Parallel 4 Link Rear Suspension System
The parallel 4 link rear suspension. A newer style that works well as an all-around type of suspension and also does great on the track.
This is a 4 link suspension with all 4 links running parallel to each other. This kind of suspension always has some kind of panhard bar to keep the axle centered.
The parallel 4 link is designed to keep the rear axle centered, and to keep the pinion angle from changing (keep the axle from rotating). It works especially well under hard acceleration at the drags or hard cornering at the track.
Tuning 4 Link Rear Suspensions for the Drag Strip
Advantages: This style of suspension works well for an everyday driver and also works well on the track. This type of suspension can also be made to have adustable anti-squat geometry for the drag strip and the long Panhard rod really controls the rear axle's side to side movement to help in hard cornering.
Disadvantages: 4 links designed for the drag strip don't work well on a road course, and may not ride well on the street. Extreme cornering can lead to some roll bind, due to it's geometry. Changing out the bushings to Heim joints or urethane bushings will usually cure it though. Another disadvantage if you are going to swap in a parallel 4 link is difficulty and cost. You will also need to have some welding and fabrication skills.
Ok, so how do I lower my ride with a parallel 4 link system?
Well, you don't really... You can lower it a little bit with lowered springs, but if you lower it too much you will change the angle of the 4 links. This can affect how the suspension handles. If you want to lower it a lot for ride height, you will have to raise the mounting points where the 4 links attach to the frame.
Some people do use this system for an air bag suspension so they can drop the frame on the ground. However, at ride height you still need the 4 links at the correct angles.
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