upgrades.
John Dinkel shows off his OpenTracker
roller spring perches.
One might think that giving away your recipes to anyone who
asks is not the formula for a successful business. Or is it?
John started his business because he was frustrated with the
high-costs and low-quality of many of the big-name suspension
companies. When he'd contact them with questions and ideas
for improvement they'd show disinterest. Like most of us this
sort of customer service is enough to make our blood boil.
John however knew that if those businesses were that out of
touch with their customers then he could be successful in
putting the enthusiast first. His philosophy had always been
to provide his peers with as much information that he had
so they could re-create what he had done. When guys started
telling him that they just wanted him to build them a set,
he knew that the trust and confidence they had in him was
worth turning into a business.
Opentracker Racing Products is a small but fledging operation.
John and his partner work out of a shop in Carmel Valley,
California where they currently build and sell roller spring
perches, roller idler arms and lower and upper rollerized
control arms. Each unit is made to order and each product
is made to last. John's creations stem from many hours of
open-track racing and abuse of his own cars. He sees that
fellow racers need high-strength products with unlimited serviceability.
They also need products that look stock and can be used in
vintage-class racing. This is designed into each of their
products. For instance the lower control arms featured in
this article can be quickly serviced to replace the bearing
or ball-joint. His competitors charge more for arms which
must be replaced entirely if any of those pieces wear out.
Improving upon Stock
Outlined below are John's steps for building a set of
boxed and roller lower control arms. The process is not difficult
if you have welding skills. Some of the materials required
however are custom machined. If you contact John
he'll be happy to share the specifications. We're using a
set of new Moog replacement control arms with press in ball-joints
for 1967-1968 Mustangs. On page 2 you'll also see John's recommendation
for screw in ball joints for ultimate servicability.