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Discussion Starter #1
I found through [search] on here and the other performance cornering sites that a lot of people are interested in converting to a link style rear suspension (for adjustability) while still retaining the rear seat(s). This is obviously a very challenging workspace to deal with so I don't expect very many people to have succeeded... anyone?

I figured one of two configurations would have been most probable if they had:

1. a 3-link where the top bar enters the rear passenger area and requires the bench to be split into two buckets.

2. a Satchel 4-link with over-extended upper parallel bars behind the axle.

I have my axle mocked up for #2 right now which requires me to weld in a crossmember under the seat and above the axle, as well as getting exotic with my exhaust routing. So far, it seems do-able but not without geometry risk. How have you been aproaching it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I spent a good bit of time looking over the air ride system as well as reading some reviews on a 2nd gen install. First results look positive. Are there any pics available of a 1st gen install? Anyone use it with coilovers? I have fabricated and installed quite a few 3, 4 and cantilever link style suspensions to support air-bags on a variety of vehicles so I was tempted to go this route. I think the noise of the compressor and space taken up by the tank/hardware was the deterent for me in the end when it came to the bags. Is this kit a fixed geometry or are there several mount points for the links so as to dial it in?
 

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I'd have to ask what your goal is.


First, all four links will bind, period (except for DSE's unit). It doesn't take much roll for the bushings and links to magnify the spring's spring rate. Not to say they aren't successful, because they certainly can be if they are well designed. On every system you consider, ask the manufacturer how much roll steer there is, and which direction. Will it oversteer, or understeer and by how much? This will play a big roll in driver feedback.

Three links are free from bind, but like you said, you need a big reinforcement on the upper link. On a correctly designed three link, you will probably have to lose the rear seat or split it up. Again, find out about the roll steer.

Currently, we will be putting out a three link in the near future. My prototype unit has superb handling characteristics, but it wont be a whole lot better than our triagulated four bar (which is already very good). So, in our case:
1. Three link provides better handling for competition, but you may have to lose the rear seat.
2. Triangulated four bar allows you to keep the rear seat, but exhibits some bind that is natural to this system.

Give a little, get a little. Choices, choices....
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You are so right, there are many tradeoffs to consider. I have built and run full parallel 4-links, triangulated 4-links (converge at top of axle), torque arm 3-links and various traction devices on leaf packs. Each has its own advantage/disadvantage on each application, usually dictated by available space and target agenda. Now that our local dragstrip is confirmed as closed down for good, my needs for a weekend drag car are all but eliminated. I’ve been running multipack leafs with SouthSide Machine lift bars for a while now while I research what works best on a first gen Camaro where cornering is more important. We do have a local chapter of the SCCA running nearby which has caught my interest. If I proceed with all the modifications I am personally interested in, I may not qualify for a class I’d be competitive in without simply running against my own numbers (not that this would be bad, but…).

Anyway, long story short, I’m really interested in the Satchel 4-link design where the bottom links converge under the back seat and the top links run parallel to each other on top. This seems to hold all the tradeoffs I am interested in but space is of a concern, hanging the top bars behind the axle and a lack of applied literature keeps me cautious. I have built enough triangulated 4-links for hydraulic/air-bag/off-road vehicles to feel comfortable with the geometry. While they do eventually bind, it is far beyond anything usable with the Camaro unless I ran extremely short links.

Have you looked into the Satchel 4-link as a possibility? I am also seriously considering the 3-link with a watts and breaking the back seat into two buckets. It's hard to find a bucket seat though that doesnt eliminate foot space and made of something comfortable.
 
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