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PT68Camaro
08-24-2004, 09:10 AM
Has anyone installed this rear suspension kit on a first Gen Camaro?
The website has pics and says it can be used with DSE mini tubs but can it be used with DSE frame connectors?
What do you guys think about this kit? I figured I was going to spend about 600.00 on new leaf springs DSE rear spring hangers and all the new mounting hardware for 1700. more I could get the Hot rods to hell kit. I'm giving my car a total make over and I'm currently replacing the rear qrtr panels and then mini tubs I had to put my project on the back burner while I worked on the honey do list and then Hurricane Charlie came in to the south of us (no damage here) So now the shop is all clean and I'm ready to get my car in rolling chassis form before spring of next year. Thank you for any info
Jeff

dennis68
08-24-2004, 09:18 AM
Great kit if you don't have the time/energy/abuilty to fab your own suspension. There are much better designs out there but this is a big improvement over leafs. Maybe Geoff will check-in, last I checked he worked for HTH.

derekf
08-24-2004, 10:08 AM
I'm really, really tempted to get the HTH setup for my 65... lack of funds is the only reason I haven't.

68LSS1
08-24-2004, 08:16 PM
PT68Camaro, I've just welded in my HTH kit in my truck (which already had trailing arms). You're more than welcome to check out the parts anytime. I'm in Valrico (south Brandon).

PT68Camaro
08-25-2004, 07:34 AM
Thanks for the replys, I thought I new what I was going to do with the rear suspension then I see this kit and it changes everything. With the amount of HP I plan on putting to the rear of the car I think this would be a good way to go.
Thanks for the offer Brian I might just take you up on that offer sounds like an awesome ride your building, Did the kit have good instructions? Have any pics of your truck? Take it easy guys
Jeff

La68camaro
08-25-2004, 04:02 PM
dennis what other kits are better?

i was thinking about useing the hotrods to hell kit aswell as i thought it was the best replacement for the rear suspension but if you know of better please clue me in thank you

chris

Ralph LoGrasso
08-25-2004, 04:11 PM
Chris,

When are you looking to do your rear suspension? One of my sponsors is developing a 3-link rear suspension setup for first gens, that should handle better than anything out there. I'm not 100% sure on the release date, but it will be going on my car.

La68camaro
08-25-2004, 04:20 PM
Chris,

When are you looking to do your rear suspension? One of my sponsors is developing a 3-link rear suspension setup for first gens, that should handle better than anything out there. I'm not 100% sure on the release date, but it will be going on my car.

My body guy is doing the rear sheet metal right now so sooner the better. He says it would be alot easier to do the rear suspension now while its apart. That makes sense to me at least as far as the mini tub goes.

how long will you have to wait for the prototype? and how much will it cost and how hard to install?

I'm thinking we could wait another week or two? something like that if its truly superrior then it would be worth waiting.

Do you know how its difernt from the other 3-links out there?

chris

Ralph LoGrasso
08-25-2004, 04:24 PM
Chris,

It's a 3-link set up for road racing. I can't give much more details than that. I'm not sure how long it will be before I get my kit, but it will definitely be longer than 2 weeks. Sorry.

68protouring454
08-25-2004, 07:35 PM
ralph, who is making the kit?? mean69??? will it be offered to anyone?? please let us know what you can
jake

Ralph LoGrasso
08-25-2004, 07:41 PM
Jake,

It will be offered for sale to everyone, once the final production kit is completed. I will email the producer a link to this thread.

dennis68
08-25-2004, 09:10 PM
Sorry it took so long to get back to you Chris. The 3-link is about the best thing going, easy to adjust, easy to construct and packaging is as easy as any other option out there. The only draw back is having to build it yourself, not too many bolt in kits around (although the Fox body guys have a couple). If you have acces to a MIG and some know how you could build your own in short time. Somebody get this guy a link to the infamous 3-link thread please.

Better to the body first so you see what you have to work with as far as packaging the suspension links. It would be easy to place a pick up point right where the rear seat was going to be or right in the middle of a tub. Most 3-links are designed toward road course/cone racing cars. It's design is not ideal for straight line cars (thats why we have 4-link with track locators) so they typically don't use it. This may also be why there are lots of bolt in 4-link kits but very few 3-links bolt in or otherwise. They are pretty much peice your own together systems. I still haven't found a source for links yet (not materials, actual pre-constructed links). Good luck to you.

Norm Peterson
08-26-2004, 02:55 AM
Somebody get this guy a link to the infamous 3-link thread please.You mean this one (http://66.70.234.198/forum/showthread.php?t=203)?

Let me suggest printing a hard copy rather than trying to go through it all at once online.

Norm

68protouring454
08-26-2004, 03:47 AM
dennis, i followed that thread and am interested in doing something other than leaf springs,how much can the parts for a 3 link be bought for?? it use's coil overs right?? so the ride height is real adjustable?? please let me know, also if you know sources and or pics of a 3 link on a first gen camaro, thanks for the help, i will go over the thread again
jake

spanky the wondermuffin
08-26-2004, 07:29 AM
parts are available from many sources.stockcarproducts.com,colemanracing.com are a couple.get a catalog.herb adams' book 'chassis engineering' is a good starter book.i'd suggest a copy of 'building the late model sportman'steve smith autosports#s157 and 'paved track stock car technology',#s239.ssapubl.com.simple blueprints designed for a home shop builder.nothing wrong with leafs.no lap time proof that any alternative is faster.i'd try to cram bigger tires up front way before i started to worry about the rear.no sense going past a 275 out back if you only run a 245 in front.i ran a 265/45/16 all the way around last season.if you do run big and littles make sure you have small pistons in those rear calipers as you'll need heavy front bias to keep the spins at bay.note also my opinions are my own and often contrary to widely held beliefs.they are based on a few years of developing my car for track day use.

dennis68
08-26-2004, 09:00 AM
Yeah running the typical P-T style 2 foot wide out back and 235-245 in the front is probably not the safest way around the race track. Jake, most of the circle supply sources have the ends, locknuts, and swedged ends for making your own links. You'll have to buy some tubing and weld them yourself. I have yet to find anybody who sells prebuilt links with any kind of variety. Matt could easily build you up a few-not sure what he gets to do that but I'm sure it's reasonable. Coil overs are the best way to go, huge range of spring rates and easy to adjust ride height. The combo of coil overs and 3-link are usually in the winners circle at most road events.

La68camaro
08-27-2004, 05:55 PM
Ralph does your guy have a ball park figure of when it might be done? we've decided to do the bodywork first+minitub then go to the suspension aspects.

We probly have at least a month or maybe more before selecting.

Does he need anymore prototype subjects? :drool:

Dennis/Norm thanks for the help and info I'm trying to look into it more but i cant seem to find much on the link setups but ill keep looking

Ralph LoGrasso
08-27-2004, 05:59 PM
Chris,

I can't really provide a solid estimate on when it will be done and ready to be sold, sorry. I would say a few months from now, as an estimate. You could however, run leafs at first, even stock mono-leafs and continue on with the build, and then go back to the rear suspension. I will be doing my bodywork(not paint) before the rear suspension. The mini-tubs are done, and front suspension is getting started now.

