Independent Suspensions

It may look like that all types of vehicles use same spring coiled suspension but in actual, there is much more than just the spring coiled part in the suspension. The parts other than spring coiled part in the suspension play a much deeper role than one can think. Here, we’ll discuss how Independent Suspensions affect so much not on just comfort but controlling of the vehicle too.

Independent Suspensions as discussed in earlier posts are those types of suspensions in which the movement of one wheel of the car doesn’t have any effect on the other wheel, whether it be vertical movement or the horizontal movement of the tires. The most common types of independent suspensions are Double Wishbone Suspension and MacPherson Suspension. Let’s discuss both in details.

Double Wishbone:

From the name, double wishbone, it is the type of suspension containing 2 control arms in the shape of English letter ‘A’ along with spring-shock absorber in between arms because of which, it is sometimes called as a double A-arm suspension. This is not very much common suspension because of its manufacturing cost. It needs to be very specific everytime it is designed, so it takes more skills and time to work on as compared to other types of suspensions.

Double wishbone suspension is usually made with shorter upper control arm and longer lower control arm. Since arms are fixed, the upper shorter control arm creates a negative camber (know more) in which the upper part of the tire leans to the inside of the vehicle and lower part of the tire leans to the outside of the vehicle. This causes more contact of lower tire surface with the road causing the control of vehicle more easier while on curves. This suspension can be used both at the front or at the back wheels of the vehicle. Since it is high in cost but is drive efficient, it is used in high-performance vehicles like race cars where large money is invested and large performance is required.


MacPherson Suspension:

The name doesn’t indicate any mechanism here, the name is derived after the inventor of this independent type of suspension. This is the most commonly used suspension type in normal cars. This is common because of low manufacturing cost and simple structure. It is many times called single wishbone suspension because in MacPherson suspension, only one control arm is used and that is the lower control arm along with simple shock spring mechanism.

Since it has no upper arm, it occupies less space and is preferable in automobiles using Front Wheel Drive in which the drive shaft can be passed through easily to the wheel hub as very much void space is there due to the absence of upper control arm.

Since there is no camber adjusted already in the wheels and it can’t be fixed at a certain angle, it becomes difficult to handle the vehicle while cornering because of lack of negative camber. This is the reason, it cannot be used in high-speed race cars. So, it’s cheap design makes it so common in many vehicles.