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A photo of one of this past weekend's projects. I modified a rear axle for a friend's Ascona. The suspension is already pretty well modified, but the car is getting a ZF limited slip and a 3.89 ratio to deal with the new 230+ hp 2.2 litre engine that's awaiting a roller cam swap. Here, the rear shock mounts have been lowered by about an inch to keep the axle from hanging too much in droop. This'll keep the shorter rear springs from falling out of their seats, and help prevent bottoming of the shocks under compression loads.

Bob
 

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This is the serrated plate welded onto the axle housing that is used to adjust the height of the panhard bar. Increments of 1/4 inch adjustment are possible this way, with no chance of slipping.

Bob
 

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Here's a relocated trailing arm hole on the spring bucket. This is on an early rear axle, the spring bucket design allows a new hole to be drilled and a washer to be welded with no other modifications. Later rear axles had spring buckets that tapered below the trailing arm bushing, so in order to perform this modification on those axles a new piece of steel must be welded into play. This change will increase the amount of anti-squat geometry, which will improve drive traction, especially on a lowered car. With 230 + hp, it'll need all the help it can get.....

Bob
 

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Another modification, this time for convenience. The differential cover has an added drain plug at the lowest point, makes changing gear lube a lot faster and neater. Also, the stainless steel bolt that's brazed onto the cover (head down) is there to hold an Adel clamp for holding the rear brake lines. The axle housing also has this addition. A lot nicer than those sheet metal tabs you have to bend to hold the brake line in place with. Not to mention those tabs always break off. I use polished stainless steel acorn nuts with lockwashers, they hold it down tightly and look very clean too.

Bob
 

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Bob,

Have you ever made a Watts type link to replace the Panhard rod? If so, could you give the pluses and minuses?
Thanks from us students...
James
 

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I believe we've had this discussion before on this BB, so it should be in the forum under 'Performance'. I suspect you'll have to go back about three months or so at least.
Basically though, Watts linkages have some advantages, namely a near-perfect vertical travel with no arc until the extreme limits of suspension travel, and stiffer (shorter) linkage arms, but the roll center can not be readily changed, the mounting bracketry must be VERY strong, and they are succeptible to breakage if the rear axle is impacted laterally (sliding into a curbing for instance). Panhard bars are not perfect for sure, but they are simpler to engineer, more forgiving in an 'incident', and extremely adjustable. They can also be set up to favor left or right turns.

Bob
 
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