What is the benefit of solid axles in RWD?

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17,075
Location
Silicon Valley
Call me a noob. I have only been driving FWD in my life and all the cars I have driven are less than 150hp. I read from a few post here on BITOG, that some of us missed the solid axles of the muscle cars. So, what is the benefit vs. independent suspensions?
 
Messages
6,425
Location
New Braunfels
Strength. The CV joints are a weak spot when large amounts of torque are applied. This applies to offroaders as well. A solid rear axle may not be the highest tech piece of drivetrain equipment but they could take abuse and with a 4 link suspension set up be set up with some moderate skill to handle the way the owner intended.
 
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2,364
Location
sebring, florida
cv's automatically dont mean weakness. i have a dyno video of an 800 horsepower fwd civic being put to the test on a dyno. its almost scary if you ask me, but the cv's didnt break. if ever there was a question of a cv's durability, this civic shows that you can overcome pretty much anything except traction issues. having a dozen people sitting on the front of the car is what it took for it to hook up. pretty much there are 2 benefits to staright axles. low cost is the main one. a distant second would me that straight axles are more reliable.
 
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26
Location
Houston, TX
quote:
cv's automatically dont mean weakness. i have a dyno video of an 800 horsepower fwd civic being put to the test on a dyno. its almost scary if you ask me, but the cv's didnt break. if ever there was a question of a cv's durability, this civic shows that you can overcome pretty much anything except traction issues. having a dozen people sitting on the front of the car is what it took for it to hook up.
TORQUE! Not horsepower. Also, assuming said civic is turbo'ed, there is lag involved and a gradual increase in power. Its not like hooking a tri-pod joint up to the flywheel of am LS7 and slamming the joint with 500 ft/lbs of torque almost instantly. That's pretty much breakage no matter how you put it. Solid axle cars tend to launch more straight and can handle alot more torque before they pop a diff.
 
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505
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Solid axles are ideal for trucks. Solid Axles are Cheap, Strong, Simple. IRS "trucks" like Hondas (Ridgeline) and Fords (Expedition) get bad camber change when loaded down and hooked up with a trailer. That's causes funky handling and bad tire wear.
 
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971
Location
Boston
Having a solid axle allows for a true locking rear-end (DETROIT LOCKERS?)and the added thrill of both tires pushing you forward instead of one disintegrating on the surface.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
What is the benefit of solid axles in RWD?
Handling ..if you can keep them on the ground. You can get more g's out of a solid axle on smooth stuff. You suffer in ride compared to IRS. You've also got more unsprung weight.
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
When everything was RWD, solid axle, nobody ever heard of 4 wheel alignment. Frankly I feel the GM semi independent rear axles are a good compromise in something like my Cavalier. Along with drum brakes, cheap, simple, reliable at only a modest price in preformance. For somebody whose average is keeping a car until it is nearly 10 years old, the lower maintance makes a big difference.
 
Messages
661
Location
Bosphoria
Was it the Corvette, that went from the independent back to the solid axles again and marked higher side G's? (Or am I daydreaming?) For total suspension quality no single apparatus is an absolute sign I think. There are too many variables, and decisions.
 
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4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
*** happened to my post??????? I guess I'll type it again. Solid axles are cheap, simple, and don't suffer camber changes with load. I would only want it for the back axle of a truck or for a car that doesn't turn. There's no reason you can't lock the rear diff on IRS, and CV joints can be made just as strong as solid axles. I'd think that civic is making 500 lb-ft of torque to make 800hp.
 
Messages
4,378
Location
Camas, WA
In addition to well developed technology (cheap & strong) they can offer better clearance than some of the independant suspensions that I've seen on some of the SUVs. Just comparing clearnace visually while on a crowded highway it looks like some of the SUVs don't have any better clearnace than a Taurus, as some of the arms hang pretty low. The solid axles on my truck, front and rear, also provide handy jacking points.
 
Messages
1,261
Location
KY
quote:
I'd think that civic is making 500 lb-ft of torque to make 800hp.
Yeah but you have to think about where it's making its power probably about 8k by then it does nothing. But on the other hand take something like A Tri-power setup makes most of its power just off idle, snap cv's into like nothing. Correct me if im wrong just my $0.02.
 
Messages
43,656
Location
'Stralia
Like Gary said, keep them flat, and solid axles rule. In the V-8 supercars downunder, they are getting 1 to 1.5 degrees negative camber on the solid axles...without a CV. Also, on four wheel drives, when a wheel rides over somothing, the diff cantre rides up also, not necessarily the same with Independent.
 
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