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Suspension Design

The suspension system comprises of springs, dampers, linkages and bushings which connects a vehicle to its wheels.

The main functions of the suspension system are; 1) The primary purpose of suspensions is to keep the tires on the road surface and to provide a smooth ride for the driver with little transmission of noise. 2) The suspension is designed to absorb and dampen the road surface variations before they reach passenger compartment. 3) It handles braking and accelerating forces, it allows for free steering of the front wheels and handle high lateral forces as the vehicle is turned at the speed. 4) Finally, it should hold the required wheel angle changes for maximum handling and minimum tire wear.

Shock absorbers:

The shock absorbers or the dampers, damp out, up and down spring motions of a vehicle and they also damp out much of the wheel bounce when the unsprung weight of the wheel, hub, axle and sometimes brakes and differential bounces up and down on the spring of the tire. A vehicle suspension bush controls vehicles wheels toe on turn increasing ride comfort, turning performance and safety. Polyurethane bushings are mostly preferred for high-stress suspensions, such as off-road vehicles. Shock absorbers are direct acting suspension dampers which have direct connection between vehicle body and suspension member near the wheel. The double action describes the direction of motion control, both jounce and rebound. Gas shock absorbers are gas charged. An inert gas, Freon or nitrogen is used to pressurize the air chamber in standard shock absorbers. These provide the required control as the temperature of shock absorber rises and this result in improved control.

Suspension Design:
Our suspension design concentrates on factors of; 1) Stability, lightweight, compact and comfort. 2) Ease of manufacturing, availability of parts, hard point location and cost; analyzing loads, vehicle characteristics. 3) Handle all the forces imposed on it, maneuverability and the design depends on roll cage design, transmission, engine placement and the wheels. 4) Allow maximum under hood room for the engine and transaxle and minimize the roll centre migration. In order to make suspension strong and durable, we should select the right materials, properly design each part, and position the parts to distribute high forces without damage. We are going for independent suspensions for both front and rear, as it allows wheels to rise and fall on their own without affecting the opposite wheel. Some of the independent suspensions are; 1) Swing Axle

2) Macpherson struts 3) Upper and lower A-arm (double wishbone) 4) Multilink suspensions Wishbone and multilink allow the engineer more control over the geometry, to arrive, at the best compromise, than swing axle, Macpherson strut or swinging arm do; however the cost and space requirements may be compromise between the geometries of swinging arm and swing axle.

Double wishbone suspensions.

Double wishbone suspension is an independent suspension, as the name suggests it is made up of two wishbone shaped arms to locate the wheel. There are two mounting points to each wishbone, one to the chassis and one joint at the knuckle. In order to have control vertical movement .It has good control over the parameters like camber angle, caster angle, toe pattern and roll centre.

The main benefits of using double wishbone suspension for front part are; 1) It has improved ride quality over dependent suspensions and wishbone design provides good ride, good handling, and increased under hood clearance for transverse engine mountings. 2) This design allowed for independent action of the front wheels, lower ride height, improved handling and good tire life. 3) The forces are concentrated at different points of the roll cage and provide desired camber angle, castor angle and ground clearance.

The disadvantage is that it is more complex than other systems like Macpherson strut. Due to increased number of components, it takes longer to service and heavier than an equivalent Macpherson strut.

Comparison of wishbone suspension with other independent suspensions.

1) The wishbone suspensions gives comfortable movement with tires and springs than Macpherson strut as its easy to work out the effect of moving each joint for tuning of kinematics and optimization of wheel motion. 2) It is also easy to work out the loads that different parts will be subjected to which allows more optimized lightweight parts to be designed 3) They also provide increasing negative camber gain all the way to full jounce travel unlike the Macpherson strut which provides negative camber gain only at the beginning of the jounce travel and then reverses in to positive camber gain at high jounce travels. 4) The control arms are necessary to provide good flexibility, just like a hinge that allows door to swing freely.

Multilink Suspensions
It is more advanced than double wishbone suspensions and available in different configurations. It offers more flexibility, which results in better ability to deal with changes in driving conditions. Although this suspension uses wishbone each arm is connected separately to a spindle instead of single solid unit. It allows independent pivoting based on the steering wheel movement. This suspension uses three or more lateral arms, and one or more longitudinal arms, these arms need not be of equal length and can be angled from their obvious direction. These multi link suspensions may have spherical joint or rubber bushings at each ends which react to their loads along their own length. Some multi links do use trailing arm or wishbone or solid axle configuration. The suspension provides more flexibility; it moves easily to conform to the varying angles of off road vehicle. Each arm has spherical joint or rubber bushing at each end making them to work without bending.

How does multilink suspension works??

Here the linkage arms are joined at the top and bottom of the spindle. When the spindle turns for steering, it alters the suspension geometry by torque all suspension arms. Multilink suspensions are used in both front and rear but the former replaces the lateral arm with the tie rod that connects the rack to the wheel hub.

1) It is the suspension which gives best compromises between the space efficiency, handling, flexibility and well suits for off road driving. 2) The advantage of this over the double wishbone suspension is that we can alter its design without affecting the entire assembly. 3) It satisfies the drivers desire of good ride and good handling and as it is mostly used for sports utility vehicle for desert racing, it can be adopted for all terrain vehicles.


The system is costly, complex to

manufacture. The geometry needs to be checked using design analysis software.