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Suspension system

13 May 2019


aermech May 23, 2014 Comments Off on SUSPENSION AND ITS DIFFERENT TYPES
A system of mechanical linkages, springs, dampers that is used to connect the wheels to the
chassis is known as suspension system. It has usually done two works-controlling the
vehicle’s handling and braking for safety and keeping the passengers comfortable from
bumps, vibrations etc.


It also helps to maintain correct vehicle height and wheel also control the
direction of the vehicle and has to keep the wheel in perpendicular direction for there
maximum grip. The suspension also protects the vehicle itself and luggage from damage and
wear. The design of front and rear suspension of a car may be different.



This system means that the suspension is set-up in such a way that allows the wheel on the
left and right side of the vehicle to move vertically independent up and down while driving
on uneven surface. A force acting on the single wheel does not affect the other as there is
mechanical linkage present between the two hubs of the same vehicle. In most of the
vehicle it is employed in front wheels.

This types of suspension usually offers better ride quality and handling due to less unsprung
weight. The main advantage of independent suspension are that they require less space,
they provide easier steer ability, low weight etc.. Examples of Independent suspension are

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• Double Wishbones
• MacPherson Strut


IN Dependent Suspension there is a rigid linkage between the two wheels of the same axle.

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IN Dependent Suspension there is a rigid linkage between the two wheels of the same axle.
A force acting on one wheel will effect the opposite wheel. For each motion of the wheel
caused by road irregularities affects the coupled wheel as well.

It is mostly employed in heavy vehicles. It can bear shocks with a great capacity than
independent suspension. Example of this system is

• Solid Axle.


This type of system has both the characteristics of dependent as well as independent
suspension. In semi-independent suspension, the wheel move relative to one another as in
independent suspension but the position of one wheel has some effect on the other wheel.
This is done with the help of twisting suspension parts. Example of semi-independent is

• Twist Beam

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Types of Suspension Springs : Helical

Spring, Leaf Spring, Torsion bar Rubber
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Use of spring in Suspension System:

We know that any system used in vehicle to reduce road shocks and vibration known as
suspension system. Springs, shock absorber torsion bar etc. are components of suspension
system. Due to irregularity of roads when a vehicle runs, it feels lot of vibration due to road
irregularity and engine vibration. So if the car is perfectly rigid this vibration transmitted into
whole body of car which cause damage of its body parts and also it is uncomfortable for the
passengers too. So the Suspension Springs are used to separate the Wheel of the vehicle to
the body so when the vehicle feel those vibration it transfer to the spring and the spring
start oscillating without transmitting this vibration to the vehicle body. So these springs are
the main component of suspension systems. Today we used various types of vehicle
according to load capacity and luxuriousness. So there are different types of spring and
suspension systems used in those different vehicles.

Types of Springs used in Suspension

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1. Leaf Spring:
Semi elliptic leaf springs are used in almost all commercial vehicles. It is also used in cars
rear suspension. This spring consist of a number of leaves called blades. The blades vary in
length and connected together as shown in the figure. These springs based on the theory of
beam of uniform strength.

This spring is mounted on the axle by the U bolt. The one end of spring is mounted on the frame
and other is connected with a shackle which allow to change in length between eye of spring
when the vehicle come across projection of road and upward movement of wheel.

When there is wide range of loading on vehicle, helper spring is also provided with the leaf
spring which increase the weight loading capacity of vehicle. These springs are made by the
Chrome-Vanadium Steel, Silico-Manganese Steel or Carbon Steel as per requirement. These
spring are noisy and does not used where luxuriousness is necessary.

2. Helical Spring or Coil Spring:

We all have seen coil springs many times. The helical spring used is suspension system is
same as we see. It is mainly used in the independent suspension. It is also used in the
conventional rigid axle suspension as they can be well accommodated in restricted spaces.

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conventional rigid axle suspension as they can be well accommodated in restricted spaces.
The energy stored per unit volume is almost double in the case of coil spring than the leaf
springs. These spring do not have noise problems but they does not take torque reaction and
and side thrust for which alternative arrangement have to be provided.

