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Old 06-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #1
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4 link vs Leaf springs

I have a 1982 C10 that was my grandfather's. He died (20 years ago... damn it seems like yesterday) while he and I were fixing it up in high school for me. It was my 1st vehicle and I will never get rid of it. About 15 years ago I had a crash and bent the frame, got it "professionally" straightened but it has never been quite right. A friend recently gave me a straight frame from a truck he only needed the cab for. While discussing it with another friend me said "So, you gonna 4 link it?". I had planned on just doing a axle flip but now this 4 link idea is stuck in my head. I have access to all the tools, space, chassis jig table, ect.

The truck has a 383 sbc (.60 over, so 388) making 475 hp/550 ft/lbs ish , 4l80e, stock 10 bolt with 3.73 and an Eaton Posi. The drive train will likely stay the same but with the likely addition of fuel injection, maybe a bottle, and maybe a narrowed 9" if I go with the 4 link. I had originally thought about an LS swap but it seems overdone now. Everyone has one. Ideally I just want to tuck the tires into the wheel wells with 1/2-1" between the fender line and the top of the tire. Static 3/5 ish, or whatever it takes to get there, drop is what I am looking for.

Realistically the truck will just be a driver. Something to take the GF out on a spirited Sunday drive, showing off, ect. It may see the drag strip a few times a year. I would like to Long Haul the Hot Rod Power Tour 2020 or 2021.

So with that background... Pros and Cons of 4 link vs Leaf springs?
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: 4 link vs Leaf springs

As I'm sure you know a 4link is more race orientated than leaf springs..4link benefits are that you'll have a fully adjustable my opinion it's much better than a leaf setup when you have higher hp/tq... I know guys running 4links on the road with no issues...same with ladder'll probably get a little smoother ride from leaf springs...when i build my AD truck I'm gonna do a 3link in it...similar to a 4link setup
Hard to believe that 10bolt has survived behind that engine...the 9in will be a nice e upgrade
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: 4 link vs Leaf springs

With c-clips and factory axles. I know I am playing with fire. I don't dare launch off the trans brake though.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: 4 link vs Leaf springs

Suspension wise, the leaf spring set-up can be tuned to plant your power level (& beyond w/a CalTrac set-up added). They can also ride decent given the right spring rate, bushings, & shock combo.

A 4-bar set-up can also plant your power level (& beyond). Given the nature of the set-up, you'll be using an air-bag or coil-over as the 'spring'. Both of those options tend to provide a better ride quality when set-up correctly (proper spring rate/height).

Realistically, in a lighter 1/2 ton truck, either will work well. A HD truck? I would definitely switch to a 4-bar as the leaf packs required to support the weight capacity they're capable of moving kill the ride quality.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: 4 link vs Leaf springs

4 links are almost always better, but they are more expensive to get right.

The best leaf spring set up is to have the axle on top of the leafs. Then extend the shackle to 8" long. Add cal tracks for drag performance.

You may either need to move both spring mount positions or just flip the rear shackle. It all depends on desired ride height.
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