3 link front suspension?? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 05:24 AM
sammyboyv8
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3 link front suspension??

Right chaps, you being the font of all knowledge suspension wise, what's the potential problems arising from a 3 link front suspension conversion? Are there any tips / tricks, what should I do and more importantly, what shouldn't I do ?

TIA.
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  #2  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:23 AM
Oliver Whiting
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Engine, and handling.

You wont find many 3 link front set ups due to the engine being right in the way and hi speed handling would be another issue.

google 4 link suspension. lots of stuff
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  #3  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:46 AM
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It can be done, but to do it right it's not a "bolt on" option...
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  #4  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Whiting View Post
Engine, and handling.

You wont find many 3 link front set ups due to the engine being right in the way and hi speed handling would be another issue.

google 4 link suspension. lots of stuff
4 link is even harder. Go to Pirate and look it up. There are a couple in the LR section running 3 links. People do 3 links because of packaging and space issues. 4 links are done in the rear because there is just more room to work with. 3 links can be stable and handle well BUT they require a lot of tweaking to make so. Dont bother with the bolt on SG one. Its scary.
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  #5  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:59 AM
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It doesn't take that much tweaking to get it right...but your right that the SG kit is plain scary...
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  #6  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mongosd2 View Post
It doesn't take that much tweaking to get it right...but your right that the SG kit is plain scary...
I briefly considered it, but my understanding it's much better suited for rigs that are "trailered" to their destination. And we still do it the old-school way trying to drive there and limp home.
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  #7  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 11:16 AM
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I drove to and from the wilds last year 6 hrs each way with a SG 3-link. It did great off road but that trip was what made me decide to get rid of it. Guys have done it right but like Frank said it's not a bolt on setup. From my understanding the best route is - lowers wide at the axle narrow at the frame. Upper needs to be high on the axle and frame. Rerouting exhaust makes it possible to mount the center on the frame. Lots more info over on pirate4x4
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  #8  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 11:30 AM
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Mine is surprisingly streetable, even with 170 lbs/inch springs...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
Dont bother with the bolt on SG one. Its scary.
------ Follow up post added January 3rd, 2013 05:32 PM ------

What happened then?


I've been commuting daily since I fitted it, including 250+250 Kms runs on/off the motorway.
I must say I usually keep a very quiet pace, 85/90 Km/h...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake1996d1 View Post
but that trip was what made me decide to get rid of it.
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  #9  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 11:49 AM
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What happened then?
I found it to be very unstable. It flexed up great. Incredible even but there wasnt much pinion control when it did flex up. The 3rd link wasnt to the pinion, like you would see normally, but to that box section between the lower arm mounts. There wasnt much separation either so there was a good amount of roll in corners and under braking, mine dove pretty hard (as well as being squirrely). It might be different on a lighter weight D90 but on the D1, it was scary.

OP, do your research. Know what is good and what is not. Then, if you dont want to do it yourself, find a good shop to do it for you. Then, pepper them with questions. Suspension is too important to gamble on.
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  #10  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:07 PM
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I was trying to decide on a 3-Link for my truck a few months back too. In the end, the drawbacks offest the gains. I still love to drive my family safely around town in my truck.
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  #11  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
I found it to be very unstable. It flexed up great. Incredible even but there wasnt much pinion control when it did flex up. The 3rd link wasnt to the pinion, like you would see normally, but to that box section between the lower arm mounts. There wasnt much separation either so there was a good amount of roll in corners and under braking, mine dove pretty hard (as well as being squirrely). It might be different on a lighter weight D90 but on the D1, it was scary.

OP, do your research. Know what is good and what is not. Then, if you dont want to do it yourself, find a good shop to do it for you. Then, pepper them with questions. Suspension is too important to gamble on.

