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Hi all, recently received the car that I got shipped from the other side of the country.

Upon closer inspection I found a large cut was performed on the rear axle to accommodate the spring that cane with the heidts rear 4 link kit. See picture. Wouldn’t this be a risk on the structural integrity of the rear suspension?

Thanks!
 

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Looks like a parallel 4 link with panhard rod. I fully agree with your concern. My opinion is you have a dangerous situation with the hacked panhard mount. I would not drive it.
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Beyond the chew job on the bracket, the mounts for the coil overs looks extremely weak. I would revisit the entire upper mount scheme. Looks like someone got happy with some stock from Metal Supermarket. The two thin pieces holding the cross bar are very small and the cross bar looks to be small as well. Glad you found this before it found you. A good solid pothole hit could be tragic.
 

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Looks like someone got happy with some stock from Metal Supermarket.
It's a Heidts rear suspension kit. Based on the instructions to that, it looks like someone mounted the panhard bracket at a "wrong" position. Maybe trying to get more space for the calipers. Some modifications to that bracket will fix the problem. It's unlikely to build a restomod out of a pile of aftermarket "upgrade" parts, without have to do some modifications to actually make everything work together.
 

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I also agree that there just isn't enough metal left in that bracket to be safe. However, it may be salvageable by boxing it all in. It wouldn't be too hard to fabricate, but I would want a very competent welder to finish it all up, as well as check the integrity of the previous work. Your other "easy" option would be to find different rear brakes, get a replacement bracket from Heidts, and just do it the way it was designed.It will mean you will probably also need to replace the panhard bar. Yours will be too short.
 

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That custom "fitting" job may or may not be a problem. Can you remove the wheel and take some more pics of the bracket? It would be nice to see all sides of the bracket and the welds. Is there a matching plate of the cut one on the top side? As mentioned, you might get by with some reinforcement on the bracket. Those Panhard brackets have a lot of leverage on them being so far from the axle. The Panhard bar looks to be stock length, so don't know how it would be a problem.
 

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You could try welding in a couple of gussets from the bracket down to the axle housing. But remember, your cornering side loads on the rear end will be transmitted through that bracket.
 

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I would fab up a new bracket that a) attaches to the axle housing as far outboard as possible while still allowing removal of the brake caliper and b) using a heavy gauge and boxing the structure on at least 3 sides.
 

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I agree that the caliper is what caused the bracket mod. Step one would be to get that sorted. There is not enough room for a bracket of sufficient strength to coexist with the present caliper. Take a measurement and show the other side of the Panhard bar. The mount point is well into the coilover in your pic, so it may have been shortened too. The job of the Panhard bar is to limit the plane of the rear's motion vertically. So it acts up/down as a guide. It does not bear the weight of the car nor does it see front/back loads. Still, that's ugly as homemade sin. You want the bar to be as long as possible to limit radial displacement.
 

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Assuming its a Panhard rod, I would not trust that bracket. If its a Watts Link, then the loads are distributed on both sides and it might barely make it. You could brace it over the spring to the other side of the axle which would make it solid but might not be so pretty. Mental exercise: Should you are lucky enough to be pulling a G in a hard turn with R compound tires to keep round numbers. WIth teh weight of the car say 3000 lbs split between front and rear suspension, that bracket is taking a 1500+ pound side load and on any hard cornering, shifting +1500 lbs to -1500 pounds back and forth with every corner. In other words, picture your car with the front wheels on a loading dock and the rear wheels in a sling tethered to a crane above. That bracket is welded, just as it is welded to your axle, to the crane with the tether connected to the panhard bolt - Yikes - and if you hit a pothole in that corner - well, nuf said...


The trick is going to be gusseting that bracket without making it weigh a ton. Boxing it would certainly help.
 
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