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Old 10-14-2005, 01:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTFATBOY
Please explain further, I have a Spohn arm in my car with Chrome moly rod-end in the front, the rear does not have a "rod-end" per say, it has a fixed"eyelit", but should pivot around each one when setting pinion angle, should you loosen the bolts when setting pinion angle to prevent bind? Then re-tighten? More info please.

On another note, IMO instant center should be somewhere under the drivers thigh area or close to that point in space..do you agree?

David
I believe what he is talking about is the bind in the rear housing bracket. If this is the case I will try to explain it.
Draw a triangle, make it so a corner points to the left, (like a long torque arm shape) and the right side is vertical. All the corners are mounting points, the left side corner of the triangle is the front mount, the 2 rod ends on the right vertical side. The vertical right side is the housing bracket and it is a fixed length. Since the arm is welded tubing, it cannot change angles, the angle of the left corner of the triangle cannot change.
If you change the length of the bottom edge of the triangle, say lengthen it, and the left coner angle does not change, then the right vertical side will in theory have to also increase length. However since its mounting points are fixed it cannot change length and will start to bind. Its just triangle geometry.

I never had heard about this binding before, but it makes perfect sense now that I think about it. The only way I can think of now to eliminate the binding is to make the front with 2 hiem joints/rod ends so the angle can change but this seems unpractical.


How much of an issue is this binding, is it just a problem of stress of the arm?
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISPY
Something to think about...

The shorter the arm the faster the tires plant and then unload but with the longer arm it is generally easier to wheelstand the car and that can present its own problems if front suspension limiters do not work...

totally oppposite my friend. Dan @ WolfeRacecraft explained this to me already.

Mike
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Old 10-14-2005, 12:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTFATBOY

On another note, IMO instant center should be somewhere under the drivers thigh area or close to that point in space..do you agree?



David
You're thinking of CG.
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Old 10-14-2005, 12:43 PM   #24
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So if your LCA's point downward from back to front, your instant center is behind the car??

does that make sense?
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:09 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteele
I believe what he is talking about is the bind in the rear housing bracket. If this is the case I will try to explain it.
Draw a triangle, make it so a corner points to the left, (like a long torque arm shape) and the right side is vertical. All the corners are mounting points, the left side corner of the triangle is the front mount, the 2 rod ends on the right vertical side. The vertical right side is the housing bracket and it is a fixed length. Since the arm is welded tubing, it cannot change angles, the angle of the left corner of the triangle cannot change.
If you change the length of the bottom edge of the triangle, say lengthen it, and the left coner angle does not change, then the right vertical side will in theory have to also increase length. However since its mounting points are fixed it cannot change length and will start to bind. Its just triangle geometry.

I never had heard about this binding before, but it makes perfect sense now that I think about it. The only way I can think of now to eliminate the binding is to make the front with 2 hiem joints/rod ends so the angle can change but this seems unpractical.


How much of an issue is this binding, is it just a problem of stress of the arm?

Not sure if you mean this or not....
Adjustment of the rod ended TA: Loosen the jam nuts on both rear housing ends. Adjust the bottom out, you'd adjust the top in or V/V (push and pull theory)? The front pivots, so there is no bind on the front persae. If you attempt to only lengthen the bottom, the front will pivot, but there will still be stress on the top rod end and thus bind. This allows the rear to be rotated, into a desired pinion angle. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MADMAN
I would obviuosly use my T/A. We normally put weight in the front of these cars anyway so you will be ahead of the game.
Are you saying that weight on the nose is good?
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Old 10-15-2005, 10:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dear John
Are you saying that weight on the nose is good?
theres probably a difference between "these" cars and your car.
Maybe these modded cars get to a point when you have too much traction/front lift and start to move the other way in tuning to try to keep the nose down but im just guessing.

