4 link vs leaf springs

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by TCinthe6, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  2. roadrace2

    roadrace2 Veteran Member

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    Amazing articulation there Lowend! :crazy:

    Ive had people "rib" me over having a "horse and buggy" rear suspension.
    I have no issues and with the little improvements I made over the past year, I REALLY like it.

    Never had the 4 link. I would like to ride in one for comparison for the sake of keeping an open mind.
     
  3. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

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    X2^^

    Great post Jeff on what can be done with leaf springs. Since this is a "4 link vs leaf" title, I will add the following.

    Here are a few of my favorite performing street "leaf" cars that I was around/part of from back in the mid 90's that had a major impact on what can be done given the right approach.

    pic1.jpg All steel body, 3650#, GM 468 BBC, 1050 Dom., Dart intake & Oval port Iron heads, NOS fogger/plate, th400, 12 bolt 3.91 and custom made leafs with all the tricks, NO traction/CalTracs used on 28x10.5 ET Streets. 4" exhaust with Flowmasters. This thing would 60ft in the mid 1.20's and ran 8.67 @158 mph. All this through 4" exhaust and Flowmasters with turndowns. Record 60ft was 1.19. Made around 1,100 hp or so.

    pic2.jpg BBC/NOS and 10.5W. Mid-low 9's, you can see the "homemade" CalTrac front type bracket, He took them off to try it out, I still have the bars under my bench.
    pic3.png (Resent) F.A.S.T. (Factory Appearing Stock Tire) BBC, Exhaust manifolds, auto, 3,800#, G70 GY Polyglass on steel 14x7, with custom leaf setup, no bars. 10.34 @ 135 mph, 1.61 60 ft. Crazy what goes into these F.A.S.T. muscle cars and what can be done with leaf's and no traction aids.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  4. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  5. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I don't think the conversation was focused on going in a straight line...The simplistic archaic design will do that for you. Aggressive street/road course driving is where these other designs shine. I wouldn't even consider putting expensive, highly fabricated kits like DSE in a drag car. That would be a waste of money and time.
     
  6. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

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    Well, considering the OP will not be "tracking" his car was the main reason I suggested he at least try out the "Keith's 2G" leafs first (as he already has them), before spending the cash on a 4 link. My street/drag "leaf" examples I shared was to simply show what could, and has been done using the old KISS method.

    FWIW, this is what I do with my car, street - road course and autocross. I use leaf's, and quite frankly, It's given me all I wanted, or even care to push it further on the road course. It's simple, cost effective, robust, and with the correct choice in bearings, It does not go into bind, or induce snap over-steer. I do not use a Watt's link or panhard bar either and have no issues with lateral movement.

    DSC_0444 (2).jpg
     
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  7. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    I don’t know how to say this, but every time there is a question like this people always come out with proof leafs work....well of course they work! They were put in cars for quite a few decades! Now get passed what “works”...there are real world benefits that each system brings to the table. That’s what should be discussed. Not how how your leaf spring car can do 10s in the 1/4 so clearly all other systems are a waste of money. Unless you have purchased and used both systems, I don’t see how you could give your opinion.
     
  8. SPG

    SPG Bumblebee Builder

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    Worth it? Unless you're driving around a lot of winding mountain roads probably not by much. Leafs obviously work and they're cheaper to maintain, but "proper" shocks look cooler I won't lie. Leafs are great when you just intend to go into a straight line as all that force is just being applied to the rear on both wheels. The moment you get on a turn they do the exact opposite of what you want them to do, instead of attempting to keeping the car level they turn with the car so you end up needing to compensate more for your turn. In normal driving conditions this would probably only be an issue for a highway onramp that circles around, and you're not going fast enough to even drive off the road anyways....at least I hope you're not.

    I have been looking into the more extreme upgrade of irs recently (more specifically this setup) and though it would be really kick ass, I can't justify spending 7k more than what I already intend on doing for something that isn't really set up to be a track car...even though I tell myself I'd like to bring it to the track

    tl;dr leafs are the way to go unless you just want to show off, or intend to do a lot of tight cornering.
     
  9. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    The majority of these classic cars are hardly driven at all. It could be argued, you need to do any upgrades to these cars other than replacing worn out parts
     
  10. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

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    I have had IRS cars coil sprung rear suspensions cars with factory arms and leaf spring cars.
    I will say the IRS needed much stiffer rear springs to handle the cornering much better and palnted the tires much better with the stiffer springs.

    The factory coil spring cars like Mustangs and Oldsmobiles had issues with tires rubbing in the corners on the fender lips.
    When I started making real power with those things it was clear the factory bushings and arms needed upgrading.
    Plant sticky tires and the entire ass end would shift a little sideways flexing all those bushings and non boxed arms.

    I stuck with leaf springs as they were much more predictable for me. YMMV
    One thing I found really helped any car corner 80% better was to upgrade the end links and bushings on the sway bars.
    I built my own bushings from Nylatron and tried the factory end link hardware..It would just bend or break.
    I stepped up most of them to 7/16 or 1/2" end link rods.. I usually made them from head bolts.

    Slap on some Nascar take off's and go pound on it and see if the C clips continue to hold the axles in :)

    My 280Z and my sons 300ZX with just the Nylatron bushings and better hardware were ridiculous in the corners.
    I will say one of my best cornering cars was a Pinto.
    Could be the wheel base and the 245-60-14 tires I had on the rear and 235's on the front just matched well for that little thing.
    Yes leaf springs and I stiffened the front sway bar.

    I run a 300ZX sway bar modified on the front of my 47 dodge with 1980 pinto front suspension.
    On the rear I have a Ford explorer sway bar
    For drags I remove the front sway bar.

    There are a bunch of cars at salvages that could donate to a persons ride to make it what you want.
    You just need some fab skills and think outside the box.
     

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