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Hot Rods hot rod watts link.....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by groundpounder, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. groundpounder
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    groundpounder
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    Hey guys!!!...newbie on here!! I wish i started buildin' em sooner!!! question???? building a 32 railed five window hot rod with some of my own suspension theories and ideas...shit, it's hot roddin! Wanna install a watts link on rearend assembly. Using a winters quickchange out of my old dirt latemodel, change bells and tubes to use 5 x4-3/4 hubs. Has any body used the watts link from The Streetrod Manufacturing Co. Inc.??? I think this will work, but having a little trouble understanding how it works??? The pivot point on the housing..Is that two bushings or eccentric besides the center bolt holding the two pivot arms together?? dont know?? is that right??? :eek:
  2. Antny
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    The center "link" is mounted to the rear axle, in a way that allows it to freely rotate around it's centroid, like a propeller. The two arms get attached to each end of that arm with clevises or heims, etc, and are attached to each frame rail with a clevise, heim, etc. Basically, it centers the rear axle without letting it travel in an 'arc' as viewed from the rear, like a panhard bar does.

    In the case of that particular watts link design, the center link has it's connection points in the same plane, not 180 degrees apart like a conventional watts link. Same theory though.

    Did I confuse the shit outta you yet? If so, I apologize. :)
  3. Johnny Gee
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    Drop the question then do an intro. After that ask away.
  4. Kerry
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    Lighten up Frances!

    Good question. Here's a BTTT for ya!
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  5. Unkl Ian
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    Unkl Ian Member

    Panhard bar is much easier.
  6. gimpyshotrods
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    Make sense now? Not sure how you are going to mount it on a quickchange rear, though. There is nowhere on the front, or the back of the housing that does not have something in the way of where the center pivot would need to go.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  7. Tman
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    Tman Member

    That was my thoughts. Just run a panhard bar.
  8. terryr
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    terryr Member

    With a quick change there won't be room for a watts off the back. You could run it 'backwards', with the ends attached to the axle and the middle to the chassis.
    A watts is kind of overkill for this type of vehicle.
  9. Weasel
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    Weasel Member

    But nowhere near as effective for lateral control.....
  10. groundpounder
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    hey guys....after I introduce myself....I do have some racecar suspension knowledge and understand the "watts link". Let me re-ask the question...Has anybody used the watts link sold by TSM manufacturing co.???? Looks like a good unit ..Just dont understand the pivot points. What are the two "bushing like things" on the pinion bracket? Thanks for any help on this unit.......Will mount the watts link off front of Q.C. but have to fab a bracket....thanks again.....
  11. Norfab
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    Norfab Member

    Hoerr Racing Products has one that mounts off the nose on the front of a quick change. Pretty slick, center bellcrank rides on a large bushing.
  12. Topolino Kid
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    Topolino Kid Member

    good setup, i started to use one in my topolino...but got talked into a triangulated 4 link...for space concerns,,,after all is said and done, kinda wish i had used the watts link...my olds housing had a nice setup in the center for it...and i left it there,,,might change it over, but not till i get to drive it first

    http://<EMBED height=385 type=application/x-shockwave-flash width=480 src=http://www.youtube.com/v/W5fvPfReX3Q&hl=en_US&fs=1 allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></EMBED>
  13. groundpounder
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  14. gimpyshotrods
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    gimpyshotrods Member

    I finally had a chance to take a look at that particular one. It is a truly unique take on a watts linkage. Everything is there, just expressed in a different functional arrangement.

    The two things on the center bracket are indeed bushings. It is where the inner arms pivot. Between them, there is a hole where you see a bolt head. That bolt goes through a round hole in one inner arm, and slot in the other, with a bushing or bearing. This keeps the arms moving in sync with each other. This produces a "mirror" of the force applied to one link, on the other side, keeping the axle centered under side load, as well as up and down, and all possible combination of the two.

    Brilliant. Go for it.
  15. Topolino Kid
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    Topolino Kid Member

    mine was a long flat stock peice with hole in the center and 2 evenly spaced at the ends...2 rods of equal length with heims joints in all 4 ends...attached to 2 spots on the frame, with one shorter then the other...very simple system
  16. NV rodr
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    HPIM2407.jpg

    pre05 455.jpg Here's a couple on some 32 frames I built. Works real good. I have the tires real close to the body and they have never touched it. I changed the modified watts link from a captured bearing design to a constant mesh gear and I think it works smoother with less parts. Had all the stuff waterjetted and use the idea on a lot of different cars with no problems. Hope this helps
  17. NV rodr
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    Oh yeah, with the ratios reworked I get about 3/4" of movement at the pivot end for every 3 1/2" of up and down movement of the rear end. Off camber driveways...no problem. Parallel bumps...no problem. This is a great way to keep the rear where its supposed to be. Works better than any panhard bar design i've ever seen. Not near as bulky as a traditional watts link setup. Hides well. (you literally have to point it out for someone to notice it and a lot of guys dont understand what its doing anyways) I recommend using it
  18. gnichols
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    NV Rodr... very cool. Do you have a kit? Web site? What diffs will work? Thanx, Gary
  19. Weasel
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    Great to see somebody who 'gets it' and puts it into practice. I have spent years beating my head against a brick wall explaining why the Panhard bar is a monolateral compromise, traveling in an arc, and that a Watts linkage is the way to go. Beautiful workmanship NV rodr

    The only problem I have had with using the TSM setup is floor clearance. Their unit with the combined parking brake is a really neat problem solver.
  20. Johnny Gee
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    Should not have put that apple in front of me Wilber. :D
  21. Flipper
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    Flipper Member

    How does the modified design work? I thought one link had to be on top and one on the bottom.
  22. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you read his post it says there are meshed gears to keep it in sync. Smart idea. Do you have pics of the separate pieces?

