Suspension Basics Macpherson Struts and Bearings

suspension system

Suspension is a complex system of components, tire pressure, springs, rebound and other linkages. Properly designed suspension systems need to support both road handling/handling as well as ride quality. Most vehicles have at least one suspension system, and in most cases multiple suspension systems are used on a car. Each system has good and bad qualities and poor quality suspension systems will typically lead to poor handling and poor ride quality.

A Good Suspension System Reduces The Amount Of Energy

The road handling of a vehicle primarily depends on its suspension system. As you may know, vehicles with good suspensions perform better on slippery roads. The reason is that a good suspension system reduces the amount of energy absorbed by the tires during the tires initial contact with the road. The less energy absorbed, the better control a vehicle has over its tires. Poor suspension system will make a car prone to high speed bumps, loss of traction and instability.

When selecting a suspension system for your vehicle, consider factors like: Driving comfort, passenger safety, passenger protection from side impacts and steering control. In general, vehicles with superior driving comfort have better handling and less body roll. Seats that are made of higher quality rubber have better cushioning, which reduces the body roll of the vehicle and adds to passenger safety. For passenger safety, a good suspension system will provide both front and rear side crush protection. Good trucks have front and rear shocks with anti-tip rebound control to minimize side bump deflection and increase safety.

Center Of Gravity Is Another Crucial Factor To Consider

A flock of seagulls flying over a bridge over a body of water

Solid axles are preferred over sliding axles when it comes to vehicles with extended drivetrain like four-wheel drive. The track width of a four-wheel drive vehicle is often compared to the steering clearance. An adequate steering clearance will make it easier to maneuver around bends and tight corners. On the other hand, when an axle is over-slung, it could cause front and/or rear bumps in the middle part of the wheel especially at high speeds. The extra bump can weaken the suspension system and make it susceptible to damage.

Tires with deep treads and a center section are preferred to balance weight and increase traction on rougher terrains. The tire tread should be at least two inches wider than the largest section of the wheel. The center of gravity is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a car suspension system. The center of gravity should be well dispersed over the length of the vehicle to prevent unequal weight distribution. This will increase stability and make the tires more responsive.

Ensure That The Wheels Are Lined Up With The Centerline Of The Tire

For an excellent fit, the tires and suspension system should be mounted to the same point on the vehicle. Thus, if the tires are replaced with a higher profile tire with higher profile springs, the vehicle will have an abnormal steering geometry.

When mounting the tires to the suspension system, ensure that the wheels are lined up with the centerline of the tire. When performing alignment, it is necessary to check for the rollers and make sure they are aligned correctly. Alignments performed on vehicles with solid axle assemblies may require more attention as the vehicle may need to be tilted in one direction to achieve the proper alignment. On the other hand, a car’s body may allow flexing of the rollers to achieve the right balance.

Final Thoughts

Proper suspension adjustments provide better traction on the road as well as increased handling performance. With a better traction level, the driver can also expect a safer driving experience. It is important that suspension bushes and tires are the correct fitment and are of the same height so that there is no rubbing on the suspension system. If the tires are too low, then the car will lack speed and handling as well as poor handling of the suspension system.

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