CAT3,
I meant the front "interior" angle of the torque arm itself is fixed, the angle cannot change between the top and bottom tubes of the arm (they are welded together). The whole TA can pivot with the body at the front point but this wasnt what I was talking about.

Most TAs Ive seen seem to adjust length using only the bottom rod end. I think you would have to take the bracket completely off to adjust the top (as it dosent have an extra "bolt" thing). And even if you could adjust the top there should still be a small bind or stress. I think there would only be 2 angles of the fixed length bracket that would "fit" with the TA back ends. Angles in between should make the rear bracket start to "push or pull" the 2 tubes of the arm apart. Thats what I was talking about with the bind.

Im sure the bind or stress within the arm is pretty small due to the small angle changes but I thought that was what MADMAN was talking about
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:49 PM   #28
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So, if a car had a Madman torque arm, what would the correct lower control arm angle be in relation to the torque arm?

Daren
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:56 AM   #29
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So how do you adjust pinion angle WITHOUT stressing the rear mount plate? I think I understand a little better....with the upper shorter than the lower point, it is trying to pull the top of the mounting bracket off before it gets a good push on the bottom of the bracket. There really is no fix for this, you can make the front adjustable(in height) to make the angles minimal in the rear. All cars will be different according to tire size and ride height(for needed pinion angle and instant center adjustment)


David
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIZMO
So, if a car had a Madman torque arm, what would the correct lower control arm angle be in relation to the torque arm?

Daren
TTT

Thanks,

Daren
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:51 PM   #31
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Expanding on this .. When laying this out in my head, I visualize the rear end attempting to move via two separate arcs. The first is dictated by the torque arm, the second by the lower control arms. Depending on the amount of suspension travel and the angle of the connecting arms, this will cause a fair amount of movement in the instant center, and a rotation of the axle itself. The greater the disparity between LCA length vs. torque arm length would increase this effect.

As such, would it not stand to reason you would want the LCA to be relatively close to the same angle as the torque arm, pushing your instant center rather forward on the vehicle? Moving the instant center forward and up would, in my mind at least, keep the axle traveling in closer to a single arc, and keep the instant center closer to a constant point throughout the suspension travel. This would seem to create a more stable car at all points on the track, but possibly at the expense of inital track bite.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:30 PM   #32
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Here is an artcile along with some diagrams that may help you understand better... This is for a 4 link, but the principles are the same.

http://www.raceglides.com.au/TechInfo.htm

FOUR-LINK REAR SUSPENSION OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS
Of primary importance is that the rear axle be centred in the chassis and perpendicular to the frame rails; that the locating points of the suspension bars be symmetrically mounted on the chassis and axle housing; and that the right and left bars be adjusted to equal lengths when installed. There’s much more to it than this – including setting the pinion angle, aligning the front suspension, determining the centre of gravity, plotting four-link intersecting points (instant centre) for various bar settings, and so on. The point is that the chassis, as a whole, must be correctly assembled and "baselined" before you can begin to "tune" it – the same as for tuning an engine.

The second feature to understand about chassis tuning is that the four-link does not operate, and should never be adjusted, by it self. In any suspended car, at least four potentially-adustable elements work in conjunction with each other: the springs, the shocks, the suspension locating bars or other attached geometry, and the relationship between front and rear suspension. This does not take into account other contributing factors such as tyre pressure and traction, torque converter/gear ratio, ballast (for shifting of the centre of gravity), and so on.



A line drawn (see above illustration) from the rear tyre contact patch through the instant centre of the rear suspension represents the "line of force" through which tyre motion is transferred to car motion. The instant centre is the point about which the rear end pivots as it moves up and down with the suspension. The instant centre of a ladder bar remains constant; that of a four-link changes as the rear end moves. The shorter or more angled the bars, the greater the change.

