Top Things To Consider In Suspension Design

When designing a suspension design for a car it involves brainstorming about the tires, tire air, linkages, springs and other things that are connected with the tire and the vehicle itself. Today’s automobile industry, everyone focuses more on how comfortable the vehicles rides and of course, its suspension design. The suspension is more likely designed to allow the movement of the wheels to meet the expectation towards the dynamic requirement and various combinations.

It is also important to know that suspension contributes in a critical part of vehicle’s handling and safe braking, driving pleasure and ride quality. That is why suspension designs are truly valuable in every car. Most people says that low mass vehicles are most likely to be also made up from a poor suspension design. In other words, the heavier it gets, the greater its stability handling precision, in which lead us to a better suspension design. However, this doesn’t stop automotive engineers and designers from giving the best suspension design for low mass vehicles.

designing suspension

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It one of the main roles of the suspension is to make sure that the tires are making contact with the surface and to optimize the contact patch with the car tires. Through suspension design, you will also be able to customize or boosting the ultimate performance of your car. Before settling on a suspension design you clearly need to check and consider specific things that will clarify all the doubts and questionable features. Here are the top things that you need to consider in suspension design.


Car Packaging

The car packaging includes the aerodynamics, regulations, and structure of the car. This factor would be the most primary priority in suspension design. May be because without the regulations, the car is not to race unless it works with aerodynamics, this car will not win in any racing. The bodywork of a prototype has a better aerodynamics compared to a sports prototype since it is mostly the rotating tires that bring a major rigid influence.

Unsprung Weight

Unsprung weight represents the weight of a portion of vehicles. The mass lies on the vehicles side of the spring in which tells us that contain the spring weight. It most likely includes things that move forward together with the wheels; the mass of the tires, suspension leakages, and breaks. It is important since the weight is mainly responsible for the handling and comfortable ride of the vehicle.

Installation Stiffness

Installed stiffness refers to the calculated stiffness of the car’s structure and the hub’s faces. This must always be less so that it can comply with suspension linkages and mounts. The hub carriers and clearances affect the bearings of the wheels and the spherical suspension. If you find something to be not working right, you can easily use rod ends.

To measure installed stiffness, one must take into account the road wheels and clearance stacking (which can be noticed in suspension mechanisms and when a person is steering).

Cg Height

A car’s Cg Height is often available on the internet so you need not compute for it yourself. Cg Height measures the location and weight of all of the car’s major component. It usually changes if you modify the car and transfer weight.

If you work with a car that has stiff springs (in relation to the car’s weight), for example, you will not notice that there’s a difference between the front and the rear of the car. This is if you compare the horizontal ride height and the raised ride height. However, it may not be 100% true. So, when you do measurements for an unlocked suspension, you must verify the exact ride height of the car.

Bearings and Brakes

Wheel bearing has its share in supporting the car’s weight and also has to maintain a perfect alignment with the car’s axle. If there is something wrong with the alignment, most probably, the rotor will push the caliper pistons towards their bores and will drag them against the pad. This also true when trying to maintain a concentricity with the drum brakes. If the axle will move, then the brakes will drag and the lubricant in the axle will leak.

When you feel the wheel vibrate or wobble, that might mean that there is damage to the suspension or there is a bearing with mechanical damage. Since bearings and brakes are mostly connected to the car’s suspension, they must then be considered during the design process.

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The suspensions system is made up of linkages, which connects the vehicle to the wheels, and shock absorbers. It might not come as a surprise then if the cost for the suspension is quite high. If you are on a budget, you must, of course, adjust your design to it.

A whole suspension system will cost you about 1,000 USD to 5,000 USD. This depends on what model the car is. It also depends on the amount of rust and wear beneath the vehicle. But if you’re designing suspension for a new car, then you must opt for high-quality shock absorbers, linkages, and ball joints. You can visit several auto parts shop to compare prices. That way, you’ll somewhat be able to save.

Design Resources

If there is a scarcity of design resources, then it’ll be quite difficult to design a suspension. Luckily, the internet has opened a portal to an unlimited car design resources. You can pick which one you think would go best for the car easily. What really matters is how you use the resources to create your suspension. It’s not enough that you have all the things you need to start your design; you must have a clear concept of what you want to do. Visualize what you want to have and sketch it on paper. Do not forget the measurements as they are very important.

Motion Ratio

A motion ratio is a mechanism which displays ratio of displacement between two points of interest. In a vehicle’s suspension, the two points refer to the shock absorbers and the springs. Motion ratio is used to describe the amount of shock that travels in a vehicle given a specific wheel travel. The force transmitted to the car chassis will reduce if the motion ratio will increase.

When you are designing your suspension, take into account its motion ratio. A motion ratio near to 1 will give the car a better and more comfortable ride. Of course, you have to make adjustments with the springs and shock absorbers so that you can reach the desired motion ratio. It’s best if you calculate this in the design stage so that you will have ample of time to discuss several possibilities.


There are different kinds of suspension that are made to resolve a car’s deficiency, however, they mainly function as a controlling mechanism to move the tires with the right movement. To achieve this, the structures and links of the suspension must be located in a specific geometry (that is relative to the car). This specific geometry will dictate the tire , wheels, and chassis’ behaviors.

Taking all those factors into account, you can say that designing suspension is not as easy as it sounds. Use the factors stated so that you can reach your goal—to create a suspension that will provide an improved and more stable platform from which a driver can control the vehicle and keep the car tires in contact even on an uneven surface.

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