Various Suspension Setups

Steering_Suspension

Solid Beam Axle

The beam axle set up connects both the front wheel by a solid axle. It can still be found today; however it was used in horse driven carriages when no other suspension technique was considered. It is still used in heavy trucks where both the front wheels are connected by the solid axle.

Advantages

  • It was a simple design with greater efficiency
  • The beam axle could be made extremely strong to carry heavy loads
  • No loss of camber due to body load as both the front wheels remain perpendicular to the road

Disadvantages

  • It resulted in loss of mass
  • It decreases the stability of the wheels as both the wheels are direct the force towards each other
  • The size of beam axle is pretty large
  • There is not much ride isolation between the spring and the unspring mass due to heavy loss in mass

Swing Axle Suspension

The axles pivot a location near the car center and allow the wheels to move up and down along their arcs. It is generally used for rear suspensions.

Advantages

  • It is still simpler than SLA setup
  • Being an independent set up, there is less wheel movement
  • There is better ride isolation due to de coupling of front wheel

Disadvantages

  • It exhibits Jacking leading to severe loss in negative camber.

Trailing Link Suspension

To support the unsprung mass, it uses a set of arms ahead of the wheels. Suspension links are trailer by wheel. It minimizes the need of suspension.

Advantages

  • Improved ride experience
  • Reduction in packaging size
  • Reduction in overall size of suspension components

Disadvantages

  • Trailing links bend with subjected loads, hence the wheels vibrate in these conditions
  • Loss of camber

MacPherson Front Suspension

It is a strut based system and extremely famous. Here the spring acts as a link in the suspension while connecting the chassis to the steering knuckle. It uses the strut as the upper suspension link, there is nothing located directly behind the steering knuckle. It offers a compact and simple suspension package. Being cheap, it is used by almost all the vehicles today.

Advantages

  • Improvement in ride quality and road holding
  • It is perfect for small cars being extremely compact
  • It provides the clearance necessary for driveshaft on a front wheel drive vehicle

Disadvantages

  • It is very difficult to increase the tire width on the car Lack of Camber gain

Equal Length A-arm Setup

It is also called Double Wishbone. The triangular A-arm at the top and bottom of knuckle supports the suspension. It is better than the previous designs which included equal length lower and upper arms mounted parallel to ground.

Advantages

  • It offers even further improvement in ride quality and road holding than other designs
  • The solid and rigid control arms prevents deflection during cornering

Disadvantages

  • Lack of Camber gain as the wheel movies into bump due to equal length upper and lower arms

Unequal Length A-arm Setup

The only disadvantage of negative camber – unequal armed A-arm setup has been improved in this suspension type by installing lower and upper A-arms of different length.

The evolution of front suspension has enhanced over the past 100 years starting from starting beam axle to Swing Angle Suspension and then from trailing link suspension to MacPherson suspension and then the A-Arm setup.