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By the time you read this, most of you will be fully aware of the panic-rush that the industry is going through to finish their individual projects for SEMA. It is mid July as I write this, and I'm already stressing. The largest project of my career needs to be finished and presentable for the entire world to critique in 31⁄2 months. Actually, the critiquing isn't the part that bugs me as much as the fact that Kinetik Audio is relying on me to provide them with a vehicle, and if I don't get the car done and leave them hanging, I will never forgive myself. What does this all mean for you, the reader? It means that you get a break from me for a few months while I spend every waking moment working on a car that I have to hand over to the owner when it is done without even getting to take it to Del Taco once. Don't worry though, Mr. Mata has promised that some worthy guests will be pinch-hitting for me during my absence, and I did have to sign a notarized document stating that I would return after SEMA, or I would be forced to watch as my favorite Mickey Mouse blanket is burned. So, I hope you can forgive me for bowing out for a few months—I promise to return with fantastic stories to regale you with, and I'm sure a pile of questions will await me.
But before I leave, I also promised to answer a couple questions.
I would like to know what's the best way to measure for a four-link? I understand there's a lot to it, so if it's too much to write, can you point me in the right direction online or something?
The basics of a four-link are simple once you understand the dos and don'ts, but those are the tricky parts to explain. The laundry list of guidelines can get overwhelming to say the least. A few years ago, I wrote an article about basic four-link design, and it was posted on the suspension page of www.streetsource.com. Over time, lots of questions were asked and answered on the thread, so now it's quite a plethora of four-link information. Go online and give it a read, see if you can't answer most of your questions there. If you need more answers, there is a lot of information on some of the off-road sites too; just beware of misguided information, I see it all the time.
Enjoy the read, Ryan.
What do you think of a static drop/bodydrop combo on mini-trucks? I hear a lot of criticism of it, but I am determined to show those haters that it can be done to get your ride low without sounding like an air compressor. Just thought I'd ask what you thought.
Joshua, that is a subjective question, but, in my opinion, there is no reason to 'bag a vehicle if it isn't going to lay and it's wrong to bodydrop a truck that isn't 'bagged. Although I wouldn't criticize someone for doing either, but I would feel that it was a waste of time. If you still want to try it, I'll tell you the problem I see with bodydropping a static truck is that tire/fender clearance is usually the limiter of a lowered truck, and anyone who has bodydropped their truck can tell you that it makes clearance issues even worse. It's hard to explain, but it's true. It was common practice in the early days of custom cars to channel the body with static suspension, but they also had way more tire clearance than minis do and very little access to quality adjustable suspension components. There is a good reason why custom cars have so heavily gravitated to air suspension—it works, and works well if designed and installed properly.