68protouring454
08-27-2004, 07:40 PM
guys, this may be a dumb question but in a 3 link are the coil overs, staggard or straight across?? like ralph said we could run leafs until its ready to be sold, but i will be welding my crossmember in and really do not want to do that twice, as that is the hardest part of the mini tub
jake

spanky the wondermuffin
08-28-2004, 06:39 AM
Dennis/Norm thanks for the help and info I'm trying to look into it more but i cant seem to find much on the link setups but ill keep looking you didn't check out the books i suggested.coleman has pre made links in 1/2 inch increments up to 40".don't dismiss steve smith just because you've never heard of him.i doubt he's heard of you either.if you are doing mini tubs you are already cutting up the trunk floor,why not just back half it using a rear clip from howe?probably a huge money saver if you are going to pay a fabricator the build a 3 link for you.on a car that you are really going to race the 3 link would be a real advantage,but for one track day a year there is no way this makes sense.if you just want something other than leafs that hth kit is already engineered to fit,once again a big money saver if you are paying someone to work for you.if you are going to race put in a full cage,and a real racing seat with a proper tube frame mount.then do an alternative rear suspension if you still have money left.bigger tires on front will make the car faster.bigger tires out back will only work if you have enough horsepower to outrun everyone on the straights and can block passing attempts going into the corners.that won't make you popular.

PT68Camaro
08-28-2004, 07:58 AM
The car I'm building will be driven on the street 80% of the time and raced only once in awhile, I'm looking for a way to get away from the leaf spring rear would the 3link be just as good on the street as the truck arm suspension. I have'nt started mini tubs yet or ordered my 9inch rear so I'm open for any suggestions, Thank You

My name is Jeff Raeuchle and I approve this message.

dennis68
08-28-2004, 09:53 AM
Jeff, the 3-link is a far better way to go then the truck-arm. If you are going to fab your own suspension by all means use the 3-link, very good street suspension system.

spanky the wondermuffin
08-29-2004, 06:04 AM
i agree the 3 link is a great choice-if you are doing your own fab work.it might be too pricey to have someone else design and build for you.

JohnUlaszek
08-29-2004, 05:19 PM
Dennis68, thanks for the info on 3-links. Can you elaborate on your experience with a 3-link on the street? How do you feel it compares with your experiences with truck arm and leaf spring setups on the street? I looked on your webpage but I didn't see any pictures of your 3-link setup. Did you fabricate it yourself or did you use someone elses?

Thanks for the help

John

dennis68
08-29-2004, 05:24 PM
Sure-I'll let you know as soon as I get it done. Got in over my head on projects and need to finish one at a time. I had the truck system on my 72 GMC (factory system). I added a tubular/adjustable PHB and monobal style arm bushings. It handled well and was VERY comfortable to drive. The system has virtually no adjustability though, not even close to what a 3-link is capable of. The other note about the HTH is that their kit includes rubber bushings in the forward link eye's, this builds bind into the design that doesn't need to be there. If I went this route again I would spherical bearings for sure. Tuning wise the truck arm is probably the most user friendly, there isn't any. RRCH is adjustable through the PHB mount but thatís about it, you can change pinion angle with shims. There is also the weight issue, the truck arms are much heavier than tubular links used in a 3-link/4-link arrangement. Ultimately the individuals call based on your monetary situation and ability to do your own fab work, I just the info out there as I see it from my research.

next69
08-31-2004, 06:48 PM
I would have to agree I have been doing a lot of shopping lately trying to figure out my budget for a 69 Camaro I plan on starting this winter.The truck arm as you know comes in at just under $2000, the tubular link as described is good if YOU can build it unfortunately I have the fab skills but I am not comfortable with the design so I called who else? DSE and I was quoted $8500 to duplicate the four link in the Mule, that did include a 9" rear but that would not cost more than $2500 with DSE sourcing it for me. So, that is around $6000 dollars for a tubular link designed and installed, which is 3 times the cost of the HTH kit, adjustability is nice I can't argue that but if you can't build it you better make sure you need it!

JohnUlaszek
08-31-2004, 07:36 PM
I for one would rather have a well sorted out rear suspension that I don't have to adjust.
You already have to worry about tire pressure, shocks, sway bars, weight balance, alignment, tire choice, etc. why compound the complexity with an "adjustable" rear suspension. Leaf springs and truck arms sourced from DSE or HTH are vastly improved over there OEM versions.
Sure a 4 or 3 link has sex appeal and you can surely brag it up on the net or to your buddies, but I am sure you could put Tucker or Pozzi in a leaf spring car and give me a new vette and Kyle or David would hand me my a$$ at the track.
Now if your car really is the limiting factor in your fun, you just have money to burn, or you're a twisted sob like John Parsons, go for it, just don't underestimate the amount of work, time, and money it will take before your actually going faster than the leaf spring guy. And at the end of the day you still have a solid axle with its inherent limitations.

next69
08-31-2004, 08:11 PM
I have been thinking alot about the rear suspension of my upcoming 69 project, I think the fact that Kyle from DSE built his Twister Camaro and retained the leaf springs in the rear is priceless. This is a guy that would already have the dimensions of several completed designs in a filing cabinet, the ability to do it probably over a weekend, and he probably has all the parts to do it sitting in a bin on the back of a work bench. I am sure adjustability is crucial for a car that sees alot of track time, especially at different tracks but for a car that will see limited track time it makes no sense to pay all the money for something that will not be utilized on a regular basis.

dennis68
08-31-2004, 08:33 PM
Keep in mind Kyle didn't build "Twister" to be a corner burner, just a very well mannered street car. I really doubt that it would very competetive on a road course (not that it woyul dbe there anyways-too damn pretty to bang fenders), I see big time oversteer in that setup.

JohnUlaszek
09-01-2004, 03:35 AM
Denny,
Can explain to us how you know that Kyle didn't intend the Twister to be a "Corner Burner"?
I wonder what he meant by calling the car the Twister?
Also, please explain why you think the Twister would have lots of oversteer?

John

Norm Peterson
09-01-2004, 04:00 AM
Maybe we need to know what else the Mule required in order to fit up the 4-link that runs the asking price up that high; perhaps it's in regard to the upper link chassis attachments. In that regard, a centrally-located 3rd link should be easier to accommodate.

If you have an idea how much anti-squat you want, or some "not to exceed" number for anti-lift, developing a 3-link should be fairly straightforward. Even including the design of the crossmember that you'd need in an originally leaf-sprung car.

Once some collective experience is gained, aftermarket 3-links could become at least as popular as torque arms on Fox/SN95 Mustangs. Eventually, some generally accepted ranges of "anti's", spring/bar combinations, etc., will surface. I suspect that end-user adjustability is going to end up being mostly useful at the dragstrip, since a road course/auto-x setting would be fine for daily driving.

Norm

68protouring454
09-01-2004, 04:19 AM
next, remember dse gave you an installed quote, ask hth for a quote i bet its near 5-6g with no rear end, gotta compare apples to apples, also for some middle of the road coil overs , and the rest of the links, etc how much can you put a 3 link together for??? as cheap as a 4 bar?? you can buy a 4 bar set up for around 800-1000 bucks, and install, maybe modifying the crossmemebers to work better in a camaro or whatever car you have, let me know
awesomer thread
jake

dennis68
09-01-2004, 05:53 AM
I do not have hand first knowledge of Kyle's intent when he built the car, but based on the time and effort put into the rest of the car if it's intent was to be a truely competetive car in the autox arena I am quite certain he would not have intentionally left the Hotchkis style rear susepnsion in place. Anybody with skill and talent exhibited by the crew over at DSE could easily have put a 4-link/3-link in place with minimal effort and packaged in a way to save rear seating as done in "The Mule".

