How to Set Up a 4 Link Rear End Suspension

by Nathaniel Miller

Four link rear suspensions have two suspension points on the edges of the body/chassis coming to a single point in the center of the rear axle. Two other suspension arms extend from the ends of the axle tubes to the frame, providing four linkages on which your vehicle rides. A favorite of desert rock crawlers for its in-cab stability and the ability to withstand extreme side pressure angles, 4 link suspensions can be set up by anyone who has a bit of mechanical intuition.

Park your vehicle on level ground and measure its wheelbase and tire size. Plot a point from the lower part of your axle where your suspension attaches to the midpoint on your frame. Look for an angle of 10 degrees from horizontal and adjust your shocks accordingly if this angle is not achieved. Screw the shock cartridges in in to decrease the angle or out to increase it. Repeat for the opposite side.

Measure 11 inches from the inside of both of the lower linkage mounts on the axle and install a riser mount with the socket set and the included hardware. The riser mount lifts the upper linkage mounts away from the axle and gives you better suspension control.

Bolt the upper linkage arms to the riser and observe how the vehicle sits. adjust the front end suspension to match the rear by screwing the shot cartridges in to bring the front end down or out to bring it up. Take the vehicle a test drive and see how it handles to get an idea of whether your suspension setup has benefited your vehicle's handling.


  • check Remove or shield your gas tank when working underneath the vehicle as you do not want to puncture it or produce a spark that could ignite the gasoline fumes.

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