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Rear Suspension Dilemma


Active Member
Just posted on Introductions and now asking a question. First. I am building a Bantam using a Speedway Motors body I bought a while back on sale. Made a bunch of measurements. Drew out the rear suspension to make sure there would be plenty of vertical clearances and nothing below the scrub line. Welded frame. Centered body temporarily on frame. Rolled 9" housing and centered in wheel wells. Measured distance from axle tubes to kick up.... 3". I was planning on using a 4 link rear suspension... currently not going to happen. So I need to come up with a few alternate ideas. I can still use the 4 link if I cut the bars down to say 15" and slide the body back so the kick up extends into the driver's compartment 15". That would mean sitting atop the kick up. The kick up is 7.75" above the main rails. Adding a seat will jack me up even further. I could lower the height of the kick up inside the driver's compartment some then raise it up before the rearend housing for clearance. That would also require me to cut the front of the frame off and reweld 15" back. Not a problem, lots of work. Two other options are ladder bars or parallel 4 bar mount to/under the frame. I've read all the negative comments on other forums that you shouldn't mount ladder bars on a "street car" but T buckets have being doing it for years... Urethane front bushing. Solid heims or urethane bushings in back. Max rear suspension travel is limited by coil overs at 5" overall. Parallel 4 bar (one mounting position per end) will work and and work probably better, but not look I was going for. I can place the 4 bars inside the frame but then they are being mounted closer together. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
Why not just use the traditional radius rods? Properly gusseted and use of heims rather than clevises should stand up to the abuse. Check out the arrangement in this picture . . .

Bantam rdstr.jpg
Thanks. The solution presented itself on an earlier post by HenrysT. This photo shows the mounts on the inside. I will place them on the outside. Minimal modifications needed. I did have to the buy a new axle mount to position the bars lower than my original 4 link axle mounts placed them.


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Great! Henry knows his stuff, so that idea should be sound. Looking forward to pictures of your project. :):thumbsup:
Thanks for the response but I don’t think there would be enough room for a 3 link. I thought triangulated 4 bar but the top bars would be 6” or less…. It have seen short triangular 4 bar suspension setup, look at the Shell Valley Cobra, but…. Moving the bars outside the frame should work. New axle mount will arrive Thursday. I’ll knew more then.
3 link ?

Depends on HP !
Some where in my drawing files I laid out a bucket with a 3 link. Not sure what years they were built but in the later years Ford put them in late model Mustangs. Got one a drive on lift and looked it over pretty good. Upper link was pretty short but after really thinking about it I felt it would be a very doable deal for a T-Bucket. You would differently have to run a anti roll bar and a watts linkage or a panard bar to keep the rear housing centered. I got to talking to Art Morrison about something and they were having a problem for a cramped limited read frame clip. Told him about the Mustang and they ran it through their suspension design software. They still offer 3 links to this day. I also think Factory Five offers that option but not sure how long their upper link is. ! do like one off thinking as it can give you some very interesting designs that make people think. Ole traditional cars are fine to. Hope this will give others here something to think about. Take care!
George, I know of the Mustangs you are talking about. 2010-14, I believe... has the third link mount atop the housing. I looked at the Factory Five 3 link set up. It could easily be adapted to a 9". But on a T Bucket, pick-up or turtle deck, you can more or less mount the rear end where you want. The Bantam does not have that options as it has wheel wells. If the tires are completely out from underneath the body, then there is a little play in positioning. For the Factory Five style 3 link, the 3rd link bracket welded behind the housing, I would have between 8 and 9 inches for the top bar. That is doable. But the top link would interfere with the fuel tank which will sit above the housing on the upper kick up rails. I would have to cut and raise the rails higher, limiting my fuel tank size, which will be underneath the rear of the body. I will keep this idea in mind. I may decide to build a bucket down the road depending on how this car turns out. Thanks for the information.
Jim in FLA. Has one on his bucket. Look for picks on this Forum and the NTBA website.

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