×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Lateral Link replacement

Lateral Link replacement

Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Hey everyone.

First off hey, first post.  I will apologize if this thread is confusing, as I am not really an engineer.  I am however a race car builder in the Pacific NorthWest.

We are currently building a Subaru Impreza to compete in Rally Competition nationwide.  The rules of the organization allow us a lot of freedom for suspension design.  We have had a discussion the last couple of days regarding replacing our factory style lateral links with adjustable units comprised of hollow tubing and spherical rod ends.  Obviously material choice here would be important, but are there any other concerns we need to address.

The factory rear suspension is a trailing link with parallel lateral links and a strut.


Is there any reason to think this would not work?

The links are connected with a single bolt at each end passing through the suspension upright and both lateral link ends.

Thanks for the help, and I hope I have not made a fool of myself here.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Are you just replacing the factory links with adjustable links, or are you changing the mounting points as well.

Is the diagram the factory set up, or your proposed set up

Are the green and red lateral links equal length, parallel and at equal height to each other at each end.

If they are different lengths, you will get bump and roll steer.

I expect that most competent rally drivers do not like "passive 4 wheel steer" as they would sooner control all steering input themselves.

Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Thanks for the response and questions.

We are hoping to replace the factory setup with adjustable units for toe and camber adjustment.  The diagram I posted would represent both versions.

The green and red links are parallel to each other and the same length.  They mount to the same position on both sides of the upright and rear differential mount.  Other than sway bar mounts they are interchangeable.

What I am hoping to do is get rid of fixed length factory versions and replace them with adjustable length all metal units with some sort of spherical rod end.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Looks OK to me then, but I am not a professional suspension guy.


Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

That looks like a typcal race car setup. Note that your camer control is via the strut, and that brake torques are also resolved via the strut.

You might consider making things more complicated by mounting the shock to the hub via a ball joint, and then adding a camber control arm and a second drag link, if you want to keep everything orthogonal.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Thanks for the help.

You state that camber control is via the strut.  From the factory the strut is mounted with to bolts through the upright and does not provide any camber adjustment.  In the past we used an offset bolt to adjust the camber in the top hole.  The changed the wheel camber without effecting the angle of the strut, but we are limited in the ammount of adjustment we could get this way. On tarmac stages, more camber may be required.  In order to achieve this, would it not be possible to lengthen the lateral links to push the bottom of the upright out from center.  This would increase the camber angle of the wheel and strut as a unit.  The struts contain a spherical bearing at the top mount, so there would be minimal binding there.

Does this sound correct, or would it just make a mess of things?

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

I don't know if it matters, but it will also increase the track width

Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
But only to a minor degree right?  I would have to measure to see what an additional degree or two would do to the bottom of the tire.

Really we are talking about a max adjustment of +- 2 degrees.  With an offset of 1/8" total (both sides cumulative) for toe adjustment.

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

My only concern would be if it affects guard  clearance if they are already very close, or if it puts it outside a class rules maximum measurement. Otherwise it is just nitpicking on my behalf.

Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Yes, that will work, but note that your drag link will now come into play, changing your toe in bump curve.

That is exactly what I meant about orthogonality - the ability to change only ONE parameter at a time.

I must confess I don't think it is a big deal, in my opinion rear suspensions mostly just follow the car around (grin).

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Also it might be worth noting that if you replace all the bushes by spherical joints in the original suspension then it is overconstrained and will be relying on the elasticity of the metal to move. It might be best to leave the drag link mounted using rubber bushes.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Exactly my thoughts the drag link will retain its softer rubber bushings, but be inforced to take the abuse that a rally could give it.  In stock form its a stamped c channel, but we will go ahead and box it in.

Thanks for all the help guys.  I will post some pics and some alignement results when we get it done.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Instead of making the 2 lateral links longer to gain more negative camber, why dont you use 2 offset camber bolts to get more negative camber, one in the top position, the other on the bottom position on the strut/hub interface!

You effectively double your camber range.

Another option, cut of the flanges on the strut and get new ones on their with red-rilled holes for the hub.

Jakub

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Jakub,

That is the common approach that a lot of teams have been using, either slotting the holes in the strut flange, or reworking the upright.

This presents a couple of problems to us.  During a race there are only two 20 min service times allowed.  During this time we have to fix anything that gets broken and prep the car for the next set of stages.  In order to adjust camber using the two bolt method or slotted strut method, the wheels would have to be removed, the strut adjusted, and the wheel remounted.  If everything is good with the car, there may be more than enough time to get this done on both wheels.  By going to an adjustable link, one mechanic can access the links from under the car and adjust both sides, without interfering with any repair or service work going on at the wheels or brakes.

If there is a reason not to build the stronger adjustable links then we will probably have to rework the strut flanges.

Last year we went through a lot of lateral links, after they were bent.  In rally racing the rear end of the car may spend a lot of time traveling sideways to its intended direction.  The high torque numbers we generate and the loose surface material often lead to large ammounts of oversteer during cornering. (And the crowds love it :D)

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Adjusting through the lateral links may require significant change to get 2 deg change in camber.  Essentially it is the ditance from the top of the strut to the lower link times 2 deg*pi/180.  I'd be worried about maintaining the half-shaft in the diff if the track change gets to be excessive.