Leaf spring cars, regardless of spring rate selection or any other traction "helpers" , will always tend to oversteer in an autox enviornment. Compound that with extremly high horsepower and very non-compliant sidewalls and well, it would be fun to drive around the track, however loose is not fast.

JohnUlaszek
09-01-2004, 07:18 AM
"I am quite certain he would not have intentionally left the Hotchkis style rear susepnsion in place."

I doubt Kyle built that car with the primary intent to autocross it, but I am quite sure he built it with the intent to run it on a road course as he had succesfully competed in the One Lap on numerous occasions in a leaf spring car.

When you start talking about being "truly competitive" in autox, what are you refering to? What class would a 4-linked first gen run in? If you want a competitive autocrosser, a stock miata would make a hell of a lot more sense than a highly modifed first gen if you actually want to compete in SCCA.

There is nothing "minimal" about the effort involved in installing a 3 or 4 link and saving the seats in a first gen. Smart design, engineering, fabrication and signifigant labor are involved if you really want to do it right.

Until someone starts selling a complete sorted out 3 or 4 link kit, leaf spring or truck arm kits are still the best option for most. Anyone can fabricate something that looks like 4 or 3 link, but there is a hell of a lot more involved than just making it look "right" John Parsons has had a team of engineers and fabricators help him get where he is at on IIMuch.

I would love to hear from those that have fully prepped DSE, HTH, or converted 3/4-links chime in and talk about their real world experiences.
Is anyone running the new Martz 4-link yet?

There is just way too much bench racing and measurebating at this point.

parsonsj
09-01-2004, 08:09 AM
John Parsons has had a team of engineers and fabricators help him get where he is at on II Much

Boy, isn't that the truth. Now that my front suspension is done, and we have ride height and tire clearance figured out, and we put an adjustable panhard below the axle centerline in, Katz and I are gonna tweak my rear geometry some to optimize anti-squat/lift.

So John is right about my 4 link setup: I sure didn't buy it and just weld it in. Well, I did, but it is requiring some tweaking to make it as good as it can be. Without support from real engineers, I'd have been lost. I'm sure once the car (and me) gets some lap times and autocross times, we'll tweak it some more.

jp

ps. What does "measureabating" mean? :)

spanky the wondermuffin
09-01-2004, 08:55 AM
there is the problem.no testing.a comparison of leafs to anything else will only be valid if someone does a resonable job sorting a leaf spring rear on the race track then switches to something else and compares.i have had 4 front suspension setups on my car,with racetrack time on 3,and feel i might have a small bit of input regarding the front of a 1st gen. i guess until i try something out back we'll never know.i still have a couple weeks til my next track day if anyone wants to send me a truckarm kit,or any other kit, to be installed and tested.or just bring your car with non leaf rear out to t'hill in a couple weeks and we'll run them side by side.my son's new race car has a 4 link torsion bar setup so i'm about to learn something about that.

dennis68
09-01-2004, 09:19 AM
Who the he!! wants to run a Miata-did I accidently log in to c-c.com. I didn't think so. I guess you are the new site suspension expert-tell me, I came up my own 3-link design by myself with alot of general insight from other forum members. No "team of engineers", does that mean I should scrap the idea beacause it is obviously way too complex for just anybody to design/build?
BTW, it only took a me a day of measuring, calculating and researching parts resources to come up with this design. I am sure actual construction will take a little longer and there will have to be some modifications to the original design. Maybe I am extremely gifted-no thats not it.
I am curious how many suspensions you have actual designed and constructed to become such an expert on others opinions. BTW, I don't see many cars running leafs competetivley---in any motorsports arena. I'm sure the guys over at DSE could have designed and constructed the rear suspension in a week and still had time watch some "Overhaulin'" reruns after it was done.
Last time I checked the HTH kit required quite a bit of fab skills. If you can weld in your own crossmembers and figure pinion angle before welding the arm perches on then I think you can weld some link perches for 3/4 link.
Closing thought-competetive does nesessarily mean racing for points every weekend. I only meant to not be dead last anytime the car was on the track. Being competetive generally means be able to compete at the same level of the cars racing againstyou even though you do not race all the time.

BTW-mods, I am playing nice-see :poke:

Norm Peterson
09-01-2004, 10:43 AM
When you start talking about being "truly competitive" in autox, what are you refering to? What class would a 4-linked first gen run in? If you want a competitive autocrosser, a stock miata would make a hell of a lot more sense than a highly modifed first gen if you actually want to compete in SCCA.Probably C Prepared, given that you've altered the kinematics of the suspension, and provided that you still meet the current 16" wheel diameter rule (there's a proposal out to change that, BTW).

Mostly you compete within class and perhaps compare your raw times against the V8/RWD entries in other classes (e.g. ESP, AS, FS). You are not necessarily overmatched even by a Miata in a similar stage of preparation provided that it's being driven by someone of a skill level that's reasonably comparable to your own (although throttle modulation skills are more important in CP).

Incidentally, if you're going to compete for FTD in anything that could even remotely be construed as streetable, even a Miata is still way too big.



There is nothing "minimal" about the effort involved in installing a 3 or 4 link and saving the seats in a first gen. Smart design, engineering, fabrication and signifigant labor are involved if you really want to do it right. True. But if you have been trained as an engineer, as you get a few years of engineering experience under your belt you start to recognize when a line of thought intended to improve one aspect of whatever may compromise another before you've gone all the way through to the final design sketches, or worse, cutting metal. As long as you understand the problem that you're attempting to solve, anyway.

Norm

68RallySport
09-01-2004, 12:54 PM
I called HTH earlier in the year and they said $4000 installed. They are in the LA area if i remember...
David

Ralph LoGrasso
09-01-2004, 01:40 PM
FWIW, I believe Kyle and Stacey built the Twister as an all around great pro-touring car, very much like the Mule. It has served as a marketing and promotional show piece for their business, which I think was one of it's original intentions. Like it has been said already, leaf sprung cars can handly incredibly well if set up properly. What you also have to realize is that pro-touring has evolved into faster and more hardcore cars. Stielow built a bunch of pro-touring Camaros before the Mule, and they all had conventional type leaf spring rear suspension, IIRC. Currently, people are looking for alternatives to leaf springs, and they want something that will out handle them, if set up properly, look better, and be more adjustable. This is why people are looking for 3 / 4 links now. A few years back this was not the case, and I'm sure that Kyle saw no reason to install such a race type rear suspension, on a car that was in some extent meant to serve as a test bed for his products, and help to promote them to his customers. MANY more people will buy leaf springs, over a 3-link kit. Maybe not so many pro-touring guys, but just regular guys who want to lower their car with some drop leafs and 17" wheels.


Also, I agree on the 3-link requiring some unique engineering and testing. The person designing the 3-link that was earlier in question, has seen track time before. I'm pretty sure a very good amount of it. Secondly, the kit will not be sold or offered to anyone before it is thoroughly tested on a road course.

