4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension - Nova Tech
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  #1  
Old Dec 15th, 17, 04:06 PM
Mark_Lide Mark_Lide is offline
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Default 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

Can't decide between the two for my rear suspension setup. I would like any input on either kit from anyone who has experience with them. I'm not looking to do road courses or anything just want it to handle super good. I like the torque arm but most kits are expensive. I've found several 4 link kits that aren't super expensive but will require lots of fab work. Any help would be great.
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Old Dec 15th, 17, 08:58 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

The four link is the best system, ever.

Torque arm suspension such as used in a third gen Camaro is a three link With the third arm really long to be able to reach the transmission cross-member. It works, especially in cramped quarters, but it is basically non-adjustable. The advantage of a four link is you have seven times seven, times seven, times seven, times three possible combination of mounting the control arms for rear end adjustment.

A similar system to the factory torque arm that is used by NASCAR for roundy-round and road racing is a copy of GMC trucks torque arm as sold by Hot Rods from Heck

http://www.hotrodstohell.net/catalog/catalog.htm

Big Dave
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Old Dec 19th, 17, 09:21 AM
Mark_Lide Mark_Lide is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

So if you had a choice between the TCI 4 link kit and the BMR torque arm, you would go with the 4 Link? I can rebuild an engine and all that but when it comes to choosing rear suspension I haven't got a clue.
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Old Dec 19th, 17, 10:35 AM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

The first rear suspenesion that GM designed was a four link in 1964. Prior to that they used the leaf springs that had been in use under farm wagons and stage coaches since the days of the horse drawn vehicle. The Chevelle and the big Impala got the bigger engines and four link while retaining the leaf spring on smaller Chevettes and Vegas and Novas as they were economy cars.

GM's four link was non-adjustable which Chevelle owners learned very early caused wheel hop under hard acceleration. A higher mount made of cast iron was employed to help with wheel hop, but the control arms were fast to bottom out when you used that fix.

Ladder bars work as well as a four link if you are only going to be driving straight ahead on a flat surface such as a drag strip. However if you allow one end of the axle to drop in a hole or rise over a bump, the suspension binds, breaking parts (even with axle sliders, or floating heim joint mounting adapters).

There are bolt on four links that have two or three holes at one end to allow some adjustment, but if you want to get all of your power to the ground you will need more than six holes total to adjust to track conditions. When you see a Pro Stock enter the staging lanes they cover the rear tire with a big bib to hide their choice of suspension set up (what hole they chose) from the competitors. They cover their Wilson intake manifolds with screens for the same reason, small differences determines who wins and who looses.

I much prefer to install a back half kit that has seven to ten holes per side on each end of the control arm and three holes on each end of the Panhard rod (I would would rather run a Watts linkage instead of a Panhard, bar but I was building a heavier Impala to fit my larger size: and a heavier car requires a massive mounting point due to the higher forces applied by the increase in weight).I have used Chris Alston's back half kit and later switched over to S&W Race cars using their back half kit as the former Scott Weney had switched over to CAD on a Macintosh and I as a former Apple software engineer was able to help him get up to speed. In response he designed a full frame for my Nova instead of just a back half kit. I bought two of them but because they were too hard to ship (at least on my end where I didn't have a fork lift) I went back to back half kit and frame connectors.

A back half kit requires you to cut out your trunk pan to install full wheel tubs, but the NHRA will require you to install a metal trunk isolator to replace your card board one if you install a battery or fuel cell in the trunk area. So you are going to be cutting holes in your trunk pan anyway.

Big Dave
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Old Dec 20th, 17, 06:00 PM
Mark_Lide Mark_Lide is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

Thanks for all the info!!!!!!


I don't plan on racing hardly at all. I may go to a track every now and then but it won't be often. I just want something that I can take a curvy road with when I feel like it. My budget will be limited and due to my engine choice half of it will probably be gone. I work over an hour from home and would like to drive it every now and then to work. I ride a van with several other people so I won't have to drive it all the time.
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Old Dec 20th, 17, 07:11 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

I can not see you getting that much out of a four link (cost to benefit ratio) to justify converting. Lots of folks love the Cal-Trac bars (based on a pipe in pipe from the thirties). Personally I would use a traction bar as it has the least down side in terms of affecting your stock suspension and can be backed off to point you wouldn't know it was there.

They are not offered for sale any more new so you would have to scour flea-Bay regularly to find a set of old Lakewood slapper bars with J-bolts:







Note that this new bar is missing the back half of the bar that controls brake torque to prevent wheel hop on a hard stop. You can make your own bars if you can weld and just buy the shock plates off of Speedway dot com, then weld those on top of some rectangular tubing, and weld a piece of angle iron on the bottom to mount the J-bolts that Competition Engineering still does sell.

Big Dave
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Old Jan 3rd, 18, 05:20 PM
slow4dr slow4dr is offline
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Default Re: 4 Link or Torque Arm rear suspension

Traction bars would be literally the worst possible combination in this scenario. Especially if you got good brakes. The car will oversteer something fierce every time you touch the throttle. It might be fun to driftcross instead of autocross but you'll never lay down any decent times.

If you want it to turn then no question you want the Torque Arm. Of course I'm partial to the TCI Torque Arm but either will articulate well under any circumstance. They will plant the tire extremely well whether you're going straight or mid turn headed for the next apex.
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