4 link vs leaf springs

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

  1. TCinthe6

    TCinthe6 Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    Toronto, Canada
    After having just installed new leaf springs in the rear, and not even driven the car yet, I am debating if I should just bite the bullet and install a Ridetech 4 link while I have the car in pieces this winter.

    Besides that fact that a coilover is more modern technology, and I can fit a wider wheel in the back, can anyone give me their subjective opinion on this matter?

    What does the car feel like with a 4 link vs a leaf setup?

    The car is likely never going to see track duty, and even if it did, I am told that Keith's 2G rear setup performs well.

    So is it worth it?

    I'll be the first to admit that it looks bling!

  2. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    You will definitely get some opinions here. I have the DSE Quadra Link and I like it. Not that you couldn't mini-tub the car with leafs, the 4-link did help accomplish that for me. The coil overs are a nice touch. If you want to adjust ride height and even out height, much easier to do as well as pinion adjustments. The 4-link also keeps the rearend "more in place" than the standard lead spring set-up. Under load the leafs will deflect laterally where my 4-link has a pan hard bar to keep the rearend in place. I have driven my car on the road course and I feel its very sturdy. I don't think the cost of good leafs over a 4-link justifies it, but if money isn't a concern, I would ditch the leaf springs. Not sure there is a weight savings due to all the re-enforcement on the rear rails, but it could be slightly lighter package.
  3. Goodwrench1965

    Goodwrench1965 Veteran Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Charlotte NC
  4. Lowend

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

    Mar 25, 1999
    San Jose, CA, USA
    The geometry on all of the bolt-in 4-links for 2nd gens is wrong. Due to space constraints, the Lower Control arms are too short and cause the suspension to bind. Years ago I helped with a 1st Gen with a 4-link, to get the LCA's long enough to work properly, the mount interfered with the front seat mounts

    On a street car, short of a full IRS, there are no real benefits going away from leaf springs. On a racecar, it's debatable.

    If I was going to do this (which I wouldn't), I'd be looking at a Torque Arm or Truck-Arm setup. These have correct geometry
    Goodwrench1965 likes this.
  5. Zulu28

    Zulu28 Veteran Member

    Dec 19, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    So DSE and Ridetech both have it wrong?
    I'd be looking at a Torque Arm
    But aren't the lower control arms the same length?
    Seems to me that the lower control arms are all more or less the same length be it Torque arm, triangulated or parallel 4 link? Not understanding anything to do with bind, if the rear suspension has enough travel to induce bind it seems to me that you'd have a whole 'nother problem no? I'm also trying to justify coil over suspension and that's coming from a real Herb Adams fan.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  6. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    Having read your post, and going through the same type of decision during my build, I would at least drive it with your leaf setup first, you may be surprised at the results.

    Lots of things you can "tune&tweak" to get a larger rear tire if your willing to do the work, but it's allot less than a 4 link not to mention a fraction of the cost.
  7. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    Well, I know the DSE set-up doesn't use heim joints. Also I find it funny they say to stick with leaf springs yet they bolt on Caltracs which....is essentially a lower straight bar control arm just like the lower links on a 4 link. You're basically trying to get a 4 link bolting stuff on the leafs.
  8. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    I don't disagree...but it is at a substantial fraction of the cost, not to mention a lot less labor intensive. I have extended my lakewoods to reach the eye, and eliminated my wheel hop.
  9. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    Oh yes, unquestionably more expensive and labor intensive. The whole set-up cost me about $10K. If the cost is worth it or not, is up to you.
  10. linenoise

    linenoise Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    $10K, is that with you doing the cutting/welding? As in just parts (4link,inner wheel housings, sway bar, etc) for DSE and a narrowed rearend?

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