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4 link rear suspension

can anybody reccomend a fair priced 4 link rear suspension for a 57?:)
It will be important to know a few things to narrow it down:
1. Are you Back halving/tubbing the car or keeping the stock frame rails intact?
2. Do you drag race the car, and want the instant center adjustability of a 4 link, to tune how the car hooks?
3. Are you looking for a parallel type 4 link, with coil overs, like what street rods use?
4. Will you just be driving on the street, so you can use urethane ends instead of spherical rod ends.

Any other details about how you intend to use the car will be relevant in deciding non-parallel (drag race) or parallel (street/rod) 4links, as they do different jobs, and require different design and fabrication accommodations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It will be important to know a few things to narrow it down:
1. Are you Back halving/tubbing the car or keeping the stock frame rails intact?
2. Do you drag race the car, and want the instant center adjustability of a 4 link, to tune how the car hooks?
3. Are you looking for a parallel type 4 link, with coil overs, like what street rods use?
4. Will you just be driving on the street, so you can use urethane ends instead of spherical rod ends.

Any other details about how you intend to use the car will be relevant in deciding non-parallel (drag race) or parallel (street/rod) 4links, as they do different jobs, and require different design and fabrication accommodations.
streetrod type, just looking for lowering and ride qualitys.:) just trying to do away with the leaf springs, im open to all options!
 

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I looked hard into 4 link setups and decided on a product just a couple weeks ago. After doing all the research I could, and talking to people who had various systems in their cars, I ended up settling on a 4 bar from Williams Classic Chassis Works. It was no more than a couple other systems but higher quality, better shocks (QA1) and is made from Chrome Moly tubing.

If I were to rank the systems I looked at in terms of quality, I would say to look at the following, with the higher number being of higher quality.

  1. Williams Classic Chassis
  2. Jimmy Meyer Racing
  3. http://www.artmorrison.com/rearclip-tri4bar.php
  4. Total Cost Involved
  5. Heidts

There's only a few hundred difference in costs between these products, but there's a huge difference in the qualities between them. IMO that is!

I have linked the websites for the above vendors for you. Click on them to follow through to their websites.
 

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JMHO, but

I looked hard into 4 link setups and decided on a product just a couple weeks ago. After doing all the research I could, and talking to people who had various systems in their cars, I ended up settling on a 4 bar from Williams Classic Chassis Works. It was no more than a couple other systems but higher quality, better shocks (QA1) and is made from Chrome Moly tubing.

If I were to rank the systems I looked at in terms of quality, I would say to look at the following, with the higher number being of higher quality.

  1. Williams Classic Chassis
  2. Jimmy Meyer Racing
  3. http://www.artmorrison.com/rearclip-tri4bar.php
  4. Total Cost Involved
  5. Heidts
There's only a few hundred difference in costs between these products, but there's a huge difference in the qualities between them. IMO that is!

I have linked the websites for the above vendors for you. Click on them to follow through to their websites.
one of the considerations to be given to ANY type of four link suspension is "OTHER" mdifications to the complete package/car. The provided list certainly is a good one and it will be very interesting to follow the progress of the install. Please keep us informed with pics and dialog including dissapointments and met expectations.

Other considerations are exhaust routing - the ease of doing it is a great concern.

Should be fun, keep us posted!
 

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Well I can say that going with a 4-link in the rear is going to make a huge difference. I can't speak on all of GasCans option, but I can about the Heidt's kit he mentions. That's what we decided to go with on our 55, and I love it. With the adjustable coilovers and swaybar you can adjust it however you'd like. I have the rear coilovers on full soft for the ride quality, but the swaybar keeps in nice and flat in the turns. All in all it's a great kit. One thing to keep in mind is upgrading the front will help with the overall ride and handling you are trying to achieve in the rear. Here are some pics of the Heidt's kit for you...











 

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Will this setup fit in a `56 nomad?
What about the gas tank.
Do you put a pass car tank and remove
the spare tire well ?
 

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Will this setup fit in a `56 nomad?
What about the gas tank.
Do you put a pass car tank and remove
the spare tire well ?
Yes this kit will work with a nomad. This 4-link will not effect the gas tank of any sort, stock or aftermarket to fit the stock location. We just used a factory style gas tank. And yes when we replaced the trunk pan, we went with one without the spare tire well...
 

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There are certainly differences between the above kits with everything from 4-link to 4-bar, use of pan hard bars, use of sway bars, and use without. It's all pursuant to the type of ride your looking for, and how you want the car to hook up under load. Be aware that some of the systems linked above do not make it easy to route exhaust up and over the differential, especially if using a sway bar. This should be a consideration when picking a system and deciding where you plan to run your exhaust.

Rear Suspension Tech 101 (Reprinted)

Engine torque is transmitted to the rear axles through the ring and pinion gears. Due to the nature of the action of the pinion on the ring there is a torque load (lifting force) transmitted to the rear of the chassis. This load can be controlled with the suspension components.

The rear differential housing rotates around an "instant center". A proper rear suspension can allow for adjustment of this instant center front, back, up, or down.