3. Torsion Bar:
It is simply a rod which acting under the torsion and taking shear stresses. It is often used
with independent suspension. One end of the bar is fixed to the frame and the other end is
fixed to the end of the wheel arm and supported in the bearing. The other end of the wheel
arm is connected to the wheel hub. When the wheel strikes a bump, it start vibrating up and
down, thus torque on the torsion bar start acting as a springs.

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down, thus torque on the torsion bar start acting as a springs.

4. Rubber Springs:
The rubber springs are also used in suspension because it store greater energy per unit
weight than the steel. So it is more compact than other springs. It has also excellent
vibration damping property. One more advantage of using rubber is that it is not suddenly
fail like steel so there is less risk.

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fail like steel so there is less risk.

The various types of rubber springs are

Compression springs:
This type of spring is still being used because it is reliable, simple in construction, can resist
occasional overload of large magnitude, and have large damping effect.

Compression shear spring:

In this type of spring the load is carried partly by shear and partly by compression.

Steel reinforced spring:

It consist steel helical spring bonded in a rubber body. The steel spring carrying only 20% of

Progressive spring:
It has initially an exceedingly small rate which rises rapidly as the central cavity closes.

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5. Rubber springs
Rubber springs absorb oscillations through the generation of internal friction when they are deformed by
an external force. Characteristics:
• They can be made in any shape.

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• They can be made in any shape.
• They are silent during use
• They are not appropriate for use in supporting heavy loads. Therefore, rubber springs are used
mainly as auxiliary springs or as bushings, spacers, cushions, stoppers and other supports for the
suspension components.
6. Air springs
Air springs make use of the fact that air has elasticity or “springiness” when compressed. Characteristics:
• They are extremely soft when the vehicle is not loaded, but their spring constant can be increased
as the load is increased by increasing the air pressure inside the chamber. This provides optimum
riding comfort both when the vehicle is lightly loaded, and when it is fully loaded.
• The height of the vehicle can be kept constant, even if the load changes, by adjusting the air
pressure. However, in air suspensions using air springs, devices for controlling the air pressure and
compressors for compressing air, etc., are necessary, so the suspension becomes complex.
Currently, the electronically-modulated air suspension, which incorporates this type of air spring, is
offered as an option in some models

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Front Axle and Steering System

Front axle carries the weight of the front part of the automobile as well as facilitates
steering and absorbs shocks due to road surface variations. The front axles are
generally dead axles, but are live axles in small cars of compact designs and also in
case of four-wheel drive. The steering system converts the rotary motion of the driver’s
driver’s steering wheel into the angular turning of the front wheels as well as to multiply
multiply the driver’s effort with leverage or mechanical advantage for turning the wheels.
wheels. The steering system, in addition to directing the vehicle in a particular direction
direction must be arranged geometrically in such a way so that the wheels undergo true
true rolling motion without slipping or scuffing. Moreover, the steering must be light and
and stable with a certain degree of self-adjusting ability. Steering systems may also be
be power assisted. The chapter discusses the front axle construction and its alignment,
ment, and steering geometry and steering systems.
Front Axle
The front axle (Fig. 27.1) is designed to transmit the weight of the automobile from the
the springs to the front wheels, turning right or left as required. To prevent interference
interference due to front engine location, and for providing greater stability and safety at
at high speeds by lowering the centre of gravity of the road vehicles, the entire centre
centre portion of the axle is dropped. As shown in Fig. 27.1, front axle includes the axle-
axle-beam, stub-axles with brake assemblies, u ack-rod and stub-axle arm.
Front axles can be live axles and dead axles. A live front axle contains the differential
differential mechanism through which the engine power flows towards the front wheels.
wheels. For steering the front wheels, constant velocity joints are contained in the axle
axle half shafts. Without affecting the power flow through the half shafts, these joints help
help in turning the stub axles around the king-pin.
The front axles are generally dead axles, which does not transmit power. The front
wheel hubs rotate on antifriction bearings of tapered-roller type on the steering spindles,
spindles, which are an integral part of steering knuckles. To permit the wheels to be
turned by the steering gear, the steering spindle and steering knuckle assemblies are
are hinged on the end of axle. The pin that forms the pivot of this hinge is known as king
king pin or steering knuckle pin. Generally dead front axles are three types. In the Elliot
Elliot type front axles the yoke for king spindle is located on the ends of I-beam. The
axle ends are forked to hold the steering knuckle extension between them. The reverse
reverse Elliot front axles have hinged spindle yoke on spindle itself instead of on the
axle. The forked portion is integral with the steering knuckle. This type is commonly
used as this facilitates the mounting of brake backing plate on the forged legs of the
steering knuckle. In the Lemoine type front axle, instead of a yoke type hinge, an L-