    I have limited space between my frame rails and torque tube so I want to keep everything absolutely centered throughout the suspension travel. This is perfect.
  23. d2_willys
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  24. gimpyshotrods
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    With the more common watts link that we are all familiar with, one has to be on top, and the other on the bottom.

    Both the upper and lower links are kept in constant relationship by the fact that they are attached to the same piece of metal in the center.

    With the modified watts link design (bearing, or constant mesh) the lower arm is moved to the top, and the two arms are kept in constant relationship to each other by the two arms in the middle, which are articulated to each other.

    If you look at the middle arm in the common style and observe the movement of the ends from side-to-side (irrespective of the fact that one is pointing up and the other down) through the entire range of suspension movement, they travel in two balanced arcs, facing opposite directions.

    With the modified style, that one center arm is replaced with two that are pointed up and "geared" together so that moving one moves the other the exact same amount, in the opposite direction through the entire range of suspension movement, effectively producing the same two balanced arcs.

    It is the presence of these two balanced, opposite arcs that keeps the axle centered throughout all normal suspension travel, and what makes a watts link superior to a panhard bar.

    Keep in mind though, while a panhard bar is a compromise over a watts link, a panhard bar of sufficient length, at proper operating angle, is a difficult to beat setup on a conventional street vehicle.
  25. groundpounder
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    nv rodr ....thats exactlly what i'm talkin' about thanks for the pics!!!!! i drew it up last night with the bearing /slider pivot between the two arms with a bearing locating (both) the two arms bolted to a plate on the front of q.c. ! I can believe thats the same thing i drew!!!! man u guys are awesome and thanks for the help!!!!!!
  26. -Brent-
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    -Brent- Member

    I really like this. Please do a tech week write-up... awesome stuff.
  27. hoboy56
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    hoboy56 Member

    Ooooo. That looks like what I need for my 56 Chevy with 9" . Hey NV rodr what gives ?
  28. groundpounder
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    when i get the watts link done i will post a pic......thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!!!
  29. NV rodr
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    NV rodr Member

    Sorry guys..I'm not on here very often. Getting ready for Bonneville but will try to post the pictures sometime after I get back. Thanks for the remarks. The hardest part was figureing out how to make kit repeatable(making it mesh tight but not too tight). I got a lot of requests for kits...what if I just sold you the hard parts to make and you guys did the rest of the welding and fab work? Each kit is kind of unique anyways depending on your frame width and the type of rearend mount. Maybe I could have a universal mount waterjetted and you guys could take it from there? Welding,cutting,drilling,and tapping will be required. You will also need to source your own bushings made from polyurethane.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  30. Kerrynzl
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    <TABLE class=yiv918856481 id=yiv918856481bodyDrftID cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD id=yiv918856481drftMsgContent><TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=yiv918856481ForumPostUserArea rowSpan=2></TD><TD class=yiv918856481ForumPostContentArea> <TABLE class=yiv1322220890 id=yiv1322220890bodyDrftID cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD id=yiv1322220890drftMsgContent><TABLE class=yiv1322220890yiv2051059959 id=yiv1322220890yiv2051059959bodyDrftID cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD id=yiv1322220890yiv2051059959drftMsgContent>I hope I aint too late to put in my 2 cents here!!

    A panhard bar always moves in an arc [ radius ], A watts linkage is basically two panhard bars back-to-back moving in an arc away from each other.[ with a bell-crank to counteract the two arcs ]
    The center of the bell-crank is the roll center, regardless of where it is mounted.[ Aussie V8 racecars mount the bell-crank to the chassis with an adjuster ]

    The best way too mount a Watts Linkage to a quickchange rear ,is to mount it horizontally underneath [ yes these things work on their side as well ] , but the links will need spherical [ ball ] joints at each end

    This method gets the roll center nice and low [ which is desirable in a "road-racer" ]

    Here's a pic [ stolen from another H.A.M.B thread ] showing the exact method used on an autocross car

    If you use a vertical Watts Linkage, the height distance between the 2 links at the bell-crank must be the same as the height difference between the 2 chassis mounting points to get a true vertical path of travel.
    eg: if you had a 6" bell-crank [ 2 x 3" radius ] with the center mounted 14" from the ground at the diff, you could mount one side at 13" and the other at 19" from the ground [ or 10" & 16" etc, etc,]
    The idea is to keep both links at the same angle from a horizontal line [ back to back ]


    Hope this helps
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