68protouring454
09-01-2004, 01:51 PM
ralph, what is the deal with the 3 link, we know one is being made, why can't we know who is making it?? mean 69 said he was doing one, but i am unsure f he plans on making a kit out of it, i have not seen him post here in awhile. so when can we know who is making the kit???? is it a big name or what???
jake

dennis68
09-01-2004, 03:13 PM
[QUOTE=JohnUlaszek
Until someone starts selling a complete sorted out 3 or 4 link kit, leaf spring or truck arm kits are still the best option for most. .[/QUOTE]

Now that I am home and can think for a minute, not too long for fear of a headache. HTH charges 4K for the truck arm kit installed, this a good option? My felling is this, if you are willing to spend 4K for somebody else to install a different suspension system, obviously because you wish for your car to handle better (otherwise why do anything), you might as well spend another 1500 or so and have someone design and construct a 3/4 link. I just don't see spending that amount of money and not have the adjustability. I know the thought process is already going, why have adjustability. If you build it right the first time, you can just enjoy it. This is true, until 3-5 years down the road you decide to make a change, now you are stuck with a system that change with you. Truck arm systems are not the best thing going anyways, NASCAR uses them because they have to, Trans-Am (which I was a huge fan of) did not use truck arm or leaf, go figure. I was originally one HTH's biggest fans, I thought what a great system, I already had experience with it and it rides great. Then I started learning about the "other" options out there, and there are quite a few.
My take is if you are able to do your own work, you might as well build the best system you can, why stop halfway? If you are paying someone else do your work, you might as well pay the best up front. If you are satisfied with the way your stock designed suspension works then fine, leave it alone. I am not satisfied, I want the best. I want to jump in and take anything on the road at any event. Unreasonable, sure, but always aim high. I really enjoy the styling of the late 60's early 70's but can't stand the chassis/brakes. If you like running around with leafs-go ahead (BTW, have noticed that NO car produced anywhere today uses leaf springs, just an observation), I prefer something better.

68protouring454
09-01-2004, 04:22 PM
dennis i agree with you about the 3/4 links being the way to go, but i believe the new vettes have leaf spring rear suspension, at least i think when i watched the c-6 on that british car show Top Gear they said it had rear suspension from the horse and carriage days, lol, it still went well but it did not handle like the gt-40, porshe's etc, they said its pure power made up for its cornering
jake

Kenova
09-01-2004, 04:59 PM
OK. My head is starting to spin. So here is some more gas for the fire.

What about the torque arm suspension that is used on 3rd and 4th gen F-bodies? This setup seems to do well on both road courses and the strip. Granted it is usually modified to some extent, but seems to get the job done. It could probably be installed in a 1st gen F-body without doing any major surgery and there is plenty of after market support for it.
How would such a suspension stack up against the HTH and 3/4 links in terms of installation and versatillity?
Ken

gchandler
09-01-2004, 06:35 PM
I would usually stay out of this sort of discussion, but I need to correct some wrong information that has been presented.

1.The HTH kits require zero design work. They come with a 12 page instruction booklet that details with pictures and diagrams each cut, weld, bolt, and adjustment that needs to be made to install the kit into a car. I wrote the instruction booklets and I have made a great effort to make them as clear and easy as possible for home installation in a garage on jackstands. Most of the kits that we ship are installed at home in someones garage so this is important.

2. The HTH setup is full of adjustments. The arm angles, panhard height, ride height, corner weight, panhard length, spring and shock selection, and pinion angle can all be adjusted very easily. In fact it takes me less then 45 minutes to swap and entire rearend out of a car and replace it with a different setup. Easier then changing a 3rd member on a nine inch for sure.

3. HTH kits are offered with both rubber arm bushing and uni-ball setups. Most people prefer the rubber bushings as they are quiet, transmit less vibration, and have a longer service life.

4. I have driven close to 50k miles in truckarm chevelles the ride quality and handling are wonderful. The truckarm setup is very strong and is the sort of suspension that you can set and forget. Did the Power Tour this year and other then the 4.11 gear and lack of overdrive, that car made it through trouble free.

5. All of my comments come from real world experiance, I have not drawn these opinions from discussion or pen and paper suspension design work (although I do spend quite a bit of time doing that too :) ).

6. I have yet to come across one of our customers that has not been satisfied with the way that their car has performed after the installation of one of our kits.

7. Real world numbers don't lie. We have done several meaured tests on our systems, including before and after testing and the improvements have been dramatic. All the car that have been tested were tested in street trim and were driven over 100 miles round trip to be put through their paces. I know because I drove the cars to be tested.

8. We have not been able to get our camaro setup run through magazine testing, but that has more to do with politics that anything else, and we hope to get the chance to do some testing in the near future.

9. I you want any more information from me please send me an e-mail at geoff@hotrodhomepage.com I will be more then happy to answer any questions.

dennis68
09-01-2004, 09:40 PM
Geoff, like I said, I used to be a huge HTH fan. I actually agree with everything listed above except #1 and #2.
#1 Although the kit comes ready to weld in, if you can do that much welding, cutting, and fitting, you can weld yourself up a link type suspension.
#2 Yes, pinion angle, RRCH, and ride height are easily adjusted. Unfortunately the 2 most important angles for tuning rear suspension (As and SVSA) are missing.

Like I said, good system, just not the best.

Norm Peterson
09-02-2004, 06:34 AM
Geoff - street-intended 3/4 links are a bit later to the game than truckarms. So until there's a bigger or at least more widely known base of experience with them, discussions concerning 3/4 links will tend to include more theory than installation details. We're still learning, and it's all in the interest of getting it right (or at least within tuning range) the first time. I'll bet that the NASCAR competition experience with truckarms simplified a few things engineering-wise, though.

I drive/auto-x a G-body, and I have driven a truckarm car at the RPDE out at Las Vegas. The RPDE car really was that easy to get into and drive fast, so items #4, #6, and #7 come as no surprise. Unfortunately, that driving experience didn't include any driving where the "anti's", unsprung weight, or "nimbleness" would have come into play (LV's turn 3/4 dip is a single low-frequency event that you don't hit hard enough to notice until the last 2 or 3 laps in a 1/2 day session assuming that you haven't frightened the lead car instructor), so all I have there is the theoretical considerations that tend to favor the 3-link.



. . . but i believe the new vettes have leaf spring rear suspension, at least i think when i watched the c-6 on that british car show Top Gear they said it had rear suspension from the horse and carriage daysYes, the Corvette uses leaf springs. At both ends since the C4, actually. But unlike any "horse and carriage" arrangement, the Corvette leaf springs do not perform any geometric location function. That's left to the thoroughly modern control arm and multi link configurations. It appears that Top Gear's attempt to categorize the C6 as antiquity demonstrates either a lack of technical understanding, a dislike of front-engine performance cars, poor editing of the tape, or some combination of the above. I guess they were unaware that the quickest Corvette at any preparation level in the 2002 Solo II Nationals was a C5 that ran in Super Stock (its Stock class!), about 1.5 seconds quicker than the best 911. Or that currently, the SCCA's 'SS' class is little more than an official name for "Z06-spec class". TG is essentially a televised magazine, so treat it accordingly (try to separate the facts from the opinions).

Norm

Salt Racer
09-02-2004, 06:54 AM
...street-intended 3/4 links are a bit later to the game than truckarms. So until there's a bigger or at least more widely known base of experience with them, discussions concerning 3/4 links will tend to include more theory than installation details...