Can you have multiple mounting points on the subframe for the lateral links?

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Yes, are actually using a one off subframe.  We can mount the links as required.

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

The reason I asked that was that you could possibly change camber gain and RC height between stages if one stage was on loose stuff and the other on paved stuff.  Probably want more camber gain on paved surface and therefore higher inner hardpoints would do this.  Higher rear RC would give effectively stiffen the rear end up too, desireable direction of balance change for paved surface.  Just a thought.  It may be more effort than desired to get alignment right when doing something like this.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Honestly this sound sounds like a great idea.  So if we did this the only adjustment we would need would be for toe changes, which is very minimal.  I think we will pursue this idea.

Now, on to the next question.. how strong do I need these to be?  I found a source for some nice chromoly spherical rod ends. They are intended for off road 4x4 suspensions, so I think they should be tough enough, but what about the pipe in the middle.  I would like the links to be strong enough to take the abuse and not fail, but I also would like them to bend before the subframe does.  This sounds like a pretty fine line, I know.

Do you guys think a thick wall seamless DOM tube would be sufficient?  I could get the tube threaded and just thread the rod ends into it directly.

Should I ask this in the materials list instead?

Thanks for everyone's ideas!

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Get your spring testing machine (or a hydraulic ram). Get a copy of one of the arms that failed in buckling. Find out what the load is that buckles it. Design new arm to be 50% stronger.

Until you know the failure loads you won't be able to design a sensible new system.


Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Lateral Link replacement

(OP)
Most of the failed links were a result of not enough ground clearance and the link failed from a force perpendicular to its length.  I will just start bending links and see what it takes.

J

RE: Lateral Link replacement

If you thread directly into the tube, you will reduce the strength significantly, as you will be creating a notch at the root of the thread.

You should weld a bung into the end of the pipe, then thread the bung. I think you can buy bungs that are already threaded.

Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

SubieDude,

I would suggest chassisshop.com for 4130 threaded tub inserts.  If us use tubing thick enough to thread directly it will be way to strong to prevent subframe damage.  What you really need to do is calculate the critical load for buckling in compression and also evaluate the tensile stress to see how the tub will fail.  Analyzing the subframe will be more difficult since it sees more than just tension and compression loads, but also bending.  Since it don't look like you have any structural engineers working for you, your best be will be to make some mockup assemblies and test them.

-Joest

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Practical construction details:

Use seamless drawn aluminium tube.

Loctite 600 steel plugs into each end. Do a pull test on one to convince yourself that the aluminium will fail before the bond.

Use left hand thread for one end, right hand thread for the other. Spray paint them so you know which is which. Your mechanics will think you are a god.

Use aircraft grade rod-ends, if you can get them in metric thread sizes.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Greg is spot on re the testing. You have to have a baseline to make any sense of it.

The way I have seen off road racecars develop. is you start off with everything as strong and light as you can get, then you keep reinforcing the points of fail. You then try to leave an easily replaceable part slightly weaker, and have it so if it fails, you can still limp home.

I guess thats where your at with the arm bending rather than the arm breaking at the end of the thread, which will happen if you thread the pipe directly.

As mentioned elsewhere, you will need to look at half shaft attachments and joints to see how the change in track with suspension travel affects them. We used to assemble the suspension sans springs and move it through full range and look closely and feel, at all points for binding and fit. We would also rotate the wheels while doing this to ensure the CVs were OK at all points.

If the lengthening of the laterals stretches the CVs orr splines to much, you can also pull the strut top in a bit. You might need to modify the towers to allow for the adjustment. If you elongate the holes that mount the strut to the tower, you might need an adjustable brace or ecentric washer etc to prevent slippage at the top strut mounts.

Regards
pat

eng-tips, by professional engineers for professional engineers

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips Fora.

RE: Lateral Link replacement

If there's room at the top of the strut mounting, you might consider a camber plate like what is used in the fronts of a macpherson strut cars.  Check out www.ground-control.com

RE: Lateral Link replacement

Have you considered using shim type adjustemnt on the in-board side instead of thread type adjustment. It would save heaps of time in adjustment and much more accurate.

Also someone does small rubber (washer type) boots for rod-ends, which should be pretty good for rally style racing!

Also if you find that using a LH and a RH rodend gives too much length increase per revolution, use rodends with different thread pitches, and for finer resolution use same thread type (RH) at different pitch's.

Jakub

RE: Lateral Link replacement

"...snip ..... the drag link will retain its softer rubber bushings, but be inforced to take the abuse that a rally could give it.  In stock form its a stamped c channel, but we will go ahead and box it in."
Leaving it a channel means it is about 100 X times less torsionally stiff.  That flexibility may be a good or even necessary thing as far as the end bushes and suspension compliance are concerned.  

GM passenger RWD cars like Chevelles used 4 (u-channel) links to locate the rear axle.  HOt rodders eagerly boxed them  "for strength" and ended up with strangely stiff or harsh action over bumps and in corners.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close