Most confusion surrounding the rear suspension linkage (ladder bar/four-link) is in the action/reaction torque around the rear axle and its housing; the pinion "climbing" the ring gear, and the fact that the axle housing wants to rotate in the opposite direction of the rear wheels. With a ladder bar solidly attached to the rear end housing, and pivot the front end of the laddert bar in a bracket somewhere on the chassis, the "counter-rotating" rear end housing appears to be imparting and upward force on the chassis at the ladder bar’s pivot point – "lifting" the chassis vertically at that point on acceleration. However, that would only happen if you tied the rear wheels solidly to the ground, and with enough engine torque the front of the car would lift and be rotated backwards. But that’s not really what is happening when a drag car is launched. The tyre is trying to push the car forward. It is pushing from the point where it contacts the ground. The centre of gravity of the car, however, is higher than this point. Inertia wants to keep the car where it is, rather than letting it move forward.

If the pushing force of the rear tyre, at the ground, is strong enough and rapid enough, it tends to "tip the car over' because it is pushing below the centre of gravity. Somebody used the analogy of pushing a refrigerator to explain this (see illustration next page). If you try to push a refrigerator across the floor, and you push it vigorously down near the bottom, it will tip over on top of you. This is partially what happens when you launch a car. Of course, the rotational torque about the rear axle helps tilt it, too.

The fact that a car is suspended (unlike a refrigerator) complicates things. For example, it allows the body to shift or tilt more easily (depending on spring and shock rates) as the inertia force (equal to the sprung weight of the car times the acceleration force) acts at the centre of gravity, in a direction opposite of acceleration (ie, to the rear). When the body shifts, this alters the location of the centre of gravity in relation to the rear tyre patch, changing things again.

But consider just the rear suspension for a moment. The axle is not mounted solidly to the frame. It is held in place by some sort of linkages and simply "floats" on the springs (leaf springs are linkages in themselves). These linkages determine a certain arc about which the rear axle swings as it moves up and down in the chassis. With ladder bars, the point about which it swings is obviously the front end of the bar, where it pivots in the frame bracket. This point about which the rear end pivots as it moves up and down is called the "instant centre" of the suspension.

Now here's the big point. Not only is the instant centre of the rear suspension the point about which it pivots, but it is also the point through which the rear tyre pushes the car. That is, the rear tyre pushes at the ground, but it also must push on the chassis, in order to move the car. The tyre is attached to the rear axle, and the rear axle is attached to the frame by the links or bars. The force that pushes the car forward is transmitted to the chassis by the rear axle connecting links. The rear end isn't pushing the front of the ladder bar up; the "line of force" that moves the car forward pushes from the tyre contact patch through the pivot point of the ladder bar. Thus it is pushing mostly forward, and partially up, at the same time. The angled line of force can be considered as horizontal (forward) and vertical (up) vectors. This is oversimplifying quite a bit, but it helps explain the dynamics of the launch.

I haven't mentioned anything about "tuning" the rear suspension, have I? It all has to do with where the links that position the rear-end attach (or pivot) on the chassis. In the case of a ladder bar, it is the actual pivot point at the front of the bar. With a four-link, it is the imaginary intersect point of the two bars that determines the actual instant centre about which the rear end pivots – and through which the pushing force from the tyre is transmitted to the chassis.

When you're building the chassis, you could attach the front of the bars most anywhere. You could mount them high or low, or make them long or short. In doing so, you change the relationship between the line of force that pushes the car, and the car's centre of gravity. Consider exaggerated examples. Let's say you have long ladder bars mounted low on the frame near the engine's bellhousing. The centre of gravity of the car is above this point, and slightly behind it. When the car launches, the inertia force (weight transfer) acts toward the rear at the centre of gravity. But the body/chassis is "hinged" (in a manner of speaking) at the ladder bar pivot point; so, as the tyre and ladder bar push the car forward, the inertia force tries to push it back, but actually swings the rear of the body down. This does transfer weight to the real wheels, which helps traction, and it is why American drag cars in the Sixties were jacked up in the front and used long ladder bars.

