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December 2, 2009 - And voila!
The rear suspension linkages are all in place. The axle is sitting quite a bit lower than usual to show off the bar. In case you're wondering what a Panhard bar does, it provides the lateral support for the axle.
The two outer (lower) trailing arms keep the axle straight in the frame and transfer the brunt of the power to the chassis. The center link at the top of the diff keeps the whole thing from rotating under power and lets me set the pinion angle. And the Panhard bar transfers the side loads into the frame. With this whole lot in place, the axle can twist up and down to let the wheels follow the road, but it will always stay properly aligned to the chassis. Cool.
It's not completely finished, of course. I tucked that Panhard bar into a pretty tight spot, and it only clears the back of the axle by a millimeter or so. More importantly, the bracket on the axle hits the body of the car. A bit of reshaping will solve that problem, of course, but I think I'll have to pull the fuel tank to do it properly. No worries, that looks like a pretty straightforward job.
tags: suspension, rear axle