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Old 07-22-2011, 11:45 AM
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Suspension for small tired drag car that isn't dangerous in curves.

I am about to pick up a new project car. Its a 1966 Volvo 122 that I want to turn into a street/drag car. I'm doing alot of reading and trying to decide how I want to build/modify the rear suspension for this car. I intend this to be a fairly big chassis project. I have a 600hp Volvo 4 cylinder turbo motor and TH400 setup that will power this car when the chassis is ready.

So the basic idea I have in my head right now is a small tired drag car. I'd like to run a 28 x 12.5 x 15 ET Street or similar sized slick and have the car sit nice and low and plant the tires reasonably well in a straight line. In addition, I'd like to run the car on the drag radials or similar height street radial on the road for weekend cruises.

I'll need at least a small tub job to make this work Im quite sure. And the car will need an 8 pt roll bar at least for the speeds its going to run. Probably in the 9s or 10s. If I buy a 4 link kit and install that in the rear. Is there a way to get some articulation in the rear suspension so that it corners safely without binding? I don't expect to have a road race car, but I would like the car to be able to cruise the mountain hiways in Colorado on the radials and not feel completely awkward and dangerous. Im reading about the various suspension types and its a bit overwhelming processing all of the information out there on the internet...

Maybe you guys could help me weigh my choices here.
My first guess at these rear suspension types would be:
1. a true drag style 4-link somehow tuned for street driving..
2. a simpler 4 bar / 4 - link with a lower profile rear frame since I won't need to fit 33" tires.
3. A 3 link setup with a sway bar??? I'm not sure how those do for drag launches at all.

Here is the car as it sits now. I still have alot of work to do:


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Old 07-28-2011, 07:03 AM
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drag volvo.

what's stock? coils or? room for traction bars ? Ladder type?Built pretty tough from the factory.How'bout a neoprene bushing kit with gussets welded where needed. 4 bar kit with adjustable coilovers?
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:05 PM
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My vote is a torque arm like this...





Torque Arm install info

It's a lot like 2 closely spaced ladder bars, very little resistance to articulation, plants the tires like a mo fo (my personal street car with a torque arm)...



Probably be easy to adapt a similar style TA to your ride.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:27 PM
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O.k.

You-bet...Grab a rule book Get with the 10.5 class.Those guys are kick'en ***.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:26 PM
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This guy is developing some pretty sweet upgrades for the mighty Amazon (Volvo 122's)

Check out this thread:

http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=237655
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:23 PM
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Resurrection time. Fire up the Way back machine.

I started this thread, then completely forgot about it. Just recently I was searching for some ideas again, and found my own thread near the top of the Google search. Funny how the internet works sometimes.

I never bought the car I was talking about in the first post. But more recently I picked up a nicer shell to use for a project, and have been driving it while collecting parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckpoint View Post
what's stock? coils or? room for traction bars ? Ladder type?Built pretty tough from the factory.How'bout a neoprene bushing kit with gussets welded where needed. 4 bar kit with adjustable coilovers?
Stock this car has a parallel 4 link with a panhard bar. Coil springs are on top of the axle tubes, and shocks are at about a 60 degree angle.

Here is the car.


I have decided to work with the current suspension layout. I might move the arms inboard a little bit for a bit more tire clearance, and do some sheet metal work to fit an 8.5" wide slick under the rear. I need to get the tires mounted up and see if I can tuck them under the rear.

I narrowed a ford 8.8 from a Ford Explorer to fit under the car. I'm going to use the disk brakes from the Ford.


I need to put the axle under the car now and add the mounts. But I need to get some tires first and see where I am for fit. This isn't going to be a complete backhalf job. I just need the strength from the ford parts, and be able to plant the tires effectively. The 4 link has been modified with urethane bushings now, and it seems solid. Though I'm not putting much power to the stock axle.


Last edited by qwkswede; 06-18-2015 at 03:33 PM. Reason: adding an image
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:34 PM
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Do you have tubular control arms? Or old stamped steel with soft bushings.

If your four link is setup with adjustable arms and solid or neo bushings it should allow you to dial in some grip and not loose too much in the turns just be sure the pan hard bar is included in the upgrades. Might want to look at the sway bars as well it none or weak best to get this sorted at the same time. Then get put on the track and figure out what works. Will probably also work in the turns pretty good as well.

How are the body mounts in ford fox body cars its common to need to weld and box these to make them work. Might wan tto do a search and see if this relates to your car. I have not seen how the four link mounts to the body. But usally its a weak point and has lots of flex you cant figure out without a gopro under the car or until the rear snaps them out.