I'd loan my '65 Riviera for direct comparison test if there's any '63-'65 Riv w/ truck arms (if there really is one out there, the owner must be one sick SOB just like me...).

spanky the wondermuffin
09-02-2004, 07:47 AM
you can also do a 3 link using leafs.no worries about designing a lateral locating device.why is the idea of using a pre fab rear clip not getting more discussion?the only valid test for a new suspension is to compare it to a well sorted conventional design.if you take a car with ratty old worn out suspenion and put on new stuff you will most likely find big improvments.that proves the new stuff is better than complete garbage,but little else.testing must be done on a well developed system to have any meaning.if you replaced on old set of bias ply skinny tires on a camaro with wider cheap brand radials i'm sure the change would be remakable but that doesn't prove the new tires are the best.has anyone had a non-leaf 1st gen out on track?i've never seen one.i only do one track day a month though.some of you guys who are more serious may have come across one.any reports?hows about we all show up at the hotchkis track day next spring and do a little compare and contrast?perhaps we could get one of our more experianed drivers to do a couple laps in each car and provide an objective opinion.lap times won't really work as one guy may have 400hp and another might have 600.maybe sector times like from star mazda through the esses.what about irs.doesn't wayne due have a kit?

Salt Racer
09-02-2004, 08:07 AM
EDIT: Originally posted b/c of misunderstanding. The post no longer necessary.

Norm Peterson
09-02-2004, 08:49 AM
you can also do a 3 link using leafs.no worries about designing a lateral locating device.True, but the compliance of bushings and flexibility of the shackles means that it won't locate as well as a PHB or Watts link. I'll agree to the use of composite leaf springs to avoid getting into the unsprung weight issue.



why is the idea of using a pre fab rear clip not getting more discussion?Because chassis structure is a separate topic from suspension kinematics, other than how it affects/permits things to be attached.



the only valid test for a new suspension is to compare it to a well sorted conventional design.if you take a car with ratty old worn out suspenion and put on new stuff you will most likely find big improvments.that proves the new stuff is better than complete garbage,but little else.testing must be done on a well developed system to have any meaning.If you know the new stuff does at least one important thing better than the old arrangement (refurbished) and without significant drawbacks you still have a fair basis. In terms of kinematics, that suggests that the better arrangements avoid either burdening the suspension locating components with multiple tasks or getting in each others' way. You can work around that to some extent with careful component design (the I cross-section shape of truck arms, the open channel cross section OE control arms on coil-sprung axles, and the use of compliant bushings in these parts are prime examples of "work-arounds).



if you replaced on old set of bias ply skinny tires on a camaro with wider cheap brand radials i'm sure the change would be remakable but that doesn't prove the new tires are the best.No, it wouldn't. But it would be more than enough to send me off investigating radials in general and performance radials in particular rather than sticking with the bias-plys.

To drag this back a little closer to topic, maybe a truck arm is not the ultimate stick-axle locating arrangement. But it solves a number of Hotchkis issues without giving away much. Maybe a 3-link isn't the be-all, end-all either. But it's arguably better than everything that's not lots more complex, and it's lots simpler than the arrangements that might well be better. Even if by only a little.

Norm

gchandler
09-02-2004, 09:13 AM
Welding and cuting are far different skills then designing suspension pickup points and packaging them in a car with minimal change to the cars basic structure. The fit up work has been done by HTH and the kits index off of points on the cars structure, you do not need to make major modifications to your car to install on of the HTH truckarm kits. This is where the years of design work have been spent. You have to remember that HTH has been installing these kits for over a decade, the magazine articles and advertisments, however, have just begun only recently.

If AS = anti-squat then it is adjustable if I am not mistaken.

spanky the wondermuffin
09-02-2004, 09:14 AM
you are misunderstanding what i'm saying.my point is you can't replace 30 year old leafs with worn out bushings and dead shocks with a non leaf spring suspension and call that a test that proves leafs suck.don't you agree that for a test to be valid the leaf spring car would at least need some relativly inexpensive 'performance' leafs correctly installed(not over tourqued).this seems to me a resonable position on the validity of a test and i'm not sure why it is getting you nose out of joint. my car is chock full of ratty old parts.i don't think just buying a bunch of new stuff based on spending as much as possible is the secret to a fun car.that style of building seems to lead more towards cars that never get finished.the original question here was what does anyone think of the hth kit.my point on that was at least it is designed to fit in a 1st gen making it more likely a home builder can finish the job.i can't say if it is any faster,only that it is not leafs.and i think you don't have to cut into your floorpan,probably a concern for many.

JohnUlaszek
09-02-2004, 09:27 AM
To get back to where we started, it was asked how well a truck arm works in a 1st gen.
This led to Dennis ultimately making the following claim:

"Jeff, the 3-link is a far better way to go then the truck-arm. If you are going to fab your own suspension by all means use the 3-link, very good street suspension system"

Well, the three link is a good option, but is it the best? It depends on your application, in this case a 1st gen Camaro. If you want a 3-link in a first gen camaro you are going to have to pay someone to design/build or do this yourself. So basically Dennis is stating the 3-link is the best option when unfortunately I don't know anyone on this page who has a 3-link 1st gen who can confirm or deny this let alone talk about how well it works on the street. All suspension designs have inherent compromises be they cost, capabilities, etc.
Stating a 3-link is superior without considering a 3-link is not available for purchase or that the first gen has serious packaging and structural issues which must be addressed before you could install one, is misleading and confusing for those open minded souls that don't have Dennis's 500 or so posts.
Dennis has surely done some homework and has even gone so far as to come up with an idea for a 3-link for his car. While I am prepared to be impressed by Dennis's efforts, until his 3-link design is installed in his car and performing correctly, safely, and better than a truck arm or leaf spring, I find his claims of designing his suspension in a day to be without merit.

While Dennis has questioned my qualification to be an "expert" on other peoples opinions, it is worth mentioning he has been stating his opinions as fact while I have only asked him to support his claims.

To say one suspension design is better than another is absurd without talking about specific application, cost, and desired results. We can't assume we all have the same idea of what a Pro-touring car's ideal characteristics should be. Unless someone has the resources to perform comparison testing utilizing scientific method, all claims of performance are subjective at best.

Salt Racer
09-02-2004, 10:51 AM
you are misunderstanding what i'm saying.my point is you can't replace 30 year old leafs with worn out bushings and dead shocks with a non leaf spring suspension and call that a test that proves leafs suck.don't you agree that for a test to be valid the leaf spring car would at least need some relativly inexpensive 'performance' leafs correctly installed(not over tourqued)...

Yes I misunderstood. I thought you were implying to the pic I attached b/c it actually looks crappy (other than PHB) and your post was right below mine. Please accept my apology.

And yes, I totally agree about validity of testing you're talking about. If someone was to run a direct comparison test, leaf-sprung car should be properly setup and equally-well developed (in terms of ride/roll rate, shock dampening, etc) as truck arm or link-suspended car(s). That would be very interesting to see, actually. I'm sure a good leaf car would surprise more than few people.

