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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a little while I thought panhard rods were no good for an early mustang because thats what other people who have early mustangs said. The other day I went out and bought the latest edition of HotRod magazine to look at the 66 Fastback's 289 engine buildup, but when i looked at his suspension he was using a PanHard Rod and loved it. Has anyone else read that article? Then my question is Whats so bad about a PanHard Rod doing the locating of the rear axel
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My 4-link car is a track bar as is all the ladder bar cars we've done. The panhard bar has a seperate arch of travel than the rest of the suspension & sooner or later when you really work one it'll bind! I saw a 10 second 'Vette come close to hitting the wall & all of a sudden the rear suspension was locked... took a torch to get it loose & it wasn't pretty. A lot of accidents at the drags are caused by this, most people just think it's crap. Take a little geometry, you'll understand. Panhard bars are great if your suspension was designed around one, other than that... Wish more people understood.
 

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If your talking about Frank Currie's Mustang, thats not a panhard rod, its a Watts linkage. The watts linkage is much better, because it doesnt move the axle.
Not sure why they called it a "panhard bar/Watts link" in the artical.
 

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I also was intrigued by Currie's Watts linkage, because it looks so simple and seems to compliment standard leaf spring setups. He used his car for the Mexican Road Rally, so it must be for street machines, not drag cars. Cool. I'm going to investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How much do Watts linkages weigh/cost?
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Locaters keep the rear axle 'located' under the car. They keep it from moving right and left.

Leaf springs don't 'need' an additional locater, they do a pretty good job all by themselves. Some road racers add one anyway, but it's not a requirement for 99% of us.

4-link and Ladder bar suspensions have no 'built-in' way of keeping the rear axle housing centered under the car. With these, an additional 'locater' is required. Choices are the panhard bar, diagonal link, watts link, and wishbone.

The right locater depends upon the intended use of the car.

The panhard is one of the most durable and simple locaters available. It stands up to hard street and road race usage quite well. Since it is just a simple horizontal rod that connects the rear axle to the car's body, a panhard bar WILL move the body to the left and right as the suspension moves up and down. The longer the rod, and the more level it is installed, the less sideways body movement there will be. Most chassis shops recommend the bar be installed level, and with a minimum length of 30". Panhards are GREAT if there is enough room for them to be level and plenty long, but most drag cars that have been tubbed don't have enough room under them, and must use something else.

The diagonal link is also simple, but not nearly as strong as the panhard. It's the most common locator for bracket and pro-street tubbed cars. These don't bind as long as both tires move together through the suspension travel. They can bind if one tire moves more than the other. (body roll) Ladder bars don't allow body roll anyway. 4-links allow a little.

The Watts link is very strong like the panhard, but is heavier, has more parts, and takes up more space. It's tough to fit under a tubbed car, but it keeps the rear perfectly centered throughout the suspension's travel. It's used mostly on road race applications.

The wishbone is used by most of the professional drag racers with tubbed cars. It looks like a 'Y'. The top of the 'Y' hooks to the rearend, and the bottom hooks to the body. Unlike the diagonal link, allows both rear wheels to move up and down indepently without bind. However, there is a slider on the bottom part of the 'Y' that always needs lubrication, so it's not really that practical on the street.

For more information, you can check out the Chris Alston's Chassisworks website... They also have instructions for installing different suspensions and chassis there, including a tubbed out 4-link 65 mustang.

http://cachassisworks.com

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is it possible to use two Panhard rods to keep the rear in line, one on each side to handle forces evenly?
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Using 2 Panhard rods would turn your axle into an accordian. The Watt's linkage is like two Panhard rods attached with a pivot. Check out this link to see how it works.

http://www.brockeng.com/mechanism/Watt.htm

I am considering building a Watt's linkage for my 64 Fairlane, becuase the tires rub due to the rear axle shifting from side to side on the wimpy springs.
 
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