DSE Quadra-Link install
by Scott Gulbranson

I put this web page together highlighting my experience installing the Detroit Speed & Engineering Quadra-Link rear suspension.  This isn't meant to be a 'how-to' article, but more of an illustrated resource for those that are contemplating doing the same with their project.  This will give you an idea on what steps are involved, how invasive it is, and how I did it in my garage.

First off I want to take a moment to say thanks to Kyle and Stacy and crew at DSE.  I've been working with Kyle for a number of years now and have quite a few DSE products in my project and they are nothing but the best in quality and craftsmanship.  I know going into each step of the project that what I use from DSE will work the way it's supposed to and if I run into something unexpected, they're only a phone call away.

The Quadra-Link install in my car presented a few unique challenges as I had already installed the mini-tub crossmember at an angle for staggered shocks with a set of DSE 3" drop leaf springs.  I also already had a rear end housing that had the housing ends installed.  I'll cover how I got around that further in this article.

FIRST IMPRESSION:  I had read quite a few articles in various magazines and online forums about how the Swivel Links worked, but I had never held one in my hand until opening the boxes when the kit arrived.  It's amazing how fluid their movement is.  The Koni shocks are some of the nicest that I've dealt with and the fact that they're adjustable in rebound is evidence that the kit is all about performance.  I skimmed through the instructions and templates not finding anything that surprised me.  It's pretty straight forward.

INSTALLING THE BRACKETS ON THE HOUSING:  The first step that I decided to take on was getting the brackets installed on the housing.  With the Quadra-Link system, it's recommended that you set the pinion angle at negative 2*.  I made a homemade jig by welding a pair of 6" angle iron standoffs to the top of my welding table.  Using an angle finder, I set the pinion angle and tack welded it into place.  The next step was to find the center of the housing.  I measured my housing flange to flange, found the center and marked it on the welding table.  From this point I measured out to find the centerline of the upper link/coilover axle mount (14.75") and the centerline of the lower link bracket (19.625").  Since my housing ends were already welded, I had to cut each of those 4 brackets so they could fit over the 3" axle tube.  With the housing already set at a -2* pinion, the brackets are set with a level.  I tack welded the brackets to the housing (being sure to use the included inside spacers to ensure the links will fit into the brackets after welding).  Then I  tack welded the cut pieces of the brackets back together.  With all four brackets now tacked to the housing, the track bar bracket gets welded to the left lower link bracket.  I should note that my tack welds were solid but minimal.  I needed it to carry the weight of the car for mock up, yet I needed to be able to remove the brackets in case I ran into an unforeseen issue. 

UPPER LINK FRONT POCKETS:  Next on the agenda was installing the upper link front pockets.  To make this job a breeze, there's a template included.  You cut the template out, tape the offset together and it lays across the rear floor across uneven contours using the rear seat belt mount holes as reference.  I cut the area out, and just as noted in the documentation from DSE, some forming needed to be done.  My floor didn't quite follow the lowest area of the supplied pockets.  But as the saying goes, if you didn't hit your car with a hammer, you didn't build it.  It was easy job getting the contour of the floor to match the pocket.  I then fully welded the perimeter with a seat belt mounting bolt holding the pocket exactly where it needed to be.

CROSSMEMBER - OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW:  Next came the part of the installation that I wasn't too excited about.  As I noted in the lead in to this article, I had already installed the DSE mini-tub kit and had the car set up for leafs.  That means the crossmember that I had already installed in the trunk floor was angled for staggered shocks.  That entire crossmember had to be removed to make room for the new crossmember.  The new one sits considerably further back than the previous one, so it was going to leave a sizeable hole in the forward trunk floor.  Removing the old crossmember was a breeze with my sawz-all.  Installing the new crossmember was the next order of business, so using the measurements provided, I installed it with a little fine tuning.  This step actually went really well.  As it turns out, since it's square to the car, it's quite a bit easier to install than the angled crossmember.  Made to fit up inside the crossmember is the track bar body mount.  Installing that was straight forward.  Clamp it into place and weld it.  It has a built gussets that square it up to the frame member as well as the bottom rear edge of the crossmember.  

TRUNK REPAIR:  On to the issue of the hole.  I could have used trunk floor patch panels, but since everything else on my car is modified, what fun would that be?  Instead, I opted to fit a piece of 22 gauge sheetmetal that would follow the angle of the back seat bracing and sit at the same height as the installed crossmember.  Underneath, I bent a piece of 18 gauge sheetmetal that goes from the forward edge of the crossmember to the seam in the body just above the new Quadra-Link upper link pockets.  

MOCK UP AND FINISH WELDING:  With all of that done, it was time to get the rear end back under the car and mock it up.  With the links installed and the rear centered under the car with the wheels and brakes installed, it was time to mark the locations for the upper shock mounts.  It was as simple as getting the coilovers vertical and marking where they needed to be welded.  This is where an extra set of hands is useful.  With that marked for installation, and everything else verified, the rear came back out for full welding.  The brackets offer a lot of surface area allowing full perimeter welding in several areas.  With that completed, one final step of welding the coilover axle bracket reinforcements was taken care of. 

ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA:  While working in the trunk, I decided to add gussets from the crossmember to the DSE roll cage rear down bars.  Using some extra 1.625"x .134" wall tubing and a tubing notcher,  I welded reinforcements that were located at the top of the crossmember where the coilover upper shock mounts were installed.  It's not required, but it's something that I thought made sense for my application.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Again, I want to note that this isn't a 'how-to' article, it's just my experience and how I dealt with some of the issues that I encountered.  Below is how it sits now as a roller.  Hope you found this helpful!































Home | Forums | Members | Contact
Copyright © Lateral-g.net  All Rights Reserved