Norm Peterson
09-02-2004, 11:01 AM
you are misunderstanding what i'm saying.my point is you can't replace 30 year old leafs with worn out bushings and dead shocks with a non leaf spring suspension and call that a test that proves leafs suck.don't you agree that for a test to be valid the leaf spring car would at least need some relativly inexpensive 'performance' leafs correctly installed(not over tourqued).this seems to me a resonable position on the validity of a test and i'm not sure why it is getting you nose out of joint. my car is chock full of ratty old parts.i don't think just buying a bunch of new stuff based on spending as much as possible is the secret to a fun car.that style of building seems to lead more towards cars that never get finished.the original question here was what does anyone think of the hth kit.my point on that was at least it is designed to fit in a 1st gen making it more likely a home builder can finish the job.i can't say if it is any faster,only that it is not leafs.and i think you don't have to cut into your floorpan,probably a concern for many.I wonder if this is directed at me. If so, I think that we're simply approaching these comparisons from different directions. You from the position of actual back-to-back testing, in which case I have agreed all along that, as a general matter, you do want to control the number of variables so that the test results are not clouded with a bunch of "if's" (I thought I already agreed to performance leaves and reconditioning earlier, just in different words). And me from the engineering side, where I work at understanding the differences between/among various solutions before throwing any money at the problem at all (with a little tuning anticipated). Trust me, I don't do mindless "flavor-of-the-week" checkbook solutions either. I'm a DIY-er to a fault, which takes a lot of the $ concerns out of the picture for me.

At this point in time, it is easier to install the HTH kit. However, other than for the axle side pickup for the 3rd link, I don't see the 3-link swap as being particularly more challenging than a truck arm, assuming the availability of equally well-written installation instructions. And I know of at least three different 3rd link axle pickup approaches that need not involve welding to the axle.

Geoff - to adjust anti-squat I think you need to have the ability to raise or lower the height of the truck arm chassis side pickups. Or change the length of the arms themselves.

John - with respect to
Well, the three link is a good option, but is it the best? please see the last paragraph in my 12:49 PM reply. And I find it hard to believe that Ford would install a 3-link on what could possibly be the last stick-axle performance car ever if such an arrangement didn't fall in a favorable range on the price:performance scale.


damn, this is a fast-moving thread. two replies while I was putting this together.

Norm

JohnUlaszek
09-02-2004, 11:02 AM
I was just up at DSE and had the opportunity to drive the DSE Nova test mule and I was very suprised how well that car worked with leaf springs. The ride was pleasant and when Kyle was driving he was able to throw the car around wherever he wanted to without drama. Obviously this wasn't on a track, but from what I actually exprienced I was impressed.
Riding in and driving a properly setup car beats the hell out of reading about it. :drive:

JohnUlaszek
09-02-2004, 11:09 AM
Norm,
respectfully, I am not arguing the merits of 3-link geometry.
Given a blank slate and blank check it would be a the top of list of options, but when you start talking about retrofitting suspension, it may not be the best option depending on your requirements and budget.

John

dennis68
09-02-2004, 11:24 AM
Wow-I got the big flame. I am not stating my opinion as fact, I am stating as a fact that I have not seen a better suspension package in a stick axle than a 3-link/watts. Now if it doesn't fit in the application you have because you are not willing to compromise NVH or rear seating then it's not best for you, it's still the best package available, just not for you. I usually do not offer input based on budget unless that is an issue, in this thread it was not. This hobby as a rule is alot of hands on, the big checkbook guys don't usually bother on the net. Since everybody here builds their own stuff, budget shouldn't play into it much. The abuilty to design and construct is only limited by your time and imagination, there shouldn't be anyone here stating they are not smart enough to figure it out. It is not that hard, time consuming and a lot of trial/error maybe, but not hard.
Stating that it may work well one car but not the other is ----, if it isn't working on a different chassis then it wasn't designed properly.
As for my own car-tell you what, when I get the bugs worked out and it's all set up you are more than welcome to come out for a ride. :drive:

JohnUlaszek
09-02-2004, 11:38 AM
Dennis,

"Since everybody here builds their own stuff, budget shouldn't play into it much"

I disagree, I would guess its a minority of people in this forum who have the skills to design and or fab suspension components.

I don't believe I flamed you anymore than you flamed me in the prior post. This is a spirited discussion with dissenting views. Kinda like reality TV that doesn't suck.

Would be happy to take a ride when your car is done :wrc:

John

Norm Peterson
09-02-2004, 12:32 PM
No offense taken, John.


Given a . . . blank check . . . , . . . depending on your . . . budgetThat's really the crux of the whole matter. If I didn't think l could do a complete 3-link all by myself from initial concept to final bolt-torquing for little more than the cost of materials plus my time, and the $SeveralThousand mentioned earlier for a from-scratch one-off design plus fab plus installation was the only option, I wouldn't consider it either. Not even if it was the very best solution. I could apply precisely the same logic to truck arms, actually, just that I'd be measuring my DIY against $FewerThousand.

Norm

Norm Peterson
09-02-2004, 12:41 PM
Dennis and John

I think there is a split somewhere between those who can install suspension components and those who can design and fab them.

And there is disparity among those who can design and fab depending on what component we're talking about. For example, I wouldn't attempt fabbing my own spindles from scratch, although I might take a shot at its design.

Norm

dennis68
09-02-2004, 01:30 PM
This is a spirited discussion with dissenting views. Kinda like reality TV that doesn't suck.

I had to wait a few minutes to type this, was laughing too hard. You are alright.

gchandler
09-02-2004, 02:54 PM
The chassis side connection point on the HTH system is adjustable, so it follows tha t Anti-Squat or As is adjustable with the system.

Mean 69
09-02-2004, 05:55 PM
Well this is an interesting thread! I thought this was about the Truck Arm suspension, not alternatives?!

I have been having a bit of an issue with my computer(s), I wish I knew as much about them as I think I do regarding suspension, hence the lack of response.

I am actually really glad that there seems to be a huge interest in the three link approach, for (hopefully) obvious reasons. But I have to state also that I am discouraged by the bantering going on in this particular thread. Guys, it is only a chat room, we're not racing for our lives, or money, we're just building cool cars. Keep the perspective! All we really want to do is to make our cars cooler, hopefully learning something valuable in the process, and having fun. Remember, it's the journey, not the destination we should be be intent on enjoying.

Yes, it is true that myself and others are attempting to build a company around what we think it a really cool idea for a suspension design. Yes, the intent is to offer a kit to skilled hobbyist's with the intent of having someone with "reasonable" skills and tools to adapt our design to their cars. No, we won't produce such a kit until it has been proven to satisfy the design requirements that we have laid out. No, we are not in this endeavor to bash other suspension design approaches or claim that ours is "superior" in every way. I really don't want to get involved in a debate, nor do I wish to get into a pee'ing contest regarding who's car is faster, bla, bla, because it is a never-ending saga, I just don't want to waste my life and free time in such a fashion.

Norm, Dennis, and others have stated the premise for what the project our team is all about, applying engineering principles, other's experiences, and a bit of our own flair to solve a problem. Classic product development, if I may say. Based upon countless hours of research, the direction this team has decided to go is to adapt a three link approach to the rear suspension. I am not going to state, ever, that it is the best thing out there. I will state, and defend, with engineering principles, that this approach has technical advantages to other approaches, for a stick axle application. It is not necessarily the easiest approach to package and adapt, but there are always compromises, our approach is that cutting the car a bit comes second to adapting what we feel is the right direction in the linkage of the suspension.