I have seen a well setup tubed car leave a porsche sliding sideways on a tight twisting road. Just because it run good at the track does not mean its not going to handle comes down to tire and stiffness when you want handling. Even a soft suspension can be made to handle. And should be able to lift the front wheels and still dead plant in the turns.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:58 AM
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Here is the stock layout.


The arms are very close together. For adjustability I could rebuild the links with a rod end on one end to remove some slop and give some length adjustment. I would like to leave rubber or poly at the body end of the car to keep noise level low. That lets me adjust pinion angle and general alignment. Would there be some benefit to making a longer lower axle bracket with a few holes for changing the position of the mounting at the lower axle bracket? I'm thinking about this for some anti squat tuning?

Here is swedish ops axle swap kit. I might mimic this setup. It was built to be a bolt in Ford 9". I don't mind altering things for performance, but it seems the basic 4-link with panhard bar could be effective with the right tweaks.

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Old 06-19-2015, 07:32 AM
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Of you do anything bring the one bar inside the frame rail so you can atleast go to the frame with some tire. Doesnt make since not to fix it now.

I would try adjustable arms they can be built really cheap if you got the tools and buy the rod links cheap. They should not cost a ton. Once you adjust a little preload on it you may find it will squat just fine. But you really dont want it to squat any more than is need for it to move forward.

If the car squats then lifts the front end you may feel like its leaving the line hard. But really its not its got to move as soon as you snap the pedal down. If it spends time moving any other direction than forward its wasted effort. With good slick and prepped track you can let the tires do the work and just jump off the line.

Get some adjustment and get it out and see if it bites. Chances are it will jump and run once all the slack is removed. Also looks like it have a hugh bushing back there bet that is a constant source of problem i would make and aluminum insert for that one. If you cant get it solid enough. Or use a smaller link end and solid bushing.

You have alot more to work with than most when it comes to rear end systems.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:18 PM
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Thanks hcompton, that is very helpful, and a pretty simple to execute plan. 1960s Volvos were pretty sophisticated with their rear suspension, many had disk brakes too. It definitely looks good when compared to a leaf spring setup that was so common in that era. The weakness is there is alot of flexy rubber in the links.

I'll be running a turbocharged 4 cylinder with a manual transmission. So the launches will be aggressive. I am guessing that I'll launch near redline to keep the turbo on boost and not bog the motor. So it will likely shock the tires pretty good. I'm not sure there is an easy way around that. Its going to be a heavy hit to the drivetrain and rear tires.

The car is 2250lbs right now with full interior and spare tire, etc. I'm counting on that for free horsepower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcompton View Post
Of you do anything bring the one bar inside the frame rail so you can atleast go to the frame with some tire. Doesnt make since not to fix it now.

I would try adjustable arms they can be built really cheap if you got the tools and buy the rod links cheap. They should not cost a ton. Once you adjust a little preload on it you may find it will squat just fine. But you really dont want it to squat any more than is need for it to move forward.

If the car squats then lifts the front end you may feel like its leaving the line hard. But really its not its got to move as soon as you snap the pedal down. If it spends time moving any other direction than forward its wasted effort. With good slick and prepped track you can let the tires do the work and just jump off the line.

Get some adjustment and get it out and see if it bites. Chances are it will jump and run once all the slack is removed. Also looks like it have a hugh bushing back there bet that is a constant source of problem i would make and aluminum insert for that one. If you cant get it solid enough. Or use a smaller link end and solid bushing.

You have alot more to work with than most when it comes to rear end systems.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:51 PM
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Yes a good set of spun almuminum bushings should solve a lot of your issues. Got a friend with a lathe? That can make a big difference in how things launch.

Get the gear right putting it to the floor and dumping the clutch wont be the fastest way off the line. Most turbo cars build boost faster with a little load and slipping the clutch can be a great way to build lots of boost fast. Just dumping the clutch will cause the car to stall the turbo more than if you let it out with a little slip. Just free spinning the engine wont help build boost usally. A nice shot of juice will solve the problem as well.

Even if you dump the clutch you still have to get rpm to build boost and make real power. Unless your spinning the tires its going to fall back into the lower rpm range. So there will still be a short time where its not high rom as it comes off the line. Gear is the best way to solve that. If the tires are taller than stock the problem will be harder to get around.

Is it a high compression engine or low compression some high compression engines build boost alot faster.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:32 AM
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That swap kit is a clean looking install but as noted the upper arms need to be on the inside. The "frame" rails would be my main concern, especially with a clutch launch. I would be overplating them nearly full length with 3/16 plate while tying the new inner mounts to the lower tabs. Those tabs are going to rip right off with the power and launch method you will be using.
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