Rear Suspension Fabrication

Big Red Team Manager and head fabricator, Dave Ward, is extremely well rounded in auto racing. With his background in road racing and drag racing, he’s perfect for his position on the team with a car that does all types of racing. Big Red’s original and race-proven three-link rear suspension setup is awesome for most types of racing. Dave’s been acutely aware of the limitations of the three-link suspension when leaving the line on the tarmac at both the Texas Mile and Mojave.

To improve the launch off the line, Dave invoked his drag-racing knowledge and suggested that Big Red would benefit from a four-link setup. Both sets of brackets would exist in harmony on the chassis and the rear differential housing. The three-link setup would be retained for most racing setups, and when the venue called for the four-link, the team would simply swap out the different sets of suspension bars.

Metal is tacked in place with the housing installed in the correct location. Once items are tacked, the differential housing is put back on jack stands out of the way, so the team has more access to finish welding and fabricating. A crowd stands around the axle housing and checks out the new four-link setup. Tim is checking the dimensions on the old Ford 9-inch floater housing and getting it ready to

receive a new set of four-link suspension brackets. Big Red’s custom three-link rear suspension setup worked great in road racing and other venues that don’t require a hard launch. When RJ launches at an event like the Texas Mile or Mojave Magnum to get off the line faster for a higher top-end speed, there’s a bit of traction loss, so RJ has to feather the throttle and some speed or the top end suffers. The hope is that these new additions to Big Red will allow a harder and faster launch.

During the setup, a lot of notes were written on the quarter panel. The measurements allowed Tim to know exactly where the rear housing should be located during frequent installation and removal during the fabrication process.

The top of the new suspension brackets will be pushed forward with force during a launch, so Tim cut and trimmed some tubing to brace the top of the four-link bracket to the cage. The four-link brackets were welded to the housing, and then a plate was added to tie both brackets together for extra lateral strength.

Big Red is being fitted with a stabilizer bar for the four-link rear suspension setup. This bar has solid links that mount directly to the rear differential housing brackets. The links keep the car level during a launch, and help plant both rear tires evenly. This is more of a drag-racing setup, but will come in handy when taking off at a high-speed standing-start event like the ones at Mojave. The stabilizer-bar mounting tabs are welded to the rear frame rails above the rear axle.