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If you have any questions that you would like to see addressed, please let us know.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Buddy Christ from the movie Dogma was modeled after Max Fish?
Nowhere near as much as Seth from Super Bab is inspired by Brent Vann.
How about comparing and contrasting air ride suspensions with coil over (or sprung) suspensions. Which application would be best for show, race, grocery getting, etc…
I will certainly be addressing these issues in the technical section as the site goes together.
Mr Fish, I see in your treatment of the tight confines of stock gas tank located mini trucks (in the one-offs section), you chose to 3-link and then use a track bar to keep the rear end located. Would it be poor design to use one straight and one angled top link for a wish bone type system that would eliminate the need for the track bar? If you consider it a solid choice, is it more correct to design the wishbone’s single point of connection at the front link as opposed to the top of the third member? I also see you angled the lower bars in towards their rear mounts on the axle. That strikes me as contrary to what you’ve written in the past about angling links, either top or bottom, towards the front of the vehicle. Finally, at least for the moment, should the designing of the system begin at drive height? For instance, the link bars should be designed to be at their most possible level/parralell position when at driving height? I have an early 90’s Toyota with a Can-Do bolt-on reverse 4-link that I am planning to switch around (thanks in large part to your bashing of reverse set-ups) but I would like to keep the stock tank location.
The problem with a wishbone is that they are difficult to install properly within the confines of a lowered truck. Properly being the key word here, most of the wishbone link systems out there are not proper. The single point of the wishbone is the roll-center of the vehicle and if the roll-center is not down the center of the vehicle then the vehicle will handle differently in left hand corners than right hand corners. By running a standard 3-link with a pannard bar, the roll-center stays centered.
As for the angled lower links, I don’t recommend that beginners aimlessly angle bars without understanding the implications of doing so. All suspension designs have roll-steer in one way or another, but keeping the bars parallel to one another can keep that to a minimum. I understand that the bars angled in the direction that they are and the suspension’s relationship with the roll-center is going to induce roll-understeer and understeer in small quantities is stable.
Ride height seems to be the common thing these days, but saying ride height on an adjustable suspension vehicle is about as definitive as the length of a piece of string. Use 1/2 travel for all of your designs, for example if you have 10 inches of travel, then design your suspension at 5″ of lift.
BTW- Good call on the forward 4-link decision.
What about a paralel 4-link set up outside the frame rails? The obvious is the need of a panhard bar, but any handling issues that make this a poor design choice? All the suspensions seem to be set up inside the frame rails, but it sure seems like there’s enough room to slide a system between the bed sheet metal and frame, and still keep a stock tank location. Maybe a litttle trimming/restructuring of the bed mounts…..
There actually isn’t that much room between the frame and the bed of a truck on many of the trucks out there, but then again there are a lot of trucks that do have the room. Of course the question is if doing this would cause any issues and the answer is no. The wider link systems are actually more stable and have better dynamic characteristics. The Satchell link (essentially a triangulated 4-link where the lower bars are triangulated and mounted wide at the rearend) is a variation of what you are asking and doesn’t require a pannard bar or watts-link, but wouldn’t leave much room for the stock fuel tank on vehicles with a tank mounted inside the frame, in front of the rearend.
You would not believe how pleased I was to come across your site, to find someone who also believes that just because it was done that way for so long isn’t the way it should be. I have been building roadrace cars for about 20 years and have always focused on making them handle and understanding suspension geometry. Whenever I have been approached to do suspension and fabrication work on rods and customs, I have always suggested a better setup for ride and handling improvements only to be dismissed with either “it is not period correct” or “that’s alot of money for suspension” On the other hand the guys whose racecars I have redone keep coming back and showing me the trophies. I degress, I have decided to build my own custom to show that the handling can be improved and keep the look of the car, just wanted to give a shout out to someone with the same mind set. One article that I feel would be useful is the difference between whhel rate and spring rate, trying to explain to people that just becuse you have a 500lb spring it may only be acting as a 300lb spring, which is why your front end is washing out.
Keep up the great work!
Sean, I am glad that you stumbled upon my site too. It seems that there aren’t enough of us out there spreading the good word. Although, I have been thinking about this, if we were to sell Mustang II front suspension systems and tell everyone how easy they are to install I’m sure that we would be much more well received… Because you know that Ford spent millions of Republic Datarie to develop the most technologically advanced and perfectly engineered suspension for their $1850 Pinto coupe, the cheapest car they offered for years…
I have a wheel rate/spring rate piece that I wrote, I just need to edit it before posting. Great idea though. Thanks for commenting and feel free to chime in again any time.
