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Suspension - Page 2

Wheel rate

The wheel rate is the force required to move the suspension by a given distance, and is normally expressed in lb/inch or N/mm. It is a function of the spring rates (how stiff the springs are) and the suspension geometry, which generates mechanical advantage for the springs depending on the type and design. You can measure this directly by applying weight to the axle of interest, and measuring the suspension deflection, and dividing by 2 (since each axle has 2 wheels). If you know the spring rates, you can work out the mechanical advantage that the supension mechanism provides as follows:

Mechanical advantage = √(Spring rate/Wheel rate)

This should be done for the front and rear independently, as the geometry and spring rates will be different from the front to the rear.

 

Roll Centres and Roll Axis

The car has two roll centres, one at the back and one at the front. These are created by the geometry and design of the suspension. If you draw an imaginary line between these points, you are drawing the Roll Axis, which is exactly that – the axis round which the body rolls.

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