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steering knuckle. In the Lemoine type front axle, instead of a yoke type hinge, an L-
shaped spindle is used which is attached to the end of the axle by means of a pivot. It is
It is normally used in tractors.

Fig. 27.1. Front axle.

The axle beam in use is of I or H-section and is manufactured from alloy forged steel for
for rigidity and strength. As compared to dead front axles, a totally different type of
swivelling mechanism is used on the live front axle. To connect the wheel hub axles with
with driving axle shafts, constant velocity joints are used for the vehicles fitted with the
the front live axles. Tracta, Rzeppa (or Sheppa) on Bendix constant velocity or universal
universal joints are normally used.
Front axles are subjected to both bending and shear stresses. In the static condition,
the axle may be considered as a beam supported vertically upward at the ends i.e. at
the centre of the wheels and loaded vertically downward at the centres of the spring
pads. The vertical bending moment thus caused is zero at the point of support and rises
rises linearly to a maximum at the point of loading and then remains constant.
Thus the maximum bending moment = Wl, Nm
where, W = The load on one wheel, N
I = The distance between the centre of wheel and the spring pad, m
Under dynamic conditions, the vertical bending moment is increased due to road
But its estimate is difficult and hence is generally accounted for through a factor of
safety. The front axle also experiences a horizontal bending moment because of
resistance to motion and this is of a nature similar to the vertical one but of very small
small magnitude and hence can be neglected except in those situations when it is
comparatively large.
The resistance to motion also causes a torque in the case of drop type front axle as
shown in Fig. 27.2. Thus the portions projected after the spring pads are subjected to
combined bending and torsion.

Fig. 27.2. Loads on front axle.

The shear stress in the axle is due to braking torque and its magnitude (as shown in
Fig. 27.2)

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Fig. 27.2)

Types of Front Hub Assembly
The stub axle construction depends on whether it is a driving or non-driving hub.
Non-driving Hub.
Figure 27.4A illustrates a typical bearing arrangement for a non-driving hub. This
consists of a stub-axle, an externally cylindrical sleeve hub, a pair of taper-roller
bearings, a grease-seal, a castellated adjustment nut and split-pin, a washer, and a
dust-cap (Fig. 27.7).
A centrally flanged cylindrical sleeve hub is fitted over small outer and large inner taper-

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A centrally flanged cylindrical sleeve hub is fitted over small outer and large inner taper-
taper-roller bearings, which are supported on the stub axle. The hub is made of
malleable iron or steel cast. The bearings are designed to absorb both radial and axial
axial loads when assembled. The slackness between the taper rollers and the inner and
and outer races are taken up by spinning the hub assembly while at the same time
tightening the adjustment nut until all the free lay has been taken up. The bearings are
are then preloaded by tightening the nut with a torque wrench to some predetermined
predetermined torque setting. The nut is then slackened slightly until one of the slots in
in the nut aligns with the hole in the stub-axle. The split pin is then inserted through and
and bent over to secure the nut in position.

fig.27.4. Front bearing-hub assembly. A. Taper roller type. B. Ball bearing type.
For more accurate setting, some manufactures recommend to tighten the adjusting nut
nut to a specified torque before releasing the nut a given amount. This operation,
however, should not be confused with preloading. As hub bearing withstands heat from
from the brakes, a running clearance is provided, which is quite different to that
obtained after a bearing has been preloaded. The flanged hub supports the road
wheels and a brake drum or a brake disc. A dust cap with a central vent hole is used to
to enclose the end of the hub. This area of the hub sliouid not be filled with grease.
An alternative bearing arrangement is presented in Fig. 27.4B, which uses two angular
angular contact type ball races held apart by a rigid spacer. The nut on this non-
adjustable hub are tightened fully to the correct torque value.
Driving Hub.
Figure 27.5 illustrates a typical hub arrangement used for a front-wheel drive car. The
The stub axle housing uses two bearings, which support both the wheel hub and driving
driving shaft. The type of bearing used is decided based on the load carrying capacity
capacity of the road wheel.