I'd agree while it is managable I like to be able to drive my truck on the highway and not have to worry about swerving for a deer or something.. I could have chopped up the SG to make it better but it wasnt worth it in the end. I may do something again in the future..
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  #12  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:58 PM
madcowdungbeetle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viggen View Post
I found it to be very unstable. It flexed up great. Incredible even but there wasnt much pinion control when it did flex up. The 3rd link wasnt to the pinion, like you would see normally, but to that box section between the lower arm mounts. There wasnt much separation either so there was a good amount of roll in corners and under braking, mine dove pretty hard (as well as being squirrely). It might be different on a lighter weight D90 but on the D1, it was scary.

OP, do your research. Know what is good and what is not. Then, if you dont want to do it yourself, find a good shop to do it for you. Then, pepper them with questions. Suspension is too important to gamble on.
Sounds more like a damper valving issue to me.
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  #13  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 01:02 PM
sammyboyv8
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Hi folks, thanks for all the replies. I must mention that this is a chassis upwards build, the engine (3.9 V8) is 2 feet further back now. Eventually this will end up looking like a land rover based unimog! I hope!!

Has anybody done a 3 link conversion? Any pictures or videos?

Sam.
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  #14  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
I briefly considered it, but my understanding it's much better suited for rigs that are "trailered" to their destination. And we still do it the old-school way trying to drive there and limp home.
Same here...

I almost bought one, got "scared" by folks that had one and all tend to say it drives horrible on the road.
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  #15  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 01:50 PM
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The SG 3 link is great for the Trail and Trailer or anything with "Trail" in it.
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  #16  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madcowdungbeetle View Post
Sounds more like a damper valving issue to me.
No it's a roll axis issue..
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  #17  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboyv8 View Post
Hi folks, thanks for all the replies. I must mention that this is a chassis upwards build, the engine (3.9 V8) is 2 feet further back now. Eventually this will end up looking like a land rover based unimog! I hope!!

Has anybody done a 3 link conversion? Any pictures or videos?

Sam.
Go over to pirate and search. A bunch of threads about it... If built correctly, you won't notice a difference in handling with a 3 link, 4 link or any other suspension. I have to emphasize "done correctly". I drive my d2 all the time on the street with zero issues and is very stable. I have custom radius arms and a 4 link in the back with coilovers on 37's... Even at 70mph
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  #18  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake1996d1 View Post
No it's a roll axis issue..
Thats exactly what it was. The upper link was almost in the same plane as the lower links and in the center of the axle. It gave no pinion angle control and rolled like crazy. It had Fox shocks on it that were valved for the job. It was just not a very good design. It was beyond chopping up too, the way it was set up. I rode in an early Bronco with wristed radius arms in the front. Was far more stable on the rode and still flexed up like crazy. Also control pinion angle throughout droop and compression far better.
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  #19  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Speaking from experience and having worked with 3-link allot back in the UK, if your wanting a vehicle to daily drive then it's not for you. It's best left for comp trucks, full trail rigs or ones that see occasional road use, ie... to & from the shops to get a bag of chips & a 6 pack

Making a bolt-on kit is a whole host of compromises.... flex vs lift vs roll and keeping it easy fitting for the average joe.... etc... whilst not making it so expensive that it's not marketable and something that's not going to fall to bits the first time it's beaten on, been there done that and it's a bloody nightmare.

If you want a setup that'll handle well at speed, give reasonable flex and still be bolt on then personally I'd go for the Devon 4x4 full King kit with some Giggle Pin extended rear arms plus what ever flavor springs you prefer, I like OME's....

If you want to build yourself, as noted above.... lots of info out there, esp on Pirate. All depends how handy you are with the plasma torch & welder.... have fun & post pic's of your project
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  #20  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 05:05 PM
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I think a higher valved shock will help the scariness of it.

You have to also look at how the 3-link works and why they are really only run on the rear of the trucks. (except DIIs, why did they take it off?) I feel they work great in the rear because at high speed they effect of bumps and speed in the road drag past 3-link. In other words you are lifting the 3-link, tailing arm from the trailing arm side.

In the front you are doing the opposite, bumps are hitting the 3 link directly first then move past the radius arm.
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