Kit Car Push Rod Suspension

The Push Rod rear suspension is now being mocked up – ready for assembly. The rear hubs will be removed a welded on a jig as will the upper and lower arms.

Although much work has been done; powder coating parts, assembling the brand new c.v. joints, shafts and hubs; not much creative work has happened.

For the rear hubs, I priced up the steel I needed. There was no problem in finding local stockist for the steel, the problem was getting small enough lengths. I am using the same 5″ diameter x 65mm long tubes as the standard Haynes Roadster (Tube RU5). Therefore, I was looking for a length a little long than 130mm; not long. The shortest my very friendly and helpful stockist would part with, was 6 metres long for £22. I then needed some 10mm thick plate to make the plates (RU7 and RU8) to mount the brand spanking new Granada rear hubs I’d acquired. A 60mile round trip to a surplus yard would yield this for around £20. So, for around  £42, I could get the steel I needed.

These parts would take many hours of filing and drilling to complete. Ideally, the 5″ tubes would need finishing in a lathe to get them square (further cost). I would also need a new tap to cut the threads as mine seemed to be missing. Can you see my shoping list and timescales going off the chart? I could.

Option 2:

I could buy the parts already made and this is what I did. I bought them from Dave Oxley at Rogue Engineering.

Haynes Roadster Rear Hub - Rogue Engineering

They arrived; well packed; 1½ days after clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button. They were very well finished and were as accurate as the ‘laser cut’ description suggests. I had bought a complete kit of parts needed for the standard Haynes Roadster uprights as a couple of the other tubes would also come in handy. The cost? £55. I still had all my knuckles, I didn’t have a workshop full of surplus steel and I didn’t even have to sweep up heaps of steel filings. BARGAIN 🙂

I know I want to build every single millimetre of this car myself, but sometimes letting somebody else lend a hand makes perfect sense. In fact many of the parts used on this build will be straight out of a catalogue e.g. the threaded tube inserts, the urethane assemblies complete with stainless steel crush tubes, the rose jointed turn buckle push rods etc. One thing I noticed during my web ramblings was that imperial threaded items (UNF) were significantly cheaper than their metric cousins. This could well be due to the strength of the American Hot Rod Scene. In the US there is ‘pre-packed’ access to high quality components that we have trouble sourcing and they are at prices significantly lower than in the UK. Simply as an example why not browse Many of the components would be at home on a ‘trailor queen’ show car, yet they are at prices only large scale, mass production brings.

Cantilever Push Rod Rear Suspension

The Sierra Cosworth rear axle employs push rod cantilevers and horizontal in-board coil-over shock absorbers. Unlike many I have seen recently, this system will give a rising spring rate during bounce and roll. Although the Suzuki Drz400 off road motorbike rear shocks are somewhat on the large and chunky size, they are fitted as standard with 220lbs springs. With a cantilever set-up like this, spring rate seen at the wheel rises during compression. At normal ride height the spring rate seen at the wheel is around 180lbs/inch, giving a soft ride, however as the wheel rises spring rate rises logarithmically to over 600lbs/inch. Some argue that this negates the need for a anti-roll bar; I can see the logic; but I have left room for one just in case.

The arms will employ clevis arrangements. The ones shown are for illustration purpose only. I want to have a small degree of adjust-ability but I don’t want to use rose joints. I want to use standard polyurethane rods ends. This should hopefully make the ride a little less harsh.

The push-rods are turn-buckle arrangements, that have opposite threaded rose joints at each end. In conjunction with the triple adjustable coil-over shocks and the multi-position, top in-board shock mount, I can adjust spring rate and keep ride height un-changed. I can also change the rate that spring rates rise and fall e.g. a sharp rise in spring rate or a much more gentle one. (Note in the above picture only one turn-buckle link is shown).

Turn-buckle linkage

The Suzuki DrZ400 also supplies the rather pretty aluminium bell-cranks cantilevers.

Bell Crank Cantilevers

Drz400 shock absorber

I didn’t use the standard Suzuki push rods as I want toe in/out adjustment in the suspension. Without the rose jointed ends this would not be possible.

Using motorbike coil-overs has the following advantages:

  • They are cheap as chips (I have ones with show-room only mileage and they cost about £10 each)
  • They are readily available
  • They often come with lovely aluminium cantilevers complete with roller bearings.
  • Riders often change them as soon as they buy a bike.
  • The small road bike versions are very light


  • The off road versions and large
  • The road (sport bike)  versions have very high spring rates (often approaching 700lbs)
  • The smaller the shock and the larger capacity the donor motorbike, the greater chance there is of needing custom coil springs (closer to 220lbs).

For more information on push rod rear suspension click here

See also:

Push Rod Cantilever Suspension

The Push Rod Rear Suspension is almost done. With the arrival of some nearly new AVO coil-overs the big old DRZ400 motorbike shocks were consigned to the parts shelf. I know I'm into Haynes Roadsters now, but I was looking at a feature on Geoff Cousins latest creation. He's a ...

Haynes Push Rod Suspension

The rear suspension features rising spring rate, pushrod suspension. It's all mocked up here with dummy push rods etc. Read more here. The idea being, the more the car rolls, the higher the spring rate seen by the wheel. It's what the formula 1 boys do. However, here are my problems: ...

Bell Crank Suspension

As previously mentioned I've used off-road motorbike rear shocks and bell cranks. I plan on having bell crank suspension both front and rear. Most Haynes Roadsters or Locosts have outboard coilover shock absorbers. Some people think that going inboard with shock absorbers is all about sprung weight, aerodynamics and looks. ...

Locost Push Rod Rear Suspension

I've finally got around to making the Push Rod Rear Suspension. (NB. I'll use lock nuts on final assembly) For some reason, I think it was a lack of threaded inserts, I hadn't made the push rods. This meant that the car could never be put down on it's wheels. ...

Push Rod Suspension

The Push Rod Cantilever Front Suspension is one step further. It's by no means complete as most of the brackets are just tack welded in place and I don't even have the right sized bolts for some of the joints. But so far, everything is going pretty well. As you'd ...

Fully Adjustable Rear Suspension

I had a month out from blogging, but that didn't mean I was idle. Everything I had done on the rear suspension had been removed, re-done, then tweaked, then modified and finally mocked up before I went ahead and fully welded everything. The first problem I had was I wanted ...

Kit Car Rear Suspension Mounts

The decision was made not to make a suspension jig for the rear brackets. It was slow work and I have burnt fingers, but I'm pretty chuffed. I was going to make a suspension jig on the bench, where I could carefully measure, then re-measure every bolt hole, bracket and ...

Anti Squat Rear Suspension

Making & welding the rear suspension brackets has been slow. What is Anti Squat Rear Suspension all about? When you plant the pedal at the lights or accelerate out of a bend, weight is transferred to the rear of the car. The front wheels lift and loose traction and the ...

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