However, this arrangement – especially with the shorter bars common today – also tends to force the rear wheels and axle up, compressing the springs, which allows the rear of the body to drop. This condition is known as rear squat. Although it looks like you are transferring more weight to the rear tyres and increasing traction, you are actually lifting the rear tyres, and decreasing traction.

Chassis engineers talk about "anti-squat" at the rear on acceleration and use a traditional diagram to calculate "percentage of anti-squat" (see illustration next page). Because the weight (centre of gravity) of a typical road car is supported by the front and rear wheels, engineers draw a "100-percent anti-squat" force line from the rear tyre contact patch to the front wheel vertical centre-line, at the height of the centre of gravity. If the actual "line of force" for the car – the line from the rear tyre contact patch through the instant centre of the rear suspension – coincides with the 100-percent anti-squat line, then theoretically the rear suspension will neither lift nor drop, and the rear of the car will not rise or squat, as the car accelerates. That is, if the instant centre of the rear suspension lies anywhere on this line, the car will have 100-percent anti-squat. If the instant centre is anywhere below the line, the rear will squat (or, have a certain percentage – a fraction – of anti-squat). If the instant centre is above this line, it will have more than 100-percent anti-squat, which means the rear of the car will be pushed upwards by the suspension links as the car accelerates.

Look at this another way. If the suspension is trying to push the back of the car up, that's the same thing as saying it's trying to push the rear wheels and tyres down, against the track surface, which obviously increases bite. That's what this rear suspension geometry is all about.

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Old 10-18-2005, 12:31 PM   #33
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Chassis builders and tuners call this situation (over 100-percent anti-squat) "separation." That is, the rear axle "separates" from the chassis as it swings down and/or the body lifts up, and the springs and shocks extend. The point, of course, is to have the axle swing down (or at least try to as much as possible), thus "planting" or "shocking" the rear tyres on the ground. This is a dynamic situation, with many variables acting at once.

Of primary importance is that there be enough weight in the back of the car to make it work. This is a real concern in most "early" street rods. If the centre of gravity in the car is too far forward, a four-link or ladder bar adjusted to plant the rear tyres will simply lift the rear of the body instead. Most builders say you need at least 45-percent of the car's weight on the rear wheels to make a four-link work properly. Spring and shock rates will also influence the effects of the suspension "tune." Particularly important is the extension stiffness of the shocks. Increasing this stiffness decreases the effect of the separation, and vice versa. The same is true of spring rates. The main focus here is to understand that where a builder locates the instant centre of the rear suspension can have a positive or negative effect on how the car launches. A fully-adjustable four-link allows a chassis tuner to move the instant centre not only up or down, but also forward or back (by increasing or decreasing the angle between the bars) at the track.

The obvious question is "Where is the right point to set it?" I don't think there is any way to accurately calculate such a point in a drag car. There are too many dynamic variables. For one thing, when a high-powered race car launches, its front wheels are usually off the ground, so the standard engineering diagram for 100-percent anti-squat doesn't apply. Trying to calculate the "correct" instant centre for the four-link in your car is not the point. In fact, it's probably impossible, because as the chassis lifts in the front, the location of the centre of gravity changes; and, more significantly, as the rear suspension moves up or down, the instant centre of the four-link also changes. The shorter the bars, or the more angled they are, the more dramatic this change will be (unequal length bars also give the same effect), and thus the harsher the shock on the rear tyres will (usually) be.

The way most builders/tuners use the four-link is to set it at an adjustment they know from experience is in the ballpark for the given car; then they try some launches and observe (either by eye, or video camera) what the chassis and rear tyres do. The beauty of the four-link is that once you see what happens, you can adjust it several different ways. The chassis tuner has two primary concerns: the rear tyres should hook up without slipping, and the car should start moving forward as quickly as possible, rather than lifting, squatting, wheel standing, or other monkey business. If the rear of the car squats, he can raise the instant centre of the bars; if the rear lifts too much, he can lower the instant centre. If the car tends to wheel stand too much, he can angle the bars closer together at the front to move the instant centre further to the rear of the car; if the tyres are being shocked too violently (as in a trans-brake car), he can do the opposite. This is oversimplifying, of course.