The springs support the weight of the vehicle. They also store and release energy.

The shock absorbers (really suspension dampeners) slow down movement of the chassis on the springs in both compression and extension based on their valving. Ideally, each shock should be mounted on the same arc traveled by the wheel when it moves up and down.

Sway bars behave as infinitely adjustable springs which act only when acted upon to resist vertical movements of one wheel relative to the other on the same axle.

4-link suspensions means there are 4 adjustable bars (2 per side) mounted between the rear axle housing and an adjustable forward mounting bracket attached to the frame. With the 4-link the instant center is adjustable front to back, up and down. It is possible to have the front end lift on acceleration (good for rear wheel drive vehicles to increase downforce and therefore traction on the rear tires), remain neutral, or by exerting a lifting force between the rear axle and chassis, transfer weight to the front end while simultaneously adding downforce to the rear (which is ideal for AWD vehicles). The adjustments on the 4-link are quick and easy, so changes can be readily made and evaluated. The characteristics of the 4-bar or ladder bar could easily be duplicated if desired.

Ladder bars are like 4-link bars with the fronts of the bars joined together. The instant center is the front mounting point. There can be a small amount of adjustment of the instant center up or down, but not front or back. There is good potential for improving rear traction but it is not nearly as adaptable as the 4-link.

The 4-bar is a parallel 4-link suspension. There is no instant center and no torque is transferred. No additional downforce is created. Therefore there is no traction benefit.

Lateral location of the vehicle body relative to the wheels is provided by linkages such as a Panhard bar, Watts linkage or angled control arms. The Panhard bar is the simplest in that it usually comprises a link with rod ends attached at one end to the body and at the other end to an unsprung portion of the suspension. Since body roll can cause the Panhard bar to steer the attached suspension, the Panhard rod is happiest when it is as long as feasible and mounted level. Generally the Panhard bar determines the roll center at the associated end of the vehicle, though stiff leaf springs can compromise this.

Leaf springs can under certain conditions transfer a torque load and create downforce. Unfortunately the are heavy and prone to deformation and twisting under load. If the leaves are clamped together at the forward end and permitted to slide at the rear end of the spring, the net effect is similar to a ladder bar.

_________________________________________________________________

The above info is reprinted from another old post and some of it's a bit inaccurate. Also, many of the modern 4-bar systems are actual 4-link setups but the manufacturers prefer to call them 4 bar, so that may add to confusion. Best bet is to talk to each mfg and ask them about their system and what differentiates them from other rear suspension kits. To me, it's all about engineering and quality.
 

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Which one of the kits would be best when using a 12 bolt? I am more concerned for cornering improvement than straight line racing. I'm using the five leaf springs now, no sway bar. I do plan to add tubular A arms and have a front sway bar, 1 1/8".

Second can they be installed with the body on?

Randy
 

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FIFTY-FIVE, Your Heidts installation looks great! Great pics too! I recently purchased this kit and will be installing it under my '55. However, I was wondering about the brake line, as I can't seem to see it on the frame or on the rear end. The end of the hard line looks to me like it will need to be relocated as it interferes with the bracket for the upper/angled bar on the inside of the frame. Where did you put the line? Also, I'll replace the rubber flex-line between the hard line on the frame and the hard line on the axle. Can you tell me which stainless steel, braided line you used (manufacturer & part #)? Thanks! Jim
 

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considerations to be given to ANY type of four link suspension is "OTHER" mdifications to the complete package/car.
Other considerations are exhaust routing - the ease of doing it is a great concern.
I did alot of research before i chose which rear suspension i wanted and waying the different design's i went with the AME Tribar because the exhaust passes through the crossmember and the swaybar is bottom mounted allowing tailpipes to go "over" the rear housing and then out to the back. I knew i wanted a fairly low car and wanted the exhuast tucked up so it couldn't bottom out..







 

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nhramike57 nice 57!!! i have a few questions, do you know the measurement for your axle flange to flange and what size rear wheels and tires are you running do you know the back spacing?
 

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Which one of the kits would be best when using a 12 bolt? I am more concerned for cornering improvement than straight line racing. I'm using the five leaf springs now, no sway bar. I do plan to add tubular A arms and have a front sway bar, 1 1/8".

Second can they be installed with the body on?

Randy
None of the triangulated units will work with a 10, 12 or Dana 60.
 

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Nick...is this because of the cast iron center sections on those rears? I'm assuming it prevents one from welding the linkage to the iron portion of the axle, yes?
That would be correct. Havimg said that, were someone wanting to use a 12 bolt from a chevell which has the lugs on the housing, one could possibly take some Chris Alston parts and build a pretty cool hybrid triangulated four link. Might have to address the housing width or do it with the proper wheel offset. It would take some engineering but, this is hotrodding, right. No one says it has to be any certain way.

 

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why not trye a ladderbar set up ?? easy to adjust , easy to install, cheaper etc..
if you not going to race te car I believe the ladderbar is a perfect option with a good pair of coilovers




 
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