Parallel Four-Link: There are two types of parallel four-link systems: one for drag racing and one for handling. The Pro Touring-style systems that are available use the factory leaf spring perches and add some upper link mounts. They are set up for handling and work well. But they do not have the antisquat adjustment or preload capabilities to be a good drag race suspension in a 1,000-plus horsepower car.
Triangle Four-Link: The Triangle four-link is the suspension design that is most capable of doing both drag racing and handling in one suspension design. They can be made to handle great, and drag race great. A- and G-bodies (Chevelle, Monte Carlo, and late-model Malibu) have triangle four-links from the factory. For a long time it was looking like it might be a triangle four-link, but we felt none of the g-machine triangle four-link systems had quite enough adjustability for an 8-second car.
Three-Link: The three-link is probably the suspension offering the most tunability. But the driveshaft limits the amount of antisquat you can dial into the system. And the three-link also limits preload adjustment, which is critical with a car where we'll need dragstrip short times in the 1.30s.
In my mind, we really needed a dual-mode suspension. Enter Art Morrison Enterprises. We bumped into Art and his son Craig Morrison at the SEMA Show last November. I told them we wanted to build a Pro Touring car that would run 8.99 quarter-mile e.t.'s. I wish I could put into words the look Art gave me! Let's just say he wondered if I had spent too much time in the bar so early in the trip! We felt we needed a true dual-mode suspension system. Not just moving a few bars around on a system, but literally have two systems in one.
Art Morrison Enterprises already builds two killer Pro Touring-style rear suspension packages. Both include form-fitting 2x4 framerails that replace the factory sheetmetal rails, and fit the stock floor perfectly. The kit comes as a jig-welded rear subframe and installs easier than one may think. These two systems were featured in the August '10 issue of Super Chevy and come in both triangle four-link version that fits under the original floor, and also in a three-link version that requires some floor modification, but still fits the factory floor. So Art Morrison made a set of their rear rails and made us what I like to call our "five-link".
All this talk about the rear suspension, what about the front suspension? That was a little easier. AME already makes a proven bolt-in front subframe for F-bodies, which uses fabricated rails, C6 Corvette arms, modified spindles, and allows for a 10-inch front wheel and 275 tires with ease. We also upgraded to a Tony Woodward steering rack. The Woodward rack is admittedly expensive, but gives incredible feel to the steering.
To make the front subframe into a drag race front suspension we will use a softer spring/shock package that will allow for more stored energy and faster weight transfer. We also will design a quick disconnect for the front sway bar for drag racing.
In a later story we will talk a bit about sways bars and the exciting new shocks and springs debuting on Project Unfair.