A Good Look at the Popular Types of Vehicle Suspension Systems

Date Posted:9 May 2017 

vehicle suspension system, Image by Pro Speed Racing

 

Are you wondering about the different kinds of car suspension systems on the market today? What is a suspension system in the first place? If you are reading this, then these are probably some of the questions that you have in mind.

Today's suspension systems look nothing like their predecessors which originated from horse carriages. Early suspensions systems were single beam axles - you connect a beam to a set of springs that cushions the chassis. The wheels went to each end of the shaft and provided a smooth enough ride. In fact you still find the same basic design today mostly in heavy-duty vehicles.

 

The function of a suspension system

Simply put, an auto suspension systems refer collectively to a series of tyres, springs, shock absorbers and other linkages that connect the wheels to the vehicle chassis allowing for relative motion between the two. These systems serve to keep the wheels grounded to the surface and protects the vehicle frame from damage.

 

Components of an auto suspension system

So how does a car suspension work and what are the different parts? The parts that you will find on a vehicle suspension design depend on its type which is not at all limited to the beam axle.

As the auto industry began to lean towards ride quality and better handling, engineers began developing more advanced suspension systems such as swing axles and the "trailing arm" found on many iconic vehicles from the 1900's like the Volkswagen Beetle.

 However, it was not until the 1950's that the most popular type of auto suspension systems came into the market - the MacPherson strut by Ford Motors. The latter was more compact and cheaper to manufacture compared to swing axles and trailing arms suspension. It quickly became the standard due to its' innovative designs that enabled engineers to drive an axle directly through a steering knuckle.  

Despite its advantages, the performance on the MacPherson strut is ill-suited for modern applications. Independent suspension systems are the new de-facto standard as the linkages support each wheel separately. When one wheel runs a bump, only a single wheel is affected maintaining great wheel rate.

What is wheel rate you ask? It refers to the amount of weight required to compress the suspension springs a certain distance. The lower the spring rate, the more comfortable the ride.

 

Would you like to learn more? Call "Prospeed Racing" today on (02) 43 404463. Let our auto experts help you choose the right aftermarket suspension system for your vehicle.