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capacity of the road wheel.

Fig. 27.5. Front hub with front-wheel drive.

Bearing Loads on the Front Axle
Figure 27.6 illustrates the forces and the reactions on steering knuckle when the vehicle
vehicle is at rest. The thrust load and the knuckle-pin-bearing load can be expressed in
in terms of the reaction of wheel on wheel spindle.
Let, Rw = The reaction of the wheel on the spindle acting vertically through the centre of
centre of contact of tyre on ground. Rt = The load on the thrust bearing
Ru = The load on the upper knucklepin bearing Rl = The load on lower knucklepin
‘B’ and ‘C represent the centres of lower and upper knuckle-pin bearings respectively.
respectively. ‘A’ is a point on the spindle axis in the centre plane of the wheel.

Fig. 27.6. Forces and reaction on steering knuckle.

The other loads acting on knuckle-pin bearing are those due to the rolling resistance
and road shocks. These loads are proportional to the static load and hence can be
accounted for.
Bearing Lubrication
The whole hub assembly is partially packed with grease. A radial-lip grease-seal is

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The whole hub assembly is partially packed with grease. A radial-lip grease-seal is
pressed inside the hub next to the larger bearing. The lip of the seal faces this bearing
bearing and fits over the cylindrically machined surface on the stub-axle.
Over packing bearing hubs with grease causes churning and develops very high
running temperatures. Due to high temperatures and excessive mechanical working the
the grease breaks down and becomes soft. The centrifugal force acting on the grease
grease in the hub pushes soft grease outwards, so that it flows towards the lip seal and
and seeps past the seal lips. Bearing greases are based on mineral oil and to thicken
thicken the oil soaps of calcium, sodium, or lithium compounds are added. The
consistency of a grease depends on the viscosity of the base oil as well as on the
structure and properties of the metallic soap added. The three most important
properties of a grease includes
(i) the melting temperature, at which the grease loses its semi-solid state,
(ii) its resistance to contamination and dilution by water, and
(Hi) its ability to withstand mechanical working before the grease breaks. The relative
operating properties of commonly used bearing greases are provided in Table 27.1.

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What is Front axle?

• A front axle is a rotating shaft at the front of a vehicle that turns the front wheels.
• Vehicle design can be quite variable, and axles come in a range of formats and designs to meet
different needs.
• Replacement of a front axle may be necessary in the wake of a serious accident or other damage,
like heavy rusting.
Functions of Front Axle:
• It supports the weight of front part of the vehicle.
• It facilitates steering
• It absorbs shocks which are transmitted due to road surface irregularities.
• It absorbs torque applied on it due to braking of vehicle.

Types of Front Axle:

• Dead front axle
- Dead axles are those axles, which do not rotate.
- These axles have sufficient rigidity and strength to take the weight.
- The ends of front axle are suitably designed to accommodate stub axles.
- In which there is no connection with the engine and having no differential mechanism.
- The front dead axles are four types : (i) Elliot axle, (ii) Reverse type, (iii)
Lemoine, (iv) Reversed lamoine type.
2. Line Front axle
- Line axles are used to transmit power from gear box to front wheels.
- Line front axles although, front wheels. This axles although resemble rear axles but they
are different at the ends where wheels are mounted. Maruti-800 has line front axle.

What is Stub Axle?

• Stub axles are connected to the front axle by king pins. Front wheels are mounted on stub axles
arrangement for steering is connected to stub axles.
• Stub axle turns on kind pins. King pins is fitted in the front axle beam eye and is located and locked
there by a taper cotter pin

Types of Stub Axle:

• Elliot
• Reversed elliot
• Lamoine
• Reversed lamoine

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• Reversed lamoine

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