Considering shock and spring adjustments plus changes to the front suspension that can affect the rear, the four-link might seem like a complicated nightmare. It's not. It helps you to get a car dialed-in for the best possible launches. Once dialed-in, it lets you adjust the car for varying track or other conditions.

There's another phenomenon common to front-engine, rear-drive cars. It, too, is an action/reaction, inertia/momentum situation, but it operates side-to-side in the car, rather than front-to-back. It is caused by the fact that the crankshaft and drive shaft rotate along a north-south axis while the rear axles and wheels rotate on an east-west axis. Actually, it is two separate problems, only moderately related. The first, of which you are probably aware, is the tendency of the engine to try to lift the left front corner of the chassis as the car launches. That's because the crankshaft is trying to turn clockwise (viewed from the front), but the car's inertia is holding it back (see illustration next page). As the engine strains against this resistance, it reacts by trying to spin (counterclockwise) around the crankshaft. Since the engine is (hopefully) anchored securely to the frame, it tries to pull the frame up on the left (passenger's) side. The more powerful the engine, and the heavier the car, the more pronounced the problem becomes.

The solution is to build a chassis that doesn't twist, or to stiffen and triangulate the one you have as much as possible. Actually, it's something most chassis tuners don't worry about too much. If it isn't excessive and the car goes straight let it happen. Trying to tune it out with the rear suspension can lead to worse side effects.

The other problem due to drive shaft rotation is less obvious, but more severe. The drive shaft rotates clockwise as it drives the pinion in the third member. When inertia holds the car from moving and the tyres are stuck firmly to the ground, the rotating drive shaft actually tries to turn the entire rear end in the same clockwise direction. This effect is usually not apparent to the eye, but it does tend to lift the right rear tyre slightly, and plant the left rear more firmly. You have undoubtedly witnessed the result of this in the typical street machine. If you sidestep the clutch in a car with a live rear axle and unlocked differential, it will smoke the right rear tyre. (A car with a chassis-mounted third member, such as a Corvette or Jaguar IRS, avoids this problem.) In a race car, any imbalance in traction, right to left, can send the car veering off the starting line at an angle. It doesn't take much when one big sticky slick hooks up more than the other does. Many race cars do tend to pull to the right off the line because the drive shaft twist on the rear end is unloading the right rear tyre slightly. One way to combat this is to place more chassis weight (battery, fuel tank, ballast, etc.) in the right rear corner of the trunk. However, this weight doesn't act directly on the tyre, because it is suspended. It only shifts the centre of gravity of the car.



With a four-link suspension, however, you can effectively place more weight directly on one rear tyre. This practice is known as "pre-loading," and is commonly done with the upper right bar to pre-load the right rear tyre. Hopefully the bar has left and right threaded rod ends and a hex fitting on the bar, so that turning it in one direction shortens its length, and turning it the other lengthens it. Shortening the upper right bar adds weight to the right rear tyre. A little does a lot. One-quarter turn can add as much as 50 pounds. You can get the same effect on the right rear tyre by lengthening the lower right bar, or even the upper left bar. Obviously you only want to pre-load one bar out of the four. Do it sparingly.

