Suspension POV Videos
Watching suspension systems at work is mesmerizing. It also shows just exactly how much work the shock absorbers do to keep your wheels planted to the ground. One thing we noticed from watching these videos, the suspension is constantly doing something! Even the smoothest of roads have undulations and imperfections that work the dampers.
Miata with Bilsteins
This video shows an upgraded set of Bilstein fitted to a 2013 Miata MX5. The Miata is running a multilink suspension set-up and you can see how rapidly the wheels respond to the road surface. Check out the sway bar in operation and also how the weight transfers forward and backwards during acceleration and braking. Around the 1 minute mark, the driver enters a 45 mph slalom. You can see at this point how the independent suspension works beautifully to keep the car under control, each side synchronising via the anti-roll bar.
Mercedes W124 300E
As direct contrast to the sport orientated suspension on the Miata, here we have the standard suspension of a classic Merc. The road surface is very similar, but the ride is noticeably more cushioned and a lot softer. The 300E has wishbones with a thick coil spring, offering lots of damping and the thicker springs help support the increased weight of a luxury sedan. Generally, the wheel can be seen to move far slower, in a more spongy way, than the Miata video above.
Mustang GT with BMR Suspension
This Mustang GT has a tricked out suspension set-up, with a full BMR suspension handling package and Billet Pro Shop coilers. The BMR full suspension kit includes sway bars, upgraded control arms and even weld on chassis stiffening subframe braces. The Mustang has a solid live axle with trailing arms, you can see when compared with the Mercedes and Miata videos above, that the suspension bounces a lot more, each side being tied together. Beam axles are great for drag and muscle cars, as they are strong and simple to wrench on, but they do not handle as well as independent suspension. They also do not have any camber angle gain in corners. The above set-up is very firm and has been designed to reduce wheel hop caused by high power standing starts that deform standard bushes.
Larry Shaw Custom 4 Link Suspension
The 4 link pul bar set-up on this UMP Modified dirt car is fascinating. The oval circuit racer has 4 high travel off-road oriented shock absorbers, with 2 huge coil springs. The axle is attached to the chassis via a birdcage and dual trailing arms. This helps damp the imperfections of an uneven mud track. They also help govern an effect known as 'rear steer', where one wheel lifts off the ground due to the long travel suspension and 'steers' the car. In some cases, this effect can be used to the driver's advantage. The axle also has a chain on the left rear that limits suspension travel. The most interesting thing is the addition of another spring on a bracket attached to the axle. This allows the axle to pivot around, taking out some of the stress to the drive train from acceleration.
Dual Triangulated Suspension on a 4x4
This video shows a snazzy dual triangulated 4 link set-up in action. You an literally see the opposing trailing arms working together to allow the axle to transition more like individual suspension would. Very clever! And with those super long off-road dampers, the truck can travel over terrain that would cause standard factory set-ups to become crossaxled.
Nissan Patrol 4x4 with 4"Lift
Here we have a 1991 Nissan Patrol GQ wth a 4" lift but otherwise factory set-up. As most 4x4 driving is done at low speeds, this set-up offers the perfect amount of travel and ground clearance. Versus a 4 link suspension set-up, however, the travel is quite limited.
We hope you enjoyed this detailed look at how a variety of suspension set-ups operate, whether on or off-road. Have you found any other cool videos of suspension in action? Drop us a link in the comments.