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Watts Linkage V's panhard relocation?

This is a discussion on Watts Linkage V's panhard relocation? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Ok so I'm checking out some parts and I come across this watts linkage. http://www.stranoparts.com/partdetai...ID=0&ModelID=2 My question is why would ...

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Watts Linkage V's panhard relocation?

    Ok so I'm checking out some parts and I come across this watts linkage.
    http://www.stranoparts.com/partdetai...ID=0&ModelID=2
    My question is why would you want to use or need to use this Watts Linkage V's just doing an adjustable panhard, or panhard relocation with an adjustable bar?
    What is the advantage to this linkage system over other applications?
    Will it keep the rear centered better?
    Has anyone on here used this system and what are your opinions of it?
    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    It's my understanding that a Watts link will keep the rear centered throughout the travel of the rearend. A (proper length) Panhard bar will only keep the rear centered at ride height. Once the suspension compresses or rebounds, the rearend will shift to the side of the car that the panhard rod is mounted to the chassis (opposite of the axle mount).

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    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    Tremiles is right on the money.
    I will only add that with the PHB the suspension has a tendency to lift and raise during left and right turns.
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    A Watts link is very different than a PHB in actual use. The idea is the same, to limit lateral movement of the body vs. the axle under load. The function is quite different.

    A PHB is crude and cheap, which is why they are used. But when driving hard there is a jacking effect on the body with a PHB. Turning right pushes the right rear up, and turning left the body is pulled down. There is also the fact that as the suspenion moves, because the PHB is a simply stick the body-side end swings in an arc motion so you get some left and right movement--the very thing a PHB is there to mitigate. Certainly less than if you had no PHB or a setup like a Fox of SN95 Mustang or G-body with a 4-link, but still--lateral movement.

    A Watts link isn't new, It's called a Watts link because James Watt invented it (though for a different reason, controlling the movement of solid rear axles under pony-cars in the late 1700's wasn't a priority oddly enough). You might know Watt for his work on Steam engines, and that measurement we use on our lightbulbs too since he invented both of those things as well. A Watts link is not a new idea, or one that isn't well proven (used on a number of solid axle production vehicles ranging from 19o78-85 Mazda RX7's to Crown Vic's to Dodge Durango's and even PT Cruisers

    They have been around for a long while for Mustangs, and they all run closer to $900-1000 except for the Fays which is actually IMO a better design and the same design carries over for the 3rd and 4th gen f-body.

    This is an action diagram of how a Watts link works. You'll see the axle move only straight up and straight down, with no lateral movement from the arc like a PHB gives.


    So what's the result? A completely different feel from the rear of the car. More precise, more stable, and whole lot less irritable over bumps.
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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Cool thanks for the info and lnstruction on how it works. Is it all that complicated to install?

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    Well, it's not a two bolt installation like a PHB is.

    Takes time, and you need to read directions (most of us men hate that). Everyone has managed to get it done to this point!

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