How hard is it to engineer such a solution? Well, that all depends upon what you're trying to accomplish. The design requirements come first in any product project, this is where you decide what is sacred, and what can be compromised. As Ralph stated earlier, the fundamental design aspect that we went after is high speed stability, with little to no compromise in street manners (actually, the latter falls out of the former pretty easily).

I have to completely disagree with notion that installing such a system is too hard for the advanced hobbiest, if you can mini-tub a car, and have the right tools and instructions, you can install a link suspension. It is all a matter of time, not of an increase in the capability, etc.

The beginning of this thread asked the question of how good the truck arm suspension is, and I will tell you, though I have not been in a T/A'd car, I am certain this is a great upgrade to a leaf car. That said, leaf's aren't that bad at all if done correctly, I'd challenge the "Mule," for instance, to outdo a prep'd Shelby GT 350 on a road course (okay, so 100+ HP advantage of the Mule could make a big difference). The point is that we all have our differences in what we want out of our cars, and everyone needs to make a decision as to what is critically important. Cost? Ultimate performance? Adaptation? Reliability? Comfort? Coolness? I can tell you, the current approach of my team is biased towards ultimate (technically speaking ) performance, and coolness. Luckily, they aren't too far apart! Our intent is to bridge the gap between full on, purpose built race cars, and high end-but-not-quite-there top level street/PT cars. And with everything, to us, the journey is as important as the destination.

Man, I hope this didn't sound too corny!

Lateral Dynamics
Mark

P.S. We love tech, so if you want to bring it on, we'd love to learn from you, as well as teach to others. We are obsessed, no question about it.

68protouring454
09-03-2004, 04:47 AM
mark, glad to hear from you, i had a thought it was you designing the kit, sounds good, any ideas when you will have the design done on mounting points etc?? to give us an idea
jake

Salt Racer
09-03-2004, 07:35 AM
Very well said Mark! I was beginning to wonder where the heck you are.

K. (aka. goof ball in a yellow Riviera)

jasons56
09-03-2004, 11:26 PM
My 2 cents:
I spent a few years of my youth working for a race shop that ran a "Nascar" race school. Although roadcoarses were not part of our school curriculum, I had a few opportunities to seek the advice of some very knowledgeable people on the subject. (and some good times on some infield coarses)
I'm not sure what the current "Cup" rules are regarding 3 links, but I can tell you that at one time they were part of the lexicon in Grand National at the very least. The weights and power of many current PT cars makes it an interesting comparison.

The general opinion among the drivers at the time I had access to was that the 3 link was marginally better off the corners on tight tracks, but it was MUCH easier to miss the tune and be in the weeds also. How much of this was due to the torque absorbing biscuit link they were using I'm not sure.
Interestingly, the Sabates shop (and others) had been experimenting with a weird giant single monoball setup for the truckarms that was considered the ultimate roadcoarse setup but alas- Nascar didn't allow it.
As far as a PT car is considered, I'm really curious about the packaging issues of a 3 link? The 3 link designs I am familiar with require the upper to have a pretty high position (to reduce leverage on the upper mount) that would pose some interesting packaging issues.
IMHO, to design a 3 link that would significantly outperform a truck arm system would require significant floorboard/backseat/fuel tank mods.
If not, I would be really concerned about the forces involved on the upper link.
Personally, I'm leaning towards a 3 link system, maybe even a birdcage floated axle with a torque arm setup and brake floaters - but I'm willing to give up most of my interior space for it.
To me, the big strengths of the truck arm are the balances it strikes between honest handling, respectable performance, ease of packaging, and strength and safety. If I was leaning a little more towards building a truely streetable PT car, the Truck arm system has a LOT going for it.

PTAddict
09-05-2004, 01:15 PM
Back to the question at the beginning of the thread - I do have the HTH truck arms on my '67 convert. There has been a fair amount of discussion already on the absolute merits of this design vs. 3-link, et al. The TA system is definitely not as adjustable as some 3-link designs. This is good and bad - far less easy to screw up the handling, but less flexible in the hands of the best drivers who know exactly what they're doing. The TA has some very good theoretical characteristics - decent instant center, low roll steer, and minimum change in critical parameters throughout the suspension travel.

How all of this will work on the track, I don't know yet - I'm still working out kinks elsewhere in the car (hint - if you get the Wayne Due subframe, don't bother trying to use anything rebuilt as your steering rack - go straight to AGR and get one of their FOX mustang racks with matching pump). On the street, the combo of W.D. front and HTH rear suspension makes the whole car feel much smaller and more responsive (and I had all of the basic springs/shocks/bushings/sway bar upgrades before this swap).

From an installation and packaging standpoint, there are a number of compromises to consider before going TA.

First, you have to cut and raise the floor in the rear footwell - which has the effect of cramping the rear seat passengers a good deal more than they are already.

Second, it takes a fair bit of fancy exhaust work if you want a rear exit exhaust, which I did. The kind of exhaust fab required to create oval tube exhaust, with a center section to clear the crossmember, and then route tailpipes past all of the springs, panhard mounts, etc. is not easy (or cheap, if you have it done as I did).

Third, whether you go rear exit or side exit on the exhaust, you won't have room for anything but small mufflers. Your neighbors and local law enforcement authorities may love the sound of 540 roller-cammed cubes through Borla XR1s. Then again, maybe they won't.

Fourth, even with the raised footwells, the clearance of the truck arms is not enough to let you run a really low ride height in the rear - mine is about stock height right now, and I haven't thrashed the car hard enough to know whether they'll bottom at this height.

Fifth, if you're going to use something like the DSE frame ties as I did, there will be some additional fabrication to join the crossmember into those ties. If you've got a fabricator like Wayne doing this for you, it's just more money, but it does add up, trust me.

I think a much better alternative from a packaging standpoint would be a torque arm style 3-link setup, and correctly engineered it would have very similar suspension geometry.

My $.02.

Scott

Kenova
09-05-2004, 05:55 PM
Back to the question at the beginning of the thread - I do have the HTH truck arms on my '67 convert..................

................................I think a much better alternative from a packaging standpoint would be a torque arm style 3-link setup, and correctly engineered it would have very similar suspension geometry.

My $.02.

Scott

I hope I didn't put anything out of context. I've been thinking the same myself, but haven't had much luck in finding info regarding a swap into an early Camaro. Or in my case, a Nova.
There must be someone out there that has done this! Maybe some of the third and fourth gen. F-body owners can at least tell us how well the suspension works. :offtopic: Another thread may be a good idea though.
Ken

La68camaro
09-05-2004, 06:07 PM
Ok here's the thing, My mech is great with a wielder and what not ( hes putting in new rear q skins and taillight section) he doesnt have that much experiance with that kinda thing but hes a fast learner and i think hes doing well ( alot better than i could ). we got no shop, hes working in the backyard with limited tools (nothing expensive that a shop woudl have). So that being said i do want the best rear suspension set up for the track AND street/canyon driving but our skills and equipment not to mention time is limited. From what i've read here these our the options:

1. HtH kit, simi easy to install with the provided instructions out handles generic leaf spring setups adjustable to an extent. $2000

2. DSE leaf spring set up, basicly same as stock with minor changes, bolt in kit very easy to install handles well for basic street use. $1200?