Dude I just have to know, what is going on with Ernie’s front lower control arm? Does it turn close to the frame? Whats going on?
is their a proper way to setup a Satchell link? or is it basically the same lines as setting up the Trianglated 4link , just the angle bars are on bottom ?
does the Satchell link handle any differently then the classic Tri-4link?
basically asking , cause of a c10 truck im working on , i cant get the upper bars angled enough for comfort , thought about just doing the Tri-4link and maybe adding a Pan-hardbar to it(anything wrong with that?) , or doing the Satchell link …
You don’t want to mix lateral limiters. The triangulated 4-link limits lateral movement by design, adding a pannard bar is only going to fight the system (or fight the power if you’re a Public Enemy fan). The proper way to set up a Satchell link is to mount the lower bars with the bushings as wide as you can on the rearend and as narrow as you can at the chassis. The optimum angle being a 90 degree angle created by the two lower bars. The upper bars can be parallel or even slightly angled to create slight “roll under-steer,” but that isn’t completely necessary. Besides all of these particulars, the link system should still have a proper instant center when viewed from the side. All of your efforts will be wasted if the 4-link is not set-up correctly in this aspect.
To answer you question of if the Satchell link will handle differently… Yes. But you probably won’t notice it if the truck is always driven in the city.
I am curious what is the best way, in your opinion, to change a mazda b2200 from a six lug to a 5 lug? I know alot of people will just trade the stock mazda spindle for a 85 to 94 toyota spindle however when i measured and compared spindles the toyota spindles seamed to be much shorter. What kind off change in drive caracteristics would this cause? I know i read something from you about people using GM spindles on nissan titans or something like that and it causing strange handling caracteristics. Oh and thanks for this informative site!
Hey max. Im currently building a 96 taco and Im getting ready to do a complete custom link setup. Question tho. I was looking thru sum old mini truckin mags the other day and found an article that you did back in the feb 2008 issue. you did a back half and a link set up on a taco. Man I have fallen in love with the look and set up of this design. Would there be anyway of getting the “blueprints” of this set up? Would love to use this setup onmine. Im from NC and ppl around here jus dnt do set ups like the west coast. Would be a true honor to use your set up on the east coast. Or any help along the way would be helpfull as well.
Nice web site, Max.
I am building a chassis for my 69 C-10. I am planning on using a C4 in the rear. I was thinking about building an underslung frame. If I have the mounts under the rearend, will it hold up to the forces? I have never seen this done and have some concerns. Any ideas would be great!!!
iam building a 96 s10 and was wondering if you guys ever deal with the abs units the one i have is the biggest one made. do you try to relocate these or remove and use a por. valve any inform would great thanks
I have a 2001 Dakota I want to prerunner. Problem is no kits are made for it. How much would you charge to make long travel control arms and such to fit the factory spindles? Thanks
I am about to bag my 04 gmc sierra. I am planing on doing this in stages because I have to drive it to work every day. My idea is to build a three link with two links on the bottom and one on the top directly over the drive shaft. I will build a bolt on mount like ones that I have for the center of a watts link and a cross member to mount the links to and raise the gas tank. I also want to make a watts link to hold the rear center. I was thinking about using 1/4″ aluminum plate to make the link bars. I also want to use aluminum plate to make the upper and lower control arms exactly like the factory a arms just with the bag and shock mounts. Do you think the aluminum will be ok to use for these. And do you think the rear set up will work. I don’t want my truck to handle like crap but I am not going to the track any time soon neither. I will be using steel for all the frame mounts and the axel mounts. And I will be tig welding the links. Thanks for your help god bless
is there any books you could reconment, as im trying to learn more about suspension geomerty ??
Greetings! I am interested in having you guys build a full rolling chassis for my ’93 Toyota pickup. Mostly stock with some upgrades. Would like to build in a little lift (1 – 2″) maybe irs, with a selectable locker. Bigger vented disk brakes would be nice. Cost is a concern for me, as well as shipping as I live in Ky. Thanks, Jeff
Good Morning –
I attended the 2013 Pomona Grand National Roadsters show this past January. I was there shooting footage to create a video for the promoter, John Buck. While I was there I ran into Rit and Penny, where I heard their story on Rich Pichette. I thought it was an amazing way to leave a legacy, so I used to footage to create a short video that explains the project. It’s on youtube right now, please help spread the word to all those that might be interested. You can view the link here: http://youtu.be/pQdnxgop-MA
Have a good day!
I have an 06 tundra access cab 2×4. Do you have or make a drop spindle?