Another method is to install a stabiliser bar that minimises body movement and places equal amounts of force on the rear tyres.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:52 PM   #34
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Good info, I'll write up some torque arm specific info tonight
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:17 PM   #35
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just something someone said that i disagree with....

the rear end doesnt move in the TQ arm arc. it moves with the LCA arc only.
the TQarm changes length to accomodate this... it slides in and out of the TQ arm bushing.. or in the case of the jegs arm, itself.. or in the case of Spohns arm, its on a linkage to allow the same thing.

also, someone is going to have to show me this bracket adjustment bind thing. a pic or something. most adjustible bars ive seen have a bracket that goes on the rear, then the triangle bar itself... with adjustible endlinks in the middle that allow complete pinion rotation... keeping in mind that the TQ arm can change length.. so if you adjust one, and it moves the arm "longer" it doesnt matter.

anyhoo, heres a LCA pic i made a few years ago... if it goes anywhere on this board, its probly here, right? yes, it doesnt go into complete detail.. and yes you can go too far either way... hit then unload.. ect.
really, its just to get the idea across to some newbies that didnt understand how LCA brackets did anything...
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:49 PM   #36
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There is an arc made by the torque arm BECAUSE of the attachment of the LCA's By altering the attachment/sliding point of the front of the TA, you are accomplishing the same effects of a 4-link. If there was only one arc following the LCA's, you'd have a ladder bar and wouldn't have any need for the TA at all.
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:01 PM   #37
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Thank you Brains!!.


J-Rod that was very informative. I agree it is all in experience. In my experience I have never seen a 4 link car squat and I have moved bars in alot of holes. Usually what I get is a short instant center slams the tire in the ground and then tends to unload very quickly. You can help this with the shock but it is a patch. A long instant center will hit the tires and carry the weight longer with out upsetting the car.
More later gotta go finish a car!!
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:08 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDude_1
just something someone said that i disagree with....

the rear end doesnt move in the TQ arm arc. it moves with the LCA arc only.
the TQarm changes length to accomodate this... it slides in and out of the TQ arm bushing.. or in the case of the jegs arm, itself.. or in the case of Spohns arm, its on a linkage to allow the same thing.
I'm with you Unless the front of the torque arm is solid mounted (by design or accident).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDude_1
also, someone is going to have to show me this bracket adjustment bind thing. a pic or something. most adjustible bars ive seen have a bracket that goes on the rear, then the triangle bar itself... with adjustible endlinks in the middle that allow complete pinion rotation... keeping in mind that the TQ arm can change length.. so if you adjust one, and it moves the arm "longer" it doesnt matter.

By 'binding' on the torque arm he is refering more to stress on the arm itself. As you turn the adjuster in and out the distance between the the rod ends will change slightly while the holes in the rear end bracket do not, unless the bars are parallel. Doesnt really 'bind' anything in the suspension itself but it will put some stress on the tubing, has nothing to do with how the suspension works though.
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:13 PM   #39
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I posted the info because it had some fairly good diagrams to help folks understand the Instant Center and Center of Gravity. To me, a 4 link is like an infinitely adjustable Tq arm. You can make it as long or a short as you want. The diagram helps show how you can adjust location to make the Instant center move around. Folks should be able to think of a Tq arm as a fixed 4 link (if that makes sense) and as you pointed out, your adjustment is limited to the points you mentioned.

You have tons more experience than I do, but I've seen car's do a couple of things. I've seen them close up the gap on the tires (I'd call that squat). I've seen them push the tires into the track and push the car up. What they call rear antisquat above.

Pushing the car up and the tires down is a hard concept for some folks to grasp. The easiest way I've been able to show folks is to have them watch a semi-truck take off. When it launches, you see the trailer etc rise, and the wheels get pushed into the ground. Its a really easy object lesson to pull up next to one and have folks watch the chassis work Also, it happens slow enough for folks to catch on to what is happenening.

Folks seem to easily understand the car squatting when it lauches. But when you try to make them understand the tire and the car coming apart you get blank stares...
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:24 PM   #40
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What happens if your instant center is behind the axle? My LCA's are parallel with the ground, so I am thinking that if lines are made for the torque arm and the LCA's, they are going to intersect behind the axle. I am using an adjustable BMR torque arm which allows you to raise or lower the front mounting point, changing the instant center of the car.
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