3. Fabricated 3 link setup, No avalible kits no indepth instructions, harder to install than the previous 2 setups (keep in mind we've got no experiance with suspenion stuff). Out handles 1 and 2 but cost in unknown but guestimated around $1000?

and 4. Stock PST leafs with stock componets (the car came with stock **** from pst might be a 1" drop or something). This option allows me to later cut/fab another type of suspension, id like to get it done now but from reviewing my options i think this is best for the time and money value. Whats really important is that i can wait for a tested/blueprinted 3 link setup.

What are your thoughts?

PTAddict
09-05-2004, 08:24 PM
I were to start on a torque arm setup today, I'd be tempted to start with a fabricated torque arm that runs under the driveshaft. This leaves maximum room in the trans tunnel for running driveshaft and exhaust. I'd either buy one like this:

http://totalcontrolproducts.com/torquearm.html

or fabricate something similar. You'd need to construct a cross bar for mounting the torque arm end, and tie that cross bar into your subframe connectors. Then, you have two options for springing and lateral control. For a budget setup, you could use standard single leaf springs, which would allow the torque arm to control the axle rotation without too much binding because of the single leaf's flexibility in wrapup. For a more advanced setup, you would use panhard bar or watts link for lateral axle control, lower control arms between the leaf spring mounting pocket and axle, and coilovers for spring and shock.

If I were building anything except a max effort car, I'd stick with leaf springs to begin with. My observation: good shocks make a big difference. Spending some $$ on QA1s, Bilsteins, Edelbrock IAS, can make overall ride and handling differences that are more immediately noticeable than the latest tubular powder coated suspension arms. My '71 is built with hotchkis springs (rear leafs), bilstein shocks, global west subframe connectors, del-al-lum bushings, and an AGR steering box. It drives much crisper and tighter than the '95 Z/28 I had before it - old tech rear suspension notwithstanding. And leafs are much less expensive, which is a big deal since everything else seems to cost much more than you planned in the end.

Start with stiff springs, good shocks, good bushings, and a good steering box. Drive the heck out of it on AutoX, track days, back roads. In a couple of years, when the latest goodies come out, you'll be in a better position to appreciate the difference that the new stuff makes.

Just IMO, of course :)

Scott

baz67
09-05-2004, 09:45 PM
La I think you have the DSE price incorrect. The 1200 if for the minitub kit. If you only want the leafs it is 375 then add 60 for new shackles and 200 for del-a-lum bushings. That is 535 for it all.

If you want to minitub the others than add around 500 to each kit.

Brian

spanky the wondermuffin
09-06-2004, 06:49 AM
I.

Start with stiff springs, good shocks, good bushings, and a good steering box. Drive the heck out of it on AutoX, track days, back roads. In a couple of years, when the latest goodies come out, you'll be in a better position to appreciate the difference that the new stuff makes.
Scottright on.i also have a conv.(68) that sees a lot of track time.pretty fun stuff.i'm only about 8 hours from portland,perhaps i'll come up and we can run our cars together sometime.i have an open calender as of today for march and april of next year,and also august onward til i'm snowed in.

Mean 69
09-13-2004, 12:36 PM
"I were to start on a torque arm setup today, I'd be tempted to start with a fabricated torque arm that runs under the driveshaft. This leaves maximum room in the trans tunnel for running driveshaft and exhaust. I'd either buy one like this:"

I agree, Scott, to an extent. I actually fabricated a T/A under my 65 Mustang project, using the best features of the units available commercially, but there were still compromises that I just didn't like. Running under the driveshaft is convenient for the T/A location in and of itself, but you do run into ground clearance issues, which is a real pain around the area that I live in. Yes, most of it is underslung towards the rear, so when the rear tires go over bumps, they help lift things up, but it is still an issue. In my case, it was a deal breaker, and when the Camaro unit is complete, I am going to adapt the same three link philosophy three link to the Mustang.

The torque arm solution flat out works, the majority of the American Iron series cars (late model Mustangs) run this type of setup, the two main suppliers being Grigg's Racing, and Maximum Motorsports. The Maximum unit won't work with a 9" differential, but the Grigg's unit will. The general consensus in the AI stables is that the Maximum stuff is tougher than the Grigg's hardware, from my outside opinion I'd have to agree. Besides, I met the owner, Chuck, from MM, and he is a great guy!

Then there's TCP. Their setup is by far the most ingeneous, particularly from a packaging standpoint, but there are a couple of design issues that I'd be very concerned about. One, the SVSA is pretty short due to the length of the Torque Arm they employ, the literature suggests a minimum of 42" to 60" (depending upon the source), less than this can put you into a condition of potential rear brake hop. Second, and easily as important as point one, the roll axis is very steeply inclined in the roll-oversteer direction, due to the very low rear roll center height and the upward pointing LCA's. This coule be corrected by lowering the front of the LCA's, or helped by adding a rear sta-bar. This setup and its design issues are WELL documented on another site that I know of, and again, my intention is not to bash anyone's products, I am only stating the facts of the design approach. In fact, I know a guy that drove the TCP race car in an AI race, a very competitive driver, and he loved the car. Perhaps a case where theory takes a back seat to actual results. By the way, TCP is no longer in business, I don't know what happened, but they sold the rights to production to Chris Alston Chassisworks a few months back.

If you don't mind the ground clearance issue, then a T/A approach is definitely worth looking into. One very important point to remember though, is that the full torque of the driveline reaction is felt through the T/A itself, so you need to make certain that the bending resistance of the bar is sufficient. This is a double edged sword, a longer bar is generally better (to a point), but the longer you make it, the stronger it needs to be on a relative basis, to resist bending forces = heavy. We PT guys LOVE huge horsepower engines, more than the cars need in most cases (look at camcojb's awesome cars, for instance), so with everything, you really need to pay attention to the engineering of the unit to insure it is sufficiently strong. No doubt though, they can be made to work very, very well.

Mark

PTAddict
09-13-2004, 01:20 PM
I've read the complaints about ground clearance on the Griggs torque arm, which does hang down kind of low. And yes, the complete TCP package looks to be over-engineered in some ways, and upward angling lower control arms are undesirable from both a roll oversteer and a short SVSA standpoint. The only component I would think about using is the torque arm itself, which looks pretty well-designed from a ground clearance standpoint. And their latest catalog does have a longer version of the TA available - 48" I think.

I'm still intrigued by the possibility of using a torque arm in conjunction with single leaf springs. My initial reaction was that this seemed pretty kludgy, but the more you look at it, the single leaf springs should work very nicely as both LCAs and lateral control devices, assuming good shackles and bushings. Your roll center and roll steer characteristics would remain stock - not too bad, actually. You get lower unsprung weight than with a multi-leaf setup, though not quite as low as a true coilover system. There would be slight binding as the leafs fought with the T.A. over axle rotation, but the flexibility of the leaf would help this, or you could eliminate it entirely with a spring pad that allowed some rotation. And of course, much less fabrication and expense than with coilovers, multi-links, and panhard or watts.

Fiberglass leafs might work also, and the problem with them seperating the lamination due to axle torque would be solved.

Anyway, I'm not likely to be building another car real soon, so I'm just speculating for the fun of it. I'll be watching for your 3-link setup with interest.

Scott