What makes the Speedtech Articulink Rear Suspension
Your Best Choice?
Triangulated 4-link suspensions were introduced on A-bodies in the early 1960's and have been in use through the '70's, 80's and 90's in A, G and B-bodies. It's a great suspension for a smooth and comfortable ride and doesn't take much to make it perform well in straight line racing. When it comes to cornering though, this suspension design leaves a lot to be desired.
Consisting of short upper arm, long lower arm system, the upper arm's job is mainly to keep the rear axle from rotating upwards under acceleration and to keep it located laterally side to side, much like the panhard bar in our Torque Arm suspension. The lower control arms keep the axle centered front to back and help transfer the torque of the engine into planting the tires. Although individually the arms do their job well, when the suspension articulates through hard cornering, because of their differing length and positioning, the arcs that the arms travel in are completely different. As they move through their opposing arcs they reach a point where they fight each other and create a binding situation this can lock up their motion and limit travel range and leads to unpredictable handling.
GM and the Other Guys
GM knew about this bind so they engineered the factory arms from stamped sheet metal so they'd flex and deform as the suspension approached that binding point. Combined with rubber bushings for even more flex gives the car a very flimsy suspension that feels loose and quirky.
To solve this flex problem many aftermarket suspension companies have produced a sturdier boxed or tube arm design that won't flex, and install polyurethane bushings to further stiffen things up. Consider that if GM designed the arm to flex for bind compensation, what would a solid arm with stiffer bushings do? That's right, they bind even more. Add to that a factory rear sway bar that connects the two lower arms together and you get a suspension that completely fights itself during cornering. This often causes a loss of traction, oversteer and wheel hop problems that are so common in these cars. On top of that, although it's an upgrade over rubber, in time polyurethane can deform and has a notorious tendency to squeak.
In effort to loosen up some of that bind some manufacturers have turned to Heim joint style mounts usually found in race car suspensions. Although they free up some motion they can produce a noisy and harsher ride and may wear out quicker than other bushings. They also have a weaker fulcrum point in the area between the arm tube and joint that in worse case scenarios can snap and disconnect the link between the axle and frame.
The Speedtech Articulink Alternative
To avoid these problems Speedtech engineered a totally unique 2-piece "Articulink" design where both upper and lower arms rotate within themselves. Bolted to the frame, the control arm's front portion only travels up and down while the rear portion that's bolted to the axle rotates up and down and rotates right and left. This allows the upper and lower control arm assemblies to travel smoothly in their own individual and independent arcs eliminating the bind solid arms create.
Striving further for optimum performance rather than resorting to polyurethane bushings Speedtech manufactures in-house our own Delrin control arm bushings. Delrin is a self lubricating, near indestructible plastic type material that provides a non flexing bushing that won't deform and aren't nearly as harsh as metal on metal like some spherical bearing style joints are. Those that have upgraded to Articulinks in their full frame GM cars have testified again and again that merely replacing Brand X arms with Speedtech Articulinks creates a smoother riding, more predictable, handling, and faster track times. Don't settle for mediocre handling anymore, get your car set up with Articulinks today!
To learn more about or place your order for a 4-link suspension package for your car, click the correct application below.
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